posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I've linked my profile Here. I'm planning on getting better pictures, but welcome any other suggestions.I've been getting significantly less messages as I get older (to be expected) and want to have the best profile I can. I'd ideally like to meet nerdy, physically active, young-at-heart men around my age who are looking for a serious, child-free relationship. I tend to get more responses from older guys with kids and a sports-watching habit. So...any glaring red flags? Suggestions? Is the mention that I'm looking for a relationship apt to scare men off, as insisted on by some of my guy friends? I didn't initially have that there, but got tired of guys looking for casual dating. Thanks!

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
this is an album of men and women wearing very similar outfits placed side by side for comparison. I tried to find fits that not only had the same colour palette, but the same clothing cut/style as well. Most images were taken from Pinterest - I just pinned outfits that I thought would transfer well to the opposite gender and started matching. Some resemblances are better than others, but I think the individual touches are what make some fits more characteristically masculine or feminine. via /r/femalefashionadvice

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
In the southern portion of China there is an expansive karst landscape, formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The region is home to the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is actually seven different notable features, as well as the visually impressive Moon Hill, some of China's supercaves, and Xiaozhai Tiankeng, the world's deepest sinkhole. You can climb Moon Hill, but it's best to plan ahead. You can also explore China's great caves, but it is necessary to explore between October-November and February-March to avoid the monsoon seasons, and getting down Xiaozhai Tiankeng requires a lot of gear. You can read more about the Tiankengs (giant dolines or sinkholes) in the karst of China (PDF).

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
Hervé This: The world's weirdest chef Hervé This : Vive la connaissance produite et partagée! Hervé This Gastronomie Moléculaire Interview with renowned French physical chemist – Hervé This Hervé This' Chocolate Mousse and previously The Man Who Unboiled An Egg, previously

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
I've been approached via email by someone I don't know describing himself as a Canadian with a Chinese wife who runs this language service center, offering to translate one of my books into Chinese. The offer is unsolicited and it does not specifically mention the title of my book. Is it a scam that I haven't heard about yet?Here's the content of the letter: My name is Paul XXX, I'm a Canadian who lives in China with my Chinese wife Gentile (Chinese name: Zhou, XXX). We run our own language service center in Hangzhou, China. (www.shantzservices.com) and my wife is looking to get into the translation business. Specifically, she is looking to translate very interesting books (like yours) into Chinese. We've been looking around the internet for a good project to start her off with and after finding your book my wife asked me to reach out to you. We both seem to think that there would be a big demand for your book in China and there are several sites where you can put up your book for sale. Also, Amazon has a Chinese mirror site that many Chinese people use to buy books. My wife has a lot of translation experience, she has done all the translation for our own language center. All the course materials, legal papers, leases etc. She is an avid reader and wants to start translating books. Since this would be her first book, we would be quite flexible on the rate, as the main purpose is to get her some experience. We would just ask that you be a little flexible on the timeline since it might take her a little longer to get over the first time hurdles. We can guarantee a very quality product once it's finished, but it may take us a little longer to get there. After the translation, if you would like we could put the book on Chinese sites for sale as a free service and a way to say thank you for letting us translate. We also have some connections with agents and publishers in China and could make introductions for you if you wish. If you're interested, we would love to hear from you. I can be reached at XXX@hotmail.com. We could set up a time to chat over skype so you could get to know us a little bit. Take care and hopefully we hear from you!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
A father finds pornographic websites in his 9-year-old son's browser history in a surprisingly charming and amusing first-person essay: "I know you were looking at porn." A silence hung in the air between us as I tried to figure out where to go from there. He looked at me, eyebrows up and eyes wide open, on alert for whatever would come next. The past winter had torn up the road, and his still baby-fatted cheeks bounced along with the car as we headed back towards our house. The anticipation of my response was clearly getting to him. "Are you gonna say anything else?" "To be honest, I hadn't really thought this far ahead," I told him. "I only planned as far as this, telling you I knew." How do you talk to your kids about porn? The NY Times has some ideas and stories, SafeKids has tips, and there are, of course, technical solutions. Okay, MetaFilter. Thanks for sharing these tips with me. I get it, I promise. Oscar nodded quickly, almost frantically, then added, "Can we stop talking about this now?" "Sure, we can stop. Are you embarrassed?" I asked. "A little," he said, "But mostly I don't want to hear how much you like sex."

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Lena Dunham writes about her childhood anxieties, and growing up in therapy. (SLNewYorker)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
We are driving from Medford, OR to Reno, NV with a stop at Lassen Volcanic area in two weeks. I was curious about the roads between these places.We are driving from Medford, OR to Reno, NV with a stop at Lassen Volcanic area in two weeks. I was curious about the roads between these places. Is it a white knuckle trip with steep drop offs? I expect it be windy based on the maps. But that doesn't tell me about the roads. Do I want to drive at night from Lassen to Reno?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
92 Gears is a lovely, hypnotic animated GIF. Ball Bearings in a Hypersphere is a mathematical discussion of its generalizations.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I've been having what I suspect is a quarterlife crisis for several months and luckily I've pretty narrowed it down to three options/priorities. However, that's the snag. I can't decide between the three (work, study, travel and a bit of play). Any thoughts much appreciated.- Study in the city of my dreams (one year program) then travel afterwards in the European winter (I'm Aussie, so this is a big deal). This study is purely for interest, not to retrain, so it's not like I'm trying to escape a career I'm not interested in. And that's the problem. My industry's so saturated a 12 month gap would almost certainly kill off my career, and it is plausible I would want to return to it. - Work in the city of my dreams in current industry, and hope I get time off to travel in late 2015 or early 2016 (all the jobs advertised at the moment are permanent fulltime). - Work in a much smaller city on a 12month contract which would really add to my resume (same industry as current job). So the 12 months means I would still be guaranteed to travel (albeit in the European winter). However, the difference here is the city has a reputation for being boring and cliquey. But I've successfully found ways around both issues in the current (country) town I'm in, which is a tenth the size of this smaller city. So though I'm put off by the reputation of this city, I know I could probably find ways around them. The only issue that might be hard to find a way around is ethnic dining--it is one of the more white cities in the country, and that would be my issue--where I am at the moment, it's a 2hr train or drive to the city of my dreams which has ethnic food galore, while this smaller city, it's a bit more effort to jump on a plane. I know it shouldn't bother me, but it does. tldr; - Study what I've always wanted, in a city I've always liked, then go travel (bearing the European winter) and hope a 12month gap on resume is not career suicide - Work in a city I've always liked, but unsure if able to get time off to travel (I would be looking at 2-3 months' travel, so squishing my 4 weeks of annual leave won't cut it) - Work in a city that is known to be cliquey and boring, but would really prop up my resume, then go travel (bearing the European winter). If any of you are thinking, why don't you just stay in your current job and leave for Europe early next year--the answer is I could, but I would rather not wait 6 months to access opportunities that only a city (even the smaller one) can provide--I'm interested in taking night classes in random subjects and in obscure sports (badminton, fencing) that the country town I'm in doesn't offer, and by country town I mean it's about 100k population so the next option really is a city. Thanks for any thoughts you might have (even if it means pointing out that it's best for me to stay where I am).

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I was really surprised by how much I liked the parts about Catholicism in the Mongoliad series. What other fiction is there involving the medieval Church's corruption, orders of knights (or monks or whatever) who are heretics or pagans who've drawn a thin veneer of Catholicism over themselves, gnosticism and mysticism, characters who may be god-touched, mad, or both and the people who have to keep them out of trouble?I also enjoyed The Leper's Companions, partly because it was beautiful but in particular because I love stuff involving all the kind of weird mystical stuff that had gathered around the Church in that time period, especially the stuff about people carrying around sort of "unofficial relics", AKA the body parts of random saints, and the trade in those items. I'm not really interested in anything from a "Christian Fiction" perspective, at least not one that's really trying to convince me of anything. I want the corruption and co-option of the church, the stealing and incorporation of pagan beliefs, stories about heretics, etc. I'm open to all genres-- historical fiction, historical fantasy, secret history, alternate history, whatever. It's the weirdness of the medieval church that I'm after, I don't really care if the book is horribly wrong or set in an alternate universe version or whatever. Bonus points for books by and about women and/or queer people/gender and sexual minorities. No rape or explicit torture. I'll likely be doing most of these in audio form, so if the audio is particularly good, let me know (or if it's really bad and I should avoid it!).

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My tiles have fallen off in the bathroom, and it looks like the whole lot will need replacing. Who should pay for this?I am in the UK, renting. We don't have a security deposit, as it is understood that we will fix most problems: when the shower broke we had to sort it out. However, I know that there are some landlords have (and we do have a fairly standard written contract). The tiles in the bathroom are loose from the wall, and several have fallen off. I am pretty sure the whole lot will need to come off and be replaced. Is it my landlords legal responsibility to pay for this?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm trying to decide between leasing or buying a car. It would be anywhere from 50-100% business use. Does this make a difference?I grew up in a family that abhors borrowing money and paying interest for anything if it can at all be avoided. Great, but my family's never owned a business, so they don't really get that what makes sense for personal finance may not always make sense for business finance. Fast forward to me. My wife and I are considering a second car, and as it happens, it would be used at least 50% (as potentially as much as 100%) for business purposes. I am the sole member of a Virginia LLC (though we live in Maryland), and therefore, we could buy or lease the car through the company if there are advantages to doing so. What I'm attempting to determine is whether or not this would make sense for us. I've read some things online more or less condemning the current tax code for "essentially subsidizing the luxury car purchases of business owners" and stuff like that, with the tl;dr being that business owners are leasing fancy cars because of loopholes in the tax code that allow them to basically deduct the ALL of the lease payments on that car each year on their taxes. Is this actually true? Or are the things I've read online outdated now? I've read about the add-backs, inclusion amounts, etc. and I THINK I get it, but I'm still not entirely sure. To provide some real numbers, I'm looking at potentially lading a car with a $45K to $50K fair-market value (only because it's new, since if you're leasing, you pretty much have to do a current model-year car; if we were buying I'd go with gently-used two-year-old car). With $5K down and mediocre credit, that means roughly $550 to $600ish monthly payments on a 36-month lease (conservatively; it could be less). Does this mean that (multiplying by 12), we can deduct anywhere from $6,600 to $7,200 (monthly lease payment x 12) from our income each year on our taxes (minus the negligible inclusion amount, and assuming 100% business use of the vehicle)? The other option is to purchase a gently used vehicle with a fair market value of $35K to $40K (since financing entails higher monthly payments) and keeping it for 3-5 years. Any potential business-use-of-a-vehicle credits would be explored and used also, but I keep reading that when it comes to business use, leasing often is the better deal. With these numbers, what's the better way to go?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I would like to purchase a window sized (45"x28") sheet of glass that looks like the glass in this stock photo. Who sells it?It is not especially important to me that the glass be authentic crown glass produced by traditional glassblowing techniques, I just want the look of a grid of smallish evenly-sized rippled or lensed circles in a large sheet of glass suitable for glazing a sash window in a house (though it would be cool if the real stuff were somehow available at an unexorbitant price.) I'm in Southern California and could visit a glass shop in LA if you know of a particular store or architectural salvage place that sells this kind of thing.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Dust. A short film starring Alan Rickman.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What are some good hostels in Tokyo and Kyoto for a solo traveler?Several years ago I stayed at Raise a Smile Hostel Berlin, and it made my visit to that city one of my best travel experiences. It was smaller, so they focused on solo travelers and pairs, and they made the task of connecting with other travelers in a strange city much easier and fun (e.g. the employees were friendly and would introduce people to each other, and take groups out to bars and stuff at night). I'd like to find one or two places with a similar atmosphere to that if possible. Also, what's the best tool for an English speaker for planning routes on Japan's rail network? Is Google Maps any good for this?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I've noticed every so often (every few months?) i start thinking about my ex boyfriend i dated 2 years ago. Should i do anything about this?We dated for almost a year but at some point everything became very mundane and boring, the same things all the time and very predictable. I guess we could have tried to work things out, but i guess i just thought it easier to end things. Anyway, we never kept contact after that until this year when he randomly messaged me on facebook and mentioned how he and some of our other friends meet up once a week and play board games and i should come some time. I never did though, i think i might have been afraid to? Every so often though i find myself missing our conversations and just having someone to hang out with. So i'm not sure if i just miss having someone to talk to, or if i genuinely miss him. Is this considered fairly normal? Should i even try talking to him just to say hello?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What is the opinion of the hive mind: if one of my superiors receives a promotion, is it polite to congratulate them or is that the wrong tone?I work in a school-- my Head of Campus was promoted to Acting Principal. Do I congratulate him, as a lowly teacher? Or is that sort of condescending or presumptuous or something?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My girlfriend and I have spent several hours picking out places to stay from AirBNB listings in Copenhagen. It SEEMS like there are so many wonderful, available places to stay. But my booking requests (5 so far) have all been declined by the hosts. What's going on here? How do I get a successful booking?Details... * It's a 2 week stay about 1 month away. * I have one previous AirBNB stay in my history that went positively as far as I know. (Are there secret shared notes available to hosts that might say that I'm a poor guest?) * I left a glowing review at my previous AirBNB visit. * I've sent short, cheerful English messages along with my booking request. I went out of my way to not sound like an annoying hassle. * Listings were filtered by English language. (If someone has difficulty speaking English, I don't want to hassle them.) * Listings were filtered by calendar dates of our stay in Copenhagen. * There were no issues with my credit card as a payment method. * The 3 hosts that replied back to me after declined booking requests had these stated reasons: "We will be in town during that time." (calendar availability was not set to reflect that) "Sorry, I am so busy and disorganized." and a terse "The apartment is not available." What is going on? Is AirBNB populated with a bunch of irresponsible flakes? Am I doing something wrong? How can I have more success here? I feel like I'm standing in the middle of the street, politely offering fistfuls of euros, and everybody has shuttered up their windows.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Photographer Nick Bower captures portraits of varying scientists contemplating global warming.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Kittens Game

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Entomologist and photographer Alex Wild on the process of photographing a funnel-web spider: These Spider Fangs Aren't Going To Photograph Themselves. "Most photographs involve some combination of creativity and constraint, and this one was no different." Bonus tweet: "I can't understand why no one has bought my new, relaxing throw pillow yet." More on insect photography at his SciAm blog Compound Eye, amongst them the series Recipe for a Photograph 1 2 3 4 and some notes on photographing uncooperative insects 1 2 3. (Note: SciAm's Compound Eye page lists only a year of posts; but searching for common words like the includes up older posts in the results.) More stunning photographs at his gallery website; more entomology writing at his other blog, myrmecos. Previously on Metafilter: That stings! Macro photos of insects stinging.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
In honor of Saturday Night Live's 40th season, Grantland has been publishing an ongoing series of essays, remembrances, podcasts, and interviews, as well as asking you to cast your votes in The Battle for the Best SNL Cast Member. (They're already down to the final eight; sorry, your favorite cast member has already been eliminated.)

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Unknown orange/red glow over Pacific Ocean "Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air. I have never seen anything like this, and there were no flashes before or after this single explosion of light." "I decided to try and take some pictures of the night sky and the strange green glow that was all over the Northern Hemisphere. I think it was sort of a Northern Lights but it was much more dispersed, never seen anything like this before either. About 20 minutes later in flight I noticed a deep red/orange glow appearing ahead of us, and this was a bit strange since there was supposed to be nothing but endless ocean below us for hundreds of miles around us."

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I rented a new apartment with a lease starting on September 1st. My current apartment's lease ends 8/31. I foolishly thought moving out on 9/1 was standard practice. My landlord assures me it is not. Now what?I'm moving within Chicago. My new landlord seemed sure that their current tenants would not be out early, but I've left a message to double check. My current landlord says she promised the new tenants they could be in by 9. My movers are currently scheduled to be showing up between 8 and 9. Assuming moving out before then is not an option, what sort of bad scenario's start to happen at 12:01 am on 9/1?

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