posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"we designed a chatbot, a smart computer program that deployed an adaptable script. In the two days ahead of the election earlier this month, the chatbot struck up conversations with thousands of young people between 18 and 25 years old on Tinder. The chatbot talked about politics, with the aim of getting voters to help oust the Conservative government."

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The BBC reported today that a whipped cream canister exploded and killed a French woman. At my house we use a somewhat-similar device that makes water bubbly. Help me, seltzer engineers, to assess what we should do.The canister which killed the French woman looked like this. I read in a French consumer magazine that French whipped cream canisters have seriously injured people before because of defective plastic tops made from high-density polyethylene and the French consumer protection organization is recommending that if you aren't sure what your canister is made from, you should quit using whipped cream canisters with plastic tops. I got a bottle last month to make seltzer water and this is that model. It seems really sturdy, but it does have a plastic top. In the hopes that an archaic-soda engineer type haunts the hivemind, my questions are: --Is a soda siphon similarly dangerous to a whipped cream canister? They seem to have slightly different shapes and they use different gases (CO2 for the seltzer, nitrous for the cream) --Which part of the bottle flies off? I still don't understand that part. --Is there a soda siphon safer than the one we've got? (I was wondering about this one, which looks like its charger holder might be metal.) Yes, we could get a big fancy seltzer machine, or drink La Croix/tap water/etc but we would love to make the soda siphon work if we can.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"But what makes a Trump impersonation so fascinating is that Trump's surface, carefully crafted, is all we have of the man. A superficial rendition of his gestures is as faithful a portrayal as any. Conversely, the challenge of playing Trump is that Trump has always been impersonating Trump." [SLGuardianLongRead]

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
All Over the Map is a neat blog from the folks at National Geographic. Some recent interesting posts: Street mapping London How Boston increased its landmass The ships buried beneath San Francisco Making maps with gunpowder

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Guns and (Shea) Butter: An Oral History of 'Predator'

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've been submitting resumes via an online job search engine, with no responses. I live in an area with a lot of jobs; I have skills, so I'm at a loss. For reasons, I have no online presence. After poring over AskMe and Ask A Manager, I've been considering creating a LinkedIn profile, though I'd prefer not to. After searching my very unique name, I found, much to my surprise, three other people with the same name.One is an early to mid-twenties female with typical selfie style pics. There is nothing wrong with the photos, however they're not what I would have open to the public if I was job searching. Do I have to create a LinkedIn or FB profile to try and distinguish myself? If so, would it be detrimental to include only the most basic information? Is a profile photo compulsory? (Also: I am re-writing my resume and I'm aware that resumes get rejected by computers for various reasons. But I've never submitted this many resumes without a single response.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The principal of a high school in North Port, Florida, wanted to help his students be their best selves - so he experimented with bringing in hypnosis. It went well...and then it went horribly. [Warning: suicide]

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I like keeping score. I'm curious what it would take to do that professionally.I'm not a sportswriter, sabermetrician, etc. Am I automatically unqualified/uncompetitive? Can I start in Minor League Baseball? The Arizona Fall League? College leagues? Short of literally knocking on the press box door, are there non-obvious places to meet official scorers and get their advice?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm asking on behalf of a 22-year-old friend--my girlfriend's son. He's a full-time dishwasher, looking for a room in the $500/month range, within a 90 minute commute from downtown. What are some ways he can find a place? What are some things he can do to get more callbacks?Now the dude has been applying to places on Craigslist and Facebook every day for a month or so, and only gotten three replies back. One of the places he went to, the apartment manager just walked off without offering an application or explanation of how to continue. There's nothing wrong with my friend except maybe that he's young and low-income. He communicates well and is very polite, so I don't get it. I was in his same position in the 90's, and had no problems getting into some horrible smelly apartment. When you are young and broke, there should be crummy places to live that are good enough, you know? But maybe Seattle has changed so much, that they aren't there anymore. Any ideas?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a mostly and unexpectedly free day in Chicago tomorrow - what should I do with it? Staying downtown near State + Hubbard - was at the Art Institute today. I'm interested in hearing any and all suggestions, but am especially interested in those related to music (esp. garage / punk / noise / jazz / free improvisation / modern classical), visual arts (*very* broadly defined), regional history and culture, natural history, and high quality walking / bike tours.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
In the throes of trying to design my workplace's new website (ugh don't ask), I've found an almost perfect background. Problem is, it's by wix (first 5-6 google image results for "wix candy stripes") but we don't intend to use wix. Help!Ideally, the background wouldn't have that white spot in the corner. I've tried a google reverse image search and search terms that *in my mind* express what I want, like "spumoni colors" or "pastel stripes" or ""bright pastel stripes." I either get the original background, a picture of some ice cream, or some pretty horrendous stripey patterns. Does anyone have any idea where I could find a free to use background with these kinds of warm pink-green pastels? Search terms that are not terrible? Or, on the other hand: I have Gimp and some time, though little confidence. Could anyone give me any pointers on Gimp filters to get this nice fabric-y feel, free sources of stripes/patterns to work off of? Thank you as always.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am going to Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands and I want to have a phone in case of emergency. My normal cell phone doesn't offer any sort of international roaming and it is "locked" so I can't just swap SIM cards, so I think I probably need a cheap "burner" phone that works in Europe. What's my best option here?Do you think the Amsterdam airport will cell burner phones by any chance that work in all these countries? What about the Copenhagen airport? Or should I order one online and have it sent to my hotel in advance? I want something very cheap that I can use for three weeks in case of emergency -- just simple phone calls and text messages are all I need. I also want the least amount of hassle, and I want a phone that will work in all three countries. Thank you!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I plan on giving my two weeks' notice for an internship in a couple days. (There are a number of reasons for this -- stress, unsatisfying work, wanting to spend more time on personal work, wanting to spend more time with my partner before they leave the country, etc.) We're running hard against a number of deadlines, and when I leave I'm going to be putting even more work on my coworkers' shoulders. How do I leave without looking like a jerk?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a friend in Seattle who's a talented (though only lightly published, web stuff and a couple of journals) writer and I'm interested in hunting out any scholarships that might get her from there to here, but I'm not sure where to look.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
TLDR version: I'm a published author with a well-respected agent who has seriously let me down. But he's the only agent I've had, so maybe I'm being unrealistic and should just be patient. My contract doesn't say I *can't* look for new agents while he represents me, but I can't find a clear answer as to whether or not this is generally frowned-upon. Any other writers have thoughts on this?OK, here's the history. When I first signed on with my agent (we'll call him A), he was amazing. He really knocked it out of the park for me, and I got a very good deal in only a few months. Over the years, his agency has grown substantially, and he now employs other agents. I wrote my books, fulfilled my deal, and now I rarely hear from him. He's sitting on multiple manuscripts of mine, but he's been sitting on them for about two years. When I ask for updates, it takes him weeks to respond if he even responds at all. Whenever I start to think I'm being ghosted, however, he'll call me out of the blue and say all kinds of encouraging things about my work. He'll give me a list of action items and decisions to make, and it sounds like he's ready to hit the ground running. Then... nothing. For months. Every goddamn time. The few times this has NOT happened were cases where my work was optioned for other use, and then someone ELSE took over the bulk of the negotiating. Meanwhile, one of his senior agents (I'll call her B) has become a good personal friend of mine. She carries more of the agency's clients than my own agent does, but she pushes hard for every single one of them. She even promotes me, and she's not my agent. But because she's not my agent, she can't shop my work around. For all I know, my agent is actually doing something with my work, but I can't get any answers out of him. :/ I don't know what to do. I wish I could jump A's ship and get on board with B, but I'm sure that's highly inappropriate. All the articles I find about this sort of thing say "It's time to dump your agent!" but those same blogs are rife with bad info about publishing in general. If I do end this relationship, I worry I'll never get another one. It was rare luck that I got the one I have, and he's got the kind of name recognition where other authors at literary events are like "HOW did you get HIM?" Name recognition like that means zilch if they aren't working for you, but it still has me like "What if I don't know how lucky I am?" So, my general questions are - should I terminate my agreement and move on? Or should I put feelers out there before I terminate? Should I have a talk with A first, and how should I phrase my concerns if so? Anyone else been through this?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A new employee (~1.5-2 mo) at our company called out yesterday because of a "family emergency." At 11:30pm last night, she sent her boss an email saying she quit, effective immediately. This is a management-level employee in her 30s, who otherwise seems quite stable. She responded to some texts from her boss last night (asking about the email), but has not responded to any phone calls and has not even been responding to texts today. I am worried for her safety at this point. What is the appropriate response?I saw her just the day before last, near the end of the workday. She seemed a little tense, and she has generally been having a tough transition (because of the mess her predecessor left behind), so I thought she *might* be considering giving her notice. But we chatted normally for about 15 minutes, and nothing was so "off" that it even occurred to me that she would be gone literally a day later! Also, she has a house and boyfriend in a city about 2 hours away from here, and has been staying with her father during her workweek in order to commute in. That has been hard on her. She went down to her home city for a few days last week, and I wonder if something changed for her or in her life during that time. I don't know much about her personal life, except that there seems to be some kind of stress associated with her boyfriend. Nothing substantive: there are rumors that she's under personal stress, she wears a ring that she calls his "I'm sorry ring," her boss thinks he told her that he would not be moving up here to join her -- stuff like that. I believe he lives in her home city, in her house there. When I heard today that her boss hadn't received her notice literally from her own lips or in person, it twigged me. The combination of her having possible boyfriend issues, quitting so suddenly, quitting over email at a weird time (pretty late at night), and nobody being able to get in touch with her, let alone actually see her face or hear her voice to know she's OK -- that all just sounds very eerie and sets off alarm bells for me. I'm very worried about her. But I also don't know what it's my place to do. I texted her this afternoon, saying (in addition to how sorry I was to hear that she's not working with us anymore!) that I know that it sounds paranoid, but I'm worried by the circumstances of her departure and I would really appreciate it if she could call me just to tell me in her own voice that she's OK. She has not responded. We weren't friends per se, but we were friendly -- we've gone out together outside of work, talked a fair amount at work, etc -- and it seems unlike her to give such a cold shoulder. What should my next moves be? Should I just drop it? Try calling her? I am considering checking at work tomorrow to see if anyone has her address in her home city, and calling the cops to do a wellness check. But even that might be intrusive and overkill? On the one hand, I don't want to be intrusive. But on the other hand, what if she's *not* OK? What is the appropriate response here?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A question posed to the married men of Reddit: what moment with your future wife made you think "Yup, I'm asking this girl to marry me."? (SLReddit) Although the one-sidedness of the question is not ideal (how about "married women, when did you know you wanted to marry your husband"), there are some great stories in here, from the touching to the silly. (The thread prompted me to ask my husband when he knew he wanted to marry me, and he cited a time I unceremoniously told someone off on social media). I highly recommend asking your partners when they knew!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I saw a YouTube video of one of those dancing windsock car sales mascots set to Cream's "I'm so glad" once. I lost the link. Do you know where I can find this video?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
One of my go-to websites for Japanese Recipes, Washoku Guide suddenly announced that they're closing up shop next week. That's not enough time to go through and copy all my favorites! Is there any way to copy/archive the whole thing myself?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've started seeing these round "M" bumper stickers around my part of town a lot, usually black, but today's was blue. I haven't been able to get close enough to read the url, and Google image search hasn't helped, unless people are super-into advertising the Paris Metro. I realize it could be anything, and could be regional, but does anyone know what they represent?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've been in my role as Policy Officer in a Government department for several years now but I feel like I'm no good at it. I do my best but there is nothing I seem to be good at or improving on very much. My work gets changed a lot but I can't see any logic behind the changes to learn from. Others seem to get promoted and progress a lot more easily than me. I've had other roles within the same organisation with mostly the same problem. I'm hunting for a better fit but I'm not sure what else would suit me. I was considered able at school and at university so this struggle is new for me. My performance reviews are always average - not terrible but not great either. What should I do? How can I cope with always feeling like the dull kid?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm working on creating good daily habits, and I'd like to incorporate some programming/CS/software dev exercises while I'm between school and work.I'm a recently graduated CS student (new to industry). As a young student I was the nocturnal kind of programmer, staying up until 5 or 6am to get in the zone. Now that I am old and have a job I'm adjusting to normal daylight hours and forming healthy habits. So I sometimes lack a little energy and focus during the day. My natural state is a bit like inertia. For other habits (i.e. running, or eating better, or sleep hygiene) I've been using a habit tracker like Streaks to break through the daylight-induced haze. I have about two months before starting a new job. It occurred to me recently that I'd like to use this daily habit building to give myself some daily math and CS related tasks so my brain doesn't turn to sludge before I start working again. I wrote out the habit as "doing one coding exercise or programming-related reading per day." I could use some suggestions on where to find good (truly engaging and educational, I don't mind going deep) readings, whether that's a blog, a great book, whatever. (I thought about picking through TAOCP... ) For coding exercises-- same. Competitive programming, or good walkthroughs, or whatever. Things that would conceivably be possible within chunks of a couple hours a day. (One thing I did last summer was to get better with vim and write command line utilities in my current language of choice, that was pretty good for keeping me going when I felt a bit depressed about my programming progress.) Much as with my podcast habit, I am best about this kind of thing when it's sort of effortless to find the next "thing," whether that's because there is a blog with archives I can crawl through or a project with many pieces or even a list I keep for myself. That's what I'm kind of looking for here-- particularly rich sources that are either one-timers I can add to a list, or long and have lots of chapters or pieces to work through to learn about something more deeply.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I want to upgrade my skills so I can make more money. I signed up for Lynda.com, and now I don't really know where to start. What are some in-demand skills I can learn there?I currently work as a CRM administrator, but I don't love it. I'd like to move into a different position in my company, or possibly a different company. No real idea what I would like to do, but I would like more money to do it. Pertinent facts: I currently work in the marketing department. I'm open to staying in marketing (I love my team even though I kind of hate what I currently do) but I'm also open to doing something else. I have an associate degree in nothing (general studies) I'm not looking to get into programming or that sort of thing I have decent basic skills in Word and Excel. I can muddle through Powerpoint and I took an Access class once but don't remember much. So what skills do you think would get me the most traction as far as moving up the ladder in an office setting? What is hot right now that isn't limited to those with a bachelor degree?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
How can I watch "The Godfather Saga," or "The Godfather Epic," or any of the like "Godfather Part I"-"Godfather Part II" megacuts? HBO had the "Epic" version on its streaming platforms a while back but pulled it. Is there any other streaming platform with it I'm not seeing? I don't see it on DVD or Blu-Ray either? (To be clear, this is the seven hour chronological cut of the first two "Godfather" movies, not the individual movies themselves.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Hi All. I have finally joined a small non-profit board of directors organization. I am trying to seek some advice, tips, glossary tips, legal advice, project management, and career advice as a board of director.I'm quite new to the whole board of director position and I'm just learning the ropes day-by-day. I am wondering if there is any important information, advice, tips, characteristics, career advice, and leadership advice for new board member like myself? I'm the youngest board member they've ever had, and a lot of the boards have years and years of experience and I'm just starting my masters next year hopefully, no career. I'm thankful for being asked to join the board. Yet, I want to make sure I do well, especially since this counts as work experience and it looks good on the resume with a reference. Please share any important golden nuggets of information. Thank-you!

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