posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Digital display technology is constantly marching forward, especially with smartphone manufacturers trying to one-up each other on screen thinness, DPI, and brightness. But why do no smartphones (or tablets, or laptops) use transflective displays? Simply put, a transflective display is can be seen with either backlighting or frontlighting. It is a screen that can be used both in a dark room and in direct sunlight — and the sunlight will actually make it clearer.I'll admit right up front that I don't know much about the technology behind this stuff, so it's possible there's something I'm missing. Maybe it's impossible to make a transflective screen with a high DPI? I don't know. What I do know is that my Galaxy S3, which is a great phone and an amazing piece of technology, is essentially unusable in direct sunlight, and this absolutely baffles me. My GameBoy Advance SP, made in 2003 and purchased for about $100, has a screen that is usable in any light condition. So does a low-priced PDA purchased around the same time. Even if you look at the super-ruggadized market, the very durable and very expensive laptops and tablets made by such brands as Toughbook, you'll see them trying to beat the sunlight problem by producing brighter and brighter screens, which pushes battery life ever downward. When using a transflective screen outdoors, you can turn off the backlight, and save power. Possible reasons that I have considered: —They're too expensive/the technology isn't really there. Response: See my note about my GBA SP and PDA. —People don't use their laptops outside. Response: Not usually, but they sure do use their smartphones outside. —The colors/viewing angle isn't as good. Response: Maybe, but my GBA SP wasn't bad, and surely there are plenty of people in the smartphone market who would give up a little bit of color rendition in order to be able to see their screen outside. —Transflective screens don't lookas pretty on store shelves. Response: Quite possibly. This is the reason why laptops more often have glossy screens than matte screens, which I would argue are better. However, it's still very possible to find a good laptop with a matte screen, especially if you're looking at certain types of laptops (business laptops).

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
In 1952 Malaya, cabaret dancer Rose Chan's bra snapped on stage. Noticing the enthusiastic response from the audience, she decided to capitalise on this, and transformed herself into Malaysia's first (and so far only) Queen of Striptease. (Many of these links have NSFW pictures) Not only did she sing, dance, and strip, she also performed her own stunts and wrestled with pythons. She's still regarded fondly by many Malaysians, especially those that note how she probably couldn't get away with anything she did in today's Malaysia, and also became an international favourite, even (allegedly) inspiring a Frankie Laine classic based on an older Mandarin Chinese song (here's a version in English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil in the one song!). There's been a stage musical, almost a movie (which would have starred Singaporean actress Joanna Peh as Chan), and now a new book about her life has been released. The writer, Malaysian poet Cecil Rajendra (who admitted to sneaking in to watch one of Chan's shows as a teenager) contrasts Chan's reception during her time to more current incidences of censorship in Malaysia, and aims to showcase Chan's philanthropy and "feisty attitude".

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
My sweetie and I are doing some big redesign stuff in our house, and I am trying to find design/furniture/decorating inspiration. I am looking specifically for blog that go beyond the minimalist look.I've searched here for non-Apartment Therapy blogs, but I feel like just about every blog leans heavily on minimalist design, which neither of us are big fans of. I'm probably misusing the term, but by minimalist, I mean: clean lines, slickness, little ornamentation, Bauhaus-y, Danish (which is weird, because we lived in Denmark, and nothing really looked the way American design blogs seem to think Denmark looks). Any recommendations?

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posted about 4 hours ago on metafilter
In Deep: The Dark And Dangerous World Of Extreme Cavers On his thirteenth day underground, when he'd come to the edge of the known world and was preparing to pass beyond it, Marcin Gala placed a call to the surface. He'd travelled more than three miles through the earth by then, over stalagmites and boulder fields, cave-ins and vaulting galleries. He'd spidered down waterfalls, inched along crumbling ledges, and bellied through tunnels so tight that his back touched the roof with every breath. Now he stood at the shore of a small, dark pool under a dome of sulfurous flowstone. He felt the weight of the mountain above him—a mile of solid rock—and wondered if he'd ever find his way back again. It was his last chance to hear his wife and daughter's voices before the cave swallowed him up. Deep Cave Exploration

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posted about 4 hours ago on metafilter
Can anyone update the answers to this question about viewing the Google maps I've created (My Maps, My Places, or whatever it's called now) on an iPhone?Whenever we travel, I create a map in Google Maps, and my husband and I load it up with points of interest, restaurants, museums, etc. that we want to visit. I'd like to be able to view these maps on my iPhone while we're out and about, to see the places I've added in relation to where we are on the map. Assume I have an internet connection and don't need the maps offline. I have an iPhone 5 running iOS 7. Here's what I've already tried: I can open the Google maps I created in Google Earth on my iPhone. The interface is clunky and you get buildings when I just want a map with streets. My Maps Editor app: I get "Failed to load maps (Error Code:400, Request Quota Exceeded)" when I try to load my maps. The developer's site says only "We'll be back soon." My Places for Google Maps app: Terrible reviews so I didn't bother with this. I used to use an app called The Cartographer, but it's been retired. My old maps still show up in the app, but I can't add any new ones.

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
I know YANMD and I am seeing mine on May 5th, but until then, I was hoping someone would have some insight/experience/advice for what is possibly going on with me. What could be causing daytime sleepiness after eating any amount of carbs? Apologies for wall of textBackground information: I am 28 and have PCOS but because I am on the thinner side (5"1; ~114lbs) I've been told that I'm not insulin resistant. I have a 2 year old who pretty much sleeps through the night but occasionally cries d/t a nightmare/hunger, etc. I have been getting daily headaches for about 3 weeks at a time since last August. It's hard to recall but it seems like it was around then that I also started experiencing daytime sleepiness. Usually this meant that for a few days at a time I would fall asleep 1-3 hours after eating lunch and then I'd break that cycle by going low carb or drinking a lot of caffeine. Within the past three months, I've noticed my headaches and my fatigue have gotten worse. Meaning, they've started to occur more frequently and I am becoming more sensitive to triggers. I haven't been able to figure out the trigger for my headaches but usually, my sleepiness disappears if I eat low carb. In February and March I was on a daily "diet" of skipping breakfast, no carbs for lunch with a mandatory caffeinated drink. That was keeping me awake enough to get through work. This month though, nothing is cutting it. I had an egg and an apple for breakfast one day and fell asleep an hour later. So now fruit is only sparingly ingested. My doctor can't see me until the 5th but her nurse ordered some blood work. I got the call today that everything is fine. My insulin levels were on the lower side of normal but everything else was perfect. It was simultaneously a relief and confusing. I thought for sure I was developing insulin resistance because of some other symptoms I'm experiencing (10 pound weight gain all around my middle whereas prev it would be more distributed, more thirst, waking up in the night to pee, bloated distended stomach even in the mornings, constant hunger). Google suggests it might be sleep apnea but my husband says I never snore or do anything other than sleep soundly. And my fatigue only happens after eating carbs. I've been begrudgingly eating low-carb for the past week but I really really really don't want to do this the rest of my life. Plus, I mean, fruit? That just feels too extreme to cut out. One last thing. I saw my internist a few months ago for the headaches who told me I was experiencing chronic migraines even though they are much more mild than regular migraines. Any thoughts would be appreciated

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Typing is killing me and I have to write a bunch of papers over the next couple of weeks. I have a 2012 MBP (not yet on Mavericks) and could spend ~ $100-150 on some kind of voice-to-text software. Looking for something with a minimal learning curve that will let me work fast. And, whatever else is required to quickly & painlessly navigate multiple documents. Any recommendations?Usual workflow: I switch between 3-7 docs - one each for an outline, draft, references/lit review, plus a few scratchpad docs for particular sections/themes. I tend to write a bit in each doc, so I can focus my thinking, before pasting bits in the draft doc. Word for Mac 2011. About halfway through, I'll turn on track changes to "hold" ideas in various places while I sew it all together. I also have multiple pdfs open at a time -5-10, ish. It's kind of a mess, I know. The point is, I guess, I seem to use a visual, extensive and iterative writing and organization process, broadening things out before tightening them back into something linear. Like a "mind map", I guess. Not easy to translate this into dictation – any ideas? It's annoying because talking out a draft is more linear than the way I like to hatch my little idea pods. And it's s l o w . So slow! Like 20 times as slow as typing, with all the corrections that have to be made in Mac Dictation, anyway (how do people get anything done with it?). Is there voice to text software that will let me write the way I want to (and fast)? Or is it worth upgrading to Mavericks to get that version of Dictation? Was going to wait for all the fixes to come in. Ideas on doing things faster/more efficiently? And, ideas on how I can navigate all the docs without a mouse/trackpad would be great! Have been wearing a splint & have a wireless keyboard and mouse, & try to keep everything at 90 degrees, but it's not awesome. Thank you!

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
What length down rod do I need to buy for this fan?I feel like I should be able to figure this out on my own, but I'm getting confused and I'm worried I'm going to mess it up, have an electrician come out and then have the wrong down rod. I have 10' tall ceilings, but I have exposed duct work that drops down 19-20" from the ceiling. The edges of the blades will extend past the duct work, so the fan needs to be lowered with a down rod so that it safely clears the ducts. However, I'm having issues figuring out exactly what I need. I think it would look better if it was as high as possible. I'm less worried about air flow because I'll mostly be using it for the light and I have a relatively small place anyway. Will 4" of clearance (by getting the 24" down rod) be enough?

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
My girlfriend, her parent, and her entire family are 100% convinced that one of her parents has an incurable terminal disease. The catch? None of the test results have come back. In fact, none of the tests have even been done.I feel like a complete crazy person, and the odd man out for being the only person involved in this entire situation who thinks "Maybe we should wait to assume everything is totally fucked and ruined?" This is a genetic disease which grandparent/her effected parents parent had, and died from rather suddenly. Not cancer or anything like that. Everyone is running around screaming and crying and making end of life plans. My girlfriend has taken a leave of absence from work. This entire situation started because of webmd and wikipedia type internet searches, and a fairly rude/blase doctor who went "Hmm, maybe it could be that... i don't know. you need to see a geneticist and run some tests, here's a referral" So to make a clear question, how do i respond to this in a "Maybe we should wait to act this way until we know for sure" way without sounding like an ass who doesn't care? Is that even what i should be trying to do? What's my best course of action here? the entire thing seems SUPER chicken little and i've just been zipping my lip after bringing it up a few times. Because, from my perspective, everyone is drastically irrationally freaking out. Every time i bring that up i just get a gruff "If we wait that long, by then it will be too late to start preparing!" type of response. And very soon, decisions may be made like quitting jobs or selling property and such that can't be easily undone. I'm getting text messages about stuff like doctor assisted suicide, and it all just seems SO premature and extreme. And i'm sort of married to the situation...

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
How I got here in the end. Picture this: you're a former drug dealer who has turned to hacking for a living. You're crashing in an apartment a bit older than Texas, surrounded by about seventeen computers, sleeping on a futon with a girlfriend with metre-long purple dreadlocks, and planning your defection from one net-based futuristic corporation to another over Korean take-away food. MetaFilters Own cstross wasn't always a famous writer. He's also been a state-licensed drug dealer, a Perl hacker, and the guy responsible for keeping Danny the tomcat from shorting out Demon Internet's Scottish POP. And for forcing the invention of robots.txt. He's written a short autobiography with entertaining asides on the early British Internet, credit card processing, and accidents of timing.

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posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
My husband and I love pictures of old modern and brutalist weird architecture in Eastern Europe. We'd love to see it. But travel agents and tours focus on blue waters and quaint villages. Is there a "show me the concrete weirdness" travel option I'm missing for two people who don't like the traditional postcards, but both almost failed college Russian?Inspired by finding a tour in Winnipeg as well as too many Pinterest and Tumblr pictures of gorgeously weird retrofuturistic buildings, I've been daydreaming about looking at lots of abandoned, moss-covered concrete in former communist countries. It's clear that Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria - they're full of amazing modern and brutalist architecture, but my husband and I don't speak any of the languages, aren't familiar with the culture and really, where we'd even center ourselves. We don't necessarily need a package tour - although we'd take one. We're independent international travelers that have explored Asia and western Europe as well as most of The States taking public transportation, using maps and pointing at things we didn't know the words for. But this feels bigger to me than crossing Japan to see lots of arcades, taking the maglev in China or traveling via sleeper train from Paris to Rome just to take a sleeper car. Also, given the abandoned nature of some of these buildings, how do we even tell what we might have access to or even if still exists? Any tips, guidance, ideas as I start planning to see it before it's all gone?

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posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
I'm looking for a piece of hardware but don't know what it's called, making it very hard to find it online.Okay, you've all seen them. They're metal, made of two pieces, one of which has a little loop that swings down and clips over the other one. Then you push a little lever thing down and it exerts pressure and the whole thing clips together tightly. If these have a name I would like to know it! I checked my local big box store and they cost about 5 bucks a pair. I need 16 pairs of them so am hoping to do better. Can you tell me what they're called, or even better provide a link to a website that sells them reasonably cheaply? Thanks!

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
My wife would like a sports watch. She doesn't need GPS or fancy gadgetry, just something to wear to the gym. She needs large digital numbers that can be read easily while she's moving, and some timing functions. The problem is that she's allergic to metal, so anything that would touch her skin would have to be leather or plastic--the strap, the buckle, the back of the case, and any buttons on the side. I've looked in sporting goods stores but only found metal on the backs of cases, and that's something that's hard to tell online. Any recommendations?Something simple like this Puma would be ideal (if there was no metal). This Nike Plus seems like it might work but it's more watch than she'd need. (She'd probably be okay with a man's style in a bright color, if it fit.) The women's version has metal on the clasp. I wouldn't mind getting a basic sports watch and replacing the band, but the back of the face is the sticking point. We're familiar with the trick of coating the metal bits with a clear coating, but since this is for active use I think she'd like something she wouldn't have to worry about.

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
I will be spending a month this summer in the high jungle plateau of Tarapoto, Peru. I am trying to get my preventative care in order, and will be getting Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines, as well as taking anti-malarial medication. I don't think I will be getting the yellow fever vaccine, the Hepatitis B vaccine, or the rabies vaccine; the first due to lack of access and the latter two due to risk factors and cost, respectively. Would you try harder to find access to the yellow fever vaccine or rethink the other two, or am I good with the three I'm doing?I have been advised that I should try to get the yellow fever vaccine by my local health department, but neither my doctor, the health department, nor any of the regional pharmacies (Walgreens, etc.) can get it to me due either to not having it (health department) or not being authorized to dispense it (doctor, Walgreens, etc.). How worried should I be about not getting this vaccine? Also, I will be taking several excursions into the jungle and will be deliberately seeking out wildlife to observe/photograph/draw. The CDC somewhat iffily recommends getting the rabies vaccine. I can probably get it, but it costs about $300 and I've hard it's also painful/laborious. I'm leaning towards not getting it. Finally, the health department thinks I should get the Hepatitis B vaccine, but I'm not planning on any risky behavior (unprotected sex/needles/tattoos) so I'm also leaning against it due to cost and risk. Thoughts on all the above?

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
The International Group For Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) (previously, previouslier, MetaFilters own) now saying that recent underwater video from yet another trip to the Nikumaroro atoll does not conclusively show any evidence of plane wreckage.

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posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
OK, so we have this ceiling fan with a light fixture above the kitchen table. One of the three lights burns out regularly, like every 10 days or so. Both of the other lights have been fine for a year or more. Any idea why this should be the case? FWIW, the voltage at the sockets is identical to within .1 volt.

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posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
A better way to say sorry.

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posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
Trying to remember a team-building game I played maybe a decade ago, so I could maybe re-construct it and play with friends.From ~2004-2008 I worked with a Big Name management consulting firm (hint: used to be a part of Arthur Anderson). Said firm has a training center outside Chicago for their staff, and it was at this training center where one evening we had some team-building activities that were being run by a 3rd party vendor (no idea who they were). What I remember - vaguely - was that we (a team of maybe 10-15?) were all placed in an empty conference room and given a set of parameters and some props/tools. An example of parameters was that I remember either a subset or all of us not being allowed to talk. An example of the props and tools is that I remember a length of rope being used to define an "island" on the floor on which some number of the team members were "stuck" and needed to be rescued from. All I remember is it being a really interesting and fun problem to figure out, requiring creative thinking to come up with innovative solutions based on the parameters and objects at our disposal. And that's it. (sorry!) Does the game I was playing have some name I could Google? I'd be happy to pay to take a course to learn this game if that was some kind of option. Alternatively to tracking down the exact game, finding companies that specialize in delivering these kind of experiences (i.e. who was the 3rd party vendor I learned from) would be helpful.

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
My son added a clothes peg (plastic with a steel spring) to a bucket of cider vinegar. Is the vinegar still safe?I have 2 gallons of homemade cider vinegar in the shed. About two months ago, I discovered a plastic clothes peg at the bottom of the bucket. I removed the peg and rubbed the spring with my thumb to see if there was any corrosion. The spring had developed a dark crust that disintegrated as I touch it. I have no idea how long the peg had been in there. I do not know what kind of plastic it is made of, nor what particular metal the spring is. The vinegar smells delicious but looks darker than I had expected. Chemistry experts, is this vinegar safe? Or has the bucket of vinegar become a bucket of poison?

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
A religious wingnut--who is also a former coworker--sent me a mildly scary email. I don't know how to respond or if I should ignore it. Details inside.I used to have a coworker who turned to Christ after years of other addictions (not substance related). Over the years we worked together, I watched him go from a friendly, goofy guy to an isolated fanatic who would literally yell out scripture in the street. We weren't terribly close, but it was sad to watch him change. Note: I'm a Christian myself, but not a fundamentalist by any means. So, I say it's sad not because of any negative opinions about religion but because this guy got super effin' weird. He still works where I used to, but I now live in another state as of a couple of years ago. I'm still friends with other coworkers who have reported strange comments from him in general, sometimes about me. For example, I sent something to my old office for a holiday. When he heard who had sent it, he said, "Oh. God has already spoken to me about her." Uh. It made me nervous, but it was months ago, and I forgot about it. Until just now, that is, when he emailed me directly to tell me that Jesus would be appearing to me soon - that he had already seen it - and it would change my life. Now I'm a little worried. This is someone who once confessed to me that he wanted to go to a violent country specifically to be martyred, after all. In fact, he HAS gone to MANY violent locations around the world, but no one's martyred him yet. Basically, I worry that he's just crazy enough to do something. But it's not like he's made any actual threats. He's just a super weird, creepy guy who wears headphones everywhere so that he won't hear any sin. So my question is: what, if anything, do I do? It looks like he sent this during work hours. Do I mention it to his boss? But then there's the Christian part of me that feels I should show more kindness to him and perhaps respond to him--he's undoubtedly been laughed at a lot. Maybe he needs someone he feels is on the same page to tell him, "Look, bro, I appreciate the heads up, but this kind of message is only going to make people afraid of you, not inspire their faith." Or what if he really is a prophet? I mean, what if I'm about to have a terrible accident and a near-death experience, and I'll be quadriplegic after that but will write an inspirational book or something? Hey, now, don't pretend it wouldn't be at the back of your mind too! Or do I just ignore the whole thing? Any advice is appreciated, really, but I'd especially love some insight from other people with religious leanings.

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Moonwalking is often attributed to Michael Jackson, but as summarized in this low resolution clip from Soccer AM, it was performed under various names in decades before MJ's live television performance in 1983. Let's backslide through the years, from Cab Calloway's 1932 version that he called "The Buzz" to Jeffrey Daniel performing the backslide as a member of Shalamar in 1982 on Top of the Pops in the UK. Another early performer of gliding steps was the mime, Étienne Decroux, who taught both Marcel Marceau and David Bowie, both who might have influenced Jackson (see Bowie live in the Diamond Dogs tour, and Michael Jackson with Marcel Marceau in 1997). Around the 1950s, Bill Bailey mixed gliding steps with his tap dance routines and Mexican comedian/dancer Adalberto Martinez "Resortes" backslid, while Dick Van Dyke mailed a letter on a windy corner, and even the Godfather of Soul was known to float and glide on his feet in the 1960s. H.R Pufnstuf was also ahead of the curve, as seen in this clip where kids are taught The Moonwalk, a stationary version of the gliding step. But most credit Jeffrey Daniels with being the one to influence and teach Michael what he would call the Moonwalk. Here's Daniels with Casper Canidate and Cooley Jaxson/Jackson backsliding on Soultrain in 1979, before that performance with Shalamar on TOTP.

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Bafo da Onça mix by Pepe Sol for Sabrosa Sabrosa Son Sistema: purveyors of sound system cultures originating from the cities and islands of the Caribbean, Africa & Latin America.

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
The last two books I've read, Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Store and The Westing Game have both made me feel the same way - happy, alive, joyous. By the end of each book, I was really rooting for the characters and their happiness. At the same time, I was feeling really good. They were similar in some ways, but I can't really define the genre, so it's hard for me to look for similar books. Can people suggest books that meet some number of these qualifications?What I liked about these books: - the were fun reads - they were fiction - they were fast reads (The Westing Game is YA fiction, but I'm not wedded to reading more YA) - they were mystery-like without exactly being traditional mystery novels - they both have a manageable number of characters - the characters in both books had and built really good relationships with each other - they both had a type of "coda" ending that explained what happened to the characters later At the end of each of them, I felt really happy - for the characters and their friends and the situations they found themselves in. Is this collection of attributes a type of book? What is it? What books can you suggest that evoked similar feelings, even if they don't match my parameters?

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
My manager is very hands-off and this is not going to change. How can I get better at managing myself, when I would prefer an environment with more direction and feedback?I work at a small nonprofit organization with several overseas projects, and my direct supervisor is also the executive director of the entire organization. She is overseas perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of the time, and otherwise is often in meetings, and otherwise is just generally busy as hell. To top it off, I do not think she has a ton of supervisory experience. (She is very good at all other aspects of her job.) My role involves lots and lots of different responsibilities, and I find it difficult to manage them all effectively. For example, I might be double-checking a mailing list for the accuracy of the spelling of names, researching and writing a grant proposal, figuring out how to fix the website, editing someone else's research, posting on our Facebook, basic graphic design and layout projects... basically anything and everything that the project people and the finance people aren't doing. Some tasks are sort-term and urgent, some are long-term and crucial but not immediately urgent, some are things that really OUGHT to get done but are less urgent... My boss is actually pretty great, she thanks me for doing my job and she hasn't ever piled on more than I can handle. But I find myself struggling to efficiently manage all of the things I have to do. I will probably be working late for the next week, because I didn't adequately plan for the fact that four grant reports or proposals are all coming due around the same time. I sat down to work on those this morning, and had two emails asking me to help lay out/format documents which had to be dealt with immediately, so I had to put off the grant work... and, of course, then I do something like come to Ask and write a question about it. Procrastination is a problem. As if that wasn't enough, I also struggle with motivation, because this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. My coworkers seem generally satisfied with my work, but I know for a fact that I could do better and get things in sooner if I could manage myself like a pro. But where do I even start?

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Alan Prendergast writing in Westword reflects on the history of "Bloody Ludlow."

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