posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a significant source of stress in my life right now, and it's a situation that isn't likely to resolve itself for several months. It doesn't require much of my attention in any given day to actually deal with, but the mental load of thinking about it all the time is just killing me and it is preventing me from focusing on any of the other things I also need to be doing right now. What can I do to allow myself to focus?I've always been a catastrophizer and someone who is prone to anxiety. I've had a few full blown panic attacks (difficulty breathing, heart beating out of control, inability to fully control my limbs) in the past, and right now I feel like I am having a low level version of that (can control my body mostly, but spend a lot of time sort of ... vibrating, my chest and stomache constantly ache, and I find myself breathing heavily if I am doing anything more strenuous than sitting still) basically all day every day. My brain just spends its time making up new dialogues and arguments and ways to deal with the people who are causing problems. I used guided meditation to get to sleep at night, and that's mostly working fine -- it distracts my lizard brain long enough for me to fall asleep. If I wake up in the middle of the night I have to do it again to fall back asleep which is not ideal, but at least I am getting some sleep. I can tamp down the panicked feelings a bit by reading novels, as well -- not enough to really enjoy them or eliminate the aching feeling of stress, but enough to get rid of the internal imagination of pending catastrophes, at least. But neither of those distraction techniques help me when what I need is to be doing something else that's actually productive. I can distract my brain from thinking about my problem, but not enough to allow it to focus on the kind of detailed work that I do in my job. I spend multiple hours a day just sitting in my chair staring at my screen or flipping back and forth between documents without actually producing anything. So my work output is suffering at a time when a bunch of people are relying on me to get shit done, as well. What focus techniques do you use when you don't just need to not think about one hard thing but really, really need to focus on some other hard thing?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Next May I'm going to be in Illinois/Iowa for a week with not much to do (long story). Are there any cool places that run week long retreats, intensive courses, or just ways to be immersed in something new alongside interesting people for a few days that you'd recommend?My last few vacations have involved things like a standup comedy course, a meditation retreat, and a week long libertarian festival (even though that's not my political leaning), so I'm pretty open-minded. See some of my previous Ask MeFi questions for further details :)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
If I eat the cells of another creature, in what specific way would they become (or would they?), even in the tiniest way, a permanent or long-term part of my body? (I swear I'm not high.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have to buy a new car. I've been test driving 2017 vehicles and they all have varying degrees of technology which is not present in my existing (very old) car, and not something I have kept up with in any way. I'm aware of the issues of smart phones/televisions - and the internet in general - in regards to the invasion of privacy, being recorded and "listened" to. But what is the tech in new cars doing? I presumed I could find something that definitively lists this information, but I have not.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Breakin' 1984 bonus! Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) [1,2,3,4,5,6(!),7,8,9,10,11 :]

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Meet Microsoft's PC-like Xbox Series X [Engadget] "Last night, The Game Awards was a showcase for industry stars and served as an unveiling for Microsoft's next Xbox... box. [...] Previously known as Project Scarlett, the next-generation Xbox resembles a PC tower, and it arrives holidays 2020. Xbox chief Phil Spencer wrote in a blog post that the Series X design allows Microsoft to pack in four times the processing power of Xbox One X "in the most quiet and efficient way." It's said to be no louder than an Xbox One X, helped by a single fan that pushes air through the top. Microsoft says the Xbox Series X can handle 4K visuals at 60 frames per second, and potentially up to 120 fps. The console will also offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable refresh rate, along with 8K capability. It's compatible with software going back to the original Xbox and will work with Xbox One controllers." [YouTube][Reveal Trailer] • The Xbox Series X is basically a PC [The Verge] "For a long time now, Microsoft has been going out of its way to downplay the "box" part of "Xbox." Whether it's pledging to bring all of its first-party titles to PC, releasing some of them to platforms like Steam and the Nintendo Switch, launching its Game Pass service for Windows, or pushing xCloud streaming, the message has been clear: you don't have to buy an Xbox to play Xbox games. "The business isn't how many consoles you sell," Xbox chief Phil Spencer told The Verge earlier this year. But obviously, Microsoft still plans to make Xboxes. The question, then, is this: why would anyone buy one? What is the relevance of dedicated Xbox hardware when Microsoft wants the Xbox platform to be everywhere? With last night's surprise reveal of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft answered that question in emphatic fashion. It is a console that looks unlike anything that has ever been released. Except, well, a gaming PC." • Xbox Series X promises four generations of backward compatibility [Polygon] "Xbox Series X, the new console Microsoft will launch in 2020, will feature backward compatibility to support "thousands of your favorite games across four generations of gaming," Microsoft said in a statement following the console's reveal at The Game Awards 2019. Furthermore, this compatibility will extend to "all your Xbox One gaming accessories," the company said, and existing subscriptions to services on Xbox One will carry over to Xbox Series X as well. "We're also investing in consumer-friendly pathways to game ownership across generations," Microsoft said. Beginning with Halo Infinite next year, first-party games, at minimum, will "support cross-generation entitlements and your Achievements and game saves are shared across devices.""

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for spooky (ghosts, creepy things, monsters, witches, supernatural - not serial killers or 'real' horror) short stories or novellas that have been translated into English. Failing that: will take reccs for any authors from outside the UK and USA. Bonus points if they're easily available through any UK retailer that is not Amazon....in return, here's my recommendation: Julian Rios, Revelation on the Boulevard of Crime. Available in English in Best European Fiction 2010 from Dalkey Archive Press (copies around the place on second hand websites).

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What (possibly Disney or other child-friendly) property is this NSFW text-only greeting card referencing?So I stumbled upon the card online, and while I know it's a reference, I can't for the life of me remember to what. Help, please!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
'The city of masterless men will take a master. There will be shouting then: Blood after!' The Fall of the City by Archibald MacLeish is the first American verse play written for radio. The 30-minute radio play was first broadcast April 11, 1937, at 7 p.m. ET over the Columbia Broadcasting System (today CBS) as part of the Columbia Workshop radio series. The cast featured Orson Welles and Burgess Meredith. Music was composed and directed by Bernard Herrmann. It is an allegory on the rise of Fascism

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Games have always been a part of human culture. Alone or in groups we play games to amuse ourselves, pass the time and even meet new people. Game designer Holly Gramazio invites you to turn your mind to play whether you're at work, on a train, in a museum, or even drunk. Each article is packed with ideas for games to play, wherever you are. Game designer Holly Gramazio (previously: on writing for Dicey Dungeons, Beekeeper's Guide to Game Design) has written a series of six articles for the Wellcome Collection on the history of games, and how to play in various situations: How to play on the District line between Stepney Green and Embankment How to play in a museum How to play with drunk people How to play with people who are better than you How to play in secret How not to play

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Looking for very accurate medical documentaries or films. Help me uncover the gems of medical lore, legend and depiction of the beginning, underpinning, conspiracy or legacy - wherever they may be.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Refinitiv deployed filter to block Reuters reports as Hong Kong protests raged. Under pressure from the Chinese government, the financial information provider that distributes Reuters news to investors has blocked over 200 stories on the mainland that could paint Beijing in a negative light. The censorship began earlier this year after Refinitiv feared its China operation would be suspended. Refinitiv and Thomson Reuters remain close: Reuters sells news to Eikon, and Thomson Reuters retains a 45% stake in Refinitiv. Refinitiv is by far Reuters' largest client, providing nearly half its revenue.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I was always working steady But I never called it art I got my shit together Meeting Christ and reading Marx It failed my little fire But it's bright the dying spark Go tell the young messiah What happens to the heart

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for some inspiration in the realm of personal finance. I used to love Mr Money Mustache, but at this point he obviously has more disposable income than I ever will for experimenting. Are there any good finance/budgeting blogs (or forums with case studies!) that you read?Bonus points for anything: - written by women - written by those with low earnings - written by those outside the US Hopefully your answers will inspire me for a new fiscally savvy decade!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I was looking for an RSS feed for Everlasting Blort but coming up empty - what tools do you use to discover/create a feed when it is not obvious or doesn't exist?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've been revisiting my early student love of horror and doing a bit of catch up in the genre. I've realised there are clear things I like and am looking for and I'm looking for some to download/rent before the holidays. (I know! But it's feeling like a horror marathon kind of Christmas here.)What I like: Supernatural, ghosts, occult mysteries decent acting and strong storytelling I don't mind violent or bloody, but the point should be more the spooky than the blood What I do not like: Random slashers (not a fan of Hush, for instance) purely psychological horror Films I have seen lately which scratched this itch: The Babadook, Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Conjuring

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Rosa Lyster uses a seemingly innocuous occurence with her mother on Facebook to reflect on the warping power of new media: "There is no sense to be made of it, no logic to be derived, no sophisticated or intelligent interpretation ... There's just something fundamentally unsound about it, something scary and weird and emblematic of these scary and weird times." The Year in 5.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
For Vanity Fair, "Sesame Street Characters Do Impressions of Each Other" (Previously they read movie quotes, Elmo described his day, and Big Bird took a lie detector test.) For The New Yorker, "Sesame Street Enters The New Yorker's Cartoon-Caption Contest"

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"That message — that you shouldn't dream a little, girls, that you got enough of your pie already — is not OK," she says. And she's done staying quiet about it. So, to little girls everywhere, "when people try to tell you to stay in your lane, don't listen," says Witherspoon, settling into a smile as she repeats herself: "Do not listen." Tired of dreadful scripts and degrading magazine spreads, the Oscar-winning actress, producer, entrepreneur and activist built an empire on her own taste and work ethic. Now she plots projects all over Hollywood and responds to critics of her paychecks: "Does it bother people when Kobe Bryant or LeBron James make their contract?"

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Should I be worried that this company is not legit?Last week, I took over the bookkeeping for a nonprofit and had trouble logging in with the passwords I was given. I called QuickBooks Support and they gave me a different phone number to call for QuickBooks Online Support. At that number, I received a recording that said I needed to terminate the call and log into my account online to access Help. I searched again for QuickBooks Online Support and came up with a number for a company called Internal Tax Service who provided tech support for all QuickBooks products. Over 2 nights and at least 2 hours I worked with a tech and was finally able to log in. Then he told me and showed me what looked like a split app/source file screen with "47 corrupt files." He said if it reached 50, all the company files would be lost. He offered a $499 one-time repair fee good for 30 days or $600 for 1 year of support. When I replied that it is a nonprofit organization and I didn't think they could afford that, he lowered the price to $299.99 one-time or $449.99 for 1 year. I explained that it would have to be a board decision. He asked if he could call back Friday; I said yes. The more I think about it and after I Googled the business name, I suspect it could be a scam. The phone numbers involved were: QuickBooks Support: 1-800-294-0640 QuickBooks Online Support: 1-800-446-8848 My call to Internal Tax Service: 1-844-294-0640 Call back from Internal Tax Service: 1-877-465-0280 Call back numbers provided by Internal Tax Service tech: 1-800-270-9908 / 1-877-846--8003 My OS: Windows 10 Home TL/DR: Does anyone know anything about a company called Internal Tax Service? If I thank them for their diagnostic help but tell them our nonprofit can't pay for a "corrupt files repair," or simply don't answer their calls, can they hack into my IP address and sabotage the QuickBooks Online account and/or my Wi-Fi network? I never gave them the password to my Wi-Fi but I gave them permission to access my PC through Team Viewer. I created a new QB password and set up a new email account while working with them remotely. Could they have viewed the passwords as I was typing even though they weren't visible to me? Should I be worried?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"Do you order different sizes of clothing online, knowing you can return the one that doesn't fit? Did you know the ones you return are sometimes sent straight to landfill?"

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm thinking about returning to local political activism after several years away. I want to be smarter about it than I was then, so I'd like to compile a not-too-long reading list for background on several key issues in urban development.I'm primarily looking for non-judgemental evidence-based books, articles or other documents that would inform discussion or argument about policy on the following topics: -- Real estate development as a business (What the world looks like to developers who are in it for the profits) -- Problems in creating good zoning code or other law to shape development in accordance with municipal objectives -- Gentrification, eviction and tenant displacement -- Affordable housing production -- Homelessness -- Public transportation -- Transit-oriented development -- Positive and negative effects of the tourism and hospitality sector for a city's residents and its economy I was involved in city politics previously for several years, first as a NIMBY, then as a convert to new urbanist and high-density urbanism thinking, so I don't need basic introductions or propaganda. I now feel the truth about urbanism is more complex than any of those positions alone and would like to become competent to reason with others about it. Again, materials of a more objective nature are mostly what I'm looking for, but reportage or narrative style writing that is truly excellent would interest me as well. Truly excellent podcasts, youtube shows or blogs on any of these topics would also be welcome.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for an android sleep app that would encourage me to go to bed and to wake-up at set times, preferably with some kind of virtual reward.I suffer from bedtime procrastination. I do not need sleep cycle tracking. I tried Sleep Town but it required me to keep my phone on the entire night and I always switch off my mobile before bed. Also, it was not very flexible in other ways and did not allow weekend settings. Ideally, the app should assume I've gone to bed if I press a button or if it tracks no phone activity after a certain time and wakes me up at the right time in the morning. Thanks in advance!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to recall a particular podcast episode that I heard lately but I don't recall which podcast it was or even much else about the episode, just that the speaker mentioned that she had a sister who had lead poisoning and had some cognitive and maturity issues as a result.I listen to a LOT of podcasts. At some point within the past 2 (?) months, I was listening to an episode where the speaker mentioned that her sister had lead poisoning, was an adult but still lived with parents, had some cognitive delays, and was immature. I don't believe that the sister with the lead poisoning was brought up again throughout the episode. I think that it was a storytelling podcast, but I've gone through the show notes for most of the ones that I subscribe to and I can't find any reference to this episode. Although I was listening to it lately, there's a chance that it was an old episode. Here is a list of the storytelling podcasts that I regularly listen to: Heavyweight Risk! The Moth the memory palace This American Life This is Actually Happening Although these aren't storytelling podcasts per se, here are some others that I've listened to lately: Invisibilia Casefile Radiolab Planet Money Hidden Brain Criminal Small Town Dicks The Perfect Scam You're Wrong About... Over My Dead Body (Joe Exotic series) Uncover (Sharmini series) Bad Batch Reply All Any help in finding this episode would be greatly appreciated.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Video games for the blind are perhaps a contradiction in terms, but this upcoming project hopes to improve the situation.

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