posted 2 days ago on metafilter
This is one of the strangest stories I've seen in some time. I have some idea how these people got their cat wedged into the scanner, but not why.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
While the ancient city of Herculaneum is experiencing something of a archaeological renaissance, the nearby site of ancient city of Pompeii is falling apart due to a cocktail of mismanagement, corruption, weather, neglect, and the decisions of the past. The Smithsonian provides an overview. While Pompeii has been in the news for landslides and structural collapses (and medical analyses of paintings of men's gentalia), Herculaneum's unique collection of antique scrolls made news this winter. In January, it was revealed that 3D Xrays could differentiate letters deep inside a coiled scroll found at Herculaneum. (Original article at Nature) Bonus links: A nice set of virtual tours of Herculaneum | You can see the ancient city of Pompeii via Google Street View

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? Wenger hints that in an information economy, wealth is knowledge, but in a recent book Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order from Atoms to Economies, Cesar Hidalgo makes the connection explicit: Information, when understood in its broad meaning as physical order, is what our economy produces. It is the only thing we produce, whether we are biological cells or manufacturing plants... So it is the accumulation of information and of our ability to process information that defines the arrow of growth encompassing the physical, the biological, the social, and the economic, and which extends from the origin of the universe to our modern economy. It is the growth of information that unifies the emergence of life with the growth of economies, and the emergence of complexity with the origins of wealth. Yet the growth of information is uneven, not just in the universe but on our planet. It takes place in pockets with the capacity to beget and store information. Cities, firms, and teams are the embodiment of the pockets where our species accumulates the capacity to produce information. Of course, the capacity of these cities, firms, and teams to beget information is highly uneven. Some are able to produce packets of information that embody concepts begotten by science fiction. Others are not quite there. So by asking what information is and why it grows, we will be exploring not only the evolution of physical order but that of economic order as well. We will be connecting basic physical principles with information theory, and also with theories of social capital, economic sociology, theories of knowledge, and the empirics of industrial diversification and economic development. By asking why information grows, we will be asking about the evolution of prosperity, about rich and poor nations, about productive and unproductive teams, about the role of institutions in our capacity to to accumulate knowledge, and about the mechanisms that limit people's capacity to produce packets of physically embodied information. Or as Ramez Naam puts it in The Infinite Resource: "Wealth is pulling away from physical constraints. More and more, we're getting richer not by using more resources, but by using resources more intelligently." While that could be distilled into a trite 'work smarter, not harder' statement, it can also be expanded into the concept of a 'personbyte' as Hidalgo does: "the amount of knowledge that one person can reasonably know." Which gets to the idea of 'human capital' and its development. If seen as a resource to be exploited, this would obviously be dehumanizing, but what if labor was reclassified as an asset on the balance sheet rather than a liability? If value flows from people, then as a society -- both public and private -- we'd want to do everything we can to invest in our citizens for the nation to reach its full potential. So tying it all together, a Georgist interpretation of 'natural resources' that is expanded to include human knowledge (incl. public memory) should net one a citizen's dividend from a share of national equity as a particular form of basic income.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
So there's this guy I met at a mutual group hobby we've been going to which has been very enjoyable, but also awkward at the same time.We seem to have a really strong connection, and we've both expressed it to each other, pretty heartfelt. He's come off the bat and said it to me without provoking, and I to him. He's really sensitive and empathetic and I really like that. I think I have feelings for him, he's extremely, extremely, good looking (really specifically to me in my opinion and type, and we have a lot of similarities and common interests). I really enjoy him as a friend as well. He's genuinely a really good human being, and people routinely come up to him and are drawn to him because you can really feel that vibe coming off of him very strongly. I've really never met anyone like that, ever. Even though we have a strong connection and both have said it feels like we've known each other for decades and decades (though we only met a few months ago), I don't think he feels romantic feelings towards me. This is because he mentions other girls that walk by that he thinks are pretty and gives very lengthy stares to occasionally. The problem is that when we've recently spent one on one time just the two of us just hanging out, I've gotten really anxious around him. I know he picked up on it because he mentioned a handful of times that it seemed like I felt uncomfortable, and he would ask if I was having a good time to which I responded I was (even though I was feeling nervous). He put his head on my shoulder really sweetly, and it felt very calming and extremely soothing. We do talk about deep issues a lot and both have trouble with anxiety and depression, to which he said he's struggled with most only of his adult life. As have I, but more lifelong issue for me. It's feels unbelievable to finally meet someone in person who admits to having those same struggles, though he doesn't seem to show them at all or have trouble with them, outwardly. I, on the other hand, haven't been able to keep it under wraps quite as well at all. We do stare into each other's eyes quite intently while talking quite a bit, which makes it hard for me because I really feel such love for him, even just in a general human sense. I feel like I'm going to melt sometimes when I'm around him because he's such a kindhearted person, and I really value that, extremely. I find myself really wanting to kiss him. We've both said we don't make deep connections with people very easily and feel one with each other, but people seem to really be drawn to him in general (which if you met him you would totally understand, it's pretty undeniable). Me, not so much, but that's just been the way things have gone. Not a lot of drawing in of people going on for me as a whole in life, though I would really love that. I really admire that in him, and think it's so sweet. I've also really had a rough time in life as of late, and it's been with issues he hasn't gone through yet as he's 6 and 1/2 years younger than me. When we're out with a bunch of other friends of our mutual hobby I've usually been relatively okay because the focus isn't all on me, but this time where we've been on our own was difficult due to the stress I was feeling around him (though I generally feel really happy to spend time with him, especially when things go well and I don't clam up due to my already present difficulty in dealing with stress). I really think I made him uncomfortable, and I'm really anxious about making him feel that in general. So I feel like I am creating what I don't want, which I've done in the past and is a pattern I want to break with people. In the past this has pushed people away, and I don't want to do that because I really like him as a friend, paramountly. I don't have a lot of good friends, so it really does matter to me. I know I should focus on other things and people, and I am, but I just feel like an idiot from our last interaction. When I look into his eyes I overwhelmingly want to kiss him, and just feel this warmth inside and a bit from him, but I just think that's just part of his personality. He's been talking to a few girls and have told me stories about them and how he likes them (we're both single), so I'm pretty sure that's a red flag he's not into me more than a friend. He does flirt indirectly with me and another girl in the group a bit, but he's quite outgoing in his personality and sexually confident and it does read off of him. I also feel he really likes one of the other girls in the group better because he initiates flirting with her more directly, and a little more benign comments with me. I don't think it would work out in general because I seem to have a hard time with life and he seems to be well driven and doesn't outwardly show that he has any issues with dealing with his stated emotional problems. At least he doesn't when he's around people, he's quite a social butterfly and enjoys interacting with new people. Not in such an overtly extroverted way, but more a genuine interest in other people, a quality I also love. I also enjoy interacting with people (especially ones I don't know because I feel like I have a tendency to mess things up after I let someone get to know me, which I'm sure is a self fulfilling prophecy and I think I'm doing here again). This one is different because he means more, I don't even know if it's really just a romantic attraction, or more the fact that I really think he's such a beautiful and wonderful human being (I've told him that and he's told me, but I find myself wanting to say that more and more). That's the real draw, even though his looks are off the charts for me. I'm not that bad looking, but I think he's in a completely different class. He's had a lot of attention from girls but from what he's said they've seemed to be not so conventionally attractive (i.e missing some teeth). A bit hit and miss, but also a good amount of attractive women too. He's very humble though, another quality I really admire in a person. I do have a bit of a complex of not feeling good enough for anyone that is deep rooted in me, that once somebody really gets to know me they wouldn't want to anymore, or I'd make them uncomfortable in some way (I have a hard time telling people about that, it embarrasses me, and also makes me feel talking about it further perpetuates the problem and puts it out there in the universe, which is a reaction I want to change). So I think the stress pops up in mind and does it for me, so I won't get rejected way down the line. I've worked intensively on this problem myself and thought I had it licked, until someone I really care about comes along to show me I'm back at square one. Yes I've been in a ton of therapy with at least 4 different therapists, who haven't really been that helpful. It's really tiring. After out last interaction he's been a bit distant and quite short in texts, and I'm pretty good at picking up when I've made someone uncomfortable, which I hate doing (I don't say anything weird I just get noticeably uncomfortable and I know people feel it, especially him because he commented on the fact that he thought I felt uncomfortable. I also tend to lose my verbal momentum). He did invite me to go along with 2 another friends we've been hanging out with lately pretty heavily as a unit, but I think he was kind of doing it because he didn't want to leave me out and they probably would've asked about my whereabouts and to call and invite me. He usually does the arranging of hanging out. I don't think he's really thinking about it that much at all, and I'm know I'll see him again (at shared hobby for sure). I just feel bad knowing that I probably made him uncomfortable and for me that means doomsday for the potential of keeping that person in my life. People tend to disappear in the past when that's happened. No one likes to feel uncomfortable around someone else, I get it. I feel the same way, and I can't get my stupid brain to stop doing it. It's usually because I feel like they've hung out long enough with me and probably want to leave, and I'm not a good judge of what people are really feeling or thinking about me at times, if anything at all. So I'm leary of making a mountain out of a molehill, because it's probably and obviously more my issue than anyone else's, and I do own that. So after the ramble... Question! How do I get myself to stay calm and not clam up around certain people and especially around him? I don't want to make him feel off, and fighting feelings just makes them seem to pop up which is a dick thing for my brain to do, if you ask me. He's been real supportive with some of the other things I've been going through, but I also think he wants to just have people to go out with and do fun things with (which I really do too! He doesn't have a ton of core good friends either), but I feel like my recent peculiar demeanor makes him rethink that I'm someone to do that with. I've also had trouble enjoying things lately due to a lot of things I've been through in past years. I had taken anti depressants and had a real horrible and extreme reaction, that I don't think I could go on them again. I do like things to be light and fun, and mostly have no problem doing that with people. I really do extremely care about him as a person and really enjoy his company, so I'm not sure if it's really more than that for me. So I'm confused. If he found a girl and was going out with her I would want him to be happy, and I would be happy for him because he so deserves to be loved, and I'm shocked he's currently not. There is quite a large part of me that wants him to spend time with me and have that happen between him and I, but I don't think that would have much success in the long run. I've been alone for quite a while after a long relationship and nasty breakup, and that old feeling of not being good enough seems to come back up, even though I thought I had gotten through all of that. He didn't seem too involved in my break up story either when we've talked about it in the past. Am I making too much out of this? Is there a way to stop it and keep cool around someone you think is really awesome? Is it a crush, love, or just an intense liking of a friendship? We've known each other for a couple months and have hung out a small handful of times with other friends and recently one on one. I get the feeling he doesn't really want to initiate the one on one specifically again, and I don't really either because I'm afraid I'll get nervous of what to say and clam again. It's obviously more of a problem for me because it's in my head and also an old issue I deal with. Rejection has really had an effect on me in the past, I try not to let it mess with me as much now but I'm still quite sensitive and tender about it. I'm sure if our friendship continues, we will hang out just the two of us again down the line. How do I deal with this and get it under control? I've done a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy and other retraining brain modalities (emdr, dbt and stress/anxiety books). I'm currently on anti anxiety medication and have been for a long while which helps a lot, but doesn't help when I act like an idiot. I'm kinda afraid that I'm going to be all alone in my life because of it, which is not my preferred or desired outcome. I want to tell him and clear up that I just felt some anxiety because he knows I struggle with it as he's stated he has too. I think he would probably understand, but I don't want to put him off any more if I have done that. Again, I don't think he's thinking about it that much, but I know he felt it. I just don't know how much it bothered him if even that much. I feel really exposed and pretty vulnerable about it, but I'm afraid if I acknowledge it and bring it up I'm a bit scared I might make things worse. Then again if I don't tell him (in a tactful and light way), I'm afraid it will fester and come up again. If it did effect him negatively I don't want it to make him feel uncomfortable and effect the friendship we do seem to have been starting (that was off on a good foot), and effect our shared hobby. Any help or suggestions to keep my composure better around people and specifically him would be very much appreciated. I don't know if it's only specifically focused on him, because I've had this problem with people in general, and I've read that a good amount of other people in the world have experienced this type of behavior pattern. Thanks for listening.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
[Facebook-hosted] video of Yengo the baby wombat having a quick romp on the couch.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Mark Kingwell: "Walking in a city is the greatest unpriced pleasure there is." Baudelaire on the flaneur

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm marching in our local 4th of July parade with the Connecticut for Bernie Sanders contingent, and I'm going to carry a sign, which I will make myself. I'd like to say something pithy and memorable that gets to the heart of the Bernie campaign.I'm fully on board with his key issues--creating jobs, raising wages, protecting the environment and providing health care for all, while resisting America's slide into oligarchy and corporate overlordship. How do I represent this best as a quick but meaningful read on a one-person sign? (It's a happy, hippie town and my audience will likely be very friendly, but I still want to represent most effectively.) Ideas?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
'Steven Universe' and the Shape of Masculinity to Come (includes spoilers) Also worth reading: The Revolutionary Fatness of 'Steven Universe', 'Steven Universe' and the Importance of All-Ages Queer Representation

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I think I'm going to grow out my hair again for the first time in about a decade, what are some styles beside just center part/ponytail that look decent on a guy? (details inside)I have full bodied hair that once it breaks 8 inches goes into full 70s rock style curls (think robert plant). I had my hair long years ago but the only thing I ever really did was wear it center parted and as a big mess of curls or pulled back in a ponytail. Is there anything else that can work for a guy? I don't mind things that read as "feminine" I just honestly have no idea what to do beyond super basic styles.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Anyways, here's Wonderwall ... In addition to this intriguing curio you've just enjoyed, The Mike Flowers Pops has a large catalog of curdled classics for your consideration. Among these are: Light My Fire Don't Cry For Me Argentina Call Me (audio only) Velvet Underground Medley (audio only) MacArthur Park (audio only) and many more!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Woke up Monday with a rash on my face. Now little bumps are appearing on my right forearm. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary. Can you develop sudden allergies to something and react this quickly?So Monday morning when I was washing my face, I noticed my cheeks felt dry and scaly. It was slightly pink, not raised, not super noticeable unless you touched it. I do have sensitive skin, but this came on so suddenly it felt like an allergic reaction to something. I was hoping it'd get better with time, but it didn't. It got redder throughout the day and felt slightly swollen by night, a bit itchy by this point. I put some benedryl cream and a tiny bit of old clobetasol on it that night. Tuesday the rash felt less swollen, but still slightly red, like I'm blushing, and skin still dry and irritable. I didn't apply anything else. Wednesday it's still about the same. Cheeks and nose feeling like sandpaper. Around noon, I noticed my right forearm had tiny little bumps all over, kind of like goosebumps. Not red or itchy, but slightly bumpy all over. It is now Wednesday night and bumps has spread more over the arm. Still not red or itchy, but looks as if I brushed up against something I'm allergic to. I have no idea what is causing this. I haven't eaten anything new or put anything new on my skin. I went swimming in a public pool Sunday for less than 20 minutes. It is chlorinated, but I've never had issues with it before. I do have a cat that's been with me for seven months now. Could I be suddenly developing an allergy to cats? Is that even possible considering how quick this was? I'm in Texas if it matters. Could it be heat? Sun? Fleas(just got the house treated on Tuesday)? Anyone experienced something similar? I'm thinking if it doesn't change tomorrow I'll call a doctor.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Until this year, Vermont had never formally decommissioned any roads. Ever. This has had some implications.... [via jessamyn's Twitter]

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
When 'meh' just won't do: blep. But maybe you're not a cat person. In which case: blop. And yes, there is a place for all other animals - meet blup. (Previously.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Someone apparently found a strange horror "game" that was uploaded to a remote corner of the deep web, accessible only via anonymizing tools like Tor. No one seems to know what it is or who made it, and apparently the link hosting the file is now down. All we have to go by at the moment is part of a playthrough (note: potentially unsettling material): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Example 1, Example 2, Example 3This is from an anime that ran this Spring: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha VIVID. The story is placed on a planet called "Midchild" where everyone speaks Japanese, but all the signs are in English. (And all the computers speak English, except for the ones who speak German.) Don't ask. The first sign says, "Battle 01 MIKAYA CHEVELLE VS MIURA RINALDI". The second one says "WINNER MIURA RINALDI". In the third one the upper white box says "Vivio Takamachi" and the lower white box says "Miura Rinaldi". All the others say "Eliminated". (But the left side is cut off.) The background says "INTERMIDDLE CHAMPIONSHIP". I tried cutting out "Rinaldi" from the third one and feeding it to "WhatTheFont" and it whiffed. It had a lot of suggestions and none even came close. As stylized as it is, it is entirely possible the studio created it for the show. But that's also a huge amount of work and this is not a high budget show, so I think it more likely they found and bought it. Anyone have any clues as to what it is?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I think they're Spanish, but I really have no idea. I'm looking to buy some online. Any information would be helpful. Thanks.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Isn't there some kind of penalty if you sell your home too quickly?My cousin purchased a condo 10 months ago that she liked well enough, because nothing she LOVED was available. Well now apparently one she loves has come along and she's thinking of just getting it. I don't know the details except that it costs 20k more than she spent on her current home and she seems to be ok with this, but I'm nervous that the loss she accrues will be too much. Because of the location she can almost certainly get at least what she paid for the place.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a Citibank credit card and I make payments in cash at a local branch (this is my preferred method of payment because I get paid mostly in cash). I do not have a Citibank checking account. Today the teller told me that from now on, anyone making a cash payment must show their driver's license and provide their SSN, phone number, home address, and occupation. Why?It feels intrusive and weird that they're demanding all this information (especially the occupation part). What are they doing with it? Are they trying to catch/deter tax evasion or money laundering or something? (If so, this doesn't seem very effective because you can still make cash payments at the ATM without giving this information.) Is this some kind of new law that all banks must follow, or just a change in Citibank policy?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The Families Who Negotiated With ISIS - "Until recently, they had not known of one another, or of the unexpected benefactor who had brought them together. They were the parents of five Americans who had been kidnapped in Syria." Lawrence Wright details how five American families, brought together by the Atlantic Media Company's David Bradley and assisted by a team of experts he assembled, fought alongside and even against the U.S. government to try and rescue their beloved children: Jim Foley: "The others depended on Foley to keep their spirits buoyed. "This guy, he was a man," Nicolas Hénin, another French hostage, later told L'Express. "He remained upright, dignified." He added, "When I see his mother's reaction, I recognize her son. They are made of the same metal."" Peter Theo Padnos (aka Theo Curtis): "Sorry Mom, I should have listened to you." Steven Sotloff: "He was in Tahrir Square the day President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, in 2011, and in Libya the following year, where he first met Jim Foley. For Time he provided crucial coverage of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, where four Americans were killed, including the Ambassador. . . . During that period, when American foreign policy depended on information arising from these zones of conflict, Sotloff never made enough money to have to file a tax return." Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig: "One of his friends coined a verb, "to Kassig," which meant "to selflessly put oneself in harm's way in order to help others in need, all the while looking suave and sexy."" Kayla Mueller: "At one point, they heard a guard say that she was Muslim, and Kayla corrected him. The guard was impressed. "She's stronger than you," the guard told another prisoner. "She doesn't pretend."" "In directing the families' efforts, Bradley was in some respects usurping the role of several federal agencies, and yet the families had largely lost faith in their government." Beautiful photographs of the families by Carla van de Puttelaar.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
That's right, celebrate that "Muffintop" There's also this delightful little diddy by Awkwafina, "My Vag"

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The New York Times suggests putting peas in your guacamole. Following up on a suggestion it made two years ago, the Times is offering a guacamole recipe from ABC Cocina in Union Square: a collaboration between the restaurant's chef-owner, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and his chef de cuisine, Ian Coogan, that contains green peas. The suggestion has been met with dismay from guacamole-lovers around the country, including the President himself. But it's not a political issue: in Texas, for instance, Republicans and Democrats alike agree that the New York Times shouldn't mess with guacamole.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I think a lot of (speculative fiction author) Robert Sheckley's work is brilliant and masterful. Especially the stuff he published in the 1950s and 1960s. But I've wondered for years why there was such a sharp decline in quality in it around the 1970s and thereafter. Does anybody know?It's almost as if much of the work he published in the latter part of his life was written by a different person. It's, relatively speaking, awful. I don't really think it's just a matter of taste, either -- the wordplay and jokes, the pacing and tension, the ideas he plays with, etc., are all (it seems to me) obviously and almost objectively worse in his latter work. Was there some kind of organic injury? Is there a possibility that alcohol and drugs were consumed to excess? (I was reminded of Sheckley by the title of this recent question.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Question posted on behalf of Mr. Killian. My husband is using a MIDI controller (ART X-15 Ultrafoot) to control a multi-effects signal processor (ART SGX2000) for his guitar. But he can't seem to figure out how to make the expression pedal perform an octave sweep. He can get it to turn on/off the effect, but no luck trying to get it to sweep (a la Tom Morello in Killing In The name Of and Like a Stone). Any MIDI masters out there can help?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Yesterday a Fisa court judge issued final authorisation to a programme banned after Congress banned bulk collection of telephone data in the USA Freedom Act. Today The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
There seem to have been lots of developments in text to speech since the subject was last raised, and I was wondering if anyone could point me to a solution fitting some specific criteria for an arty project. Details inside:Here's what I'm looking for, not all absolutely essential but the more the better: - can convert to audio files, not just read text (required); - can convert 250+ word texts (required); - software that resides on my hard drive, not Web-based; - multiple voices, without copyright restrictions on public-performance use (this might be the tough one; see http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/43290/are-the-apple-text-to-speech-voices-copyrighted) - as free as possible; - able to incorporate other purchased voices as time goes by, if I can find a supplier without public copyright restrictions on said voices.

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