posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'd like to ask for some really nice yoga/lounge pants/leggings for Christmas. I'm pretty medium sized, but I often run into the problem, even with stretchy stuff, that if pants fit my thighs then they're loose/gappy in the waist. They must be machine wash 'n' dry. Cost, up to $100. Recommendations?I don't want Lululemon because I'm turned off by the John Galt thing a few years back and the other stuff about the see-through material. I don't want Lularoe because I've heard they're line dry and because the giver would never hunt up a seller. I've tried Lands End Starfish pants and they fit me oddly - I think they're made for women who have more hip than I do. Also the fabric is a bit thicker than I'd like. Athleta? American Giant?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'd like to get my wife a set of wheel lights for her manual wheelchair. The requirements being a bit different from typical bicycle applications, I seek insight and suggestions.My wife commutes via city bus while using a manual wheelchair with spoked 24" wheels. The wheels are mounted on and dismounted from the chair every day, and get handled a lot more than bike wheels. The ideal product would be lightweight, robust and very easy to switch on and off while seated in the assembled chair. Less importantly, it would be nice if the components weren't so clunky or garish as to look odd in a lighted office environment. Because the wheels never spin very quickly, lights intended to create graphic visual effects probably wouldn't work. I have no idea what's available these days. Hit me.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
After being convinced here last year that I should keep the Amazon Echo that I received as a gift, we have been completely happy with it. Moreover, my inlaws also have enjoyed it when they come over to visit. They like the ability to just ask for music and have the music "just play." As such, I was thinking of getting them an Echo as a gift. However, they don't have Amazon Prime. How much will this impact what they are able to do? Bonus question: Is a Google Home a better alternative? Bonus bonus question: If they are willing to pay an ongoing subscription fee, which between the two will get them the most bang for their buck?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I am a fan of the Siberian Crane who took a wrong turn and ended up in Taiwan. Now in Japan, maybe? Problem: I can't read Chinese.So a couple years ago a Siberian Crane took a wrong turn or two and ended up in Taiwan. The local people protected and doted on this crane. It got a full time employee of the Taiwanese govt to keep an eye on it. It has a Facebook page and a children's picture book. I have been enchanted by the story so much so that when I went to Taiwan I visited the place where the crane was without knowing if it was still there. (It wasn't but that's ok, don't regret trying) While in Taiwan I discovered it had moved to Japan, from miraculously understanding a post from the FB page. Articles in English and Japanese, which I can read, are nowhere to be found for recent news. Japanese!=Chinese so my kanji reading skills do not give me the whole picture, and recent posts mystify me. So please, folks who can read Chinese: Where is my beloved crane?? Is it still in Japan? Do people know where it is? Any other developments I should know? Thanks! Crane FB page

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I want to gift my husband with a game (board, online, whatever) that we can play together an hour or so after work each weekday. Recommendations?He loves all board games, including One Night Ultimate Werewolf and Settlers of Catan. He plays a few online and video games..I'm not sure what they are. I personally am not a huge fan of anything too competitive and only recently started playing board games. It'd be fun to do something we can play for a little bit after work to unwind and then can stop and go back to continue the next day.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Meet The Machinists Who Keep the New York Times Running is a short video from Motherboard. The video initiates a new series, State of Repair, which will look at the work involved in keeping legacy industrial infrastructure functioning.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
There was a TV show or movie in Britain in the late 90s/early 2000s that was centered around two women (comedians) who played teenage boys. I believe in one of the movies they go to the seaside. What was this show? Who were these comedians? My parents are insisting I made this up.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Restaurant reviews are a dime a dozen on Youtube, but what the world still lacked was a guy going around London chicken shops rating them on wing crispiness, chip consistency, burger buildup and value for money (anything over two pounds fifty is stretching it). Fortunately, now there's Chicken Connoisseur's The Pengest Munch to fill the gap.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Issur Danielovitch Demsky, aka Kirk Douglas, turns 100 today. Kirk Douglas Turns 100: The Legendary Actor Recalls Kubrick and the Blacklist 5 reasons to celebrate actor Kirk Douglas on his 100th birthday Kirk Douglas at 100: a one-man Hollywood Mount Rushmore In pictures: Kirk Douglas at 100 "I'm Spartacus!"

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I had a paperback cookbook as a child in the 90s that was themed in fantasy, trolls and goblins and whatnot. The only specific detail I can remember is a bit that went "every little breeze seems to whisper Louise, but they never seem to whisper Rumpelstiltskin." I feel like I remember a recipe for some kind of "gloop" as well. The book was fully illustrated, and all the recipes related to witches and goblins and such. Does anyone remember this?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
30 Creepy Mall Santas. (Distractify) 16 more. (Buzzfeed) Another 14. (The FW) 10 more. (Top Tenz) Last one. (Macy's) There's a whole damn website.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've been trying to write my statement of purpose in order to apply for my MLIS for the past few months and I am getting nowhere and the application deadline is lingering closer and closer. How can I get past this writer's block and finish this thing in the next little while?I already work in the field, I know *why* I want to continue to get my MLIS. Even though it's a risky move, I feel like it makes sense for me. I just cannot get the 1,000 words I need to get into library school out of my head and onto the page. I've written a few drafts and they either end up sounding like "Why Libraries Are Important 101" or "A Very Long Cover Letter." I've read examples of statements of purpose and I just can't seem to write like that and I don't think I'm a truly terrible writer. Is there any advice about how to make this thing easier to write? I just can't figure it out! I've had advice from some people telling me that I shouldn't worry too much about what I write and that they don't pay too much attention to the opening statement, and that may be the case, but I'd rather not write a piece of shit.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My baby can stay awake now! Help me fill my time with him optimally.Baby is six weeks old and starting to stay awake for longer stretches. I'm at a loss what to do with him. I'm a type A researchaholic so before he came I did tons of research. And the things I planned...don't take nearly as much time as I thought. I mean, looking at a book, time on the playmat and walk around the house and show him stuff is maybe 15 minutes, cumulative. And I think it's okay for him to have some time to just be left alone to bask in the sensory input without me entertaining him (and also so that I can, example, eat food, use the washroom, prepare food for him and so on.) But I'm not sure what the ratio should be of time spent entertaining him to time he is in a swing/chair/bassinet just experiencing life while I putter around. Complicating factor: I don't drive and it's getting cold, so the 'put him in a stroller and go out' option is limited. We will be doing baby groups at the library and traveling by bus, but not until after he gets his shots in January.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Grandma bought a 2DS for all the grandkids. We have an adventurous and bright 7yo in the 1st grade who identifies strongly with feminine themes, and is upset by people or animals getting hurt in TV or Movies. What's a good non-violent, early-reader friendly 2DS game?The other grandkids, roughly her age but a grade ahead due to a quirk of the calendar, all want Pokemon Moon, she hasn't given it a lot of thought herself, being more of a Minecraft kid. She would love the aesthetic of Pokemon Sun, but will be heartbroken to see her "pets" being hurt. We're getting her Sun anyways, as peer pressure is a thing, BUT! Is there a better game for a first grader who loves math and memorization but is struggling at times with reading, especially reading quickly? One that does not involve someone or something getting hurt? (Creepy is OK, we binge-watch Over the Garden Wall musical numbers on You Tube, including the scary ones.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I live in Portland, Oregon. I may need to travel to Willits, CA for a funeral in the coming days. Whats the easiest way to do this? If driving isn't an option due to snowy passes at Shasta, what would be the most efficient way to get there? If driving isn't an option due to snowy passes at Shasta, what would be the most efficient way to get there? Lets assume I can't rent a car (I carry no credit cards) but I have money for plane tickets/train/bus/taxi, etc. Additionally, is it real that airlines will not gouge you for airfare if your traveling for a funeral? How do I go about inquiring / getting those rates?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Give me some dark, driving, haunting tracks to round out a playlist.I've been craving music like the tracks below, that have some combination of lots of minor keys, darkness without being overly slow/sedated, prominent basslines, reverb-heavy guitar, and haunting vocals. Lera Lynn is probably the archetype of what I'm looking for but I like the diversity in sound on this playlist. Newer artists are particularly welcomed. Ring of Fire- Lera Lynn Far From Any Road- The Handsome Family Waiting Around to Die- Townes Van Zandt Pretty Mary K (Other Version)- Elliott Smith Shape Shifter- Lera Lynn Metal Heart- Cat Power Spinning Plates- Radiohead Mysterons- Portishead Rocket Man- My Morning Jacket Where Did I Leave That Fire?- Neko Case Needy Generator- Brown Bird Pleasure Is All Mine- Bjork How's It Gonna End- Tom Waits Bang Bang- Nancy Sinatra Roads- Portishead Where Did You Sleep Last Night- Nirvana Exit Music (For a Film)- Radiohead I See a Darkness- Johnny Cash Furnace Room Lullaby- Neko Case Kathleen- Townes Van Zandt Thunder and Lightning- Brown Bird

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for happy, peppy, upbeat, and energetic Christmas music!Traditional Christmas songs are great, but if you know any original songs that would be fantastic too! Nothing slow and solemn here, I want to rock this Christmas! I'm already familiar with A Very Bootie Christmas, and I like about half their songs enough to listen to a lot. I am specifically not looking for sad songs - as upbeat as "Last Christmas" may sound in some covers, it feels depressing to me. I would really, really love a peppy version of Do You Hear What I Hear if anyone can find one!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need some fun Twitter accounts to follow! Cartoons preferred....I don't Tweet myself, but the all encompassing election 2016 threads made me aware that BLOOM COUNTY IS BACK and can be found on Twitter! So I follow Bloom County now and when I get an alert that there is something new it makes me feel warm and happy. Any suggestions for other happy twitterers? I'm especially loving cartoons - I hadn't realized I'd missed the newspaper funnies that much.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A Polish ad (in English) is winning the Christmas viral video war by a landslide. "English for Beginners" was released just a couple days ago to promote the Polish online auction site Allegro, and features a retiree's efforts to teach himself English, thanks to a book and audio tape purchased on the site. The ad ends with him packing a suitcase (also purchased on the site) and visiting England – and that's when you learn the touching reason for his efforts. The ad has already had over two million views, and is especially touching the hearts of UK viewers – with good reason. Allegro has reported that it was thinking of the many Poles who have emigrated to the UK in search of work, leaving relatives behind. "Despite the relatively close distance between the countries, family ties tend to weaken. Therefore, Christmas for many is a difficult time in which we yearn for more. For years, we've strived to make both Allegro - the largest e-commerce platform in the CEE region - as well as our communication to customers bring joy, touch the heart and cause a smile." There are some critics who've pointed out that the plot is a "straightwashed" version of a Wells Fargo ad from last year that had a similar plot, but didn't enjoy the same viral fame. Most viewers, though, just sniffle a lot and wipe their eyes.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I do not have sleep apnea. Have done two tests that concluded "Well, this just must be your cycle." I've already read many times the basics covered here: Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Can't remember many good, long nights of sleep but have been very functional on average of 4-5 hours/night. Now I'm 56 and have begun to spend more hours in bed when I can to make up the sleep-hours my body/mind needs. I have about 2.5 drink per night, usually starting 5ish, ending maybe 7. Come 10:30-11pm I fall asleep generally within 10 min to whatever kind of music, not that i really need it. Typically wake a couple hours later, booze or not, maybe take a sip of water, change positions, go back to sleep, usually putting on some quietish music to drift off to...I call it the lullaby effect. Might sleep another two hours, then wake again, maybe I pee. But on some occasions it's harder to fall back to sleep. In fact many nights, all my life perhaps, I wake every few hours at least to turn over.Then I awaken from some unwelcome mentation or light dream. It is then that I may feel quite awake, maybe put on a lively CD (remote buttons memorized) -- and sometimes stay awake for the whole thing. It seems I'm more relaxed at this time than at anytime else so what the hell. I love music. I can only hope that after the album is done I'll soon be asleep. I'm not attached to the final track or anything... But after album I still am pretty awake. I give it another chance...put on another, quieter album. Okay: and then drift again and end up probably in REM land, some dream that I DO recall in the morning. Maybe nightmarish, maybe not so, but typically "useless." I "whew", put on the last few tracks of the CD I fell asleep to, and drift off again & wake around 7ish, when noises begin outside. Maybe some last subconscious dream or racing thoughts of the day ahead, the life... What might be the chances that alcohol is affecting my sleep for the worse. Again, I do not drink to get to sleep-! When stressed or amped up, I drink out of mostly habit...just as I have two servings of half-caf coffee/day, one in late morning, the other about 3:30pm. Much thanks.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm impressed by the freewheeling way people used international shipping to get around in the late 19th century. The lack of modern passport requirements undoubtedly helped. Looking at ships' manifests, however, there often appear to be wide differences between names, ages, etc., that are listed by the shipping company and the actual details of the passengers. In particular, children are often listed as significantly younger than what they actually were. So here is the question: apart from the obvious fare differences between first class and steerage, did shipping companies also charge different amounts based on the age of the children, or the number of them in the family? Of secondary interest, did it make a financial difference if the husband traveled with the family, or if the wife took the children without him?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The classic action puzzle game Lode Runner is now on the web, implemented in HTML5 by Simon Hung using CreateJS! It has all 150 the levels from the original and the 50 from Championship (VERY HARD), plus some more collections. Here's the source on GitHub. More info. If you get stuck somewhere, keep the following tricks in mind: Every level has a solution. Yes, every level. There are few games quite like Lode Runner for making something that looks impossible, but in fact there is a tricky way. The basic trick is to dig out a layer of bricks, jump into the hole, and keep digging. The places where this technique can be used are many and varied and will keep you guessing for a long time. Assuming no ladders, each layer's hole will have to be one block narrower than the layer above. If you have a ladder to stand on, the rules change a bit. Enemies that walk into a dug pit from the side are not stuck and can move around normally! Enemies can pick up the gold you need to collect to clear the level. There are levels where you rely on enemies picking up gold in places you cannot reach and carrying it into the places you can go to. To cause an enemy drop what it's carrying, make it fall into a pit. Some levels you have to kill enemies to get them to the top of the screen where they can reach otherwise-unobtainable gold. Before long you'll have to start learning how to manipulate enemy movement to proceed. Watch how enemies react when you move to different places in relation to them. You don't have to know exactly how enemies move to win, but you will have to watch carefully to ensure they go where you need them to be, or stay out of your way. You can use enemies' heads as stepping stones, even when they are falling. You not only run faster than them, you also fall faster. You can take advantage of this. You cannot dig at a spot with another block, gold, an enemy, a ladder or, oddly, overhead bars in the space immediately above it. If none of these things can be seen and yet it still looks like a diggable block and you can't dig, then it might be a trap door instead.... If you find a place where you absolutely cannot escape, there are still two possibilities. One, there are ladders that appear when you collect the last gold on the level, and sometimes you have to rely on them to escape. And two, if there's a gold that it looks like you absolutely cannot get it without getting stuck, sometimes there's a trap door (a fall-through block that looks just like normal ground) beneath it. If you get stuck without hope of escape press Ctrl-A to lose a life and try the level again. And if this isn't enough, I've played a great deal of Hudson's "Battle Lode Runner" that's on Wii Virtual Console and can vouch for it. And there's a mobile-optimized version of the computer game available for smartphones. Previously: The death of its creator Douglas Smith.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have an ideal support system for my rescue dog in the form of a wonder dog-sitter. She walks Huggy every weekday at lunch and when I am away, boards her. They are clearly fond of each other. Last weekend I was away, and the sitter let me know Huggy was starting to act out and be much more vocal with people and other dogs. Not aggressive, just reactive. That change has continued into their daily walks. The dog never acts that way with me.Here are some examples from her sitter: Huggy sees another dog who she would like to play with, and she lunges and barks. Not at all aggressive, but because of her size, she apparently scares the dog owners. Huggy suddenly barks at a woman on the opposite side of the street during a walk. When my dog sitter's partner tries to leave after petting her, Huggy starts barking demandingly to get her to stay and keep playing/petting. When she's tired of playing with my dog sitter's dog, she barks at the other dog. Background: With me, Huggy seems exactly as before. The only change I have noticed is that she has a little more energy than usual, so I have started jogging with her in the morning instead of walking. She doesn't bark at or lunge at dogs we meet. The only time I've heard her bark at a person has been people with brooms (she has a history of abuse before I got her.) She never barks at home. To be honest, for a few months after I got her I wasn't sure she could bark, she was so quiet. She's not perfectly behaved. I've been training her, but she's very stubborn. Still, no major problems. She's usually walked 120 minutes per day, 100 at an absolute minimum. She does have arthritis problems, and with her increased exercise and weight loss I recently took her off the pain meds-- this is the only change I can think of in her circumstance. But she isn't acting as though she is in pain. No stiffness getting up or problems lifting her legs when she walks. She's six years old. What could cause this? And how can I help? It's not a problem yet, but it's definitely strange. She's staying with her sitter at Christmas and I think we're both really hoping it doesn't escalate. Like I said, with me she's just fine and I don't know how to train away a behaviour I never see. She doesn't really show signs of separation anxiety from me, although she's always happy to see me when I get back. I'm having a vet do a health check tomorrow to see if something physical could be causing the difference. Any ideas?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I just got a new Visa and a new Discover card each with new numbers but they have the same 3 digit security code. Is that just a massively wild coincidence?My purse was stolen on Monday and in it were 2 credit cards. I just got them both replaced. One Visa (Capital One) and one Discover. New numbers. Same expiration date as the old ones. BUT the freaky thing is that they have identical 3 digit security codes. Are these security codes tied to something about me? Or is this just the happiest of coincidences? At least now, I stand a very good chance of always remembering the code correctly.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Mefites, I need your imaginative ideas for a Christmas gift for the whole family! They make their home in the San Francisco penninsula (Redwood City)The family consists of Mom and Dad in their mid-30's, 10 and 4 year old sons and 1 year old daughter. In the past I gifted them with a Red Box gift card, Netflix, CA Academy of Sciences tickets, Pizza and Ice Cream certificates and a San Francisco Zoo annual membership. I'm a bit stumped for this year now they have the one year old so I'm hoping you all have some wonderful ideas to make a lasting family memory for them!

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