posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Several friends and I have clubbed together and purchased a fixer-upper house. We intend to work on it as best we can ourselves, use contractors when we have to, sell it when done, make profit, etc etc. The issue is going to be, how do to count and 'value' the contribution each person has made?The serious financial deal between us (6 people) is written up as a contract by our lawyer - decision making, split of proceeds etc. But we specifically don't make too much formality in the people-effort part. The effort each person puts in is not going to affect their share of the eventual sale, but we do want to find some way to recognize the work each puts into fixing the place up. Some us can paint, some do carpentry, some might do admin (permits, etc.), design ideas, carrying boxes, calling contractors, moral support, making coffee, etc etc. The issue is going to be that a simple log of time spent on the project might not be enough. For example, if each person simply records the hours they spend it doesn't reflect the value and effort of that contribution. Say one person spends 2 full days (16 hours) doing back-breaking concrete block work and saves the group from having to pay a contractor $2000 for that work and during that time someone else comes for the morning; chats for a bit, makes coffee for the other guy, thinks about the the best color of paint for the walls, sweeps up some dust, takes down the old curtains, then goes home and surfs the net to research prices for door handles - 8 hours of stuff, but not half the value and effort of the 1st guy. We're all goods friends and think we can remain so, but realistically guy#1 isn't going to continue that level (of really useful and money-saving effort) if guy#2's hours are considered to be equivalent. The way that we think people's effort will be recognized that that they have to contribute less to other project expenses - for example since we have to pay for insurance during the building work, maybe guy#1 gets to contribute less to that bill. But how much less? And how to keep everyone feeling like their contribution is worth it? And how to prevent the temptation of someone thinking that they are not valued and they withdraw their most valuable skills (say the concrete-working guy#1 decides he'll do the same hours but not on the sweaty, hard, concrete work, he'd rather pick carpet and talk to the landscaper)? My question is getting long and I don't know if I'm communicating it clearly, but please your ideas, experience and pointers to what might work. And will not. Processes, systems, methods, concepts, practical stories. We can't be the first group with this situation. And we're already talking and trying to stop it becoming an issue. Many many thanks.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Long shot: I have a memory of hearing someone, could be anyone, talking about how they try to conduct themselves like Cary Grant in North-by-Northwest, something along the lines of being terminally good natured and genial even in the face of aggression and surprising events. I don't suppose anyone remembers who it was?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
A high school student of mine (along with their parent) wants me to give him a letter of recommendation that I wrote about him for an internship program. I feel a little uncomfortable about that. I know it's within my rights, but is it unreasonable or extraordinary of me to refuse?When I was in high school, it was my understanding that letters of recommendation were by default private, to allow recommenders to be honest in the letter without reservation. It was also my understanding that it would be a very unusual and potentially rude request to ask to have the letter. Since becoming a teacher of high school upperclassmen, this is the most recent incident of several experiences where students of mine implicitly expected that I was going to give them the letter of recommendation, and it has me questioning whether my views are outdated. The internship program doesn't have any clear public-facing information about where to send the letter of recommendation, so I e-mailed it to the program's main e-mail address, with a request for information if there is a better way to submit it. It's possible that the internship itself expects the student to collect and deliver the letters themselves - I don't know, and I haven't heard back from them. I realize that I am not required to give him the letter, but I want to know whether the common wisdom of today indicates that I'm being unreasonable or unusual for refusing to do so. Thank you!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Fox doesn't understand the difference between white bedsheets and snow. (SLTwitter)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I need help choosing whether to go to London with a day trip to Paris or stay in Paris the entire trip on our family vacation this summer.We are in the process of saving for a trip to Europe. My older daughter (4) is all about Paris and the Eiffel Tower and has been for the last year but I'm nervous about staying in a country where I don't speak the language. Is this unreasonable? I've never been outside the country for anything more than day trips from Texas into Mexico but I was always with someone who spoke the language. The options I'm considering are: A.) Staying in London and taking a day trip to France via train to see the Eiffel Tower. B.) Staying in Paris and enjoying everything Paris has to offer and just dealing with the language barrier. We are looking at going in June/July of this year and it will be myself and two children who will be 1 and 4 years old. Could you help me compile a pro/con list? This is my first ever time taking an international trip and I'm not quite sure how to choose.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
There are so many things I want to change about myself, and I don't know where to start.Hello everyone. First of all I want to say that most of the time I am happy and my usual self. I suffered from an eating disorder for five years and I thankfully one day just stopped in February 2015 and it lasted almost a whole year, until January of this year. I was going to therapy on and off but nothing seemed to work until I read a particular book about being present with no distractions while eating, and savouring each bite and eating whatever I felt like with no restrictions. That worked for me and lasted almost a whole year. However, lately when I get home from work, I have been so tired that I've been eating mindlessly as soon as I get a chance and it continues on throughout the evening. All my plans of writing and doing exercise go out of the window. This stresses me out and is very upsetting, as it also destroys my week. I tried eating mindfully but because of my tiredness I always say to myself 'ok this will be the last time i eat like this, new start tomorrow'. I have tried taking naps after work, and also therapy. I take vitamin D pills and also multivitamins. I also have a habit book. None of this works! I am feeling guilty all over again because I can't seem to get my act together. Other things I want to change about myself are to exercise more, write in the mornings and do art more regularly once again, dance once in a while, and read everyday. I have about ten books in my bedroom that I want to read this year but have so little time that I doubt it will happen. There are so many things I want to be doing and just don't have the energy to. Also I don't have just one group of friends, I have friends spread out all over the city and in order for me to keep my social life, I need to see them regularly which involves dinner or drinks, which also makes me overthink about food and it takes me out of the routine. But social life is very important to me as I am alone here in the city. I feel like if I just focus on my eating and exercising habits that I won't grow as a person. Should I try to change all of these things, or follow the recommended baby steps? My problem is that when one thing fails, I give up for the whole day. Do I have too many things I want to do that it overwhelms me? I would greatly appreciate any advice on this as I feel like I've lost focus and not sure which habit I should focus on changing first. Thank you.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
As reported this weekend, Twitter announced today that timelines will no longer be ordered strictly by reverse chronology. re/code: Twitter is desperate to show Wall Street it can either add new users or keep making more money from its existing ones. (Preferably both.) [Twitter's consumer product head Jeff] Seibert says the feature is targeted at current users more than potential users, although a great algorithm could help with recruitment. "[Core users] are our microphone," Seibert explained. "If we make the product delightful for them, they will bring their colleagues and their friends and their family onto the platform. That's the goal here." The timing of the launch is not coincidental. Twitter reports earnings Wednesday afternoon and the new feature will give executives something to point to on the call. Twitter has to showcase how it's going to grow — or, if it's not going to grow, how it's going to keep its current user base engaged. This gives them something to talk about. Opinions from Wired: "The objections to the algorithm also presume that Twitter is currently its best self. That's a stretch. Yes, it's an essential service during breaking news, especially to those of us in the media, but otherwise it's a mixed bag of whimsy, news, fights, bile, harassment, and desperation, all presented in a lexicon unique to its most faithful customers. Even to a regular, it can be a tiring slog. To an outsider, it's inscrutable. Back to Facebook!" Slate "If you squint hard, you could view this as a fundamental change in how Twitter works. The timeline has always been ordered predominantly by recency. Now it can be ordered by a combination of recency and relevance, to use the social-media industry's buzzwords—Facebook's buzzwords, really. It may be CEO Jack Dorsey's most substantive move since he returned last summer to run the company he co-founded, and it's a fairly naked bid to make the service a little more like Facebook." New York Magazine: "The reasons for switching to — or adding — an algorithmic timeline are obvious. Twitter can be a forbidding place, visually and culturally, and a smartly tuned sorting system could make it more welcoming to both new and infrequent users. And, yes, to advertisers. Explaining to advertisers that your social network has an algorithmic feed "like Facebook's" is likely to get them to open their wallets much more quickly."

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
"We accuse someone of pretentiousness to call out false authority and deflate delusions of grandeur. But we're also using the word as a tool of class policing: a way to tell a person to stop putting on airs and graces." Dan Fox, Why I'm pretentious and proud of it A longer excerpt from his book, Pretentiousness: Why It Matters, has also been published in the Guardian.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Who is the artist behind this picture?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Everyone dies of something, but after slogging through the daily news, you'd think most people die from terrorism, shark attacks and gas explosions. But are these tragedies — not to mention deaths from lightning strikes, plane crashes and tsunamis — actually top killers in the United States?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Does anyone know any examples of intentional communities built off of ideals (e.g., kibbutzes, ashrams, communes, eco-villages, religious monasteries, etc.) where some individual(s) in charge got a little too powerful (or were too powerful to start out with) and turned the system into a self-serving, almost autocratic system?The ideal examples would be those where I can then build a dataset of a certain kind of community (communes, kibbutzes, etc.). I would then identify those that were ideologically-consistent and those where the governance became a little autocratic, while also recording certain variables about the leaders or founders that are correlated with the transition from one to another (like whether the leaders' power was based on trust or resources or something). Thanks! (also, if anyone knows studies that do something similar to this, I would be deeply appreciative of suggestions or references!)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Are you a technical writer? How did you get your job? What do you do on a day-to-day basis? What are the pros/cons of your job? What's the salary like?I've worked in the academic sciences since graduating college (biology PhD, two postdocs) and am considering jumping ship. Not sure what to do with my life, but given my technical background and strong writing skills, I'm thinking about technical writing. Not sure I'm qualified, or what the qualifications are, or what these jobs really entail, or much of anything else ... so if you're a technical writer, or former writer, please tell me about your job.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I want to quit my stable and perfectly good job to do: nothing. Am I an idiot?I've had the same job since I graduated from college in 2010. It's a social-science research gig tangential to the international development world. Mostly I sit in a cubicle and try to get useful information out of messy survey data. Some light stats and programming are involved. On paper, it sounds perfect. Nobody cares or even notices when I come in or leave, and I can work from home whenever I want (but rarely do, since my commute is pretty easy). I can take a paid day off with no warning. The internet is unfiltered and my cubicle private enough that I can waste time with confidence. I get good healthcare, vacation hours, even matching contributions to a retirement account. My salary is not amazing but adequate, and I recently got a minor promotion and a raise. I travel two or three times a year and my passport is full of stamps from the warmer and poorer places of the world. There's free coffee at the office. The downsides are less tangible. Nearly all of my department is in a different state, so I don't really have any human contact other than through the phone and minimal small talk with my cube neighbors. I will sometimes go two or three days without speaking to anyone. Juggling the Very Urgent requests from half a dozen project managers who aren't talking to each other can be tiring. I never intended to work in this field, and I'm convinced that the actual work we do is either pointless number-crunching unread by anyone important (at best) or expensive indulgences purchased by the lords of neocolonialism (at worst). In the end, I'm just tired of it. Some days I feel like I'm slowly dying every minute I'm here. Not that I'd want to, but I'm not sure I would be able to get the same kind of job again - everyone else in my position has a Master's or better, and I just sort of snuck in somehow. A year ago I applied for Dream Writing Job on a whim and (to my surprise) got an interview, kicking off a long and frustrating process in which I was rejected, accepted for a trial contract, rejected again, invited to re-apply with a larger portfolio, and then rejected one last time, after producing pages and pages of unpublished material. It was exhausting, and left me unsure whether I was good enough but unlucky, or not good enough but somehow lucked into an interview. During that process, though, I realized that I was fantasizing about quitting my old job as much as I was about starting the new one. While I wait to find another dream job to try out for, I'm going through the usual late-20s What Do I Do With My Life crisis. I got a serious digital piano recently, and if left to my own devices I'd be playing it eight hours a day, but I'm not so dumb that I think I can do that for a living. My girlfriend suggested that it could be a nice change to just do some kind of part-time barista or bookstore type of work, which sounds appealing, but I have no real experience there. I have a pretty good pile of money saved up, and my expenses are low, so I wouldn't need to find something right away, but I'm concerned about losing my health insurance. I finally found a doctor I like, and was recently prescribed medication I expect to take for the foreseeable future. I'm too old to ride on my parents' plan. I got seriously ill on my way back from my most recent work trip and landed in the hospital for a night, and that $5,000 bill would have been a real bummer if insurance hadn't covered it. Have you left a good job for no particular reason and with no specific plans? How did that go?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
How do I trust myself with affirmations if I constantly seek validation from external sources, especially intimate relationships? I am coming out of a recent breakup that triggered severe anxiety and dependency. I am keeping busy after the breakup (it has been 2.5 weeks) but I still feel like there is something missing from my recovery process. I am seeking professional help soon (I have an appointment scheduled) but I find anecdotal examples of others' experiences to be extremely helpful.The relationship: I'm a 32 year old male and she is 29. I met this girl on OKCupid and we dated for around 10 months total. I should have seen signs early on but through learning things about how I deal with conflict in relationships, I have determined that I am an anxious attachment style and she was an extreme avoidant attachment style. She broke up with me once after about 2.5 months and claimed that she didn't think I really knew her. She said that I didn't seem to care and because I wasn't asking her about her past, she didn't think I was interested. I was of the mind that she was open to communicate these things at any point but she never brought them up. She claimed that she had made quicker connections to people in a shorter time span. For whatever reason, we got back together after a week from the break up and dated for another ~7.5 months. Through that entire time I lived with constant fear of abandonment. Because of that, my anxious behavior was to cling tighter when she pulled away. Her lack of communication throughout lead me to be triggered constantly and I had several anxiety attacks. We had various adventures through the time we spent together, including a really big road trip through a handful of National Parks to visit some of my good friends out west. I associated this type of trip with the kind of trip you take with someone you were deeply committed to. I believed I was deeply committed to her and saw a future in marriage and children. I realize now that those thoughts had passed after that major trip. Throughout the relationship we struggled with communication (I submit that I was overly communicative and she avoided conflict). She was very averse to discussing anything that would potentially shake up the relationship. I think I realize this was where we showed signs of codependency. She liked the attention and affection I provided but she didn't reciprocate it so she didn't want to lose me in that respect. Our last discussion before the relationship ended occurred on a trip that we took to visit her college friends and spend the weekend in a rental. She had been particularly distant during our few days there. She only showed affection towards me on a few occasions, otherwise it just seemed like we were good friends and not in a loving relationship. I felt so alone on that trip. She didn't try to initiate discussions with me, I was simply left to fend for myself. It was so awkward and painful and I was glad to finally see an end to the weekend. I asked her about it on the last night and she brought up again that she didn't think I knew her and again that she made connections with people in a shorter time span. To take a step back for context, over the few weeks leading up to this weekend, I had spent lots of time seeking resources on how to handle communication issues in the relationship. This is where I discovered SO much about myself and how I was reacting negatively to my emotions by being clingy. This was due to, what I learned, was my anxious attachment style. I shared the information with her and told her that I was dealing with insecurities in the relationship that I didn't blame on her. I wanted her to know that I was actively making progress to improve any behaviors that would otherwise push her away. If I recall correctly, it didn't seem like she offered any extra support at the time. She did say she was frustrated that it was an ongoing problem. So, the last discussion we had that weekend revolved around the problem with communication. The night before the discussion she broke down in bed and was crying because she missed the friends we were with that weekend. She doesn't have many friends in the town we live in now and the friends she does have, she barely wanted me to spend time with because she was protective of them. She was afraid I would steal her friends. To be fair, I am a charming person and I make friends easily. I had no intention of stealing her friends, but I did want to make connections with them so we could grow the relationship in that realm. I was unable to console her appropriately and she felt disappointed after she broke down. I was happy that she was opening up to me and so I ended up asking her question about how she felt instead of saying things like "I know it hurts, I'm sorry you feel this way.". I don't fault myself for misrecognizing the way I could have reacted in the situation .. I so desperately needed her to communicate how she was feeling and that was really the only time I felt like I was finally getting it. So. A week after that trip, she wrote me an e-mail. It said she didn't want to date anymore and said a bunch of stuff about how she didn't regret the relationship and she thought I was a great person, yada yada. I couldn't let her end it that way so I called her and we spoke and cried on the phone for about a half hour. I decided I wanted to get my things from her house right away instead of drag it out so I met up with her and we talked again in her car for an hour. I agreed it was amicable and we said goodbye. She later e-mailed me and was seeking help in recovering from the breakup because I was her closest friend. She said "everything hurts". In a few exchanges she said she wanted to be able to talk things through with me. I replied that she wanted me to be emotionally available to her when she was not there for me for several months towards the end of the relationship. I initiated No Contact. So now it's been 2.5 weeks and I have gone through great ups and downs. I've been really busy with things that I love to do and I've felt really free and great. At the same time I am feeling the intense withdrawal. (See this article: http://nautil.us/issue/33/attraction/love-is-like-cocaine). I know the relationship is bust, I do not want her back. In fact I've already been on OkCupid again to try and find other short term relationships. I know I don't want to rebound and I'm being mindful of that. But I want to see people intimately. This leads to my next few questions .. Questions: 1) How do I trust myself with my affirmations if I believed before that I could only find validation from external sources, including intimate relationships with women (where the reward for good behavior in the relationship leads to sex and affection). 2) How do I stop putting an ex girlfriend on a pedestal. 3) What if I don't really want to do No Contact for an extended period? I am open to being amicable and friendly with her and I don't want a romantic relationship with her but I am afraid of being caught off guard and triggering an anxious response in public spaces by running into her unexpectedly. I feel like knowing about what she is dealing with and seeing how she is progressing might even be helpful. But I'm also realizing that I can't expect her to be communicative enough if she was never that way before. I am afraid I may be continuing to seek emotional validation from someone who does not care. Would it be crazy for me to admit that I would be willing to talk to her and listen to what she has to say and still try and develop new relationships through dating? I'd almost prefer to not have an empty hole where she was. I don't have ill feelings outside of being frustrated that I had to experience some of the things in the past and I think I can ignore those going forward. 4) Am I crazy in thinking that I can continue dating and creating new intimate relationships if there still seem to be some open questions in how I handle anxious attachment? --- I'm seeking professional help and I have an appointment scheduled. I hope my story isn't too out of order and I look forward to getting some external validation from your replies :)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I just got denied my car rental in Hoboken because I don't have a credit card (the things you learn ...). How can I get to Hartford right now in time for the Springsteen show tonight? Complication: I have a bag with me that they won't let me take in the venue.Public trans works but I have the bag, so I can't get in even if I get up there. Looks like all car rental spots in the tri-state area require a credit card. Ideas?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The always-excellent Shmuplations has translated a 2011 interview about the creation of classic NES game Rockman, known in the US as Mega Man, and its sequel. It's a great depiction of the creative process relating to game development.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I will be travelling to France, Italy, and Spain in a few weeks, and I'm trying to decide the best way to carry money with me. Many sites have recommended money belts, but this seems weird and awkward for actually paying for things! I would feel weird untucking my shirt and reaching into my pants in a fancy restaurant, for example.I am a woman, and my usual money-carrying approach in the U.S. is just a purse. I often wear tighter pants or skirts without pockets, so I don't think a wallet will be a good solution. But, articles online seem to suggest a purse is unsafe in Europe. Are pickpockets really so much more of a problem there than in major U.S. cities (where I honestly do not think twice about carrying a purse)? Are there good alternatives that will keep my money + phone safe without having to constantly reach down the front of my pants?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What's the fairest way to split a check? No, really. What's the fairest way? Equipay. Equipay is the Grand Prize Winner of this year's Comedy Hack Day.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Looking for an updated list of all Democratic Party Superdelegates with their current "pledged" votes.The listing on wikipedia is based on a November 2015 polling data. They also do not list any of the undeclared superdelegates. I've managed to research all of the superdelegates related to my home state of Maine, but I'd like a full listing with similar information listed (type of delegate, state affiliation.) for all of the superdelegates. If this list would also include an updated status of their declared status, that would be amazing, but I'm guessing if that existed wikipedia would have already been updated by someone. My google-foo has failed me on this - please help!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Hello, I am looking for something that could be called, a "pulpit for table". The thing is that I am not sure how it is called so I can't search for it yet, if it exists. Let me describe it:Basically I am looking for something to place on my table in my room that would allow books that I place on it to be inclined at a certain angle. That would be better for reading than placing the book flat on the table. And also for my laptop since my XPS 13 has a screen that is pretty "low" so I have to tilt my head of incline my body if I want to look at it now. How is that called? Best places to buy it?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I love the ontological aspects of internet style, but dressing has gone woefully algorithmic.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I really have no reason to be anxious in this relationship, but it comes along anyways, as anxiety does... but how can I start to disentangle myself from it so I can enjoy myself more?I'm super happy in this relationship. It's still pretty new, it's my first time, I'm an anxious person to begin with, there's really nothing bad that could happen anyway, etc... so I know that all of this is completely normal and expected. But it really bothers me that I'll be completely enjoying spending time with her or doing something completely unrelated and then one of these nonsense anxiety thoughts will come along and send me into a worry spiral. I feel kind of guilty and very annoyed that sometimes I have to just tough through the anxiety when I should be having a perfectly good time. And the pattern of these worry spirals is often that because I have this anxiety -- I was distracted while we kissed last night, I didn't feel a flood of excitement when she messaged me earlier -- I'm doing the wrong thing. Should I just be readjusting my expectations? I feel a lot better when I tell myself that there's no reason I should expect myself to feel any particular thing with any particular intensity to justify trying this out. And besides, I obviously like her quite a bit, so I should just trust in that inclination enough to let it develop even if it doesn't constitute a constant 24/7 stream of excitement. But it's really really hard to make these things stick. How can I start to shut down these worries and just enjoy it? I understand that this is the sort of thing I should be talking to a therapist about, but I'm having trouble lining that up right now and could use some help in the meantime. Thank you all!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Short-but-pretty SLYT. So that's what was going on ... Some good comments too.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
"JANE (late 20s) sits hunched over a microscope. She's attractive, but too much of a professional to care about her appearance." Hollywood producer retweets actual intros for female characters in actual proposed scripts.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Loudly, and apparently without caring who heard her, a research assistant at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City charged that her boss—noted paleoanthropologist Brian Richmond, the museum's curator of human origins—had "sexually assaulted" her in his hotel room after a meeting the previous September in Florence, Italy. At the meeting, one person who heard the allegations was Bernard Wood, 70, a senior paleoanthropologist originally from the United Kingdom. In St. Louis, Wood canvassed younger researchers about their experiences with Richmond. He asked everyone the same question: "Does this alleged behavior come as any surprise to you?" He didn't get the "yes" he was expecting.

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