Metatalktail Hour: Lazy World September 15, 2018 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, ctmf wants to know, "What would you like to see someone else do? From serious/hard (Japan-style rail ubiquity in the US) to useful (an app that does X) to frivolous (A professionally-talented jazz group doing an extended interpretation of Beck's Where It's At)."

Remember, these are conversation starters, not conversation limiters! We want to hear about whatever's up with you, excluding only politics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:37 PM (99 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Tiny RFID tags or some other kind of tracker for socks.

I just did laundry the the first time in awhile. How do I have FIFTEEN unmatched socks?
posted by kinsey at 5:59 PM on September 15, 2018 [6 favorites]


I posted this somewhere else here, but I would love a video game with no points or any competition that would allow me to drive on roads I would otherwise not see and interact with other players who I would not otherwise meet. Basically, I am looking for Metafilter with driving and scenery.
posted by 4ster at 6:08 PM on September 15, 2018 [22 favorites]


I would like an international bank account that could be used in any country with no currency conversion fees or telegraphic transfer fees if transferring between accounts, regardless of country. I have a citibank account that I can withdraw cash from fee free, but so far nothing that I can transfer money from.
posted by Kris10_b at 6:17 PM on September 15, 2018 [6 favorites]


Two things I have mentioned before. I would love, especially after this hot and steamy (in not a good way) summer here, for England to finally embrace the joys of American-style air conditioning in most or all homes and businesses. And, to reciprocate on the other side of the Atlantic, because I am so done with being given a fluid in a polystyrene cup or similar...

+ + + + +

The season between the seasons of summer and autumn continues, as I wander between village shows in the rural heartland of England.

In Rempstone, the quality of tomatoes turned out to be quite high, as did the knitting and the apples. The cheesecake they served up was pretty good too.

A little under three miles away, Wysall was encountered. This is one of my favorite villages, and is a most agreeable location to hold events. The food trail show indulged me in some dreamy torte, and a display of samples of jams persuaded me to purchase a jar of the red gooseberry variation. Such sugary delights meant this was a rare occasion where I declined a slice of coffee walnut sponge cake.

A show a few miles southeast of here, earlier today, had some interesting categories such as tiniest ripe tomato - the entrants and a close up of the winner - and miniature garden made by a child under 6 years of age. I am absolutely sure that the winning entry received no parental assistance whatsoever, and the fact that it was far, far better than all other entries was entirely a coincidence. There was also a craftwork section, with a spectacular train and station (the detail goes all the way around), which inexplicably lost out to a walking stick with a miniature collie dog figure stuck to it. More conventional categories with less contentious judging included Victoria sponge cake, jar of fruit jelly, and most amusing vegetable.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to attend one of my favorite village shows of the local calendar. It's a small village and show, but the presentation is always good, and the tiny cafe in the village hall serves consistently good cake. And also, category 5 is “Ooh I say” - most peculiar vegetable, so who could refuse to attend such a show. Toodle pip.
posted by Wordshore at 6:18 PM on September 15, 2018 [17 favorites]


There’s a lot but the one that’s vexing me today is they should make the software that takes the music on your phone and plays it on your car simpler & not trying to do anything but transmit the phone audio with remote controlling, while it charges. That’s all. Instead it’s an overly controlling buggy mess. Like a piece of shit micromanaging boss who the higher ups don’t care enough about to fix.
posted by bleep at 6:31 PM on September 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


I would like to see the girls clean their rooms.

It is claimed that this happens every Sunday afternoon but I have seen no evidence that this is the case.
posted by madajb at 6:32 PM on September 15, 2018 [13 favorites]


I would like to see the ants and aphids in my garden all jump in a well. Or die in a fire. Or get nuked.

Sorry. It's been kinda a week.

The shishito peppers are growing like crazy, and 5 days ago I sowed a spinach bed which excitedly- is starting to sprout!
Ah spinach. As long as it isn't too hot (not my problem right now) it'll grow like a weed. I'm buckling down and starting to plan for the winter in earnest, and soon it'll be time for lettuce and swiss chard, and I hope to build a dedicated carrot bed. My god there is nothing like a home grown carrot. So much you get in the store because it's kind a pain to grow or because the difference in quality doesn't really justify the effort or cost, but the taste of a carrot fresh from the ground is just phenomenal, and they're not too difficult or expensive to grow.

Dad... might not be doing so hot, but we wont know until more tests are done. I might not get this job at the vet even if they do want me, because it's looking like I'm going to have to stay at home for now. Doggie is also not doing well and... it's just been a week. Yom Kippur has historically never been too good for me, bad stuff always tends to cluster around this time of year, and this year is a doozy.

At least the peppers are growing really well. One of the hatches is growing a nose much like Wordshore's funny tomato. Gotta love a silly vegetable.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:56 PM on September 15, 2018 [6 favorites]


"I just did laundry the the first time in awhile. How do I have FIFTEEN unmatched socks?"

Several years ago, not long after I had kids and lost all spare brain space, I got rid of all my socks and bought ALL THE SAME SOCK. A dozen pairs. If one goes missing, I never notice! If one gets a hole in it, I throw it out! I spend no time sorting and matching socks! It's glorious.

I would like -- and maybe this is a thing that already exists, I don't know -- socks with different colored toes so that my two sons who are just SLIGHTLY different sock sizes can have plain white socks in large, identical quantities, but each kid can have a different toe color.

Micro McGee is playing kiddie soccer this year, so I'm now officially a soccer mom. Up until now we've been all gymnastics and ninjasport, so team sports are new!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:01 PM on September 15, 2018 [12 favorites]


I want a Jetsons- style device where I stand on a conveyor and I roll through the shower, makeup, hair, and clothes with minimal effort. Ironically I love fancy soaps and other bath items, just not the actual labor.

I'm pretty drunk right now (because this), and I really should shower before getting into bed because I reek of bug spray. If I had a Jetsons shower I absolutely would. I don't, so I'm probably not going to, and will just wash my sheets tomorrow.
posted by Fig at 7:22 PM on September 15, 2018 [6 favorites]


Currently watching I, Daniel Blake. Now I wish universal basic income was really a thing so people didn't have to go through all the bureaucratic bullshit when they're out of work. So far I've wanted to rant at the screen the entire movie.
posted by Kris10_b at 7:31 PM on September 15, 2018 [5 favorites]


Some things that would make my jobs easier:

A comprehensive database of the text of individual Supreme Court opinions tagged by the opinion author. The Supreme Court Database has the metadata (who wrote what opinions for a given case) and CourtListener has the raw text, but nobody has each opinion separated out by author. There are a few sites that have them for a subset of justices or cases, but there's nothing comprehensive that I know of. And as long as I'm dreaming, I'd like to have that for all appellate opinions.

A free, comprehensive corporate symbology database that included historical data.

Some things that would make my hobbies easier:

A magic machine into which one could insert an edge tool (e.g. chisel, plane blade, knife, etc) and have the edge geometry measured and a shiny, sharp new edge put on.

A reliable way to keep raccoons from stealing our grapes.
posted by jedicus at 7:53 PM on September 15, 2018 [8 favorites]


I've mentioned this before but I want someone to cover No Children by The Mountain Goats as a sincere love duet.
posted by ckape at 8:03 PM on September 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


I would straight up murder people (plural) for Japan-style rail in the US.
posted by aramaic at 8:22 PM on September 15, 2018 [8 favorites]


I want somebody to clean my house, and then invent a way to keep it clean that does not involve my cleaning it, and also does not cost money and does not exploit people. That is what I would like.

I got my hair cut yesterday at lunch -- probably a good five inches chopped off? -- and apparently that's a very confusing thing for my new(ish) co-workers. Also I get shy on that sort of stuff with people I don't know well -- I'm a total show-off with people I do know well -- so the whole thing ended up kind of socially awkward. But I like my shorter hair! I keep shaking my head around.

I went hiking today and there were blackberries bushes in a giant tangle with a tree in which a great many quail were dithering, so I got to pick and eat perfectly ripe blackberries while listening to the Muppet-y sounds of consternated quail, and that made me happy.
posted by lazuli at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2018 [26 favorites]


Anyone want to come over to my mom’s house and unclog an incredibly stuck toilet? I’m here visiting and I’ve gone through two different plungers and I really don’t want to have to drive to Fred Meyer at 10pm and buy a snake. I’m in Bend, Oregon. South end of town. Anyone...
posted by not_the_water at 9:42 PM on September 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


I want to be able to step into or pass through some device that removes all the weird things growing on my old skin. And then I want my skin to be moisturized to the point that it feels like baby skin from head to toe.
posted by cairnoflore at 11:08 PM on September 15, 2018 [12 favorites]


Right now I want someone to help my city have decent food delivery options. I am desperately sick with an out of town husband and no food in the house and all I want in the world is a bowl of hot vegetarian pho from the place across town. But: no.

Actually tbh I would like a plan to remove all food decisions/purchases from my hands. I will still do the preparation as required. I am tired this time of year, I have decision ennui, someone please just do this for me. I am the perfect customer for a meal kit thing and I would happily pay for them just to not have to think about it- but here I am in northern nowheresville with zero options.

I understand I am lucky to have these problems. It is the gross cold speaking. I blame my students.

In other news, yesterday was the first day in more than 100 that I hadn’t don’t some kind of outside exercise or weight training. Sticker charts are *very* effective for my nerdy middle-aged brain, apparently, but the streak could not continue when I just wanted to crawl into bed and die.

The good news is that we have had bizarre unseasonably warm weather (70 degrees for days, about a month after we usually have our last 70 degree day) and the raspberries are still killing it despite overnight temperatures near freezing and fall looming ominously everywhere. Evidence. We have run out of gin to and vodka to infuse (we went through two full Costco bottles of both, which is impressive!) so these will be frozen for winter sauces/desserts.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:09 PM on September 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


I would pay $$$$ for someone else to come up with solutions for:
- drinkable sunscreen, so I wouldn't have to smear it on.
- a scanning device to pick the perfect avocado at the store.
- (very, very local:) a street intersection at this one place where the bike path crosses the road, and the bikes are supposed to stop for the cars, but instead one well-meaning car will stop to let the bikes cross, and it interrupts the flow of the traffic for everyone, *grar*! Just put up lights and be done with it!
posted by rawrberry at 11:28 PM on September 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


A Star Trek-style transporter would be awesome in so many ways.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:37 PM on September 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


I would like someone to show me how to use the bread slicing machine at my new Lidl. It looks complicated and dangerous. There are instructions, but I'm absolutely horrible at applying written instructions to physical movements in three-dimensional space, especially if extremely sharp blades are involved. But I'm also the worst at slicing bread. So I've been just kinda hanging around, waiting for another customer to use it so that I could discretely look over their shoulder. But it still hasn't happened. Maybe everyone in this city is as terrified of the bread slicing machine as I am.
posted by Vesihiisi at 11:50 PM on September 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


I was JUST SAYING to someone that I want a little anti-gravity pad thing that would float my cello case up next to me so I wouldn't end up with welts on my shoulder when shlepping to and from rehearsal in the summer.
(Winter is fine, in winter I'm wearing a long-sleeved inner and a sweater and a fluffy coat. Summer, with one layer of low-cut T-shirt between me and the strap, not so great.)

Also, a bit like charmedimsure up above (hope you feel better soon), I want a year's worth of recipes tailored to a) ingredients I can get b) facilities in my kitchen c) my husband's and my tastes, including seasonal variation. Cooking is fine, I'm good with cooking. Figuring out what the hell to cook is the hard part.
posted by huimangm at 12:20 AM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I would like a course management system that doesn't suck.

The bamboo-frame bicycle that I have mentioned on Ask and MeTa before has unfortunately met a premature end; I woke up last week to find the down tube split end to end. I blame shoddy workmanship (i.e., my workmanship) on the bottom bracket joint particularly.

However, this gives me an excuse to go to the bike co-op and hunt down a new old bike. I went after work on Friday and found a beaten-up Peugeot City Express in the back. I came back for it today and put a first six hours into rehabbing it. I was hoping to get it rideable in about four hours, but I underestimated just how neglected this poor thing was. The front hub had no grease at all. Normally, this would be terrible, but in this case it was a mercy: the bottom bracket and rear hub had grease that was so old it had congealed into a rubbery, plasticky hell-substance. I wore out my hands and a wire brush and a patch of steel wool scrubbing it out of the internals. Tomorrow, I tackle the headset and saddle and replace the standard consumables: cables, tires, etc. I think three, maybe four hours will get it into shape, but my fingernails will be full of grease for weeks.

I haven't properly wrenched on a bike in years (building a new bike from new components doesn't quite count, as far as I'm concerned). It's good for my soul.
posted by egregious theorem at 12:29 AM on September 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


I just have one simple need: teleportation. That would solve all my problems.

While we wait for that to happen, I would like to report that I had a fun start to the day where I made friends with a random bird on the way to work. It was very nice.
posted by lollusc at 12:58 AM on September 16, 2018 [15 favorites]


Two things I'd love to see. First, a VR experience that can emulate hypercrealistic weather conditions. I want to see myself sitting in a room with a cozy fire and snow coming down. I want to sit on a front porch and experience a crazy lightnightstorm over the planes of Montana. I want to sit in a car in the rain, listening to the pitter-batter. I want to take a train ride through Russia in the dea of winter. Basically, I want VR weather reproduction that is not only mood enhancing, but indistinguishable from reality.

Also, I want a gas buying experience that stops asking me if my credit car is a debit card.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:05 AM on September 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


I’d be thrilled if all these nasty chronic illnesses and diseases could be cured; at the end of a lifespan one could get incredibly drowsy, say goodbye to everyone, and just drift off to sleep. Pretty big ask, but it’s been a tough year around here.

On a more manageable scale, if someone could build a platform in my house high enough to keep the litter box out of my little dog’s reach, but low enough that the cat would still use it, that would be pretty great.

And I’d pay good money for a truly gamified self-care app. Like on the scale of Animal Crossing cuteness and addictiveness, with maybe Pokemon Go style walking incentives (without the battles, thanks!). Because it’s difficult to be consistent in routines when the results/rewards are invisible long-term things, but the comfort of potato chips is right there and immediate.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 1:14 AM on September 16, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've mentioned this before but I want someone to cover No Children by The Mountain Goats as a sincere love duet.

Surely we can kickstart this...

I wish I knew how to play guitar and sing at the same time because I would totally be a one-woman Mountain Goats cover band.
posted by Orlop at 1:17 AM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I would like a plunger, toilet brush, and litter scoop with a 5 foot handle so I wouldn't have to bend over to use them.
posted by Rob Rockets at 2:25 AM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I want a robot vac that does the stairs.
posted by Namlit at 2:38 AM on September 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Typhoon Mangkhut edition: I want someone to build me an app that tells me when the noodle place downstairs opens so I don’t have to go outside and check. (I am fine.)
posted by mdonley at 3:49 AM on September 16, 2018 [14 favorites]


I would like for my hospital to revamp our EHR system so it does not freeze every time I click anything. Absent that, I would like the IT person who tells me to "just deal" to develop an itchy rash where they can't reach (This is obviously a joke. Sort of).
posted by M. at 4:07 AM on September 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'd like a small closet near the bathroom with heaters or fans or something that I could walk into and become dry almost instantly after a shower. Either that or some kind of showering technology that gets dirt off without involving water. I hate the sensation of water falling on me unevenly from above (I dislike being rained on as much as being showered on), and I also hate feeling damp for ages after bathing. I've got a few workarounds at the moment (microfibre towel, sitting in front of a small fan to dry my legs off after showering), but ideally I want some way of being completely dry within seconds rather than within minutes.
posted by terretu at 4:28 AM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I want someone to tell me what lollusc's friendly bird is!!
posted by sacchan at 4:39 AM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I want someone to tell me what lollusc's friendly bird is!!

looks like a yellow-faced honey eater to me

I was JUST SAYING to someone that I want a little anti-gravity pad thing that would float my cello case up next to me so I wouldn't end up with welts on my shoulder when shlepping to and from rehearsal in the summer.
(Winter is fine, in winter I'm wearing a long-sleeved inner and a sweater and a fluffy coat. Summer, with one layer of low-cut T-shirt between me and the strap, not so great.)


This will also be handy for that weird thing that violin/viola/cello cases do where when you sling them on your back and walk around they ride your skirt or dress up further and further until you're just wearing a scarf with ya cheeks out...

I would love to see attractive accessibility devices such as Yamaha's concept wheelchair become a mainstream thing. Or, well, this.
posted by womb of things to be and tomb of things that were at 4:46 AM on September 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


A comprehensive database of the text of individual Supreme Court opinions tagged by the opinion author.

I was going to say that surely it's just a matter of extracting the author data and adding a column (or at worst another table) to the database, but then I checked out some of the underlying structure as they describe it on their website.

Yikes, as the kids say these days. It doesn't seem to be so much a database as a collection of creaky SPSS data files and R code, and I wouldn't touch all of that without a hazmat suit.

Also:

I would like a course management system that doesn't suck.

Gonna go out on a limb here and guess...Blackboard user?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:51 AM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I just have one simple need: teleportation. That would solve all my problems.

COUNTERSIGNED.

There are also two or three physical-body-related things that I'm a bit too embarrassed to name by name, but if I were able to step inside some pod and it would automatically remove all the [Franks] and [Geralds] and [Peters] all at once, I'd love it.

Ironically - by choice or by circumstance - I've found that I'm going more labor-intensive with some tasks than I was raised; I went from having a dishwashing machine in the house as a kid to doing all my dishes by hand, and I can tomatoes (and my mother once confessed that that impresses and intimidates her a little). But the dishwasher thing is 100% because practically no one has a dishwasher in their apartments here, so it's either do dishes by hand or nothing. And as for the tomatoes - I only do that once a year, as a 9/11 Observance Ritual - and the fiddly-fussiness of the experience is part of why (it tends to distract me from Anniversary Thoughts just exactly enough).

Actually, though - I would loooooooove there to be an easier way to peel tomatoes. The only way presently is to dunk them in hot water for 30 seconds and then shock them in ice water for another 30, then try to pull the peels off; and since I can about 20 pounds in one go that involves juggling pans of hot water and trays of ice as each respective dunkin' tub cools or warms up, and water-laced-with-tomato-googe gets all over the place and I always seem to be running out of time for any of the other steps in the process (seed and crush tomatoes, sterilize canning jars, fill, seal, process, fish out and get the next cans in) and it's a damn wonder I haven't scalded myself at some point. If I could somehow just get the peels off some other way (vacuum? dematerializing ray?) and skip straight to seeding and crushing that would be FANTASTIC.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:31 AM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Netflix for e-books: pay $5-10 / month, have it suggest books based on your past habits, subscribe to authors, series, genres, sync across different devices. And yes, I tried Kindle unlimited. Found it quite limited.
posted by signal at 5:36 AM on September 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


I think there used to be a Netflix for e-books, called Oyster, and they went off the market :(
posted by M. at 5:41 AM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm looking at scribd, and one of my pet peeves is that they're always pushing the 'best sellers' at you. I get that some people equate popularity with quality. I'm not one of those people.
posted by signal at 5:46 AM on September 16, 2018


Also the android app at least has super wide margins and doesn't allow you to adjust them, or the line-height.
posted by signal at 6:31 AM on September 16, 2018


I definitely would like to see myself make my home much more beautiful, comfortable, and most importantly neat and clean.

A friend listened to me speaking of trauma and stuff, and I was very grateful. When someone really listens you can feel it. I still find it unbelievable but true.

I attended a seminar and before the main lecture there was a brief commemorative speech. The speaker talked about her late husband and she was at times choking with tears as she disclosed to us about the person as he had lived. I felt she was really generous to share those treasured, meaningful, and deep emotions with us. It takes a deep affirmation of life to be vulnerable with people you'd never met before.

I cried a lot in therapy. It was good.

I got the rejection letter after an interview. Ewwww.

I got some very nice white tea. Its colour and fragrance go very well with the autumn season.
posted by runcifex at 6:57 AM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I want an efficient way to pick ripe blackberries without rubbing my hands across the thorns. And I think this problem will not be fixed by teleportation. I do have one thornless "bush" (little stick), with it isn't even one eighth the size of the wild thing, which is about has big as a VW bug.
posted by puddledork at 7:07 AM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I want an efficient way to pick ripe blackberries without rubbing my hands across the thorns. And I think this problem will not be fixed by teleportation.
All you need is blackberries which can teleport (to the container you want them to be in).
posted by huimangm at 7:25 AM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I would like to see Kid Cat learn to use the litter box without throwing liter all over. While her determined expression and wild (if slightly misguided) digging is adorable, crossing the zone of litter in bare feet is not so much. I’m considering a cover, but worried it might throw her or Mom Cat off their game.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:38 AM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


There used to be a bus that stopped in my town that connected to the larger public transportation system. Then gas prices shot up to $4/gallon and it quit stopping here. Now gas is a bunch lower and I'd like them to stop here again. I have a car and I don't really mind driving but there is something nice about being able to just get on a bus and go. There is an Amtrak stop in town that i can walk to and though it doesn't go many places I want to go (I want to go to Boston or Montreal, it goes to New York and "outside of Burlington") I like that it is still here.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:03 AM on September 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I want TV and computers to eventually progress to the point where I can tell Netflix, "Show me a 10-episode series of The Great British Bake Off, hosted by Mel/Sue/Paul/Mary, in which the contestants are the fictional characters, with their original actors: Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec, Jessica Day from New Girl, Titus Andromedon from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jason Stackhouse from True Blood, Kaylee Frye from Firefly, Dr. Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stella Gibson from The Fall, White Josh from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place, Jimmy McGill from Better Call Saul, Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica, and Bob Belcher from Bob's Burgers," and have it generate a fictional and serviceably entertaining season of television that meets the specs.

(Pretty sure the winner would be Bob, Jessica, or Leslie, but, you know, it's about the journey.)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:18 AM on September 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


I would on occasion actually like to have a magically appearing butler give me treats like coffee in bed and stuff. The closest I can come to that kind of luxury is having done the dishes before going to bed, to be greeted by a nice and clean kitchen in the morning. But I still have to actually get up and make the damn coffee myself.
Or fold the laundry. Or get rid of the stupid spiders in the basement that multiply faster than my Vac's battery re-charges.
When done, butler must magically disappear because I like my privacy.

My late father didn't like insects and could frequently be observed wielding one of many fly swatters with vigor (cleaning up the house I found up to four of them in every room), or he would suddenly jump up in pursuit of a moth (real or imagined), clapping his hands and startling everyone. But in his Sunday mood he would lazily wave his hand instead and proclaim to the world at large "James, could you show the fly to the door, please." No James ever came, sadly. It would have made all the difference for the rest of us.
posted by Namlit at 8:26 AM on September 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I would love to see people who use computers start caring more about security and privacy. Yes, that includes quitting Facebook et al.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:29 AM on September 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


Teleportation devices already exist. They're called motor vehicles. The future is here.

What I want to see is no more teleportation devices except for a)mass transit b)emergency vehicles and c)as mobility aids. A shift in how people with frequent and regular access to current teleportation devices value this technology.

btw and the internet is telepathy. We already have that, too. Hello people all around the world! This is what I think!
posted by aniola at 9:21 AM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I want to be able to file everything in my house away like a filing cabinet, just leave out the furniture and decorative items. I want to retrieve things at the push of a button.
posted by soelo at 9:29 AM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I would dearly like for Japan to adopt daylight savings time, combined with a permanent hour shift back. In the summer, as things stand now, in summer, the sun comes up just after four am, and sets just around seven at night. Three hours of daylight gone if you get up at 7 am. If you go to bed at 11, you're spending four hours in darkness, using electricity to power lights and such. One permanent hour back, and then add in summer daylight savings time.

I would like to be able to watch the sun set from my balcony, rather than from the train window on my commute home.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:48 AM on September 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I want teleportation, but just for cats, so I can take our cats on vacation with us without the trauma of cats-in-cars.

A cure for cancer would also be swell right about now.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


Teleportation devices already exist. They're called motor vehicles. The future is here.

No, see, we mean a near-instant thing like the transporter on Star Trek, so there is no need to build in in-transit time for things like getting stuck in traffic, looking for a parking space, etc.

Presently I need to leave the house at 8 am to get to work by 9, and usually I am leaving work at 5:15ish and don't get home until 6:30. I want to knock that 2-hour transit time down to about ten seconds each way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:21 AM on September 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I love female singers covering songs that were originally sung by a man. In particular I wish I could find good covers of Warren Zevon's Disorder in the House, Green Day's Welcome to Paradise, or The Tragically Hip's Locked in the Trunk of a Car by female singers.

I'd also sure love to see some fanart of my writing project someday, but it's a little premature for that right now.
posted by Caduceus at 10:22 AM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I would like an R (stats software) helpline/ chat support with a super whiz who will explain what you're doing wrong THIS time but patiently.
posted by dhruva at 10:25 AM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Also, a way to slide parked cars closer together to better use the available parking space.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


I saw rawrberry's request for an avocado picker... I kinda know people who are trying to do that with tactile-sense robotics. Avocados are hard to judge.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 12:37 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I would love to see people who use computers start caring more about security and privacy. Yes, that includes quitting Facebook et al.

I would love to be able to quit Facebook without cutting off family/friends who are far away.

That's not a criticism of what you said, that's a serious wish: I hate that the only way I have to communicate with a not-small number of people is via a monolithic, intrusive company that routinely tries to sell me Austrian and German naziism.
posted by frimble (staff) at 1:19 PM on September 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


I would like Mandy Patinkin to record an album of Bruce Springsteen songs (maybe just all of Born to Run).
posted by rollick at 1:56 PM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I'd like all these messaging clients to just get with the programme and adopt an interoperability standard, like XMPP. Enough of this "do you have XYZ messenger app" bullshit. Remember when instant messengers started doing interoperability (maybe yahoo and something else)? Yeah, how is that in the past? Also, quit with this using your phone number to sign up idiocy.

Also, yes, a CMS designed with teacher-input rather than exclusively by engineers would be lovely. Sorry Schoology, but a CMS is supposed to reduce my workload, not increase it.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 2:00 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I would like -- and maybe this is a thing that already exists, I don't know -- socks with different colored toes so that my two sons who are just SLIGHTLY different sock sizes can have plain white socks in large, identical quantities, but each kid can have a different toe color.

When I was a kid my mom took two different-colored Sharpies and made this, and it worked.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:28 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


What's most needed is a good 50-year dog.
posted by HotToddy at 3:48 PM on September 16, 2018 [14 favorites]


Instantaneous would be best, but I actually don't care if it takes hours if somebody would come up with a way for me to visit friends in other parts of the US that took less than six hours to achieve each way from coast to coast, had flexible scheduling, and didn't cost $400+ to go anywhere. I have friends in other states that I just cannot come up with any possible way to go visit because I can't get time off, flying remains incredibly expensive, and I can't possibly justify that amount of money to realistically spend only a Saturday with them since I'll wind up arriving after midnight on Friday and leaving fairly early on Sunday because the only options are leaving at 7am or 7pm and the 7pm flight doesn't get me home until 1am. And it's not even really all of Saturday because of the late arrival. So... half of Saturday? Sigh.

I really thought, in my previous broke life, that at least maybe if I took a half day off that weekend trips would become viable by this point, but then it turns out that modern air travel just plain can't get you anywhere worthwhile for a weekend without taking a day off on both sides, if you don't live in a major hub city. I'm starting to realize why people who travel a lot for work are always exhausted, and I didn't even go anywhere, just spent a few hours researching possible plans for this fall.
posted by Sequence at 3:55 PM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


At this exact moment, I need an embiggenator, because I'm building all of them by hand and if I had an embiggenator, I could just put a skeleton key into it and come out with a 4 foot skeleton key instead of having to carve it by hand into foam.

Also, I would love for a real Los Angeles transportation system before I die, but I think an embiggenator is more likely.

Things are a bit rough in Sophieville right now. I'm having a bit of a panic attack over familial drama. Even though I've cut off contact with them, they seem to continue wanting contact with me, which is both upsetting and panic-inducing. Also, I could use a hug from just about anyone I'm not related to.
posted by Sophie1 at 4:29 PM on September 16, 2018 [9 favorites]


Just realized I didn't say what I was building. I'm building Hallowe'en props. My brain is fried.
posted by Sophie1 at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Hugs, Sophie1 !
posted by Fig at 5:28 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


speaking of Halloween, I would like the dancing pumpkin gifs to come back. I feel like they took last year off.

also, #hugsforSophie1
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:04 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


A mariachi cover band of Enya. They should be called ñ.

That's all I got.
posted by duffell at 8:32 PM on September 16, 2018 [18 favorites]


we mean a near-instant thing like the transporter on Star Trek

Can you cross entire quadrants using an everyday transporter from Star Trek? Everyone has a radius.
posted by aniola at 8:51 PM on September 16, 2018


My fantasy magic remote control has the following buttons:
  • Turn a specimen of cat or dog poo into a $20 bill
  • Change volume, pitch, or music of passing ice cream trucks and boom cars
  • Record my dreams
  • Play the songs stuck in my loved ones’ heads as a radio station
I know all of these technologies could be abused, so of course I would be the only one with access. Evil finger-steepling gesture
posted by armeowda at 9:39 PM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Hard: close 4 out of every 5 streets in every city in the world to motor vehicles that aren't delivery vehicles, busses, paratransit, or registered as self-driven by people with limited mobility. (But, I'll settle for Japanese-equivalent Rail in the US.)

Useful: convince academics and institutions that aren't in math and the physical sciences to use the arXiv to share non-paywalled papers instead of inventing countless janky, proprietary versions of the same that barely work. Publication fees are a real concern, but access has been a solved problem for the last 27 years. Your new ad-driven reprint service that spams everyone with tedious junk isn't helping.

Frivolous: Hire a world class early music ensemble to arrange and cover Yatta's Green Leaves in a cathedral. (I have more than one friend who could do it, but so far have gotten no traction.)

I didn't intentionally copy the specific themes of the examples, but that does seem to be the result.
posted by eotvos at 10:30 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


speaking of Halloween, I would like the dancing pumpkin gifs to come back. I feel like they took last year off.

They should appear the first of October this year. Last year, they appeared 2 weeks before Hallowe’en, which is awfully late.
posted by frimble (staff) at 10:30 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I realize that I made it sound like the gifs are a migratory seasonal thing that are totally out of my control.

This is accurate. I just put out a pumpkin patch and hope they show up.
posted by frimble (staff) at 10:32 PM on September 16, 2018 [20 favorites]

ould like a course management system that doesn't suck.

Gonna go out on a limb here and guess...Blackboard user?
As someone who's used both blackboard and canvas, that limb doesn't look like it will support your weight.posted by eotvos at 10:36 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Hugs, Sophie1!

I'd love for someone to invent a hospital bed that's comfortable and allows the patient to sleep well. Also, a chair (fold-out or not) that's comfortable for a visitor to sleep in. Even something like a reclining seat would be so much better. I could get into improvements with healthcare/insurance in general, but that would lead into politics and I know we're trying to avoid that in these threads.

Over the past couple of months, I've spent a lot of time basically camping out at hospitals, as primary support person for a family member very near and dear to me (he's doing better and is out of the hospital now, yay). I hadn't dealt with this type of situation personally before, at least not as the primary support contact. Definitely learned a lot (e.g. related to the above: I found out I cannot sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time in a hospital), and the experience has reinforced a lot.

I've wanted to mention something about it before here on MetaTalk but kept falling asleep. It still feels like I have a million things to do IRL, but I love MeFi, darn it, and I miss you, and I want to catch up on correspondence and news and photos (especially English village show photos of course) about what ya'll have been up to. There's so much I'd like to tell you about. I'll try to keep it to two main topics: Love/kindness, and why I'm so grateful for MetaFilter.

- Love and kindness. There were so many moments of kindness, and I know a lot of the time it's staff just doing their jobs, or friends feeling like they're doing the right thing, but it makes such a big difference when so many other things are going on in a stressful time. I'm grateful for the friends and relatives who sacrificed their time/sleep to help, or drove long distances to visit and brought food, or gave me advice because they had gone through something similar, or spent time with my relative so I could have a break, or gave rides to/from the hospital, or helped with the hospital transfers/discharges, or offered to listen.

Then there's medical staff people who understood that I wanted to stay and know as much information as possible, and helped me get that information. The staff were generally very respectful and helpful. Some minor things made a big difference, like the RNs, CNAs or other staff providing me with some food (I wrote about one case in the MeFi thread about Red Delicious apples), or charging my phone in the nurses' station at 3 am when I didn't think to bring a charger with me that first night, or the EMT observing that the chair in the room wasn't very good and getting a better one for me.

Or, the spouse of another patient who shared a room for a while; she seemed to have a lot more experience with hospitals and recommended things from the cafeteria, gave me tips on sleeping in a chair with a neck pillow (she stayed overnight as well, and then went to work at like 5 in the morning -- I don't know how she did it), and always was positive. I don't really hug people I've basically just met, but when we left, I asked her if I could give her a hug (she said yes). Maybe it was the sleep deprivation undoing my defenses. I'm pretty sure I also hugged some of the staff.

Major kudos to the MeFites who are dealing with, or ever had to deal with, being at the hospital as a patient or as a support person, or working as medical staff, especially if you're doing long shifts. Homo neanderthalensis - fingers crossed for you. Positive vibes for everyone who needs them!

- And something very relevant to MeFi: You know how a lot of us have said that MetaFilter has made us better people, in whatever ways that applies to us? I honestly believe that came into play again for me in so many ways at the hospital.

When things got super stressful, and I had to respond to medical people and make Decisions or other Important Things were happening, I was able to lean on years of reading AskMe advice and supportive comments in general on MeFi, and I wasn't afraid to ask questions or draw from a stable of responses. I wasn't afraid to say things like, "I'm not sure I understand what that means. Could you explain that, or can I talk to someone who can help explain it?" or "Are there any other options?" or "Do we have to decide now?" or "I'm not comfortable with that" or "That won't be possible."

When I had the chance, I looked up old AskMe threads on my phone, where I learned about how to respond to caseworkers, and that I had a right to ask for a social worker/counselor, and that edible goods seemed to be a standard gesture of thanks. I took as many notes as I could whenever I spoke to medical staff. I tried to be as polite as possible and also tried to learn their names (I am terrible with names; thank goodness for name badges, except when they're flipped over). I asked for them to spell out things if I didn't know what they were talking about (literally spell out words, such as procedures or medications), so I could write them down and look them up.

Whenever there was something that required a patient or support person signature, I always read it fully, even if it meant that person had to sit there and wait while I read the whole thing. I asked for copies of every signed document. There were multiple instances where it felt like there was pressure to sign quickly, and I'm glad I didn't because there were a few things that came up that where I had to ask for clarification (and actually in one case the answer I got was incorrect).

Maybe my approach didn't always render satisfactory results 100% of the time, but I *am* 100% sure that I was a better support person/advocate, and I'm sure rangefinder 1.4 pre-MetaFilter would have been far less successful, far less confident, and far more clueless and anxious (and that's saying something, because I was pretty anxious). Thanks, MeFi and AskMe. I am very, very grateful for you.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 11:53 PM on September 16, 2018 [13 favorites]


I would like to be able to hear what other people are thinking, but have a way to block other people from hearing me think.

I would like to be able to go to the beach without getting sand in all my stuff or all over me.

I would like a button similar to what first responders have that can change a traffic light from red to green.

I would like a device that can tell me with 100% accuracy what line to get on at the store so that I am out the door quickest.

I would like to see the Grateful Dead with Jerry and Pigpen one more time.

I would like to know, really, where this Waldo is.
posted by AugustWest at 12:23 AM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


we mean a near-instant thing like the transporter on Star Trek

What if it left your sould behind, tranporting a body that is healthy in every way, that you are now seeing as innert and lifeless from across the room? That would suck. Or what if it made an exact reproduction of yourself that is actually someone else, as they have an entirely different first-person perspective of the world that does not overlap any of your own, but shares all of your own atoms. We can conceive of two different people having the same memories and experience and feelings and atoms, but they are not "identical" because different soulish eyes would belooking out at the world. What if many of our unique first-person experience of the world does not come over with the body, as our brains and memories are only a small part of who we are, and we do not feel like the same person? What if rearranging our atoms caused severe depression, not different from other types of invasive bodily porcedures that set everything all wack.

The more that I think about teleportation, the more that I think that one's anthropology of the constitution of human persons needs to be pretty robust and confident to initially pull the trigger. It could end up being more creepy than the Fly.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:39 AM on September 17, 2018


As someone who's used both blackboard and canvas, that limb doesn't look like it will support your weight.

As someone who supports and develops for a monolithic Blackboard installation, I have to say that Blackboard is the worst VLE/CMS in the world except for all the others. :P

I would go on to post my own Blackboard-related wish list of things I want people to do, but it would mostly just turn into me frothing at the mouth about log files and spotty documentation, so I'll just go drink some nice calming tea or something.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:39 AM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


hugs, Sophie1!
posted by womb of things to be and tomb of things that were at 2:09 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I want AO3 to have a system of recommendations where it looks at fics you've interacted with and tags you've searched for and suggests works liked/commented/whatevered by people who have also interacted similarly to your interactions. Then I want that data to generate beautiful interactive visual webs that could be colored and customized to suit the contents.
posted by Mizu at 2:13 AM on September 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


I want to knock that 2-hour transit time down to about ten seconds each way.

I feel like this would kill podcasts.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:05 AM on September 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


(((Sophie1)))
posted by runcifex at 4:12 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Since I can't get my son accelerated past his Valley Of Teenage Angst, I will ask for something more achievable:

I want a Sheperd Fairey-style poster of Mister Rogers with the word "KIND" across the bottom that I can print out next time there's one of those free 8"x10" coupon codes.

I tried four times and never produced anything satisfactory: my Photoshop skills peaked at version 4, and all I could manage was a lot of noisy, posterized static. Fred deserves better than I can deliver!
posted by wenestvedt at 5:35 AM on September 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


A cure for cancer would also be swell right about now.

Unfortunately it’s not right now, and it’s not quite a cure, but I work in cancer research and screening & prevention is already saving a lot of lives and if the modelling and funding keep going to plan, there are a bunch of major cancers that just won’t be troubling us much in the next decade, and some of our most common cancers will become super rare in the decades to come. It’s quite uplifting when I go to the kool-aid distribution meetings for work.

A thing I would like someone to do is make a thing like imdb but for bands and music. Come on, someone make this thing! It can’t be that hard. Recently I tried to work out if and when the Breeders played in Sydney and what the line up was at the time. It was really hard to find that information!

My life is on fire at the moment. My youngest child has been in hospital for 8 weeks now. I’m not meeting deadlines for my PhD. Some drama with friends. Daily hospital visits also mean I’ve been seeing my ex almost every single fricken day. But philosophy (the Stoics) and my beautiful wonderful children and my job which I love and a special someone are keeping me going. Life is okay. Everything’s going to be okay.
posted by stellathon at 5:45 AM on September 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


Sorry about all the life troubles, stellathon. You're right that life will be OK, but sometimes it would be nice to lay down our burdens for a bit.

Have you seen these concert databases? They all seem to have decent depth.
https://www.pf-db.com

https://www.songkick.com/search

https://www.concertarchives.org

There's another one with pictures of ticket stubs but I can't recall/find it right now. I have a box with all my old concert ticket stubs, so I want to scan them and post them...somewhere.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:56 AM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Finally starting to figure out my work/life balance a little bit now that I've been back at work for six weeks. I can manage to do things like a load of laundry or some cleaning up after work now, rather than coming home and collapsing. I like my job, I like the people I work with, and I love my five minute commute to work. I'm also getting at least 5000 steps in every day so I've lost 15 lbs since I started. There are still a ton of things that I need to get done or sorted out, but at least I'm moving forward now.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:18 AM on September 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


> I want to knock that 2-hour transit time down to about ten seconds each way.

I feel like this would kill podcasts.


Listening to podcasts on your one-hour, twice-a-day commute is good.

Listening to podcasts at home where you can lie down and don't have to wear pants is better.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 AM on September 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


Listening to podcasts on your one-hour, twice-a-day commute is good.

Listening to podcasts at home where you can lie down and don't have to wear pants is better.


I love podcasts. I listen to (pauses to count) eight daily podcasts and (pauses again to count, gets to 20, reconsiders) a lot of weekly ones, and a frankly dumb number of occasional ones. I have a podcast. And I cannot concentrate on them anywhere but the car. There's too much other content out there, too much Twitter and MetaFilter and Slack and stuff on TV and work and yaddada yaddada. The only time I ever trim my podqueue is when I'm not commuting, because that's when it fills up and I realize what I don't really care about that much.
posted by Etrigan at 7:46 AM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


If I didn't listen to podcasts while riding the bus, I doubt I'd be more productive. But, I'd have a cleaner house and I'd get better exercise. Sign me up for team transporter.
posted by eotvos at 11:34 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


What if it left your sould behind, tranporting a body that is healthy in every way, that you are now seeing as innert and lifeless from across the room? That would suck. Or what if it made an exact reproduction of yourself that is actually someone else, as they have an entirely different first-person perspective of the world that does not overlap any of your own, but shares all of your own atoms. We can conceive of two different people having the same memories and experience and feelings and atoms, but they are not "identical" because different soulish eyes would belooking out at the world. What if many of our unique first-person experience of the world does not come over with the body, as our brains and memories are only a small part of who we are, and we do not feel like the same person? What if rearranging our atoms caused severe depression, not different from other types of invasive bodily porcedures that set everything all wack.

Lt. Barclay, shall I set you up for an appointment with Counselor Troi?

:-)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:42 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Gonna go out on a limb here and guess...Blackboard user?

Brightspace/D2L here, although I've been on the other end and experienced Blackboard as a student. The system got a big overhaul over the summer, and it no longer looks like it was designed in 2003. Unfortunately, it still behaves like it when you need to actually do anything.

I think I've heard more positive things about Canvas, but I'm not convinced there's one that's actually good. I'm trying a third-party one for one of my courses this semester, and it's significantly better in some ways, but it's still under development and missing some functionality that would make it a lot easier to use.
posted by egregious theorem at 12:00 PM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


A robot that gives massages as well as human massage therapists do, and costs a lot less.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:28 PM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


One of my dogs had a run-in with an opossum early this morning and a different dog was previously skunked, all in my small urban backyard. So, I want a device that will clear the yard of all critters before I open the back door and my dumb-butt dogs rush out and get into trouble. Like a tiny automatic airhorn, or something that literally sweeps the yard and gets everything out of there. (Really, it's only Taco who will have issues with intruders... Lindy (the previously skunked one) is now blind and Figlet is old and DGAF.)
posted by Fig at 1:47 PM on September 17, 2018


> Also, a chair (fold-out or not) that's comfortable for a visitor to sleep in. Even something like a reclining seat would be so much better.

This is possible! When I stayed at the hospital with rtha, they had a recliner-type chair in the room that pulled out into a flat bed. They gave me sheets and a pillow and blankets, and it was totally manageable, all health-related stress aside. It was also quite comfortable for long days at the hospital. Much, much sympathy for the long hospital stays.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:49 PM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


I want an app that, when someone sends me a one-word text message, and that word is "OK," that my phone reads it to me in Lil' John's voice.

I would also like a self-maintaining car, or at least for driver's education courses to cover things like "registration" and "titling" and "when do you need to take your car to the car vet to get a check-up."

A self-brushing dog and a Vanishing spell like in Harry Potter would also come in handy for pet ownership.

I want a Mary Poppins bag (bigger on the inside) but I want it to be a fanny pack.
posted by coppermoss at 2:55 PM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


Jumping to the bottom which I NEVER do to say that if I ruled the world (that’s the prompt, right?) the first order from the throne/office/lotus petal would be the banning of leaf blowers and jetskis (except for water rescue) and recreational snow machines. BANNED FOREVER

I just want things to be quieter.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 3:14 PM on September 17, 2018 [8 favorites]


Spring forth, but don't fall back
I want somebody all UI/UX -y to make a X-something clock that does this...
Bonus if it includes an Orrery.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:26 PM on September 17, 2018


I want an app that, when someone sends me a one-word text message, and that word is "OK," that my phone reads it to me in Lil' John's voice.

I feel that I need to share this Hip Hop soundboard with you...
posted by elsietheeel at 9:32 PM on September 17, 2018


I want a Sheperd Fairey-style poster of Mister Rogers with the word "KIND" across the bottom that I can print out next time there's one of those free 8"x10" coupon codes.

wenestvedt: I want one too! I'll ask around and see if maybe one of my friends can't come up with something. If so, I'll be in touch!
posted by elsietheeel at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


They should make an animated Steely Dan cartoon, where Walter and Donald solve crimes every week and also have to get a perfect drum track or guitar solo recorded.

the banning of leaf blowers
people were running them here three days before a hurricane was supposed to hit
posted by thelonius at 12:06 PM on September 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


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