posted about 9 hours ago on metafilter
When a seven-year-old girl wants to be Han Solo for Halloween, what's her father to do? Dress as Princess Leia, of course.

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Hi Everyone, I searched and could not find a question about this already posted so here goes. I am looking for an apartment for the first time in 6 years and I have found myself on the tenant 'blacklist'. I had NO IDEA. Six years ago, me and the six other tenants of a townhouse were bought out of our leases because the owner wanted the building for personal use. We were told to get lawyers to negotiate terms. We did. We were all out of the building on the same day, by the deadline requested. End of story. Cut to 6 years later, and I have been been declined an apartment due to my name and this address showing up on one of these lists. I am devastated. I was a great tenant, paid rent, etc. Have excellent credit, employment etc. I have just submitted a request to see this report as is my right so that I can see what prospective landlords are seeing. I have also contacted the lawyer I used back then to see if he knows what this could be about. Cutting to the chase, is there anyone in this knowledgeable community-- in NYC -- who has been able to find an apartment in NYC while on this list? I specify NYC because the housing/ rental market in a special nightmare all on its own. ANY insight, info, advice appreciated. Thank you! fridaG

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
I'm applying for a position that's similar to one I held six years ago. There are two problems I have making a resume for the job. The first is that while I've had a similar position for two years, it's my only experience in the field. The second is that all my other recent work experience is in retail (as I left my full time job to become a stay at home parent). How can I best handle this on the resume and cover letter?

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Our male German Shepherd dog cries from time to time, as though in pain. Trying to figure out what the reason could be.My family has a male German Shepherd dog who is around 10 years old. He has weak hind legs and suffers from Mange (for almost 4+) yrs. Around a year or so he sometimes cries/whines a bit from time to time. As far as we can tell, he has not hungry/needs to go out etc, i.e. we cannot find any logical reason for this. Trying to figure out if he suffers from some pain (stomach/back legs or other) or if this is due to any other reason. This dog lives in Asia where the climate is hot, however he is pampered enough to sleep in air conditioned rooms. Would appreciate any thoughts around why and what you may think he could have issues with. The most pertinent question is, how do you know when your dog is suffering from some internal pain which may be mildly discomforting but not too serious. Thank you

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posted about 10 hours ago on metafilter
Is there some service where I can set up an alert that will tell me if a death notice is posted for a certain name? Assume I know the cities/newspapers in which such a notice would likely be posted.I've never had any relationship with my father, although I know who he is. I occasionally think that since I have no contact with him or anyone who knows him, he may well be dead and I wouldn't even know. I'm not sure why exactly, but this thought bothers me. Is there a way I can put his name and maybe a birth date range and be notified if anyone matching that info has a death notice posted in either the city he currently lives or his hometown? If you cannot choose cities/newspapers, that's fine, too. The name is not common enough that this would be an issue and I am confident that I could correctly determine if the John Doe in question is my father. I do not wish to have any contact with him or his family. And in case it's unclear, I wouldn't attend a funeral, make myself known to his family or otherwise do anything with this information or create problems for him, his legacy, or his family. I would just like to know.

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
I have a leaky Glacier Bay two-handle bathroom sink. I am attempting to replace the cartridge(s) but I am stuck, and also have a question. More to follow...1. In the following images, you can see I've gotten to the cartridges, but at this point I don't know how to get them out. I tried pulling straight up with pliers but it won't budge, and I also tried unscrewing by turning the white plastic nut but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Here are the photos: Photo1 | Photo2 | Photo3. How do I get the cartridge out? 2. Perhaps more importantly, I have turned off the water under the sink on both sides, but the faucet is still dripping. How can this be? What other possibly larger problem might this indicate?

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
Drunk Furniture.

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posted about 11 hours ago on metafilter
my beloved macbook pro has died and the emergency replacement i bought (an hp) is the devil's own computer. i need a new laptop that will function in a few specific ways...i am not really partial to brands (except for hp, which i now hate) but here's what i need the laptop to do: -be able to handle multiple applications at once, including things like photoshop and vuze that routinely handle large files -speed, speed, speed -excellent touch pad: one where the cursor doesn't jump, hovering =/= a click, having to find the *perfect* spot on the pad to execute a click or selection -preferably something without windows 8 -something incredibly user friendly - i.e., i don't need a lot of technical knowledge to install programs or do anything more than basic trouble shooting any recommendations you can give are greatly appreciated!

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
In the array of approaches out there regarding the choice of an optimal first date activity, the majority of thoughts on the subject seem to fall generally into two opposing schools of thought. I am very curious to get the AskMeFi community's thoughts on the topic as there seems to be a pretty smart bunch here.After numerous conversations with friends and sibling, and reading a sizable number of online dating advice articles on the topic, I see that the majority of thoughts regarding what the optimal activity and setting for a first date generally fall into one of two opposing schools of thought: One, lets call it the "casual school", says that it is best to have a first date that is very casual and more brief in duration. Some examples: getting coffee together at a local cafe, a walk in the park, a game (ping pong, bowling, etc.). This, we are told, allows for initial interaction and conversation to happen in a low pressure, jovial atmosphere. Both people will have an easier time just being themselves and evaluating if there is enough attraction/common ground/intrigue to warrant following dates. The second, "more romantic", train of thought says that a first date should ideally be special, without going overboard. Example, dinner at a restaurant (nowhere too expensive or overly romantic), a favorite show or live music event of the person's, a picnic at the park (as opposed to just a walk), etc. A more intimate, romantic first date activity and setting is more conducive to establishing a connection (if feasible), gives the opportunity for more meaningful conversing, and could provide a better backdrop for the proverbial "sparks" to start flying. Obviously, if these things happened, subsequent dates are likely to follow. My question is, do you feel one of the perspectives is more true in practice while the other more faulty? What "works" better? And why do you feel that way; from personal experience, insight into human psychology, etc.? Thanks! (I am posting anonymously because I would like to preserve the wall between my dating life and digital life; individuals that I have dated/would like to date know my screen name and I would not like to have inner thoughts on the matter available for scrutiny no matter how light and innocuous.)

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
I'm a woman in my early 40s with no real marketable skills that make me stand out in job hunting. I currently have a job in Montreal, but I'm originally from Toronto and for various reasons, I'm planning on moving back. I'd like to learn some skill(s) in the next 6 months or so (planning on moving July 1) that will hopefully make a significant increase in the likelihood that I can find a job quickly once there.(My husband will be coming with me & has marketable skills that should help him find a job there before we move.) I don't really have an ideal job or field (I've worked in several), and I don't mind unconventional jobs or shift work. I speak some conversational French, but not enough to be considered fluent/ bilingual. Past jobs components I've enjoyed: - scheduling - organizing - research - some manual labour - spreadsheets - creative-related work Things I like in life: - arts (design, photography, etc.) - environmental causes - social causes - travel - dogs, other animals Things I don't want to do: - sales So, what should I learn that would help me get a job? What skill will make me stand out on a resumé in a field that needs people? I'd really love something that I could show, a certificate or the like, but it's not essential. Basically I just want something more substantial on my resumé than "excellent organizational skills". throwaway email just in case (thislittlelifeofmine@gmail.com); anon since not everyone knows we're moving this far in advance. Thank-you.

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
Hey folks I'm a reasonably fit male, 5'10" with a 32-34" waist and enormous thighs. Finding good pants is always problematic - typically they get around my trunks and are completely loose around my waist. I've had the best luck with Lucky brand jeans, but there must be more pant options out there. I try to dress casual chic - any tips, tricks or brand recommendations would be appreciated.

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posted about 12 hours ago on metafilter
My son has social delays that make making friends hard. He was finally on his way to making a real friend, and I (his mother) ruined it by inadvertently alienating the other child's mother. I can't fix it. How do I live with it?The 'above the fold' pretty much sums it up. There are details, but suffice to say that I said something in haste over email that apparently implied her son had been involved in a bullying incident with my son. I did not mean to imply that -- I meant to express that her son had *witnessed* (ie: 'been present for') a bullying incident and that I was hoping to get more details so it could be addressed. Apparently she stewed on this all summer, very upset, without telling me that she thought that I called her son a bully, and decided to refuse to let the boys have any further contact outside of school. Now the school year has started again and after several rejected playdates and party invites it comes out that she thought this other thing. I have abjectly apologized (again, via email, I would not normally see her face-to-face and I don't have her phone number (although she has mine)), but she seems pretty firm that she will let the boys play at school but doesn't want them to have contact outside of school. I have not told my son any of this (and I don't think her son knows either). My son is devastated that Friend keeps being unable to play after school. They continue to be friends in school, but see each other more rarely this year as they no longer have recess together (friend is in 4th grade, my son is in 3rd grade). One other thing to add to the mix: There is another boy at school (call him T) whose father contacted the school this fall and asked them to keep his son and my son separated as much as they could, because the father says that my (spectrumy) kid was "stalking" his kid by constantly trying to play with him at recess (which the school thinks is not true, FYI). T's father and Friend's parents, I think, know each other fairly well. So I'm sure T's father's belief that my kid is a weird stalker is mixing in, despite the fact that my son has been to Friend's house and both his parents have spent time with my son on multiple occasions. I feel sick about this. This child is the only kid in school EVER who has asked my son to come over for a playdate. My son basically has zero friends in school (although he has friends outside of school - mostly the children of our friends, who don't always live nearby), and feels extremely lonely and isolated. And now, I have, inadvertently, apparently destroyed the single chance at friendship he's had in FOUR YEARS. I honestly feel like someone died. I want to go knock on their door and apologize and beg for them to reconsider, but of course that would be crazy. We've tried the typical "friend making" strategies, including giving out 20-ish invites to a Halloween party (which only netted two or three replies). I have tried making friends with other parents at my kids school, but unlike most of them son's father and I both work full time and we don't seem to otherwise have any real points of connection with these families. There are no other children my son's age in our immediate neighborhood. Assume that we're doing all we can on the "making other friends" front, but meanwhile I've utterly destroyed the opportunity to deepen this other, real, friendship that he has and values. So, what do I do? How do I cope with this? The guilt is killing me.

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Can you still do a week's food shopping in one go? If you have moved to going to the grocery store more than once a week to buy things to cook that day or the next few days, what do you typically run out of, or is it more of an impulse buy? If you were able to have appliances or storage to help you keep food fresh or remember to use what you bought, what would you consider getting? Assume a typical English diet: meat, potatoes, greens, bread, tea, coffee, milk etc.Three years ago, we were still buying all the week's food supply once a week. Over the last eight months something has changed, perhaps the age of my kids, that has made it harder to use all the food we buy and making it more likely we go to the store sometimes three times each week for the basics. I am trying to find ways out of this. Should we look to buy in bulk? Unfortunately there are not many bulk food places in England. I am trying to figure it out. We have a four shelf fridge, the same kind of freezer, and a cold dry pantry has about 20 feet of shelving.

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
I have roof cables installed on my roof to help with our awful ice dams. Problem is, it is very expensive just to leave them running all the time when I am at work. But if I turn them off and a snowstorm starts while I am at work, then the ice dams form before I get home. Can anyone suggest some kind of a remote activation device. Ideally something that would let me turn on the cables from my phone or from the web. The system is already installed on the roof, so all I need is some kind of system to turn it on and off. Please do not suggest modifications to the roof - we have been through every type of soffit, sheathing, roofing solution over a period of 20 years - these ice dams are just an insoluble problem and the only way to control them is with the cables. So I am only looking for replies that can suggest ways to turn the cables on and off remotely. Thanks!

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posted about 13 hours ago on metafilter
Can you suggest places where there's no extended shutdown over New Year, and places that appear to best advantage in December/January?My partner and I have the good fortune to have some time off over December/January, and we would like to go on a trip, departing after Christmas for probably about 3 weeks. Our last big trip was to Japan, at about the same time of year, and although we had a fantastic time, there were a few frustrations and disappointments with things being closed for many days around New Year. This was a failure of research on my part - I just didn't realise New Year was such a big thing. So I'd be happy to learn in which countries businesses and attractions are less likely to be closed for an extended period at the end of December and beginning of January. More broadly though, this time of year is the middle of the Southern summer and the middle of the Northern winter, both of which can be pretty challenging. But I'm wondering if there are there places where December/January is the best time to see them? In case that is too broad, possibly relevant details - we particularly like history and architecture, good local food/beer/wine, and natural beauty. We are not that into shopping, nightclubs or things designed primarily for tourists (Madam Tussauds etc.). We are Australian, and we drive on the left side of the road - we would probably not go somewhere that required driving if it meant driving on the right side of the road, though we are pretty OK with public transport. We're not afraid of weather - we've been to New York, Niagara Falls and Toronto during a snowy winter, and we've coped with the heat of Dubai in summer and the humidity of Singapore. Our budget is moderate but I wouldn't rule out any destination on those grounds without further research of my own. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can give!

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posted about 14 hours ago on metafilter
Adding granite toppers on our exterior stairway made the step heights hazardously uneven. Is the plan for addressing it ok?We have a long, exterior staircase that was concrete, and it needed repair. After consulting with two masons, we went forward with one of them, veneering the rises with stone and putting on granite tops. The project is underway, with the mason returning this morning. The thickness of the granite tops adds ~2" to the height of each stair. This means that the last step down to the original concrete landing is now 2" taller than the rest, which feels hazardous when walking down. The mason proposes to add a small concrete ramp on top of the existing concrete landing. While he acknowledges that concrete on concrete doesn't always last, he doesn't have a good alternative, and thinks it's worth a try. The reverse problem will exist at the top (not yet topped with granite). The stairway joins a concrete walkway that itself has a couple of concrete steps we intend to leave alone. Once added, the granite topper on the last step before the concrete will make the very last step, onto the concrete, 2" shorter than the rest. We haven't discussed how to address that yet. The last step's top is also about double the surface of the other tops (also due to the veneering process, which added onto the fronts of all the steps). The mason was going to even that up by adding to the concrete step, extending it forward. If we don't do that, and leave the last step with the extra surface, would that be super weird? I was thinking that the change in rhythm might be enough of a cue that the 2" lower height wouldn't be a hazard - what do you think? Extending the job to the concrete walkway would be expensive, so I can bear a little lack of refinement instead, but not a hazard. If those solutions aren't reasonable, is there anything we can do that won't add mega-dollars to the job? Since the mason thinks his ramp solution is reasonable, if we want to do anything more extensive than that, should we expect to pay? Or should the mason have anticipated these issues in his bid? If the latter, how can we convince him to do something more extensive than his ramp idea, on his own dime?

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
So I had no choice. At work, I spoke to my friend Shirley, who promised to call around her Bronx neighborhood that night. She knew someone who knew someone, and in a few days, it was arranged. I would stay with her and everything would be all right. What having an abortion was like in 1959.

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
Walk in the footsteps of Jane Goodall on Street View: Gombe National Park.

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
Google executive Alan Eustace beats Felix Baumgartner's skydiving record. It took more than two hours to hit an altitude of 135,890 feet (41,419 metres), from which he separated himself from the balloon and started plummeting back to Earth. Eustace hit a top speed of 822mph during a freefall that lasted four-and-a-half minutes. New York Times (contains video clip): For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall. Slate: Eustace fell farther than Baumgartner but at a slower speed of 822 mph. But he still broke the sound barrier, and observers reported hearing the sonic boom. He also did two backflips before using a parachute to steady himself. Verge: Eustace apparently declined Google's offers to help, seeking to avoid the spectacle and frenzy that surrounded Baumgartner's jump. Instead, he worked quietly for three years on the self-funded project - outside of Google's halls - to make his mark and shatter the altitude record by falling from the stratosphere. Wikipedia: As a university student, Eustace worked part-time selling popcorn and ice cream in Fantasyland and working on the monorail at Walt Disney World. Previously on MetaFilter, and also previously on MetaFilter.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
For those of you who wanted to follow the exercise plan featured in the NY Times on the 7 minute workout (previously), they now offer an app to make it easier to follow their program. Bonus: The reference to the post title

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I'm bored (and miserable) where I'm currently living and interested in moving on again, but don't want to fall into the same trap of barely surviving from one paycheck to the next, if even that. Looking for personal recommendations on where a single person might afford to live alone at minimum wage without subsisting on ramen and hot dogs. Is it even possible?Specifics: I'm 100% city girl, my preferred entertainments include live bands, dancing (booze optional, loud music required), air conditioned venues... Theater, opera, and access to the conveniences of being able to drive 10-15 min to anything interesting. I'm also looking at better job opportunities, but currently work at walmart and will be trying to transfer through that company to a new location (before looking for better once I'm settled in). On the off chance that its difficult to find a good job right away, I'd like to plan to need to survive on a low income. Single female, no kids (2 tiny yappy pups, so pet friendly housing is required). I'm not considered broke enough to qualify for food stamps or any form of assistance, and I'm okay with trying to make it without that kind of help. I've tried looking up cost of living calculators and sites but I'm math phobic and don't really understand what they're trying to tell me. I understand better when speaking directly to someone who has personal experience, so if you know of a place where it could be viable to live alone without subsisting purely on ramen and hot dogs... I'd love to hear about it. (Yeah, roommates are an option, but I prefer living alone if at all possible without having to live away from city entertainment and convenience).

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
I want to buy a nice copy of The Wind in the Willows as a gift. I went to AbeBooks, and there's about a million editions, and most of them don't have extensive pictures of the guts.Old is good, and the more (good) illustrations the better. Wikipedia claims the Shepard illustrations are the most popular, but, for instance, here's a 1971 edition with "12 full page coloured [Shepard] illustrations, 1 double page, and numerous coloured illustrations in the text", and here's a 1959 edition with "8 fine colour plates by E. H. Shepard and b/w illustrations throughout". Alternately, this modern edition on Amazon seems pretty popular. Any recommendations?

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
So, I'm too lazy to link to them, but many of my previous questions have waxed poetic on my experiences with depression, its effects on my cognition and motivation, as well as my trials with a number of treatment modalities- some pharmaceutical, some alternative, some psychological. After years of back-and-forth experiments with nearly everything in the book, I come to the same conclusion time and again: Fluoxetine is the only thing that works.- slowly, under only the best conditions, and for a very short time before I need to up my dose. ( We're talking weeks). What's going on here?YANMD. TINMA. Gotcha. I just feel like whenever Prozac works the way people say it should- clearing out the cobwebs and obsessive thoughts, motivating me and keeping me awake, keeping me from overeating, etc., it always feels more like a high that I have to constantly worry about coming down from rather than a baseline improvement. This is after being on it for the recommended six to eight weeks. Unless I'm on that high ( almost hypomanic but not), I can't help but feel like it isn't doing enough, even with coffee or energy drinks in my system. The high invariably fades after a week or two ( and isn't even consistent in that time) and I go back to being a zombie, only more tense and anxious now that there's extra serotonin in my system that my brain apparently doesn't know what to do with. I then up my dose ( I'm now at 60 mg) and have to deal with the muscle spasticity ( which I don't need more of) and headaches all over again. A few good days ( with coffee, otherwise it does nothing), then bam. Nothing. I've tried Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Zoloft, 5HTP, Pristiq, Celexa, St. John's Wort and a host of vitamins. Only Prozac has ever gotten me where I want to be. It's easier to find words, things aren't a chore, and nothing feels heavy. It's a wonder drug AFAIC, but why the hell can't I get consistent relief? Why does my body treat an SSRI like an addictive substance? Apologies for the WOT, but both anecdata and advice are very, very much appreciated. Cheers, hivemind!

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Would I be overstepping my bounds in confronting someone I'm not well-acquainted with about going to rehab?Here's the situation. I'm close friends with someone whose best friend is basically drinking himself to death. He has been hospitalized several times. I've met this person a few times, and I occasionally receive group emails from him. He's been to rehab at least once before. My friend doesn't know what to do about it, and so will spend hours on the phone talking with him, but won't confront him about the drinking. I feel really bad and helpless, and like I should at least try, futile as it might be. He is a good person, still relatively young, and smart and talented. I hurt for him, and for my friend who is so worried about him. I don't know if sending him an email would help or make things worse. I just hate the thought that if he dies, knowing I stood by and didn't even try to help.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Jeff Quitney has curated hundreds and hundreds* of YouTube playlists with thousands and thousands of vintage educational, training and institutional films and documentaries. If you hate multi-link posts you can jump right in because the playlists aren't organized. In addition to including extensive background information and links to other resources in the video descriptions, he has restored or improved the video and audio in most of the films. Space, the military, and biology are well represented, but so are pets, food, and outdoor recreation and survival. Armchair travelers will be able to travel around the world, but you can also stay at home and watch cartoons. Travel back in time for the latest breaking newsreels, and add your own weather reports from vintage USAF meteorology films. And if you like women's tennis, then you've just hit the motherlode.*I stopped counting at 480 Here's a very, very, very brief overview: Maps, Cartography, Arial Photography (27 videos), including Caught Mapping (1940 - General Motors) Movies - Classic Film Bloopers, Etc. (22 videos), including Breakdowns of 1941 (1941 - Warner Bros.) Education, School, Students, Study, Tests (20 videos), including Education Is Good Business (1947 - United States Chamber of Commerce) Kitchen, Dining, Appliances, etc. (36 videos), including Microwave Ovens: Preparation of Foods Stone Age to Space Age (1965 - Litton Industries) Worlds Fairs, Expositions, Circuses (20 videos), including New York World's Fair: Sinclair at the World's Fair (1965 - Sinclair Refining Company) Bioastronautics/Space Medicine, including Chimp Astronauts Pioneers of the Vertical Frontier (1967 - USAF Aeromedical Research Lab) Technologies, Misc. (74 videos), including Rube Goldberg: Something for Nothing (1940 - GM How Gasoline is Converted to Engine Power) Flying: Air Travel (30 videos), including The Airport in the Jet Age (1962 - Encyclopaedia Britannica Films) Industrial Design and Engineering (6 videos), including Chevrolet Presents: American Look (1958 - General Motors Populuxe) Safety and Accident Prevention (19 videos), including Safety for Children: Live and Learn (1951 - Sid Davis Productions) Travel Roads to Romance Chevrolet Travelogues 1949-1951 (14 videos), including Coral Gables Florida Travel: Roads to Romance (1950 - Chevrolet) *I stopped counting at 480 (There's obviously a lot of problematic stuff in here, especially in the mysogny department, so I tried not to link to anything that appeared to be overtly awful. In other words, there's a ton of "homemaking" type of videos that aren't represented in this post that are interesting and worth watching.)

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