posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Lonliness is one of the worst feelings I've ever encountered... yet it seems inevitable. The obvious answer is to just hang around more people- but this isn't always so easy.Going to a crowded coffee shop with people around me helps... but sometimes this isn't enough. I don't really have any family and I spend holidays alone for the most part. Friends have come and gone due to cross country moves etc. Yes i've done meetups and classes and they've worked well for temporary fixes and for short term or superficial friendships, but nothing more familial ever manifests from them. The last time someone gave me a valentines gift was in high school... I'm in my latter 30's now, so I haven't really had many romantic relationships if you catch my drift. My longest term relationship which lasted years, was a man who was pretty emotionally unavailable in many respects though I did try to make it work. I'm trying to put myself out there, but lets face it... even if I do find someone, the chances are high that I'll be alone at some point in life again since women tend to be widowed for years before passing on. So lonliness is something I'd really like to be able to 'master' if possible. And I might not find anyone ever either so being alone may be something I'll always have to deal with so I'd like to know if there are any techniques on how to do that. I've heard stories that one can be alone for decades and not feel lonely, but seeing as how human beings are a species that for millenia social ties have been integral to survival... I wonder how true those stories are. It seems to me that awful pit in your stomach that comes from lonliness is just our DNA saying it needs company the same way it would with food or air.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Question about babies, feelings, and friendships!I'm definitely hitting the stage in my life where babies are just popping up everywhere like daisies (at least three new pregnancy announcements in the past month!). Personally, I'm at a point in life where the idea of settling down/having kids is secondary to going out/seeing the world/having adventures--while I am not adamantly childfree and I'm open to the future possibility of parenthood, I don't have any urges yet (and no romantic prospects, which is another factor). I asked a question a while ago about diverging life paths with friends, and many of the answers suggested keeping in touch while seeking out other like-minded childless folks to have adventures with. I have done this, but now those friends are also starting to get pregnant. Though I know the thing to do is to keep seeking out like-minded people and adjust to new/almost-parents, the recent big rush of baby-having has given me an inexplicable bout of anxiety and lonely feelings. I would never put this on my friends, but I'm still feeling those feelings and it's making me feel a little drained when it comes to the constant baby announcements. To be clear, I am happy for my friends' joy and know that kids are an all-consuming commitment--I am glad to just go and chill out at their house and tickle their tots' chubby thighs. I think their babies are adorable and I look forward to having adventures with them and seeing the world anew through their eyes once they aren't helpless cute potatoes. I guess the question is: For those of you who have been in this same stage in life, if you have experienced these feelings how did you help yourself deal with it? I don't at all take this as a sign that I want to have a baby, too...it just feels like every week or so there's one less of...me? Or my kind? How did you help yourself get past or distract from the pangs of loneliness? It's not taking over my life, but I'd like to try and do some healthy self-care things so I can focus on being joyful for my friends instead of feeling anxiety.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Help me find unusual and sublime experiences that others might not think of as 'things to do'.Watching the Eurostar hum its way into the baby blue train shed at Kings Cross St Pancras. Sitting on a giant cushion in the Wellcome Collection reading room. The way the U1 train rushes over the bridge through Alte Donau. The eerily beautiful sculptures and buildings of Broadgate Circle. These are all intriguing things to see – but few guidebooks seem to mention them. They're sort of sublime experiences, but not exactly 'attractions' or 'things to do'. Where can I find more of them? What should I call experiences like these?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I knew dimly that I might gain advantages by befriending my wealthier clients, but I wasn't sure what kind — and I was nervous about seeming phony. I'd occasionally sense that a strange door was open to me: not to friendship, exactly, but to some sort of benevolent leeching, or simply the opportunity to be liked.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
After three water pump failures in 5 years, I need a way to control the behavior of my radiant heat system's water pump during summer and winter months. I think I know what kind of timer device I need, but before I buy something, I'd welcome some advice from plumber MeFites. (Lengthy, possibly unnecessary details inside.)We have a radiant floor heat system for our master bath that runs off a household water heater (not its own boiler). It's set up with two circulating water systems: an open system that pulls hot water from the heater, through a heat exchanger, and back into the water heater; and a closed system controlled by a thermostat that kicks in to run water through the heat exchanger and circulate it through the floor when there is demand. Each of these systems has its own water pump. Here is the problem: The open system pump has failed three times, and I'm about to have it replaced yet again. I think I know why it fails, but I'm unable to prevent the failure with the current setup (that came with the house when we bought it). I think I need an Intermatic ET110, but I'm not 100% sure it's the right thing. Here is the situation: The water pump is wired to an on/off light switch, helpfully labeled "Winter" [on] and "Summer" [off]. The idea appears to be that we should shut the pump off during summer months when heat is not needed. There is no household-type plug for the pump, but instead a thick electrical-looking wire from the pump directly to the lightswitch. During our first spring in the house, when we no longer needed the heated floor, I shut the water pump off at the switch. When fall came, we powered up the system and it didn't work. As new homeowners, we assumed the pump had failed from old age, so we replaced it. The following spring we turned the pump off and once again in the fall it failed. A smart plumber told us that when we turned the pump off for the summer, it was rusting and locking up (and he showed me the rusted guts of the less-than-a-year-old pump). The answer: Just let the pump run all the time, summer and winter, "because it's built to do that." So we let the pump run continuously. 18 months later, it failed a third time (it makes a very faint whirring noise). This leads me to believe that having the pump run hot water continuously shortens its lifespan. I think I need a way to run the pump in two modes: ALL THE TIME, but also in a second mode where it runs, say, once a day, every day, for 10 minutes or so to prevent rust. (The closed system's thermostat runs its pump for a few minutes each day regardless of demand, which I suspect is intended to prevent rusting.) I don't need the switchover to be done automatically -- I'm happy to switch modes when the seasons change. But I do want some kind of timer to manage the pump during the off season (so to speak). So -- given the above -- will the Intermatic ET110 work? I would set it with a timed mode (10 minutes a day) and "override" for run-all-the-time mode. Would a different flavor of the same timer be better? (Please note that I'm looking for an off-the-shelf product here, as I'm not really qualified to build something on my own.) Thank you!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Agnes Nixon creator of 'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live,' dies at 93 Ms. Nixon was a dominant force in daytime TV. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences called her "the grand dame of daytime serial drama" when she won lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2010 for her serials. Hollywood Reporter: Disney CEO Bob Iger, paid tribute to Nixon in a statement Wednesday: "It is with a heavy heart I mourn the passing of television pioneer Agnes Nixon, someone I was proud to call a friend. Agnes' impact on daytime television and pop culture is undeniable. She was the first to champion socially relevant topics, and the towns and characters Agnes brought to life leave an indelible imprint on television that will be remembered forever. On behalf of Walt Disney and ABC, I want to extend our deepest condolences to her family." Emmy TV Legends Interview In her two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Agnes Nixon discusses her love of reading and writing. She recalls attending Northwestern University and changing her focus from acting to writing. She talks of getting hired by legendary Irna Phillips to write for the soap opera Woman in White shortly after graduating college. Film Reference Biography of Agnes Nixon Born December 10, 1927, in Chicago, IL.... Agnes Eckhardt Nixon, creator of the soap operas Search for Tomorrow, One Life to Live, All My Children, and Loving, and contributor to several other serials, is recognized as a pioneer in introducing social relevance to daytime television. Topics such as the Vietnam war, abortion, drug addiction, child abuse, racism, and AIDS have been confronted in Nixon's story lines since the early 1960s, transforming the traditionally conservative and escapist nature ofdaytime serials into a forum for relaying socially pertinent messages. But Nixon stresses that the messages are conveyed "in an affirmative way, not a punitive way," as Rod Townley quoted her in TV Guide. "If you're punitive, the people you're trying to reach will just turn off the set.... Our primary mandate is to entertain, but I do think people are entertained by being made to think." NEWSWEEK "All My Children" Finale Interviews 9/11/2011 There's a reason All My Children actor David Canary calls the soap's 83-year-old creator, Agnes Nixon, "a wonderful person packed with the devil." The petite Nixon may be all smiles, but in her imagination lives a long cast of characters responsible for some of the steamiest relationships and deranged scheming in the history of daytime television.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
A short visual essay on the unnamed but consistent visual style of Mario game box art

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
On Carefree Black Boys: Understanding the Appeal of the 'Carefree' Aesthetic to Black Male Musicians From Young Thug to Chance the Rapper [MTV] "Chance has found a slogan to represent what is irrepressible in him: #BlackBoyJoy. Following his appearance at the 2016 VMAs, he started sharing photos of himself at the event, preening, dancing, and posing, with the hashtag. He was a natural spokesman. Others followed suit, posting photos of boys and men frolicking and grinning. The #BlackBoyJoy hashtag preceded Chance's use of it, and its origins are in the broader, voguish idea of "carefree blackness." Like the loose digital community that bore it, this carefreeness has an ambient quality, a collection of aesthetics and identities that many laud as a generalized form of activism."

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I spilled mouthwash on some jeans and I am traveling. The spot it left is the size of my hand. I want to wear them again in a few days and I have already blotted the area with a wet washcloth. Do I need to wash the spot with soap? The mouthwash (generic blue listerine) has sorbitol in it but the main ingredient is alcohol.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What is the British "what?" or "wot?" closest to in modern American English?I've been reading a lot of 1920s and 1930s British fiction lately and I've noticed a frequency in dialogue ending in "what?" or "wot?". How would this be expressed in contemporary American English? Is it still commonly used in modern Great Britain? Some examples from Dorothy Sayers being: "There's a thing to give a man thirst -what?" "Wonderful what a little nip'll do in case of need, and the less you're used to it the more good it does you. Hope your girl is a sensible young woman, what?" " 'Bit of a dandy, your visitor, what?' he murmured." "Uncommonly jolly little job for the barber, what?" "I'd better pop round and express sympathy or somethin', what?" Contextually it's clearly kind of a filler word, like "you know", or "right on". But I'd like to hear more!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Dance is a language, and social dance is an expression that emerges from a community. A social dance isn't choreographed by any one person. It can't be traced to any one moment. They are as old as our remembered history. In African-American social dances, we see over 200 years of how African and African-American traditions influenced our history. The present always contains the past. And the past shapes who we are and who we will be.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
So, fossil fuels were formed over about 300 million years from dead biomass. Could a far-future society make its own over, ideally, somewhat less time?I'm not asking about synthetic fuels made today from corn, sugarcane, etc., or really anything we could do in the next century. I want the old-fashioned method of laying down dead plants and animals, burying it under sediment, and waiting for eons. But I'd be interested if we can improve it so it takes, say, a million years instead of 300 million. Would it help if we buried it deeper? Did it on a bigger planet? Mushed up the biomass first? Although I'm mostly just curious, this might go into a science fiction universe. Think of it as a project for really patient aliens.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I can't seem to get up in the morning. It's affecting my ability to get to my job.What's the opposite of insomnia, because I think I have that. For the past two months I have been constantly late for work and just recently called in sick for two days just so I could sleep. It's bad. Things I have tried: - Going to bed earlier. - Having a sunrise alarm clock to wake me up gently. - Moving said alarm across the room so I have to get up to turn it off (I do and then go back to bed). - Using a sleep tracker on my phone so that I wake up during a "light" phase of sleep. - Waking up an hour earlier and taking vitamin B pills in the hopes they will wake me up. Other information that is relevant: I'm on multiple meds for depression and anxiety. But I have been on these for years and take them only in the morning. This sleep thing has been an issue since August only. Sleep tracker tells me I am getting quality sleep, and I live alone, so there's that. I'm getting desperate. Before I go to my doctor is there any tips or advice you can give?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
There's a viral and ironic trend that i've been lately noticing in and beyond my TQPOC community: my wealthier friends own everything but their class privilege. I couldn't "be myself" in a space built for people like me. I couldn't identify with people I shared identities with. The identity that significantly affects my daily life was erased in a culture that consumes identity politics. The only times my anti-capitalist housemates mentioned class was when it was theoretical and not about them personally, as if being marginalized makes you entitled to know how every kind of oppression feels. It's easy to hide behind your oppression.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Clinton Supporter-Filter: I need Clinton Soup For The Soul, and I would like it in the form of reading/watching HRC-haters losing debates.While I appreciate and understand the reason for heavy moderation in Metafilter election threads, a selfish little part of me is always kind of disappointed when a really ignorant anti-Clinton comment gets deleted, because I learn a ton of talking points by reading fiery online back-and-forth debating - it's enlightening to see all the different angles and defenses and rebuttals get covered. Please share links to forum threads, twitter threads, comment threads, reddit threads, or generally anything where anti-Clinton types go back and forth with supporters and basically get their ass handed to them WWF-smackdown style. The debate does not even have to be civilized or end in some kumbaya admission of defeat. It just has to be a good read. What I'm not looking for: Witty one-liner snark comebacks, people dropping links to political cartoons or Onion articles as a response, people dropping one response and peacing outl. Looking more of the actual lengthy comment/response/response-to-response/response-to-response-to-response/etc variety of online debates. Something that would at least take a few minutes to read through. If you have witnessed this happen, please share the link to the exchange here so I can devour it. Sorry if this is a weird question.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I have a history of depression but am fine for long stretches. How do I manage the swamping of depression that still happens from time to time?I am on a low dose of a well-known antidepressant. It works well for me and I feel good when things are fairly even-keeled. But, when there is a major stressor (difficult job change, a family issue, some personal setback), I still go into depressive mode and don't really "catch" it for a long time. It feels like life is chugging along with normal ups and downs, I am doing fine and then suddenly, I "come to." I realize I've once again been in a dark hole for weeks or months without knowing it was self-imposed, and I've gained back a bunch of weight, and I skipped out on social things I should have done. It's "Oh, hey, that was depression again," and now I have to try to get things back on track. The thing is, it's never dramatic enough to catch while I am really in it -- I still work and attend my life, but that life is muted, and I overeat, and get stuck in a bunch of small ways, and I don't enjoy things very much. None of those things are enough for me to realize it's depression and not just a (long, long) string of lousy days. But it IS depression. I always recognize it after the fact. I'd like to have some skills or tools in place so that I don't get that far down the grim road before I catch myself and try to reroute. How do I set a warning system in place so I can see I am getting into trouble? Because, at the time, it always feels normal. My brain says, "Why wouldn't I feel too tired to shower or ramp up on work, etc., and eat an entire cake when XYZ is happening?" as if my higher functioning "Hey! This sure looks like depression!" detection ability is gone. Do you have any tricks for catching when your depression is creeping up on you again?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Looking for books (and movies I suppose) that are part of a larger series, but that are more enjoyable when read (or watched) out of order.Obvious example would be Star Wars. The big "Luke, I am your father!" reveal would be a huge anti-climax, as would the "my father has it, I have it, and my SISTER has it". What I'm NOT looking for is series where you can/should skip certain books/sections because they aren't important/are terrible/whatever. The end game is to still read the whole set. Origin of this question: I'm currently reading the Foundation series and am reading them in the order they were published, so the first two books (in terms of the book-world timeline) I'll be reading last. I don't know if this is wise, but I figured I'd experience the story in the same order that the author wrote it.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The City Born Great, short fiction by Hugo Award winner N. K. Jemisin.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
"Summer is the time for sunshine, sudsy brews and sandwiches of the hot dog variety. And of course, that classic game. The sport of kings. Baseball. What better way to celebrate America's pastime than that classic sportswriter trope of visiting all 30 MLB parks in 30 days. Crossing the country, seeing the sights and catching a ballgame or two along the way. My trusty editor set up an itinerary and sent me on my way. What wonders will I encounter and valuable lessons will I learn along the way? Let's find out as I embark on this adventure into America's pastime!" -- A tribute to the great parks by the inimitable Ethan Booker

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I just found out canned pumpkin isn't actually pumpkin at all, and my whole life is basically a lie. By Emma Crist at Food & Wine.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I manage a website hosted on wordpress.com -- which, annoyingly, does not allow uploading plugins. I manage another Wordpress website which is hosted elsewhere, and I can upload plugins there. Taking advantage of this second site, I created an accordion slider using a plugin which I would like to show on the wordpress.com site. Assuming this can be done, what's the best way to achieve it? (You can assume I have some, but not a ton, of experience with both Wordpress and HTML but very little with CSS.)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Jollyball is a rolling ball sculpture by Charles Morgan. (site is in French, but a short film on Morgan is in English.) It debuted at the Expo 86 Switzerland Pavilion in Vancouver, Canada, and is seen briefly in this Expo 86 promotional video. It is now located at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, which means we can now see videos of the pinball's entire 5 minute adventure through Swiss life.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Any recommendations for a nice, varied, good quality set of "screw" drivers of various different types of screw heads that I might find on IDE HDDs?I have a bunch of IDE HDDs that are pretty much useless to me nowadays. I'd like to disassemble them to remove the rare earth magnets (and smash the platters). I'm guessing I'll encounter many types of screw heads, so I'd like to get a screwdriver set that has oodles of different screw head types. I like Wiha tools and have been very satisfied with them in the past, but any manufacturer is OK. Any mefites have a recommendation for a set that covers lots of different screw head types? And hopefully won't cost a fortune? (I'm asking a lot here, I realize) Regarding tools, my philosophy is usually to suck it up and spend the extra cash up front to get a good quality set that will last. Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The Best Sport Of The Early 1900s Involved Pushing Around An Elephant-Sized Ball (Atlas Obscura) Bonus: Pushball videos

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
In the book and movie Pet Sematary, Stephen King gave a description of Spinal Meningitis that involved deformity (bent back, "face pulled down until it was like a mask", "hands were like birds' feet") and excruciating, long-term pain. Per Web MD and many other sources, Spinal Meningitis can cause many long term effects (mental impairment, hearing loss, loss of limbs due to gangrene) but nothing like King described. And especially nothing like the body seen in the film. Is this at all a realistic depiction of this disease?

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