posted less than an hour ago on metafilter
Using the Geostationary Lightning Mapper on GOES 16 and 17 (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites), Lyons and colleagues probe the limits of how long a lightning discharge can get. On 22 October 2017, a quasi-linear convective system moved through the central U.S. At 0513 UTC, the GLM indicated a lightning discharge originated in northern Texas, propagated north-northeast across Oklahoma, fortuitously traversed the Oklahoma LMA (OKLMA) [3D Lightning Mapping Array], and finally terminated in southeastern Kansas. ... Combining all available data confirms the "megaflash," which illuminated 67,845 km2, was at least 500 km long, greatly exceeding the current official record flash length. Yet even these values are being superseded as GLM data are further explored, revealing that such vast discharges may not be all that uncommon. Check out the last few pages of the PDF of their paper for graphical illustrations.

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posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
I have convinced myself that a prototype model of a sculpture is called a macaque. Is that right? What's the word I'm thinking of?I have convinced myself that a prototype model of a sculpture is called a macaque. Apparently, despite my brain insisting otherwise, a macaque is a monkey not a smaller version of a work of three-dimensional art. Is there a word that sounds similar for a model an artist makes in advance of the main piece? I'm aware of mock and mock-up. Those aren't the words I'm looking for? Perhaps it's a loanword I'm thinking of. What do sculptors call their mockups? Do they use a word that sounds like macaque?

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Looking for a short story titled "Dwindling" by a female author.Back in the 80's I was a fan of Twilight Zone magazine, and I remember reading this story called "Dwindling" that I would like to find again. I don't remember the author's name but I'm pretty sure it was a female author. In the story, the female protagonist who has just moved to an anonymous suburb struggles to cope with the fact that all of the houses (and people) seem to be the same, with a weird little twist at the end. I no longer have the magazines and I don't remember which issue it was in. Web searches haven't turned up anything useful. Anyone else remember it?

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
As librarians help registration (more libraries), it is time, yet again, to vote (December 2019 edition) with another exciting UK General Election. As Alexander Boris de Pfeffel endorses Jeremy Corbyn and demonstrates his popular culture experience (YouTube), so parties outline NHS funding plans and struggle to try and form alliances or pacts (progressive)(right wing)(SNP-Labour)(Northern Ireland). Though, previously. Some past MPs stand down or turn; new candidates, either reluctantly, some complicatedly, others angrily making it legally interesting. The BBC is under suspicion of bias, the PM won't release the Russian report (Hillary), people still say 'cyber', and the past haunts candidates (more)(yet more)(another)(endless). But will megaphone man win? The current bookmaker odds. Previously - This UK General Election and Brexit (discussion etiquette). - The 2017 UK general election and more. - The 2016 EU referendum (Brexit). - The 2015 UK general election. - The 2014 Scottish independence referendum. - The 2010 UK general election plus some more. - The 2005 UK general election. - The 2001 UK general election plus some more.

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
I am an educated, mid-30s woman with a successful career in a white collar industry and a PTSD diagnosis. A couple of years ago I left a very abusive relationship and that experience was compounded by expansive grief and a very scary childhood. I'm in a good place at this point and would like to date but held back by how and when to discuss these parts of my life. Details below the fold.I posted here asking about how to cope in the aftermath and folks were pretty helpful so I'm hoping there may be more sage wisdom available. (If you want to read about the very bad, no good, earth shattering year of pain, please see my post history.) What I didn't write about there were childhood experiences that left me pretty vulnerable and attracted to predatory people. One parent was a violent alcoholic who died when I was a teenager and the other, who raised me, most likely suffers from a personality disorder. Without going into it too much, I joke to my friends that Vince Gilligan (of Breaking Bad) could have written my childhood. The primary custody parent was not just a criminal lawyer but a criminal lawyer and I left home during high school. The experience of being a teenage runaway plus being thrown into unregulated institutions run by religious nuts left me pretty broken. Until my primary parent destroyed their life and landed in prison due to terrible decisions, I figured I was just a no good, very bad, fuckup kid and everything was my fault. I've made peace with it as best I can and manage to thrive in life. My friends know all of this about me and tell me this knowledge helps make sense of me in many ways. However, one thing I noticed from my ex and other men who turned out to be predatory was that they were so very very very interested in these stories. Just fascinated in a way that other people weren't. Well-adjusted, empathetic people hear these things and feel understandably distressed/uncomfortable. Unsafe people are attracted to the vulnerability and delighted by being the hero who saves me (which I don't need) or seeing my triggers as a way to control me (which works). So the good thing: I know what a relatively normal reaction looks like! I am much better at avoiding the emotional sharks. The bad thing: It is so incredibly heavy and weaved throughout much of my life. In getting to know new people (something I have been avoiding the past couple of years but embracing again) I have the skills to politely side-step and be vague so it doesn't turn into the silent, uncomfortable interaction typical of these disclosures. This won't fly with dating though because at some point there is going to be emotional intimacy. I can't very well expect a dating partner to be fine with me never discussing my childhood or failing to talk about significant romantic relationships. If you've had a terribly traumatic past, how did you navigate the disclosure? Conversely: if you had a partner with a terribly traumatic past, how did they disclose this to you in a way that didn't blindside you or make you really uncomfortable?

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posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
I am a professional actor. About 3-5 times a week, I have to prepare and self-tape an audition. I procrastinate TREMENDOUSLY and feel miserable every single time. Please help!Five random times each week, I get emailed some scenes. Each time, I have a turnaround of 12-72 hours to return a competent audition, and here is what I have to do: 1. Find a time when my toddler is SILENTLY occupied by another person AND there is natural light outside. This alone can be a Sisyphean task. 2. For film/TV, I need to: print the material and think about my approach. Mark up the script with notes, memorize the scenes. Find a helper to read opposite me. Do my hair/makeup/wardrobe, dig out and set up my tripod, camera, lights, mic, backdrop and test the lighting and sound a million times. Do about 20 takes of the material (with a competent helper who's patient enough to manage me flubbing a line or the dog wrecking a take or whatever!), then finally email it in. 3. For animation, I need to: read the material, YouTube the voice references they've provided, decide my approach. Make silent my home. Hide in my cluttered closet and record myself running the scenes, listen back a bunch of times. Record a perfect take. Repeat for 2-6 loud, high-energy characters per show. Label files and email it all in. Animation is not as logistically difficult as on-camera, as it needs fewer gadgets and I don't have to do makeup or lighting... but because it's done alone, it can be even harder because there's no reader to be accountable to, or get an energy boost from, and animation characters are often SUPER high energy. It can be hard to get my energy there alone and feel confident that my work is funny! Acting is a silly fun career, I know, but AUDITIONING IS SO HARD. I'm having a hard time just in life in general right now, too- I have a toddler, an ill parent, very little childcare help. Throw in low iron, mild seasonal depression, random hormonal swings that are making me feel tired, unmotivated, and anxious. I'm also a perfectionist and probably have ADD. Plus I've recently quit caffeine and I'm working from home, so it can be VERY hard to ramp my energy up enough to create a heightened reality. And because the work is judged on subjective criteria, I really struggle with the fact that it's impossible to actually BE DONE, it just has to GET done. Like if Take 15 is good enough, wouldn't Take 30 be even better? The enormity of doing something that, in my distorted thinking, * could somehow be perfect if only.... * means it is so unappealing to ever start, if that makes sense. I've tried to remove some of the speed bumps to these processes- for instance, I bought a fancy iPhone and use that to record, instead of a proper camera/mic, because it's technically MUCH easier (even though it doesn't look or sound as good). And I never edit my takes, even though I could improve my product if I did. I could try leaving some of my gear set out to reduce the setup time, but I have a toddler and a small home. I'm also planning to upgrade my lighting gear to lessen the time pressure of having adequate daylight. And for really important projects, I hire someone to coach, read & tape me professionally, which is AMAZING but costs $70 a pop so I can't do it every time. I love acting, but auditioning IS HARD... however, it's the bulk of my job, and if I don't do it well and promptly, I don't book work. SO: What can I do to reframe how I think about it, make it easier, and get it done with less struggle?? I'm really having a hard time and beating myself up for failing at my clown college of a career! Ugh, thanks!

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posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
I'm burning out in my emotionally demanding public sector job, but I've never had any really good ideas about where to go from here. I've sometimes thought that I'd like working in hospitality and tourism -- maybe in hotels? -- but I don't actually know anything about those jobs. What's out there?I'm in my mid-thirties and live in a major US city; I have a master's degree in the liberal arts from a good school. Working in hotels/tourism has always seemed appealing -- I'm good with people, I'm organized, and I love traveling myself. I just have no idea what jobs there are in this industry, aside from the public-facing jobs like tour guides, housekeepers, desk clerks etc. I am interested in hearing about: - what entry-level jobs exist - what long-term career paths might be open to me if I decided to stay in this industry for the remaining 30-40 years (gulp) of my working life Things that are in my skill set: - I have a lot of customer service experience and I'm good with people, especially kids/families, and I'm also good at dealing with difficult people and resolving problems. - I thrive in environments where there are set tasks/goals with firm deadlines. My job now is very much NOT that, and I'm struggling. I don't want to be micromanaged, but I like when it's very clear what my role and responsibilities are. - I am good at identifying problems and coming up with/implementing solutions. - An ideal job for me would have a mix of people and non-people time (and also on-feet/sitting time!). One of things I loved about working retail was that sometimes you were on the register or on the floor, other times you were in the stockroom or working out schedules in the office, and I liked that balance. - I'm an extremely good planner, especially when it comes to tourist stuff. Both in my personal life and in the course of my work, I've organized a lot of trips for groups of people (large and small), everywhere from alpha world cities to rural areas in developing countries. If travel agents still existed I'd be great at that. Here are some challenge points: - Right now, I have a Career. I am paid well and have good insurance, plenty of vacation time, etc. I am nervous about giving that up to, say, work at the front desk of a hotel. I don't need to still be making $70k, but realistically I can't get by on $30k either, at least not for more than a year or two. - I am very settled in my city. I don't think this is a big problem as it's a major city, but I'm not going to move to New York or take a job that's like 50% travel. - I'm happy to work weird hours sometimes -- I really like working retail, which includes plenty of evenings -- but I don't want something super rigid where I'm missing my niece's birthday party because of an inflexible weekend rotation or something. I also still want to see my family, so working 4 to midnight every day is right out, for example. - Other than retail, I've never worked outside the public sector. I don't really know what it's like to work for a business! - I do not want to freelance.

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posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
An advertisement for the Ramen Joy Cookbook

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
My grandfather served in the U.S. Army 99th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, winning the Bronze Star. I have never served. I have always been very proud of my grandfather and would like to buy a black hat with the 99th checkerboard insignia (with no words) to honor him. Is this acceptable/appropriate?My grandfather, who passed away 25 years ago, served gallantly in World War II. He served in the U.S. Army's 99th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge and won the Bronze Star for valor. I knew my grandfather well and I am so proud of his heroism. I think about his fearlessness often and it is a source of strength to me, particularly when I reflect about the details of his service (he and some fellow soldiers crossed back over into German territory to rescue a wounded U.S. soldier and bring him back to the Allied side). I found a fantastic ball cap that I'd like to buy to honor him. It's a simple black cap with the 99th checkerboard insignia on the front. The cap features no words. I am really excited to wear it in his honor. I am looking forward to telling my grandfather's story when folks ask me what the checkerboard logo represents. However, it just occurred to me that this might be crossing a line. I have never served in the military. Is it appropriate for a non-veteran like myself to wear a hat with my grandfather's military division insignia? Would it be offensive even though there are no words on the cap and if anyone asks I will explain that I didn't serve but that I am honoring my grandfather by wearing the hat? I do, like most Americans, have tremendous respect for those who serve/served in the military. I want to honor my grandfather's gallantry but I absolutely will not do it if active-duty service members or veterans suggest here that this would be inappropriate. Please help! Thank you!

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
For reasons, I have not had much sex in my life. I am looking to learn now the kinds of skills and experience that you would expect a late 30s female (heterosexual) to have. Practice is the obvious answer, but seeing as I can't control who wants to sleep with me, can you also lead me to books, videos, podcasts, anything like that that I can look at on my own beforehand to lessen the rejection from Tinder dates when they figure out I am bad in bed. Please assume I have really absolutely no idea about anything (if I know it already I will happily ignore that advice)

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
Terrible recording I made in an Urban Outfitters store, but this song is kind of weird and haunting and I wonder if anyone could identify it or the musicians.

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
It's my with another parenting-is-all-about-font-selection question. Tell me what font to write my kid's book in. I need a regular body font but some words might be written bigger and more fun-ly (e.g. "pop" as big capital letters in a bright colour or "bumping" written on a bumping path (yes, may be too short to pull that off, we'll see, "groovy" may be written in some sort of groovy way). Please recommend, including opinions on whether I should use one font or two (or more). I have Adobe Creative Cloud, which I believe gives me all those fonts.My son is 2.5. The story is about a road trip with a bunch of other book characters. I prefer a single-story lower-case A.

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
I read this story years and years ago. Essentially, it was about how if you stepped on someone's toe in an elevator, you'd apologize.You wouldn't argue about how much it hurt, or if their foot shouldn't have been there etc. Morale being you don't dictate how someone responds to a hurt, you should just apologize. Anyone know where I might find it??

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Has anyone seen these or have experience with turntables with built in tube preamps?Saw a selection of turntables with built in tube preamps at a record store while on vacation, can't seem to find any options online now that I'm back in the states.

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
After upgrading the website to the cloud, some of the hardware was just not usable. So we have this video of what happened. (SLYT)

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
I don't know anything about life insurance, and I know you're not my insurance agent, but I have no idea where to start.Let's say hypothetically I die in a war zone with no affiliation to any official military such as the US armed forces. What life insurance would I want to have in that event, and am I able to put non-family members (e.g. friends, or even charitable organizations) as my beneficiaries? If so, what life insurance should I be looking at? I am a 30-year-old male in decently good health (I smoke a small amount, no drinking or doing drugs). Where do I begin?

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
I'm in Chicago at work for the first time ever, and I'm kind of bummed it's so cold and dark and that lots of the usual night tours and such are closed for the winter (because it's so cold and dark). Anything open after 5 you would recommend?Bonus points for stuff near the North Loop and cool Chicago history.

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
Shagun Jhaver writes about his research into the effect of moderator deletion commentary on Reddit users. Using a sample of 32 million Reddit posts he characterizes the removal explanations that are provided to Redditors and links them to measures of subsequent user behaviors — including future post submissions and future post removals. Research paper [pdf]

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
I have spent 20+years cursing people who drive with snow flying off their cars. Now I am one of *those* people because I have a minivan and am too short to actually get all the snow off (and honestly in too much of a rush to do a great job on the areas I can reach). What are my options?I have a dream that I could somehow retrofit a leafblower or high-powered handheld vacuum to blow the snow off? Is this at all feasible? What risks or down sides should I be thinking of?

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
I can't get therapy. What's the next best option?In terms of healing through the mechanisms at work in therapy, what is the next best alternative to therapy? After several months of trying to see a therapist / get therapy, I just had an appointment with a woman who cried three times during our appointment, including nearly bursting into tears when I said I didn't like my body. (That was the least concerning part of our conversation! But. This visit is after scores of email and phone queries, several other first meetings, and one who I saw for a while but then scheduling made it impossible.) So. I'm done with that, but I still want to feel better. I know that I need to eat well, sleep well, exercise, etc -- assume I have the basic self-care covered. (I have also had, like, a fair amount of therapy, and I can recite CBT and DBT stuff without thinking. It's the doing part that's hard.) (Please don't say keep trying; I can't. I just can't do the looking part, and the telling my whole story again to someone who turns out to cry because I am so miserable to her, or whatever.)

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
After a lifetime (literally) at Kaiser I'm considering switching to Anthem, primarily so I can start going to therapy (Kaiser is terrible for me in that regard). But, Kaiser in every other aspect is so dang easy. What should I consider before making the switch?For what it's worth, my employer plan options are an "EPO" plan which would be $5/mo cheaper than Kaiser, or a "Select PPO" plan that is $30/mo more. Select PPO charges $20 per mental health office visit in-network, and 70% out-of-network ($750 deductible), whereas the co-pay is just $20 per visit. I also have prescriptions-- buproprion (daily) and lorazepam (occasional)-- the cost under Kaiser is nominal. $10 maybe. I have no other major ongoing health needs, no pregnancy on the horizon, etc. I'm in LA, so therapists abound, but I don't know the quality of Anthem's network or what the going rates are (i.e. what 30% would cost me). Financially, I'm prepared to pay a bit more, like say $100-200 a month, but I can't afford regular therapy on my own.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
After watching Nirvana in Fire (at Mefi's recommendation!) I've been looking up other Chinese shows and came across a genre of media known there as BL, or Boys Love. As I understand it BL involves gay male protagonists and ranges from the implied to the erotic. It's apparently popular enough that huge, expensive, popular historical romances are being made — e.g. The Untamed. My question is: wait, what? Isn't mainland China famously restrictive, especially lately, of LGBTQ+ representation in media? How is it possible that BL is essentially mainstream there?It's possible that this is all less popular than I think and perhaps the BL fans have mobbed reviews sites in their enthusiasm. But I've seen other shows and media and read a few (very few) posts and articles indicating that it's actually a pretty big thing (as one might imagine anything beloved by the necessarily large queer community over there must be). I know in Japan there are the yuri and yaoi genres, but I don't think they're comparable? I'm just really interested in how this all sort of works and there's not a lot that I can see online that puts it in context.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I'm suddenly having weird intermittent pain in my right ankle, toward the outside of the joint right where my ankle meets my foot. (This came on seemingly out of nowhere, but I'm very sure that it's related to a nasty sprain I got playing soccer about 9 months ago.) The earliest appointment I could get with my sports doctor isn't for another month. In the meantime, I am in desperate need of ideas for how to exercise with this limitation -- I'm starting to feel like I'm crawling out of my skin!My usual go-tos are running and soccer, and I'm hesitant to do either right now. I'm fine pushing through a bit of pain and discomfort, but not when I don't understand what's wrong (and what might make it worse). I will say that this does not seem to be a structural/stability issue -- ankle feels solid and hasn't been giving out or anything like that, it just hurts when I move it in certain ways. I have a gym membership and I've been dragging myself there to bike and use the elliptical, but both of those things are sooooo boring. I've increasingly been avoiding the gym entirely, which isn't great for me physically OR mentally. Is there anything else that's low-impact but would give me a hit of cardio-induced brain chemicals that's similar to what you'd get from a run? Do I need to suck it up and become a swimmer? (I can swim, but I've never done it for exercise...) Other exercise things I enjoy: Fitness Blender-type videos where you jump around a lot and do lots of different things in quick succession; ab exercises; doing a bunch of squats and lunges and stuff I keep trying to get into yoga, but I really don't like it. Please help me stay sane and (relatively, kinda sorta) buff!

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I've made plans (including flights) to go to Beirut and Byblos for a week in Dec/Jan. How do I decide whether or not to go? I am not looking for an answer on whether or not to go. I'm looking for advice on how to make that call, and possibly whether to go to Israel (or Saudi Arabia?) instead.I'm a single 52-year-old woman with extensive solo travel experience (but I don't speak Arabic). I'll be traveling with my 16-year-old daughter who is also well traveled (with me and in other contexts). We've got tickets to go to Jordan for a week over Xmas, then to Lebanon for a week over NYE. Nothing about this trip worried me until the recent civil unrest in Lebanon. We plan to rent a car and drive a fair bit in the northern area for the first few days, and then turn in the car and spend NYE and a few days in Beirut. The hotel I've reserved is smack in the middle of everything, a couple of blocks from the center of the protests. I've seen it in several photos. The NYE celebration in Beirut, last year, was Top 10 according to National Geographic, and we're really hoping to be there for that. I'm worried it'll be cancelled, and a tiny bit worried it'll end up like the Seattle WTO protests -- starting out peaceful and ending up violent because of agitation by bad apples. I've been reading Al Jazeera, various state department website (US, UK, NZ, CA), NYT, BBC, WaPo ... basically major outlets. I haven't gotten an especially clear sense of just how disruptive the protests are, or how potentially dangerous it would be for us to travel. My sense is that the biggest challenges are closed roads and closed banks. Your values and mine differ. You don't fully know my travel experience, or my daughter's. So I'm really, truly NOT asking for you to tell me, "It'll be fine!" or "Are you out of your mind? Cancel immediately!" I'm only asking for advice on: - Where to get reliable information (*** most important question for me ***) - How to read between the lines (I know, for example, the state dept. warnings are seriously overblown; what else should I know?) - What factors you think I should consider when making this decision. I'm planning to wait until the last minute to decide, unless some event radically changes the situation. Plan B is to go to Israel, probably. I am resisting my daughter's pleas to go to Saudi Arabia, but that's not entirely out of the question. If you'd like to give me information on traveling to either of those countries over NYE, that would be interesting too, and I'll throw that into the hopper as I make this call.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I have to have a LOT of conversations about and around African Art, Fashion, Design, & Aesthetics. Are there any art books on these subjects you'd recommend?That's it really. I would like large-format (coffee table/monograph-type) art, fashion, and architecture books that give you images with essays or commentary around it. I am not looking for National Geographic-style stuff, but rather contemporary books written about contemporary people, or perhaps contemporary books written by African artists, designers, architects, or museums. I can find a ton of images online and am connected to a bunch of individuals, but there is something about having a bookshelf of inspiration and information for people when they are in my workroom working or when I'm having conversations about appropriation, adaptation, use, and/or anything else related. Especially helpful kinds of subjects: Afro-futurism in Fashion and Design Fashion retrospectives from West African designers specifically African roots and/or inspiration in other art and fashion movements (e.g. Art Deco) Retrospectives of specific designers and artists Anything related to commentary on the relationship of fashion and design in an African context Thanks! If I can round out some materials up here it will make it so much more interesting than the same old Dior, Halston, and Mainbocher coffee table books.

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