posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
What novels do you recommend about children abandoned by one or both parents? By abandonment, I mean everything from leaving a baby on the stoop or going out for cigarettes and never returning to the parent who becomes emotionally distant and/or physically distant following a separation or divorce. I'm interested in books in which the abandonment or the child's attempts to deal with it, perhaps when grown up, is a major theme.

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
TriviaFilter: I host an annual trivia night for my company and am looking for some fresh ideas for rounds/topics this year. What's the most fun / innovative / clever trivia round you've played lately?Audio and visual rounds are par for the course. Here's a few of the past rounds that were well-liked: * Guess the TV show from a 15 second clip of its theme song * Question one has one answer, question two is two-part answer, question three is three-part ... all the way up to ten * Hear a song, name the decade it was released * Twitter battle: given 3-4 people/things on Twitter, rank them by followers I like to sprinkle these novelty rounds in between standard trivia topics. Our typical trivia night consists of six rounds, with 10-15 teams of 4-6 people. I'd love to hear what kind of fun trivia rounds you've participated in recently. Thanks!

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
In the spring of 2015, a billboard for the film Aloha was erected overlooking Logan Square in Chicago. It's still there today. While its fate and that of two others (mercifully blank) is fought over in court, fans of the billboard are planning a tiki party in honor of its first birthday.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
We all "enjoyed" watching Winter Dragon, a pilot for a TV adaptation of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Our suffering appears to have been worthwhile however, as Robert Jordan's widow, Harriet McDougal, has announced that the legal issues have been resolved and a new series is on the way. Working link to a version Winter Dragon, since the version in the previous FPP is dead. No word is available at this time about which studio is involved, but negotiations seem to be going well and an announcement from the studio is forthcoming.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Working from home today and would like to listen to some commentary and analysis of the first round of the NFL draft (interested in the whole draft, actually). Recommendations for the best sports radio show I can stream and maybe an upcoming sports podcast focusing on the draft greatly appreciated.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
No Labels is an American political organization based in the United States, composed of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, whose mission is to "usher in a new era of focused problem solving in American politics." As the election draws nearer they have begun promoting their National Strategic Agenda; based on a nationwide survey conducted in the fall of 2013, it's billed as "A Policy Playbook For America's Next President." (Wikipedia)

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Although I've been diagnosed with a chronic illness for 20 years and have been totally disabled by it for 3 years, I'm just now coming to the realization that every facet of my life has changed. My house is a wreck, and I have to understand that i WONT feel better in a week to get it all caught up, my larder is completely empty and i have to understand that i WONT feel better in a week or get it all caught up, etc. etc. I live alone, no family and/or friends live nearby, so I am basically on my own. I still drive, and I can go out shopping if its a "good" day, but I can't count on that good day, predict when it is coming, and generally after a day out, I have 3 or 4 "bad" ones to recuperate. Unflagging, constant, mind numbing fatigue is the biggest symptom that bugs me and the one I struggle with feeling the most guilt for, i.e., "if i could just try harder, I would be able to do more." This causes me a lot of stress, which is bad for my illness, which causes me more stress, etc, etc. My question is for those who know where I'm coming from, how do you/did you arrange your life so that you could cope? I'm looking for hacks, as well as different ways of thinking, books, anything really that has helped you reach some sort of equilibrium with your chronic illness, as well as keeping the daily cruft of life (food, shelter, etc) manageable. If it matters, my illness is rheumatoid arthritis overlapped by chronic fatigue syndrome. (And yes, I am well familiar with the spoon theory, but what if most days you have only a couple of spoons? and way more things that need to done than spoons?}

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
For breakfast I usually have two multigrain wasa crackers with peanut butter. On some days I have hummus. On others I have sliced avocado. I am getting bored of these.Can you suggest some relatively fast toppings for me for breakfast? I am attempting to avoid egg because I have to make it and therefore it is not quick, and dairy because I am just trying to avoid it. I am not the hugest meat-eater in the world but I am not a vegetarian. I can and will make a quantity of something ahead if it will keep for a few days. Thank you.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
Baby names generated by a neural network (via)

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
I'm a late-twenties guy with no friends. I feel like I need to get out of this situation somehow. What to do?Hi MeFi, So, I'm a late-twenties guy and I seem to have no friends. On many days, it's not a problem: I'm very career focused, so sitting around all day and working on my projects is a pleasure. But then I look around at people having their barbecues, getting together for beers, having parties, etc. etc. etc. and I just start feeling outright miserable. I've never had that kind of relationship with anyone. These days, I can go for weeks without talking to anyone but my folks. This has always been a problem for me. Since I was little, just talking to people felt like the biggest trial in the world. I was even terrified to talk on the phone. The only way I could make anything resembling friends is through osmosis: seeing the same people day-in, day-out in a relaxed environment and basically waiting for people to talk to me. (This didn't actually happen in class — I barely talked to my classmates — but I got to know the people I ate lunch with.) In college, I spent 2 years lonely, even living in the dorms. My roommate and I got along well (again — osmosis), but I didn't really make any friends. Then I ended up living in a large house with a bunch of people, and that went better than anything else. The social osmosis was strong in this environment: people were constantly floating in and out of the common areas and intersecting around common tasks and activities. I made a number of friends here (or maybe acquaintances? what's the dividing line, anyway?), but several years later we barely even talk, even though we all live within driving distance from each other. When I started working, I got along well with my co-workers. It was honestly a lot of fun. For the first time, I had peers that I could actually talk to about my main interests. Yet again, osmosis made it all happen: the institutional forces of a small, smart company made us discuss problems, eat lunch together, etc. I've been out of that job for a few years now and don't talk to those people anymore, but it was fun while it lasted. Now I'm in the worst possible position for my social life. I'm an solo developer/artist working on my own projects (and I don't want to change this), I'm living by myself, and all my work is computer-based. Somehow I need to change all this — after more than a decade of festering in this state! — but every step I could possibly take feels like a inch up a mile-high mountain. Perhaps the main issue is that I just feel physically incapable of having 1v1 conversations with people, particularly strangers. Coming up to someone I don't know (or even someone I do know) and saying "Hey, how's it going?" feels about as easy as sawing my finger off. I'm pretty sure I project this. I don't sound natural. My face looks funny. I simply cannot handle it. Doesn't even matter if it's a "you'll never see them again!" kind of situation: I've found no success in hostels or bars. For the most part, I... really just don't know what to talk about. I've seen stats about how many text messages young people send these days. I seriously cannot get through 5 in a single session without running out of things to say. It's my main fear when talking to people 1v1. It's not like I don't have hobbies or interests; I do in fact have a ton, ranging from culinary to artistic to technical. But for some reason, I just can't seem to talk at length about them. In fairness, I've noticed that I have great chatter with people who are generally bubbly extroverts, since they don't need me to carry the conversation all the time... but I feel like that just feeds into the waiting-for-stuff-to-happen-to-me issue. (I've also met a single introvert who I could talk to for hours at a time, but that literally happened once in my life.) To piggyback on top of that, my conversational style is... weird. Maybe it's a matter of practice, but I feel like I can't think on my feet. I don't seem to have a sentence-based stream of conscioussness like many people do, so I can't just open my mouth and say what I'm thinking. It takes a while to gather my thoughts and express them, in contrast to the rapid-fire delivery that many other people my age seem to have. I have a hard time being genuine. It feels like my every move has a lot of momentum behind it. You can really tell when a person is in the flow of life, in their speech and their body language. Maybe they smile at just the right time. Maybe they do a little dance when their favorite song comes on. Maybe, when someone gives them some bad news, they immediately react with "Oh my gosh, are you alright?" Me, I have a hard time reacting to anything. Again, it takes me a while to gather my thoughts and even figure out what I'm supposed to say. The last time somebody told me something bad happened to them, I literally froze for few seconds and then did my best attempt at an "oh-my-gosh-are-you-alright" enounciation — but I know it sounded artificial. Like, seriously, I feel like a robot sometimes. Boop, beep. I have way heavy resting bitch face, partly as a defense mechanism I guess. I project coldness. I'm pretty sure most people think I hate them. And, actually, in many ways I guess I do feel bitter a lot about other peoples' social lives. I've found in recent years that I actually do well in groups and in casual small talk situations, as long as I'm not the instigator. I'm not oblivious to the flow of conversation: in certain situations, I can ride the wave really well. (Moreso if alcohol is involved, but I guess that's a given.) People I interact a lot with tend to think I'm charming, witty, and really funny. (They have said as much.) But often, and especially around people I don't know, I come off as aloof, cold, and even creepy. (Which I've heard as well.) On good days, I remember and believe the former group. On bad days, I think of all the times I've sat awkwardly around people and found myself completely unable to resemble a functional human being — even in environments where people say "you can't help but to make friends!" For some reason, I get along way better with women than with men. Unfortunately, most of my hobbies are male-dominated. OK, so that's my checklist. What on earth can I do about it? Join a club or meetup. Well, I tried for a bit in college, but everyone seems to already know each other, so I just end up fading into the background. Also, most of the meetups I've seen only meet once a month, which is not nearly frequent enough. I feel like "talk to strangers 1v1" is a requirement for this to go well. Plus, there's the gender balance issue, as I mentioned earlier. Join a multi-person house. I feel like this could work, but a) I'm pretty sure I would bomb most interviews unless the stars align on that day (as past experience has shown), and b) if I end up not getting along with my housemates (quite likely — I've lived in a ton of multi-person households while traveling and mostly ended up becoming an awkward household shadow) I'll either be stuck in an uncomfortable situation or be forced to move. Host some events. This fills me with about 2x as much dread as meeting up with people 1v1, on account of my fundamental social role. I don't know how I could do this. Therapy? For a multitude of reasons (both practical and personal) I feel it's not right for me. I'd rather not debate this point... I feel like the only places where I've done better than average socially are institutions — school, work, etc. — where people are kind of smushed together by outside forces to do interesting stuff. Unfortunately, I'm currently not active in either school or work. I'd be interested in joining a new institution, but I can't think of one that meshes with my interests and goals. Maybe the best option would be to somehow get over my fear of 1v1 encounters. But even the prospect of meeting up with someone makes me feel ill the entire time leading up to the encounter. I have no idea how to possibly fight thorugh that feeling over and over again. (And even if I did, unless they're just the right kind of person, the conversation would just end up tepid anyway, to no one's real benefit.) I have no idea if it's insecurity, lack of practice, or some fundamental physiological deficiency. Reading over the above points, it seems like I completely fall apart when it comes to initiating social encounters, but do fine when social stuff just happens to me. I don't know if I should fix that or work with it, and how to proceed regardless of which one I choose. It seems to me that neither diving in the deep end nor desperation will drive me out of this situation. I need to find some way to take small, gradual steps towards my target. But it feels about as obvious as growing a third eye. Any ideas? Stories from people who've turned their social life around in their late-twenties? Thank you! (And thanks for reading! I hope this didn't come off as too self-wallowing. My self-esteem is actually quite high — except about this very important aspect of my life.)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Leslie Odom Jr. Is Not Throwing Away His Shot (SL Longform Buzzfeed)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Life in the last state where you can still drink and drive

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Inspired by a column in Nature by Melanie Stefan, Princeton professor Johannes Haushofer keeps a CV of failures (PDF); he was interviewed by NPR about it this morning. Other examples of the form include: Bradley Voytek (PDF, skip to the end), Sam Lord (PDF), Alexandra Roshchina, and Sara Rywe (PDF). For non-academic examples, look at Srinivas Rao and Monica Byrne. Ironically, Melanie Stefan's CV page does not list failures.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What tools would you recommend for creating a dynamic relationship visualisation? Thinking along the lines of They Rule.I'm trying to map all regional organisations which have something to do with "culture" in western Sweden. They can be galleries, grant bodies, municipal institutions, workshops, schools, venues, etc. I'd like to create a database over all of these, and allow others to see the relationships between them (who get's money from where, what people sit on different boards, which are cooperating, and so on). If you take a look at They Rule, it's possible for users to choose which companies to display, as well as showing board members - so every node can become the central point and one can easier see relationships. This is also a good way to manage the abundance of data, which in a static relationship diagram can be overwhelming. So my question is two-fold: Do you have suggestions for good examples of previous work which could help me to think more clearly about how to categorise these things? Do you have any suggestion for software - online or off - which could be used for this? I don't have the data yet, so there's I have no requirements for compatibility.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Summer approaches, and having embraced the idea that all you need to do to get a bikini body is to put a bikini on your body, for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE I am bikini shopping. I would like one with bra sizing, and the sort of long line coverage seen in this top at Torrid. Alas, Torrid doesn't have bra sizing, and the bra-sized tops I've seen (e.g. Elomi) don't have that long-line coverage below the cups. Does anyone know where I can find what I'm looking for?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What it means to be a 'free hair' in a predominantly Muslim society This is an edited version of a conference and seminar paper presented at the National University of Singapore in March 2016 and Australian National University in April 2016

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I agreed to look after a dog for 24h. Got paid but the whole deal was informal. The dog broke my laptop (cheapo, thank heavens) while goofing around and being playful and loveable. Local (Dutch) laws about this are messy and eg insurance companies in previous cases seem to disagree on who's liable. What to do?The laptop was on a side table and the dog knocked it on the floor. The screen died beyond repair. Emotional facts clouding my thinking: the dog in question is neglected and understimulated to the point of problem behaviour (which was plain to see, but I also heard confirmed by a mutual acquaintance.) I would love to have him here more often just to be sure he's not left alone for whole days and is getting enough love, care, training and exercise. I want to avoid a big fight about this for that reason but OTOH, the cost of a new laptop is not insignificant to us right now. The owner says he will consult a lawyer friend and get back to me. He seems to suspect me of lying about this, which... I'm trying not to take personally. Sigh. The dogsitting was arranged via Pawshake but since he needed to pay in cash (due to credit issues?) the booking wasn't done through the site, so whatever their rules are, I guess they don't apply here. I'm not a professional petsitter. I'm pretty sure whatever home insurance we have won't cover a penny. Don't know about his but having glanced at legal precedents, they'll probably balk, too. So it'll be down to me and/or him reaching into their pocket. Dutch law says the owner's liable for the damage caused by dogs even when they're not present, but even an informal petsitting arrangement makes it murky, and it has been argued both ways. Help me think through this! What's fair? How should I approach this? What would you do or how have you settled similar disagreements?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Ken Livingstone suspended (again) by the British Labour Party Never a stranger to controversy, Ken Livingstone - former scourge of Margaret Thatcher, erstwhile London Mayor and close friend of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - was yesterday suspended by the Party. In a continuation of an ongoing issue over alleged Anti-Semitism in the Party (and the British Left in general) he defended MP Naz Shah for remarks she had made (on Facebook in 2014) suggesting: 'Relocate Israel into United States'. Known as 'Red Ken', Livingstone made the comments, which appear to link Zionism with Nazism, on a radio chat show, hosted by Vanessa Feltz. Naz Shah had already made a 'profound apology' for what she said. Not only is this the second time Livingstone has been suspended from the Labour Party, it is also the second time he has been accused of making Anti-Semitic comments. In 2005, he was censured by the London Assembly for likening a newspaper reporter named Oliver Finegold to a concentration camp guard. The wider issue of perceived Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and on the Left in general has been exercising many minds of late, and is having a profound impact on the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Two pronged question: Has anyone had carpal tunnel surgery with an infant to look after? Also, please read my litany of things I've tried and tell me if there's an obvious treatment I'm missing.My left hand thumb, index, and middle finger have been numb for about 2 months. Sometimes it extends into my palm but never past my wrist. I started occupational therapy a month+ ago where we've done tissue work, tendon glides, kinisio tape, and I've been wearing a splint intermittently. I've also had my chiropractor work on this during my visits (I've seen her 3 times since the problem started). I also see an acupuncturist who, in addition to needle work, does kinisio tape, soft tissue work, and cupping). I see her every other week. I've also had a massage focused on this issue. They've all recommended posture changes which I've tried to work in. YANMD but are there things (obviously I'm okay with less conventional treatment) that I haven't tried which you've had success with? I had a EMG done today which showed moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. The doctor who conducted the test said that a cortisone shot wouldn't bring lasting relief in my case (don't recall why), that the issue was isolated to the carpal tunnel (and not related to something wrong further up my arm or in my neck), and that she'd like me to see an orthopedic surgeon for a consult. Layer on top of this that I'm looking for work (was laid off and have been a full time mom), have an almost 6 month old baby who just started the clingy phase, and feel a bit overwhelmed by the idea of surgery. In addition to the what else should I be doing, I need to know what to ask the surgeon and what help to ask for post op.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Did my face get attacked by a spider? Please help me figure out what I should do about two wounds on my face.Got home from work. Slightly drunk, had a nap. Two hours later, I woke up with two marks on my face. One was bloody, very tiny, millimeters wide, and the other, millimeters next to it, is more disconcerting. Not terribly painful, but there is a circle of grey flesh with a ring of white next to it, 2mm at most. I'm going to the dermatologist on Monday (long weekend) but I'd like to know if I should instead go to the emergency room. Nothing is painful, a bit numb, but I'm feeling fine. All the google image searches I've turned up show nothing relevant, but a spider bite is all I can think of causing it. The fact that there are two wounds seems to suggest that it was a bite, though I'm perplexed that only one of them appears to have potentially suffered from venom.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I have to do a presentation tomorrow night and I forgot to take my 10 mg dose of Prozac this morning and won't have any with me tomorrow morning either. Two questions: How serious is this for my brain working tomorrow night, and how can I get a prescription filled? I'm a Canadian travelling in the United States.I've been on Prozac since October and have no experience of missing doses. Should I be freaking out about how my brain will perform tomorrow night during a presentation (I'll have to think on y feet) after missing two doses? My plan is to call my doc in the morning and see if he can fax a prescription to the nearest pharmacy. Or should I get him to fax it to my hotel? Anyone who's ever dealt with this problem, I'd love for your suggestions on how to solve it! Right now I'm feeling achy and tingly—not sure how much of this is psychosomatic... Thanks!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The Faithful. "René and Juan Carlos set out to convert their Colombian megachurch to Orthodox Judaism. This is what happened."

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Is this a pickup line or prostitution code?A woman asked me today if I had a cigarette she could buy. The buying part seemed a little odd to me; people have tried to cadge smokes off of me before but nobody has ever offered to buy one. Something about her mannerism was unusual. She seemed a bit flirtatious, which for me is uncommon to the point of nonexistence. I am a 52 year old male who at the time was wearing a hooded jacket, dark sunglasses and headphones and walking a large dog. So I don't think I gave the impression of being "on the make." Also we were in an area near a strip bar which is sort of known for that kind of activity. I'm just curious. Is this cigarette, in this case, not just a cigarette?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My dogs in the 70s' never left the yard, in Phoenix, yet ticks were an issue. Tons...I can remember my Dad burning them off with a cigarette (probably not the best way.) FF to 2016, I've had a dog since 2013, no ticks nor fleas. He goes to the dog park 4 times a week (not the cleanest place.) I've had three cats for 20 years, no issues. The new area is in Tucson. Is it an area thing, climate thing, or are ticks on the downward spiral?I remember dog poop used to turn white in the 70s' because they included too much calcium.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
New York Sommeliers Try Malört: "On the palate ... a mix of corked Bordeaux, Saler's apéritif on crack, dead dog, and the Gowanus canal during summer."

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