posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
I've been taking Wellbutrin for depression for about 5 months now. It helps, but not as much as I hoped. Is this a common experience?I have dysthymia, i.e. chronic low level depression. In April I decided to go on antidepressants for the first time in my life (I'm in my thirties). I was on 150mg Wellbutrin for the first month, then my therapist upped the dose to 300mg, which I've been taking ever since. It's the brand name, not a generic. I'm feeling better, but not as much better as I would like. What Wellbutrin has done, which I'm extremely grateful for, is take away the lowest lows. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night and start crying, and I rarely have days when I feel like I just can't get out of bed. This is awesome. But, my mood is still pretty glum most of the time. If before Wellbutrin it used to swing between about 2 and 5 on a 10-point scale, now it just stays more or less around 4-5, with an occasional shortlived uptick to 6 or 7 (usually caused by caffeine or other stimulants). I want to actually feel happy, not just not terrible. I know that a lot of my depression has to do with life circumstances, which are pretty stressful right now: I'm likely to be unemployed in a few months and my long-term career prospects are dim. I'm also very isolated -- I have one or two friends, not very close ones, I've had sex a total of five times in the past year, and I've never been in a serious romantic relationship in my life. I tend to avoid social activities out of a mixture of anxiety and anhedonia. I've been in therapy for a couple of years now, but it hasn't helped much. All these are problems I could take active steps about, but I'm trapped in a cycle where low mood saps my willpower and optimism and makes nothing feel worth doing, so I do nothing, which feeds my depression. I was hoping that Wellbutrin would jump-start my reward centers, help me get a little more enjoyment out of life and give me a positive reason to get out there, do things and talk to people, but it hasn't had that effect. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist in a couple of weeks and will bring all this up. I'm very reluctant to go on a different antidepressant because of possible side effects (especially loss of libido and insomnia), but maybe adding an anxiolytic of some kind would make sense? I don't know. If you've been on Wellbutrin or other antidepressants, how does my experience compare with yours? (I don't want this to be another general "How do I get less depressed" thread -- please avoid well-meaning "exercise more"-type suggestions and stick to the meds topic. Thanks.)

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
What DSLR should I buy my wife to photograph murals? Assume we know very little about cameras.My wife's job takes her across Texas. She's told me she sees a lot of murals in small towns, and she'd like to photograph them as a hobby. Christmas is coming up, so I can start putting a little bit of money aside from each paycheck to buy her a camera. I don't really know how to prioritize the features of a camera. I looked at a Pentax K-50 that comes with an 18-55mm lens, and that seemed to fit the bill. My understanding is that the K-500 is essentially the same camera for $150 less, but it doesn't have as much weather resistance. I'm not sure how important that is. Is an 18-55mm lens good for this type of project? What about the 55-200mm that some kits come with? Are there any other body/lens kits/combos you would recommend for a project like this? Assume the murals are mostly outdoors. They tend to be on public or semi-public property, where she can pretty much choose whatever spot she wants to use to shoot. She has a rental car for these situations. She sometimes has to fly to the town, so if she's going to take a tripod, it's going to have to get small (or just be used on trips where she's driving and not flying). I'm not sure how important a tripod is for something like this (or a monopod?). I'm not too keen on buying used, but maybe that's the way to go to get more bang for the buck. I'm afraid of buying something that doesn't work properly. I'm not even entirely sure what questions I should be asking. Let's say I have a soft budget of $600, and would be happier to go under that (also trying to buy the kid (and myself) a whoopass telescope), but could go over if it's going to really be worth it.

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
Jenny Kutner wrote an article about her upcoming abortion; after her abortion, her doctor wrote her back.

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posted about 8 hours ago on metafilter
Talk me through buying a new laptop like I'm 5...I buy a new laptop every five years and the time has come to purchase a new one. However, I had a particularly crappy experience at a computer retailer and would like help on getting a machine that'll last the next 5 years. I'm trying to balance budget with performance/longevity. I'm looking at 15" Windows machines that have 1TB hard drive and 8GB RAM, mostly used for browsing, essay writing and the odd game of Minecraft (wherein great graphics would be a plus, but once the game runs nicely then I'm happy). At a retailer the other day, I specified the above and was met with a lot of hand-waving and the sales person gushing about how I should be focusing on *processor* spec, above anything else. I don't know anything about processors and all the various advice on 3.1's and Athalons just felt really confusing. So, if you were in my position with a budget of €500-600 (I know, I know), what would the spec of your new laptop actually look like?

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Close Your Heart A long-form article from Slate about the Central African Republic's sectarian civil war.

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Best Indian cook book with an emphasis on veg published in UK?Obviously "Indian" covers a huge variety of different cuisines but I'm after a good general book for an experienced, confident cook who doesn't know much about the topic. So strong on the basics but also with a wide range of recipes, both in terms of style and cuisine. It doesn't have to be entirely vegetarian but it shouldn't be too meaty (although fish is fine). It should be published in the UK or use British temrs/measurements.

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
What are they? Can I eat them (I didn't, they don't look very eaty)? I found them on the sunshine coast in BC and proceeded to fail at google.

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
Recently, I bowled very poorly and it was embarrassing. I'd like help with 2 things: a. Please help me trouble-shoot my bowling game. b. Can anyone out there give me an anecdote about how they started off as a crappy bowler but got better?...how did you do this?Over the weekend, my wife and I went bowing with her parents, and they destroyed us. I bowled less than 30. Her parents were well into the hundreds. I had a great time, but this loss kills me. I really must learn to bowl. I can't be humiliated again. Her parents seemed to have terrible form. Her mother would nearly fall over after throwing down the ball, but somehow, she hit strikes and spares over and over again. I'm not in bad shape, but I don't exercise too much. My wife is in the same situation. Her parents go to the gym during the week and they are fit and trim, but not insanely jacked or anything. I started off knocking 9 pins down and getting a spare, I even bowled a few strikes, but at one point I just fell the hell off. Nearly every time I bowled, the ball would gravitate toward the gutter. If I bowled hard, if I bowled toward the middle, toward the area next to the middle, whatever...I was feeble. Follow through didn't help, improving concentration didn't help, neither did trying to bowl slowly. Here are a few factors: 1. I'm five feet eight inches tall, and I don't have a wide frame, but my hands are very big. Her father is similar in size to me, but his hands are small. The only balls I could find that fit were incredibly heavy. The balls he used were much lighter. 2. I had a migraine earlier in the day, I was fine though. Just a little tired. 3. My sleep schedule was way off because I normally work nights but had to wake up early in the morning. 4. I'm not good at any sport that requires a ball. 5. I'm from Mass, so I grew up on candlepin bowling. I didn't do it that much, but I've bowled very few traditional 10-pin games. What do I do? I don't feel like practice will even be that helpful, because I'll just keep doing the same thing wrong over and over again. Do people hire bowling coaches? How do you get better?

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
"Let's go now and have the truth at all hazards." This sentence is extremely clear in context, but knowing Peter Wimsey, it's also probably a (mis)quote. Please help me find the source so I can get a tattoo with a clear conscience.It could of course be an original phrase, but I want to be sure because Sayers ("I always have a quotation for everything - it saves original thinking.") I've been able to find this exact sentence in an obscure Victorian romance novel (unlikely), and more general forms of it in theological writings (much more likely), but is there some source—maybe a bible verse?—that they're drawing on?

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posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
I'm 32, in NYC, no psych degree, and I'm burned out on my current job path. How do I break into a career as a therapist or counselor?I'm 32, in NYC, and I have a BA with a double major in English and Organizational Studies, 3.5 GPA. I've spent the last 10 years working for various startups, doing customer service / community management, web and social media strategy, and project management. I've generally made positive strides in my career and have made good connections, but I'm feeling burned out on startup life and generally feel I'd like to be doing something that's more meaningful and more helpful to people. Customer service, managing the parade of personalities at startups, and some volunteering experience has lead me to think that becoming a counselor or a therapist is something I'd be good at and would find rewarding. So my questions are: - How do I make up for my lack up a psychology background? Are there post-baccalaureate programs in NYC that are a good choice? - What are the education paths? I'd really like to get into hands on counseling - would it make sense to pursue and MSW or a doctorate in psych? If it's the latter, do you get an MA and then a PhD? - How do you transition from a 60 hour a week job to being a student with a job? Do you go part time? - How much getting a later start affect my chances of success? - Once I have the education, what are my options in terms of finding work? I am open to being chastised for my general lack of knowledge about what I'm getting into and / or the extent to which I am in over my head. Thank you all in advance!

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posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
How do I deal with my constant sense of outrage at things happening in the world? It's starting to take a toll on my health and stress levels.The amount of things that have happened during the summer of 2014 that are worth getting incredibly upset about keep piling up. Ferguson, Elliot Rodger, Hobby Lobby, gamers, Gaza, it never quite ends. And I think it will only get worse. If you care about these issues and have passionate views on them, they can be incredibly upsetting to read up on and engage with online. (There's also a rapidly growing internet industry that counts on my and others' constant concern for its success, and I sometimes wonder whether I'm being manipulated by it.) This summer in particular has felt like endless social justice frustration for me, and I feel more stressed out and tensed up about it than ever before. I fear I'm becoming a less fun and easygoing person as a result. Anger and frustration with the status quo can be a useful force for change, but I don't think my particular outrage is doing much to benefit anyone. I can count on one hand the number of people whose minds I've changed. Meanwhile, I think the compounded stress and time spent reading this stuff is harming my life. On one hand I want to disengage (but I don't even know how.) And on the other hand, a voice is telling me that not engaging is equivalent to apathy and "siding with the bad guys," so to speak. There's also another voice telling me that I have the privilege and luxury to turn it off, while others don't. I'm not sure. I need to figure out how to navigate all this and give myself some peace of mind.

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posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
A brief essay on the lost art of making concrete boats

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posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
Hey MeFi. Had a great experience at a temp or staffing agency in NYC or NJ? Please tell me about it.I'm a recent grad living in NJ, within commuting distance of NYC. I'm still looking for my first entry-level position, but I've also been looking for alternative "make some cash" employment for a while now. Local retail outfits, supermarkets, cafes, people who posted jobs on Craigslist, etc. don't call me back. The NYC temp agencies I've spoken to have either told me I'm overqualified for the sorts of receptionist/admin positions they have, or they've told me that I live too far away. I'd honestly be happy to take on any sort of position, and it's simple for me to get into NYC (my folks have been commuting into NYC for work for the past twenty years without a problem). I've gotten great scores on the tests I've been given by temp agencies so far (typing, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, proofreading, etc.). My resume and cover letter writing skills were okayed by several career counselors at my university. I've read through all of the NYC-related temp agency AskMes I could find, and applied to all of the still-extant temp agencies that were mentioned. I'm hoping for new leads, or advice relating to those old leads. Thanks!

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
I have a new doctor. He has many copies of this book in his office (waiting room, examination rooms): The Urantia Book. I really did not think much of it, the doctor has a pretty good reputation (where I live that means jack). Should I be concerned?I had a preliminary exam with one of his physician assistants. I mentioned I had a prescription for Ambien in the past year (10 tables which lasted over a year) and asked if I could get a refill. I also have severe osteoarthritis and major depression with a panic disorder. Previously, I was required by my last practice to see a psychiatrist to monitor my medication for that (Zoloft) and a therapist for cogitative behaviour therapy. She proceeded to tell me "no way will you get a referral to a psychiatrist," and "no this practice will not prescribe any sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medication," nor would they help with the pain from my osteoarthritis. Sooooo, I got upset asked about the Zoloft, she said that was probably OK. She then proceeded to tell me that just because the doctor prescribes medical marijuana, it does not mean he is not conservative with drugs or treatment. I had not asked for a lot drugs, I wanted a referral for physical therapy, Zoloft, and 10 Ambien. I had no idea the practice was one of the few in my state that prescribes medical marijuana. I don't use marijuana, never have, nor any other recreational drugs. I don't even drink. WTF. I think a lot of the philosophy is based on the religious aspects of Urantia. Should I be concerned about the religious aspects of this practice? It is a religion that is very critical of science. I don't have a lot of choice. I live on a remote island (Maui) with very limited prospects. I have very good health insurance, but it is an HMO and there are only a few available primary care physicians. Should the religion and it tenets be a concern?

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
Kite fighting in Rocinha [viz. cf.] - "In the crowded favelas of Rio de Janeiro, flying kites is more than a leisurely escape: It's also a playful form of battle."

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posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
After a string of requests from colleagues and former university classmates to write essays and papers for them, I have decided I want to escalate to a slightly more serious, one-person ghostwriting service business in which I can select the assignments which are more amenable to my interests. The question is: which (preferably international) payment services you know that allow you to keep your identity hidden from buyers?I have collected facebook contact details of around 4000 college students in my field who would make good potential clients. The problem is that being myself still struggling to and with some hope of getting a position in academia, I am reluctant to letting everyone know that I make it easier for other students to cheat. Thanks in advance.

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
Architecture: Flea Folly's Brothers Grimm-inspired cityscape Flea Folly Architecture, an Architectural Fairy Tale Video

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
Wuppes is a guy from Luxembourg who makes 3D scenes of classic video games out of paper.

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
Aargh. One sick cat who needs a special diet for the rest of her life. Three other cats, too. I need practical tips for how to handle this.Okay, so I've got four cats who currently all eat the same dry food which is available 24/7. Now one needs a different diet and I have no idea how to deal with this. I need specific, practical tips for the logistics. The cats: (Sorry, I'm not providing pix. Can't get my shit together for that.) Cat #1: Elderly, can't jump. The dominant one, despite her increasing frailty. Pretty much needs to eat on her own, which she just manages herself now. Cats #2 & #3: Adults. Healthy and very large cats -- taller, longer and all-around bigger, huge paws, longer tails, etc. They adore each other and can eat together. Cat #4: Adult, sick, in a complicated situation that the vet hasn't entirely solved. But we know for sure she needs (expensive) separate food. So 4 can't eat the food that 1, 2 or 3 can eat, nor can they eat hers. So how can I accomplish this? They're all adults, and they're all 100% used to the idea of feeding on dry food at will. If I switch to some sort of food only at specific times and locations, how do I know how much to offer them? How many times a day do we do the feeding? Do they need to be fed in an area with a litterbox? How long will it take them to get used to this idea? How can I accomplish this without feeling like I'm spending my entire damn day managing how and when my cats are eating? Sheesh. Help.

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
I've had braces for about 4 months now and I really miss my hard foods to snack on ! What are some good soft foods that I can snack on while I have braces?complication: I really detest raw vegetables (if you can help me overcome that, that wouldn't hurt) and hard-boiled eggs. I have a very high metabolism so I snack quite often. Right now, I'm eating 2-3 jars of peanut butter a week, hummus, wheat thins and rice cakes, yogurt, pudding, hummus, and salad (although it's not very filling) outside of my meals. My previous staples (granola, all kinds of nuts, trail mix, and homemade popcorn) which accounted for the vast majority of my snacking, are no-go and I miss them! What other snacks friendly for soft teeth am I missing? No refrigeration or cooking are bonus points but not required.

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
give me gratitude or give me debt In terms of parenting, marriage, home, clothes – I will not be a slave to the Tyranny of Trend any longer. I am almost 40 years old and no catalog is the Boss of Me anymore. I am free. I am not bound to spend my precious days on Earth trying to keep up with the Joneses- because the Joneses are really just a bunch of folks in conference rooms changing "trends" rapidly to create fake monthly emergencies for us. OH NO! NOW IT'S A SUBWAY TILE BACKSPLASH WE NEED! No, thank you. Life offers plenty of REAL emergencies to handle, thank you very much. I'm a grown up now. I know what looks good on me, and that doesn't change every three months. I know how I like my house. I like it cute and cozy and a little funky and I like it to feel lived in and worn and I like the things inside of it to work. That's all. And for me - it's fine that my house's interior suggests that I might not spend every waking moment thinking about how it looks. Sometimes it seems that our entire economy is based on distracting women from their blessings. Producers of STUFF NEED to find 10,000 ways to make women feel less than about our clothes, kitchens, selves so that we will keep buying more. So maybe freeing ourselves just a little from the Tyranny of Trend is a women's issue – because we certainly aren't going to get much world changing done if we spend all of our time and money on wardrobe and kitchen changing. more Momastery: *share this with all the schools, please *quit pointing your avocado at me *a mountain I'm willing to die on (previously)

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
My daughter has gone to a few archery camps, she enjoys the sport, and we were told she seems to have a knack for it. I'd like to outfit her.I've read previous threads including this one but I'm hoping to get some more directive advice. We do have a couple archery shops but they are more than an hour away so I think, despite my desire to support independent small shops, I probably want to buy online. She likes the historical/magical aspect, and is into basic, low-tech stuff, so I think a fairly basic recurve bow is the way to go. She's 5'1" and growing fast. I want to get a quiver and some (how many?) arrows. Again, something that looks a little rustic rather than high tech would be more up her aesthetic alley. I am willing to spend enough to get something that is not just a toy, but I don't want to spend a lot. Lowest price for a reasonable model. Can you suggest a specific bow, arrows, and quiver? Can you suggest an online place to buy it? I prefer to avoid Amazon if possible. Thank you!

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
I'm looking for a film that I saw in the 80s or 90s in which two of the characters argued throughout about the proper definitions of "disinterested" and "uninterested." Both characters were male and were, I believe, the main characters. I'm fairly certain that the film was British.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
When Carol Heikkinen reached working age in her hometown of Phoenix, she got a job at the coolest possible place for a high school kid: Tower Records. When she was in college, she spent a summer working at another Tower Records, this one on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. It was through these experiences that Heikkinen wrote the script for Empire Records, then titled simply Empire. As she told me over email, she tried to write a story like the Richard Pryor classic Car Wash, which took place over one day at a car wash — only at a record store. How "Empire Records" Became The Unlikely Film Of A Generation

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
(Posting on behalf of a friend): I was convicted of a DUI in March 2014, and am trying to pick up the pieces. I need to pay for an SR-22 which is insurance on my license. If I do not pay for this insurance my license will lapse. The policy is less expensive if I also insure a vehicle but I will not need a car in the coming months and cannot afford the payments. I need help figuring out if it would be smarter to not pay for any insurance (letting my license lapse), to sell the car and use the profits to pay the SR-22, or to just keep the car (though I really do not want to).I received a DUI in the state of Rhode Island in March 2014. After reinstating your license the state requires that you carry an SR-22 on your insurance policy for a minimum of three years. An SR-22 is essentially insurance on your license. Recently, my car was stolen so I cancelled my insurance policy which also canceled my SR-22. I planned on also canceling my cars registration. However, this week I received a letter in the mail from the DMV stating the my license would be suspended if I did not reinstate the SR-22. I was under the impression that the SR-22 was only necessary if you were the registered owner of a vehicle; but it is required by the state to maintain a valid license. Then, a week later, my car was recovered with no damage. I plan on moving to Boston in the next six months and was planning on selling my vehicle because it is not needed in the city. This may no longer be possible because maintaing insurance on my vehicle is cheaper than having an insurance policy without a vehicle on it to maintain the SR-22. I currently pay $270 a month for liability car insurance with an SR-22. For a policy with only the SR-22 it will be $300 monthly. Therefore, I am wondering if the logical decision is to stop paying for insurance and sell my vehicle; hence letting my license become suspended. Or if should still sell my car and then use the profits to pay for insurance which would prevent my insurance from lapsing. Keeping the vehicle is not a financially feasible option considering my imminent move to the city.

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