posted 3 days ago on metafilter
On the trail of Britain's wild big cats [The Guardian] "Hundreds of big cat sightings have been reported in Britain in the last three years. But is it pumas and panthers running wild – or our imagination?"

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Can someone please explain (in very simple, pared down language) the difference between "technologies of display" and "practices of display" with respect to art history? Any information I can find online just confuses me further.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've got some flexibility in planning my travels, and my work commitments are usually at night, so daytimes are for museums and modern art's my big priority. Tell me your favorites that aren't on this list of ones I'm grateful to know already (ordered roughly by how much I love them): Tate Modern, SFMOMA, Pompidou, Kiasma, MoMA and PS1, Stedelijk, YBCA, Moderna Museet, Whitney, de Young, Hirshhorn. Don't need to be 'major' but I want to hear places you think are extraordinary.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am a professional illustrator and, recently, my career has been horribly slow. I am worried about the quality of my work and would really like the unbiased opinion of an industry professional. Though I am not sure how to achieve that. Is there any site out there that facilitates something like this?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Tell me about using commercial restaurant prep tables, (and prep-tables-with-sinks) in lieu of traditional, built-in kitchen cabinets and countertops. Is this a Thing? Are there any Things I should watch out for if I decide to make it my Thing?For reasons both practical and aesthetic, I'd like to replace my '90s-style galley kitchen with a combination of stainless-steel restaurant work tables and enough cabinets and drawers to meet my minimal need for cabinets and drawers. I can easily find used tables in my area, but I'm wondering if there's anything I should watch out for when buying them for home use, (I mean, they should be food-grade stainless steel if they came from a restaurant kitchen, but is there any way to verify that? Like, are there usually labels somewhere?) "But, Flipping!" you may be saying, "You can have someone make stainless-steel countertops for you, and put them on a set of really sweet cabinets that will store the things and look really pretty! Think of the resale value! AND HAVE YOU CONSIDERED ENGINEERED QUARTZ?" Yep! But those high-end styles aren't my jam, and they're not in my budget anyway. Your dream kitchen may not be my dream kitchen, (but your dream kitchen is okay :) )

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
After reading yet another "one quarter portion" joke today, a question occurred to me: are TV and movie scriptwriters and producers intentionally trying to create meme-able lines nowadays?Specifically, I'm curious whether there is a conscious, systematic effort to write things that are likely to become internet memes (and if so, if there's any documentation of the practice) as opposed to simply trying to include some memorable lines in a script.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Scientists revive pig brains somewhat in the lab. "a surprising amount of cellular function was either preserved or restored." (Caution: does involve some discussion of animal slaughter, not gratuitous)

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am marrying my beloved. I have chosen not to invite my family as they are against my same-sex marriage.When I came out as trans some four years ago, the shunning wasn't immediate, but it did happen. We were a close family before I came out, and I miss the relationship. It's hurt me a great deal to lose them. I'd like to somehow "remember" or memorialize them, much the same way we'd memorialize my mom who passed away almost ten years ago. They aren't dead, but they are sorta dead to me. Is it too attention-whoring to remember them along with my dead mom? Advice on how / what to do would be appreciated, if you have that advice...

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Last year I got my sister a bath tray for relaxing in the bath with a wine glass, book, etc. I then discovered that her bath is built right against the wall with no inner lip, so she can't use it. Is there a similar, clever product for a bath without an inner lip? The tray I originally bought was this one. (Don't as me why they're eating almonds out of an egg cup...)Like it says above the cut. Help me make up for my birthday fail!!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A friend will be performing a 90-minute set of blues music at an upcoming street festival, and she's looking for songs the crowd can sing along with as she plays guitar. ("Do 'Come On in My Kitchen!' I said, and was reminded that there will be lots of kids present, so.) She's aware of the Blues chapter of "Rise Again." What else do you have for her?Feel free to interpret blues loosely--she's looking for blues-y songs folks might know from movies and TV, or remember from their childhoods. Her son plays a little fiddle, so suggestions incorporating his skills are especially welcome, though not required. Crowd is not going to be particularly picky about defining blues music, as long as they can sing along. Thanks, all!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Lucy Lang, former Manhattan prosecutor, reviews 30 courtroom scenes from TV and movies Alex Honnold, only person to free solo El Capitan, Breaks Down Iconic Rock Climbing Scenes Dr. Ali Mattu, clinical psychologist, Reviews Mental Illness In Movies Bear Grylls Reviews Survival Movies

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have been tasked with creating an online course of some magnitude, complete with a final exam, to be sold/administered by my employer. This is not my field of expertise, other than that I am generally computer savvy. What should I be looking for, what kind of learning curve should I expect, and is any of it free?We currently have our course as 250-odd animated slides in PowerPoint, broken up into six "modules." After paying someone who didn't know how to use PowerPoint to build this in PowerPoint, the Director has decided that it is too amateurish, and wants a much more professional and interactive interface, where the student is not just passively reading and reading and reading and then taking a final exam. The goal is to have students buy the course online (that part is already working. It's set up on our regular website), and then have access to each of six modules in order, with quizzes interspersed through each module, and a long, all-encompassing test at the end. To no one's great surprise, PowerPoint is the wrong program to use for this. We have all the copy we need, and we have all of the images that we need, but I don't know where to start when it comes to building this thing. Any and all help is appreciated.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Since the first mommy blogs of the early aughts (SL TheCut), online motherhood has come a long way. If you were to take a paleontological approach and classify online motherhood into ages, you might break it down like this: the Confessional Age (2001–2009ish), the Early Sponcon Age (2009–2015ish), the Influencer Age (2015–2018), and now, the Perfectly Imperfect Age...."Perfectly imperfect" claims to reject the trap of perfectionism, and often appears alongside stories about a "journey" to self-acceptance, or a triumph over adversity. It's often used to describe an overall approach to life: Forget the happy homemaker routine and embrace the chaos and love of your family life as it already is. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here — she's still a mom. In fact, she's mom as fuck. Her maternal instincts are so honed, so visceral, she's borderline terrifying. But also beautiful. On the inside AND on the outside. She's caffeinated, motivated, hyperorganized, yet also soulful and vulnerable. She is all of these things and then some. Sometimes it's hard to keep it all straight. The kids aren't always smiling in the photos — we all know how hard it is to get them to pose. The perfectly imperfect mom loves her kids' grimaces, and you can tell because she never fails to smile at them. The #perfectlyimperfect mom may not be perfect, but she has tried very, very hard to be — and is making peace with her "limitations." These limitations define a new set of boundaries about what is and isn't admissible within the definition of "good motherhood." The birthday cake you lovingly made for your son that came out adorably lopsided? Perfectly imperfect. Your soft post-baby body, encased in brand-new Lycra, on its merry way to the gym? Perfectly imperfect! Showing up late to pick your kids up from school because your boss kept you late at work? Hmm. Maybe keep that one to yourself. Burning dinner and serving it to an unhappy family after you lash out from your own self-loathing? That's more of a private moment, no? #Perfectlyimperfect's internal contradiction is meant to be a clever joke, but like so much of online motherhood, it has political implications. Most images that are tagged with #perfectlyimperfect or #motherhoodunplugged represent conventionally "perfect" women — attractive, carefully groomed, usually white, posing for selfies that reinforce many of the same old beauty and femininity norms that have dogged women since the dawn of time. Online motherhood has always contained its share of disingenuousness disguised as relatability, and this is the latest version.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Taiwan's White Terror (Wikipedia) was a period of martial law lasted for 38 years and 57 days from 19 May 1949 to 15 July 1987, following the February 28 Incident (Wikipedia), also known as the 228 Incident. Fear of discussing the White Terror and the February 28 Incident gradually decreased with the lifting of martial law in 1987, and Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness (Harvard Chinese Film and Culture course handout; trailer and full film on YouTube) was the first movie dealing with the events, released in 1989. Still, this period of Taiwan's history is not broadly discussed. More recently, a mobile game is reopening a closed chapter in Taiwan's history (Ars Technica, with a broader summary of the White Terror period). The game in question is the augmented-reality game Unforgivable: Eliza, which focuses on the legacy of the martial law period in Taiwan and whose story was written by award-winning Taiwanese-American author Ed Lin (personal website; Wikipedia). Toii Inc's Allen Yu was interviewed about the project by Brian Hioe for New Bloom Magazine. You can see the trailer and about an hour and a half of gameplay and commentary on YouTube. Unforgivable was inspired by Red Candle Games' Detention (Polygon review), a psychological horror game that revisits 1960s Taiwan [trailer; gameplay walkthrough without commentary]. Red Candle also produced a similar horror game called Devotion, which was pulled from Steam after a gamer found a poster that mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping (The Verge) [trailer; 2 and a half hour gameplay walkthrough without commentary]. Bonus materials/ context on the White Terror and the 228 Incident: in 2015, two whimsical animations provided a recent summary of the 228 Incident and what happened elsewhere after 2/28.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Heaven's Vault review: an archaeology video game actually about archaeology [Polygon] "Diving into a game is akin to learning a new language. In each game, we first learn the basics: how to navigate the map, to attack enemies, to uncover new details in this world. With languages, we start with vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. In both, we slowly master individual components, entwining them to convey complex ideas. Heaven's Vault, the latest game from Inkle, challenges its players to master a game and a language at the same time. [...] The adventure is meticulous and thoughtful, standing in stark contrast with most games that have put me in an archaeologist's boots. In Heaven's Vault, I'm not slaughtering hordes of enemies with a bloody pickax, or sniping at sentries with a makeshift bow. I'm performing the actual job." [YouTube][Game Trailer] • Heaven's Vault, an archaeology-based narrative adventure [Kotaku] ""Stories don't have tidy beginnings," says the main character of Heaven's Vault, outer space archaeologist Aliya Elasra, at the beginning of the game. "The past is always present." I was immediately enthralled. I often see people hyper-simplifying history in bad faith and weaponizing it as propaganda, so I was excited to play a game that would expose history's untidiness and get down in the muck with the ways people uncover, interpret, and rewrite history. [...] The world of Heaven's Vault is as intricate as any of those old Grecian urns that all the kids have been known to write odes to. It's a ramshackle society reliant on ancient technology that has been stacked on top of a ruin stacked on top of countless older ruins stacked on top of a wellspring of intrigue." • Heaven's Vault Is a Refreshingly Cerebral Take on Navigating History [Slant Magazine] "Archaeology in video games is descended almost exclusively from the Indiana Jones School of Marauding, where puzzles help players raid tombs or pilfer uncharted temples in competition with gun-toting rivals. Heaven's Vault, however, has no such trappings of the violent colonialist adventure. Your primary engagement with the game is through language, as you must decipher the hieroglyphs of a fallen ancestral empire, making for a refreshingly cerebral take on navigating the remnants of history." • How Inkle developed its own ancient language for Heaven's Vault [Gamasutra] ""We start from a process of wanting the player to feel like they're translating something rather than wanting to create a language with all of its subtleties and complexities and richnesses," Ingold explains. Ancient is, instead, what Joseph Humfrey, inkle's art and code director, dubs the "Guitar Hero of linguistics". Much like Guitar Hero is more of an analogue to becoming a guitar prodigy, Heaven's Vault mimics the process of learning a language, presenting players with easy to parse chunks of symbols and providing words in English that could serve as potential translations. Taking another page from Guitar Hero's design ,the team opted to err on the side of simplicity when it came to adding a linguistic layer to Heaven's Vault's puzzles." • Heaven's Vault is a game about translating an ancient alien language [The Verge] "The language itself has around 1,000 words, and the team describes it as being "logically constructed." The idea is that the symbols aren't random; each has a meaning, and that meaning is always the same. The language is inspired in part by other image-heavy languages like Cantonese and German, where many smaller words are often combined to create a larger concept. "As you find different words that use the same glyphs, you might get the idea of related concepts," Inkle's other co-founder, Joseph Humfrey, explains. "But we don't ever tell you exactly what the glyphs mean. Sometimes you'll come across an inscription that is literally impossible for you to solve." [...] While the language itself is real, the team admits that, in order to make it work for the purposes of the game, it's not exactly the most functional language. "It's complete in the sense that it's fully logical, but it's also not a super useful language," Humfrey explains." • Heaven's Vault - Come Sail Away [Gamespot] "Across the game's somewhat excessive running time, I lost track of what the actual advantage of all this translation was to my progression, as correct translations tend to prompt conversation options rather than key clues for where to go next. But it's still an interesting and exciting mechanic, as so much of the pleasure of Heaven's Vault is about uncovering the lore of the world you're in and the characters who occupy it. You're dropped in largely unaware, and while the game builds an exhaustive timeline of events, stretching right back to ancient times, it's mostly on you to figure out the nuances of the occasionally abstract game world. Heaven's Vault opens near its own ending--the very first scene tells you where your adventure will end, which is a curious structural choice for a game that is so contingent on player choice. It's meant to indicate, perhaps, that your story is always going to end up the same way, although how you reach that ending will differ dramatically between players."

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"As prison abolition moves from margin to center, it's important to spotlight those who have theorized and practiced it, like Ruth Wilson Gilmore, so we don't, to paraphrase Beth Richie "win the mainstream and lose the movement." Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind (NYT magazine) "Prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba wants us to explore some truly radical notions that force us to inspect those instincts towards punishment. Hear her dismantle what she calls the current "criminal punishment system" and instead employ the ideology of restorative justice." (Chris Hayes' Why Is This Happening?) "Outspoken opponents of abolishing the prison industrial complex typically portray abolitionists as politically inactive academics who spout impossible ideas. None of this could be further from the truth. " Jailbreak Of The Imagination (Truth Out) Prisons and Class Warfare: An Interview with Ruth Wilson Gilmore (Verso) "They Are Trying To Kill Us In Here. (The Appeal) "Abolition is both a practical organizing tool and a long-term goal." (Transform Harm)

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for songs that genuinely do not have choruses. It can be any genre, my fave is indie rock, folk, neo-folk but anything will do. What are your favorite songs without choruses? Thanks!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
In Bon Appetit, Priya Krishna tells the story of the rise and near-fall of Buca di Beppo, discussing how a Midwesterner with no connection to Italian culture built a restaurant empire based on red sauce served under decor out of the wildest Italian-American sterotypes.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My book reviews have turned into essays. Where could I publish them?I review books on Goodreads, but lately some of my "reviews" are really 600+ word essays. They read like literary criticism, using books as a jumping-off point to talk about storytelling, social issues, and philosophy. I mostly write about older genre titles (recent examples include The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Prisoner of Zenda), but sometimes I have something to say about a new release (an impassioned analysis of C.S. Pacat's The Captive Prince). Where could I pitch these essays? Again, I'm not interested in writing traditional reviews of new releases. I know about Tor, io9, and Locus but I'm not sure if any of them are the right venue for close reads of speculative literature. The criticism section of Lithub is closer to what I write. Getting compensated would be cool but isn't my goal. I'm not very active on social media, so I don't have an obvious audience for a blog or Medium.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I don't know where I heard/read this, but it may have been on MetaFilter. I'm trying to find a recent (< 2 years old) news piece about a new invention, company or discovery, where there was a woman central to that invention but excluded from the narrative about it. There was a separate, meta, essay/investigation piece about why. Trying to Google to no avail.This is what I remember: * the company/discovery was scientific and/or technical in nature * the woman had been one of the early founders but then got pushed out of the company * the initial narrative (maybe NYT?) completely excluded her and did not name her * the follow-up piece asked various people why she was excluded, some said it was because she "wasn't really important", others said "sexism" * the follow-up piece illustrated how even when women are involved, they can be excluded from narrative

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook. Here's how that turned out. WIRED delves into Facebook's last (and difficult) fifteen months, since Zuckerberg publicly vowed to fix the social media giant. A fascinating read for Facebook users, ex-Facebook users, or anyone who would like a glimpse at what it would be like to be at Facebook in these uncertain times.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a Windows laptop and an iphone 5c. What free app(s) will give me a streamlined way to send a link or a relatively short piece of text between PC and iphone and vice versa? I want something that's less fiddly than emailing myself & not limited to sharing links.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Looking for funny songs about American history in the vein of Ben Franklin (Decemberists/Lin Manuel Miranda), Heroes by Jill Sobule, and F Delano by Kishi Bashi, which is a lot darker. Feel free to include songs about notable writers/events/crimes as well as politics, but keep them funny.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
For the last two years, I've been seeing a therapist from the Gestalt school, now I feel I need something more.I've been seeing a therapist for the last two years, he helped me immensely during a lot of major life changes over a short period of time (becoming a dad, multiple moves, parents going bankrupt, buying and selling properties, etc). Most of my issues come from growing up in a household where violence was tolerated and lacking in stability, followed by teenage years that were laced with trauma. As a result, I am emotionally unavailable, prone to depression, anxiety and outbursts of anger. A real treat. As much as I like my therapy, I don't think we're making the progress I'd like. I'm getting more and more frustrated over not being able to take joy from my accomplishments. Over the past two weeks I spent 5 days integrating my daughter into preschool, had an interview published, and paid off a large debt. I feel like I should be proud of myself, I've accomplished so much.. but there's nothing, just a hole. Am I demanding too much, or should I look at other therapeutic routes? What's out there?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Typically, what would this 15-inch carbon-steel knife be used for?

Read More...