posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Is it scientifically possible to create artificial sentience?Hi there! I just read a few IoT articles and am now wondering about how consciousness works from a chemical perspective. Would it be possible to create a conscious computer through artificial or digital means? Is it possible to create robots with emotions? If so, how?

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
In 1969 a young danish girl had been given permission to travel the countryside alone (on foot), which apparently was considered highly unusual at the time. She even had a document with a stamp from the local police chief. In this video a reporter asks what she would do to protect herself if harrassed. [speaking only]

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
My potential new therapist says she works with an herbalist. What is an herbalist, and is this a red flag?I'm shopping around for therapists and I found one I really like, but I'm concerned she might be a little too far on the hippie end of the scale. For one thing, she mentioned that while she works with psychiatrists who prescribe meds, she also works with an herbalist for people who don't want to take medication. What is an herbalist in this context? Is she talking about medicinal marijuana (which is legal in my state for a condition I have...but I don't think that's what she's talking about) or general homeopathy or what? Otherwise she does seem cool, but this one thing gave me pause as a very evidence-based medicine kind of person.

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
I've read such glowing reviews that I'm considering getting a Litter Robot, but I thought I'd ask the experts here whether they think my particular problem with my cat's litter box methodology will be solved by it before shelling out nearly AUD$900.First, obligatory cat picture of my beautiful Ski. She's a big cat (about 7kg/15lbs) and generally just walks up to the litter box, steps in, squats slightly and leaves her deposit. The problem is, she regularly leaves her bottom hanging over the edge of the litter box and thus her deposits are actually outside the box. This is not ideal for either of us. I suspect that with the Litter Robot she will probably go in and turn around and thus our (my) problem will be solved, but is there anyone out there who can offer some real life experience here? Alternatively, any thoughts on how to get her to move further into the box before doing her business? She has a large box around 37x32x19cm (lxwxd, 14.5x12.5x7.5") and she does have to step up and over to get in. She is obviously unimpressed with the mess around her box, but unfortunately doesn't understand how to solve it.

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
I had a new friend over to my apartment tonight for the first time, and he noticed I didn't have a microwave and commented on it. He seemed really surprised. Other people have commented on it over the years, as well. Is this really that strange?I did own microwaves for years, a friend moved in that had a better microwave, we kept his and got rid of mine, then he moved out a couple years later. I didn't buy one to replace it, and I just... got used to it. Now I can't really imagine ever owning one again. Just seems unnecessary. There must be other (middle classish American) people out there that don't have microwaves, right?

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
Our small side-product/project went viral, and our previous international warehousing / mailhouse / fulfilment house isn't cutting it and nobody else is returning our calls or emails. Can anyone recommend any specific businesses that might be able to help - Preferably in Europe or Asia.Here's a bit more context: We have been making this product, and a few variations on it, for around three years. Three years ago, it was a minor internet sensation, so we went from shipping it out of our offices in Australia, to a fulfilment business we found on google which had a warehouse in the UK and US. This worked out great until they just systematically kept messing orders up and other really annoying things. Then out of the blue, this product featured all at once on a bunch of different FB news pages and such, and got close to 100m video views, thus selling out of all our product and setting up pre-orders and new wholesale clients etc for new production runs that are almost complete. This also puts us in a position where we can *actually* change our warehouse and pick and pack solution to something that will hopefully work. The problem is though - we can't seem to find an alternative. Here are some things we tried: 1) Blackbox - (The Cards Against Humanity Spin-off) - Paid 25.00 for the media kit and sent two emails, no reply. 2) Shipwire - Spoke to them the first time and was the most frustrating experience ever. Lots of red tape with customs - I think we were too small for them. 3) Amazon Fulfilment - Sent email, got autoresponder saying someone would be in touch, they never wrote back. 4) Shotput - Looking the most promising for now, but would have to be US only as their shipping costs to the UK are prohibitive. 5) Google Searches - There seem to be good options based in Hong Kong that can cover international shipping, but again - the whole shipping and logistic business doesn't seem to cater for businesses like ours, and again, nobody seems to want to return our emails for some reason! We could of course take the path of least resistance and just send this out from Australia, but you have to keep in mind how EYE-WATERINGLY EXPENSIVE it is to post things out from here. Furthermore, it takes a long time, and most of our customers are in the US and EU. Furthermore, while we don't sell 100 units a day or something, which seems to be the minimum for many places, we do sell enough to employ a full-time staff member to handle the project, and to make a small profit, so in the world of Shipping and Logistics, it might be small, but as a side project, it's a good thing that we want to keep going. TLDR; Can anyone recommend a warehouse with pick, pack, and post services with exceptional customer services? All the rates are generally the same, we just need to find a place that can deal with a bunch of noobs like us. Happy to deal with one company who has warehouses in multiple countries, or deal with separate businesses in separate countries. TIA!

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
Family of four staying at a hotel in Singapore is hoping to visit Legoland in Malaysia around March 21 or 22. We would like a reliable method of getting there, and to be able to spend as much time as possible there. We need to return to Singapore the same evening, and are hoping for a hassle free method. What's the smoothest way to do this? We don't have a smartphone, if that matters.

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
Sprayed a metal handrail on my steps with glossy spray paint. Looks good, but a fine mist of black paint is covering my light tan carpet. Can anybody recommend a cleaner? I have a steam cleaner. The area is about 10 x 10 plus steps. Ugh

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
College professor here, at a majority-minority state school. Recently one of my students came to class with a Make America Great Again red baseball cap. It was during an exam so I only saw it and him briefly and had no practical way to react or comment (even if I had wanted to).One the one hand: he's probably outnumbered 20 to 1 politically, so good luck to him, academia is in favor of free expression, the marketplace of ideas, willing to let it all hang out, etc. On the other hand: feels like hate speech. If a student was wearing a "death to $raceX" hat I would feel compelled to take action and possibly evict her/him. Personally, I'm offended, but that's not the metric I should use to decide. No students have complained (yet) but he was sitting in the last row so nobody saw him, and it was the first time. College teachers: advice?

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
Folding Ideas is a Youtube channel that analyzes movies and video games. By popular demand, the latest video is on Triumph of the Will and how it reflects fascist ideology and the historical context in which it was made.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Every time I buy beansprouts (usually either for pad thai or summer rolls) I have a massive amount left over, because the asian market only sells them in bigass bags as big as my head. Please give me your favorite recipes that require a WHOLE LOT of mung bean sprouts.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Cloudflare CDN has been dumping uninitialized memory from its reverse proxies, including all sorts of things that are supposed to be under HTTPS. Like passwords and private messages from dating sites and cookies and online password manager data. Affected websites include OKCupid, Yelp, Pingdom, Montecito Bank and Trust, Uber, Lyft, Coinbase, Bitpay, Product Hunt, Udemy, Crunchyroll, Fitbit, Hacker News, Stack Overflow, Zendesk and Discord. On HN.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I have been volunteered to be the auctioneer at a charity event. The auction part of the event is low-key enough that I think it will be ok that I am not a professional. But I also think it might be a good idea to scope out some other charity fundraisers and auctions to get some tips.Does anyone know of any charity auctions in New England coming up in the next couple of months? I would say anything within two hours of Boston is fair game! Thanks!

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Where to eat in the Avondale neighborhood in Birmingham, AL on a Sunday afternoon in March before a show?I'm meeting a friend in Birmingham, AL, on Sunday, March 12th to see Neko Case at Saturn. I'm driving in from Atlanta, she'll be driving in from Huntsville. I'm going to stay the night at a hotel by the airport, so I'll go there first, check in, meet my friend, and then we'll head down to the neighborhood where the club is located probably around 4 or 5pm. Where would be a good place to eat within easy walking distance (2 or 3 blocks max, I'm wearing a big orthopedic boot due to a torn ankle tendon) to the club? I'd like to find a good burger or maybe Mexican food, or possibly even pizza. Actually, I'll take any recommendations except for seafood. I don't drink so the beer selection isn't important to me, but my friend used to home-brew so I assume she's a fan of craft beers so if one place stands out for their beer selection, that would be good to know. Also, if there are any MeFites heading to the show, let me know if you want to meet up at the venue or possibly beforehand and say hello. Or even if you're not going to the show, maybe still drop by and say hi.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance. In contrast, it is unknown whether hereditary succession played a role in the early formation of prehistoric complex societies that lacked writing. Here we use an archaeogenomic approach to identify an elite matriline that persisted between 800 and 1130 CE in Chaco Canyon, the centre of an expansive prehistoric complex society in the Southwestern United States. We show that nine individuals buried in an elite crypt at Pueblo Bonito, the largest structure in the canyon, have identical mitochondrial genomes. Analyses of nuclear genome data from six samples with the highest DNA preservation demonstrate mother–daughter and grandmother–grandson relationships, evidence for a multigenerational matrilineal descent group. Together, these results demonstrate the persistence of an elite matriline in Chaco for ∼330 years. (fulltext)

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I'm working towards a PhD in a foreign country and recently returned to the U.S. as part of my recovery from depression (which was/is largely work related). What are things that I can add to my routine during this downtime to help me on the road to recovery, and how can I best prepare for returning to academia? Special snowflake details inside.I've been suffering from major depression since approximately October. I'm 1.5 years into my PhD in Switzerland, and while I tried to find help when I knew things were on a downtrend, I was bounced from therapist to therapist (and through a useless university one) until December. This was partly because of problems with finding an English speaking therapist (even though I was in Zurich). I finally found an expat psychiatrist, who I was able to see once before going home to the U.S. for the holidays. I went home for Christmas, which was exceedingly stressful since I had not told most of my immediate family about my depression. The reaction I usually get when I say I'm doing a PhD in Switzerland is "WOW. That's so cool! You must be having so much fun!", which makes me feel guilty about the situation I'm in, so my stress levels remained pretty high for the entire holidays. I came back to the office in January to have my biannual meeting with my advisors, and it was a complete disaster. I had told them I was seeking treatment in the fall for depression, and they *seemed* to understand, but all that went out the window in the meeting. Among other things, I was accused of creating a hostile work environment because I wasn't saying "hi" to people in the morning or going to lunch with the entire research team (things that were only the norm since the fall because of the depression). It was a 90 minute shock meeting that attacked my character rather than my research progress, mainly because for my boss, team unity comes before anything else (in my progress report, I had indicated I was having communication problems with my technician, who doesn't seem interested in working on my project and has thus far avoided doing any of the tasks I have outlined in emails). After this meeting, I was put through the wringer of the Swiss healthcare system. I had a major depressive episode, couldn't get in contact with my doctor, tried to go to a crisis center and was turned away to go to the ER. I ended up spending a week in a locked ward for psychotic/permanently suicidal people because there was no room in a depression clinic. There was a serious language problem as well (none of the doctors spoke good English, the nurses even less). I finally managed to get in touch with my doctor who helped me get out of the situation, and I saw him for a few weeks to adjust to antidepressant medication before getting the all clear to go back to the U.S. for a month and a half. So far, my plans for this time have included exploring other options to find a path to complete my PhD (different advisor, potential mediation with my current advisor). Luckily, I have passed my general exams, so I'm a phd candidate, which apparently gives me more rights than I would have otherwise. I've set up an exercise schedule; I'm picking up some old hobbies to try and feel sane again (knitting, playing piano). I'm looking for ideas to ease back into my academic work, which is highly computational (engineering and architecture PhD). I'm also looking for things (recommended reading, meditation practices, etc.) to help me not continue to bottle up stress, and I'm still experiencing a fair amount of guilt for taking what looks like (altogether) a 3 month vacation to everyone else. What small (and large) things have helped you recover from academic depression?

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I think my life is finally in a situation where I need to find someone to help with tax planning, but maybe also a financial advisor, or maybe someone else entirely. Please help!Due to some additional income sources expected this year that come with tax implications which are confusing to me (freelancing and graduate fellowships), I'm starting to think that I need to talk to a professional to make sure I'm handling everything correctly. Additionally, at the same time I'd like someone to help with some other financial questions I have surrounding things like my 401(k), my son's 529, what we should do with cash assets, etc. I was initially searching for CPAs in my region since that's what I associated with taxes, but I'm also finding people who are Enrolled Agents (EAs) which also seems like they could help. Then I realized some of my questions may be better suited for a financial planner. The financial planning industry makes me nervous but I've at least figured out that I would want to find a fee-only planner so I don't get sold on some product that I don't really need but makes the planner a bunch of money. I have thus far found precisely one person in my area who is both a CFP and EA and is fee-only. I really thought there would be more people like this, and I don't want to hire someone just because they're the only person I can find with those credentials. So basically, I'm now really confused on who I should look for, where I can find/research said person and what kinds of questions I should ask prior to hiring someone. Also, I'm really hoping I can find someone who can do everything I'm looking for simplicity's sake. Do people like that exist?

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
When I try to attach files from my hard drive to a message in gmail, my browser locks up. How can I fix it?I'm on a macbook air running OS X El Capitan 10.11.6. I'm using gmail in Chrome. The situation: I am composing an email and would like to attach pictures. When I navigate to the iPhoto Library or Photo Library folder in my "Pictures" folder, I try to open it by double-clicking. Instead of opening the folder, the attachment window closes. Then the entire gmail browser locks up. I have to force-quit it and re-start. What's going on? How can I fix it?

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
How do you train a dog to fully empty their bladder on command?My male dog is house trained, but he never quickly empties his bladder near the house. Instead, he must be walked about 6 blocks, marking his territory by peeing a tiny bit on every tree, fire hydrant, and fence post. I don't mind walking him, per se, but when I am in a hurry or it is cold or rainy it would be convenient if he could do his business promptly and easily. Is there any way to train him to actually pee near the house, and to fully empty his bladder when he does it? I am having moderate success rewarding with treats when he pees on trees in our yard, but he is not really emptying his bladder--just marking. And now I think that he might be "faking" it sometimes by lifting his leg in the yard to get a treat, but not actually peeing at all. Any tips would be most appreciated.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I know that this sounds like a silly question. But, can you provide tips on staying abreast of current events and politics? I feel like I need a basic refresher on government and politics, where is a good place to start with the basics?- I believe that Jon Stewart wrote a book a while -thoughts.I really like google reader but it is gone down and I can't recall what blogs I had, but before I dive in again, I also want to make sure I have an understanding of local, state and national government. thanks and please no snarky comments :)

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I am not very familiar with Vietnamese cuisine but have noticed local restaurants with names such as below. Is this a deliberate play on words, or oblivious? Is this common in other markets? I do understand that "pho" is pronounced "fuh" Canada, GTA if that helps. Healthy Asian local population obviously.. Pho Mi Pho King Pho Quinn

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Anonymous Sources, Pharmacy Pills, and Gang Wars: Inconsistencies raise questions about "Pill City," a Baltimore tale of drugs and murder. [City Paper] "But there are inconsistencies that raise questions about the veracity of "Pill City." After The Sun's Justin Fenton reported neither local nor federal officials could confirm many claims in the book, Deutsch responded in a post on Medium. "Until last week, I never knew what it felt like to be on the other end of reporters' barbed — and biased — questions," he wrote. Then he goes on to call out: Fenton; David Simon, who said the book is "by and large, a wholesale fabrication" on Twitter; and Baltimore City Paper, whose story, which you are reading, had not yet been published."

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I play a few online games. Before Trump I was happy to just mute gamergate edgelords and go on my way with headshots, last hits, or lynchings. Now I wonder if that's too much tolerance.I've started taking advantage of report functionality if it's available, but now I question if this is enough. On one hand, it seems like engaging with these trolly jackasses is exactly what they want. But not engaging also seems like tacit approval. I mean, it's tenpting to just throw my hands up and go back to single player games exclusively, but that solution makes me feel angry. What do you all do when confronted with this type of behavior when gaming? Do you do things differently if such people are on your team?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
How appropriate is it to just email trade publication editors to introduce myself? Or how should I go about building a network?I am in a new position that has me doing some PR. I would like to build relationships with editors/writers for trade publications in my industry. How do I go about doing that? We just launched a new product and the press release go out on Newswire, can send the trade pub editors an email introducing myself and sharing the release? Or will it get me blacklisted? I looked on their sites and there weren't links to upload press releases. What is the best way to get this release into their hands and get them to work with me in the future? I appreciate the guidance and handholding - reaching out to strangers always makes me nervous, and building a network from scratch (the gal who had my position before left no contacts for me) is such a daunting task it feels like that I am paralyzed from dread.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Hi-Phi Nation is a new podcast that uses narrative storytelling to explore ideas in philosophy, featuring thoughtful interviews with philosophers and nuanced storytelling, created by philosopher Barry Lam. Episode 1, The Wishes of the Dead, uses the weird case of Milton Hershey, a 19th century industrialist who constructed the oddest business structure to ensure that his idiosyncratic wishes would be fulfilled hundreds of years after his death. The story raises questions about why we give the dead so much power over our lives. Episode 4, The Name of God uses the story of one woman's gesture of good will toward Syrian refugees which incurred the wrath of evangelical Christians on social media to ask: Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

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