posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
In a sixth floor walk-up on New York City's Lower East Side, you'll find The Troll Museum. Run by a woman in elf ears named Reverend Jen Miller, along with her pet chihuahua, Reverend Jen Jr., it's dedicated to her admitted obsession with vintage Troll Dolls and memorabilia. Admission is free, however there is a suggested donation of $3000. Here's an interview and here's a taste of the Rev Jen's guided tour. Unfortunately due to operating costs (the museum is in her living room and she's having trouble making rent), the Troll Museum may be closing soon.

Read More...
posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
I'm going to London! Help me find fun things to do. I like comics, small indie concerts, clothes, outdoor markets, vintage stuff, handmade stuff, food, knitting, and going on walks.I'll be in London, UK for nine weekdays in August. No "see the London Eye!" please; I'll be seeing the standard tourist sites on weekends with relatives. I'll be on my own in London the rest of the time, and I'm looking for activities to fill my mornings/afternoons/evenings. I know about directories like Time Out London; the sheer amount of information tends to get overwhelming. I'm looking for specific recommendations here. Thank you, Internet!

Read More...
posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Where Restaurant Reservations Come From: Why did the practice develop? In the startup terms of our day, what problem did the institution of restaurant reservations solve? Well, the answer boils down to... sex and propriety.

Read More...
posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
What are the main teeth whitening methods? What are the pros and Cons of each? I found some groupons for "take home whitening" which seems like they just sell you a kit, and I found some for "chair side" whitening (~$100), where they use a gel and LED light? and there are also just over the counter ones. I searched ask mefi, but the last question about this that I found was from 2009, I wonder if the treatments are newer or better now?

Read More...
posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Warmish in late November, good for walking, inexpensive. Somewhere in South America?I'm thinking of taking a trip in late November or early December. I'm female, American, 30, and will likely be alone. I speak Spanish well (aside from not knowing much slang), have gotten by in Italy, and could probably function in a Portuguese-speaking country. The best trip I've taken was a week alone in Amsterdam. I stayed in a hostel and picked one or two things to see per day, then set out on foot and stopped by anything that looked interesting on the way. I'd be happy to go back there, but I'm looking for options that might be cheaper and/or warmer. Seasonal affective disorder hits me every winter so it would be nice to be able to wear sandals and capris, even if the ocean isn't warm enough to swim in. Beach access would be a plus but is not a strict requirement. I might only be able to stay a few days, so this is probably not the time to fly to Australia from the east-coast US (DC metro area). Things I like: - art museums; favorite is modern, least favorite is portrait galleries - street markets - ruins and old houses/churches that are open to the public - architecture in general; I'm currently very interested in buying and renovating a house - gardens and arboretums (arboreta?) - antiques - pedestrian-friendly with lots of casual/street food sprinkled among points of interest Things to avoid: - hewing to a timetable and constantly checking public transportation schedules - massive, tightly packed crowds (hello panic attacks) - camping; I need daily access to modern indoor plumbing That said, carrying all my stuff in a backpack the whole time would be fine. I'm interested in something like Mayan or Aztec ruins but not sure how to handle transportation to remote locations or arranging tour guides (if necessary) as a single traveler. Joining a tour group for a day would be fine, but I don't want to be stuck with a group of strangers for my whole trip. Thanks!

Read More...
posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
So long story short, my macbook's screen cracked out of warranty and I don't want to fork up the money to fix it. I am planning on nabbing a laptop from Costco, but their selection is... sparse, to say the least. Help me nab the best one!Although I would like another Mac, I'd like to try out a cheap PC this time around since I'd like to try something new. So, I'm thinking of getting a computer from Costco, since their return policy is so good; I haven't used Windows for a long time, so I figure that if I can't get used to it I can just return the computer and purchase another Mac. I am hoping to keep whatever computer I buy, however. I'm not too confident with picking out a Windows laptop, and could use some help. It seems like they don't have much of a selection, but there's a number that are currently being discounted. I would buy from the site as it has a larger selection, but it seems like most computers would take at least two weeks to ship and I need a computer now. (If you see a computer on the site that is heads above the rest in terms of quality/price, let me know and I might wait for it). Here is a list of the laptops available through their website: http://www.costco.com/all-laptops.html Based on what I could purchase in-store, it seems like the 3 best choices are an HP15-RO53CL, an HP Pavillion 15-N243CL, and a Toshiba L-55. All of them are around the $600-$700 range. I'm not sure which others are in the store - these are the ones I remember seeing. There's no way to search for other in-store laptops on the site, unfortunately. These are all 15-inch screens. The only requirements I have are that the screen is 13-15 inches (preferably 15), and that the battery life is halfway decent - at least 5 or so hours. Anything else (price, make, processor, hard drive size, etc.) isn't as important - I'm planning on upgrading to an SSD in any case. Oh, it would be nice if the computer is discounted. Please only give Costco options, since I can't find a return policy as good as theirs and want to have a decent amount of time to preview the OS. Thanks in advance!

Read More...
posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
What literary novels or films could you recommend that can help a male to feel a bit of what it might be like for a wife to be cheated on by her husband? Something where the reader or audience really empathise with the wife/girlfriend, and feel some of her emotions? Thank you.

Read More...
posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
I got a pair of blueberry bushes recently. They were potted and intended for ground planting, but I was unable to plant them. I was out of town for a week and a half and they went about that long with little or no water. When I returned, the leaves were brown and crispy and the soil was bone-dry. I put them in the ground and watered them copiously every day, but it's been a few days and they seem no better. Is there anything I can do to revive them, or am I out of luck?

Read More...
posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
I'm a full-time public librarian, and I'm always in public - no off-desk time. I really like the customer service aspects of the job, but find it hard to complete other tasks in a timely manner. What productivity tools or other strategies can I use, given that the interruptions are inevitable (and even desirable in some cases)?Assume that "carve out some off-desk time" is not an option. Our building is too small for the necessary office space, and coming in before opening/staying late is not something I'm allowed to do. I have trouble with prioritization and distraction generally, so this is challenging. Add to that the fact that my non-customer service tasks are widely varying and of comparative non-urgency - it's hard to stay focused and accomplish things. The best thing that has worked for me so far is a simplified version of the Autofocus technique - a single long, long paper to-do list that is reviewed frequently. It's not perfect, but it's the closest thing I've come to something useful. Organizing tasks by their nature or priority has not worked well - I spend more time reorganizing than I do getting things done. One particular type of task I could use help with is more efficient prep and teardown for events. I run different events for all ages, most require gathering and putting away lots of different supplies, and it just seems to take me forever. Part of it is better organization of stored supplies, I'm sure, but I just generally find it extremely hard to gather and put away things a long list of things when interrupted frequently. (If early ed or elementary school teachers know what I'm talking about, please chime in. :) ) Any thoughts, tips, or mind tricks you might have are welcome. Thanks!

Read More...
posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
I'm underpaid after a year in my first job after Grad school. I've done great work and my boss is happy, but she won't put me up for a raise. I am in the process of looking for a new job and have an interview, but I'd prefer to stay at this one if she would take my request seriously. What's the best course of action? Snowflakes inside.I started at my company 1 year ago fresh out of an engineering masters degree program that directly relates to my job. I was offered a salary of X and negotiated up to X + 2,000, although they told me at the time that they "generally don't negotiate." In the year I have been working I have made substantial contributions to multiple projects and taken on a lot of independent responsibilities that were not necessarily in the scope of my position, but more suited to the next level up. At the end of last year I received a 1.5% raise, along with everyone else. In the past few months I found out that my colleagues at exactly the same level, most of whom were hired with 1-2 years of industry experience and without advanced degrees, are paid 7-10 thousand dollars more than me, one of whom told me he didn't even negotiate! HR told me also that  they are in the process of doing a recalibration of some people's salaries to better reflect market rates, but they wouldn't tell me if my salary was being recalibrated or when any raises would be given. For the first year I could understand my being paid a little less as somewhat of a trial period, but after I've proven myself I would expect to be brought up to market standards. At my mid-year review (also close to my 1 year anniversary with the company) my boss talked to me about how happy she is with my work and how she'd like to put me up for a promotion at the end of the year. I thought it would be a good time to talk about salary and asked if it would be possible to talk about a raise, considering what I had accomplished in the year. She told me that she didn't think anyone would go for it as raises are mostly given at the end of the year in line with more formal review processes. I got the sense she didn't want to rock the boat with her superiors. I dropped the subject. I'm not too excited about being put up for a promotion, as the promotion process is very bureaucratic and requires a lot of higher up people to agree and approve it. I'd like just a raise because it seems simpler and would mostly just bring my low salary in line with the industry as a whole.  I'm still very upset by it and submitted my resume to some other jobs and am getting a positive response. The skill set I've developed at my current job is very desirable in my geographic area and is hard to train for. I'm interviewing for another position in a week, and I would be willing to work for this other company. However, I really like my job, my projects and my co-workers. I don't want to leave, and I'm pretty sure my boss doesn't want me to leave either, as having to hire and train a new person would set the project timelines back considerably, and I don't think it's even on her radar that I would think of leaving, as we have a very positive and friendly relationship.   How do I communicate to my boss that I find my salary unacceptable, that I have other options than the  status quo, and that she needs to figure out how to make this work if she wants to retain me? Hopefully without coming off as very disloyal or bitchy. Alternately, should I just talk to HR since they have already admitted that they are looking into how some people at my site are significantly underpaid?

Read More...
posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
Trying to figure out how to begin a career change at 39, when I don't even know what I want to do next. Feeling really adrift and stuck right now – how do I start making a move?I've been working as an instructional designer and project lead at a large consulting firm for over a decade now. I hate the corporate environment, I'm so done with all the needless stress, I'm frustrated at how much of my life I'm spending on things that feel like they REALLY don't matter, and I think if I could do anything in the world I would end up doing something with kids. Back in the mid-2000s, I tried to "escape" my corporate instructional design/project management work by going to grad school in linguistics in the hopes of launching a new career in academics, but while I was competent enough, enjoyed my classes (if I could be a student forever, that'd be swell), and mostly liked teaching undergrads for my assistantship, ultimately I had to face the fact that I just wasn't passionate enough about the field to make it through my dissertation, the job search, or the publish-or-perish approach to a long and steady career. I collected my MS as my fabulous parting prize (so now I've got MS degrees in instructional design AND linguistics ... wooh.) and returned to my old corporate company with the intent of just doing it for a few years while I figured out what I wanted to do next. That was two years ago and I don't see an end in sight. Once I admitted to myself that I didn't want to be a linguistics professor I sought guidance at my university's career center, but they seemed bemused at working with a graduate student rather than an undergrad just trying to pick a major – they directed me to the US Government Big Book o' Jobs and washed their hands of me. I've also tried taking a "Choosing a career path" course at a community college, but that mainly consisted of taking a number of personality tests that told me that in general, I'd do well in a teaching, counseling, or writing field. I don't disagree with that, but I don't know how to explore my options here – right now I feel like all I have are very basic, kindergarten-level ideas of what jobs are available. If I were honest with myself, I'm not even sure if I want to change fields completely or just try to find a different instructional design job – I don't HATE instructional design work, but right now it's so tangled up with all of the things I do hate about my job that I'd love to get away from all of it. After sort of jumping into things with that linguistics jaunt, I'm feeling a little gun-shy of making another move without being pretty darned sure, but I haven't the foggiest idea how the heck one becomes sure. So now I'm feeling stuck and frustrated – I know what I'm doing now is making me miserable, but I don't know how to start figuring out what to do next. I hear about people all the time making drastic career changes for fields that suit them better, and I want that to be me – but how the heck do you DO that? What would YOU do as your first step? There's GOT to be a way out of where I am right now ... right?

Read More...
posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
You Are Now Entering the Demented Kingdom of William T. Vollmann: [The New Republic] Home to goddesses, dreams, and a dangerously uncorrupted literary mind.

Read More...
posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
We have developed a prototype for non-invasive blood glucose measurement and have problems finding funding. What are the alternatives?The problems are: 1. This field is very controversial. Many people have failed. 2. We are currently EU based but we can also partly move to the US (I am a US citizen) and incorporate there. (I know this is bad) 3. Medical devices are out of favor with the VC crowd. The good things are: 1. University associated company with high class scientists (professors) 2. Several patents and peer-reviewed publications. 3. Working first generation prototype exists. It blows my mind that we can not get funding. I was told now to look into Kickstarter and Crowd funding options. I am not sure if we are eligible for kickstarter due to the medical nature of the project. How promising is funding with a company like Wefunder? It costs quite a bit to get a decent listing there. I am sure it is worth it - IF you get funded. My questions are: 1. Can anyone recommend Wefunder or similiar websites? 2. Are there other options to raise money?

Read More...
posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
I do not have any student loans with Nelnet. And yet, I receive telephone calls from the Student Assistance Corporation (evil wrongdoers, as supported on the internet) several times a week. Help me make it stop!I have registered my number with the National Do Not Call Registry. Also, I have reviewed my loans in the National Student Loan Data System and confirmed that I have no Nelnet loans. I have received nothing in writing, including no bills. I continue to get calls from a variety of "Student Assistance Co." numbers, which I do not answer (but report), but this morning's 8 a.m. phone call has pushed me over the edge. What are other options for ending these calls?

Read More...
posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
I can't take the sheer vitriol and hate on the posts about Israel/Palestine anymore, and am looking for a Firefox extension or Greasemonkey script that will allow me to just block a post which has a specific word or words. I use Facebook Fluff Buster for FB, but am unaware of a global one, or one for Metafilter specifically. Help!

Read More...
posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
David Simon runs into Governor Martin O'Malley on the Acela. O'Malley, current governor of Maryland and former mayor of Baltimore, was one of the inspirations for Tommy Carcetti, the ambitious Baltimore politician in Simon's series The Wire. O'Malley hates this connection, and has let Simon know. Still, both Simon and O'Malley were able to put aside differences and share a beer and a photo. Simon and O'Malley talked about the recent spat between the White House and the governor over immigration, their mutual like of The Pouges, and some other off the record topics. In the comments on his blog, Simon discusses the use of off the record sources. Though Simon has a rather jaundiced view of O'Malley, he also mentions two issues where he's proud of him: the death penalty and gay rights. O'Malley is mulling a presidential run, but would have to contend not only with the Hillary Clinton, but also Tommy Carcetti. At they parted, O'Malley suggested both of them suffer from Irish Alzheimer's. As the governor explained, "That's where you..." "...only remember the grudges," Simon finished.

Read More...
posted about 7 hours ago on metafilter
Aside from freezing to make a banana ice cream sort of thing, what can I make using a single ripe banana? I don't like eating bananas plain once they've started turning brown, I don't want to make banana bread, and I don't want to buy anything extra (probably) or do anything very elaborate or calorie intensive (Bananas Foster, for example).We also happen to have two plums, lemons, a very small amount of walnuts, peanut butter, fruit preserves (strawberry or cherry, not sure), yogurt, milk and almond milk, eggs, and the usual flour, sugar, etc. staples. It doesn't have to be a sweet thing. We also have zucchinis, tomatoes, onions, green and red peppers, cabbage, carrots, celery, garlic, frozen chicken legs quarters that will probably become a soup, beef for stewing, lentils, noodles, rice, and rice noodles, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, balsamic vinegar. It seems a silly question, but I end up with one overripe banana often enough that it might be handy to have a few ideas!

Read More...
posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
I've migrated all my songs to iTunes Match, because I don't have space on my hard drive. But some of my ripped tracks have weird names, dating back from when I manually ripped the CDs. Is there a way of (semi?)automatically correcting these without having to download my whole library, or go through manually?Most of the software I've found seems to need the music files, which is reasonable enough, but doesn't help me. I could do it in batches I suppose. But really I want to do it all in one go. So has anyone found an easier way of renaming songs that are in the iTunes cloud? This is on a Mac, by the way, a laptop.

Read More...
posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
I will be traveling to Goa in the next couple days but only for about 10 days. Usually I have time to get clothes tailor made but probably not this time. so I need recommendations for stores where I can buy reasonably priced ready to wear casual clothes in Panaji, Vasco or environs. Because I don't visit often, and have relied on tailor made, I dont know where to go.I am thinking of Fabindia or similar - casual western clothes with an Indian flair. I will definitely make a stop there - but are there others I can try? Friends of mine swear by Anokhi which I know is pricier but lovely - but I don't think there is one in Goa. Help me replenish and update my wardrobe suringb this lightening (relatively) trip!

Read More...
posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
Is it possible to make a blog layout like this using Tumblr? Thanks in advance

Read More...
posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Narrowly saved from the scrapyard just a few years earlier by then-mayor Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco's historic fireboat Phoenix has been credited with saving the Marina District from a blaze in the wake of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Following this heroic feat, two anonymous residents donated $300,000 towards the purchase of a second fireboat, Guardian, and a $50,000 gift from a Buddhist temple in the Marina funded her refurbishment. While Guardian's 1,200-mile journey from Vancouver did not go entirely smoothly, the crew arrived safely to a hero's welcome in San Francisco, including a water display from Phoenix. Now, with a recent vote, city supervisors have approved funding to build the city's first new fireboat in 60 years. Both Phoenix and Guardian are still in active service and may be seen at Pier 22 1/2. As mascots of the Bay, they regularly lead parades, escort famous ships, and make a splash at special events such as the America's Cup and Fleet Week.

Read More...
posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
Unlike most murder ballads, The Long Black Veil doesn't retell the story of an actual murder. Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin borrowed bits of stories about Valentino and a murdered priest and a Red Foley chorus and crafted their own story in 1959 to create what he hoped would be a folk song for the ages. It became a country standard, first in the hands of Lefty Frizzell, but Johnny Cash is the one who put it through the stratosphere. Marijohn Wilkin, who cowrote the song, also wrote a response record a few years later:My Long Black Veil. Many, many people seem to have covered the original song. Here's a few more versions: Joan Baez. Rosanne Cash. The Seldom Scene. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Bob Dylan. Marianne Faithfull. Caroline Herring. Burl Ives. Hank III. The Chieftains It's a song that has inspired a number of duets. Take your pick: Johnny Cash and Joni Mitchell. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. The Chieftains and Mick Jagger. Dave Matthews and Emmylou Harris

Read More...
posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Pet Shop Boys, still going strong after over 30 years, and still as inventive as ever, debuted their "orchestral pop biography in eight parts for electronics, orchestra, choir, and narrator" at the BBC Proms last night. A Man From The Future [audio only, BBC3 recording, available for 4 weeks, 1h55m] is an exploration of the life of Alan Turing. The performance includes Chrissie Hynde performing classic PSB accompanied by a full orchestra in the first half, and the premiere of AMFTF as the second half.

Read More...
posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
In 1964, less than 7% of Mississippi's African Americans were registered to vote, compared to between 50 and 70% in other southern states. In many rural counties, African Americans made up the majority of the population and the segregationist white establishment was prepared to use any means necessary to keep them away from the polls and out of elected office. As Mississippian William Winter recalls, "A lot of white people thought that African Americans in the South would literally take over and white people would have to move, would have to get out of the state." This summer fifty years ago well over a thousand volunteers went to Mississippi to help register as many African-Americans as possible to vote, in the Freedom Summer, which would end with at least seven people murdered for their support for the campaign. For PBS's American Experience series, director Stanley Nelson has created a movie about the campaign, which you can watch online. A transcript, introduction and other resources are also available.

Read More...
posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
I want to learn about the types of musical cues that are commonly used for television programs.I think I don't have the right terminology to do a proper search for this. So I'll describe it, and somebody can maybe go "oh, you want to learn about NAME OF THIS THING." And that would probably be enough. I said "TV" instead of "film", because movies often have a complete original score composed for them. I am interested in the cheaper form of music used in TV shows, which reuses a lot of smaller pieces of music (or "cues" as I am calling them). For example, if you watch an episode of Seinfeld, they have that short bass-plucking thing that plays as a transition between scenes or returning from a commercial break. A show like Family Guy has more variety, using longer pieces of music for action sequences. Or sometimes there is a suspenseful note before one dramatic moment occurs in the story, when you then hear a flourish. Or a character may say something sad, and just a few chords play along as they talk--not a whole song. That kind of thing. I've written this kind of music. I've cobbled it together from samples. I have a feel for it. But I want to approach it again in a more textbook-like way. I'd like to find a list of all these little cues and common ways they are put together. Where should I look?

Read More...