posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
In my twitter feed this afternoon, I happened upon a heartbreaking tweet about a new dad who has stage 4 lung cancer and only weeks to live is desperate to find a book that he remembers from his childhood to leave to his infant daughter. All he can recall is that it is about a yellow bird that wears goggles and wants to fly, but all attempts fail.He thinks that it was published in the UK in the 1980s (apparently he lives somewhere in the UK, but was in the US as a child, so personally, I wouldn't focus so much on that part, but it's one of the few possible details about the book that's been listed on twitter. For awhile they thought that the book had been identified--Frankie Flies seemed to fit the bill--but after receiving more details, it wasn't the correct book. There are already librarians and people who work in publishing trying to help out on twitter, but thus far everyone is coming up empty handed. I figured that it wouldn't hurt to post the question here in the hopes that someone might remember this book. The friend who is tweeting about this was pretty gutted when it turned out that Frankie Flies wasn't the right book after all.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
6-speed manual transmission, standard clutch--not "paddle" or "semi-automatic" or "clutchless." Two ways to stop:1) Use the brakes to brake the car: 5th or 4th or whatever gear you're in, neutral, no downshifting, coast to full stop with car not in gear. 2)Use the clutch/engine to brake the car: 55mph in 5th gear, 45mph in 4th gear, 35mph in 3rd gear, etc., downshifting through the gears to slow the car down, then into neutral--instead of into 2nd--when you're only doing 20mph or something. I've always done #1. For 25 years, no matter what gear or how fast or the RPM's, I put the car into neutral, then use the brakes to stop. I was taught that downshifting was hard on the engine and the clutch, and that the only time you want to slow down by downshifting is when icy/snowy/slippery road conditions make brakes useless b/c there's not enough traction to keep you from sliding. Today, I was going like 55mph in 5th gear when I saw a red light up ahead and did my thing:5th gear to neutral, brakes to a full stop. The guy I was driving with-- a coworker that I don't know well enough to know if he or isn't full of shit, but who says he knows " a lot about cars"--told me that I was doing it wrong. He said that with a manual transmission, you want to downshift through the gears to slow down, then use the brakes to come to a full stop. I said he was wrong. Who's right?

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People Toby W. Rush's "Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People" covers a massive range of topics like pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals, and harmonics. The online book itself is arranged as a collection of about 50 PDFs that offer diagrams, notes, and tips for everything music theory related. Via Lifehacker.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
The Orlandi Code: [Toronto Star] The Mafia, communist spies, the Pope and the twisted mystery of a kidnapped Vatican girl.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
I've begun my first culture of sourdough starter and hope to keep her/him going for a long time. We need to bond. Help me with a name...

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Can anyone tell me what's going on in this photo?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I made a major appliance purchase at a major brick-and-mortar retailer via the web earlier this month. When the items were delivered they didn't fit and had to be returned. The items came in a set and, checking my credit card, it appears that, while they initialy charged my for the set, when they refunded me they refunded both for the individual items and the set. Obviously I have to give them their money back (if not legally, then ethically: it's a couple thousand dollars), but I'm concerned about the right way to go about this to avoid getting double charged the other way and to minimize my own hassle.[Out of perhaps an excessive paranoia I've submitted this anonymously because I'm worried about any potential complexities stemming from the fact that I've noticed this and haven't contacted them yet. As a result, this question is perhaps a bit overlong since I've tried to anticipate any clarifying questions that might be asked.] The reason I haven't yet contacted them is that I'm concerned that if I call them it might lead to a charge today (which should happen) followed by some automatic audit system detecting the error and charging me a second time, which would lead to another major headache. Furthermore, their customer service is abysmal (nearly cable-company bad) and the interaction between the store and website is extremely poor; so the hassle of the call, coupled with the opportunity for further error is high.) Therefore, I'm inclined to hope that they notice it and take the proper corrective action without my involvement. I just want to get them their money back in the easiest way possible. Facts: * The charge and refunds have both fully posted on my credit-card (they aren't listed as pending) * My credit card shows a positive balance so, in addition to personally checking that the numbers don't add up, I have that data-point to confirm that they have over-refunded me * I'm not going to try and keep the money * I pay off my credit card every week so it's not like I have some financial incentive to leave the refund so as to minimize my credit-card interest. * The purchase was around the 5th, the refund around the 10th, so it hasn't been *that* long since they made the mistake. Perhaps they'll notice it in some end-of-month/end-of-quarter audit? * I could visit a brick-and-mortar location but it's nearly 45 minutes away and I'd like to avoid that hassle. Concrete Questions: * How long should I wait for them to detect and resolve the issue before I contact customer service? * Am I taking any sort of risk by waiting for them to notice and resolve this? * Is it better to try and resolve this via phone call, in writing, or at a physical store (I purchased via web)? * When I do reach out, how do I minimize my risk of getting bit by a subsequent screw-up in the other direction (double re-charge)? * Should I file a dispute with my credit card? Attempt some sort of reverse charge back? Idle Questions: Again, regardless of legal standing, ethically I'm resolved to ensure they get the money back (I'll go back into a store to pay on items in the 10s of cents - to the point of cashiers getting annoyed at me for the hassle), but I am curious about the legal issues. (WA state) * Is one legally obligated to notice this and pursue it? * Is one legally obligated to give it back once he/she notices it? * Is there some sort of limitation to how long they have to notice it and compel me to pay them back? Thanks in advance for the advice/info.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
In what way could I reliably find out whether a person still lives at a given address, while specifically NOT hearing anything about where he moved to, and NOT indicating to him that I'm seeking this info or that anyone's seeking it on my behalf?The outcome I want would be just the single piece of information: he no longer lives at the address in question (or much better yet, if possible: he no longer lives within, say, a 1-mile radius of the address). The person is my ex who lives or lived (hopefully lived) in a ground-floor, curtainless apartment I sometimes still need to either pass by or go out of my way not to pass by. I don't like passing by it but I also don't like letting discomfort send me out of my way. It would be much better if I could just confirm he's not living there anymore. (The decorations seem to have changed, but I'm not about to go near enough to make sure.) Paper-history if relevant: I have a police report and domestic incident report against him for harassment and I went to family court to try to get an Order for Protection against him (which the judge denied because there was no history or threat of physical violence, just a lot of verbose "she belongs with me" verbal harassment of my family and friends in attempts to get access to me). This is in the U.S. in a large city. I'm looking for a formal / not in-person way to do this (as opposed to, for example, getting someone to go look into the apartment's window).

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
We rent a second-floor apartment in a two-story house. There is apparently a leak in the roof, and when there's a lot of rain (like right now, it's been pouring since last night!) water drips through our living room ceiling. It's not a HUGE leak, but it's right in the middle of the room, and the water is coming in right next to a light fixture. The property manager has been notified twice -- once a few months ago, and once today. He is ignoring us. Many many more details after the cut...We don't know our landlord. He's in the State Department, and apparently travels a lot, so he leaves the house entirely in the care of the property management company. However, the property manager, who is also the owner of the company, is utterly incompetent, and the last few times we've dealt with him, he's been obviously drunk. (For example: we called him when the dryer in the basement died, and had a whole long conversation with him about when he was going to come over and look at it. The next morning, he called to ask when he could come look at it, and had no memory at all of the previous nights' conversation. He was also slurring his words and all. We've also gotten some weird emails from him in the past that were written very late at night, and read like he was drunk when he wrote them.) He has told us in the past to text him, because he rarely checks his email. So, fine, I'd rather have the evidence that we contacted him that the saved texts provide. We've texted him photos of the leak -- the discolored patches on the ceiling, the water dripping off the side of the light fixture cover, etc. He hasn't responded to the texts. My husband also emailed him the photos: no response. We're not really inclined to call him because, well, if he's drunk he won't remember that we called. He has, in the past, lost rent checks (both ours and our downstairs neighbors) and notes that we send him. It's a mess. I am worried to death that the ceiling is going to fall in and kill our guinea pigs (we don't have another large room to move their cage to, unfortunately) or that the water dripping next to the light fixture is going to cause a fire. I'm also worried about mold. I know MeFi is not my lawyer, but does anyone have any suggestions on what we can do to force the property manager to respond? Should we try to track down the landlord? Call a roof repair place ourselves and take the cost out of the rent? And just for added details: we're very very poor, and our tenancy is month-to-month, I assume, because the property manager never had us renew our lease when it ran out, oh, six years or so ago. So he could decide to boot us out if he wants to. (I know, that's not really logical, but... see above re: his drunkenness and occasional irrational outbursts.) We're in Massachusetts.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I need sparkly, dangly statement earrings with posts made of sterling silver, gold-plated silver, or gold. Where can I find them for I'm about to cut all my hair off! In preparation, I'm trying to collect an assortment of dangly earrings to keep the look feminine, but I'm having a hard time finding pretty designs that won't irritate my ears. My best-case scenario is something sparkly and dangly for less than $100 (or less than $50, even) made of 925 sterling or gold-plated sterling, but my Etsy searches are proving fruitless and tacky. Help?! I like a lot of the stuff at ShopBop (link below) in terms of style, especially the Alexis Bittar stuff, but most of them just seem overpriced for what the materials are and I don't want to spend $$$ on earrings that'll make my earlobes red and painful. Do any of you stylish earring-wearers have suggestions on Etsy shops or other independent designers that fit my criteria? TL;DR criteria: *cute, modern designs similar to anything here, and definitely nothing too boho/earth-mother/beaded; *sterling or gold-plated sterling (vermeil) *priced at $100 max, but cheaper is better as long as it meets the materials and style criteria!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I've gotten increasingly sensitive to fragrance over the past couple of years, and it's starting to cause me real problems. Whenever I smell Febreze or anything with a very strong fragrance, my throat closes up, I can "taste" the smell, I sneeze and my nose runs, my eyes water, and I get a migraine that can incapacitate me for hours. I need to be able to function while travelling for my work: please help me figure out how to handle this.I've googled for solutions, but the information I've found is mostly either unscientific woo nonsense, or designed to help achieve workplace accommodation resolving things like one smelly coworker. That won't help me: I need to be able to travel. I've had difficulty in airplanes, restaurants, public bathrooms, taxis, hotel rooms and conference centres. Las Vegas almost killed me, and much of South America, the Middle East and India does the same. Even a few minutes in some environments will knock me out for hours afterwards. I've tried wearing a face mask like people do in Asia, but I can't do it all the time and it makes me self-conscious. I do normally carry a wrap, and holding it over my mouth and nose helps a little. I've considered e.g. asking to be moved to fragrance-free rooms in hotels, but I assume most don't have such a thing, and often I don't speak the language of the country I'm in. I am frequently not making my own travel arrangements, and my work requires me to be flexible -- I don't want to come off like a prima donna. Suggestions? I would especially love science-based answers about things I could carry with me to eradicate fragrances, or products I could use to somehow neutralize their effects on me. I'd be interested in anything that would or might strengthen my resilience. I would also, I think, consider carrying non-obnoxious informational cards I could give out to people, in hopes of persuading them to rethink the products they're using. It kills me that people are trying to create an appealing experience for their customers by using fancy scents, and getting it so, so wrong, at least for me.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
We Are Never Getting Girl/Boygether

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I will enter a master's program in Fall 2015 in the humanities. I want to use the next year to become as prepared as possible.The program is largely paid for and I don't need to go into debt for it. My major concern is that in undergrad, I experienced a great deal of anxiety and a touch of depression, and as a result those years of my life were socially isolating. I loved the classes I took and I'm looking forward to going back to school, but I don't want to end up in the same place I was at the end of my undergraduate career. What practical steps can I take in the next few months to be as prepared for this change as possible? I don't currently have money for therapy, and I work in a demanding career that is tiring but fulfilling. I want your best quality of life tips. I am already trying to work on developing a consistent exercise habit; what else should I be doing?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My parents were abusive and awful. I recently tried to get back in touch out of a misplaced hope for connection. They blame me (!?) for making them look bad, among other things, and want me to apologize. What should I do?My parents were abusive and I left home at a young age. I haven't talked with them (except a polite hello at family gatherings) for about 10 years. Recently, I felt a sense of hope and nostalgia and thought I would get in touch. They're getting older, it's been a long time, other family members have passed on, etc. -- so I thought I would try to connect. I'm also engaged and wanted to talk with them (and reconcile, at least superficially) before the wedding. When I reached out to them, I got back this long screed with 8 points itemizing how I hurt their feelings, mostly by making them look bad (which I did NOT do) and not acknowledging how great they are. They've demanded an apology for this stuff before, which I made at that time because I needed some family legal paperwork from them and they would not give it unless I apologized. But they are at it again and want *another* apology. For some reason. What galls me is that they have never apologized for the serious medical, financial, physical, and emotional abuse I suffered. It eats me up inside with bitterness. I guess I have a few questions: - I'm really angry. How dare they ask me for an apology for making them look bad when they caused actual, physical harm to me? How do I deal with these feelings? - I have already decided they are not going to my wedding, but I hate that I always have to explain this to people (like my future in-laws). How do you deal with that kind of situation? - There will be a family reunion with many family members for the holidays this year. I will see them. My plan is to be polite but distant. Any other ideas? - Any other words of wisdom?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My husband-to-be and I plan to have a small civil wedding with immediate family in California (where we live), and would like to throw a casual party with drinks and dancing at a bar in Manhattan or Brooklyn so we can celebrate with our friends.Ideally it would be a bar in Manhattan or Brooklyn with a large back area that could accommodate 60-70 people, or a small-ish bar we could reserve for our party. It would be on a weekend night for 4-5 hours. (do bars do this? how does it work?) Guests will be paying for their drinks, though we'll cover champagne for everyone. We'd like to be able to play our own music (mostly motown/oldies/new wave) and have some room for people to dance. A bar that allows outside food would be nice - we'd like to be able to order pizzas at the end of the night. One place we have in mind is The Commodore in Williamsburg - we like the space, aesthetic, the drinks, the convenient location for many of our guests (who will mostly be in Manhattan and North Brooklyn.) Doesn't need to be in Williamsburg though - we're open to most of Manhattan, as well as Greenpoint, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Gowanus. We prefer dive bars and aren't super into places that are ultra modern and loungey. Has anyone thrown a bar party (or wedding celebration) similar to this? Any recommendations or general advice is appreciated! Thanks everyone!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Hoping to find at least one ostensibly liberal news website that has not yet collapsed into a pit of Buzzfeed-ification or gossip column nonsense masquerading as current events. I don't want to read about the latest offensive off-the-cuff remark made by some random state representative or Joe the Plumber or Sarah Palin or any other totally irrelevant GOP-friendly media personality. I only want to read in-depth stories about U.S. politics with a liberal bent: candidates, issue positions, polls, all that fun stuff. Can you help?Talking Points Memo has been my one-stop shop for news since ~2003, but for the past year or so, it's been looking a lot more like a damnable tabloid. As a fervent news junkie who loves to obsess over polls and yammer about state politics, I've found the loss of TPM nearly unbearable, so I'm looking for something to fill the gap as election season reaches its most feverish pitch. My dream website features: • Little to no blatant sexism (no referring to Michelle Bachmann as a "crazy bitch," no 'hot or not'-style derails or posts about women politicians' sartorial choices) • Broad national focus, with contributors who understand that people, even Democrats, can and do live hundreds to thousands of miles away from the ocean (no backhanded derision toward "flyover country," this is IME depressingly common when it comes to liberal news sources) • No reader comments at all, or at least a comment section that can be zapped out of sight with AdBlock or NoScript • State and national poll tracking with regular updates • A moderately to strongly liberal professional editorial voice • Zero, zip, nada, NO coverage of the latest 'zomgz our political enemies said something outrageous, let us gather 'round to talk about how horrible they are and how great we are in comparison' ordeal unless what was said/done has actual ramifications in the real world • No mention of any former or present FOX News anchors at all, ever • Seriously, if my eyeballs even scan past another worthless non-story about the "Palin family brawl," my head might actually explode A one-person blog is probably my least ideal solution, but I'm willing to give it a go if it's really, really good and there's absolutely no dumb gossip. Links and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, MeFi!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Possibly one of the largest game changes ever seen. Being over ten years old, Eve has started to suffer from stagnation in its null-security space operations and politics. After the large $300k+ battle of B-RVRB, many of the large alliances and coalitions settled in to rebuild their massive capital ships. Many of them brokered deals to not attack each other and this has been going on for quite some time. Without high-end targets to go after, those operating large capital fleets get bored and find ways to PvP on lesser well-equipped players with their Titans and supercarriers. This type of PvP has been around for a long time of course, but now it is to the extent that CCP Games has announced highly drastic changes to the way that capital ships and others travel via jump mechanics (teleportation), bridging structures and gate travel. All jump ranges by most capital ships, usually in the 11-15 light year range, will be reset to a 5 light year range in the upcoming Phoebe expansion in early November. This, along with the introduction of fatigue timers, will drastically alter the travel map for very large ships in that old routes between regions will no longer exist for most areas of the galaxy. The player base has been split between being overly-exhilarated and highly-wronged. But all agree, the in-game universe size has been re-writ enormously. Response thread to above announcement thread based on feedback

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I feel sure that one of you has got this. I know in the Buffyverse that demons generally avoid Halloween. But where is this concept is explained? Do you have a cite for it? I checked the Buffy wiki but there's no citation.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'll be accompanying my mother-in-law to her first chemo appointment tomorrow. What can I bring her to make the experience as comfortable as possible for her?I'm not sure how long we'll be there, but I'm assuming at least a few hours. I have zero experience with how these infusions work. Is there anything I can bring my MIL to make her more comfortable while we're there or immediately after? Also, any suggestions for things to entertain / distract her? She has a very short attention span for focusing on anything these days, so reading or anything else requiring concentration is no good. I have a laptop and an iPhone for video, but she won't really sit and watch TV shows or movies. Showing her photos on my phone has been a good distraction in the past. I'm stumped beyond that though!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I need to entertain two small children (under 5) for several hours this Saturday starting at 8 AM. Of course, it's been raining all week, and it's likely to be raining then, and even if it's not raining, all the playgrounds will be wet with dew. All our usual haunts don't open until 10 AM. What can I do that's indoors between 8 and 10? Seattle area - I am willing to drive a bit.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Objective: To describe male spine movement and posture characteristics during coitus and compare these characteristics across 5 common coital positions. Results: Based on range of motion, the least-to-most recommended positions for a male flexion-intolerant patient are mSIDE, mMISS2, mQUAD2, mMISS1, and mQUAD1 (NSFW).

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boo

posted 1 day ago on metafilter
13 classic scenes that explain how horror movies work.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm looking for a simple first aid print reference for my retired parents, but there are a few preferences: (1) Pictures! (2) Simple English (for ESL) (3) Large print (I suppose lots of good visuals could substitute...) (4) Should cover both choking and CPR (Got into argument with mom that "drink water!" isn't a legit response to someone choking. She won't listen to me, so a "professional" reference is needed.) TIA

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm interested in doing a Chinese Studies MA but I don't know how much of my reading I need to remember. Any advice?I'd be interested in hearing from people who have MSc-s or MA-s in Chinese Studies. Approx. what percentage of each page of my reading should I expect to encapsulate in my notes? Please could you also make general recommendations on the reading strategy I should use? Thanks for any advice.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My nephews and I seek your assistance in kicking butt in a pumpkin carving contest. Pumpkin shaped snowflakes inside.My 6 and 8 year old nephews are carving pumpkins this evening to enter in a pumpkin carving contest tomorrow evening. The contest is being held at a party for their golf team at the club where they play. I'd love to help them carve a terrific golf-themed pumpkin but I'm coming up short on ideas. I'd also considered using golf tees or balls in the design somehow. I bought some mini pumpkins to perhaps paint into golf balls too. Difficulty level should be fairly low, as I want the boys to feel like they had a solid hand in the carving, and plus I'm not particularly artistic. Thanks!

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