posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
"Cultural appropriation: It's about more than pho and sombreros." Viet Thanh Nguyen, recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Sympathizer, presents the 101 basics of Cultural Appropriation for a general audience and then addresses how to move forward.

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
Europa, the moon of Jupiter made famous by the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact, appears to have plumes of water at its south pole. This will make it easier to figure out what's in the ocean underneath all that ice. Currently NASA has tentative plans to launch a spacecraft to Europa in 2022. The ESA will be sending a separate probe to the region sometime in the late 2020s.

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
"It may seem strange to sleep away the day at the firing range / but times they may change, they'll get you up and make you walk / sitting in my room and the walls are turning into water falls." Song has a bit of a lilting, alt-country feel. Wilco / late Beck.

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
Alligators hiss and bellow, and crocodiles, same thing. If you can hear them, they're around... More excellent sound resources. If you're in Florida, lure gators to your house (or or up out of the sewer?) with these handsome wooden gator calls if you're so inclined, but be sure you know what to do once you get them (so here's a helpful PDF.) Despite being totally adorable living dinosaurs, alligators are terrible pets. But if you must keep an 8-foot, 50-year-lifespan, carnivorous predator reptile, crocodilian.com has your back. At least put up a sign.

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
I've started Couch to 5K to get myself in a bit better cardio shape and try to fit into my clothes better. This involves a half hour of exercise, 3 times a week. Unfortunately, due to my schedule, my husband's work schedule and having little kids, I can only get outside and go to a proper track to run MAAAYBE once a week on Saturdays. The other days my solution is to run back and forth in my apartment. Am I kidding myself on these days that I'm actually getting enough exercise to accomplish my goals?I'm 37 years old, 5'7'' and weigh about 145 lbs, and would prefer to weigh about 130 lbs. I eat a decent, varied diet, but it could be improved. I work a pretty standard 9-5 with a 45-minute commute. This means I get home around 6 pm. The sitter leaves and I immediately am with the kids in the homework/piano practice/making dinner/shoving dinner in their faces/bathtime/bedtime rush until 8:30 pm. Most of the time this is solo, because my husband comes home anytime between 7-9 pm, unpredictably. By then I'm wiped out and have no energy to go out. On days that he works even later or goes to play soccer, I can't leave the house so I try to do my C25K by running back and forth in our apartment. I can get about 15 steps in a not-entirely-straight stretch, then turn 180 degrees and go back the other direction. Obviously I don't get nearly the workout that I might when exercising nonstop on a track, but am I getting any benefit? I don't have a heart monitor but it's clear my heart rate is not as high as when on the track. Furthermore, could I be actually risking injury with the pivoting and stopping of momentum?

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
Why class won't go away (slTheGuardian) Note: this long read is an excerpt of the book, Respectable: The Experience of Class by Lynsey Hanley.

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
I greatly enjoyed going through this post filled with amazing performances. I was also brought to tears while watching this video of Dee Gordon's home run - his first - after his close friend and teammate Jose Fernandez' tragic death this weekend. This lead me down the rabbit hole of great moments in sports that give me the feels - happy, sad, laughing, crying, amazement, etc. I need more.In addition to the Gordon home run above, my personal go-to sports videos are "The Play" Cal vs. Stanford 1982. Always a favorite, but man, that poor trombonist. "And we'll see you tomorrow night!!" Kirby Puckett's home run in Game 6 of the '91 world series (walk-off to push it to game 7, which they won). Uh, perhaps this one is specific to people of a certain age who grew up in a certain state. Lou Gehrig's farewell speech. And don't even get me started on Derek Redmond. Damn. What've you got?

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Hiking a tiny part of the Appalachian Trail is on my mom's bucket list. I want to make it happen for her when she visits Georgia this October. Is there a place in GA or just over the border into NC where we can: 1. park fairly easily near the Appalachian Trail? 2. hike a portion of trail (like a mile in and back) that is somewhat level, or at least not steep? 3. Anything else I need to know? I'm a casual day-hiker only.More: She is in her 60s, quite fit, but wants to avoid climbing/steep hiking if possible. I have a bum knee and would tough it out for her, but avoiding climbing sounds great to me too. The trouble is that the two access points I'm familiar with require some steep climbing (up to Springer Mtn -I've heard, and from the Winfield Scott Lake - I've done this one, too steep for her). Our ideal day would be: drive out from Atlanta area in the morning, park by the trail, walk for about an hour, have a lunch/snack, hike back, drive home. I can find a lot of resources online, and I can rule out some locations, but I can't tell if some of them might be right for us. Can you recommend a place to go? So, where should we go?

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
David Wartinger is a urologist, a professor emeritus, and a guy who is willing to ride Big Thunder Mountain with a backpack full of urine and kidney stones... for SCIENCE. The upshot is, roller coasters might help you pass kidney stones. Sure, it may sound like he just went to Walt Disney World and tried to write it off as work, but Dr. Wartinger made some proper comparisons:"In all, we used 174 kidney stones of varying shapes, sizes and weights to see if each model worked on the same ride and on two other roller coasters," Wartinger said. "Big Thunder Mountain was the only one that worked. We tried Space Mountain and Aerosmith's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and both failed." Wartinger went on to explain that these other rides are too fast and too violent with a G-force that pins the stone into the kidney and doesn't allow it to pass. "The ideal coaster is rough and quick with some twists and turns, but no upside down or inverted movements," he said.

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posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
Banned Books Week Launches With Call to Read Books the 'Closed-Minded' Want Shut [The Guardian] ""But librarians would argue that the best way to guide your children's reading is to read with them, and talk about what you read. For every parent convinced that a book is evil, there are two other parents who think it's wonderful. So you have the right to guide your own children's reading – but not to dictate or suppress someone else's," said LaRue. "The truth is, [these] issues are already a part of many children's lives, and suppressing books about them doesn't help anyone. In fact, these books may tell children that they are not alone, that what's happening to them is not unique, and it can be survived. The world can be a dangerous place, but reading about it makes it less so."" The Banning of Books in Prisons: 'It's like living in the dark ages.' [The Guardian] "Dan Slater's new non-fiction book Wolf Boys recounts the story of two Mexican-American teens in Texas seduced by the violent cartels across the border and the Mexican-born Texas detective who hunts them. It is grim and violent, yet it is a detailed and thoughtful look at American society and the war on drugs. It has also been condemned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Directors Review Committee, which declared Wolf Boys off limits to all Texas prisoners before it was even published this month." D.C. Will Hide Once-Banned Books Throughout the City This Month [The Washington Post] If you enter just the right business or library this month, you may stumble upon a hidden book that was censored or challenged at one point. And if you find it, it's yours for the keeping. The D.C. public library system is hiding several hundred copies of books — which were once banned or challenged — in private businesses throughout all eight wards to celebrate Banned Books Week. The "UNCENSORED banned books" scavenger hunt kicked off Sept. 6 and will run through the month. Each book is wrapped in a cover that explains why that book was banned or challenged. For example, J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" will say "Anti-White" because in 1963, parents of high school students in Columbus, Ohio, asked the school board to ban the novel for being "anti-white." Missing From The Shelf: Book Challenges and Lack of Diversity In Children's Literature [Pen America] [.PDF] A persistent pattern of attempts to remove certain books from public schools and libraries, combined with a lack of diversity in Children's and Young Adult (CYA) book publishing, narrows the range of stories and perspectives available to U.S. students. Combining quantitative research with interviews from teachers, librarians, students, authors, publishers, and advocates, Missing from the Shelf: Book Challenges and Lack of Diversity in Children's Literature describes instances of soft censorship playing out in schools and libraries nationwide. Frequently Challenged Books - Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2015 [ALA.org]: The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The top ten most challenged books of 2015 include: 1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. 2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other ("poorly written," "concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it"). 3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group. 4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other ("wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints"). 5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other ("profanity and atheism"). 6. The Holy Bible Reasons: Religious viewpoint. 7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel Reasons: Violence and other ("graphic images"). 8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. 9. Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence. 10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan Reasons: Homosexuality and other ("condones public displays of affection"). Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive? [The New York Times] Five years ago we asked students about the web filters used in their schools, and the question became the single most commented-on Student Opinion question we've ever asked. In honor of Banned Websites Awareness Day, held on Sept. 28, and the American Library Association's Banned Books Week taking place all this week, we're asking this same question again: Are web filters in schools still an issue? What websites, blogs and social networks are blocked in your school? How has this affected teaching and learning for you? In response to our 2011 question, students generally used their comments to express a deep frustration with the web filters at their school. They complained how "absurd," "ridiculous," "stupid," "suffocating" and "creepy" they thought their school filters were. Students pointed to a host of popular sites that were blocked, such as YouTube, Buzzfeed, Wattpad, Tetris, Instagram, Google Translate, Wikipedia or streaming music sites like Pandora. And they resented how filters stymied their ability to do online research on a range of subjects — on plants, for example. Nat wrote, "It's censorship, plain and simple, when you can't access more than a handful of news sites and some purely educational, not opinion-based sites." Most students agreed with that sentiment.

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
I'd like to gift $100 - $150 in stocks or funds to my 16 year-old for his birthday and I'm looking for tips on how to do this. A few months ago I read something on-line which indicated how to do this via a site like sparkgift but now I can't find the article. If you've done this type of thing before, could you tell us how it went?

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
I need to move house 150 miles away for a new job after being made redundant from my current job. I'm in the UK, my mortgage can be paid off with my redundancy payment, and I'm going to rent in the new city. I'm having a lot of trouble in deciding what to do with my current house - sell it or rent it out. Help me decide what to do.Reasons not to sell - rental income, plus the house has generally been increasing in value. If I sold, the money would likely be on deposit, earning not much interest, for at least a year or two. Reasons to sell - I'm worried about the potential hassle of renting out a place 150 miles away. I've never rented out before, I've had an intensely stressful few months dealing with loss of job and scrambling to find a new one. Now I have a house move followed by starting a fairly demanding new job, so I need to be as kind to myself as possible. The house was built in the 1960s and I've had a few repairs to deal with recently and dealing with that kind of thing from a distance while working long hours worries me. Specifically, I had a plumber come to service the boiler today and he is recommending I replace it, cost around £2200. It could potentially be repaired for a minimal sum but is 20 years old and over time he could forsee more repairs. If I'm selling, I would fix it. The kitchen, where it is located, is dated although clean and serviceable and I'm sure a buyer would remodel it anyway. If renting, probably would replace it to minimise future hassles. I've not lived in rented accommodation for many years so I'm not sure how I'll feel about it, having owned my own place for many years. I have briefly visited the new city, I barely know it, but if the new job works out well, I might want to buy a place there. At which point I'd either have to take a large mortgage or sell old house to pay for it. So it might not be worth hanging on to the old house for only a year or two. I keep going round in circles and can't decide, but time is up and I have to!

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
Why am I GAINING?!So I've been doing the 5:2 diet for around 2.5-3 weeks now. And I thought things were going pretty well. I had made a point not to weight myself, as they advise those new to the diet to wait for a few weeks. So imagine my shock when I went to my doctor's today for something unrelated and had to be weighed. I've GAINED 2.5 lbs?! Now, I've been struggling with my weight off and on since I was a teen. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in HS and I believe I also have some insulin resistance and/or subclinical PCOS because I have all the accompanying hair and skin complaints, which are just as stubborn as the weight issue. So I'm used to weight loss being a huge struggle. But I don't really gain that much either. My body seems to have a kind of set point it likes. I can try really hard to diet/exercise but usually I'm unsuccessful. But the other side of that coin is that I can also take a lot of liberties at my set point weight before anything shows up on the scale. But for the past few months it's been going further UP, which was scary. So I started 5:2. When I first started, I told myself that if I felt terrible on it I would stop immediately. But that really hasn't been the case. On fast days I can feel a little light headed and off but nothing too bad. I power through. I've experienced NONE of the telltale signs that my thyroid hates the diet and wants me to stop like tremors and hair loss. Also, when I started, I had just had my blood work done and it was the best it's been in AGES. Good Vit D, good iron, good B12, etc. I also make sure to take a liquid vitamin everyday for maximum absorption. I also take coconut oil to boost my metabolism. Before I started, I Googled "5:2 Diet with Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism" fully expecting to see that it was a metabolism killer. But99% of the Hashi's people were saying that 5:2 helped them to shift the weight unlike any thing else, but not at the expense of feeling well. So why am I gaining? On a recent fast day, I noticed I was doing well and then in the last few hours, I admit, I started feeling kind of bad. My neck pulse felt slow and faint. The finger-heartrate app on my phone said 77bpm or something thereabouts. I'm usually up in the 80's-100's. But a lower heart rate is supposed to be a good thing right? It's also true that on my feast days, I was eating some healthy foods but I would also make sure to get treats in too, like chocolate chip cookie dough and maybe some salty snacks too? That kind of thing. But not in large quantities. I've often been doing light cardio on those days too. I didn't want to eat under my TDEE because I was scared my body would go into starvation mode otherwise. The odd thing is, up until now I felt like I might be losing some. Especially inches. My waist seemed smaller and that annoying double chin thing that happens when you're propped up on couch seemed to be going away. Other things that have to be considered are that I got weighed in the afternoon, after not much sleep, fully clothed (at home I'm in my birthday suit!) and about 1-1.5 weeks out from my period. Mitigating factors? Maybe. But even with all that, I think it's hard to make the point that I've actually *lost* anything. Even though many may see this diet as extreme, I really like the simplicity of it. I feel like, if I can get it to work for me, I could stay on it for life. 5:2 maintenance is just 6:1, which seems like it would be a breeze. I like that it is supposed to help with longevity, brain degeneration, and insulin resistance- this last one really appealed. I like that every time I have a fast day, it recalibrates my relationship as food and shows me that I never need as much as I thought and that there are other ways for me to keep busy. If you want to point out to me that what I'm doing is totally unhealthy and you think I should stop, fine. I get it. And I absolutely will, if that's the general consensus. But what I'd rather focus on is this: How can I make this diet work for me and why hasn't it, up until now? From a purely scientific standpoint, I'm almost inclined to go a bit harder with it and consider 4:3, which is also known as The Every Other Day Diet. I mean, even if my metabolism is slowing down (god forbid) and my body is hanging on it everything in a kind of starvation mode, what goes up must come down, yes? I mean, if, on three days of the week I'm eating a total of only 1500 calories and the the rest of the week, I attempt to do some exercise and curb my need for sweets, it will come off, right? Or will I just end up being the embodiment of a kind of dieter's Murphy's Law? Maybe if I carry on this way, I can actually defy science and keep gaining and gaining?

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
More famous for helping to crack the Enigma code during World War 2, Alan Turing also created the first ever computer-generated musical notes in 1948. In 1951, a recording - the first ever of computer-generated music - was made at the BBC. The recording was restored this year at the University of Canterbury in new Zealand and can be heard here [mp3]. via @v21

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
There are multiple issues cropping up at our son's preschool since he started this September. What is the best way to go about this in order to yield the best results for all involved?Our two-and-a-half year old just started going to school at the start of September. We got him some books about it; he was super excited and couldn't wait to go. The first couple of days were great, and then he started saying he doesn't want to go, then crying at drop off and during class time. He is totally potty trained at home (nap and night time included; we do direct him to the potty now and then), but has accidents every other day at school. He goes to school half days, every day. We are in Belgium. He goes to a (state funded, thus free) Dalton school for which we get nothing but excellent references, including those of close friends whose (older) kids also attend. I am Portuguese, speak little Dutch, and get on with the staff in English, who 50% of the time reply in Dutch, which I can mostly follow. I did Montessory in pre and basic school in Portugal. My husband is Belgian and did Freinet in basic school in Belgium. We also have a one year old who stays with me all day, just as his brother did before starting school this September. In this school kids stay with the same teacher for two school years before transitioning to the next class, which means some of his class mates are almost two years older than him. Observationally I cannot say this is an issue for him. Right now there are 15 kids in his class, which over the year will grow to 24. Right now his teacher is the only one there, with another teacher coming in a half day per week. As more kids join the class (there are 7 moments when more kids come in, according to their birthdays as they must be two and a half in order to start), this second teacher will come more and more until she is there full time. We have met her briefly and liked her. The primary teacher is in her mid-thirties and has a one and a half year old girl herself. I am not sure where to start. I was so happy for him to be starting school, I cannot believe we are actually contemplating pulling him one month later. We need to know how to proceed, which we know means meeting with the staff, but we don't even know if we should be meeting with his teacher only, or with both teacher and Principal. And we don't know what to say. Or how. We need help. From my observations during drop off and pickup (I have never spent time there, as I feel this will likely not tell me much), these are our concerns: - His teacher is rather regimental, always giving orders in a harsh tone. I have heard her scold a child for crying. She is also a bit distant with the kids, no hugging and kissing, and I've never seen her playing around with them. She seems way too focused on keeping things under her control. In all honesty, I think this is the main issue. I think my son, who is super warm, cuddly and kissy, as well as high energy and generally nutty is just not getting on with her style and thus not attaching (which, at 2 and a half, I think is a requirement). But this is also a personal and subjective finding coming from his Mother. How do we address this in a meeting? - She usually gives me a little report of his day, and it's always negative: cried for x amount of time, took away a toy someone else was playing with, does not follow (completely new and difficult to understand) rules, was defiant. Now, to my mind these are all normal behaviours in a two and a half year old. Sure, they need to be helped out of them, but if you really expect a child this age to not do them because you tell them once or, what's worst, scold them for it, I just don't know what to say. Or rather, I do. I'd say it's unacceptable and if you don't know that you shouldn't be alone with toddlers. But maybe that's not what we should say. What should we say? - The toilet and potty area. The room has a toilet area with two mini-toilets and one potty. Except for very early in the morning, I have never seen this room clean. The potty always has pee in it, and not just a little. Yesterday when I arrived my son had peed his pants all the way to his socks so I went to change him, again telling her she should not tssc-tssc him about not making it to the toilet, or make "ooh, you've gone and done it again!" comments because they will not help and may actually worsen the matter. That room was a mess. I emptied the potty, which for sure had not been touched since morning. I flushed yellow, papered toilets. I was fuming, but that is not the time to be getting into it. The time is at a meeting. But what do we say? I really feel that telling her the obvious is not likely to change much because for sure she knows this is unhygienic already. I also think kids need to be taught to be independent and use the toilet properly and by themselves, but until they don't, they must be helped. And at 2,5 to 4, they just don't. When I was changing my son, a little girl came in, sat on the toilet. Teacher asks from outside, "are you going potty?", "Yes, miss", "OK, then!" Little girl obviously gets up without cleaning herself or her hands and off she goes. This is not teaching, it's the opposite of. In the first couple of weeks my son was wetting his clothes every day while on the potty because it is a bit small and his penis hangs out. It had to be me to tell her to help him use the mini toilet, in that case. - His face after lunch (and those of his other younger mates) are filthy. I go pick him up with a pack of wet wipes because he is always delivered to me with a face that mirrors his lunch. And it's a sandwich! - I have started packing a stuffed animal he likes (but not attached to absolutely, he does not have that), and on the day I forgot about it, she complained and said he cried and cried. I then asked if she'd offered him one of the many in the classroom, and her answer was "No, but he could have taken one!". Yeah, except he's two and unless you show him that's an option, he won't think of it himself. We have had this type of interaction about other things before, too. ARGH. It frustrates me so, I don't know how to respond. - The teacher has asked me if our son speaks Dutch. I have told her that yes, Dutch is his L1, and I am the only one he speaks Portuguese with (we do One Person One Language). He speaks totally within the normal range in either language, but is more proficient in Dutch. She says he does not speak in class, which she attributes, along with the crying and peeing, to not having acclimated yet. To her mind, it takes sometimes "months and months" for kids to get into the routine and that many kids "are totally different at home than they are at school". I just cannot agree, if they display such different behavior it must be because they are having trouble adjusting and we can't just let it go until it falls into place after weeks of issues. There seems to be no plan. - Our son does not speak of school. To the questions we ask, he replies with a "yes", whether it is a yes-or-no question or not. Generally he just says he does not want to go. He does use words at home he learned at school, and other kids' names pop up from time to time. We love this school. We love the Dalton method. We don't want to take him away because of this one teacher, but we feel we might have to. My son asks not to go to school every day (though when I come get him he seems fine and happy, if he's not made a mess of himself), and he has been tantruming a lot at home, and looking rather unhinged, which I realize is age appropriate, but was not present before starting school. At home he goes to the potty just fine, and is dry during nap and night time. We are really not sure what to think or how to proceed. There is another class of his age group with a teacher we found very impressive at a general meeting, but we have no idea if changing him to that class is even an option. Today we have decided that until we have a formal meeting, we are going to shorten his day there to 3 hours a day, so he has lunch at home. We also think he needs school, and to spend time with other kids, which he truly enjoys. Please help us achieve some clarity here. What is normal? What is not? What can we expect from a meeting? What can we request and what can we demand? What is the best way to go about this in order to yield the best results for all involved? Thank you all for all your answers.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
My husband will be undergoing an anger management therapy program. How can I best support this process?The longer story: he doesn't get angry often, but when he does, it's quite frightening. He has some trigger areas which can be all too easy to step into accidentally (some of them stem from his childhood in the hospital with a chronic illness, for example). Following a recent incident which occurred in public place and which our child witnessed, I gently suggested to him that perhaps the time had come to seek help on this. He has agreed and will be undergoing an anger management therapy program. The two options we found locally were for a class which has ten modules and occurs in a group setting, or a class which involves one such session, then a meeting with the therapist to work out an individual program. He has not decided which option he will do. I think he will be more likely to stick with a scheduled class so I am encouraging the first option, but my primary concern is that I really want this to work! I want him to use this opportunity to actually improve the way he deals with his anger. I want him to be able to fight fair and get upset at someone without scorching the earth and leaving trauma in his wake. So, how can I, as a bystander, best support this process? How can I be involved but not pushy, and best help him to hopefully utilize his new skills in the heat of the moment when he's upset with me?

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I would like to read more books either a) focused on one group of friends or b) focused on strong friendships between two characters over time. I really like the friendships in Pamela Dean's Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary. I've been enjoying the friendships in Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle as well. Please recommend more books with strong friendships! Any genre or type of fiction is fine. I'm looking for middle grade, YA, and adult books with this theme, so aimed at any age is fine.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
The Inevitable Evolution of Bad Science "Now, imagine you're a researcher who wants to game this system. Here's what you do. Run many small and statistically weak studies. Tweak your methods on the fly to ensure positive results. If you get negative results, sweep them under the rug. Never try to check old results; only pursue new and exciting ones. These are not just flights of fancy. We know that such practices abound."

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
What products are on the market that are the opposite of energy drinks? Gas stations and small convenience stores are replete with small bottles of 5 hour energy and cans of Rockstar, but not so much the opposite. I'm looking for examples of drinks which are marketed with the effect of being relaxing or calming.

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
Where are some of the celebrity molecules featured in past scientific breakthroughs? Science takes the time to follow up. Like human celebrities none of these child stars fully lived up to the unrealistic expectations placed on them. Some burned out, a few others complain they never got the chance they deserved, and others are now journeymen, still in the business in their mature years: Exuded by fat cells, leptin notifies the brain to dial down our appetite when we have ample stored energy. [ . . . I]njections of the hormone transformed the animals' physiques—some mice dropped about 40% of their body weight in just over a month. Photos showing one of the slimmed-down animals next to its corpulent counterpart ran with many news articles [ . . . ] "All the evidence at the time was that this could be a treatment for obesity," says molecular biologist Martin Myers of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. "But we didn't understand the biology as well then as we do now." [ . . . ] "You just can't squirt leptin into 'garden variety' obese people and get them to lose weight," Myers says. Does that make leptin a disappointment? More than 20 years after its flashy debut, researchers still regard leptin as a scientific bonanza because "it was the key to helping us peel back the onion on how the brain regulates appetite," Cowley says.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I let my piano playing go during college! Are there any incremental systems for re-learning how to play the piano?Hi Mefi! My failure to keep practising the piano during university has been a source of stress/shame for a few years now! Do you know any books/systems/routines/recommendations for re-learning the piano after a loong break away? Thank you!! :)

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Help me find a short story from days of yore! Once upon a time, back in the 1990s, I read a short story in a high school anthology...Help me find a short story from days of yore! Once upon a time, back in the 1990s, I read a short story in a high school anthology. I'd like to find it, but my Google-fu is failing me. The story was about a duel, set in a fencing school or gym, between the venerable old master and a talented, faster pupil.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
A week ago GQ published a fashion shoot featuring rock climbers (warning: autoplaying video with sound). Outdoor Research offered its own take.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
CyberFeminism in the 90s and An Oral History of the First Cyberfeminists chronicle a wave of multimedia art that spun out of Australia's VNS Matrix, creators of the CyberFeminist Manifesto and All New Gen, a CD ROM game where "Female ‹cybersluts› and ‹guerrillas,› ‹anarcho cyber-terrorists› infiltrate cyberspace and hack into the controls and databanks of Big Daddy Mainframe, the Oedipal man". (Most links NSFW).

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Iron Man and the Island of Stability - Tony Stark found the Holy Grail of nuclear physics and nobody noticed Elements through 118 (oganesson) were added to the periodic table earlier this year - previously. Superheavy Element 117 Points To Fabled "Island of Stability" on Periodic Table How Many Neutrons and Protons Can Get Along? Maybe 7,000 Why bother? "SHEs provide unique opportunities to get insights into the influence of strong relativistic effects on the atomic electrons and to probe 'relativistically' influenced chemical properties and the architecture of the periodic table at its farthest reach." Shell game: why heavier atoms might get stable again Direct Mapping of Nuclear Shell Effects in the Heaviest Elements, Ramierez et al.. Quantum-mechanical shell effects are expected to strongly enhance nuclear binding on an "island of stability" of superheavy elements. The predicted center at proton number Z = 114, 120, or 126 and neutron number N = 184 has been substantiated by the recent synthesis of new elements up to Z = 118. However, the location of the center and the extension of the island of stability remain vague. High-precision mass spectrometry allows the direct measurement of nuclear binding energies and thus the determination of the strength of shell effects. Here, we present such measurements for nobelium and lawrencium isotopes, which also pin down the deformed shell gap at N = 152. What is the shell model of the nucleus? A lecture "The Shell Model" [PDF] by Maria Goeppert Mayer, Nobel laureate.

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