posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
I was donating plasma and the machine apparently ate a hole in the tubing and my blood was exposed to the air or "contaminated." Obviously they can't use the plasma sample they got and didn't want me to get that blood back once they realized what happened, but I had already received some of it (whole blood) back before they shut it down. I could not find much info about this happening during plasma donation but I'm wondering what are the risks/what are the chances I might get sick from having received blood that was exposed to the environment.

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posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
There exists a trilogy of complete Portguese live-action Pokemon fanfilms. That is all. (Subtitles available, and not the automatically generated kind; click the Subtitles/CC button on the video's lower right.) Playlist links: The Mysterious Virus. Destiny of a Hero. The Light of Hope Part 1, Part 2. (MLYT) Additional videos: Pokemon Reborn, Mr. Mime's Happy Stroll (the latter referring to this thing and its sequel). The Facebook account teases a possible future instalment.

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posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
"The patient tested negative for HIV, tuberculosis, lime disease, syphilis, coccidioides, histoplasma and cryptococcus." After four years of MRIs, a person's mysterious headaches, seizures and altered sense of smell and memory are diagnosed as a tapeworm growing throughout his brain.

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posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
Mrs. Pairofshades and I are expecting a baby and would like to read up on parenthood. I came across one book in paticular, in about 2005, that I would love to find and read again. It was from a series based on personal anecdotes from parents who had just gone through the stage the book focused on: in this case it was the first year of parenthood. Some details below the fold.I remember 2 personal anecdotes in the book, first was about a dad who discovered the "dictionary method" He didn't want to keep waking up in the night when the baby cried, so one night he got up and dropped a dictionary on the floor. When his wife asked what had happened- he just said nothing.... and she never let him check on the baby at night again. The second was about a couple who took their baby to a witch doctor for colic, and it was shaken upside down- but it seemed to cure the colic. The book itself was so funny and I think we would really enjoy it. Any ideas!?

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
One of my cats has either sprayed or sneezed something on my wall... Is there a product or test that might determine whether the 'something' is blood?In the past two weeks or so, one of my cats has twice sprayed a wall with a reddish brown substance. I know the stuff isn't urine or marking spray - it has no smell. Also, the wall is directly behind the cats' favorite perching shelf - high up above my TV. When I rub the stuff off with a damp towel, the towel sometimes comes away with red smears, sometimes brown smears. The smears on the towel have a slight iron scent to them - though that might also be the smell of my tap water. Two of my cats are brothers and tend to have anal gland issues, so the substance might be gland-related. If so, that's a quick fix (one that a vet tech will be taking care of!). But if it's blood... Then that's a larger issue. None of the kitties are acting sick or have any sort of signs of sneezing/spraying blood (or anal gland-poopy stuff). I've tried Google, but I think my search terms are bad. Do you know of any product/test kit that might help me determine whether this substance is blood?

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Boyfriend and I are at a crossroads after 6 years. He's in Chicago and I just left to move to San Francisco. After several months apart not speaking much, we plan to spend our December holiday making some big together-or-not decisions. He'll fly to SF and after that we have 10 days and around $2000 between us for a trip. Where would you suggest we focus our resources for a holiday? Tahoe? Yoga retreat? Bicycle trip? Surf School? Bit of a wide open question but all suggestions and specific recommendations welcome!A few more details: - I don't have a car so rental costs would need to be considered - We're in our mid 30's and fit but not athletic - We'll need wifi access for at least a few days to check in on work - He owns new camping equipment that could potentially be brought over on the plane - He's an avid urban cyclist - Neither of us have surfed but think it sounds fun We are looking to narrow down our options and really have no idea where to go just yet as the San Francisco area is totally new for us. Thanks for the help!

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
How might a Luddite live without a home internet connection, but still have access to email and basic surfing for occasional practical needs? (Specific smart phone recommendations?)I want to go paleolithic and cancel my home internet service. I have sweet memories of how many hours there used to be in the day before the web ate them all, and I want them back. I want to not even have the option of frittering away half the day watching videos or reading comment threads. However, I do want the bare practical functionalities that have become newly indispensable: email and enough web to look up stuff like driving directions, weather and the like. That's it. If I need anything more than that, I can go to a cafe. I'm thinking a smart phone is the way to go. Not a very smart phone, though -- getting one that made the above addictive activities easy would defeat the whole point. I'd need a phone that could do internet, but would make me not want to use the internet. I don't know the first thing about smart phones; suggestions? Or, other creative ideas for achieving the same end? (I know about programs like Self Control and Cold Turkey, but they have the fatal flaw of having to be switched on. I want "no internet" to be the default.)

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Do you know of any works that include an account of what it was like to grow up using at least three languages, and also shows the difficulties and confusion of having that experience?

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posted about 4 hours ago on metafilter
Of late I have a hunger for something tasty and perhaps sweet an hour or 2 after dinner and nearing the time I all go to bed. Tell me some of your favorite ways to satisfy that in a healthy way please. I can't eat chocolate.

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posted about 4 hours ago on metafilter
It was said by Wittgenstein that a perfectly good work of philosophy could be written which was entirely composed of jokes. Has anyone done it, in analytical or continental philosophy?Quotation is from H. Dribble: A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes. Now, Wittgenstein was probably one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century. Did anyone take him on, on this implicit dare?

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Does anyone know the date, title of the article written by or about Toni Morrison many years ago in which she speaks at length about the U.S. treatment of children? It appeared in the New York Times Magazine.

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Racing to Checkpoint Charlie – my memories of the Berlin Wall by Haruki Murakami [The Guardian] The Japanese novelist on why the fall of the Berlin wall has such resonance with his novels.

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
My wife and I were talking the other night, and we were wondering about how human beings figured out what food is edible and what isn't - what possessed folks to figure out if they ate this part of the fish, but not that part, then they wouldn't die, or if they could just get past the prickly parts of this plant, the innards were good?Has anyone written a history of this process? Google is failing me, and I'd love to get us a book (or two, if we're lucky) on this history. Reading style, we're not looking for something super academic and dry, but we're not looking for something handwavey that will have me yelling "citation needed" on every page. Mary Roach would be the right style here, if she'd tackled the subject (and Gulp is on the to-read list, I loves me some Mary Roach.) Thanks for any suggestions!

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Any theories as to what my cat thinks she's doing when she meows loudly and brings me her stuffed toys?Ever since she has been little (she's 13 now), several times a week, my cat brings her favorite stuffed toy from another room to whatever room I am in. She often does it at night, but not exclusively. She makes this very distinctive MROOOWWWW sound while she's doing it - it's really long, and sometimes comically lasts up to 5 seconds. She drops the toy about 2-3 feet from me. Often she'll just sit next to it and stare at me. At first I thought she was bringing me toys to play with her. But if I threw it, she just looked at me like "why did you do that?" Other theories are... it's some sort of indoor version of bringing us prey, or ... she's a cat, and therefore weird. Has anybody else experienced this?

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
There was a play I saw on TV in the '70s. I don't remember a title, or any character's name, but it was about a faculty at a British school of some sort, and an amiable professor of some unimportant english course, who was always there to help other faculty members with whatever came up.Not money, because he didn't make much, but anything personal; taking a class for a day, running errands, emergency baby sitting, alibi's, etc., often at inconvenience to himself. Other faculty came to unthinkingly depend on him to get through life's little thickets, and he was always there, sort of behind the scenes, helping things come out right for them. But he didn't amount to much as a "productive" faculty member, and when something (and I can't remember what) happened to the school, everybody looked out for themselves and never thought about this guy, like a wheel forgetting about the grease that had always just been there. They didn't mean anything by it--they didn't even think of it. A few said something like, "Gee, what about so-and-so?" but only for a moment, and even then he was all, "Oh, don't worry about me, I'll be alright," but he got left with nothing. Ring any bells?

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
I am trying to determine the best way to clean up some DE that I applied too liberally to the carpet in my apartment, and I'm trying to decide how I can do so without a.) killing the vacuum and b.) killing my brother's lungs (or my own!). Anxiety inside.My older brother, whom I live with, adopted a kitten a few months ago. Kitten brought fleas with her. I bought some diatomaceous earth to sweep into the carpets in the living room and hallway. On Monday I started applying it to the carpet, using what I thought was a small enough amount. The living room wasn't plastered with DE, but it was still enough to make my brother start coughing and feel lightheaded when I began sweeping it into the carpet. He had to retreat into his room while I finished up. I tried to use less DE after that. During this time, we both wore dust masks (which I've since learned aren't sufficient protection. The one time I decide to throw caution to the wind...) He was in the living room today and spent twenty minutes there before he started coughing and had to move into his room again. I began to vacuum this evening, hoping that would solve the problem. We have a bagless vacuum cleaner, and the DE is everywhere in the little container that collects the dust. It's all over the filter. Some of it has blown back onto the exterior of the vacuum itself. So it seems that even when I finish vacuuming this stuff up, it's still going to be floating around, or it will be, when I start to clean out these vacuum parts. I've done some Googling and found out about people who, like me, used too much DE and have ruined their vacuum motors as a result. I like to think that I didn't use as much DE as these people did, but it's hard to say. Then I've read that vacuuming it up just causes the stuff to start circulating in the air again. I've stopped vacuuming, because I am at a loss for what to do, and lord knows I don't want to make anything worse. So, good people of AskMetafilter, here's what I'm wondering: a.) What can we do to ensure my brother can be in the living room without coughing? I'm a pretty anxious person and I admit I'm prone to catastrophizing, but I'm over here imagining that he'll be mostly confined to his room from now on. We do have an air filter going in the living room. b.) What should we do about the carpets? Should I continue vacuuming and just see what happens? c.) Is DE really that bad for your lungs? Obviously, in my brother's case, it's done quite a number (he may be asthmatic), but I've just spent the past half hour vacuuming it up/emptying out the vacuum container that's been collecting it and probably breathing it in. All without a dust mask, so... Help?

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posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
Girls Poop, Too! (SLYT)

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posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
I'm looking for indie pop with mariachi elements, specifically the soaring trumpet fills, but jangly acoustic guitar is cool too. Something in the vein of Calexico, but less folk-y more pop-y. Barring actual good music I'd gladly take recommendations for mariachi style covers. You know how there's albums of Bossa Nova style covers and reggae style? Someone must make mariachi style covers? Okay, screw it, I want cheesy pop hits of yesteryear transcribed into a mariachi idiom.

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
President Josiah Bartlett, the First Lady, and Chief of Staff Leo McGarry sing "Wonderful Christmastime".

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
My brother gave me his 2008 27" iMac. I tried to update Avira on it and now I can't turn it on. Help! I don't know from Macs - I have always had PCs.The iMac has been updated as far as it could go and is running OSX, or so I heard from my brother. It ran fine - I have had it about a month, played Minecraft, surfed the internet, watched a couple movies via disc and Netflix. Through all of this it ran fine but had a persistent annoying bouncing Avira icon that would. not. go. away, So, a couple days ago, I followed all the various steps to update Avira (which I have always had on my PCs, so I'm not unfamiliar.) Must reboot, it said, so I said fine and waited. . . and waited. . . and finally tried a hard reboot. Turned it off and tried to turn it on again and - nothing. What I get every time I try to turn it on is as follows: 1. The startup chime. 2. A white screen. 3. The apple logo 4. a gray spinning wheel 5. A gray progress bar that starts to fill in but only gets, like, 1/20th of the way through, just the left hand edge of it 6. It turns off completely, all dead, black screen no lights. I have tried with the same results: Holding the power button for a second. Holding the power button for longer. Unplugging and replugging the power supply Resetting the PRAM as detailed in this page And I have not gotten any further. I would really like this thing to work. My only other computer is a 2004 custom built PC that was rebuilt in 2010 but is also showing signs of age (as are we all, or, at least me) and I was kind of counting on this iMac to last a few years yet. And, I am not actually very tech savvy, so please talk slowly to me in words of small syllables and steps that happen one at a time. Thank you!! I want this thing to work so badly, words cannot say, my old PC is making noises that strike fear into my soul.

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
Mose the Fireboy , the Bowery B'hoy (and fireman) [via mefi projects] The Slang of Glance at New York As I have mentioned, one of the really pleasurable qualities of "Glance at New York" is that it serves as a sort of omnium-gatherum of slang of the era, quite a lot of it from the character Mose, and, presumably, an accurate representation of the Bowery Boy's distinctive cant, called Flash. It's interesting to note that a few of Mose's phrase's read like dialect representation of an Irish accent -- as an example, he says "I'll spile" for "I'll spoil" and says that he's "bilelin' over" for a fight when he means he's "boiling over." Mose Humphreys, The Inspiration Just to offer a quick overview, Mose the Fireboy has had several incarnations, and I intend to look at all of them. He was a historic figure named Mose Humphreys, a printer and volunteer fireman. The original Mose became the model for a character named Mose in a play called "A Glance at New York," a slang-slinging, pugilistic butcher-firefighter who then starred in a series of popular plays. The character of Mose was picked up by dime novels, mostly by Ned Buntline, where he was the leader of the street-fighting Bowery B'hoys. He was elevated to a mythic, folkloric figure of tall tales in Herbert Asbury's "Gangs of New York," and, over the course of the 20th century, turned into a sort of tall tale character, like Paul Bunyan. Finally, he was undoubtedly a primary inspiration for Bill the Butcher in the "Gangs of New York," along with William Poole, a butcher and bareknuckle boxer. Immigrant Fashion: Mose the Fireboy - "Mose was supposed to be a Bowery B'hoy, and so he has a Bowery B'hoy's primary affectations: The top hat and the soap-locks, which, as I have documented elsewhere, was essentially the mid-19th century version of the wet look." The Modern Era He still makes occasional appearances. In 2004, author Eric Metaxas and illustrator Everett Peck produced a children's book called "Mose the Fireman," which also offered an audio version with an impressive collection of talent involved: Actor Michael Keaton narrated the story, which may be the first time that the supposedly Irish-American Mose was played by an Irish-American, with music by Steely Dan's Walter Becker.And, as I mentioned at the start of this, the character of Bill the Butcher from Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" borrowed from Mose. The character is almost exclusively credited to the historic figure William Poole, a Bowery B'hoy, butcher, and volunteer fire fighter with a well-known contempt for Irish immigrants.

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
Hey, Parents. What Minecraft Is Doing to Your Kids Is Kind of Surprising. - A comprehensive look at how Minecraft is enabling kids (and adults) to be more creative, collaborative, and aware of some harsh life-lessons. Include is a TED talk by video game developer Jane McGonigal, who shares a very personal story, and provides context in the form of 'dying last words' as to why video games are not the waste of time some see them to be. Also, A clever presentation of the history in The Evolution of Minecraft

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posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
I am taking a much-needed vacation in December before the holiday season. I would LOVE to get out of the city for a week and just wander around in nature, but I don't know where to start given the potential obstacles. I grew up going to Acadia National Park in Maine...so I'm basically looking for the same thing somewhere warmer.The BIGGEST problem is that I don't have a car and have pretty bad driving anxiety, so I don't want to rent a car to go on this trip by myself. (Re: by myself, safety being out by myself is obviously a concern but that's not what this question is about.) Here is what I am looking for: --Location where I can go on day hiking trips (and potential kayaking would be a big plus). I am in moderately good shape but not an athlete. --Someplace that is not going to have snow and ice on the ground at this time of year and pretty safe conditions generally. --Preferably kind of close to me--I'm in the mid south--and must be in the U.S. because my passport is expired. --Reasonably comfortable & clean place to stay. Not looking to sleep in a tent. I guess that's it. Does such a place exist? I would love to do this, it has been several years since I have wandered around in the great outdoors.

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posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
Maria Popova on the story, art, and universal truths of this year's best books for kids. Previously, Maria Popova has come up on several occasions, including another year-end best-of list.

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posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
I'm looking for all the places that claim to have the weather change every 5 minutes.This seems to be a constant refrain in so many regions: Toronto, UK (Wales and London), and now I read an Oklahoma blog that also mentions this. I am certain that I have heard this said about other locations. So, tell me: do you live in a place where people use the expression "if you don't like the weather, give it 5 minutes"? (or similar intention)

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