posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
I've reached the proverbial straw moment where I'm realizing that, approaching any sort of numbers/critical thinking game or challenge that is meant to be fun, is instead filling me with absolute dread. I find myself becoming incredibly tense and anxious, and very often preemptively angry at myself for OF COURSE being too stupid to pick it up, which means that often I don't even try to pick it up, which then becomes an inescapable feedback loop. I need to change this, please tell me how!I was raised in a "Get this right immediately or you're a complete failure" environment, which clearly haunts me to this day. As soon as I was able to escape into the arts at school I dove in head-first, and this meant that I was one of those girls who grew to hate math and thought most science too challenging to be truly enjoyable. I don't want to live the rest of my life like this. This isn't a problem when it comes to playing competitive games - no problem losing to another person. It's more of the "See if you can figure out this thing with numbers/logic (oh woops the way it was set up was a trap too *wink*)" thing that kills me every time. Even with neat things that are meant to display how weird or finicky the human brain is my main takeaway is always "OH GOD I FAILED I DID IT WRONG." What's the solution? What are the baby steps? What giant books of puzzles should I stash underneath my bed to do in the moonlight? (I'm also married to a programmer who has no problem going "Huh, I got that wrong. Oh well! Let's try again" while I'm off whimpering in a corner hating myself. I want that confidence. ...Should I learn to code? Oh god.)

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
It's the end of bubblewrap as we know it. iBubble Wrap isn't inflated until it reaches its destination, so it saves a lot of space in transit. When buyers (largely retailers that ship products) receive the rolls, they will use a special pump to inflate the bubbles, but even then they won't be poppable. The Verge has virtual bubblewrap for you in your time of need. Quartz claims you'll still be able to get your fix. Previously.

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
This previous question contains some awesome advice. I'm embarking on a new relationship with a wonderful man, and I would love some similar suggestions for fledgling couples.We're both in our thirties, do not have kids, and live in nearby cities. We've both been in serious relationships before, but at the risk of disgusting many of you with shmoop, I've never been so excited to look forward to a future with someone. I do not want to screw it up. I do want to make the most of it! Of particular interest: ways to keep a good work/love/life balance, since both of us are in that stage where we want to spend every waking minute together. But anything that helped you stay the course of a happy, healthy relationship is welcome!

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
Interactive animation of the Atlantic slave trade. Pause and click on individuals ships for detailed data (not available for all ships).

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Annotated for your pleasure, these Weird Folk Song Premises are very educational. Some plots are wonderfully bizarre, sung in lost languages - others have familiar echoes that you'll pick up later in your favorite stories. Eight female trad/folk singers explain how to address life's great challenges, such as getting your fairy boyfriend to commit, the best ways to make harps out of body parts, and under what contexts it's cool to eat a dead dude.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
A photo feature on five Mauritanian women, now freed from contemporary slavery. Slavery in Mauritania has been called a major human rights issue, with roughly 4% (155,600 people) of the country's population – proportionally the highest for any country – being enslaved against their will. [1]

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Atomas is a fun little smartphone/tablet game in the vein of 2048, using fusing atoms together as the mechanic. Available for iOS, Android, Windows.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I've been actively dating and having intimate encounters, but it's hard for me to address my sexual limitations and lack of experience with new partners. How to deal?I am a bisexual male, turning 26 soon, and I am actively dating people. However, I have a problem...I have "intimacy issues," and I feel like I am too old to be dealing with this and have no legitimate excuse for having them. I can enjoy cuddling and making out and some sexual touching but when it comes to most actual sex acts, I have too many hesitations, limitations, discomforts, and a general lack of experience. I do have some experience but it is significantly low in comparison to my age group. I apologize if this seems vague but I don't feel like getting into the specifics of my experience at the moment, I'm looking for more general advice. I feel like anyone I get involved with is going to expect that I am more experienced than I am, and that I have fewer limitations than I do. Instead of feeling guilty about not meeting their expectations, I know I need to communicate with them about this, but I lack the tools to do so. How can I discuss this sort of thing without causing people to get upset? I feel like when I've tried to talk about it in the past, people end up getting upset or condescending or saying creepy things, on occasion they have stopped pursuing me, on occasion they have pursued me even more aggressively but would silently build up resentment and it would turn into a toxic situation. I just want to be sexually normal but it's like I can't trust anyone enough to even practice with them and get to that point. These days I try to avoid bringing it up out of fear of rejection, and sometimes I feel guilty that I'm even trying to meet people at all while I have this stuff to deal with. I can't seem to catch a break whether I do or don't bring this up. Any hot tips?

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
Magic: the Gathering is a fantastic strategy trading card game, currently in it's 22nd year and more popular than ever. But as it becomes more mainstream, an ugly issue is coming to light: there just aren't many women players. The official company line is that 38% of players are female, although that number is not represented in high level play. Gaby Spartz's article 6 Things You Can do to Get More Women Into Magic puts the percentage of women in tournament play closer to 1-2% of the field. Spartz's article, as well as her followup 7 Counterpoints to My Women in Magic Article, has sparked a debate that has raged over the past few months. A few weeks back, Meghan Wolff of casual Magic podcast Magic: The Amateuring wrote a mini-manifesto, complete with links to a number of female players' social media accounts and podcasts. Jim Davis wrote a tone-deaf response that seemed to be well meaning but demonstrated a profound misunderstanding of a lot of the concepts of equality in male-dominated fields. The article was quickly pulled and apologised for, but not before the community erupted in debate and a number of thoughtful response pieces were published. Wolff and her co-host Maria Bartholdi could only sigh on the followup episode of their podcast. Today it came to light that as a means to make sure all players feel safe playing the game, they have given player Zach Jesse a lifetime ban from organized play. Jesse has recently been putting up strong tournament results, and it came to light that he had a 10 year old sexual battery conviction. While Jesse took to Reddit to explain the efforts he's taken to get his life back on track, many weren't comfortable with the idea of a convicted rapist achieving success in a community that is generally trying to become a safer space for all players. Jesse commented on the ban on Facebook (reproduced here on Reddit), and while no one would condone his past crimes, a debate is currently raging regarding whether a player's criminal history or reputation should affect their ability to compete.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
If Jurassic Park Were In Different Geological Eras

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
You may enjoy the schadenfreudic artwork at Kindle Ebook Disasters (previously), but did you ever wonder if the writing is as inept as the covers would suggest? In the case of Tender Kiss of the Russian Werewolf, the answer is an unsurprising and unqualified "yes." Sextrap Dungeon, on the other hand, is not good exactly, but according to one reviewer, seems "entirely aware of how stupid it is and actually has fun with the fact." On Wired, Jason Kehe has an ongoing series of book reviews selected from the Kindle Ebook Disasters tumblr. In addition to the Russian Werewolf sexcapades, he has reviewed The Yississ War, Moira: The Zorzen War (The Divided Worlds Book 3), and Crisis on Terra-Bravo.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I utterly loathe doing monthly timesheets, so the CEO has tasked me to come up with a better platform. Are there better alternatives since this question was asked?Some specific requirements: Integrate with either Quickbooks, Xero or Kashoo Ability to import clients, projects, activity codes and the likes easily Easy to use Ability to assign a cost per hour as well as rate per hour to employees Permit export of time entries to accounting for invoicing, or have an invoicing module Ability to set up templates for pre-allocating time to accounts. Ability to split time amongst projects arbitrarily. Have multiple contract types available (time and material, fixed fee, and time and material with cap) Reporting functions Multiple jurisdiction support (e.g. Ability to bill in different currencies) If possible, integrated expenses module with multiple jurisdiction/currency support. If there isn't an integrated expenses module, please suggest an app/platform that plays well with the time entry platform. We've already ruled out: BillQuick Online, TriggerApp, Harvest, Synergy, TidyWork, and anything that requires Google Apps accounts.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My sister and I are trying to figure out how to do raised bed gardening on the extremely cheap. I have proposed building the beds out of the cardboard boxes left over from our recent move. What are the likely consequences of this plan, and do you have a better and/or cheaper option?We want to build at least two garden beds for next year. We are basically looking for the best improvement over "just pile up some dirt and plant things in it" that we can manage. Our main enemies in the current environment are weeds - we have spotted some rabbits, but they haven't eaten anything that's managed to survive the dandelion invasion. The beds would either be 4' x 8' rectangles or 6' keyholes (that debate will be part of a future Ask, I suspect.) We want them to be between 24" and 40" high. Our budget is extremely limited because all "gardening" money is coming from our food budget - the upper limit for everything (dirt and fertilizer and tomato cages and seeds and etc.) is probably around $200. This more or less rules out using concrete blocks, based on the prices I'm seeing (my guess is that it'd take at least 80 16"x 8"x 8" blocks to build two beds, and I haven't found blocks for less than $1.50.) The only objects we have on hand that seem like potential construction materials are a gazillion cardboard boxes: banker's boxes, copy paper boxes, produce boxes from Sam's Club and GFS, and pretty much every kind of package that Amazon has ever shipped a thing in. We also have a lot of IKEA furniture that's being used to hold things like food and TVs off the floor, and a lot of books that I refuse to turn into worm food. Oh, and on average we obtain about a pound of compostable paper (newsprint, etc.) every three or four days because I literally cannot get them to stop bringing us this crap in the mail. I see at least three ways we could use the extraordinary amount of cardboard we have: Flatten the boxes and use them to create external walls for great big beds of dirt Fill the boxes with dirt and stack them up on one another like bricks or sandbags - making essentially the entire bed out of boxes of dirt Flatten the boxes and pile them up tall, and then cover it all with dirt, ala hugelkutur (or alternatively, alternating cardboard and dirt in some fashion.) It seems to me that the "sandbag method" is the least likely to result in catastrophic structural collapse, in part because there's an underlying order to the whole thing and any one box side is always "backed up" by at least one other box side except on the exterior. It also seems to me that we ought to deliberately use the smaller boxes up first, and possibly fill them and insert them into the larger boxes. My understanding is that few of our plants will need more than 12" of vertical room for their roots - which should mean that we can just have a single layer of "larger boxes" on top, as they're all more than 12" deep. We also have the option of "shoring up" the outside perimeter with rabbit fencing or rebar or something, and we have quite a few trashbags that could in theory be used to line the exterior as well. Heck, if we get to spend $0 on the walls, I'm even willing to consider investing in some twine to hold it all in. If it's easy and it's incredibly cheap, our minds are open. Other considerations: We are OK with having to rebuild it all in two years' time; we are not OK with having to rebuild it halfway through the first growing season. We are moderately concerned about "purity" and the avoidance of chemicals - that is, we're not "organic" and we lack the self-discipline and endurance necessary to compost properly, but we do plan on removing packing tape from the boxes before using them. My health and my sister's time constraints mean that more complicated construction techniques are a no-go. Using the cardboard boxes like bricks also means we don't have to spend time flattening them, and if we use all the cardboard up we get to skip making about nine trips to the local recycling center to get rid of all these freaking boxes.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
There's a number of books around how to generally learn things better, like The Art of Learning and Make it Stick. Which books about learning better do you recommend?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I am ftm trans and while I am not on hormones & have not had surgery, I still pass a decent amount of the time. Sometimes I get long, cruising looks from guys who I am sure are gay (on the street, in a mall). I have no idea how to move forward in these situations; porn is my entire frame of reference and I'm sure it's not that simple. How do guys meet guys in public?It feels like a totally different dynamic from when I was perceived as female. So how do I pick up guys in public? Or in a gay bar? I would have to disclose that I am trans fairly quickly (they would figure it out anyway as soon as I spoke). I'm really super nervous about approaching someone first unless it's a situation like a book reading or whatever. I have gotten zero interest on OKCupid (maybe a future question...) and while I haven't tried it, Grindr is maybe a little too shallow (plus I can only do fully clothed pictures).

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm planning a #MEDIA-themed party. Some of my current siblings-in-law would totally dig this and it would be fun to have them there - we're all on good terms. However, I absolutely do not want my almost-ex (divorce proceedings underway) present. Is there any acceptable way to invite them but not the ex?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
George "DarkAngelØne" Redhawk is legally blind, and "likes to play with pictures" to create surreal animated gifs. His full archive contains more than 1000 images. (Some may be NSFW).

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
A recent paper describes a credible, achievable plan for a crewed Mars mission. Plans for human exploration of Mars tend to suffer from two problems: too expensive, and/or relies on technology that doesn't exist yet and may never exist. A group of mission planners at JPL has come up with a plan that uses existing technology, and can fit within the NASA budget projections from now to 2050. It relies on SLS launches, a habitat on Phobos, and practice descent/ascent on the Moon.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I am looking for a good therapist in the Watertown or Brighton area of Boston - say within a 5-10 minute drive from Brighton Center. Would prefer female and someone who has experience with relationship issues and/or mortality issues. Can anyone make a recommendation?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm finally taking the leap to an SSD, which arrived today and am all ready to go, except that I don't have a SATA to USB cable (or enclosure) and need to clone my Windows 7 HDD because I don't have any Windows retail discs. Who would have thought I'd have finally have a need for Radio Shack? :/I've done some Googling and everything I've read assumes an enclosure or SATA to USB cable. I kind of wanted to get this done today and having looked at Staples, Best Buy, etc., it looks like they all only have these cables online. I have an external USB drive with a lot of free space, is there any way I can clone to that? Or is there some other workaround I can use without having to wait a few more days for shipping? Here's what I have: - Asus U56E laptop with about 120GB used (files plus Windows). I also recently partitioned this to try out Linux - I don't need the Linux partition to transfer. - Windows 7 - an external portable drive with 200GB free space - a new Samsung SSD that I would like to be using right away. - Asus recovery disc What I don't have: - SATA to USB cable - a store nearby that carries one What I'd like: - my HDD cloned to the SSD (minus the Linux is ok and probably even desirable) Is there a way I can do this?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'd like to add a white logo/slogan to a standard nylon camping tent. What's the best way to achieve this?The options I've considered so far are: making a stencil and spray-painting through it; using fabric paint (which honestly never looks great or even); or maybe ordering some kind of custom iron-on transfer? Which will look the best? Which will best survive being scrunched up in a tent bag for long periods?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I enjoy writing short stories but I'm very aware of the fact that my female voice is somewhat lacking. Help?Ironically (to me), the most critical complaints I've had about my female voice are feminist friends who usually spend a lot of time telling me how the genders are the same, so I assume that there must be significant but subtle markers that I'm somehow missing. It's not that my female voice is rubbish - it's that it's not significantly different to my male voice. I'm tempted to say that part of the problem is that my male voice may not be hugely male, so the people complaining about my female voice are complaining that both sides have the same voice. :/ So, yeah... I need help in giving my genders their own voices without resorting to stereotypes. Can anyone recommend resources for me? While thinking about this I've spent some time reading random mefi posts and I've realised that I have a hard time judging if the author is male or female. I'm not sure if this is relevant or not...

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What are the best practices right now, as far as official college policies dealing with transgender students' needs? For example, making it easy to change your name on campus records. Are there any good examples of colleges doing things right?I saw Beloit College's preferred name policy. I'm looking for other examples like that, of practical things a college administration, especially a small residential college with limited budget, can do to treat transgender students right in all aspects of college life. Also, are there reputable trans groups/ other sources that issue guidelines or factsheets or training materials, such as tips we could distribute to faculty members and RAs about why correct names matter, dos-and-don'ts, and so on?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Google challenge: Name the architect who built the Steel Pier in Atlantic City.Years ago I was researching the history of my home, built in 1907, and learned somehow that it was designed by the same architect who built the Steel Pier (1898). Now I don't have the information anymore. I can't remember how I found it and I can't find it again. But it's out there! Anybody got better Google skills than me?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Yesterday was July 1 and the 148th anniversary of the British North America Act, which combined the three British colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Canada (Upper and Lower Canada becoming Ontario and Quebec, respectively) into the dominion of Canada. The British North America Act also conferred a constitution onto the new nation, establishing the powers of the federal and provincial governments and creating a framework for how new territories might be admitted. The day is marked with celebrations across the country, culminating in fireworks displays. A roundup of some of the fireworks demonstrations, going from West to East: Vancouver Edmonton Calgary Sakatoon Regina Winnipeg Toronto (short ad before video starts) Ottawa Montreal Fredericton (Best videos I could find at time of posting; some cities don't have anything posted (yet!)). A timeline of Canadian history (some erroneous entries at the start where appropriate years (all incidents occurred in 1963) haven't been applied; but this timeline is one of the few that details the First Nations and their presence before and during European settlement).

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