posted 2 days ago on metafilter
@ebaygarfield is a twitter account that posts eBay Garfields

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Most of the USB jump/keychain drives that I've seen use a male USB connector to plug into a parent device. I'm interested in finding one that has the female side of the connector (so you would plug a cable into the device). Specifically, I'm looking for one that has a USB-micro port.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The vet that said if Esther really was six months old, she was possibly a sick runt and would grow to about 200lb, the size of a very large dog. But by her first birthday she had blown past 250lb; she was on track to be at least 500lb.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Last week, I finally cut off my mother for trying to drive a wedge between me and my spouse again, repeatedly implying I was only angry because I must be mentally ill, and rewriting the last ten years of our relationship to make the problems between us purely the fault of my spouse's influence rather than the result years of increasing tension, mostly about my queerness. I want to know, as a sanity check, what good parent-child relationships look like even in the face of complications. Am I expecting too much? What is normal, and what is healthy?Christ, I'm writing a book here, for which I apologize. If too much of this is tl; dr, feel free to skip to the bottom; I'm adding headings so it will be easier to skip to relevant pieces. Specific questions I have: 1. When earthshattering things happen in a parent/child relationship, or when a child brings a scary conversation up with a parent, what does a loving and, um, non-hurtful conversation look like to resolve that? 2. How do you know when it's worth just walking away from faaaaaamily altogether? Where do I draw the line? Where do I get to stop giving a shit about intent? 3. Are there any good strategies for making the rest of my family step the fuck off about trying to forcibly reconcile me with my mother, or am I just looking at cutting them off too if they inevitably try to force me back to something that appears to be a loving reconciliation with them? Background and context: all of those things I mentioned in the opening paragraph are things I have explicitly asked my mother not to do repeatedly over a period of years. Like, there's a lot of backstory here, and in the interests of being fair but also not overwhelming since it spans ten fucking years I've got headers so you can see what bits to skip if you want takeaways. I've also marked out a tl;dr again at the very bottom. Please christ skip this shit if you want; I know I am over-explaining a bit. 2005-2008 I've identified as asexual since I was about fourteen, and, well, in 2005 I didn't think that outing myself as asexual was going to get me anywhere good, so I figured I would just be as open about myself as I could throughout high school without actually using the word. I was and am fairly gender-non-conforming, and had been cutting my hair shorter and shorter since I was about thirteen or fourteen while I viciously avoided wearing any form of makeup, skirts, etc. throughout high school, so it wasn't really surprising that I got pegged as a badly closeted baby lesbian very early indeed when that got combined with my being openly not interested in boys. So high school for me was a series of events that involved me doing something more butch than the invisible line my mother had in mind, setting off an inquiry about whether I was gay and if not, why would I be acting like that? (My dad doesn't get into the middle of these things at all except to back up my mother to present a united front when she demands he do so; where he can, he seems to just be as not-present as possible.) Those inquiries felt pretty hostile to me--the sense I got was that the only reason I should be acting like I was gay is if I was, and otherwise I was doing something vaguely appalling and gross for no apparent reason. (Once they asked if I was, basically, a trans guy; I didn't think so, so I said no.) Being honest about my actual attractions and where I was at wasn't... wasn't very helpful and just went round and round in circles, and I knew better than to come out as ace then. And it's not like I had a lot of context to work with outside the internet at that point; I didn't even know that anything within the LGBTQ existed until I was twelve or thirteen and, um, someone called me a lesbian as a slur. Yeah. 2008-2012 So I just tried to convey my actual experience without using a label to everyone, and unsurprisingly it felt like that just drew more attention my way... so when I went to college in 2008, I started going "fuck this, I'm going to start coming out as exactly how I identify and the hell with this." I was tired of feeling like everyone who talked to me was going to start interrogating me, and I started practicing using the actual words. And at this point I also started doing things like going to the college bi-annual drag shows for fun and to raise money for our local Lambda alliance, that kind of thing. I'd go home and mention one of those activities to my parents, and my mother would react with this very uncomfortable, very loud "why would you do this, that's weird, why would you be weird?!?" kind of fast and defensive reaction. Or--around the time I was nineteen, I cut my hair from a three-inch bob down to a one-inch pixie cut, which I'd wanted to do for years and years, and when my mother saw it I got a two-hour lecture about how I'd need to wear big earrings now and makeup or people would mistake me for a boy. An hour or two into this fight, I outed myself as asexual because fuck this. Or a few months after that, I was reviewing an entirely G-rated book about coming out as a teenager for a psych course I was taking and I left it lying around without thinking too much about it--at most, I hoped maybe someone might pick it up and read it and think, but instead what happened was that my mother found it and started yelling at me for leaving it around in case I "confused" my baby sister, who would have just turned eight at the time. Stuff like that kept happening. As this goes on, I start bringing up past incidents to explain the patterns I see and why I'm hurt, and my mother retorts that "that never happened" or "I don't remember that" consistently. I explain that it might not have been as memorable to her, but I remember this, but that doesn't seem to sink through. At this time, incidentally, I'm also getting more involved in online ace spaces and grappling with whether I've accidentally fallen in love with my best friend, which was something of a problem for me. I didn't bring it up with my parents much, in part because they had reacted poorly when I had online friends before and seemed to think the internet was staffed purely with "weirdoes" and "sickos" as opposed to people, and in part because I had pretty bad experiences just bringing up how important ace community stuff was to my friends at the time, hell if I was going to risk too much of that at home. This is also the approximate time in which I have a fight with my parents about them not giving me information I needed to plan a spring break trip I badly wanted to go on, and I lose my temper mid-fight and hang up and refuse to answer the phone for the rest of the night. My parents drive two hours to my college to meet me the next morning because my mother is convinced that this is me undergoing a psychotic break. I frankly find this both overblown and sort of terrifying, even at the time, and I am deeply angry about the incident. So as I go through college, I'm a) dealing with trying to negotiate my status with respect to queer communities as an ace kid, b) trying to figure out, essentially, whether I'm homoromantic or aromantic or what and if I am in love with my best friend what the hell I do about it, c) increasingly aware of how bad my relationship with my parents really is and increasingly heartbroken about how little I can talk to them about everything in my life without becoming absolutely pants-shittingly terrified. Throughout college, I tried... probably at least once or twice a year to open a dialogue about these things with my mother. I tried talking about this stuff mid fight, I tried bringing it up in conversation when things seemed okay, I tried sending emails and I tried phone calls and I cried a lot at my college therapist about it. These always resulted in my mother shouting that she was very accepting and why did I hate her, she didn't have a problem with my lifestyle and why was I saying such cruel things to her? No one else in my family ever intervened in this fights except maybe to explain to me that my mothers' intentions were good, and I tried pretty hard to keep from putting people in the middle anyway because that's not fair to them. In 2011, I conclude that a) I don't really understand the distinction between romance and friendship, if there is a sharp one within relationships, b) regardless, I have a definite strong gender preference for women and nonbinary people over men, c) whatever passes for close commitment between me and that best friend is, um, not treating me well and I need to abandon most of that friends group and find a new one with people who actually like me. This is pretty draining and heartbreaking, and I cope in part by reaching out to my college queer org, in part by immersing myself in online community, and in part by strengthening ties with every friend I have who wasn't involved with the person I had to cut ties with. I wind up dancing around the idea of starting a relationship that definitely does work for me with my partner and another person, and finally go "yeah, okay; let's try and see if we can come up with a plan to live together in the same place?" sometime in mid 2011. Both of them are in other countries from me and each other, which makes it tricky, but we do pretty well by keeping in Skype communication near constantly, given everyone's time zones. I don't bother to tell anyone I'm related to about this, because the odds anyone will react well are zero. 2012-now So anyway. I go to grad school. Plans to try and move near one of my partners fall through, but I do move way the fuck away from my home state against my family's plaintive attempts to convince me. I can't shake the dust off my heels fast enough; I chose the places I applied partly because going home is fucking exhausting at this point, because I feel like I can't be myself without risking an exhausting fight, and because the more open I am, the worse things get. I try to reach out because the guilt trips keep coming worse and worse, but I'm talking about less and less of my life outside of my science, which I know damn well no one in my family can follow too well. I found a local ace-community coffee meeting, which becomes the nucleus of my social group; I don't really tell my family though because that way lies explosions. Things go well with my partners, but I find myself getting a little impatient; I'm tied in place by my grad degree, and my UK partner by her own family, but my Canadian partner isn't--just they have no idea how to legally negotiate citizenship shit. In 2013, Windsor v. United States comes down the pike, and suddenly my partner moving down to me via legal immigration is an actual viable option. We hyperventilate a lot and go "okay, um, okay" and decide to try making a visit work and see whether this is worth pursuing. It goes--really well, and we go "okay. um. okay. we could--we can really do this?" and start making plans. At this point, I decide my family has to know this is happening, and I decide I don't care if they disown me over it. It would be easier, I think darkly, to not have to try so hard to hit exactly the right notes all the time. So I write them a letter letting them know I'm engaged, which I try to strike a polite but firmly this-is-happening, not-up-for-debate tone with. I call my middle sister, who is a few years younger than I am, all in tenterhooks about it; she startles me by telling me she had no idea and tries to be reassuring and welcoming. My parents call me about it, and literally the first question out of my mother's mouth is asking if I was lying about my sexual orientation. I'm not. The second thing she does is try to argue me out of doing this, at which point I cheerily point out this is not up for debate, this is about me doing something I want badly which I think will make me very happy, and hang up on her. Throughout the next several months, we plan a joint vacation in Boston staying on an air mattress belonging to some friends of friends, which is pretty much what we can jointly afford. We elope and then return to our separate countries, because it's time to start the extremely expensive immigration process, which requires evidence from us that this is a real relationship and not a fake one. I send reams of chat logs; eventually I discover several novels' worth of communication bound up in my sentimental hoard of saved conversations. Sometimes I go back and re-read them while I'm feeling soppy. We send photos and emails and anything we can think of, because this is early 2014 and we're among some of the first people to petition for an IR-1 visa for a same-sex spouse; certainly some of the first who weren't married already by the time that Windsor came down. My mother repeatedly tries to convince me over this period that my spouse is using me for a green card. I find this dubious in the extreme as my spouse is Canadian and spends most of their time talking about the state I live in focusing on how pants-shittingly scary our health care system is, and so I say so. As I get more impatient with this bullshit, I start to just hang up when my mother starts in. This mostly gets me shouted at for rudeness. I run out of ways to politely say "this is not up for debate." In June 2014, my partner and I go to visit my parents and meet for the first time. My mother proceeds to interrogate my partner on their own family relationships--mostly long since cut--and specifically the state of their mother's health, as we've said she was dead since the kidnapping incident that made my partner cut contact years previously happened. When my mother doesn't get more detail, she demands a diagnosis; when my partner prevaricates that there wasn't really a diagnosis per se, my mother asks "Mental or physical?" There are a couple of other incidents, which culminate in six months of no contact from me over her treatment of my partner following the visit. Things go on. My mother has, over the last few years, done things like go googling my partner and found out history with the kink community that I knew full well about to start with to try and drive a wedge between me and my partner. She consistently brings up reasons that my partner and I are bad for each other or that I might have made a mistake. This past round, it was insinuating that I am just so tired post election, and that maybe we set off each other's anxieties. She has also rewritten history in her head to make all of these various problems I've just walked through things that started when I announced my spouse and I were engaged, which I have blatantly said is not true. Recent/summary context I, um. I have more. But this time she did it right before a planned family visit to my city, in part to visit me and in part apparently to run a marathon that my sister, my brother and law, and his parents planned to run. I spent two or three hours in a long conversation trying to patiently figure out the secret way to get her to stop referring to my "gay lifestyle" or my "extreme lifestyle" when what she means is that I post about politics on Facebook now, as far as I can tell, since the election. Then I lost my temper, posted a link to an article on subtle homophobia and its strain on me and said my family needed to read it, and refused to apologize. This resulted in a weekend of increasingly angry phone calls because I refused to "accept that I am equally at fault" and finally a blistering email series in which I let my spouse vent the rage they have been fostering for years at my mother, cc'd to everyone in the family. (This is all, to be clear, a month after my grandparents abandoned me and my spouse on the side of the road; previously I had been my grandmother's favorite child. When I called my parents to say I was okay after posting to Facebook that my living situation had abruptly fallen through, my mother looked for reasons that the abandonment was my fault.) I'm ignoring calls from my dad right now. I don't want to go back. I didn't want to find out my baby sister was also gay because she interrupted me trying to give her some of this context and said that Mom didn't have a problem with her, Mom was going to classes to better understand now! I don't want to be talked around, but I know my entire family will try. So I want to know: what is normal there? How do I handle this shit? Is this genuinely normal, or is it fucked up? Is this nuclear-war levels of fucked up--how fucked up is it? Do I need a sanity check? Because I feel like I could use a sanity check here.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I want to put up posters around my institution to raise awareness of the upcoming March for Science. No posters seem to be available from the official shop page. I've mailed the organizers but haven't received a reply. I'm willing to print my own posters, and now am looking for suitable graphics.I'm looking for something that is reasonably official (or official-looking) that will scale well to 11x17" prints. I can work with any graphics format.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Please explain this ant (and other small insect) behavior I'm witnessing.I am in Los Angeles, and the ants I will be asking about are what I would describe as the common house ant arount here -- small, brown, don't bite. Just your normal ant. So I have a succulent plant that sends up shoots a couple times a year. The shoots have small pink flowers that must be rich in nectar, and the ants are all over them. The plant is right up against a window, so I have spent a bunch of time observing what's going on, and I am so confused about some parts! (Sorry I have no pictures -- everything I'm talking about is very tiny.) 1: The ants are grabbing the nectar. A long stream of ants goes toward the flowers. A long stream of ants goes away from the flowers, with their abdomens hugely full of what I'm assuming is nectar. It's clear. Their abdomens are so heavy they're dragging along the plant stem. When they get back to their nest, what do they do with this? Barf it up? Poop it out? 2: Sometimes I see one or more ants furiously banging their abdomens against the stem. These ants do not have an abdomen full of nectar yet. It's like a metal rock fan banging their head, only it's their abdomen. I assume they're communicating with the other ants. What are they saying? 3: Before the ants ever arrived, one frond of this plant was colonized by a mass of very small flying insects -- like gnats or no-see-ums. (I'm going to call them gnats because I lack another term.) They're extremely, extremely small. The ants don't appear to be eating them or fussing with them, but they're just all intertwined. The gnats just sit there and don't fly away, even when I blow gently on them. I very, very occasionally see one fly. I wondered if they're actually dead but their bodies are just sitting there. (Wouldn't they fall off or blow away if they were dead?) What's this about? 4: There's an accompanying mass of very small black things that look like a small sesame seed. I had started to assume that these were eggs of some sort -- I wondered if these were gnat eggs, and the gnats were hatching and then flying away when I didn't see them -- except some extra vigilant staring showed me that some of them move. THey have a few legs that are so small as to be nearly invisible. I sometimes see an ant furiously running its antennae over this creature. The ants never eat these (in front of me) nor do they pick them up or carry them. Ants will walk all over these little guys, but the little creatures hardly seem to notice or care. 5: Entire sections of this plant are solid black with a mass of ants, gnats and sesame-sized creatures. There also seems to be "mud" stuck in some spots of this plant, where the leaves meet the stem. It literally looks like very dark mud, except I know this plant isn't in a spot where it's been splashed with mud. 6: All of this is happening on a couple of this plant's fronds, which have maybe 10 flowers total. Other fronds of this same plant are bigger and have way more flowers, but the ants don't bother with those. There are new flowers blooming daily and the ants mostly ignore these. I might see one or two ants, vs. 200 on the main area. Please explain this writhing mass of insects!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Help me understand some of the clues in a 75-year-old crossword puzzle.The New York Times recently republished their first-ever crossword puzzle, which originally ran on February 15, 1942. I managed to finish it with a lot of help from Google, but there are a few clues that are still mystifying. In particular: -100-across is "Good neighbor" (answer: SENOR) What? -103-across is "Spanish watchword" (answer: ALERTA). Probably just terrible clue-writing, but maybe a reference to something? -110-across is "Turmeric" (answer: REA). Not the genus name, so I'm out of ideas. -48-down is "Noise of distant musketry" (answer: SPATTER). Again, is this a reference? Seems weirdly specific. -111-down is "Surveying telescopes" (answer: ALINERS). I'm not even sure if it's supposed to be 'aliner' or 'a-liner.' Also, there are a couple of really obscure Egyptian words ("Name of 3 successive pharaohs" = USERTESEN, "Egyptian goddess of motherhood" = APET). Were people in the 1940s a lot more knowledgeable about ancient Egypt (residual from 1920s King Tut mania?) or are these just terrible clues?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
As Jake Gyllenhaal begins his stint as the lead in Sondheim's Sunday In The Park With George, he's posted on Facebook a video of him singing Finishing The Hat, filmed by Cary Fukunaga. [Ed note: I think he does a pretty good job!]

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
New research indicates we should eat 10, not 5, fruits and veggies a day. Here are some real people who talk about how they manage it.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Where would be a good area of New York for an 18 year old from Australia to stay to maximize safety for a lone traveler wanting to see all the tourist type sites.My Niece is coming to visit me in the USA from Australia. I haven't seen her in 5 years & we're both super excited about the trip. While she's here she wants to go off for a five days to visit New York by herself. She's traveled internationally a lot in her life & she's got a good head on her shoulders so she's asked me for advice on where to stay & what to see. I am an expat Aussie living in Indiana, that has never been to New York & knows nothing, apparently none of my friends here or inlaws have either so I need your help Metafilter to give wonderful niece in the world (yes I'm completely biased) the best trip possible. She's looking for information on safer districts/areas for a lone female traveler to stay. Recommendations of actual hotels or just general areas appreciated. She's on a reasonable mid level budget, and we'll chip in if needed to make sure avoids any dodgy hotels as I think NY hotel prices are going to surprise her. She's traveled a reasonable amount so is used to public transport in big cities, so is fine with taking the subway. So accommodation further out but on a train route is fine. Is there anything she should know for safety, or things you see tourists doing on the subway that she should avoid doing? She has no idea yet of just what she wants to see, but I imagine all the touristy sort of things will be the main destinations, but any ideas of things that might not be in the tourist guides she should see would be great too. She is an adventurous eater so maybe fun, cheap places to eat, near the tourist traps. Oh and if there are any areas she should completely avoid either for safety or just for their distance from transport or things she's likely to want to see. I don't even know enough to know if I'm asking the right questions so anything else you think might be helpful would also be appreciated. Also let it be noted that by asking about safe places for her to stay, I'm not trying to insult anyones home town. I know NYC isn't the crime filled place it's made out to be in the movies & on TV. It's more about the fact that when women solo travel they have to be aware of this stuff anywhere they go on their adventures and this is what she's asked me to find out.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
When evidence says no, but your doctor says yes For all the truly wondrous developments of modern medicine—imaging technologies that enable precision surgery, routine organ transplants, care that transforms premature infants into perfectly healthy kids, and remarkable chemotherapy treatments, to name a few—it is distressingly ordinary for patients to get treatments that research has shown are ineffective or even dangerous. Sometimes doctors simply haven't kept up with the science. Other times doctors know the state of play perfectly well but continue to deliver these treatments because it's profitable—or even because they're popular and patients demand them. Some procedures are implemented based on studies that did not prove whether they really worked in the first place. Others were initially supported by evidence but then were contradicted by better evidence, and yet these procedures have remained the standards of care for years, or decades. That isn't likely to change any time soon. The 21st Century Cures Act—a rare bipartisan bill, pushed by more than 1,400 lobbyists and signed into law in December—lowers evidentiary standards for new uses of drugs and for marketing and approval of some medical devices. Furthermore, last month President Donald Trump scolded the FDA for what he characterized as withholding drugs from dying patients. He promised to slash regulations "big league. ... It could even be up to 80 percent" of current FDA regulations, he said. To that end, one of the president's top candidates to head the FDA, tech investor Jim O'Neill, has openly advocated for drugs to be approved before they're shown to work. "Let people start using them at their own risk," O'Neill has argued.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Romanian artist 11pixeli (Andreea Strete) turns electronic waste headed for the landfill into tiny robots you can wear around your neck. (You can see all the robots on a single page here.) Artist's Instagram.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
No, seriously, is there someone who will buy the house I'm living in and let me live there for a year?I rent a house in a very desirable neighborhood. Houses do not last more than one day on the market. The owner of the house passed away and the family asked if I want to buy the house. They'd rather not go through the hassle of putting it on the market and want it to go to a nice family (like mine.) Unfortunately, it is no where near what I can afford (one of the reason's I'm renting) but I'd rather not move - at least right away. It seems like an investor might be interested. How might I approach this?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm not certain if water got into my Macbook Pro. It's working fine so far, but should I bring it to the Apple Store to find out for sure?Some water spilled on a table near my (closed and sleeping) Macbook Pro, and it got on the outside of the body. My estimate is that there's a 50/50 chance that some got inside through the rear vents. After shutting it down immediately and wiping off all the water I could see, I let it dry out for 7 days. Then I booted it up without incident, and on day 4 it continues to run fine. Some online forums say that if you make it through a few days without any problems, you're probably in the clear. Others say that problems like corrosion can creep up after weeks or even months. So, with the delayed-reaction scenario in mind, I'm wondering if I should take it to Apple and find out whether to expect problems down the road. But what should I expect if I go? Specifically... 1. If they find that any of the internal liquid detectors have been 'activated', will that cancel out my Apple Care for any other issue, even if the issue is unrelated? 2. If I tell them the truth but then they find no physical evidence of liquid, will they still flag my computer as potentially liquid damaged and then refuse to cover other issues that would otherwise be under warranty/Apple Care? 3. Are diagnostics like this free at the Apple Store? 4. Can they ever do these diagnostics in a few hours, or do I need to leave the laptop with them? (This is in Toronto.) 5. Bonus question: do you think I'm in the clear based on the facts above, or could my computer still fizzle at any time? Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A few days before Christmas 2016, a phone call took place that no one could have predicted. One of the world's most esteemed HIV doctors, Professor Sheena McCormack – whose life's work as an epidemiologist has been to track and fight the virus – picked up the phone to deliver a message that would make headline news: In the space of 12 months, the number of gay men in London being diagnosed with HIV had dropped by 40%. The man McCormack credited with this unprecedented reduction in HIV transmissions was not a fellow doctor, nor the head of a charity, nor even a politician. Greg Owen is unemployed, a former sex worker, and homeless. PrEP use has been rising in other countries, and some cities have also seen drops in new HIV diagnoses. San Francisco saw a 17 per cent fall in infection rates in 2015. But this decline has generally been attributed to a mix of better prevention, diagnosis and treatment methods, without singling out PrEP. In the UK, however, the use of PrEP was low until it suddenly surged over the past year. This increase coincided with the launch of I Want PrEP Now and PrEPster, and ongoing publicity over an attempt to sue NHS England to provide the medication on the NHS.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a good friend who is a master wood worker and made me a pipe as a gift. It sucks, and he admits it. Beautifully crafted, just doesn't work as a pipe. Very harsh. There must be some sort of science to this, but I'm at a loss. This has to be a solved problem, what do I google for this?As an engineer by trade, I really want to get this down. He's retired, and has been woodworking his entire life but oddly has not never made a pipe and really wants to get this down. Every time I google making a pipe, it is some silly thing about making a pipe with an apple or coke can. First, he made it with cherry wood and there is no "carb," and hits very "harsh." My best guess is that the chamber area doesn't circulate the smoke enough to cool it before it enters the "neck" area. I know this sounds silly, but he has an amazing woodworking shop including a machine that has some sort of CAD thing attached to it (again, sorry I should have written it down), so I think he can do pretty much anything. He's just used to making things like canoes and statues. The fact he can't do this is giving him a lot grief. This might also be the type of wood being used, but he literally has every type of wood including those he's collected that are no longer available for import and he's willing to use those.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Looking for an affordable place to live in the Boston or Metro West area for a childless couple on a single income who don't mind living someplace dull or unhip. Our main constraint is a commute to Natick.We're looking for a one- or two-bedroom, and our circumstances make it very difficult to have roommates. Our absolute this-is-a-big-stretch maximum budget is $1400 a month, and if we could manage substantially less we'd be quite happy. Other than that, our main constraint is a daily commute to Natick — preferably mostly on public transit, meaning we'd ideally live on the Worcester commuter rail line, in the Metro West Transit Authority bus service area, or someplace that was a We don't care at all about being in a good school district, a fun or trendy or walkable neighborhood, etc., and we're fine with being in a "bad" neighborhood if "bad" means "it's working-class" or "there's graffiti" or "there's kids hanging out unsupervised" or whatever. It's fine if we need to get in the car to get groceries or takeout. Most of our friends live in Somerville. We've accepted that we will see them a lot less frequently after we move. A place that wasn't a terribly long drive from Somerville would be nice, though — so, like, going all the way out to Worcester isn't ideal. Where should we consider?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Firmly in the uncanny valley of design, "The Uncomfortable renderings help show how "good design is 99% invisible" by twisting it just a little. The creator wants to "re- design useful objects making them uncomfortable but usable and maintain the semiotics of the original item." (previously, kinda)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for blogs, pin boards, Instagram feeds, web sites, collaborative projects, video, online artwork, web comics, and graphic novels and other online stuff that is very popular with teenagers.I am working on a project that is directed at teenagers. I'm looking to update my sense of teen sensibility. The specific age group is older teens: 15-19, and even a little older than that. Thanks in advance.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Looking to hear from people who lost a parent at a very young age. What helped you live a normal, happy life? What didn't?A week ago, this was me. The news has gotten worse. There is a possibility that my husband will see the baby's first birthday but not much beyond it. I'm devastated and this is not what I planned, but I'm trying to keep my focus on the path forward for me and my son. Specifically--- - The balance respectfully discussing, acknowledging and making Dad a presence without making life mournful and sad all the time - Being 'enough' for him. Specifically, it has been suggested to me already that I introduce TV and keep the radio on so the baby hears voices other than mine - This will not be the Gilmore Girls. He's a boy. There are three local grandfathers so he'll have men in his life, but still... I don't even know what else. I guess I just want some reassurance that it's possible to raise an emotionally healthy and happy child given the circumstance. I feel like my life was messed up a little from not having my dad involved as much. But, that was a divorce and he didn't step up. This feels different.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Edinburgh Dungeon: "I don't like it. The actors have Scottish accents and its very hard to understand." [SLBF]

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My adult brother has learning disabilities and a spending problem. He has now his first real job at thirty+ and I think this is a good time to make a new attempt at budgeting. he thinks that knowing how much things have cost is the same as having a budget, and now I just found out that he has spent about 400 euro on Overwatch skins (in game micropurchases).I think an app might help but am open to any ideas of how to go about this in a sensible way. Internet banking here isn't great. He is pretty good about "following rules" but very defensive about attempts to curb his purchasing or get rid of stuff he has acquired. He is a nerd and enjoys cosplay (with encouragement) but it's a bottomless pit. He lives rent free and most other costs free thanks to my mom. We spoke a little last night about how I understand that there's a part of him that really needs to have "100%" in the game, but imagine what he could do with that money if he only bought skins for his main-characters for example. He doesn't really have the ability to make his cosplay stuff, so no real savings available there. He also prefers to do new outfits each time, so very little reuse, including of helmets worth hundreds of dollars. Possible motivators for him are: possible travel to conventions, I have said I will bring him to ComicCon when he has the money for it. Other motivators can be his appearance and his cat. I don't want to motivate him with fear, but he really doesn't seem to consider that at some point his financial situation is going to change very radically and getting a grip on his spending now will make that easier. So, and and all advice, apps, thoughts etc, for us, please go!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Wix.com - primarily a WYSIWYG Web hosting company - buy DeviantArt Established in 2001, the art community / noticeboard DeviantArt (aka DA) has long been the place to see some of the best hobbyist, and professional fandom and original digital art. In 2006 DA gave all users the option - and more importantly easy tools - to submit their works under Creative Commons licences, as well as also enabling users to sell prints / merch and monetise their artworks. With over 35 million registered users and more than 256 million uploaded images DA is an established digital art brand - whether it is also a cohesive art community remains to be seen. But what does Wix.com - a company known primarily for letting people set up free WYSIWYG [What You See Is What You Get] personal websites have to gain from the sale? Answer: All the digital assets on DA which it can now offer to it's wix.com customers. Wix.com was founded in 2006. A Cloud based platform that primarily allows anyone to set up their own free website. It has approx 3.5 million users and had a valuation of $127 million when it's shares were offered to the public via NASDAQ in 2013. Wix as a company currently has a market valuation of around $2.86 billion. Wix said that it will continue to operate DeviantArt as a standalone site, but it will also use it to boost its own business in a couple of ways. First, DeviantArt users will get access to Wix's web design tools to build out more dynamic online presences. These tools do not only cover design, but commerce and other features for running businesses online. - Tech crunch Reportedly, as part of the deal, Wix has not only purchased all DeviantArt assets, but will retain all staff as well. Neither company seems to have made any official fanfare about the sale.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Odd situation came up in which I thought I asked something reasonable, and now the landlord wants me to consider to dissolve the lease. I want to stay, but also how do I protect myself in the future and how do I best deal with this?This is the first time I'm living on my own. Moved to a new city and found a condo rented by a couple, who seemed very nice. They kindly let me move in early because I had a safety issue with my Airbnb. I moved in yesterday, did my inventory of the place and noted damaged items. We (the wife and I) have been texting back and forth about forms to fill out and General questions about the apartment. The landlords live 3 hours away. She said her husband would be stopping by tomorrow to drop off a fire extinguisher and check on some small things. Because he was coming, I thought I would mention that one of the routers was smooshed into the wall, and that the bedroom light switch didn't work, and if they could look at that while he was here. She immediately called me and asked if I had ever rented from a condo or apartment before (I have, for many years since college.) she said "this isn't a hotel, or Airbnb. There are some things we won't fix. Our last tenant only contacted us once. Maybe your expectations are too high for us and you should consider getting out of the lease. I don't want to be stressed or you to be stressed. You should be grateful you've found such a nice place with kind landlords like us" and etc. I was surprised, since I was entirely silent for the entire conversation. She's a new mom so I wonder if she's stressed. But I didn't think it was unreasonable to ask about a bedroom light switch not working and the router being unusable, especially since her husband is coming sunday? This isn't a pattern of mine, but I JUST moved in and was hoping it could be addressed, that's all. I'm calling her today. I don't want to leave, moving and finding a place was stressful enough. My question: how should I frame this? I felt her comments were sort of condescending, but I feel like since she has the power, I should be ultra nice and not say anything. Also, how do I protect myself in the future? Can they just kick me out if they feel like I'm asking too much? I'll ask about the big issues I guess, but I'll have to handle the smaller things from now on. (But what would be a big issue vs small thing?) They also need me to ask permission for a guest to stay longer than a week and now I'm afraid they're just going to tell me no when I do have a friend over for 1.5 weeks (only one friend who plans to visit in May) because I sort of feel like she hates me. I don't know if I have committed a terrible sin :( For reference, this is the script I'm saying to her today: I've decided that I would like to stay with the lease. I have rented from apartments and condos for many years, which is why I didn't think asking about the light and router would be unreasonable as I had just been able to test them since I moved in two days ago and Husband was coming Sunday. I was surprised that you asked me to consider dissolving the lease after that. I don't plan on leaving the lease and in the future, I'll only ask about bigger issues. I want to start off on the right foot, so I appreciate the clear communication and being so accommodating with my early move in. I'm excited to start my time in City here.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
How Dragon Kings Could Trump Black Swans, MIT Technology Review, 4 AUG 2009. Sornette goes on to identify a number of data sets showing power laws with outliers that he says are the result of positive feedback mechanisms that make them much larger than their peers. He calls these events dragon kings. What's interesting about them is that they are entirely unaccounted for by a current understanding of power laws, from which Nassim Nicholas Taleb built the idea of black swans. So what to make of this? Sornette offers one interesting observation. The seemingly ubiquitous presence of these dragon kings in all kinds of data sets means that extreme events are significantly more likely than power laws suggest. Prof. Dr. Didier Sornette is the Professur f. Entrepreneurial Risks at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich and author of Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems and Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences: Chaos, Fractals, Selforganization and Disorder: Concepts and Tools, also lectures: Power Laws and Dragon-kings Heavy Tails and Long Tails [PDF] From 2013: How We Can Predict The Next Financial Crisis, a TED Talk (transcript) Predictability of catastrophic events: Material rupture, earthquakes, turbulence, financial crashes, and human birth [PDF], Didier Sornette, PNAS, February 19, 2002, vol. 99, 2522–2529 We propose that catastrophic events are ''outliers'' with statistically different properties than the rest of the population and result from mechanisms involving amplifying critical cascades. We describe a unifying approach for modeling and predicting these catastrophic events or ''ruptures,'' that is, sudden transitions from a quiescent state to a crisis. Such ruptures involve interactions between structures at many different scales. Applications and the potential for prediction are discussed in relation to the rupture of composite materials, great earthquakes, turbulence, and abrupt changes of weather regimes, financial crashes, and human parturition (birth). Dragon-Kings, Black Swans and the Prediction of Crises, Didier Sornette, 24 June 2009 - International Journal of Terraspace Science and Engineering 2(1), 1-18 (2009) [PDF] We develop the concept of ``dragon-kings'' corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king. Several examples of predictions using the derived log-periodic power law method are discussed, including material failure predictions and the forecasts of the end of financial bubbles. Dragon-kings: mechanisms, statistical methods and empirical evidence[arXiv PDF] ,Eur. Phys. J. Special Topics 205, 1-26, 2012 Didier Sornette, Guy Ouillon reach back and find: Didier Sornette: Critical phase transitions made self-organized : a dynamical system feedback mechanism for self-organized criticality. [PDF] Journal de Physique I, EDP Sciences, 1992, 2 (11), pp.2065-2073. According to Kadanoff, self-organized criticality (SOC) implies the operation of a feedback mechanism that ensures a steady state in which the system is marginally stable against a disturbance. Here, we extend this idea and propose a picture according to which SOC relies on a non-linear feedback of the order parameter on the control parameter(s), the amplitude of this feedback being tuned by the spatial correlation length I. The self-organized nature of the criticality stems from the fact that the limit is attracting the non-linear feedback dynamics. It is applied to known self-organized critical systems such as « sandpile » models as well as to a simple dynamical generalization of the percolation model. Using this feedback mechanism, it is possible in principle to convert standard « unstable » critical phase transitions into self-organized critical dynamics, thereby enlarging considerably the number of models presenting SOC. These ideas are illustrated on the 2D Ising model and the values of the various « avalanche» exponents are expressed in terms of the static and dynamic Ising critical exponents. Of Disasters and Dragon Kings: A Statistical Analysis of Nuclear Power Incidents and Accidents. Spencer Wheatley, Benjamin Sovacool, Didier Sornette, Risk Analysis, Volume 37, Issue 1. January 2017 Pages 99–115. We perform a statistical study of risk in nuclear energy systems. This study provides and analyzes a data set that is twice the size of the previous best data set on nuclear incidents and accidents, comparing three measures of severity: the industry standard International Nuclear Event Scale, the Nuclear Accident Magnitude Scale of radiation release, and cost in U.S. dollars. The rate of nuclear accidents with cost above 20 MM 2013 USD, per reactor per year, has decreased from the 1970s until the present time. Along the way, the rate dropped significantly after Chernobyl (April 1986) and is expected to be roughly stable around a level of 0.003, suggesting an average of just over one event per year across the current global fleet. The distribution of costs appears to have changed following the Three Mile Island major accident (March 1979). The median cost became approximately 3.5 times smaller, but an extremely heavy tail emerged, being well described by a Pareto distribution with parameter α = 0.5–0.6. For instance, the cost of the two largest events, Chernobyl and Fukushima (March 2011), is equal to nearly five times the sum of the 173 other events. We also document a significant runaway disaster regime in both radiation release and cost data, which we associate with the "dragon-king" phenomenon. Slaying dragon-kings could prevent financial crashes and Using Chaos Theory to Predict and Prevent Catastrophic 'Dragon King' Events Predictability and Suppression of Extreme Events in a Chaotic System, Hugo L. D. de S. Cavalcante, Marcos Oriá, Didier Sornette, Edward Ott, and Daniel J. Gauthier. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 198701 – Published 4 November 2013 In many complex systems, large events are believed to follow power-law, scale-free probability distributions so that the extreme, catastrophic events are unpredictable. Here, we study coupled chaotic oscillators that display extreme events. The mechanism responsible for the rare, largest events makes them distinct, and their distribution deviates from a power law. On the basis of this mechanism identification, we show that it is possible to forecast in real time an impending extreme event. Once forecasted, we also show that extreme events can be suppressed by applying tiny perturbations to the system. Black Swan, Dragon King, Greek Tragedy – Lessons from a "Diplomatic Debate" - "In May 2014, there was a very stimulating ETH-sponsored debate between Nassim Taleb and Didier Sornette which threw further light on their "Diametrically Opposite Approaches to Risk & Predictability", so the title of the meeting. "

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