posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm not sure what these types of puzzles are called, but I want to build the canonical list of them. They are usually vague, open-ended descriptions of a situation, and the other players have to figure out what's going on. Players can only ask questions that can be answered by either "yes" or "no," they cannot ask anything else.Here's an example of one: A man is running. He is trying desperately to get home. Another man is chasing him. At home, a man wearing a mask is waiting for him. Via a series of yes-or-no questions, the audience eventually figures out that what is going on here is a game of baseball. That is one of the easier ones. The hardest one I've ever encountered is the "Albatross soup" puzzle, in which a man walks into a seaside restaurant, orders a bowl of albatross soup, takes one bite, and dies. This one can take days for people to figure out. At first, most people are convinced the soup must be poisoned somehow, or the man is allergic to something. Eventually, they might figure out that he is wearing tattered clothes, and that he clearly hasn't shaved for a long time. The eventual answer: The man is the last survivor of a shipwreck, and for many days, the ship's cook, who is now also dead, has been serving the survivors "albatross soup," which the main character developed a taste for. When he finally made it back to the mainland, he ordered a bowl of his beloved soup, but upon first bite, it became clear to him that the cook had been feeding him soup made with the bodies of his dead shipmates, and that he had unwillingly been a cannibal all this time, leading him to have a heart attack and die. That one is SO much fun to work with a big crowd, because it is so open-ended and people can go down so many different roads, and the correct answer is something nobody in their right mind would have come up with easily. So, what are these types of puzzles called, and do you have any you can share? All age levels are fine, but I'm particularly partial to those that are PG or PG-13, because my kids love doing these. Thanks!

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Hi Mefites: I'm looking for a free/cheap web service that allows me to ask someone a few multiple choice questions via a survey and then be able to give them a text-based diagnostic (not a numerical score). Something similar to this, via Buzzfeed, where they ask a few multiple choice questions and at the end, they give you a pre-written response to how you've answered.My apologies in advance on how to properly describe what I'm looking for. I would provide all the questions/responses, I just need a service that will give me the ability to do it. I think the difficulty for me is that there will be many questions and the logic behind what responses to give will be complex. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health. Reports that honey bees are dying in unusually high numbers has concerned many scientists, farmers and beekeepers, and gripped the public. There have been thousands of stories ricocheting across the web, citing one study or another as the definitive explanation for a mystery that most mainstream experts say is complex and not easily reducible to the kind of simplistic narrative that appeals to advocacy groups. We explore the claims by Harvard School of Public Health researcher Chensheng Lu, heralded by anti-pesticide and anti-GMO advocacy groups, for his research that purportedly proves that the class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids are killing bees and endangering humans. Part II: Bee Deaths And CCD - Flawed Chensheng Lu Harvard Studies Endanger Bees.Here we examine the specific claim that neonics are responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder—the centerpiece of Lu's assertions and again see how influential media manipulate quotes and selectively present information to ideologically influence trusting readers. It should be noted that there are scientifically robust reasons outside of the scope of these articles for Neonicotinoids to be causing measured concern that should be addressed with further research

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
What does it feel like to push a button, launch a surface-to-air missile, and blow a B-52 bomber out of the sky? Ask Nguyen Van Phiet. As a young North Vietnamese military officer, his SA-2 rockets were credited with downing four of the giant Boeing Stratofortresses during U.S. raids on and around Hanoi in December 1972. David Freed: The Missile Men of North Vietnam.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My on and off love affair is off again.....I think. We had a row.....made up.....next day she cancelled forthcoming date....not heard from her since. Why do I care what happens next?Hi. I've written about this relationship before. It's been on and off for a few years. She always breaks up with me for vague and spurious reasons. She reached out to me and we got back together for a 4th time a few months ago. She said she doesn't know why she ends it and doesn't really understand herself. But she loves me and missed me dearly. Anyway, we've been together a few months, had a lovely holiday and things were going ok. But a week ago we had a tiff. Nothing too serious, and we actually made up quite quickly and spent a pleasant evening together. We made plans to meet up again, but next morning I received a text cancelling date as she needed time by herself. I didn't respond to text. And since then I've not contacted her, nor she me. It's been over a week. And now I'm not sure what to do. A part of me just wants to leave it. She can get a bit weird and off with me at times...hot and cold..and this had been starting up again, hence the tiff. I had told her I was unhappy with this behaviour. But I do still love her and her life isn't easy for various reasons, and I try to forgive and understand her behaviour. So a part of me now feels that a) I should leave it as it is because she cancelled and has been doing the hot and cold thing and I can kind of see where it's all probably going....another dumping. b) But maybe I'm pre-empting something that wasn't going to happen because of my insecurities over this relationship. Should I stay or should I go?

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
A recent episode of Gastropod convinced me that I should get some gold-plated cutlery as a present for a friend (it supposedly makes certain foods taste nicer). I haven't had any luck finding cutlery in the UK from the usual trustworthy department stores, so now I'm willing to widen the search to other UK stores and also online stores in the US.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Indie pop sucess story and YouTube sensations Pomplamoose just finished a self-financed 23 city US tour. In a post on Medium, band member Jack Conte breaks down the tour financials and attempts to 'shine light on a new paradigm for professional artistry'. Pomplamoose, previously on Metafilter.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Asking for a family member: I'm a distressed brother living in Australia with no experience of US family violence, health systems, judiciary, police or addiction services. Please help. My sister "Pas" lives in Wood Side Queens, New York. She is a single woman and works as a nanny for the moment. She speaks very good English and is independent. Yesterday, whilst visiting an aunt who is very sick with cancer in New York, she was attacked by the aunt's son without any provocation. (Under influence? not sure).He smashed Pas's cell phone, dragged her to the floor and kicked her in the chest. Naturally, my sister who doesn't accept violence, promptly called the police (and ambulance) and he is on the run ever since. She was injured, but chose not to go to hospital because of the cost. My question is what kind of support can my sister avail in New York under such circumstances and if aunt's family can also seek external support during such times. This is because the attacker's sister and sick mum were in the vicinity only watched without doing any intervention. Too scared to do so? I don't know. Further, while on the run he also followed with text threats to my sister saying he will come after her and destroy her life. I am very worried about my sister. This is because her attacker is aware where my sister lives and who she lives with (only flatmates). What can my sister do immediately to secure her safety and in the long term protect herself from such attacks. And also to get help for the violent (drug dependent??) son, his mum and sister. Any help is appreciated throw away email address sp20141125@gmail.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Added thoughts from myself (Taff): There is pressure from the mum and sister to withdraw charges. I'm Australian and here that's not possible. Violence is prosecuted by the government.... yes, it's an assault against a person... but in this case in Australia it's a crime to the state and the state prosecutes to stop exactly this kind of pressure. Is that the case in America/New York? Pas speaks excellent English and has an MBA but is probably not hooked in with the level of privilege and confidence you'd often expect at that level of education. (She has never found work outside nannying in the US despite her MBA and high intellect). She has a green card, and is believed to have citizenship. In addition.... we don't know for sure if drugs are involved, but it sounds like it. He's certainly had a hard upbringing and has struggled since moving to the States. He's had small run-ins with the police from time to time, but we don't know the details. Nobody in the family will judge him if he is in fact suffering from a drug problem. He will be loved and supported but everyone is out of their depth. Culturally they're focused on forgiveness and compassion and that's where everyone is coming from. But he's violent, threatening and dangerous right now so that must be a priority. I have no idea how much info to give or to suggest to give but I can easily add more if you ask. And this could be a human relations tag, a health tag or a law and government tag.... in the most urgent sense I prioritised law but please accept that all three categories are equally relevant. /Taff talking.

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
For 15+ years I've been a daily drinker. I quit several days ago, and my sleep has been horrendous. When, if ever, does it return to normal?I drank for a lot of reasons, and one of them was to fall asleep. Just knocked myself out every night. But I quit four days ago, and while I feel great otherwise, the sleep has been terrible. It takes me forever to fall asleep and when I do, I dream the whole time, hear strains of voices and conversations, and even though I know I'm falling asleep in spells, it feels like the night is happening in real time. (I know I'm falling asleep because I used to have some lucid experiences, and I use that trick where you find some written text, read it, look away and then look back. If the words have changed, you're dreaming.) What I'd like to know is typically how long before my mind and body get back to a healthy sleep pattern. I know I've trained them to rely on the drinks to get through the night, but now that those are not there, how long should I hang in there before I can expect to lay down, fall asleep, and wake up refreshed?

Read More...
posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm interested in learning more about the science of mind-body connections, especially in the mind-impacts-body direction. For example, I'm curious about how mental exertion can lead to physical fatigue, or how an emotion can trigger physical symptoms in the body (such as indigestion from stress). I'm looking for an interesting and accessible book on this topic, if one exists.I've seen, for example, this NYT article, which is on topic, but I'm looking for a more in-depth treatment of the relevant mechanisms than "Neurons may run low of fuel, and other processes probably also are involved." However, I don't have an actual neuroscience background, so plowing through research papers on Google Scholar feels like a bit much to satisfy my curiosity (I do have access to a university library if there is a non-specialist review paper I should check out). Ideally, I'd like to read a pop-neuroscience book about this topic, or maybe a relatively engaging textbook, long-form article, or overview paper to learn, on a general level, about the state of the art of scientific knowledge about how mental processes can trigger physical states and sensations. Long-form articles are good too.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
If your scalp flakes after using a dandruff shampoo does that mean the shampoo is effective?I realize there's many past threads about dandruff (Seborrhoeic dermatitis) but my question is how to gauge if the shampoos is actually helping your condition. I've suffered with heavy dandruff for many years now and have tried many things (avoiding shampoos with sulfates, buying organic, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, etc) but nothing seems to help. I avoid putting any product in my hair and have experimented with shampooing daily or ever 2-3 days, (I shampoo every other day as I went into a hair loss clinic who told me shampooing daily is preferred to reduce build up. Ive gone to various dermatologists who simply prescribe me steroid topical solutions which dont get to the root of the problem and fail to work after awhile anyhow. Looking for a more holistic and healthy natural way to help reduce dandruff if possible. What is fusterating is that I feel like my excessive dandruff is making my male pattern hair loss on my temples recede faster. Anyhow long story short I've been using this highly reviewed shampoo product, Sage Shampoo from Maple Holistics, which is actually the highest rated dandruff shampoo on amazon. However, I've noticed that shortly after using this shampoo, my hair feels very dried out and my scalp starts to scale off and thus I can easily create a snowstorm (gross I know) of dandruff if i start scratching my scalp gently. This has been the case with other dandruff shampoos as well. So my ? is does this simply occur because the shampoo is working helping the scales and dead skin cells flake off? Or is this making my scalp worse bc it's either overdrying it or Im shampooing too often? I have used pure 100 percent tea tree oil and applied it directly to my scalp with q tips that seems to help but the scent is a bit too strong and I worry that others may be bothered by it. Any tips or help would be greatly appreciated!

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Developer Randi Harper came up with a simple solution to help people deal with the harassing tweets they've been receiving from Gamergators: the GG Autoblocker, a perl script that identifies likely GGers and adds them to an ever-evolving block list. This has been a popular move in some circles, and an unpopular one in others. In response to some of the "feedback" she's been receiving, Harper has written Still Here, a two-part post on being a woman in tech: A Memoir, Call To Arms

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
59 years after an all-white jury in Mississippi acquitted Emmett Till's murderers, a majority-white grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, decided not to indict Darren Brown, the man who killed Mike Brown. FiveThirtyEight analyzes grand jury indictments, citing experts who say, "If the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn't get one, something has gone horribly wrong." That is, unless the case involves a police shooting. This case brings back echoes of Trayvon Martin's murder two years ago in Florida: "The point is that justice was always going to elude Trayvon Martin, not because the system failed, but because it worked. Martin died and Zimmerman walked because our entire political and legal foundations were built on an ideology of settler colonialism -- an ideology in which the protection of white property rights was always sacrosanct; predators and threats to those privileges were almost always black, brown, and red; and where the very purpose of police power was to discipline, monitor, and contain populations rendered a threat to white property and privilege." Less than an hour after the decision, President Obama addressed the nation, saying: "We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades. I have witnessed that in my own life, and to deny that progress, I think is to deny America's capacity for change. But what is also true is that there are still problems — and communities of color aren't just making these problems up. Separating that from this particular decision, there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in a discriminatory fashion." NPR has a timeline of events in Ferguson. And in case you have room for radical poetry in what might be a difficult night, I leave you with some Lorna Dee Cervantes: "These bullets bury deeper than logic. / Racism is not intellectual. / I can not reason these scars away."

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A seven-year-old has asked for "bumblebee drumsticks and cymbals" as a gift. No idea what this may mean and we can't ask for clarification. Any ideas?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I ruined my pot roast last night! What happened?I was following an America's Test Kitchen recipe for pot roast, but it turned out tough and inedible. The recipe called for a 3-4 lb "top blade roast." I found 3-pound piece of meat labeled accordingly in the supermarket. It kind of just looked like a giant steak, around 2-3 inches thick, instead of your standard lumpier roast shape. Per the recipe, I seared it, cooked down a mixture of diced onions and carrots with about a cup of liquid, and then cooked the whole thing in a dutch oven for 3-4 hours in a 200 degree oven. The recipe said it should be 145-150 degrees when it was done, but it was already at 190 when we took it out after 3 hours. Result: shoe leather. What went wrong??

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Please share your good experiences with hotels in San Diego!! I'm looking for recommendations for family (two adults and a three and half year old) that will likely be visiting this weekend.They will be going to the zoo/Balboa Park, and I will be visiting for a day or two while they're there, staying in Hillcrest. They will have a car though, so other neighborhoods/areas are fine too. Thanks!!

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Have not been to PDX in 5-6 years. Will be there next week from Wednesday 12/3 through Saturday 12/6. I'll be staying in DT Portland. Restaurants are covered. Looking for a bike rental shops, coffeehouse's with awesome pastries and pies, and other random cool places. My hangout spots are Hawthorne District and (of course) Powell's. I am also a Farmer's Market junky and would appreciate suggestion on local markets that will be taking place during that time. Thanks in advance...

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A lengthy New Yorker overview of Billy Joel's life and career: Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm home for the holidays and seeing many friends after years apart. I have five days, each consisting of brunch, lunch and dinner with others, and am looking forward to unimaginable quantities of free alcohol. I am a seasoned (pickled?) drinker that does not normally get hangovers but never have I been on such a social whirlwind with so many opportunities to celebrate. Does anyone have advice for overcoming the potential weaknesses of the flesh to rise to this challenge? Or, how to pace myself when offered so much free deliciousness? Details belowI've already prepared myself in the following way: - I can drink 4 generous drinks a day (approximately 3/4 to a full bottle of wine) with no ill effects... But I estimate 6-8 drinks a day on this trip and don't usually drink that much unless it's a special occasion. I can handle that maybe once every couple months without a hangover if I have a day to sleep in and take it easy afterwards, but I'm not sure how I will feel if I did this several days in a row - I don't drink sugary stuff that would upset my stomach. Just straight whiskey and wine - I've booked one meal each day with a non-drinker - I know already to drink plenty of water and eat carby things - I will be taking public transit with companions to the hotel each evening or will have a sober friend pick me up and drive me back The main challenges I am not sure how to plan for: - I will be dealing with multiple flights and time zone / weather shifts between current home and former home - I do not have a day off from work to recuperate once I return to current home - How best can I moderate my consumption when everyone else (who unlike me will have the next day to "detox") is drinking in celebration... How do you remember to pace yourself once you're tipsy and all your buddies are too? In summary, is there anything else I can do to 1) maintain a safe pace and 2) keep myself feeling relatively healthy with all this back to back drinking?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A male equivalent of "fashionista?"First off, I know that grammatically, "fashionista" can be male or female. An acquaintance of mine from way back when once told me an excellent word that meant a well-dressed man -- as in one who pays a lot of attention to his appearance. (He used it, semi-jokingly, as a more "manly" version of "fashionista.") It's definately only one word, and it's not "dandy." I seem to recall it beginning with "c" or "m" (though I could be wrong) and that it had a vaguely French or Spanish sound to it. I am wracking my brains trying to remember it. Can anyone hope me?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I applied for a scholarship to do a Masters program starting next April, but I might also be offered an internship that starts then. If offered the scholarship, I'm 90% sure that I would be able to start the Masters in October instead, but I'm not certain. Can you help me decide what to do? Details within.Both options would allow me to move where I want to move (different cities, but the same general area). The internship would be paid and I definitely need the professional work experience. However, it's only six months long and while there's the possibility of being offered a job afterwards, it's not guaranteed. I have a small amount of savings that would allow me to job hunt for a couple of months afterwards, but no longer. If offered the scholarship, I would definitely be spending two years where I want to live. However, I think that the chances of being offered the scholarship are quite a bit lower than being offered the internship. I'm quite certain that I would be allowed to accept the scholarship for April or October, but I'm anxious about clarifying that in case it hurts my chances while they're still deciding who receives it. I won't find out the outcome until about March. I could ask to be considered for an internship in October instead, however if I am accepted into the Masters program, the internship wouldn't fit into my course progression. There might be the option of doing another internship at the later date. I don't feel super confident about the scholarship application, so I don't really want to put the internship off until October while hoping for the scholarship. If I don't get the scholarship, I'll have to deal with that disappointment and also the delay in doing things. The ideal situation would be to do the internship and then the Masters, but I'm scared that by trying to keep all my options open, I'm going to mess up both of them. At the moment I am strongly leaning towards saying yes to the internship and then worrying about the scholarship later - if I even get it! - but I am worried that if it turns out I couldn't delay the scholarship, I'll end up messing up potentially my only chance to be able to do a Masters. Is there a way that I can enquire about the flexibility of scholarship dates without them thinking I am flaky and taking myself out of the running? (Sorry if I am asking too many questions. I'm really stressed out about this)

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Now that my wife's been bitten by the radio bug, the desire to do a show/podcast is starting to sink its teeth into me as well. The high-concept idea that I'm working with is to do a 16-part series that are all the soundtrack to a forgotten movie -- the title of the movie is the same every week, but the movie itself changes.So say the title of the show is "Griffon and the Big One". In Week One, Griffon and the Big One is a forgotten movie from 1984: Jessica Lange is a widowed mother of three living in California, whose oldest son lives in paralyzing fear of the giant earthquake that will wipe the state off the map. Week Two, Griffon and the Big One is a 1978 forgotten family-friendly classic about a St. Bernard and a pet hamster that travel across the country to reunite with their family. Week Three, Griffon and the Big One is a forgotten Lee Marvin vehicle that pairs him with a youthful Kurt Russell as an oddly matched duo of retired detective and crime-solving scamp. Etc. I don't think Griffon and the Big One is really the best option here. But I'm looking for great ideas for fake-movie names that are both super intriguing ("what's that show? I totally want to listen to it!") and kind of super-adaptable (could be a cartoon about teddy bears; might be a drama about leukemia). What's my show/movie called, MetaFilter?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm considering pursuing a degree to further my career in child welfare, educational and cultural non-profits. As I'd love to spend time living abroad and I wouldn't get into a especially impressive school here in the US, I'm wondering if it would be useless to get my degree from a university in Europe (most likely in the UK). If it is worth doing, what schools should I be looking at? Would I be eligible for any sort of financial aid?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
This wasn't a reality show, nor was it one of the elite bookings Anna enjoyed back in New York or Milan. We were there for a fake beauty pageant, one our Beijing modeling agency had booked us for, telling us it was a "fashion show" and providing no further details. It was only after we boarded our early-morning flight to Ordos that the true nature of the event was revealed. "We're on our way to another 'Miss' thing," a Ukrainian girl said from her seat with a groan. I was hired as Miss America; Anna, despite being Brazilian, as Miss Chile. It would have been the strangest 36 hours of my life—if, over the previous two months, I hadn't done it twice before. Life as a Fake Beauty Queen in Small-Town China

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Which books explore the question "What does it mean to have lived well"?I'm looking for examples of fiction--any genre, any century--that explore different metrics for living well. I.e. maybe the good life is lived through material wealth? or spirituality? Or maybe it is through serving others. Or having a family. Or...? You get the idea. Especially examples that knocked your own socks off enough to materially affect how you chose to live your own life. But only fiction!!

Read More...