posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My very best friend is about to have a baby, so it's officially my job to throw her the BEST BABY SHOWER EVER! So, um.... How do I do that?I've got food and decorations under control. The baby's a boy, but we're not doing anything particularly gendered. The decorations, for example, will be greens and corals and cute woodland animal themed. The shower itself is co-ed, with couples (vaguely hipster-ish, artistic types) and potentially kids and pets running around. It'll be in our shared backyard. One thing I need help with is a playlist so we can have background music playing. What would you play at a baby shower? I'm thinking background music, so it should be light and not too attention-pulling. And baby-shower appropriate, so nothing too sad, depressing, romantic, or disturbing. Future mom and dad's music tastes are eclectic, so jazz, blues (um, happy blues?), bluegrass, 90's nostalgia (we're in our 30s, as will be most of the guests), etc... really anything goes. The other big thing is, what do we do? Typical "shower" activities that we're NOT interested in include: 1. The "don't say the word baby" clothespin game (annoying) 2. The "guess how big around mom" is game (she's sensitive about her weight) 3. The "melt candy bars in diapers and guess what they are" game (ew) What we ARE doing: 1. The prediction/advice cards 2. Decorating plain white onesies with non-toxic fabric markers 3. ???? I feel like we need another activity of some sort, but we're all grown adults and I don't want to be wrangling everyone onto a forced lame game thing that no one really wants to play. I like the onesie thing and the advice cards because people can do them in small groups as they socialize. So, what else can we have to do so people don't get bored. I promised "food, drinks, and fun" on the invites, so I've gotta come through! We'll obviously also open presents. I understand that, as the hostess/best friend, it's my job to write down who gave what so that new parents can send thank-you cards. Do I need a special stationary thing to write that on? Is that a "keepsake," or can I just jot stuff down on a notepad? Anything else I haven't though of? Thanks so much for all of your shower help!

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
How one visionary Latino has influenced his community and one of the largest corporations in America. Flamin Hot Cheetos were created by son of migrant farmworkers, who grew up not speaking English, and dropped out of high school and became a janitor. He had the idea while watching a street vendor in his neighborhood make elote, or grilled Mexican street corn — corn on the cob covered in cheese, butter, lime and chili. "What if I took the same concept and applied it to a Cheeto?" he thought. Always entrepreneurial, he describes his first days at school, before he learned English: Richard's mornings were rough, as he couldn't understand his teachers' lessons, so he was relieved at the thought of a lunch break. However, lunch proved to be even worse. "I pulled out my food and everyone stared at me: I had a burrito. They didn't even know what that was at the time, so I'd just put my food away and didn't eat because I didn't want to be stared at for being different," Richard says. "I went home and told my mom to make me a bologna sandwich and a cupcake like the other kids had. Instead she made me two burritos and told me to go make a friend. By the end of the week I was selling burritos for $0.25 a pop!" And now his story is being turned into a movie.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Björk's favourite Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman (previously) is now an EDM star, produced by the likes of Four Tet (previously) and Diplo, and his (longish) music videos are... something else: Warni Warni (2013) - Chobi (2017) Both videos are directed by Cali Thornhill Dewitt. Further reading: L. Mounzer's feature on Souleyman, from a few years ago.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I dug my old alto (treble) recorder out of storage and want to play it, just some little tunes and things (nothing fancy). I'm looking for some good resources for music, and bonus if I can simply adapt various arrangements.My recorder is a wooden alto F recorder made by Gill, and I've just brought it out and am enjoying noodling around with it. I'm finding it difficult to locate much music online for it - most everything labeled "Recorder" is for the soprano recorder, and really not suitable for me. Or is there an easy way to adapt those? (see below) I'd prefer to use more of the mid-level tones like between G4 and G5, since those are easier to reach. Some examples of what I like: Water is Wide and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. So I have a few questions if you can help: 1. Where's the best source for alto recorder music online? I am looking for simple tunes, not difficult sonatas and things. I have found various sites but they don't seem to have a great selection. I'm willing to pay for music if I can be sure it's within the range of my instrument, and a book is fine as long as I can see a song list of what's in it first. 2. Do you know of a good guide for finding out how to possibly alter or adapt music? I see some music that has notes that go below the F that my recorder can reach, and I'm wondering if there's a way I can do it, like by shifting everything up an octave or something. I'm a beginner when it comes to music theory, I'm afraid, so if it's quite complex I won't be able to do that. Or is there software I could use? 3. Are there specific search terms I should use? I tried "F instrument" on a big sheet music site (musicnotes.com), but this got me stuff with notes below F (the lowest note I can hit), so I'm not sure what to search with. Maybe I'm just using the wrong approach altogether? I'd be grateful for any help. Thank you.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm going to a friend's house for a double-feature screening of Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 tomorrow. I'd like to show up with a pitcher's worth of delicious, non-alcoholic, themed beverage. Whatever this post-apocalyptic punch is made of, it's going to be called Tears in Rain. I need help with an appropriate mocktail recipe! Replican't you help me, Hive Mind?

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
"Domestic conversion - the metamorphosis of a jetliner into a home" just one of the many sections of the FAQ of airplanehome.com the site Bruce Campbell created to explain how he converted a Boeing 727 and turned it into his home. Too many words? Just watch this short video tour. [via]

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm reading a letter from Berlin 1932 to America in which the writer refers to a post rehearsal meal: "Strenuous music, then conversation with two-thirds-sandwiches and beer". Two-thirds-sandwiches? The letter is in English, the author American, the phrase so off kilter that I have to wonder if it was a thing either in Germany or America in 1932.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I am thinking about teaching English abroad, but I have two cats, and no-one who can really keep them for me for too long. I need to work out if I can take them along.Puck (short hair) and Remy Rehoming them is NOT AN OPTION. Please do not suggest that. Have any of you brought pets along? Was it especially difficult? Did the company you were working with help you out? Should I not even be considering it? A cursory glance around the Internet tells me it's possible to move to a country as an expat with pets, with certain vaccinations and a few other requirements (I checked Korea, Japan, and Viet Nam just as a sample, though they aren't the only countries I would consider). I really, really want to do this. I need work, I've taught ESL before domestically, I have done some long term travel, and for as long as I can remember I've wanted to live abroad. The only thing holding me back is my boys. Again: Rehoming is NOT AN OPTION.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
A Practical Toolkit to Trigger and Support Social Innovation. You can also get the entire toolkit as a PDF.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I have a two-hour workshop I teach on Topic, which I'm an expert in. I'm a great presenter, the workshop is always fun, and I get great feedback. Now, for the first time, I'm going to be delivering this via Skype. What do I need to know about teaching in this manner?The workshop consists of: -- about 45 minutes of me speaking -- an activity where I give the attendees a handout and then they have about 5-10 minutes to work on it silently -- then we review it together, so there should be back & forth dialogue between me and the attendees -- then I talk for about 10 minutes more -- then a Q&A I've got a MacBook Air with Skype installed. I'll talk to the organizer and make sure I know anything they need me to beforehand. But...what are the best practices for presenting in this way? Where should I sit in my house? I know enough to banish my kid and turn off my phone. What else? What if I wake up that morning and my internet is down? Uh...what else am I not thinking of?

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I volunteer periodically at a non-profit with a fairly strong membership and outreach component. Though the office has a large open area to welcome guests/members who would be interested in meeting, hanging out or doing work related to the non-profit, no one does this. I have the opportunity to make the space more welcoming - but how do I do this?They currently have "open office" hours in the weekday afternoons. Weekends would be better, but just aren't available right now. There is a fairly large population of retirees and students who are members and would be free during the afternoons to use the space, and that is most likely who they would want to attract. There is a comfortable sitting area with plenty of sunlight. There is someone to welcome and chat with people. For a while, there was a sandwich board outside welcoming people inside and a good amount of foot traffic. There are items related to the non-profit available for reading. Free parking is available nearby, as well as easy transit and bike parking. They also have free wi-fi. The space would only be open to members - so there would need to be some checking people in, to ensure that it is available for people affiliated with the org. So far, few people come into the space. I believe there is some history of the space not being welcoming (in set up and in attitude) that would need to be overcome. What can be done to make the space more of a community center and less of a conventional office?

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
How do I use my unlocked cell phone in Germany?I have an iPhone 6s plus that is unlocked. I have a pay-as-you-go plan from Cricket. I think I can buy a SIM card to use my phone in Germany. Can I buy it in the United States before I leave or should I buy it there? What about my kids phones, which are both unlocked, and on the same plan? If they don't get SIM cards can they text on Wifi? Also, what about money? Should I wait to get Euros there or beforehand? Are some credit cards better than others?

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm going to Prague for work for a week in May. I have never been. I'll be by myself socially and presenting at a conference for two or three days during the week. What tourist things can't be missed? What are the best restaurants? Any general recommendations for traveling in Prague? I will not have car.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
In surveys, I'm sometimes asked whether I live in an urban, a suburban, or rural environment. I am overthinking this question.I live in a smallish Midwestern town (population >100k). I live in a single-family home with a yard and my neighborhood is one of the older, close-in neighborhoods to the downtown city center. I could walk there- it's about 1.5 miles. It's about the same distance to the row of big box stores in the opposite direction. I wouldn't call our neighborhood either urban or suburban- it's hard to describe anything in my town as either of those terms. The town does have tinier towns around it where people live because it's cheaper and they commute, so they're kinda suburbs. But not really. I've lived out in the country, miles from anywhere. I've lived in tiny towns, hours from cities. I've lived in suburbs that used to be tiny towns but sprawled out. I would only describe living in the country as rural, because I know even a tiny town is still more of a town than no town at all. But probably someone living in a very urban area would consider even my current town fairly rural. How should I answer this question?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My company sells flooring and would like to be able to superimpose a room scene with furniture, walls, ect over pictures of our planks.I know this can be done in photoshop, but there isn't really the technical staff here to do it. There are a lot of "room design" packages that accomplish the basic task, but the output is low quality renders and I can't find one with the option to upload media for the floor. My extensive googling is drawing a blank....

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Stormzy delivers a blistering performance at the Brit Awards, calling out Theresa May's response to Grenfell and suggesting the Daily Mail suck his *bleep* (previously on Twitter). Number 10 has responded.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a relative who had shoulder problems and pain, probably from poor laptop ergonomics for years. He did rehab, and the doctor performed a test for nerve damage, and said their was no more nerve damage, but if someone lightly hits him on the shoulder he is in terrible pain. He can't lift his arms enough to get in a van (and he is also about 5'9 and 300 lbs.). This kid is 26 years old and his family is facing financial challenges and is not super aggressive about pursuing treatment, or perhaps they have hit a wall. He also suffers from anxiety and is taking medication for it. Is this psychosomatic pain? Is there real damage that has gone undetected? What is the next level of medical care above and beyond a general practitioner? He's trying to go on disability, which seems like a tragic waste from my perspective. And yes, I realize the potential negatives of trying to solve somebody else's complex problems.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
In 2013, software developer Stardock announced they were making a new Star Control game, the first in nearly two decades, after they purchased the rights to the Star Control games from Atari (previously) Or so they thought. The original creators of Star Control - Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III at Toys For Bob - had moved on, creating the massively successful toy/game hybrid Skylanders. But Fred and Paul wanted to return to Star Control, and thanks to termination clauses found in their original contract with Accolade, believe that the rights to Star Control reverted back to them in 2001 and were never Atari's to sell. (How did Atari end up with the rights to Accolade games? Accolade was purchased by Infogrames in 1999, Infogrames merged with Atari and renamed themselves as such, and went bankrupt in 2013, leading to sell off of Star Control rights to Stardock in the same year.) Stardock as well as Ford and Reiche have both announced the development of new Star Control games. And are now both involved in suits and countersuits to determine who has the rights to make the next Star Control game as well as who has the rights to sell the existing games in the series.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The landlord opens the door to a tiny room. It radiates the possibility that I have been wrong about everything. Every decision in my life has led me to this point, and I can't believe what it looks like: The space is 10 feet by 9 feet 3 inches. This living room/dining room/office/bedroom/closet is 175 square feet total, according to my calculations. ... I catch my own face in the mirror. I have a hard time looking at myself, here, in an apartment this teensy, at age 34. If I take this place, that mirror is going to have to come down. What It's Like to Live in a Space the Size of a Closet by Paulette Perhach. In the middle of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., visitors walk through a full-scale, 1,000-square-foot home designed to comfortably house a multigenerational family: There's room for a grandmother, a single mother, and her young son. Just days ago, the home was set up for four roommates in their twenties; with another shifting of walls and furniture and amenities in a few months, it'll again be converted into an ideal space for an elderly couple. The American Household Is Evolving–And Our Housing Should Too by Eillie Anzilotti. The Düzce Hope Homes, as the units have been dubbed, were recognized in December as one of eight finalists in the World Habitat Awards 2017, which honor innovative housing solutions around the globe. The homes are being constructed in unusually close collaboration with their future residents, who have taken part in every stage of the design and building process. They are also being built at the same time that towns and cities around Turkey, especially large metropolises such as Istanbul and Ankara, undergo wave after wave of "urban transformation" projects that often displace low-income residents, particularly renters, in favor of profit-driven development. The 'Most Hopeful' New Housing in Turkey by Jennifer Hattam. ...The Brenlands decided to buy a secondhand bus and turn it in into a shelter for homeless people. They saw the double-decker former school bus for sale on eBay, and the owners, Stephensons of Essex, a privately owned bus company, gave it to them for free. Then Gareth, a tradesman, put in a kitchen and bathroom – donated by local businesses – and created 14 sleeping pods, a lounge and dining area. Can converted buses help people find a route out of homelessness? by Rosie Fitzgerald. "Our minimum requirements for the homes: a secure roof, door, plumbing, electricity and dignity," the mayor said. He added the homes could take on many forms, from 300-square-foot modular homes to "container units inside warehouses." He said the location of the new homes will have to be determined, but the more than 100 vacant parcels controlled by the city should be a starting point. Sacramento mayor wants 1,000 tiny homes for homeless people by Ryan Lillis. At least 600 of Scotland's most vulnerable rough sleepers are to be provided with homes and the continuing support they need to sustain their tenancies, in the largest commitment of its kind in the UK. The Scottish social enterprise Social Bite, which has previously attracted celebrity support from George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio, will take a minimum of 600 people out of homelessness over the next 18 months, alongside fully funded wrap-around support for clinical issues, such as mental ill-health and addiction, and more practical concerns such as finding furniture and arranging refuse collection. Hundreds of rough sleepers in Scotland to be offered homes by Libby Brooks. California housing bonus link: Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast by Matt Levin.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
If you believe that kids these days are fragile "snowflakes," that political correctness is running amok, and that LGBT people are now society's true bullies, this new Heathers is the show for you. The premiere of the rebooted cult classic, now airing for free online, takes place in a universe—clearly a fictional one—where the football team is oppressed and yesteryear's fat, queer, and black victims now rule the school with manicured fists. The new Heathers opens with a slur against intersex people and goes downhill from there.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A cardinal with a rare genetic mutation has been spotted in Alabama. Normally cardinals turn yellow pigments into red with an enzyme, but this one is different. Here's video of it eating.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I heard it in a bar last night and really liked it. Shazam didn't know it. Do you?It sounded pretty modern, production wise. Slow, heavy, with country/slide-ey guitars over the whole thing. I did not recognize the voice. I don't particularly want to call the bar and ask, BUT I WILL IF I MUST.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have some questions to do with my new embroidery hobby and, specifically, with making one of these butterflies.I'm getting into embroidery and I suppose I'm trying to fast track my way through some of the learning curves, with your help. I am trying to start with one of the butterflies shown in The Embroidered Garden by Kazuko Aoki. She's a little stingy with the instructions, so could you please take a look and help me figure out: Did she/should I outline the butterfly with chain stitch? This is supposed to be long and short stitch, which I understand is done in a series of layers, but those stitches making up the main body of the butterfly look awfully long to me...Are there really layers there? Is she using 1 strand of thread? It looks to me like it might be more than one. Any tips and tricks you can give me with regards to this new hobby would be appreciated as well! For example, I've been having trouble threading my needles. Any needle or threading technique recommendations?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What are good examples of simple, or understated, honors, regalia and awards that are extremely important? I'm thinking of things like the Roman grass crown, a crown of grass and wildflowers that was considered the highest military honor, or the Hellenic white silk headband diadems that showed kingly authority.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to remember the names of two art pieces: 1. a video piece involving young men playing an absurd fictional sport; and 2. a very recent piece about the sexualized relationships people have with their phones.1. The video piece involved a group of young men enthusiastically playing a fictional and seemingly pointless sport (something like basketball) that they could never win. The video looked very 80s (but might have been made more recently). The men were wearing colorful Tron-like uniforms and played in a room with black walls. I saw this piece at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2016. 2. Not sure if this was sculpture or something else, but an artist made a series of smartphones with features resembling genitals (pubic hair, etc.). The piece was related to the sexualized relationships of touching and gazing that people have with their phones. I saw a blog post about this in 2017. Both the artists were women, as I recall.

Read More...