posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I need the projectiles to be heavy enough to be easily thrown 10 yards. I'm planning building broadcloth pouches, but I don't know what to fill them with. I need something cheap and heavy, but not rocks. Any ideas?This is for a show, the audience is throwing the projectiles. I don't want people to get hurt from ricochet. Also, no glitter. They have to weigh enough to pierce cheap paper from 10 yards away. I was thinking beads, but they might be too light. Running out of ideas. Help!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Sentenced in a Swedish court, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg gets extradited to Denmark to stand trial for another case of system intrusion. Mefi's Own, Jacob Applebaum has some choice words after his testimony in the Danish court. the Swedish security services conducted the initial technical forensics(pdf), focusing on whether or nor the Windows Firewall was present (as opposed to enabled), yet when the Danish Police conducted their own forensic analysis, they found over 500 trojans installed, a fact to which the presiding judge replied "I don't know about Trojans" aside from the Swedish security services inability to perform a trivial virus-scan & a post-swartholm-extradition financial aid from Sweden to Cambodia of $33 553 944 (2011 - $25 445 074). but there's also an observation of skewed data after the swedish trial. although Gottfrid, has gone on the record as to who did what and when on said lab-device, the Danish police has yet to investigate. The company Gottfrid stands accused of hacking also has an interesting background pertaining to a certain country's clandestine services. This trial has everything, even alleged coercion of witnesses! obligatory wikileaks link of documents relating to the alleged cambodian extradition corruption charge levelled by the defense.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I would really like to be paperless. As soon as I receive them, I'd like non-junk mail and documents to be digitized, then shredded.Currently, what I do is open the envelopes, decide how important the document inside is, then take pictures of the pages, then shred the documents. Later, I sort the photos into a specific album, then off-load them from my phone into iPhoto, then from there to a folder. This is onerous enough that I can't do it under pressure, and mail piles up on our coffee table. Other flaws: - No OCR, so these photos have to be searched visually instead of by typing in text. - I rarely get around to labeling them, making that search even harder. Things I'd like to avoid: - I used to have a Fujitsu ScanSnap, but it was really finicky and, eventually, the feeder broke. If the suggested approach involves scanning, I'd prefer it to be iPhone-based. - I don't want my documents locked up in some proprietary storage service, especially those that are subscription-based. I see some older AskMes, but I'd like to know what's working for MeFites right now.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
SIMILO. "2065. The entire planet is hit by the effects of climate change. One of the few places that remain habitable is Antarctica, where corporations have built private cities. Hebe and Ciro get back together again. She is looking for love. He is searching for his own identity." [NSFW, Via]

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
"This country, when it was ever known on the global stage under the union, was associated with tragedy, in terrible events like Lockerbie and Dunblane; it's now synonymous with real people power. Forget Bannockburn or the Scottish Enlightenment, the Scots have just reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy. This—one more—glorious failure might also, paradoxically, be their finest hour." Novelist Irvine Welsh on Scottish independence (SLGuardian) Previously: For fifteen hours, we hold sovereignty in our hands

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
"Okay, the old man in the tavern tells you, 'Many years ago the powerful sage known as Mefi's own Lore collected much wisdom about the sundry monsters of which the elders taught of us in the Monster Manual. Lore's annotations to the work came in the form of the comic series Speak With Monsters. They were once thought lost forever with the fall of Bad Gods and following the trail the mighty JHarris blazed previously four winters past will lead only to woe. But Lore has shared them again in the distant library of Google Plus for seekers after wisdom and gold.' He then falls over with a knife in his back. What do you do?" It is "The Incomplete Series" because while originally slated to run for 150 installments, it ended after roughly half that. For your easy reference: Carrion Crawler Blink Marmaduke Centaur Chimera Cockatrice Displacer Beast Doppleganger Djinni Efreeti Elemntal (Fire Elemental) Ettin Flightless Bird Leech, Giant Ghost Spider, Giant Spider Gnoll Dragon, Green Dragon (Draco Chlorinus Nauseous Respiratorus) Halfling Griffon Harpy Hell Hound Herd Animal Hobgoblin Ki-Rin Kobold Lamia Medusa Merman Mimic Ankheg Minotaur Mind Flayer Beholder Bulette Men, Berserker Dinosaur, Ceratosaurus Demogorgon Dryad Ear Seeker Ant, Giant Leprechaun Invisible Stalker Golem, Iron Manticore Rakshasa Peryton Umber Hulk Xorn Mummy Ogre Mage (Japanese Ogre) Orc Pixie Owlbear Pseudo-Dragon Quasit Roper Purple Worm Rot Grub Rust Monster Sahuagin Shambling Mound Skeleton Succubus Shrieker Troll Trapper Troglodyte Unicorn Vampire Will-O-(the)-Wisp

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
9 conversations from a pop-up photo studio in San Diego

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Do you use a casual drawing app or program that constrains your choices in a good way? Tell me about it.Two years of playing DrawSomething has rekindled some interest in artistic pursuits that I thought long-gone. I think part of the appeal is that unlike any other digital art program or app I've played with, DrawSomething gives me a very limited palette and set of tools to play with. I tend to overthink things even more when creating something than I do in everyday life, so I find this small menu of choices very freeing, in a way that really encourages goofing around creatively. But lately I've been wishing I had something similar I could just use for playing around on my Nexus 5 or iPad, no game required. I've tried Autodesk's SketchBookPro and there are just way, way too many options. Can you recommend something closer to what I'm looking for?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My mother is 90-years-old and lives alone. We worry when she doesn't pick up for the phone or we haven't heard from her for a couple of days. She is actively-opposed to any sort of regular check-ins by phone or e-mail to us, and she also does not want to use any type of monitoring service for the elderly (such as Lifeline) She does, however, use e-mail and her computer on a daily basis. Is there any software I can install that would send out e-mail alerts to us when she has (or hasn't) used her computer in x amount of hours? I would, of course, ask her permission to do this, and I am fairly sure she would be okay with it. (Don't ask me what exactly the difference is between this and Lifeline, I think it has to do with the stigma of aging that a service like Lifeline implies, something she is quite sensitive about.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I used to use Truecrypt to encrypt little enclosures so I wouldn't have to worry about my files so much when I, say, put them on a USB stick or backed them up to the cloud. There was a whole... thing with Truecrypt and now it's hard to say if I should use it anymore. Is there another program that's going to work well for this purpose?Some factors: -I am on Windows 8.1, but not Pro, so I don't have Bitlocker. I could upgrade but I'd rather not spend the money if possible. -I am not interested in encrypting whole drives, just little virtual drives I can keep my files in. -Ease of use is a bonus, I don't need maximum features. This is just to avoid identity thieves and script kiddies, not the NSA. Actually looking at the last one above, maybe I should just track down an old version of Truecrypt? Or is there something better now? I saw this question but it doesn't have much information on alternatives, have any developed?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
On Friday, 32 guards who were employees of the Florida Department of Corrections were fired; all were accused of being associated with the deaths of inmates at four state prisons. "The union representing the state's corrections officers, however, says Crews' firing of low-level staff is a diversion to turn attention away from the real culprits responsible for fostering the prison system's culture of brutality: the department's wardens, regional directors and top leadership." In June, the ACLU of Florida, Florida Justice Institute, Amnesty International, the Florida Council of Churches, and the Florida Conference of NAACP Branches wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the 2012 death of Darren Rainey, a mentally ill prisoner who was left unattended in a closet sized shower stall for two hours while "being blasted with scalding hot water with temperatures that were later measured as high as 180 degrees, Mr. Rainey was found dead – his skin separated from his body." "I can't take it no more, I'm sorry. I won't do it again,'' he screamed over and over, according to a grievance complaint from a fellow inmate. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article1964620.html#storylink=cp The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently looking at 82 prisoner deaths where inmates died of something other than a natural cause. 11 guards were fired and arrested last week for alleged brutality against prisoners. On August 20, Florida Depart of Corrections Secretary Mike crews "announced a series of system-wide reforms designed to improve transparency and provide better training in the handling of mentally ill inmates."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. Interview: The Melancholy Of Keita Takahashi: "After the press conference, one of GameCity's organizers drove Takahashi to the local art store where he filled his basket with crayons, stickers, pens, sheaths of paper and, of course, a coat hanger. Then they took a taxi to this room, and closed the door behind him. It's hard to shake the feeling its precisely this sort of largely directionless creativity, free from the constraints of financial targets, demographics and brand-building that has brought Takahashi to this unlikely nook on the other side of his world." Keita Takahashi at the GDC and a write-up of his lecture Essays How games like Katamari help us deal with consumerism and the wealth gap: "Set to a backdrop of bright Japanese pop, Katamari Damacy cheerfully depicts a kind of snowballing addiction to acquisition that literally uproots the earth itself." my, earth really is full of things: "there is a sobering loneliness to this game. in the game's climactic scene, the player is asked to create the earth's moon. to create a large enough sphere, the player has to roll up everything on the earth's surface - cities, continents, clouds. eventually the player assembles a ball which contains everything that comprises the human sphere. that ball, essentially the player (the 1 cm-tall prince that has been marked as the protagonist has disappeared long ago), has literally become the earth, and the vast and featureless ocean that stretches around it is the enormous empty cosmos which for its hugeness has contains far less of interest to the human being than the smallest things on the earth's surface." Chaos in the Cosmos: The Play of Contradictions in the Music of Katamari Damacy: "At first glance, Katamari Damacy (Namco, 2004) is a simple and cheery video game. Yet the game is full of thematic complexities and complications, which raise a number of ethical and aesthetic problems, including the relationships between childhood and terror, father and son, and digital and analog; furthermore, the complexities governing each of these pairs are cleverly underscored by the game's music." Notes On SuperFlat and Its Expression in Videogames and related PDF thesis Ota-Kings, Brat Princes and Copied Cousins: Katamari in Context: "Through a situated analysis of Katamari and its sequel We Love Katamari (Namco, 2005) I want to explore contemporary Japanese games design and its relationship to 'SuperFlat', the familiar '-ism' encapsulating the art and culture of the Tokyo Pop contemporary art movement. While the convergence of art and gaming at work in my case study transcends a certain hierarchy of cultural value, critical opposition to Takashi Murakami and his peers in the contemporary art community echoes the more widespread opposition to videogames as a new artistic medium." GAMER THEORY - Analog: On Katamari Damacy: "This is the reckless act of creation with which Katamari Damacy begins — the King's destruction of the mythic heaven of the old Gods, and the project of replacing it by commanding the transformation of a human, analog movement into an airless matrix of machine code. This is the new labor of Sisyphus." The Prince of Objects: Katamari and Ontology: "What's interesting is that [Level of Detail] normally applies to things that are far away from the player or from the camera. In the case of Katamari, LOD applies to a case where an object is no longer on a scale you care about anymore. What we're seeing here is a case of a Latourian black box appearing in a game. Yes, we can and do appreciate the individual elements of a park, but at some level we close that box and begin to refer to the park as an object in and of itself. What was inside the park no longer exists, and is subsumed by the "park" object." Box Art Review: "Imagine being a kid seeing this for the first time on the shelf. The metropolis in the distance looking miniscule next to a giant ball made up of a baseball stadium, an octopus, a ferris wheel, an airplane, and—my personal favorite—a blue whale, all heading toward those cows, so utterly (sorry) helpless. What the box art does is convey what so many self-serious videogames forget to: a true feeling of awe and possibility. When was the last time box art—not a demo walkthrough, not an alt-rock laden YouTube trailer, but the actual box art—got you hyped to play a game?" A Clump of Parody: "Even the art style of Katamarii is very reminiscent of the pop art of Takashi Murakami. Murakami, who was really frustrated with the art market in Japan, decided to create art in a way that was relevant to the pop culture of Japan. Anime and Manga have huge cult followings in Asia and in the West, although they are largely ignored by the art world because they are "low art." What Murakami did was blur the line between high art and low art. He makes art in the style of Manga and Anime, but crosses into the threshold of the high art world. " Metaphor: Katamari Damacy and Capitalism and Overconsumption: "Katamari Damacy, developed and published by Namco, is a sublime work of persuasion because it masquerades as a video game while sabotaging the mainstream; it is so effective that it's work as a metaphor goes undetected by the many who play it." Katamari Damacy as Artwork: "Cleaning the scene up by rolling the katamari over can be seen as an act of subvert to "the culture of consumption and even the value of other video games" (Sino). It is because most of the video games nowadays, as a culture interface, reflected the real world's favor of capitalism and/or consumerism. Classical examples are SimCity, Age of Empires, and their inspired variants, where player starts with a small plain area, develops into a large place that contains a large amount of artifacts. The "more to less" direction of Katamari Damacy is the opposite of the mainstream "less to more" progress. On the other hand, picking up objects by the katamari is also a metaphor of consuming the materials around us." Honorable Mention in Horror: Touch My Katamari Music Wikipedia: Music of the Katamari Damacy series A quick guide to the tracks of the first soundtrack Complete soundtracks: Katamari Damacy - We Love Katamari - Me and My Katamari (Disc 2) - Beautiful Katamari - Katamari Forever - Touch My Katamari English song lyrics The Katamari Fan Album, including remixes and instrumental tracks from the original game The recent rap remix project Katamari Da-Emcee on Soundcloud (previously) Ask MetaFilter: I want more music in Katamari Damacy's groove... Odds 'n' Ends TVTROPES All the whimsical item descriptions from the first game and a complete dialogue transcript The official Katamari webcomic, from Buttersafe creators Ray Castro and Alex Culang, will be available online through this October with a December print run; there's also a TVTropes page. An adorable Katamari wedding 2D Flash Katamari (previously), plus a Javascript code for playing the game with any website (previously; generally only works as a clickable bookmarklet, not pasted in the URL bar) Gameplay footage of the cancelled Katamari Online project The original Katamari Damacy gameplay patent Inspired-by ads: a playful ad from Travelers and a darker one from Doctors Without Borders

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed. Caruana started the tournament with a win, then another. Then another. And another. And another. At the halfway mark, when each player had faced all five of his opponents exactly once, Caruana was 5–0–0. To you and me, going unbeaten and undrawn in five straight tournament games sounds impressive. But to chess aficionados, Caruana's performance is nigh on miraculous.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Questions about legal proceedings for parenting time in an unusual 'divorce'.So, I have been co-parenting with a best (female) friend for the last ~4+ years. Two years ago, we added a (male) friend to our family as the parent of two new children, because she and I wanted to have more children. While originally we brought him on as a new co-parent, it morphed into a triad relationship. Just this week, they told me they wanted to leave me and be the two of them. This is an enormous shock and I'm trying to just focus on logistics to cope. In the 72 hours that I've known, I've made a new budget, picked out an apartment, made to-do lists, and started shifting through belongings to choose what to donate and what to later pack. I also saw a lawyer. (YANML!) This was just a consultation; no paperwork was signed. I told them I had done so, and they said it was "very aggressive"; 'ex-husband' said he was "shocked and appalled" that I would do that. Now, they have had lawyers for other child custody cases. I thought I should be as educated as them on the details so spoke to someone. But again, nothing has to go forward; I didn't actually hire her. Last night we had a visitation schedule discussion. I am taking my bio-child, they theirs, and the bio-child we share in common will have to switch homes. The agreement gives me less time than shared-bio-child than I would like, but it does solve lots of issues like childcare, his PT appointments, transportation, ect. Logically it makes perfect sense and the pockets of time I wouldn't see him is 2-3 hours just 2 days a week. He's only a year old so I'm sure the schedule will change as his needs change. That schedule also has room for me visiting them with bio-child twice a week, so that we have dinner together, the kids see each other, and I see them. While we have a day-to-day there is room for flexibility. With my friend and co-wife, I have basically no concern about that flexibility and fairness. I know that we'd feel completely comfortable coming over to each other homes, leaving kids with each other on a night out or if we're sick, having holidays together and even going on trips. We said so last night. I am 99% fine with her proposal, which is just to write this all down and have it notarized. With the ex-husband, I am not as sure. That also leaves out the question of child support. They think I would end up paying it, since shared-bio-child would be at their house more often than not. (I make more than her, less than him, and far less than them together.) I again would be fine with her and I not paying anything to each other and splitting special costs like trips to the zoo. I am not as sure about the ex-husband. I WANT to think that everything will be fine, but: *My default emotional state is to want to be nice above all, and sometimes I give or give up too much for fear of hurting their feelings. (I was very, very hurt by their reaction to my consultation.) *He can be very passive-aggressive and critical *Now I feel like I don't 'really' know him; I wouldn't think that he'd just spontaneously decide to leave me, but he has. *I don't want to be unfair to the bio-child, whether I owe them money for him or whether I'd get money and I'd put that into a savings account for him. Money for me is going to be much more tight since it is just me instead of two incomes as they have. Because of that, I am torn between hiring the lawyer and having it go to the system - as kindly as possible, and with that already-approved schedule (although the lawyer thought I could get a lot more time than that) - or just having visitation notarized and dropping everything else. My beginning reaction is to just trust them and not bother with the lawyer. But since my reaction was also to trust that they wanted to stay with me, and we were a family - at least a family that wouldn't just leave without trying to resolve things - then maybe that instinct isn't sure enough. I have a history of abuse. I don't want to give in as I always do if it's going to hurt me and my children. On the other hand, I don't want things to become confrontational. I know it would extremely upset them if I did hire a lawyer. I would appreciate your feedback ("lawyer or no lawyer"), and pros and cons I haven't thought of. If you have any associated advice about good logistical steps to take, or tips on dealing with the emotional fallout, or about how to be a great single parent, I would also really appreciate that.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Need tips on how a household of 20-somethings can eat decently on a very small budget. Two large guys who eat like large guys, one average-size girl. They are trying to lose weight and get healthier. Difficulty: she needs to avoid gluten and dairy, and limit carbs somewhat (so they can't do rice and beans every night.)They like fruits, veggies and salads but have trouble affording them. They get food stamps but not a ton and have a small amount of cash to spend. I don't live in the area, so I don't know where the cheap groceries are. Here are a list of stores they DON'T have nearby, so far as I can tell: No Aldi No Costco No Trader Joe's No ethnic markets (at least as far as Google will tell me) They DO have Super One, Cub Foods and Walmart. There's a Sam's Club 20 miles away. And maybe there are other cheap stores that Google is not showing me. So where should they shop, what should they buy, and what can they make with it?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need to provide some sales data but am unsure how to manipulate the data in a pivot table to get the specific details requested. I'm sure this is simple but my pivot table skills are, admittedly, terrible. Details inside.The ask: "Can you please run sales numbers for Vendor Z and showing the top 25% customers (in sales) of County A and top 25% of County B? Is there a way to include contact info in the report?" The sales report I can run allows me to select the invoice dates and selected vendor. The results will display customer type, customer, customer info, invoice date, SKU, qty sold, cost, extended cost, margin, and a bunch of other garbage irrelevant in this case. Regarding customer type: our company assigns each customer a type based on various factors. For this example let's say: Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 = customers living in County A; Type 4, Type 5, Type 6 = customers living in County B; and Type 7, Type 8, Type 9 = customers living in County C. The report will be giving me data on customer types I don't need which will have to be filtered out. So far, so good, this I can do. But - how do I determine/indicate the top 25%? Usually I am asked for Top 10 or Top 25 customers (this I do by displaying Sum of Extended Cost), not a percentage. Also, to include contact info, I will need to include data from several columns, i.e. Address 1, Address 2, City, State, Contact name, Phone, etc. and I can't fathom how to display all this without it looking like a hot mess. Again, I'm sure this is very basic stuff but I am an idiot when it comes to creating pivot tables other than the few I do regularly. If further clarification is needed I can provide - thanks in advance for any help!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My wife is overworked, underslept, and stressed, and I wanted to know if anybody had any advice that might be helpful. She has a job that requires long hours and causes her a lot of stress that she is committed to until the end of the school year. On top of that, she has a job for a few hours every weekend that she is committed to for a while as well. We also have a two year old daughter and we are climbing out of debt.I work full time but have a much less stressful job and rarely have to work long hours. (I make slightly more money from my job than she does from her jobs put together, so it's not like I'm not doing my share financially.) Our daughter is in daycare and I do much more of the parenting during the week. I get her up, give her breakfast, and bring her to daycare every weekday and also pick her up and give her dinner and do stuff with her and put her to bed several nights a week. There are usually 1-3 days per week my wife doesn't even see her. My wife gets pretty irritable when she's tired and stressed and since I pretty much only get to see her when she's tired and stressed (at least during the week) I pretty much only see her tired, stressed, and irritable. I find myself getting resentful and angry because I miss her during the day and then when she gets home and I expect some affection and connection, a lot of the time I just get basically ignored and snapped at. She is an emotional person and she has gotten somewhat better at reducing the number of times she snaps at me etc. but it still happens regularly and even when it doesn't, I can tell that she's annoyed and frustrated and just wants me to leave her alone. Sometimes she does want affection or to cuddle, but it often seems to be just when she needs some comforting. She does not seem to spend much time or energy trying to see how I'm doing or to try to do things to help our relationship or to help me. On top of all this, she does not take care of herself. She stays up late on facebook, she is obese and eats junk food instead of meals, she doesn't exercise, she keeps checking her work email and responding to her boss at all hours and on weekends, etc. She also has a pessimistic attitude and constantly seems to see the glass half empty. She complains about most of the people in her life. She doesn't use any relaxation techniques or even seem to be aware that it's possible or desirable to try to manage her moods with any tools at all. She is extremely defensive and does not take advice or suggestions well. To her credit, she does (obviously) work really hard in part to help us get out of debt and is a good mom when she is around. I have encouraged her to get therapy, and helped her find a therapist. She went twice and decided that it was just one more commitment and stressor in her life so she didn't want to go anymore. I already do a lot of the housework and childcare, so I'm not sure what else I can do to relieve her stress on my end. I try to gently suggest that she go to bed earlier and stop emailing at a certain time etc. but that does not have much effect. I encourage her to take some time for herself on weekends when possible, although I also want and take some time for myself to go to the gym etc. I think I model some things that would help a lot (I exercise, I have lost a ton of weight and kept it off, I keep a good work-life balance, I try to relax myself in stressful situations, I went to therapy for years) but I'm careful not to be pushy or self-righteous about it. I encourage her whenever she talks about going back to weight watchers or whatever, but I don't bring it up on my own. What else can I do to try to alleviate this situation? Either ways to help her destress (again, assuming she cannot leave either job for some months) or ways to help me be less resentful about her stress's effect on me and her lack of willingness or ability to help herself would be helpful.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have an amazing job which pays well. However, due to staffing problems I'm repeatedly being asked to drop everything and take one for the team, sometimes on very short notice, with not even an 'attaboy' to show for it so far. How do I push back against this professionally?My job involves working 4 or 5 12 hour shifts in a row, days and nights, to cover 24/7/365. I was thrown into this role with barely two weeks' training and a month's shadowing and haven't had any further training for a year after that, and there is 'no budget' for any on the horizon. Despite this I am, to put it frankly, acing the role, with my operations manager from the customer dropping very big hints that I should be thinking about moving up to a more senior position. To make up for the hours I get long weekends every weekend, and an unsociable hours increase to my salary. What I do not have is any expectation that I should be 'on call'. The team has barely enough people to allow us to take any holiday and it is not logistically possible for all of us to take all of our holidays in a year; and our contracts state that if we don't use it, we'll lose it. Combine one person taking holiday with another person being off sick, and what happens is that I get a call from my line manager (not the customer, my own company) after my last night shift that wakes me up, and tells me they need me to do another shift. So I did that, and my reward is that the guy who's sick "owes me a day". Then today I get the same call, with even less notice. This time if I'm going to do it, it involves cancelling a trip I've had planned. I also have a day in lieu which I'm never going to be able to take because we can't take all of our holidays anyway. So now to the actual question. Given that I have a pretty cushy deal (although I've most certainly proven I'm worth it), at what point do I tell my boss 'no'? What do I deserve to get in return for a 'yes'? What I've had so far barely qualifies as a 'thanks, buddy'. Also bear in mind that if we don't provide this 24/7 cover my company gets fined heavily. P.S. I am working in Europe; it's not going to be easy to fire me.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
So I've been using Oh Life to keep a journal for the last two years. The most useful feature is that it emails you a daily prompt, then stores your response online. You can also export all of your entries as a single document at any time. Sadly, the site is going away in October. Are there any other online journal apps that have similar email prompts, and aggregate your entries?I basically haven't written anything of length since 2005, when I defended my dissertation. With Oh Life I was able to write 65 pages in the last two years. :(

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've seen the term "precious" used to describe artists' style. I'm not sure what it means.I used to think precious meant a kind of inversion, of the sort some artists use where they imply the audience is morally flawed even though they're acting in an outrageous way. When I looked up the word in the dictionary, however, it seemed to be saying that it describes behaviour that is excessively refined and polite. So what does that have to do with artists' provocations? Please explain the meaning of the term "precious" in the context of artists' behaviour. Also, what does it have to do with inverted morality? Thanks for any info.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A lot of folks are familiar with the "trouble right here in River City" refrain of the song, but when you look at this double echo of cultural fretting — 50 years plus 50 years on — it serves as an impressive reminder that nothing, nothing, is new about the raising of alarms about the decline and fall of culture. Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
20 Fun Facts about Hex Grids!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Told my fiancee that she is emotionally manipulative when arguing. She is upset but I can't take it back because it's true. How do we proceed?My fiancee and I don't argue often, and when we do, it's over fairly soon and we resolve it together with a fair amount of compromise. Or at least it used to be like that. However, over the last few months I've realised that our arguments haven't always ended with a good compromise, as I tend to give in to what she wants. I began to rationalise this to myself by thinking that "a happy wife is a happy life", and that it keeps the peace. I don't like arguing, or upsetting her, and so far this had been a good strategy. But recently, it's felt like with every argument she has ended by acting like a spoilt teenager, getting in a bad mood, and ignoring me until I give in and take all the blame. (Usually, if I'm 100% at fault, I will apologise before it gets to the argument stage) So to today. Out food shopping, (where we usually follow a list, making sure we stick to a budget, and recently have been trying to cut down on snacks) she grabs more snacks than we had allocated for, and when I suggest that that might not be a good idea, she gets her own shopping basket, and goes around filling it with stuff not from the list but which she thinks we need (some of which, to be fair, we did actually need). When I then get frustrated, and say that we'll be going over budget, she leaves the basket on a food shelf and goes and sits in the car by herself. I pay for everything, including her basket, and we go home. All the while she ignores me, won't look at me, and gives one word answers to anything I say. Then came the argument, and we argue about what happened (she said that I'd humiliated her in public), and I'm all ready to apologise, until I decide to stand up for myself. I tell her, using "I feel" phrases, that she acts spoilt, and that she emotionally manipulates me into saying that I'm always the one to blame, and that she uses childish behaviours to get her own way. This was yesterday afternoon, and now she won't speak to me apart from by text, where she wrote "What you said was nasty, horrible and i didnt like it at all." I'm sorry she feels upset, because I don't like it when she's unhappy, but I felt like I needed to say it, and I think it's true. But if I stand by it she will resent me for it, and if I give it up, then yet again I'm enabling her behaviour. I love her dearly, and I'm looking forward to marrying her, and I wish I was a better communicator! I also accept that I make wrong judgements, so please let me know what I can do to rectify this situation. Tl;dr: Told my fiancee that she is emotionally manipulative when arguing. She is upset but I can't take it back because it's true.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The story of Dr Zhivago's publication is, like the novel itself, a cat's cradle, an eternal zigzag of plotlines, coincidences, inconsistencies and maddening disappearances. The book was always destined to become a 'succès de scandale', in Berlin's words, but the machinations and competing energies that went into seeing it into print, on the one hand, and trying to stop it going to print, on the other, make it the perfect synecdoche for that feint, counterfeint round of pugilism we call the Cold War. —The Writer and the Valet by Frances Stonor Saunders tells the story of Isaiah Berlin's part in publishing Boris Pasternak's novel Dr. Zhivago while Michael Scammell details the CIA's role.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to create a 3D model of a six-sided area of my garden. I know the lengths of each side. Is it possible to work out the exact angle of each corner? Here's a link to a rough picture - note that the labels are correct but the sides and angles aren't to scale.Going clockwise, the lengths are: A - 4.2 metres B - 4.3 metres C - 6.16 metres D - 1.1 metres E - 3.5 metres F - 4.6 metres I've tried to rough it out in Sketchup and with pieces of dried spaghetti cut to size but I can't be precise. Googling tells me that the sum of the internal angles is 720* in a hexagon, and further Googling reveals a number of triangle angle calculators, but nothing for a hexagon. (It's been a long, long time since I studied any math, so I hope I've got the terms right.)

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