posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
How My Employer Put the "FML" in FMLA

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I'm arranging a weekend away next year for about 30 people. It's a big treat for us all, so looking into how much to charter a plane. We'd be flying London to Berlin. Any ideas?

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
"Trust Women" is a popular motto in the pro-choice movement. It sounds a little sentimental, doesn't it? Part of that old sisterhood-is-powerful feminism it is fashionable to mock today. But "Trust Women" doesn't mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision—not you, and not the state legislature or the Supreme Court—chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot. How Pro-Choicers Can Take Back the Moral High Ground: an excerpt from essayist and poet Katha Pollitt's latest book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. • NYT: Changing the Debate: Katha Pollitt Talks About 'Pro'I know some readers are raising their eyebrows at my use of the word "patriarchal." But the home base of the anti-abortion movement is in religious denominations where women are formally subordinate — the Catholic church, where women are shut out of the priesthood, which is where the power is, and the Southern Baptist and other evangelical/fundamentalist churches, where wives are commanded to submit to their husbands. If that's not patriarchy, what is? • The Diane Rehm Show: October 8, 2014 interview with Katha Pollitt (audio and full transcript)Well, I think the pro-choice movement has become very defensive, and so they've adopted a language that I think they may not realize is stigmatizing. For example, when you say, safe, legal and rare, you're saying, oh, there's too much abortion. Well, is there too much abortion? There are lots of people who want an abortion that can't have one. The Hyde Amendment prevents, in most states, poor women from getting coverage for their abortion, so there are a lot of women who have babies because they can't afford -- they don't have 500 dollars. But there's also this, sort of, abortion is the most terrible decision a woman ever makes. It's the most difficult decision. Oh, it's just so tragic and awful. Well, that's really saying motherhood is the default position for women. A woman should be ready to have a baby whenever a stray sperm gets in there. And if she's going to have an abortion, she has to feel really bad about it. But we know that, actually, most women who have abortions, it's not a difficult decision. They know right away that's what they want to do, and most women have abortions as soon as they can. • Double X: Abortion Is GreatThree in 10 American women [PDF] have abortions by the time they hit menopause. They are not generally victims of rape or incest, or in any pitiable situation from which they need to be rescued. They are making a reasonable and even admirable decision that they can't raise a child at the moment. Is that so hard to say? As Pollitt puts it, "This is not the right time for me" should be reason enough. And saying that aloud would help push back against the lingering notion that it's unnatural for a woman to choose herself over others.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I'm beginner-level with R, trying to work with a CSV file. I've noticed some rows are being interpreted incorrectly, and would like some help figuring out a way around that. I think the problem is escaped quotes not being parsed how I would like.This reads in successfully, id,"timestamp","text",user_id 1,"2014-10-21 00:00:00","Perfectly fine text",10 2,"2014-10-21 00:00:00","Text with two \"quotes\" in it",20 3,"2014-10-21 00:00:00","Perfectly fine text",30 At least it parses the columns correctly, as shown by read.csv("example.csv",allowEscapes = FALSE)$user_id; it correctly reads in the user_id column which follows the text column. Though an odd thing is the text displays as Text with two \\quotes\\ in it instead of as Text with two "quotes" in it which you might expect. And if I set allowEscapes to TRUE, it displays as Text with two \\quotes in it which I don't quite get. The bigger problem is something like this: id,"timestamp","text",user_id 1,"2014-10-21 00:00:00","Perfectly fine text",10 2,"2014-10-21 00:00:00","Text with one \"quote in it",20 3,"2014-10-21 00:00:00","Perfectly fine text",30 This somehow leads to row 2 gobbling up row 3 to be in its text value, and then its user_id is NA. Is there something important I'm overlooking that will explain how to correctly read a CSV file in this format?

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Trying to find a good way to automate an alert letting me know I need to leave for work to arrive on time (based on curent traffic conditions) and Google Now is failing me.I have a 27 mile commute in the morning on a mixture of local roads and a highway. Sometimes there are accidents, congestion from volume, rain, etc.. that can cause delays. So, the window for me to leave my house and be on time varies widely depending on the day of the week. When I get ready to leave my house I tell Google Now to navigate to work. Then, based on the information I get as Im driving I can adjust my route (especially on the local roads). I am trying to find a way to automate this process and even give me an alert when I need to leave. I thought this was a fairly simple process and put my arrival time on my calendar as a meeting. But, when the alert pops up on my phone, telling me I need to leave to arrive on time, I am already in my car and had I waited for the alert I would NEVER be on time. There must be a better way.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
So Mr. Kitty and I are doing a vacation in Paris and want to set up some amazing reservations to look forward to. We will have one big blow, out once in a decade, kind of dinner. Where should we go?So i looked through the previously's - and most are looking for restaurants on a budget, unknown gems, etc etc. We want the 4 star michelin experience. We're running in the Paris Marathon and need something huge to look forward to after that. The marathon is in April 2015 - so something that has a 6 month waiting list isn't out of the question. It's why i'm asking now - so i can go and make the reservations ahead of time. We'd generally prefer classic french, but are fine with any amazing cuisines. We're staying in the Marriott on the Champs-Élysées, but are happy to travel to wherever we need to go. I ask here (instead of just reviewing myself) as sometimes restaurant reviews don't age with the restaurant, and big names overwhelm the quality of the food. So Parisian MeFites and world travelers - where should we be have our giant blow out dinner to celebrate finishing our marathon? (assume we know to rest after running and will not schedule this dinner too early)

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
We want to capture eight hours at a time of conversation in an office, for editing later. There are two people at separate desks. What equipment is needed, within the sweet spot between "sounds good enough" and "affordable"? The end result should be 2 separate audio files, editable in Audacity. Paint me a picture of the setup you'd use for this.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
I am at a loss for this. I am trying to merge two PowerPoint slides for ease of transition at a conference. Speaker A is using Speaker A's work template that has their work logo burned on each slide, but Speaker B is from a different institution. Is it even possible to merge the two sets of slides without having Speaker A's institution on Speaker B's slides?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I've been lucky with great interns in past years, but this semester's intern is a dud. How can I turn this situation around with only 7 weeks left? Much more beneath the cut.In an effort to protect both the innocent and guilty, I'll keep the details of the workplace vague. I am a supervisor in what is considered to be one of the most competetive U.S. government agencies in which to score an internship (a very small number of applicants are accepted from a pool of thousands each semester). Unfortunately, the internships are unpaid -- a policy with which I disagree and would like to see changed -- but in exchange for their toil it affords them an unparalleled entry on their resume and, if they are talented and ambitious, experience doing tasks such as drafting letters for the President's signature, taking notes at meetings with cabinet secretaries, etc. In other words, it can be a very rewarding experience for an ambitious person, especially one who wants to expand her network and make connections. In the past, most of our interns have been grad students and we've had a share of extremely bright young people who have made incredible, quantifiable contributions to our office, despite the steep learning curve and short tenure. I've personally supervised 5 interns in the past, and all of them have been great in their own ways, I've taken great pleasure in mentoring them, and I've enjoyed keeping in touch and watching their careers progress. But this time it's different. This semester I found myself supervising an intern (whom I did not personally hire...she was placed with our office with very little notice), who has some serious performance and professionalism issues, and I'd love some advice on how best to deal with the situation. I've already had a couple of private talks with her regarding performance issues and office culture, but they do not seem to have sunk in. I don't expect interns to jump into the job with a full working knowledge of our culture and practices, but we do expect them to be quick learners with good attitudes. This intern has displayed neither of those qualities (she is an undergrad, so I've been a bit more lenient on issues like learning proper office ettiquete, etc.), and I am having a hard time communicating my expectations. Some recent issues: -- Chronic tardiness; -- Turning in work well before deadline (nominally a plus), but riddled with typos and grammatical errors (not to mention the occasional factual error that could cost me a tongue-lashing if I let it slide by uncorrected); -- Inappropriate gossipping within earshot of other, more senior, office personnel; -- Asking if she could "take off early" on several occasions because, in her words, "it's not like I'm getting paid"; -- Asking for a day off (with a single day's notice) to show her visiting sister around the city. When the request was denied because of a looming deadline on a project she had not yet completed, she called in sick the next day; -- Complaining that some of her work is "boring," when, like any job, it's just the mundane crap that we all put up with when we're not out battling Lex Luthor. What I have done: I've had two gentle conversations with her, in private, about keeping regular hours so her colleagues can count on her, and giving proper notice if she must be absent; reminders that I expect "first drafts" to be her best shot at a piece of work; and an awkward conversation about appropriate and inappropriate topics of conversation within the office. Despite these interventions, little has changed. I think part of the issue is that unlike previous interns, she is an undergrad with little office experience, and I've been cutting her a bit of slack for that. However, her blase attitude toward things like punctuality and checking her work -- despite repeated conversations -- leave me baffled on how to move forward. I've considered having "a big conversation" with her, but I don't even really know where to start. For what it's worth, due to bureaucratic rules I cannot actually fire this person unless she commits malfeasance, which she has not. Anybody ever supervised a dud intern and turned the experience around? I am normally opposed to using interns simly for mundane clerical tasks, because that is not what I think interships are for, but I'm beginning to feel as if that's all I can trust her with. Any experiences or suggestions would be most helpful. This young woman is smart, but needs guidance, and my efforts just don't seem to be doing the job.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Galway Kinnell, poet, has died. He was 87. 1 My mother, poor woman, lies tonight in her last bed. It's snowing, for her, in her darkness. I swallow down the goodbyes I won't get to use, tasteless, with wretched mouth-water; whatever we are, she and I, we're nearly cured. The night years ago when I walked away from that final class of junior high school students in Pittsburgh, the youngest of them ran after me down the dark street. "Goodbye!" she called, snow swirling across her face, tears falling. 2 Tears have kept on falling. History has taught them its slanted understanding of the human face. At each last embrace the snow brings down its disintegrating curtain. The mind shreds the present, once the past is over. In the Derry graveyard where only her longings sleep and armfuls of flowers go out in the drizzle the bodies not yet risen must lie nearly forever... "Sprouting good Irish grass," the graveskeeper blarneys, he can't help it, "A sprig of shamrock, if they were young." 3 In Pittsburgh tonight, those who were young will be less young, those who were old, more old, or more likely no more; and the street where Syllest, fleetest of my darlings, caught up with me and hugged me and said goodbye, will be empty. Well, one day the streets all over the world will be empty— already in heaven, listen the golden cobblestones have fallen still— everyone's arms will be empty, everyone's mouth, the Derry earth. It is written in our hearts, the emptiness is all. That is how we learned, the embrace is all.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I am the only one that moved away from my extended family. I'm dealing with some built up anger/stress about always being responsible for going "home" to see my family. How did you stop feeling guilty, obligated, or responsible for visiting?More details: - I am 29 and just got married last year, though these issues have bugged me before the marriage so that's not causing it. -"Family" includes mom, only sibling, grandparents, aunts/uncles... they all live where I grew up - I left "home" six years ago, but three of those were spent in grad school... I feel like my family thought of that as still being "away for school" and not "an actual adult living on her own" - during this time I/ wife and I have always flown there to visit, once during the holiday season and almost always, once in the summer. Since we got engaged we've rotated holidays with my in-laws. We also have a dog, so on top of the plane tickets we have to pay a dog sitter while we're gone. So I/we have bought two flights a year, every year. - I feel like they rarely express gratitude or even acknowledgment for the visits. I think part of this is Midwestern stoicism, but I feel like they just expect us to "come home" by now and rarely act excited or grateful. It's getting to the point where I feel like all of our visits are just tinged by more sadness that we don't live there, we hardly ever visit, than being happy that we ARE there now. -We don't really do anything when we visit. I'm not expecting a red carpet, and I know the point is just to catch up, but boy is it rough to visit the Midwest in the WINTER and not have your own car and try to suggest things to do while you're there for 5+ days and everybody's just like "ehhhh" and so you eat leftovers and watch TV. That's fine for a day or two, but if that's most of the trip... I don't really look forward to it. And if you do take the car and go somewhere you feel guilty for not spending time with them, which was the whole point of the trip. - I don't really feel like it will help to talk this out with my family, because again with the stoicism, and they will just say that it's easier for me to come there because everyone else is there, and it's too hard for them to travel ,or too expensive, or Tradition, or whatever. - My wedding was long distance for my family, and they did come out for that. -.... which proves that it is not literally impossible for any of them to afford to or plan to visit. My mom has been on a tight income for many years, and I get that, but I bought two plane tickets every year on a GRAD STUDENT STIPEND. I wouldn't have expected her to afford every year, but I know she could have budgeted a trip or two if she planned it out. - I have tried to suggest that people come visit us and this is either completely brushed off/ignored or excuses are made. I have offered (and maybe I need to be more blunt) to buy them tickets TO VISIT US. - I don't think they even deliberately mean to, but there are now years worth of "guilts" that I moved away that are just eating at me. (For example, a family member sent us an anniversary card that literally said "wish you lived closer so we could see you more often".... after frequent mopey remarks about how short our visits are when we DO come out) I don't think it's deliberate... but.... it rankles me to get that after six years of visits that were all planned by me. - So now this is built up to the point where every time we plan a trip to see my family, of course I'm happy to see them, but I'm also resentful and angry that once again we are taking the time/effort/money to visit and I don't feel like they're even cognizant that we shoulder all the effort. Plus the lack of enthusiasm for planning anything to do, even at our suggestion. Plus the moping (that maybe I have unfairly internalized) that we don't visit more, our visits are so short, etc etc. This is coming to a head because it's our rotation to visit my family for Thanksgiving, and a bigger part of me than usual just wants to stay home. We would be happy to host visitors if anyone wants to come visit US, but that will never happen. So how do I get over all this? Am I being selfish? Is there a way to work on my own feelings without having to have "a talk" with them, which I think will probably be fruitless? How do I get better at accepting that they may never visit us, and dealing with my feelings of guilt/obligation to visit them? Will this just get better with time? (Kids are not in the immediate future, so that won't be a reason to change our visiting dynamic). How do I deal with the inevitable, if subtle, guilt trip that we're visiting my in laws for Christmas, so we "owe" Thanksgiving to them? I love them, and I want to see them, and it sucks that instead of being happy to plan visits I have all these gross feelings about it.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
A young person moved to Los Angeles two years ago. Said tenant moved out in July of this year. Despite many phone calls and emails, the tenant has never gotten a refund of the security deposit from the LA DWP, and it is now four months later. How do we resolve this issue?The tenant in question canceled service with the LA DWP (Los Angeles Department of Water & Power) as of July 5 and moved out on July 4. On October 1, after MANY phone calls and emails, the tenant received this email: Thank you for visiting the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power's website. We apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry. I have sent a request to the Refund department to issue the check for $170.83. Please allow 2-3 Weeks from this point for the check to arrive. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Thank you. Sincerely, LaVon LADWP Customer Service It is more than 4 weeks since that email was received and 4 months since the tenant moved out, and no refund check has been sent. What is the next step? Surely they can't just keep the money? What are the legal requirements regarding refunding utility security deposits in California?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech of March 5, 1946. Via includes tl;dr of top 10 points

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Takata has recalled cars in states that it deems "high humidity," because of the deadly airbag problem. But as often noted, most of the deaths involved were in non-listed states. My state, Tennessee, is just outside the designated area, and my car (old Honda Accord) is one of the troublemakers.So it is not reassuring for me to hear that my car is not being recalled - presumably none of the cars here in Tennessee are. I called the Honda dealer here to ask, recall aside, whether my car has a Takata airbag. The service manager took my VIN number and said "it's not on my recall list [!!], but you can bring it in and for $104 dollars, have the airbag taken out." This was not the information I was hoping for: is there any way to find this out? Government and manufacturer online tools are not relevant, as their lists are limited to the recall.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My comfort-loving preschooler (boy) only likes to wear sweatpants and leggings. I am of the opinion that sweatpants should never be worn in public, and most leggings are probably not warm enough for winter. Can you help me find comfy, warm pants that also look good?We have some jeggings (leggings that look like jeans) but they are pretty thin and not very warm, plus he tears holes in the knees in under a month. He's basically in leggings every day at this point because he refuses to wear regular pants (jeans, cargo pants, etc) and I refuse to let him go to school in sweatpants. But as the weather gets cooler I know I will get complaints from him that he's cold, so I want to be prepared for winter with some pants that will pass the comfort test. He's a size 4T or so (legs are 4T long, but he's kind of skinny and has more of a 3T waist, so elastic is preferred). Links to items on Amazon would be great, but I also have access to Target and Walmart.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Why not just quit your job and spend all of your savings on a horror-themed road trip where you visit the real locations of some iconic scary movies. If that sounds like too much effort, well we've done a Google-based trip ourselves. Here's what we found... Here's the list: The Omen Halloween Rosemary's Baby Poltergeist The Mist Scream 2 Drag Me To Hell The Fog The Birds Shaun of the Dead

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
If someone is a 65+ recent green card holder with only 3 years work experience in the US and who hasn't lived continuously in the US for 5 years (but has visited every year for several months for a decade), they don't qualify for free or even paid Medicare. What is the best health insurance plan for them if they spend 5-7 months in the US, and the rest in their home country in Asia? Are they best off with an Obamacare plan, or some kind of special immigrant health insurance, or what? Thanks.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Looking for your ideas and apps for a professional journal-keeping system. More inside!I keep a detailed daily journal at work. I'm the head of a busy department, and logging the day's events and action items is a necessity for me. Partly to keep track of All The Things, and partly to give myself some sense of control over the chaos. I began doing this 10+ years ago with a notebook and a pen... and, embarrassing to admit, I've never improved on that. While digging through the boxes and boxes of logs in storage, it hit me that this has become dumb-stupid and I need to upgrade. I tried creating one in MS Word: date at the top and then bullet point, bullet point, bullet point. Eh. Maybe I need more time to habit-form, but I can't stick with it. It just feels like one more Word doc, my day is full of those. Anyone have any better ideas? A few specifications: - Security is a factor. Confidential employee and company info. This is not a shared document. - Accessibility isn't critical; I take my notes at my desk, don't necessarily need to access at home. In addition to the work PC, I do have a Galaxy smartphone and a Kindle Fire tablet, FWIW. - Searchability would be great! - Entries vary in size from short ("Project X done, submitted to John") to pretty long ("Met with John at 4:15 p.m. about X, did not go well, he's going to blah blah blah...") Thanks for your recommendations!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What's the most cost-effective way to print about 10000 [unique] photos? I'm enjoying going through my grandparent's photo albums, and while I'm not concerned about backups (I am extremely good about backups), I am very concerned about discoverability; I think my grandchildren someday are much more likely to find and go through a stack of physical photo albums than they are a CD in a drawer.I'm open to options that aren't individual photo-printing (e.g., printed photo-books), but I'd want to know how good the color quality is compared to real photo paper.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Recent news items about Hello Kitty have reminded me of a song I last heard more than a decade ago and which I cannot find today. Someone, help me locate this musical "treasure"!A dozen or so years ago, I acquired an MP3 player from a friend that still had some of her music stored. One of the songs which managed to earworm its way into a place in the back of my head was called (or, at least labelled as such) "Dear Daniel", about Hello Kitty's boyfriend Daniel. The song talked about his love for Hello Kitty, despite the fact that she doesn't have a mouth. I remember it as a soft but basically up-beat pop song. Of course, that MP3 player is long gone, and the music it stored went with it. I haven't been in touch with this friend in ages, so I can't go back to her to ask about it. Google searching for the title isn't helpful, and the two songs I have found called "Dear Daniel" are not at all related to what I'm remembering. I know it's not the Friendship Song that I've found on YouTube, either. Is this ringing a bell with anyone?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
HomeOffice FurnitureFilter. Tall, interesting, well-constructed non-generic computer desk with shelving and storage. We like this - does anyone know anything like it - i.e with similar functionality - for a max cost of $1200?This is for this room that I posted about last time; we have installed a wall/pocket door where you can see the cabinets ending, so the space is pretty small; the desk would be on the left side wall. No ladder desks, generic office furniture, glass-top desks, elfa like shelving systems, fussy ye olde secretary hutches, or ikea stuff. If you know of anything more expensive that this, give us brands/model numbers; we may look for it used. If you know someone in NYC who will build for this kind of $$, also let us know! Desk width 35"-64", depth 20-26". (Maximum desk width =64" ideally ~ 60").

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I need a jpeg file to be imported onto a website which will be printed from there.I needed to create a photo collage with some text boxes so I did it by creating a slide in PowerPoint 2010. It must be saved as a jpeg file with a high enough resolution for publication in a book (in color). I was able to save it as a jpeg and changed the registry to do it at a 300 dpi resolution. However, I am concerned that it is not a very good quality (it does not look good on the screen). Is there a better way to create a photo collage with text (preferably very flexible that I choose the format) that can be saved as a jpeg? Or is there a better way to do it within Power Point?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The good news is that we are getting a cat, but it will be this weekend! He's a young male tiger cat stray. The current caretakers say he likes unscented cat litter (will not go in the box if litter is scented). Does anyone have any recommendations for a decent supermarket litter that is clumping and unscented. I don't have time to get fancy or specialty litter with the timetable involved.Obligatory pictures of the cat, Perry. (Bonus question, I'm iffy on his current name, so if anyone has thoughts on cat names as well, we would be grateful.) The longer version is that I am currently dealing with my father's unexpected death a month ago, with much sorrow, angst and paperwork, since I'm the executor as well. My father and his 2 sibilings all died from different causes in the last month, so the extended family is grieving and in shock (and I'm seriously sleep deprived as well). I'm very very happy to get the cat, but the timing is bad, and I don't have a lot of time to get ready for his arrival, so good tips on cat litter would be so very gratefully received. I have no car so supermarket or mail order options would be best.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I absolutely love everything about this suit pattern. Could you help me find a modern day equivalent?The pattern linked is from a company called Advance and is #7800. It's from the 1950s. I would love to find something cheaper than $40 or $50 dollars, which is what I've seen it selling for on Etsy today. Do you know of, or could you help me find a more modern pattern with those sorts of features? What I'm gaga over: the longer peplum jacket. The lack of lapels. The cinched-in waist. I could see myself making this in classic fabrics but also whackadoodle fabrics like chair upholstery or toile de jouy. The two that are for sale on Etsy are size 12, and from what I understand that's equivalent to maybe a modern 8? I can wear anything from an 8 to a 14 with pattern adjustments, so the size of the pattern isn't as important as the details. I'm not interested in the dress so much as the suit. The suit is where it's at! I'm a decent sewer and can handle intricate and/or complicated instructions. I need a pattern as opposed to drafting one myself because that's how I roll. Thanks for any help!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The Red Cross' Secret Disaster — ProPublica and NPR report on the American Red Cross' poor responses to Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. In 2012, two massive storms pounded the United States, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless, hungry or without power for days and weeks. Americans did what they so often do after disasters. They sent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Red Cross, confident their money would ease the suffering left behind by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. They believed the charity was up to the job. They were wrong. The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Sandy and Isaac, leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR. The charity's shortcomings were detailed in confidential reports and internal emails, as well as accounts from current and former disaster relief specialists. What's more, Red Cross officials at national headquarters in Washington, D.C. compounded the charity's inability to provide relief by "diverting assets for public relations purposes," as one internal report puts it. Distribution of relief supplies, the report said, was "politically driven." During Isaac, Red Cross supervisors ordered dozens of trucks usually deployed to deliver aid to be driven around nearly empty instead, "just to be seen," one of the drivers, Jim Dunham, recalls. "We were sent way down on the Gulf with nothing to give," Dunham says. The Red Cross' relief effort was "worse than the storm."

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