posted less than an hour ago on metafilter
The Last of Us Part 2 proves gaming doesn't know how to deal with muscular women by Patricia Hernandez [Polygon] "Abby, a new character introduced in The Last of Us Part 2, does not fit the mold. Her face is anchored by a square jaw, which gives her visage a wider look — at least, compared to the heart-shaped face that defines most women in games. Perhaps most notably, Abby is buff. Your eyes are drawn to her chest and muscular arms, which, according to The Last of Us Part 2, she worked very hard across multiple years to beef up. [...] It's been baffling to see some of the popular dissenting opinion on the game, which often directed against Abby. Part of the dislike seems unavoidable: The Last of Us Part 2 asks you to play as a character who is fundamentally opposed to the heroes we've spent hours learning to love and protect. Abby is a hard sell, and that would be true no matter what she looked like. But much of the hate visible on social media isn't just about the story and Abby's likability compared to Ellie and Joel, it's fixated on Abby's jacked-up body. [And the voice actor who played her]" • A Discussion On Female Body Diversity In Games [Kotaku] "..., critic Anita Sarkeesian published a video about female body diversity in games. "All the Slender Ladies" examines why games often showcase thin, young, humanoid women but rarely feature lady rock creatures or skeletal female priestesses. Male video game characters, she says, more often deviate from standards of male attractiveness, she explains. "It's as if male characters are free to embody whichever physique best communicates their personality or abilities," Sarkeesian said, in comments that echoed a talk she gave in 2015 about the things she'd like to see change in video games. "But when it comes to the design of female characters, that kind of imagination or creativity doesn't seem to exist," Sarkeesian explains. When female game characters, and especially playable characters, are uniformly thin, young and attractive, Sarkeesian argues, it reinforces the idea that a woman's value is tied to this body type. Game designers staying true to the trope may be pleasing a large part of their audience, but are simultaneously shooting themselves in the foot: Diverse personalities are better mirrored by diverse character designs. Your game isn't that fun if everyone's the same." • Body diversity in character design: 'We need to represent our audience better' [MCV] "Veteran freelance artist Lucy (Loukia) Kyriakidou addressed the need for more diverse bodies in games during her talk at Develop:Brighton yesterday. If you look at the main characters from the best selling games of 2018 (which she did, see below), it's interesting to see how they're not very different from one another and mostly show the same body types. Currently working on Battletoads' characters and having extensive experience in character design, Kyriakidou explained simply why change is needed: "It is the right thing to do and it is what players want," she said. "Studies have shown that players do want more diversity in games – and that's general diversity, not just bodies. More than 50 per cent of gamers do believe that it's getting better but we need to do more than just try to tick a box. Games have a social responsibility. We're responsible for a lot of screen time in people's lives so to not hold yourself accountable for the impact games have on people's lives is no longer an option. "Also, accuracy is not an excuse not to have women and people of colour in your game. It's not wrong to have muscular men and hourglass women bu we need to represent our audience better and the people who are actually playing our games. It's great to have NPCs that are body diverse but it's better to have the same for a protagonist."" • If female video game characters had realistic bodies, they would look like this [CNN] "To demonstrate how they would look if they had more realistic body figures, an eating disorder help group redesigned Tifa Lockhart, Nabooru, Lara Croft and other kickass video game heroines using Adobe (ADBE) Photoshop. The parody images on Bulimia.com depict 10 virtual women with less supermodel-like physiques -- bigger arms and legs, wider midsections and hips. But they still look good. Video game makers have the ability to control how female bodies are designed, Bulimia.com argues. Spreading unrealistic body imagery helps entrench certain ideas of perfection in the media, adding more social pressure to women and girls. "Girl gamers -- especially young ones -- could develop a skewed image of how the female body should look," the images' creators write. "This might mark the beginning of obsessive thoughts about their own bodies, and self-questioning as to why they don't align with their perceived ideal." Here's how some of gaming's biggest female stars would look with more realistic body types."

Read More...
posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
I plan to host a virtual seminar with 4 speakers and a large audience and I'm looking for the best software. Here are the stipulations: I'm looking for a web based application where the 4 speakers have center stage (frame) and the audience can listen but not be seen. In fact, I'd prefer for them to not be visible at all. Instead, I'd just like them to an invite link where they can click and just watch the speakers. All 4 speakers will be in different locations. Thanks.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
How has your recent experience with EHarmony been? I'm trying to figure out if it's worth joining.Recently I have found free dating sites to be lacking and I'm considering EHarmony. I know the common wisdom on here is "Ok Cupid", and while I think OKC used to be good and fine, I feel that it's really changed in the last 3 years or so and it seems that the quality of profiles and thoughtfulness has really gone down. I use Bumble now, which I feel is a bit better, but I thought it may be helpful to join a site with even more intention behind it. I kind of like how EHarmony asks a lot of questions and tries to match via compatibility that way (yes, I know OKc does that, but it seems not as good now- I'm very familiar with it). So, as someone who is leftist, a bit unconventional, "artsy", a woman looking for relationships with men, and 41 years old-- my question is , if you have you used EHamony recently, did you like it and is it worth joining? (paid). I'd prefer people who have been more recent users chime in. (I have searched on the site and don't see many recent questions about Eharmony) Also, please know that I am quite familiar with most of the free sites. Also, I tried Match before and didn't like it. Thanks!

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Considering device needs for fall and beyond with one more kid in elementary and have a question: Does Surface laptops or another Windows laptop allow you to take an image or PDF and easily write on it and then save to submit? We currently mainly use an iPad for homework because it is easier to write on the many worksheets with Notability (simple PDF import) Long-term a second laptop would be better than another iPad (particularly as my kids love Minecraft mods which are computer based).

Read More...
posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
Please recommend a book on autism and adult relationships - ideally written by someone who has known they're on the spectrum for a while.Me and my much-loved long-term partner both almost certainly have undiagnosed autism and were each raised by an autistic parent. One thing that is really hard on our relationship is that we both have poor theory of mind. It often helps after the fact to know that we both have poor theory of mind. After something comes up, we're often able to identify that that's what went wrong. But it can be really painful in the moment sometimes. And we both need to learn how to deal with that. So I would like to read up on it, and I'm having trouble finding good books. It would also be fantastic if you could recommend a book on autism, sex, and adult relationships. And/or a book that breaks sex down into many very small, bitesize steps. (We would both appreciate, if possible, any such books being up-to-date on gender and sexuality.)

Read More...
posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
My cousin just graduated from college and desperately needs both a business-casual and tech office casual wardrobe. He's 6'3", very slender, but has wide shoulders, making him a difficult fit. Help?Think slim fit sweaters over tees, cotton button downs, that kind of thing. Mostly needs shirts because...well, you know. Tailoring isn't an option because...well, you know. Are there brands that you can recommend that will already basically fit? Sizing / fit tips? I want to get him a decent graduation present (late already) and would really appreciate any personal experiences/tips. Anonymous because it's a present

Read More...
posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
Just received my beautiful new MBP (with Touchbar) from work. I want to keep it as clean as possible and avoid the grody fingerprint stains that my last MacBook developed over time. What should I buy to maintain the screen, keyboard, and trackpad? Bonus points if you can also tell me how to better protect the power cable.

Read More...
posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
Massive protests last year in Hong Kong (previously, previously, previously, previously) succeeded in getting an extradition bill scrapped. But now the Beijing government has passed a sweeping security law for Hong Kong which has led to immediate arrests, the purging of social media accounts and disbanding of protest groups, support from businesses including British banking giant HSBC, and fears that the new law covers everyone on earth. If you've been critical of Chinese or Hong Kong authorities, some legal experts are saying, don't board a Cathay Pacific flight or travel to countries which have an extradition treaty with Hong Kong. Democracy advocate Nathan Law has fled to an undisclosed country: "As I look down at the magnificence of Hong Kong from the airplane, this image has become one unforgettable scene in my mind," he wrote. "I hope the day will come when I can return to Hong Kong again and I can still be that young guy who hasn't forgotten about his initial aspirations."

Read More...
posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
The international foot is exactly 0.3048 of a meter, whereas the U.S. survey foot, 1200/3937 of a meter, has an unending decimal. This means that anyone working in multiple U.S. locations or with different agencies must keep careful track of which foot is in use.

Read More...
posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Assuming all goes well tonight, I'm coordinating a pop-up breakfast hospitality station tomorrow morning for a local protest against police killings of unarmed black men. The protestors (who appear to number around 100 right now) will have been there all night, and I'm the only one doing the shopping, but I'll have 3+ assistants, multiple vehicles, large plastic bins, and a handcart on site. I don't have a Costco membership or similar. Build my early AM 4th of July shopping list, please!

Read More...
posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Now that the mask order is in place in SF, I'm back at work. I've been using the blue/white disposables because that's what I have- but I'm noticing... a certain "aw you" tendency from some of our older male customers, because I am currently presenting as femme-ish at work. I was called the other day a "good girl" by a customer as if I am a prized trained poodle. I wanted to rip his throat out. In normal times I would do the thing where I smile with every last one of my teeth which is quite effective. We're all wearing masks now. I would like to buy washable, breathable face masks with a nose wire; printed with fangs or teeth, in order to add a bit of an edge to my work clothes.I am known at work for 50's style hair bandanas, quirky and/or rainbow print earrings and quirky or rainbow glasses frames. But since we wear uniforms I can't wear my more tough clothes. I'm not willing to change my style- it's a great comfort to me for a whole host of reasons. 80% of my customers are dolls, and the kids who come in love to compliment my earings/glasses/etc. But some dudes are gonna dude. My complete lack of makeup and general facial expression/booming voice is enough in normal times to discourage the exact sort of older male patronizing that makes me see red. The covering of my face is now blocking my magic bitch powers that stops 90% of our worst customers from being 100% the worst. (some folks are just the absolute worst and nothing can stop them- I'd just like another layer of protection against the minor jerks that can really ruin your day.) So- I would like masks printed with teeth. I cannot wear anything obscene at work- so no "fuck you" masks or "fuck the patriarchy" style masks. Just teeth. As many different styles/colors/teeth types as possible, so I can rotate them out. If anyone has any ideas for something in a similar non-obscene but pointy projecting vein I would consider it- but teeth teeth teeth teeth teeth. Thank you metafilter- you're my only hope. PS: rainbows are like my whole thing- so if one of these masks were rainbow teeth... It would really really work.

Read More...
posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
Musician/ sculptor Bichopalo builds complex music machines from unusual objects. The machines feature plants where possible as well as other natural elements like sticks and water. They also include small spherical elements that double as bird houses to host Bichopalo's two pet birds, Pico and Verdi. (Designboom) (Instagram) (short videos re-posted to Imgur)

Read More...
posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
Please recommend iOS/iPad apps suitable for a *beginner* indoor cyclist/exercise bike user. All the ones I found googling on recommendation lists seem to be for experienced cyclists, and focus on a "realistic" virtual experience. And any gamification seems to be about racing against other experienced cyclists. I don't care whether the app is realistic or not. And I would like to see different fun game modes that don't look intimidating for beginners, even ones where there are no virtual bicycles involved at all (maybe I want to pretend I'm sailing a yacht! Or flying a WWI biplane!) ... Subscription $ apps are welcome. Thank you very much for any tips!

Read More...
posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
I would love to use this time for self-improvement, but in a chill/non-stressful way. If you had this time, how would you use it to learn new things, develop new skills/habits? And how would you structure it so that you stay motivated?I just quit a highly stressful job (yay) and thankfully have another job lined up. I've been looking forward to using the time in between to relax but also do things on my "one day when I'm not so stressed" list, like read the books I've been meaning to read, and watch the movies I've been meaning to watch, etc. But now that the time is here, I'm finding myself overwhelmed by the time I have in a day (what is this feeling!), and feel like I could probably take on more things, like start to learn a language or develop a new hobby. And as someone who appreciates structure, I think having some type of daily goal for these activities would help, e.g., read two hours a day, or read 20 books. What would you do with this time if you had it? Or if you've done something like this before, what did you do that worked well, or didn't work well? Of course this depends my/your likes and dislikes but I would love to hear any and all ideas to get the juices flowing. (Logistics: I'm self-isolating with family in Illinois, but have access to a car.)

Read More...
posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
Selo i Ludy (Село і люди) - It's My Life, Thunderstruck, Enter Sandman, Money for Nothing, Smoke on the Water, I Want to Break Free, Satisfaction, Yellow Submarine, Pretty Woman, I Will Always Love You, Light My Fire, Losing My Religion, Take on Me. (YouTube launch points: Selo i Ludy, Russkaja, Gogol Bordello)

Read More...
posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I'd like to create a Youtube video playlist of short videos of odd, somewhat disturbing, and aesthetically pleasing videos to have playing on mute while listening to indie party music. Suggestions welcome!Now that I've got some time, I'm looking for short videos (each under 4-5 min max., over 5 if it's v v special) to play at future parties that would inspire conversation on odd/slightly disturbing/challenging scenes playing in the background. Think background visual interest along the lines of Matta's Release the Freq or Birdy Nam Nam's The Parachute Ending or Autistic Fong's Mindfuckery video. I've also got videos of skatboarding down hills alongside the ocean, flip book stories, and early videos of hands/animals/eyeballs. Music is along the lines of indie pop/rock and alternative tunes. Thanks!

Read More...
posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Looking for interesting, fun, preferably easy but not necessarily, ways to do rice and beans. Any good ones?I've been expanding my cooking repertoire while at home during COVID as I assume a lot of people have. I'm mostly doing vegetarian recipes (kind of out of habit as I'm not vegetarian though was at one point), so I've been trying to find good rice and beans recipes as a sort of staple/one direction to go. Some good examples in case you too want to make rice and beans, or to give you an idea of what I'm going for... - Mujaddara with spiced yogurt (I added roasted veggies on top): https://food52.com/recipes/8565-mujaddara-with-spiced-yogurt - A sort of spanish/Mexican beans and rice base topped with pickled onions, jalapenos, and carrots as well as baked/roasted corn and peppers - curried lentils with greens and sweet potatos Sorry couldn't find links for the two last ones. Anyway, I want to expand to new kinds of beans! Or new spices/flavor combos. Bonus points if you happen to have good kale power salad recipes as well... Suggestions??

Read More...
posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Happy (Belated) Pollinator Week! US Forest Service's Pollinator of the Month includes Bats, Bees, Beetles, Birds, Butterflies, Flies, Moths, Mosquitos, and Wasps. What what? Yes, snow pool mosquitos, flower flies, and pollen wasps are all important pollinators (Pollen wasps look like yellow jackets but "are more like Ferdinand the Bull, who was more interested in smelling flowers.") And don't forget the cacao pollinator, the chocolate midge. Rather attract some butterflies? Try "unsavory foodstuffs, such as moist animal droppings, urine and rotting fruits" as butterfly-friendly resources, in addition to region-specific milkweed species. And watch out for neonics all-in-one garden products. Pollinator Partnership features the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge map, planting guides, downloadable posters and more. Previously on MeFi: USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program.

Read More...
posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
Looking for recommendations for good English language translations of novels. Will happily take recommendations for non-English films and TV shows with English subtitles as well. Particularly fond of mysteries/thrillers and comedies. Looking for more recent examples within the past 20 years. Very curious to hear about people's favorites. Thanks all!Novels I loved Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama. It was an excellent addition to the mystery/thriller genre. I remember Confessions by Kanae Minato being difficult to put down, especially the beginning chapters. I had heard that Natsuo Kirino was also a popular Japanese mystery writer, although my read of Out has been somewhat slow-going. Having also read some Scandinavian noir (with mixed results), I found The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir to have a very cinematic quality. Some of Sigurðardóttir's earlier thrillers were too violent for my taste, however. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-joo is on my to-read list. More recs like these novels would be very welcome! Film One of my favorite Japanese films is Linda Linda Linda, about a group of high school girls who form a rock band. I would love more recs for Japanese movies, but not for anime. Recently, like most of the world after seeing Parasite, I have been on a Korean film kick. A few I have already seen include Train to Busan, The Host, and Memories of Murder. I'm also particularly interested in recs for Spanish language films - I've already seen Pan's Labyrinth. TV I have watched a number of mystery series over the years and can't recall the names of all of them, but have seen a few French, Swedish, and Danish language series that were fairly entertaining. More recently, I loved the Korean detective drama Signal. I have seen a fair number of Korean TV series, but not as many of the very recent programs. I also enjoyed When the Camellia Blooms. Thank you all for your recommendations! I look forward to reading about your favorite novels, films, and/or tv shows in translation.

Read More...
posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
COVID style.I am staying with family and completing an internship near Baltimore, MD. The family is out of town and I just emerged from a painstakingly long quarantine for COVID exposure (negative, yay!) which has me in kind of a weird place mentally. I've never spent a holiday alone in my life. I know the fourth isn't a huge holiday, but I'd still like it to be fun and not sad. What can I do around here? I want to avoid crowds, obviously, and don't have much of a desire to see fireworks. Infact, what I'd really like is to get as far away as possible from people. I don't want to be near crowds or people setting off fireworks. My preliminary thought is to go for a solo hike in Pantapsco State Park, which appears to be very nearby. But will it be crowded? I'm glad I don't have COVID but lord knows about everyone else. I'm working daily with a vulnerable population and need to be careful. What other kinds of hidden gems are there around here that I should check out? Please consider that I have literally no visual spatial skills and can get lost walking in a straight line; the trails I'm looking at are out and back, which seems to be my safest bet here. Besides that, I guess I just cook myself something I really like, or maybe order food.... and hang out? Watch a movie? Mix up the world's stiffest drink, badly needed after the COVID drama? I'll probably videochat with my family at some point which will help. Any tips for rocking the solo holiday thing are appreciated.

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
Hi there, me again. Seeking resources to undo brainwashing, gaslighting, the confusion of that sort of toxic dynamic. Checklists on trauma bonding, cognitive dissonance etc.I don't generally like to label people but I believe I've been victimized and manipulated pretty significantly and I won't be able to move forward effectively without regularly reminding myself of the reality of the situation I am in. I have a problem with basically gaslighting myself into believing my partner's version of things, doubting my understanding of what's wrong with my relationship. I need to train myself to stop doing that. I have this nagging feeling that I really was just overly demanding, my expectations were too high, I pushed him away, I'm really just crazy and finally became too much trouble. That sort of thing. I honestly have no idea what's true anymore as everything has been so twisted. I have a T, and will be seeking a new one that specializes in psycholigical abuse/covert narcissism/APD traits, but in the meantime I need other things to read/think about, worksheets to complete, search terms to Google etc. I found Dr. Armani's YouTube channel. I am in a couple of support groups and have a few friends that have made themselves available to continue telling me things like "wanting your partner to pull their own weight financially and be willing to discuss problems is normal and reasonable." I need to detox and deprogram myself and I figure the hive mind probably knows some good resources for me. Placing this in health and fitness as the focus is on restoring mental wholeness.

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
Laws pertinent to publishing photos of minors online?Looking for statutes about this. Not pornographic images, just regular. Federal? State?

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Thai macaque monkeys are kidnapped from the wild, trained, and enslaved to pick coconuts because they are faster than humans.

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Optical Arts conceived this video as a "live action musical animation" of cups, plates, and glasses smashing and un-smashing accompanied by the toccata section of Johann Sebastian Bach's famous organ piece, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. I thought it was fully CGI at first (as The Morning News reported), but then I found the making of video on the project page and it's not — they filmed all the glasses and dished smashing at extremely high speeds between 1000 and 5000 frames/second on Phantom cameras.

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
How do I know if I need a new router?Well, this is painfully boring, but I'm hoping someone can help me pinpoint the source of my household's internet frustrations. Us Ratterys are both working from home at the moment, and growing increasingly frustrated with intermittent internet connections. Of course, some hiccups are to be expected as we have way more devices running concurrently, plus duelling video conferences, etc. Yet our problems seem to be beyond a mere "traffic" issue. Here are the facts: - I upped our internet package a few weeks ago to better suit our speed needs/recommended number of devices. When things are working, they work much better. We consistently get the speeds we are paying for. It's just that..... - Our computers constantly drop/regain internet connection throughout the day. I notice it most on my personal MacBook, which is near-constantly "searching for networks." But our two work Lenovos also lose connection or have incredibly poor connection throughout the day. The wifi on our cell phones also constantly turns off and on, it seems. - I don't think it's a proximity issue -- as I type this I am sitting directly opposite the router and still had to reset everything in order to get the internet going again. There is one room upstairs that seems worst for the connection, but it is directly above the room in which the router lives....based on my preliminary research on wifi extenders, that should mean that we shouldn't have so much trouble in that room? - the router is about 6 years old. It's a Linksys EA3500. I cannot recall if it is a dual-band or not....(helpfully, I cannot access the router settings due to a tragic password loss and I'm afraid to reset everything....) - I would not say this is a new problem, but certainly it's become much more pronounced in the last year, I would say (and only has it really started to annoy us since March) Every time I try to research a solution, I just sort of hit a mental wall. I don't know if it's a router issue, an ISP issue, a coverage issue...I just want some kind soul to tell me what to do. :) If I do need a new router (or an extender/mesh thing or whatever), I would greatly love any products recs.

Read More...