posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
So this poster has re-appeared in time for the upcoming Toronto Mayoral election. Anyone know who did it or if it's possible to buy a print?

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
This is a picture of a comet heading for Mars. Mars is the big red thing and the comet, named C/2013 A1 ('Siding Spring'), is the green-tailed beast to the lower left. The comet will pass within 80,000 mile of the surface of Mars, which is close enough (one-third of the separation between the moon and the Earth) that the sizable population of Martian robots need to think about potential damage from cometary debris. JPL has considered re-orienting some of the satellites, but many will use the opportunity to observe the comet as it goes by (full story). Website of Damian Peach, astrophotographer who took the image in the first link. Obligatory Phil Plait article with more details, and updates as we receive data from Mars.

Read More...
posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
The Mr and I would like to take a 3-5 day road trip out of Seattle this December/January, including going somewhere that it would be fun to celebrate New Year's Eve. We are not interested in skiing or winter sports. We are interested in food, wine, and cultural events.Portland and Vancouver BC are out because we already go there a million times a year and we want to do something different. The big limitations seem to be the probability of snow on the mountain passes (which we would prefer to avoid if possible) and the fact that things are closed down in smaller towns because it's the off season. We've already looked at Orcas Island and everything is mostly closed down.

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
One week from today, The Flaming Lips will release their full album cover of The Beatles' iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. NPR is now streaming the entire record for preview. The Lips' version features contributions from My Morning Jacket, J Mascis, Maynard James Keenan, Tegan & Sara, Foxygen, Dr. Dog and others. Moby and Miley Cyrus joined the band for their take on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," even shooting a [NSFW] video for the track that they eventually opted to release as a separate short film titled, Blond SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain[still NSFW]. This project, of course, is not the first time that a group of apparently drug-addled celeb friends decided to remake Sgt. Pepper.

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
"I would give my life to fly in space. It's hard for me to talk about it but I would. I would then, and I will now." The terrible injustice of Jerrie Cobb, who deserved to be the first female astronaut, yet never made it to space at all.

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
Testicles. Pericles was a Greek leader in 461 BC. Testicles too rule men, but in a different way. They slap between our legs when we move. They become sweaty. Their Leydig cells produce testosterone, which makes our muscles grow. Many men think about balls a lot. Still others write articles about their balls. Here are some. A search for advice on strength training led to the wisdoms of Mark Strom. Lifting weights is hard at first. It takes time for it to become a habit. But then it becomes easier. And you post pictures of yourself not wearing pants on the Internet.

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I really enjoy the freedom of movement that comes from not carrying a bag and was wondering if you had any suggestions for a) women's clothes/unisex clothes/appealing men's jackets or other clothes with deep pockets b) some other alternative?I've used a shoulder bag for the past 2 years and a messenger bag for years before that (which made sense in grad school). Messenger bags and backpacks mess with my posture, so unless I have to carry a computer or books around, I'd like to avoid them. I don't think a tool belt or utility apron will work in New York City. I'm a freelance artist, so blending into corporate culture isn't a big concern. Thanks!

Read More...
posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I'm an adult who needs to buy glasses for the first time. Are there good websites for buying frames online? Not sure how to shop for glasses. ... Here's another question. One of my ears has a horrible cancerous deformity benign lump behind it that occasionally makes my sunglasses sit crooked. Is it feasible to get frames that just clamp onto the bridge of my nose? Bad idea? Can you point me to some frames that are different from the standard ear hook variety?

Read More...
posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
Did any of the astronauts that walked on the Moon ever write anything on the surface? I don't mean plaques or official markers, but simply a word, name, phrase, or doodle (ex. "Kilroy was here") by using the tools at hand onto the lunar surface?I cant seem to find any mention of it, and do not recall ever hearing of it even mentioned, even as an direct order not to do so. I know at least one astronaut left a photo there with writing on it, but I am speaking of the lunar surface itself. The temptation to do it would seem to me to be enormous - not just because you are standing on the celestial-sized version of a dirt-covered rear window of a car, but the deep, almost instinctive need of humans over the last 50,000 years (or perhaps even 1.4 million years) to create some form of marker to say in some fashion, 'I was here.' Picture it: you're on the moon, you are a little ways away from the landing site, collecting moon rocks and dirt with a scoop or shovel tool, and the idea comes to you to write something. No one would know for ages, and if you just make it an inch or two deep in the loose dust, it could possibly stay there for billions of years. Why not do it? Who could blame you for such a little thing after all the work and risk you took to get there? I can understand the reasoning for not doing so, but the temptation would be a hard thing to fight.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Like blasted pecs or a little rhinestone flag pin, esoteric taste in music is an indicator of values. Under the heel of the major-label system in the early '90s, indie taste meant more than liking weird bands. To care about obscure bands was to reject the perceived conformity of popular culture, to demand a more nuanced reading of the human experience than Amy Grant's "Baby Baby" and therefore to assert a certain kind of life. That assertion was central to my identity as a young adult, and I found that people who shared it were more likely to agree with me on seemingly unrelated issues. Like all aesthetics, taste in music is a worldview.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Saw a framed photo thing yesterday, very curious as to what I'm looking at. Shitty pic of the whole thing here, closeups inside.I went and saw some buildings yesterday during Open House Chicago, and this was on the wall of an otherwise bland office floor. I think it's the moon probably? But what are the numbers? At first we thought they were dates, but obviously they can't be. Unless future? Whoa. What's the context here? There was no label or anything other than what I've taken a picture of. Anyway, we'd love to know what this is, when the pictures were taken, why the photos are arranged like that, etc. Full pic, enjoy the silhouette of my head. Closeup one. Closeup two. I also have pictures of a plant I saw yesterday that I would like you to identify please but have to wait A WHOLE WEEK. Tune in next Monday for the continuing adventures of I Saw A Thing.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
The Obama Brief: The President considers his judicial legacy. (SL New Yorker)

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I typically carry my iPhone in my pants pocket and not infrequently take it out to find that it has successfully bypassed the four digit lock code needed to wake it up, activated an app, and successfully given itself several meaningless - but potentially consequential - commands. I can think of at least two reasons why this should not be possible, but it happens on average a couple times a week. What the hell is going on?Once it tried to initiate a face-time call with the husband of a business associate. The word "Ron" has entered our family's personal culture as meaning more or less "I acknowledge your last text but have nothing to add" because it once took it upon itself to reply with that word to an incoming text from my wife. And yesterday I opened it up to find it ready to send an email (which I quote here in it's entirety: "Rud x") to my entire company e-mail list and, for good measure, one and only one randomly selected friend from film school. There have been dozens of less interesting examples - gibberish texts that haven't sent, dialogs asking for confirmation that I want to delete something that I really don't want deleted, etc. In other words, the phone appears to be able to treat whatever happens to it while bouncing around in my pocket as deliberate input and reacts to it. My understanding was that the iPhone screen doesn't react to simple pressure but to the electrical capacitance of your fingertips. This is why they have to make those special gloves with iPhone capable pads. It should not respond at all to some contact created by my movements while the phone is wrapped in fabric and not being touched. But let's give it that one. Even if it could sense my skin through my clothing or something and accept movements as random inputs, to activate the phone I have to swipe to the right and then enter a four digit passcode to get to the home screen before I can do anything at all. It's inconceivable to me that random inputs would be able to match that sequence of strokes. Repeatedly. So what the hell is going on? It's just a matter of time before this does something with embarrassing or maybe even serious consequences, and I'd really like it to stop.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My friend wanted to purchase a particular Anthropologie kitchen organizer that has since sold out and I am hoping to locate something similar either online or in NYC.My friend wanted to purchase the following kitchen organizer but it has since sold out: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-office/29227535.jsp#/ I have no idea how to find something similar aesthetically. She is set on the style and general size. Any suggestions for search terms or online retailers, or advice as to where I could physically find something similar in NYC, would be much appreciated...

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I am in my early thirties, and I am finally facing the fact that I have a substantial drinking problem. Like a lot of people, I drink to mute my feelings--I have been through an awful lot of trauma, so even as I work on things there is still more hurt to feel. I am trying to formulate a recovery plan that works within my own idiosyncrasies and values, but I am not sure what is out there.First, I have problems with AA and I am not willing to go that route. Even though I am quite spiritual, I don't like the way they use the idea of a higher power. The other thing is that I've read a few pieces on how AA is not generally a great fit for women because it ends up further disempowering women who've been drinking because they feel disempowered. I realize this one is a sticking point and I may have to just get over it, but support groups generally irritate the living daylights out of me. I get annoyed at all the chit-chat or when someone takes up too much time or when the focus is negative in a way that I don't find constructive. I would still consider going to a group if I knew of a good one, but I'd rather try other routes if they are out there. I already have a personal therapist, and I have hidden the drinking from her for the most part. I feel like I can tell her now, though she and I also have a ton of other things to work through, and if I can find a separate addiction counselor or something, I'd prefer to do that. All of this being said, I really do want to get better and stop hurting myself the way I have been for far too long. I just know myself enough to know that I wouldn't be able to stick with a recovery plan that wasn't a good fit.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Tom Hanks, somewhat of an authority on going to the moon, wrote about it in The New Yorker. (You, too, can write like Tom Hanks!)

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Is it (ever) (at all) appropriate to stay in touch with a therapist -- as friends -- after therapy itself ends?I've just found out that my therapist that I've been intermittently seeing for the past four or so years is retiring early. She has helped me profoundly, and my work with her basically means I have a life better than I could have ever previously imagined. I realise that part of being an excellent therapist is building rapport with patients, and "being their friend" in certain ways. I think that she and I get on beyond this, however, or at least could do, away from the necessary dynamics of therapeutic relationships. For example, in the "wind-down" bits of some sessions, we've bantered and swapped opinions and even make-up tips. I was thinking I could say something along the lines of "it'd be nice to stay in touch -- if you felt it appropriate -- as people who get on, not engaged in a therapeutic relationship". But this also seems a bit skeevy to me or potentially ethically grey, and I need some outside guidance!

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm trying to find a way that I can play bridge with specific people online (preferably for free). While visiting my hometown I started playing bridge regularly with some of my family members. Now I have moved away and we would like to continue over the internet. In my googling I've found sites that have online bridge with real players, but I haven't found anything specifically saying that you can choose those players yourself. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I have a few questions about hair salon etiquette...I love having a new haircut, but have always hated the experience of getting it cut. A large part of this is some of the gray areas of etiquette that I'm hoping you can clear up for me: 1.) Is it rude to hop stylists when going to a small- to medium- sized salon? (Say, a place that employs anywhere from three to thirty stylists.) For instance, if I see someone a couple of times and decide they're not right for me, can I request someone else the next time I call without seeming like a total jerk? 2.) Is it rude to decline the requisite massage that so many places do these days? As bizarre as this may seem, I loathe massages. 3.) Is it rude to not enthusiastically pursue small talk the whole time? For instance, I will chat when the stylist seems chatty, but I don't go crazy trying to keep a conversation going, and often end the session in silence as he/she blow-dries my hair. 4.) Tipping: how does it work? It's easy at a place where they allow you to add a tip onto your credit card bill, but several of the places I've been to lately do not allow this. Do I just discreetly slip a bill to the stylist and/or shampooist after they've finished with me? 5.) I had to cancel the night before a long-awaited hair appointment at a salon I've been wanting to go to for ages. (Car broke down on the freeway about 90 miles from home.) I haven't tried to schedule another appointment as I worry they might hate me there. Am I being overly paranoid? (I hope it's okay to mush these several questions together under the umbrella of a single question.)

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I have the opportunity to request materials related to my discipline for my community college library. What should a language teacher ask for?Every year in my community college (2-year university) department, faculty members get to make requests for library purchases. This year we each have about $150 to use, and once again I am stumped. It's not that I don't know what to ask for - I have tons of ideas! But our library is so basic and really has no language learning resources at all, and I want to buy all the things! The first year I worked here, I asked for a desk copy of the Spanish textbook we use, plus a copy of "English Grammar for Students of Spanish" and one of those "501 Verbs" books. Last year I was so indecisive that I didn't get a request in on time. So I want to do it right this year. Which books/movies/other media do you consider the most basic fundamentals for a college-level language program? I teach Spanish, so either general or Spanish-language materials would be best, although I suppose ordering material for learning other languages might spark interest and get us to offer something else here. I also have this (fanciful) idea that if we had some basic literature/easy readers, more people would be motivated to continue their Spanish studies after they finish the introductory levels, but the sheer number of choices has me stymied.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I work a typical 9-5 job. Sometimes my job is routine, sometimes it is project management, sometimes it is complex thought. I am getting tired of listening to the same couple of albums at work, so I am extremely interesting in finding some new music that I could work to.I recently bought spotify, so I do like things to be in that format, but Youtube works pretty much just as well! I prefer playlist style so I don't have to continuously manage it throughout the day. Music I like so far: -Portal 2 soundtrack (For when I need to focus in) -Awesome Mix Vol 1 (from guardians of the galaxy) -Today's Pop Hits (to feel young) -Animal Crossing soundtrack -Video Game Covers on Piano -Super Smash Brothers Albums -Metallica Black Album I use the portal 2 music a lot because then it feels like I am a super-hacker-programmer taking over the world with each excel cell I change. I am looking for different music though, so please, whatever you think I would like or whatever you use, I'm sure I will make a day out of listening to it! Thanks!!

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
In this amazing new music video, a bevy of music legends performs a human beat box ditty a-capella. It's part fun game of "recognize that album cover", and part heart-wrenching story of a man with great taste in music but awful taste in consumer electronics. And all in just over two minutes. (SLYT)

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
On October 21, Sub-Pop will be releasing Get Up, a vinyl box set of remastered versions of Sleater-Kinney's discography. Included with the expected content was a 7" labeled 1/20/15 containing a new song. Titled "Bury Your Friends", it can be streamed at Consequence of Sound. Plugged into Shazam, the song gives you the cover art for an as-yet non-extant album, No Cities To Love. The band has officially let the cat out of the bag, and reunion tour dates are on their website.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
William Huges writes movingly about the death of his partner and how it has changed how he reacts to the portrayal of death and resurrection in media.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Can you help me find a bathrobe that suggests that I remain a feminine and attractive creature yet still fulfills my strong need for snuggly comfy clothes? I want a bathrobe that I LOVE.When I'm in the store everything looks like it's either going to be worn by Joan Collins in Dynasty or a hospital. Clearly I'm in the wrong stores, but aside from that, here's what I'm looking for in a bathrobe: 1) Natural fiber. 2) However if the design is right would also be happy with some type of poly blend, and might be up for buying a lightweight one and a heavy weight one, though it's 29 degrees outside right now so toasty is more what I'm looking for. 3) For the love of God, no fleece. 4) Zippers, not ties--they always come undone. Somehow I failed at tying bathrobes. 5) Pockets, but could do without if I had to. I guess. 6) No pastels. No fleece. 7) This is the key element: fabric must be cut in a way that suggests a woman's body and not a walking baked potato. For reference, my only bathrobe is currently this one. I'm 5'4, about 145. It does not flatter. 8) I made sure to say 'no fleece' right? 9) V neck or otherwise open-ish at the chest (no tall collars). I have large breasts and can easily look like I have a meatloaf strapped to my chest. Because of that situation, I tend to have to buy larger sizes, which makes it doubly important I find something hourglass shaped or flare-y because I might wind up looking like a baked potato anyway. 10. Probably to fall to mid-calf. 11. Slightly closed sleeves (but not elastic) at the wrists would probably be helpful. I'm open on colors other than grandma-level pastels, but especially like wine colors; browns; dark, dusty blues; pink when used with gray or brown; jewel tones, when muted. Some embellishments are okay.

Read More...