posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Pour One Out For Ulysses S. Grant, Adam Gopnik inThe New Yorker: Though he [Ron Chernow] does the usual justice to the military saga of the Civil War, and Grant's decisive part in it, his book aims to rehabilitate Grant as a politician and as President. He makes a convincing case that Grant actually behaved nobly, even heroically, while in the White House. He pressed the cause of black equality under the law, and was consistently on the right side of Reconstruction-era issues—winning more heartfelt praise from Frederick Douglass than Lincoln ever did. Reviewing American Ulysses: The Rehabilitation of an American Hero: In recent years, however, a series of biographies have come forth to make the case for Grant as a worthy member of the pantheon of great Americans.[3] Ronald C. White, author of an acclaimed Lincoln biography, makes a magnificent addition to this literature with American Ulysses, a work that goes beyond others in analyzing Grant the man, unpacking his evolving political and religious views and showing how his character served the nation during some of its most tumultuous years. The Grant that emerges from these pages is a man not only worthy of admiration, but one who is remarkably relevant to the twenty-first century Ulysses S. Grant: American Giant Like its more recent predecessors, Grant skillfully dislodges a host of pernicious myths. Chernow extols Grant as instrumental in securing emancipation, enlisting black soldiers, and winning Union victory. A master strategist who cultivated a model relationship with his commander-in-chief, Grant, a proponent of "hard war" against the Slaveocracy, was the Civil War's greatest and most visionary general, Chernow argues, as well as an adept (if excessively trusting) president who performed ably in the face of relentless obstacles. Addressing his opponents' charges of so-called "Grantism"— the notion that the Crédit Mobilier and Whiskey Ring scandals reflected singular malfeasance — Chernow recalls that while all postwar presidential administrations featured corruption, opponents singled out Grant's misconduct in part because of his administration's support for Reconstruction and black civil rights.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I ended a relationship with my partner two times. Both times it was because I felt a general disconnect, didn't feel heard or understood (a good part of the time) and issues within our dynamic that, at the time, felt unfixable.That was last year. Ive run into her several times, both times we ended up talking for an hour or two. And both times, there was no hint of the things I ended it over. It was fun, easy conversation that I genuinely enjoyed. I've struggled a lot with remembering why I did this. I generally don't handle breakups well and have a hard time sticking to them. This one is especially difficult. And when we run into eachother and have easy dialogue, I doubt myself more. How can I trust my decision that I've made twice? Both times sure it was the right decision? Where do I go from here

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
If you've ever tried a recipe and wondered why it wasn't as easy as the video made it seem, you may appreciate the Behind Tasty series on YouTube. How many tries does it take to cast a chocolate sphere? How do you cut smoothly through a crepe cake using a fork? Croissants are hard, mirror glaze seems temperamental, and 100 layers of anything is questionable.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Kākāpō (previously on MetaFilter) are having a record breeding season: more than 76 chicks have hatched from 49 out of the 50 breeding females. Since there are only 147 adult Kākāpō on the planet (so few that Wikipedia lists every one of them by name) this is a very big deal. And in breaking Kākāpō news, Solstice just laid another 3 eggs last night - her third nest this year!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking to buy a house in Seattle and a couple of lenders are aggressively competing for my business. A quick Google search tells me they stand to make quite a bit in commission. How can I as the borrower get the best deal and lowest closing costs?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
For the first time ever, I am interacting with a medical provider who is asking me to sign an arbitration agreement before providing services. My brain and ethics says this is a big deal. Is this a big deal? Is it worth it?I have so far successfully navigated though this world without signing away many rights. I am pretty uncomfortable with this, and this immediately puts me in an uncomfortable place of 'this place doesn't give a shit about my health, they give a shit about money' which is some pretty awful footing to start out (especially when this is a mental-health related provider, and i already feel pretty awful about a great number of things). There are only two providers of this service in my area that are covered by my insurance, so I have options, but this one is much more convenient, and have (aside from this) been a bit more responsive (but not the most professional). It should be stated that this behavior is not illegal in my jurisdiction, but in some states you're allowed to opt out of such an agreement with no repercussions, and I am not in one of those states. Is this a big deal? Is not signing this the battle to fight?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
At last year's academic conference a small group of friends played BattleDecks /PowerPoint karaoke and had the best time ever. We'd like to play again. I'm soliciting great slides for this.We downloaded a bunch of the various decks online already, but more slides would be awesome. Please post links to single or decks of slides.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
When I meet women on dating apps, I always want to know if I can take them to the Olive Garden, my treat. It's a solid opener; a way to know if we're compatible. If they're the right kind of woman for me, they'll respond with an enthusiastic yes. The right kind of woman for me is someone who won't give me a hard time about the things I like. The kind of woman who will let me pocket all the leftover breadsticks and doesn't care if we only discuss our favorite sexual positions and what kind of appetizers look best off the limited-time-only menu. We're at Olive Garden because it's kitschy and cute. Nothing that happens needs to be a serious thing. It's no big deal. Part of Bon Appétit's Red Sauce America series (previously). Others include: The Incredible Costless Abundance of Macaroni Grill's Free Bread The Aspirational Food World Tried (and Failed) to Shame My Love of Red Sauce To Understand Pittsburgh, You Have to Understand Greens and Beans

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Mrs. Larry David Syndrome claims that her grandfather coined this quip (or a variant of it.) I think it's much more likely to have originated from a comic/humorist and he just was repeating it. (It does follow the pretty standard joke format of turning a phrase on its head by substituting an opposite.) Can anyone tell me who was the first person to publicly say/write this phrase (or a close variant such as "...more like the rust years") and what year that occurred? Or when this phrase first became commonly used?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a 14.4v Ryobi cordless drill for which the battery just gave up. I have replaced the drill because I really need a hammer drill and not just a driver, but what do I do with the old drill now?I dropped off the now-dead battery for recycling when I went to Home Depot to pick up my new hammer drill, but I'm curious if the old drill has a possible second life. This was the second battery I've had fail over the life of this drill (* third if you count how this drill was a better deal than just a replacement battery for the previous drill), and from my perspective getting a new battery for it would be good money after bad. Ryobi's new lithium batteries are a different voltage and don't fit older tools not designed for them. And I need a hammer drill for half the things I do around the house anyway, so I opted for an upgrade. I don't know if any charities would want a working tool with no battery, or if they'd also think a new battery was good money after bad, and send it out to be recycled themselves. Anybody know if this is a good donation or a bad one?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Last week, James Holzhauer absolutely crushed the single-day winnings record for Jeopardy! Last night he went 40 for 40, turning in a perfect game and crushing the previous single-day record he set last week. He's on track to break Ken Jennings' all-time winnings in 74 games in just 36 games. Some analysis on how he's doing it.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
For health reasons, my in laws need to change to vegan / Mediterranean diet like yesterday. These are folks who are used to schnitzel, potatoes, soups with mayonnaise and sour cream. Help me find some resources (books / websites) that will be easily adopted. Nothing adventurous or with novel ingredients.Just like it says. They know how to make salads, roast vegetable side dishes and so on. But what for the main course? Something hearty, familiar, filling but not a fussy recipe, no intimidating ingredients (eg. quinoa, special flours, or uncommon substitutions - even if to you or me it's not terribly new). Lentils, chickpeas and beans are great. Asian style or curries are not familiar to them. My MIL is a great cook but her repertoire is heart heavy and salty. Thanks for your wisdom metafilter.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
On November 30, 2012, the MMORPG City of Heroes shut down after a three-month sunset period; its owner, NCSoft, refused to sell the IP to someone else to continue the game, or even keep legacy servers up. Rumors of sale of the IP since then haven't come to anything, and there's been some work on reverse-engineering of the servers with various projects. However, all such efforts were rocked recently at the revelation that the game was only mostly dead--a private server running a bootleg copy of the server code has been in operation for six years. The information was leaked in a video by player Destroyer Stroyer, aka Brian, The latest development is a (claimed) leak of the server code [reddit], which, if true, answers one of the questions that people have for Leandro Pardini, the alleged mastermind behind the private server: why not release the code out into the wild, as it were, and let other people host their own servers? Aside from maybe getting sued by NCSoft, that is. The situation, as they say, continues to develop.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A two-parter: is my experience unique, and how do I deal with it regardless?I hope this isn't too chatfiltery. I have been doing exposure therapy with a great therapist for a few months to address a phobia of mine. Today's session was the first one where we really pushed an exposure for me to the point of mild fear. The part that really unsettled me, though, is that I felt rather . . . sad? I don't know. It didn't feel like an anxiety or fear reaction - I felt truly sad, like something depressing had happened. I actually felt almost like crying, and even now in retrospect I feel pretty down. Unfortunately, we mostly dealt with the fear and anxiety reaction in-session, and I didn't mention the sadness to my therapist. Is this supposed to happen? I can't even put my finger on what I'm sad about! And I'm struggling to deal with it - I expected to have to work through and manage my anxiety, but not this.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I know that this isn't a UX-focused forum and this is a very niche question but here we go. I'm a UX designer and I really like using Axure because it lets me quickly mock up realistic interactions with conditional logic and a data set that I can manipulate easily. For a bunch of reasons I've been tasked with looking into alternatives and I'm not having much luck.When I'm designing things I like to be able to set up how I think the interaction should go, and then click through it to see if it feels natural. As I'm clicking through it, things that are missing or that I need to change become apparent because my brain is in that mode. Having to manually draw all the possible states, like I've been doing with Sketch lately, seems to me to be prone to errors like, forcing the design to do things that don't make sense once you actually try it, leaving things out because I was just pulling the states out of my ass, interactions that are actually harder to use than anticipated (like, it seems fine to make the user have to click a little circle to select something, but when you actually try it you find out that the selection area was too small and if they miss the circle they have to start over. That would have been caught if the designer had the opportunity to try it out before they built it). And also a lot more manual labor of having to imagine and then draw and then manage all these teeny tiny states. And then even if I can piece the drawings together in invision, there are some interactions that cannot be demonstrated (or accurately user tested) without conditional logic. But the problem is that while I know how to get Axure to do what I'm imagining, the prototypes that I make with it wind up being pretty complex and therefore buggy as a result. I always feel like I'm feverishly tracking down a bug right before a usability session. None of the alternatives seem to be working for me though: 1. Invision and others like it (there are so many) are just linking together drawings, no different or more useful to me than a slide deck. A slide deck would probably be easier to work with. It just seems like having to manually imagine and draw the states that a thing should have instead of letting the states evolve organically is an old-fashioned method that produces inferior results. 2. I don't have the time or patience to learn the amount of code this would take to do it in code. Like that would be a whole new profession and take up 100% of my time. Right? I would have to learn how to set up the coding environment, how to manage code with git or something. On top of that my bosses criticize my work in Axure for "trying too hard to do what the developers do when I am not a developer" and "being so comprehensive that it confuses and bores stakeholders". So, I have that to deal with as well. 3. I tried UXPin which feels like an Axure competitor but with less functionality, so basically going back to an earlier version of Axure. Axure's repeater widgets are amazing, wonderful and perfect and I don't want to live without them. Am I missing something here? What is everyone else doing?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs' dynasty I knew that Pop was a renaissance man from reading about the Spurs culture and how he does things differently and hearing him talk about issues other than Basketball. But this article is something else. I was awe stricken. Not by the description of his love of good food and wine; but what he uses it for. To get people out of their comfort zone so he can get to know them as people. I always thought that the whole "Spurs Way" thing was hokey, media inspired exaggeration; but this article is forcing me to look at it differently. What this reminds me of is the Legendary Red Auerbach and his Chinese dinners in DC. I read a book on that by John Feinstein. Pop almost reminds me of that.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A Perfectly Normal Interview with Carmen Maria Machado Where Everything Is Fine The connection between narratives of vampires and narratives of women—especially queer women—are almost laughably obvious. Even without Carmilla, they would be linked. The hunger for blood, the presence of monthly blood, the influence and effects of the moon, the moon as a feminine celestial body, the moon as a source of madness, the mad woman, the mad lesbian—it goes on and on. It is somewhat surprising to me that we have ever imagined male vampires at all.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Trying to decide between: • AMbetter (coordinated care) • Kaiser permanente • Molina • Premera blue crossI'm moving to Seattle and need to enroll in a health plan through the marketplace. These are the four options I'm seeing. Does anyone have any experience with these companies? I'm someone who visits the doctor relatively frequently, so I'll be choosing a Silver plan.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I am about to graduate as valedictorian from a top tier program. In decision paralysis about what to do next, and wondering if my mental approach to it is not the right one.I am about to graduate as valedictorian (on track, at least) from a top tier graduate program. While I am proud of where I am thus far, I am in an existential crisis about my career. There's a lot to unpack, but I've had a lot of mental stress about my career. I feel that I have a lot of opportunity which I am very grateful for, but I am unexcited by most opportunities that I have come across. Yet I am not interviewing at many places or being very proactive. I worked over the summer for a top tier financial services firm, and while I learned a ton I didn't love the work and ruled it out. It was a risky move which I don't regret it. Now I am deciding between starting my own company and joining a company as the CEO's right hand person. But I am feeling...unsure about both. More details on both: Startup: I am working with a good friend on a company idea. In the past few months, I've had a lot of traction - we've built a functional prototype, have interviewed over hundreds of customers. Yet I am not sure if it's the right idea and if my friend is committed. I think I have a chance at capital (but I haven't been fundraising). It's the scarier option, and I am not sure if I am up for the mental stress and requirements of starting a business (like the reality of living at home with parents, etc). Yet it's a good time in my life while I am young and don't have a family. I also am a minority so I am not sure if my imposter syndrome is a function of that. Company: I would work closely with the CEO of an industry that I am interested in. The company is doing well, and everyone has very positive things to say about the CEO. The day to day job would give me a ton of exposure yet isn't super involved, but it could be very valuable training if I do want to start a business down the line. I am unsure about what to do. And on top of it all, I'm just really tired and feeling kind of unmotivated. Should I commit to one or the other or just table it and interview in the fall? Yet would that hurt my chances?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I spent Monday afternoon and evening purging in a way I didn't even know was possible due to a truly insidious GI bug. I'm technically "better" now but I think my microbiome got all jacked up or other body systems are still out of whack. YANMD, but can I do anything (evidence-based) to help me to feel human again?So, to get the gory details out of the way quickly: I shat my brains out for several hours. I lost 5 lbs. That part only lasted maybe 8 or so hours and ever since then I've been in slow recovery. No other symptoms since Tuesday. I even mowed the lawn yesterday. Except: something just ain't right. Food is unappetizing. I can eat, nothing bad happens when I do, it's just... meh. Calories. Blah. Today, I feel a weird floaty sensation, like things aren't quite as real as they could be. When I touch my skin, it feels a bit like I'm touching someone else, not me. I'm back at work today, I'm more or less able to brain just fine, but I just feel... bad. Not sick bad, just bad. Is there anything I can do to speed along a full recovery so I can get back to feeling like myself again?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
In the 1800s, French abbot-scholar Pierre Danet wrote a "complete dictionary of the Greek and Roman antiquities" that served as the basis for multiple dictionaries in European languages (Wikipedia). It included an entry on Aedicula Ridiculi (Google books; UMich text version), or a Little Temple of Ridicule, raised to the God of Joy and Laughter after the Romans laughed at the failure of Hannibal to lay siege to Rome. The building definitely exists (Google Streetview panorama), except it isn't a Temple of Ridicule. It's probably the tomb of Annia Regilla (Wikipedia), built nearly 400 years after Hannibal's invasion of Italy (Your Guide to Italy). The Latin Typo That Gave Us the Temple of Ridicule (Atlas Obscura)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
There are days when I doubt that socialism will win. There are days when I think that running a print magazine on a shoestring budget with a group of oddballs is a doomed endeavor, that we will inevitably be crushed by the forces of rapacious capitalism. But then I think about UHF and I become more certain than ever that it can be done. Channel 8 will be driven off the air, and U-62 will emerge triumphant. Nathan J. Robinson (previously here, here, here, here, and here) of Current Affairs explains why 1989 cult classic UHF shows how collective enterprises succeed and why socialism produces superior culture. UHF previously: An oral history of "Weird Al" Yankovic's cult classic.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"The community blew up. Understandably. But you know, some of the kids didn't even know what a swastika meant. So I saw a learning opportunity. With children you can either punish or you can rehabilitate and these were kids with no prior record and I thought back to what taught me when I was their age, what opened my eyes to other cultures and religions... and it was reading." Two years later, prosecutor Alejandra Rueda reflects on the "reading disposition" she assigned to teens who painted racist and anti-Semitic graffiti on the Ashburn Colored School, a historically significant building in Virginia (now undergoing restoration and turned into a museum). The linked BBC article includes excerpts from a final essay by one of the teens. From the official statement by the Commonwealth's attorney (contains the full book list): During their probationary period, the five will each be required to visit the United States Holocaust Museum and "The Day of Remembrance: The 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066" exhibit [regarding America's WWII Japanese internment camps] at the American History Museum. They will also be required to write one book report per month for the next twelve months from an approved list provided to them (see attached). None of the reports may be substituted for a regular school assignment. Books were chosen based on their literary significance and/or their subject matter content surrounding race, religion and discrimination. The teens will also be required to write a research paper explaining the message that swastikas and white power messages on African American schools or houses of worship send to the African American community as well as the broader community, which includes other minority groups. The research paper must reference and include the history of the KKK lynchings, the Nazi "final solution," the Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Brown v. Board of Education court decisions. Finally, each teen must listen to a recorded interview of Ms. Yvonne Neal, describing her experiences at the Ashburn Colored School. Ms. Neal attended the Ashburn Colored School from 1938 until 1945. Not everyone was happy about the sentence. Poet Marilyn Nelson, whose book A Wreath for Emmett Till was originally on the book list, said she was not pleased that her poems were being assigned as punishment, and wondered if those forced to read poetry would ever choose to read it again. Similarly, a local English teacher did not like the idea of associating reading with punishment. A student who had been working on the school restoration when it was defaced felt the consequences were too lenient when compared to the severe sentences given to black teenagers in similar circumstances (according to the attorney's office statement, two of the teens sentenced in the case were white; three were of an unspecified "minority class" but not black). However, Rueda still feels the sentence was not lenient. From the BBC link: "These kids had no prior record so there was no way they were going to get a custodial sentence at a penitentiary. "The sentence I gave was harsher than what they would normally have received. Normally it would just be probation which would mean checking in with a probation officer once a month and maybe a few hours of community service and writing a letter to say sorry. Here they had to write 12 assignments and a 3,500-word essay on racial hatred and symbols in the context of what they'd done... It was a lot of work."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Mapping Gothic France is a treasure trove of images of various types of Gothic structures (mostly churches) in France and England. There are other features, too. Narratives and historical tracking and comparison tools. It's a deeply textured website with a bit of an opaque interface. Here's the map page - single click on a marker for a summary, double click for that location's page. From that page, there are various possible image types available, they are not all available for all locations. (via this article, and this is the page you're all wanting to see) Clicking around will reveal a lot more about what the website contains, which is rather a lot. Apparently the laserscans are not available for any building I checked that had more than cursory coverage, but those are probably fucking huge. The stereoscopic images are pretty mind-blowing.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need a cheapish home printer for my Chromebook. That's it. Only black and white printing. Can you help me decide?

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