posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I want to give you a brief window into my life in this little corner of journalistic endeavor. Ready? Here goes. Today, the Verge newsroom got into a heated debate about whether or not vampires can poop. I'm not kidding.This is the greatest Yahoo! Answer on whether vampires can poop

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My debit card was stolen remotely (I assume over the Internet). There are two processed transactions on my statement and one pending. I called both places and neither could find a record of the transactions. What gives?The first transaction as for a Pizza Hut. I took the store number from the card statement and found the number and called. No such purchase for the past three days. This was a local store. Second transaction was on Expedia for $189. The third was a pending on Expedia for $964. Called Expedia. No such transactions. They were both from yesterday. The two cleared ones cleared yesterday, the pending was charged yesterday. They clearly exist as transactions, so why can't they pull them up? The card is cancelled and I'll be refunded, but I can't figure out why I can't get the details of the transactions. For the Expedia ones, I feel I could get a name and address, assuming the charges were for travel.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I need a portable, work-from-home career that pays enough to live on (for me, about $30K minimum). I'm introverted and unhappy with my current location, and I like travel and having the freedom to move when I want. I'm frugal.Things I could do with a minimum of training right now are: technical writing, other kinds of writing, tech support, and graphic design. I'm interested in learning programming and plan to take online courses in it. I'm interested in software testing and would be open to learning about being a virtual assistant and other similar jobs. TaskRabbit and Uber and such are probably not a good fit for an introvert. I'd like my contact with clients to be minimal. So, MeFi, do any of you support yourselves in similar ways? What have I left out, and what has worked for you?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I received an email from a job I'd applied to a couple of months ago requesting my availability for a phone interview. I responded via email (per their request) the same day with my limited availability. As a healthcare provider, it seems that tight schedules are the norm, but I haven't heard back, four days later. When, if ever, is it appropriate to send a follow-up email?I received the email four days ago and replied the same day. I gave my schedule for the rest of the weekdays: two days on call, when I couldn't guarantee phone availability, and one day off. I had several appointments scheduled in a small block on my day off, so said I would be free for most of that day, excepting a 3 hour block. I didn't mention anything about the weekend, as the email was from an HR person, and it seemed to be an initial phone interview for screening purposes. Because it's extremely rare for me to have a weekday off, I couldn't reschedule the appointments I'd made until June. Again, it's not uncommon in my field to have a demanding schedule, so I thought it would be helpful to be explicit in my availability. However, I am thinking that they took my limited availability as being too high-maintenance or simply not interested in the job. But I am very interested, and wondering if I misstepped in my communication with them. If so, how can I fix it?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What are the best toys from the 80s, which can still be purchased easily?We have been having fun exploring some of the toys of our childhoods with my young stepson. We want more! I think it would be so fun for him to grow up seeing our house as this place with all sorts of cool things to try and do. Things we have enjoyed so far: - LEGO - Thomas trains and hot wheels cars - A large and quite indestructible Fisher Price pirate castle which belonged to my brother Things we already have for later: - Spirograph art set - YoYo - A real Nintendo system and many game cartridges What else can we get? Little Guy is 4, very mechanically inclined and more of an indoors kid. He's not so into the arts and crafts. I can see him getting into stuff like programming later, but right now, we just want to recreate our awesome 80s childhood a little and keep him off the technology a bit :-)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Do you know of a store in the Toronto area that sells those hollow chocolate eggs that you can personalize for Easter?For oddly specific reasons, I need to acquire one of these for Easter. I assumed they were a lot easier to find (story of my life). I see them online here, but need something I can pick up in the Toronto-Oakville-Burlington-Hamilton zone (or online if they ship to Canada for a reasonable sum). Bonus Question 1: anyone have a good recipe for the icing? I might have to end up MacGyvering one of these myself. I'm sure the results will be....charming, if not mildly horrifying. Bonus Question 2: any speculation on why these seem to have dropped off the face of the earth? And when did they disappear? What have they done with my childhood?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Thinking about using silk in two bedding projects. I have two cats and a toddler. Is this a terrible idea?I have several small cuts of dupioni silk, most of it pretty, iridescent and with a nice slubby texture (not the smooth, satin-y stuff). [Example]. My understanding is that to retain the sheen, dupioni should be dry-cleaned. Also, I'm aware of the water-spotting issue, though the information I've found suggests that washing the fabric before sewing with it can eliminate the water-spotting problem. My larger question is whether this type of fabric is a really bad idea to use for a quilt and pillowcases for my bed. One of my cats likes to knead and sleeps with me. I also have a toddler who doesn't sleep with us, but does play on the bed a fair amount. Now, he's not eating peanut butter sandwiches there, but he's a kid and sometimes has stuff on his hands or whatever. The info I can find on silk is pretty mixed. One the one hand, some people recommend it for upholstery since it seems to repel cat hair, but on the other hand people seem to say it's delicate and finicky. I don't think snags would be as much as a problem with the thicker, slubby weave, but I really have no idea. Can anyone enlighten me on how silk lives with cats and babies? Should I just make myself a lot of coin purses?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My husband and I are at an impasse and I need help either figuring out how to make my case more clearly or ideas how to get myself on board.This is going to be long, but I really need help working through my thoughts. First, my perspective: I'm not anti-building a house. I'm anti-building a house right now. We have a one year old. And my teenage stepson lives five minutes away from the house we live in now. I've got a good daycare that I feel safe with and trust, right down the street. My husband has a work contract that ends in four years. It could result in a large windfall for us or it could end with us owing several hundreds of thousands of dollars. We won't know for a couple years which it is. We also won't know until his contract ends whether or not we are going to stay in this city or move to a completely different state. The new house would be across town, twenty minutes away from my stepson and would require finding a new daycare for the baby (which, of course, would be my responsibility). We both also work insane hours, my husband especially as he tries to get the company to a growth point where we'll come out in the black when his contract ends. I am still figuring out how to balance the baby and the job and, frankly, dealing with picking out floors and shit feels like a huge added burden on my already non-existent free time. Building this house is in our budget, but just barely. We'll go from a comfortable surplus to a breaking even every month. It won't eat into our long-term savings, but the down payment will take a large chunk out of our cash reserves, giving us a four-month emergency fund instead of a 12-month emergency fund. And breaking even each month means we won't be able to build the money back up without shifting contributions away from our retirement savings. My perspective is: let's build a house in four years. The baby will be transitioning to kindergarten. Our stepson will be on his way to college. We can use the next four years to save for the down payment. We'll know better what our financial situation really is. And we'll have a better idea of whether or not we're going to stay here. My husband's perspective: He's feeling stressed and trapped at work, staring down the barrel of four more years trying to build the company with tons of financial pressure. He said, "I need to change my physical environment." He doesn't have any hobbies or any friends. He feels like this house will give him something to do, a project to get excited about. He says four years is too long to wait because, if he stays here, he won't sign another contract, so we'll actually never know if we're staying in this area for longer than we do right now. If we move, it's likely to be to a larger, more expensive market, where building a house isn't a possibility. He says that building a house is his life-long dream and he feels like, if he doesn't do it now, he never will. He's excited about the thought of spending his free time making decisions about house stuff. He thinks it will be a fun project that will give us something to do together. I don't want to keep him from living his dreams, but at the same time, I'm really struggling to get on board. I've tried to go along with it and I've been ignoring the little voice in the back of my head, because I do want him to be happy. In fact, we are actually under contract on a house (we'll be tearing it down to the studs and rebuilding it/adding a huge addition). But there are lots of issues with the house (foundation, septic system, etc). He's excited because that means knocking down the price. I just want to walk away. Our due diligence period ends next week and we are still arguing about whether or not to do it. I feel like one of us is going to end up unhappy. I feel stuck and resentful and so does he. He thinks I'm being overly anxious and too risk-averse. I think he's trying to solve his unhappiness with a house and putting us at financial risk. I just need some perspective around the whole thing, as this weekend is really when we have to decide if we're going to do this or walk away.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Deep Cave in Edwards, Texas, has a regular entrance, and a ...rather more claustrophobic one.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
John Renbourn, the highly influential English guitar player, and one of the co-founders of Pentangle, has died. There's a nice appreciation from The Guardian here. Farewell, Mr. Renbourn.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm hoping for suggestions for career changes for someone who has spent their entire professional career in nonprofits and government, and is looking for something that pays a little more, is maybe a little less bureaucratic, and which plays to their strengths (community organizing and building, creative thinking, program planning, social engagement).Asking for a friend. Said friend has worked for the last 10+ years as a program coordinator in nonprofits and government, and they find themselves at an impasse in terms of both salary and career prospects. They were hoping for suggestions of careers their skills and talents might transfer well to. The friend is very intelligent and personally engaging, and does well in meeting with diverse sorts of people and giving presentations to groups of many sizes. They enjoy and do well with brainstorming original and creative ideas and initiatives. They really enjoy making a difference in the world (part of the reason they've stuck with the nonprofit world long after burnout has set in). I personally think this friend would make a fantastic teacher, but unfortunately further education is not an option, for financial reasons. Assume they have a liberal arts bachelor's degree. Things the friend does not enjoy: red tape, being micromanaged, working with negative people, dealing with lots of fussy details or jobs requiring a high degree of organization (they've managed to do all of these and more in their career, but have no fun doing it. While these would be tolerable as a small part of the job, they often seem to comprise the entire job). The friend doesn't want to work in a field that is actively harmful to society. They have managed volunteers and interns but otherwise have no management experience. They are computer competent but not extremely techie. Ideally, a new job would pay $50,000 or more a year (for a Midwestern US city). Relocation is not an option. Thank you!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'd like to take two or three weeks and intensively study the administration of CentOS servers. What resources or online classes exist? Red Hat certification courses/resources would count.I know that's a super broad request. The ultimate application of the knowledge will be managing a handful of public web servers behind a load balancer hosted at a company like Rackspace. They'll be managed servers, but ideally I'd like to get a very strong grasp of even the parts that are taken care of for me. Apache and MySQL for sure. The rest I'm not sure of right now. I have OK Linux commandline skills and experience setting up small VPS servers at providers like Digital Ocean and Linode.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I am trying to research this drug. The statement that it has been banned in the Netherlands shows up on several forums, but I can't find out if this is actually true. From reports posted by MANY people, they commonly had such adverse side effects as insomnia, extreme fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, being in a mental fog & swelling in lower extremities, rash & other things. It just sounded terrible. The symptoms stopped when the drug was stopped. My husband was recently prescribed this. He works with industrial machinery that could easily slice off, or crush a finger or hand. In this industry, it is a challenge to avoid this when you are completely clear minded. I am concerned about him starting this. Even if he were to gradually become accustomed to the drug, I don't think it's worth the risk if he has even a day of this. It's much like drinking and driving. Once could have dire consequences. If if has been banned in any country, I'd like to know why. Also, the same sources say it is only allowed in many countries for veterinary use.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Help me identify this indie rock song (with a Belle and Sebastian sound) with song lyrics that go, "I'm wasting my time."I was in a restaurant in Barcelona when I heard this song: - Recent indie rock song -- sounded like Belle and Sebastian but I don't think it was them - Had the lyrics "I'm wasting my time" or "I'm wasting time" - Big band type instruments during the end or climax (again like Belle/Sebastian) such as horns, violins I think the lyrics are too common for me to find anything legit on google. Thank you and sorry for the incredibly vague description.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The impossible has happened - I am caught up with, or have finished, all my favorite history podcasts. I'm looking for some new ones to add to the line-up.Specifically, I love the long, epic series like History of Rome. I'm looking for more in this vein - narratives where we are immersed in the story for months on end. Podcasts that I've enjoyed (and can recommend) are: Active (updating every week or two) Mike Duncan - Revolutions. The French revolution is getting ugly. Robin Pierson - History of Byzantium. The Arabs are advancing in the East. Dan Carlin - Hard Core History. Waiting patiently for the last WWI episode. It's been an absolutely horrifying journey. Benjamin and Adam Ashwell - Italian Unification. This one isn't as well known, and it should be; the brothers focus on Italy, but we get the history of modern western Europe thrown into the mix. We learn a lot about the Hapsburgs, the Bourbons, Napoleon, and The Most Serene Republic of Venice before we even get to Garibaldi. Peter Adamson - History of Philosophy. I'm actually only on Aristotle, and have a long way to go ... but this one is a bit hard to binge on. Completed these, loved them all: Mike Duncan - History of Rome. Of course. Lars Brownworth - 12 Byzantine Emperors; The Norman Centuries. From the man who started it all. Sharyn Eastaugh - History of the Crusades. Brilliant, and a revelatory experience. I don't know why I never see this in the "best of" lists on-line. This podcast has Game of Thrones-levels of intrigue and drama. Philip Daileader - The Early Middle Ages. Actually an audiobook, but well worth the cost. At some point I'll buy the next two in the course. _____________________________________ French language podcasts would be fine. And though the above are all on the Classical World, I am interested in the rest of the planet! I've tried to google suggestions, but I always get the same results (Dan Carlin, Mike Duncan, and a lot of podcasts with a new topic each week. Which is fine, but I have enough of those already).

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Toshio Shibata's Mesmerizing Photographs of Water [New York Times] The Japanese photographer Toshio Shibata is fascinated by water — in particular, the way it interacts with man-made structures. For the later half of his almost-40-year career in photography, he has explored this relationship in novel ways, hiding horizon lines and taking the perspective of the water itself with his camera, visually evoking its rushing sound.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Washington DC is going through a real estate boom. Except there isn't a lot of real estate to build on. The unique combination of population density, rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods and lax zoning and code regulations means developers eager to cash in on the District's real estate boom have been taking hundred year old rowhouses bought for a song, throwing on a third floor "pop-up" and converting them into condo units. More often than not, the designs of the pop-ups look nothing like the rest of the neighborhood, prompting neighbor ire about the character of the neighborhood architecture being changed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but common developer designs range from: Attempts to match the surroundings, No attempt at all, to maximizing every single square inch, aesthetics be damned. Developers claim that they're adding needed housing stock in neighborhoods that people want to buy in and describe neighbor complaints as NIMBYism, but neighbors have stated that the complaints about pop-ups are more than just about aesthetics - the pop-ups are blocking their solar panels, sunlight, and destroying their homes.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I have a Toshiba laptop with Windows 7 running and two user accounts on it. One has admin rights and the password has been forgotten. I have tried multiple things to try to get it to reset without success including: 1. Using alt ctrl del to get to classic login box in order to type administrator in username and leaving password empty to reset. It won't get me to classic login box. 2. using "net User" at DOS command to replace password. 3. starting in safe mode I do not have a password reset disk and even though one site said I could still create one and use it won't let me. Everything I have tried fails. Are there any other options other than a clean install of windows (which I don't think I have disks for)? I assume there is probably some sort of reboot type of way to get in, but I am not an expert on pc's and am not sure how to do it safely.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
This sweet set of photographs by photographer Johan Bävman depicts Swedish men caring for their children during paternity leave. Many of these men indicate that they are still considered rather unusual despite Sweden's notably progressive stance on paternity leave. The UK is changing, too: from this coming month, paternity leave will be more generous for men thanks to the efforts of the Lib Dems.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Our small office is running Windows Server 2008 R2. This one server acts as our file server, our mail server with Exchange 2010, our Active Directory server, AutoDesk License server, etc. I want to have on-prem backup and use a cloud storage for some form of offsite backup, but I can't seem to find the right solution.Our server has one internal RAID array serving as one primary storage unit for our production side, and there is an external RAID array serving as a storage unit for our design side of the business. Exchange is hosted on the primary store. Currently backup is done via Back-Up Exec 2012. The two RAID stores are backup up locally to two NAS devices each one being a 6TB NAS. BackupExec runs a full backup of both stores on the weekend, and does an incremental backup each day. Each full backup is approx 1.3 TB and we retain the last 3 sets of backups before over-writing them. This is ok but if the server closet died in a fire then we are SOL except for old job files that have been archived to our read only vault which is backed up manually to offsite when any new files are moved onto it. As near as I can tell Backup Exec won't let me backup to any existing cloud services. Otherwise I could at least setup a backup job that would at least backup the Exchange store, our Access DB, and the QuickBooks DB to something like Amazon S3. Do I need to replace Backup Exec? Do I need to run something in tandem with Backup Exec? My NAS devices have built in support for Amazon S3 but backing up the full NAS to Amazon looks like it will be $300-$400 a month. Crashplan works for my home server, but I don't know that it will play well with the Exchange store. Any help is appreciated.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
We initially started with 12 or 13 ingredients in the Bloody Mary. But one day, about two and a half years ago, I stuck a cheeseburger on a toothpick on a Bloody Mary and wrote on a Facebook post: "Am I going too far?" The next thing I knew, I had 100 comments. Everyone loved it. It seemed to me to be so ridiculous, but I got home and I sat down at the table and said to my wife, "Wow, I think we're on to something." --I Started Milwaukee's Epic Bloody Mary Garnish Wars

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The Shut-In Economy The dream of on-demand, delivery everything is splitting tech-centered cities into two new classes: shut-ins and servants.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
It seems that whenever I meet a woman I really like and think I have a connection with, she can only view me as a friend. I'm generally okay with this, because their great qualities as people is what attracted me to them in the first place, and those don't change just because she's not interested in me. But when it happens over and over and over again, it does make me wonder whether there's something I'm doing wrong. Why is it I'm consistently viewed as good friend material, but not good lover material?The most recent instance happened just a few weeks ago. I (32) met someone (28) around December in a volunteer activity I'm very involved in, and we had an instant rapport. I thought she was intelligent, principled and funny, and had an energy and enthusiasm towards things that just couldn't help but draw me towards her. Also she knew how to make an amazing eggplant curry, I was blown away by how good it was! We had a lot in common in terms of interests and values and communication styles too. I thought she was interested in me (we'd cuddled while watching movies a few times) and so as she was leaving one night, I asked whether I could kiss her. She got flustered and said we'd need to talk later. One week later she told me that she could only see me as a friend, and that when she realized I was interested in her she had hoped I would have gotten her signals, but apparently I needed to be told directly. She said she really liked me as a friend and still wanted to hang out with me, and I said I wanted that too, but that I would need some space to process things, which is what I've been doing for the past few weeks. While I'm very sad things didn't work out the way I wanted them to, what's been bothering me lately isn't so much this individual instance but, rather, how it's the latest iteration of a pattern that has repeated itself literally since puberty, and I'm 32 god damn years old now. Time and time again, women like me as a friend but can't see me in a romantic context. They've told me I'm funny, they've told me I'm intelligent, they've told me I'm kind and compassionate and empathetic, they've told me they feel comfortable being open around me, they've told me I'm not a bad looking guy and that there's nothing wrong with the way I look. And I believe they're being honest. But they just can't see me as anything more than a friend. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing-- I like that they think all these positive things about me, and while it's a little disappointing, it's not like I haven't appreciated their friendship over the years. Some of these women have, indeed, become some of my closest friends and I wouldn't trade that for a transient roll in the hay with them. But this is only if you take each case individually. When considering these cases as a pattern, I feel bewildered, hurt, frustrated, depressed and--at this point--utterly defeated. When something happens once, it could be a fluke. When it happens three times, it's a NYT trend article. When it's happened dozens upon dozens of times, though, it makes me think there is something deeply and fundamentally broken about me. My friends try to cheer me up, and say I just need to wait for the right person, but frankly I'm getting sick of people telling me there's nothing wrong with me when there very clearly *is* something wrong with me or else I wouldn't be in this situation. It's obvious the problem isn't interacting with women in general--I'm guessing about 85-90 percent of my friends are women. And I've had relationships in the past, but they've generally been very few and far between (my last one was in 2010, and the one before that was 2005) and they last, on average, about six months. Whenever I have dated anyone, it's always moved very fast, and we're usually exclusive within 6-8 weeks. While I've had short flings too, they're also very infrequent and they never go anywhere either. I do feel like I've come a long way since when I was younger in how I view women and relationships. I'm not sizing up every women I meet as a potential relationship, I've got an active an independent life in terms of hobbies and friends (I'm very involved in radical left activism in my city, and have several accomplishments there I'm proud of), and I'm far more aware of what kind of person I'm looking to be with and what sort of relationship I'd like to have. But I'm lonely. And horny. But mostly lonely. Well, okay, about 50-50 of both. I feel like, considering how often this happens, it's unlikely that it's been a different thing every single time. There has to be some common thread, something about me, some quality I have, something I'm doing, that leads me to be highly valued as a friend but not at all as a potential romantic partner. What's particularly concerning is I feel like this makes it more difficult for me to be discerning in what kinds of relationships I do enter when I have the chance because I think "if I turn her down, who knows how long it will be before someone else comes along?" This has led me into making some unfortunate choices over the past few years when it comes to the aforementioned short flings. I don't know what to do about this situation. It's become a major contributing factor to my depression (yes, I am in therapy and on medication) and has played a number on my self-esteem. I feel like every rejection is due to me not being good enough, and even though intellectually I know that's bunk, I retain this visceral feeling that the reason I am where I am is because I'm just an inherently low-quality human being. I'm starting to think this is permanent, that my life is indicative of some sort of sexual Calvinism, and I'm just not one of the Elect, and there's nothing I can do about it. I know this is the last thing you should be feeling if you want women to desire you but I can't shake this feeling, as irrational as I know it is, as I think the empirical evidence supports it. Narrowing this all down to specific questions: What could I be doing wrong? What features could make someone desirable as a friend but not as a lover? Do the qualities that make for a good friend stand in opposition to the qualities that make for a good lover? How do I untangle this ouroboros of suck where the more I hate myself the more romantically untouchable I become and the more romantically untouchable I become the more I hate myself? What should I do to address this problem? And finally, if this is indeed my life, how do I make peace with the fact that I will die alone?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
This is that age old Passover tale that's retold This is what we listen to While eatin' through those matzah pieces

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I Raised Henry . A brief photo essay.

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