posted 1 day ago on metafilter
99% of my dating experience is with online dating, so can you advise me about someone I find intriguing in my Meetup group?I just closed my dating profiles after six years of attempting online dating :/ I also recently started a communication skills Meetup for helping each other with social situations. The one member, besides my mom, who came to the first event brought up possibly becoming a regular, and another member, who is coming to my second event tomorrow, asked to see my blog, so in general, I seem to be well received there. A guy who I'll call Stephen recently joined and sent his RSVP for tomorrow! I think he's kind of cute. I check everyone's Meetup profile before approving them just in case there's anything creepy on theirs. I saw on Stephen's profile that he likes cultures and science. The science Meetup that he's in is about evaluating scientific research. I have some experience with cultural stuff (i.e, doing International Club when I was in college) and science stuff (i.e, reading encyclopedias about the history of science). Since he likes cultures, that seems like an indicator that he's respectful of people from diverse backgrounds. Since he evaluates scientific research, that seems like an indicator that he's analytical, likes critical thinking, and of course, likes science. I'm also the kind of person who is in my head a lot, likes data, etc. It looks like we might have a lot in common. I asked my mom, "Sooo can you be my wingwoman by bringing up the intercultural communication class you took in college? That'll give me an opening to chime in with my experience with that stuff so that he can see that we have stuff in common. If I bring up culture or science, it'll be too obvious and look desperate." She agreed and even said that she'd look over her notes tonight (that was her idea, lol. I didn't expect her to put in a lot of effort for this. Even if this guy doesn't show up or whatever, she has told me before that school was really fun for her, so hopefully she'll get some pleasure out of being reminded of something that she studied before). Don't worry, I won't show up at his other Meetups unless maybe he ever invites me to go with him. I won't ask him out too soon. I know to watch out for certain things, such as him having fleshed out replies instead of just saying "Yeah" or something to everything I say, as signs that it'll be more likely to go over well if I ask him out. I do think that if talking to him tomorrow goes well enough, I should ask him out that day. Even if he's interested enough to keep coming to events, I don't think that I should count on ever seeing him again. For all I know, something could happen that could keep him from returning even if he wants to, such as if his schedule at work changes (if he has a job). Any tips for initially getting to know him, and, if it goes well, finding out if he's interested in going on a date? That could be tricky. I've read that you shouldn't ask someone out in front of other people. I don't think there's a way to get a private moment with him at the Meetup, though. My events take place in a mall food court. Other members will be at the table with us. Should I just go for it despite the "audience?" x_x Message him on the Meetup site after the event? Something else that hasn't occurred to me? Would it be too sudden to ask if he wants to go on a coffee date or something at a nearby place after the Meetup, or would planning in advance be better? One thought I had was that if he is interested, he might decide on his own to linger after the other members leave so that we can talk privately, but for all I know, he might have to go to work right after the event, or something, so I can't count on that, either. Like I said, the vast majority of my dating experience has been online, so I don't know how to handle it in person. I didn't realize until I started thinking about it recently how complicated the logistics could be. Since online dating clearly doesn't work for me, looking in person is my only hope now for finding a partner.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need help finding clothes that I can wear to births, as a doula. They should not be scrubs. They should be as comfortable as scrubs, with similar qualities. Among other things, I am searching for really nice black leggings or yoga pants, not see-through or too sporty-looking, available to fit sizes 16-18.I'm about to be doing more birth work, and I need an appropriate wardrobe. In the past, I have worn knit tunics/short dresses and leggings to births. This style suits me well, but most of my leggings are wearing thin and my remaining tunic has developed a hole. Qualities I am seeking in my work clothing: - Professional-looking. - Washable in hot water, in case of body fluids. - Reasonable modesty. I am not interested in making my cleavage, my butt crack, or my underpants part of my clients' births. - Something I can move, bend, squat, lift in. - Comfortable after 20+ hours of wear. - Pockets would be a dream come true. I am a woman in my early 30s, pear-shaped, curvy, and tall. I wear size 16 pants and L or XL tops. When I'm not at work, I am most comfortable in skirts, t-shirts, and Doc Marten oxfords or boots. Expert shoppers of Metafilter, what thoughts do you have? I'd love specific links or shop recommendations.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I feel it's something to do with horses, but I can't for the life of me figure it out! It looks like a "B" turned 90 degrees clockwise with a gap between the two "loops", and it's usually on older homes. I've seen it both in New England and in Pennsylvania. Also, what does it mean, if anything?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I am a landlord of a small building in New York City and want to discuss eviction proceedings with a lawyer. It's a complicated situation, where only one of four tenants in the rental apartment is not paying his share. All four roommates are on the lease, so legally they're each responsible for the entire rent, but we only want to evict the one who's not paying anything. Thanks for any recommendations for good attorneys.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
There is a poster that I have seen in queer/artist spaces, which gives advice for friendship--it's one of those radical solidatary ones, often in helevtica on an A4 tacked up someplace--it says things like hug your friends, or tell your friends you love them...sort of inspirational, but sort of JEnny Holzerish. Help me find it?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Micro McGee has expressed an interest in sushi, which is apparently a big thing in first grade (who knew?), and which he wants to go get for his birthday. We've identified a couple of well-regarded local sushi places, but Mr. McGee and I are not sushi people (I don't like fish, and he just has never eaten sushi), so we're not sure what to look at as gateway sushi for beginners, or (since there's raw fish) what's okay to give to 7-year-old children. Do enlighten us!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The future of the Glasgow School of Art's historic Mackintosh Building has been plunged into uncertainty after it was gutted by a large fire on Friday night. Long considered Charles Rennie Mackintosh's masterwork, the Mackintosh Building of the Glasgow School of Art took over ten years to complete, from 1897 to 1909. The building suffered a devastating fire just two years ago that gutted the iconic library. Restoration work was underway, and the building was expected to reopen in early 2019. Earlier on Friday, a huge tribute mural to Mackintosh was unveiled above the Clutha Bar in Glasgow to mark the 150th anniversary of the designer's birth. Previously and previously.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've begun getting back into Emacs lately, since it features great support for HTML editing, among other things. I'm wondering what modes MeFi users might enjoy? Bonus points to anything obscure or not related to text editing, per se.For the curious, Emacspeak is an excellent screen reading program, featuring some very neat tricks to make using the app as nice as possible. It even lets you play accessible Tetris :)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Another book long forgotten. I've been trying to remember this one for years to no avail, and have been meaning to make this ask since I first saw it done. Also, I have my suspicions that it might be a little skeevy or problematic, I was 14 when I read it so my memory isn't great though.So here's what I remember: - empire or vast kingdom -epic fantasy, I believe, although magic seemed subtle - one of a series that may have gotten a lot more magical, - the magic was something the protagonists mate did, at the end to do with a blood sacrifice of many soldiers - at the beginning, the protagonist went to cavalry school I think, maybe on a commission bought by his father's old war friend - the protagonist goes on a journey to some smaller country to be a guard or military attache or something to the ambassador, who is the magician from before I think - something goes wrong and the embassy evacuates and many die in the the cold and raids as they trudge back to their country - something about a great circle of life perhaps, with people being born and reborn - a duel happens at some point - the magician becomes some sort of advisor to or member of a ruling council of I believe 9? Or just a factional leader? - there's massive riots and revolution of some kind, the cavalry officer protagonist sides somehow with magician/ambassador/politician - those riots may well propel the politician to power although I think maybe provisional power at that stage - towards the very end of the novel, the cavalry officer must climb a crack in the cliff of a very difficult to take fortress and open the gates or something from inside? Possibly instead leave a magic thingy that kills everyone inside? - the crack was made by concerted efforts by magicians with lightning storms to break the fortress, or was the crack all they were trying for all along? - an air of mystery all the time, all though due to my youth it may have been far less subtle than I think. The magician guy is implicated in lots of things but they don't outright say it, it's implied I think that he's engineering an awful lot of what goes on - I believe the book was setting up the Magician man to be Emperor in the future/future books and the cavalry officer protagonist to be one of his generals I think that's everything I remember. Unfortunately it's been like 5 years of trying to remember this book, so those memories may have been reshaped slightly over time. Details may well be wrong, but I hope there's enough regardless. I would appreciate it if anyone happened to know what this book is.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I took a pottery class, and all my pieces are fired (first firing, then glazed, then second firing). There is a problem though - I think the glaze I used for half my pieces wasn't mixed enough, so it basically did nothing.Just a note before I detail the rest of this: there is no possibility of me re-glazing them at the arts center. I'm not currently in a class, so I can't use their stuff. How it happened: They have all these big buckets of glaze for us to dip our things in. Ok, cool. The teacher shows us this drill that is usually used to mix/stir up the glaze before use, but that day it had a dead battery and she could not find a good battery. So I mixed one of the buckets by hand, but evidently not with a proper amount of thoroughness and vigor before I dipped my pieces. So the upshot is: I have several pieces of ugly rough brown pottery that I would like to somehow paint/varnish so they are smooth and glossy and of pretty colors. So I need: Recommendations for specific types of paint and clear coat, and please especially really specifically for particular brands and item names. I get lost in that section of the craft store, for real. I stare and stare at the items and don't know which ones to buy. In my googling I found someone mention that an artist used fingernail polish to achieve a vibrant red color. I'd be up for that, does anyone know if it's worthwhile? Thank you for any advice.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What's the best introduction to Dorothy Day's thoughts and work?I know her reputation and I am very lightly familiar with her work and her writing. What one title will help me understand more about what she did and what she thought? Thank you!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm planning on starting a quirky meetup group for a theme that traditionally attracts lots of poorly socialized dudes, and I would ideally want people to be able to just show up without being screened. Are there ways that I can signal it's a good/safe space for women and also make it actually safe?I'm a dude. So, basically, I don't want a woman to show up and then, say, three people ask her for her phone number, or a creepy dude follows her outside when a group meeting is over, etc. I can't imagine all the more subtle things that would be gross, and I can't imagine the full list of worst-case scenarios. I ideally want anyone to be able to show up off the street, but, then, how do I make it safe or safer? Can I post a code of conduct on the website and also read a code of conduct before each meeting? Are there ways that I can overtly collect people's personal information (to curtail anonymous shitty behaviors) without myself being able to abuse it? Right now it's just me, but I eventually want to get some club officers, one or two of whom will hopefully fortuitously be not cis, white, and male. Where can I find code of conduct examples? What am I missing?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
To quote Montesquieu: literary cafés were the place where the conversation creates reality, where giant plans, utopian dreams and anarchist plots are born without having to leave your chair Nine fabulous places to refresh yourself while wandering around Italy.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
We've arrived in LAX a bit later than anticipated and it looks like the roads (particularly the 405 and 110) are already nightmarish. We thought we'd just take a cab but now I'm wondering if there are other alternatives we should consider. Public transit is great if it takes a little while longer, just not twice as long. And we're open to ideas like taking a cab for a couple miles at each end to catch public transit at the best spot. Suggestions?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Do you like Apples? Peaches? Grapes? Strawberries? Lemons? Or perhaps you're into weird things like mulberries, cherimoyas, serviceberries, or cloudberries? Or maybe you're just nuts. Between 1886 and 1942, the USDA commissioned 7,584 watercolors from 21 artists depicting a wide variety of fruit. High-resolution copies of each work are available, if you want a copy for your wall or something. (Apologies to Thoreau for the post title.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm a man in his 20s who grows an unsightly crop of patchy stubble every 48 hours or so, including a very unattractive dirtbag 'stache. I'm sick of shaving, and would rather be clean-shaven all the time. What are my good options for making this happen without creating some kind of horrible downside, like an upper lip full of ingrown hairs?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Why Are Straws So Bad For The Environment? [Bustle] "Plastic straws may be on the way out. From McDonald's locations in the U.K. testing paper straws to proposed European Union legislation that would require straws be made of sustainable materials, to bans and limits on the use of plastic straws in cities like Malibu, Calif., Seattle, and Miami Beach, Fla., more and more companies and areas are cracking down on the use of what has for many years been a universal drinking tool, present at all your favorite restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, and, well, everywhere else. Most of us know plastic straws are bad for the environment because we're told plastic straws are bad for the environment, but now that anti-straw legislation is pouring in, it's a good time for a refresher on just why plastic straws do so much damage to the Earth." • EU proposes ban on straws and other single-use plastics [BBC] "The proposals are aimed at outlawing many commonplace plastic items including straws, cotton buds, cutlery, balloon sticks and drink stirrers. The governing body also wants almost all plastic bottles to be collected for recycling by 2025. The plan will need to be approved by the 28 member states and the European Parliament before it can be passed. "Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem," EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said. "Today's proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. "We will ban some of these items and substitute them with cleaner alternatives, so people can still use their favourite products."" • SeaWorld, Ikea and Royal Caribbean are getting rid of plastic straws and bags [The Washington Post] "Less than two weeks after a pilot whale died off Thailand with 80 plastic bags in its stomach, three major companies — SeaWorld, Ikea and Royal Caribbean — have vowed to remove plastic straws and bags from their properties. The companies are now linked to a host of businesses, governments and others across the world that have joined an effort to dramatically reduce the 8 million metric tons of plastic that pollute oceans each year — "one garbage truck into the ocean every minute," according to a 2016 report released by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The corporate activism is evidence that a fledgling movement to ban plastic straws, which sprang from outrage over plastic's impact on the environment and animals, continues to stir. Movement organizers have recruited Girl Scouts, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, on World Environment Day last Tuesday, announced his nation's effort to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022. "Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live," Modi urged." • McDonald's Says It's Ditching Plastic Straws In U.K. And Ireland [NPR] "McDonald's says it will start using paper straws instead of plastic at all its locations across the United Kingdom and Ireland. And it plans to test sustainable alternatives to plastic straws in some restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe later this year. "You asked, we listened," the chain announced on Facebook. The company says it will begin transitioning to paper straws at all of its locations in the U.K. and Ireland in September. A petition calling for the chain to stop using plastic straws has drawn nearly a half million signatures. The company reportedly uses about 1.8 million straws a day in the U.K., and it has committed to having 100 percent of its packaging come from "renewable, recycled, or certified" sources by 2025. [...] "Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws," McDonald's told the BBC. The company will begin phasing out the plastic straws and complete the process next year. By the end of 2019, all U.K. and Ireland locations will have facilities to recycle paper straws, The Guardian reports." • Plastic Straws Aren't the Problem [Bloomberg] "But this well-intentioned campaign assumes that single-use plastics, such as straws and coffee stirrers, have much to do with ocean pollution. And that assumption is based on some highly dubious data. Activists and news media often claim that Americans use 500 million plastic straws per day, for example, which sounds awful. But the source of this figure turns out to be a survey conducted by a nine-year-old. Similarly, two Australian scientists estimate that there are up to 8.3 billion plastic straws scattered on global coastlines. Yet even if all those straws were suddenly washed into the sea, they'd account for about .03 percent of the 8 million metric tons of plastics estimated to enter the oceans in a given year. In other words, skipping a plastic straw in your next Bahama Mama may feel conscientious, but it won't make a dent in the garbage patch. So what will?" • New York city to consider banning plastic straws [The Guardian] "A New York city council member announced on Wednesday his plan to ban plastic straws from the city of 8.5 million people, amid a growing effort across the globe to cut back on plastics. "We depend on plastic, and that is a trend we have to reverse immediately," said city council member Rafael Espinal, who discussed his proposed ban at a press conference on the southern tip of Manhattan, with the Statue of Liberty in the background. [...] Espinal's proposed ban follows a failed effort by the city council to add a 5-cent fee to plastic and paper bag use. New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, has said he supports banning plastic bags but has not advanced a plan to enact such a ban, which already exists in California and Hawaii. Espinal spoke at an observation point on the Hudson river nestled between crowds of tourists, including two men who sipped iced coffee using plastic straws. The pair gestured at their straws as Espinal spoke about his concerns, then left just after the council member said he would be introducing a bill to ban plastic straws to the city council that afternoon." • Here's Something to Think About the Next Time You Grab a Plastic Straw [Mother Jones] "Unfortunately, it must be said that current straw alternatives leave much to be desired. Biodegradable straws made of paper or hay pose a specific problem for disabled people who rely on straws, since paper straws don't handle hot liquids or soups very well. They're also more expensive to produce than plastic straws. On the tech front, one startup proposal for a collapsible reusable straw has raised $1.8 million in pledges from 38,000 backers. FinalStraw works like a spring-loaded tube that fits into a carrying case a little larger than a car key fob. While this fix is a bit bigger than pocket sized, it has the advantage of being extremely visible during lunch, a boon to any ostentatious environmentalist. It might be best if straws would just go away—not out-of-sight-out-of-mind, but off the table entirely. But that may be a tall order: Straws are as old as civilization. The first-known straw was discovered in a Sumerian tomb dated 3,000 B.C., a gold and lapis lazuli number that would make a fashionable and sustainable choice for today's carbon-footprint-minded consumer. Although the first (paper) straw patent was issued in 1888, the straw only truly found its stride in the 1930s, when Joseph B. Friedman invented the bendy straw for improving milkshake circulation." • Banning plastic straws is friendly to the earth, but not to people with disabilities [The Takeout] "In May, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the U.K. will look into banning plastic straws and stirrers, as well as cotton swabs with plastic stems. (Hey PM, the White Sox beat you to the punch.) But a report from iNews makes one thing clear: in at least one way, the straw ban could really suck. Jamie Szymkowiak is the co-founder of One in Five, a Scottish disability rights organization. He told iNews that the potential ban disregards the lives and needs of disabled people, some of whom "find plastic straws an essential tool for independent living." The problem isn't simply that people with limited mobility or other impairments use straws in their everyday life. It's that many of the replacements for cheap, flexible plastic straws can be unsatisfactory, unusable, and even hazardous." • Banning Straws Won't Save the Oceans [Pacific Standard] "There's no reason that accessibility and environmentalism have to be in conflict, but we may have to be a little more creative instead of imposing paternalistic bans. When it comes to straws, we can simply shift from an opt-out to an opt-in model. Instead of providing a straw to everyone, only provide straws—and other forms of disposable plastics—to people who ask. Provide them to everyone who asks, without question, without assessing them for need or disability. Do the same with bags, utensils, cups, and all kinds of single-use plastics. Cut waste, but don't interfere with disabled people's access to liquid. There's nothing wrong with pushing people to be more environmentally conscious. But individual action is not going to save our oceans. Our industrial systems continue to flood waste facilities with plastics, big and small. From there, plastics flow into rivers and streams and are carried into the sea. We need to look at the systems that generate these plastics, and hold producers financially responsible for safe disposal. Let's put our efforts where the money is, rather than shaming disabled consumers who just want an accessible drink of water."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I would like to read some books that are set in magical (or possibly science fictional) universities and colleges, or about magical or science fictional students and professors. (Note: Not The Magicians.) Further details and previous reads inside.In an ideal world, these would be fairly light-hearted books - some pleasant world-building coupled with, you know, dreaming spires, perhaps an uncomplicated romance and a villain who isn't too villainous. I have read and enjoyed several Terry Pratchett books of this general type, the utterly excellent and wonderful Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe and the grim (and really, let's be honest, kind of shit about gender) Iron Dragon's Daughter. I'm not especially looking for magical boarding school books - my needs in that area are met. And I'm not looking for The Magicians, many apologies to all who sail on her. Just books about being at college, except, you know, magic (or possibly science fictional). Kinda gay would be a plus but not required.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Straight out of a shitty horror movie, a pair of port-a-potties took flight after some heavy winds hit a gathering in Commerce City, Colorado. The area's local TV station reported that no one was hurt, though they did not comment on whether or not anyone was covered with shit, piss or whatever it is they put in port-a-potties to make them smell like that.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Tax experts: Is there any reason for a company to not accept a completed 2014 version of a W9 instead of the 2017 updated form? (I would assume there must be, but one tax guy we know said it makes no difference.)Recently jumped through a ridiculous amount of hoops and paperwork to receive a payment. Now, the most recent is that I need to resubmit the W9 we filled out and sent, because we filled out the IRS's version from 2014 and not the most recent version from 2017. I looked as much as I could, and the information being requested, and what is being signed off on, is the same between versions. The only difference appears to be in instructions and some verbiage for special cases.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Star Trek: Discovery's production woes continue, after it broke last night that showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts were fired for abusive behavior and budgetary overruns. Multiple writers on the show are reported to have been so upset that they threatened to go to HR or quit the series entirely. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman will take over showrunning duties, although it's not clear if this is a temporary or permanent decision. Akiva Goldsman, brought in after original creator and showrunner Bryan Fuller was fired, is also gone. Rocky production is nothing new for Star Trek, though--most famously, the behind-the-scenes abuses at Star Trek: The Next Generation in its first two seasons nearly torpedoed the series until Rick Berman and Michael Piller were hired as executive producer and showrunner, respectively. The events were immortalized in the 2014 documentary Chaos on the Bridge. Veteran Original Series writers DC Fontana and David Gerrold left the series because of similar abuses. The second season of Star Trek: Discovery is scheduled to premiere in 2019.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
15 Songs in 15 Minutes: Inside Tierra Whack's Whimsical, Twisted World

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My EU passport has expired. Can I travel to a Schengen country on my non-EU passport, renew my EU passport while I'm there, and then enter another Schengen country on my EU passport, thereby evading the 90-day limit?I plan to spend 6 months in Europe, in the Schengen area, starting next month. I hold an expired UK passport and a valid Other passport from a "third country". This third country passport entitles holders to an automatic 90 day visa for the Schengen area every 180 days. Until yesterday, I planned to spend 3 months in country A, entering on the Other passport, then fly to country B, also entering on the Other passport. Then I found out this transgresses against the 90/180 rule for tourist stays in the Schengen area (it can be taken as read that it was dumb of me not to think of this; there's a lot going on in my life at the moment). My UK passport, in these happy pre-Brexit days, allows free movement in Schengen. I am now applying to renew my UK passport but it may not arrive before I leave for Country A. My question: if I enter country A on the Other passport, get my new U.K. passport mailed to my address there, leave country A on the Other passport and enter country B on the brand new U.K. passport, will I be regarded as overstaying the 90 day limit, or otherwise doing something nefarious that will get me in trouble at the border? All the countries involved are of the thorough border checking variety, and I'm not planning to try anything illegal or even questionably legal, as I need to be able to travel freely in Europe on future trips. I've tried calling the consulate to no avail, so I'm looking either for reports from personal experience, or input from professionals in this field. Gut feelings about what is probably ok are less helpful - I already have those. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have deadlines coming up. Mulling over the idea of looking for a virtual/online body double, but does this service exist yet? How can I find one?The original concept of a body double for productivity was someone who can be there with you in person, whose physical presence motivates you and holds you accountable for getting work done. I'm wondering if a virtual/online body double might work as well - someone who, say, stays on a Skype/Discord call with you for x amount of time, whose constant virtual/online/audio presence motivates you to get computer-based work done. I googled around, and looked on Fiverr, etc, but it seems the closest I can find to something like that are life coaches - which isn't quite the same.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
There's going to be a new novel in the Buffyverse, set some years after the end of the TV show, with a new cast of characters. Get to know the twins being raised at the Watcher's academy, who aren't fond of Buffy at all.

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