posted 2 days ago on metafilter
... to impress a girl I like. Basically I am the thin type. Long but thin. And since I don't really workout I have thin arms and a flat chest. That was fine for me for a long time, but now I would like to get some muscles.I don't want to be Mr. Muscles. Overall I like my body type, but I'd like at least some muscles and some strength. But... I don't know where to start. A friend of mine suggested we start going to the gym regularly starting soon and I am motivated to go. So, I'd like to know what exercises to do to get muscles where my biceps/triceps are and also increase my chest size. Maybe a bit the abdomen but I care less about this part and maybe train the back/lower back cause I often feel it's a weak place of mine. Can any bro give me the most basic instructions as to what to do. Please, no super complicated routines that are over my head, just begin, go go go.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've had my share of regrettable houseguest behaviours in my early 20s (I am 30 now), so I am choking this up to karma. But I am curious: I've had consecutive houseguests in their late 20s/early 30s who are fantastic people but rough-around-the-corner as houseguests. Is this a generational thing? Is it particular to the artsy/academic type that I hang out with? How do I politely tell them "I consider you a good friend, and that part won't change. I am unhappy with [behaviour] in my home, so if that doesn't change I can't host you again."?Unlike my early 20s self, nowadays (that is, at least since my mid 20s) I always bring a gift for the host. I let them know when I am arriving and departing. I clean up after myself, keep the bathroom super tidy, I eat whatever food they are generous enough to provide but never expect them to feed me, and if we go out together I pick up the tab...etc. I make sure to exchange pleasantry and catch up if I didn't make the trip to see the host specifically. I have hosted a lot of people in the same age bracket that I am in. I have had: - One house guest who showed up without even her pyjamas. She borrowed and then complained about my PJs, an old spare laptop, and a bike. She said she came to see me, but then requested to see all the expensive landmarks (which I can't afford myself), and did not want to pay for herself to go ( I offered to take her there), nor wanted to just hang out. Then she complained that I wasn't a good host because we didn't do anything fun, even though I took her on free excursions. She expected me to be on a blow out vacation with her even though I made it clear I had to work. I provided meals and she complained about them; and when she was hungry she interrupted my work to asked me to cook. Then she asked me to go buy her cherries. She made fun of my accent and was passive aggressive. - A house guest who told me she would arrive at 10pm, then went to a bar first and did not arrive until past midnight, even though I told her I had to be up at 5 the next morning. - A house guest who leaves a puddle of water on the bathroom floor every time she uses the sink, and would not clean up. - Numerous house guests who are slobs and leave clothes strewn around, never make their own beds ( I don't have a guest room so this would be my living room that is looking disastrous), and leave dirty dishes around. I am not a clean freak by any means. - Several house guests who either 1) said they are here to see me but then actually just sleeping at my place to socialize with other friends or for some other events 2) said they are here for work/events but then actually just hanging around my apartment all the time which really stresses me out. In the last 3 years I have hosted one person who brings a small gift and one person who bought me a meal. Everyone else never even said thanks. I just don't understand. If I can learn to not do these things, why can't my friends? More importantly, how do I tell them that they are terrible guests?

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Is there a way to set something up today that will email them until the end of time on Wednesdays at 9am? Bonus: obnoxious graphics, trumpet sounds, neon colors, dancing hamsters, the works.I work with a few jerks. I'm a girl, they're guys, and apparently they can't be bothered to remember that I need them to turn on a light switch every Friday at 1pm. Apparently I have to send them an email on Wednesday so they might remember to turn on that switch. Unfortunately, I can't turn the switch on myself. Is there a way to set something up today that will email them until the end of time on Wednesdays at 9am? Bonus: obnoxious graphics, sound, bright colors, dancing hamsters, the works.

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Has anybody had good or bad experiences with online services for sending USPS certified mail? I need to send letters return receipt requested semi-frequently, and am absolutely unwilling to go to the post office. Usually 2 or 3 letters at a time, not hundreds. Stamps.com (premier subscription), onlinecertifiedmail.com, certifiedmaillabels.com are the ones that show up on the first page of my google search. TIA!

Read More...
posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Is it possible to become slightly nearsighted in your early 20s?I'm in my early 20s, and I'm starting to worry I might be nearsighted. In particular, I have trouble reading street signs from a distance and also have trouble reading the blackboard in class unless I'm in the first couple rows. The street sign thing is particularly an issue when driving; I've missed a few turns because I couldn't read the sign until it was too late. (These are small, surface-street name signs; I do fine with stop signs and other big recognizable ones.) I'm not sure if I actually have a problem I should see an eye doctor about. Various questionable online eye tests all tell me I should at least make an appointment, although they probably say that to almost everyone. I don't really have a benchmark for "normal" distance vision -- maybe street signs are just always hard to read, and my professors just have bad handwriting? I don't want to go in for an eye exam complaining about this only for the doctor to tell me I have perfect vision. I've never needed glasses, so I'm kind of confused. Is this something that happens before you turn 30? Is it possible I just never noticed this stuff until now? Wondering if: 1) anyone has had this kind of experience; 2) should I go see a doctor or just chill out and try to go out in the sun more often?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for a digital camera that essentially replicates the experience of using a smartphone camera, but does not have phone functionality, extra apps, or anything else besides basic camera features. Does such a thing exist? Specific critera within.Note: Using an actual smartphone with the phone functionality disabled is not an option here, nor is using something like an iPod Touch (too many apps). The "must-have" features are as follows: - LCD image preview screen as the sole means of previewing a picture (i.e., no viewfinder) - Low profile lens and body (like a smartphone). The camera lens should, ideally, be fixed and non-telescoping. - USB (mini or micro is fine) port for image transfer - Rechargeable battery (built-in or lithium-ion, not AA or AAA) The "nice to have" features are as follows: - SD card slot (mini SD is fine) - water-resistant body, or compatible with a case that would provide extra protection against moisture and drops, etc. I've been looking at things like the Kodak EasyShare but even that is a bit over-featured for this application (which, for what it's worth, is in laboratory imaging). Really all this needs to be is a very flat camera with a non-moving lens, no viewfinder, and an easy means of transferring images to a computer without wifi or web access. Thanks in advance.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The New Yorker investigates the differences between "e-laughter" in its latest cultural commentary. "The terms of e-laughter—"ha ha," "ho ho," "hee hee," "heh"—are implicitly understood by just about everybody. But, in recent years, there's been an increasingly popular newcomer: "hehe." Not surprisingly, it's being foisted upon us by youth. What does it mean?"

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a job interview for an ESL teaching position with a US government organization in Southeast Asia. What kinds of questions will I be asked? What should I ask them? How should I prepare otherwise?I've read through plenty of AskMe threads about general interview prep and Skype interviews, and now I'm looking for ESL-specific advice. I haven't had much luck googling for ESL interview questions, largely because mock job interviews in the ESL classroom are common enough that most of what I'm turning up are lesson plans to help students prep for their own job interviews in English. What kinds of questions should I expect to be asked? The job entails working at an American Center (which is embassy-affiliated), and I believe I'd be teaching adults 2hrs/day for ten-week sessions. I don't know what level(s) I'd be teaching--there are six ranging from beginning to advanced, plus electives for advanced-level students. I have six years of ESL-related experience, but I came to ESL through the backdoor after getting an MFA, and I neither have a TESOL/CELTA nor have I had my own ESL classroom, so I'm also interested in hearing more about the day-to-day of a job like this. (And advice on how to connect the experience I do have to that which I'm lacking!) Some tl;no-need-to-read about my background: I have more than six years of experience working in ESL-related fields. I've team-taught in a public high school on the JET Program, tutored non-native speakers in a college writing lab, taught an intensive 6-credit college-level English composition to non-native speakers for one semester at an art school, and TA'ed English lit [to native speakers] at an ivy. For the past few years I've facilitated study groups for ESL students in mainstream college courses at the aforementioned art school. At this job I'm more like a TA: I sit in a variety of classrooms, take notes, and occasionally clarify points brought up in lecture. Later I facilitate hour-long study groups for each class that typically review the the past class' concepts and put them in context with what we've learned so far over the course of the semester, cover new/useful vocab, and critique students' longterm projects for the class. The study groups aren't required of students, and typically they're informal--in philosophy, cultural theory, or art history classes that require synthesis of complex concepts, I lead them very much like a discussion section, going carefully over the material and giving it context in its broader cultural or historical moment. In practice-based classes, like laser cutting or fashion design or photography or advertising, things tend to be much more relaxed, and I'll review homework assignments, critique in-progress projects, talk through ways of translating concept to object, go over vocab, tutor students in digital tools (a variety of Adobe programs), etc. Though the job requires me to quickly synthesize and re-teach material in a variety of fields (often including material I've never before encountered) and I do that often and well, I often feel like it's unofficially much more about being an ally and advocate for students who're often shy and uncomfortable in a second language, helping them gain the confidence to succeed and make informed choices in school and beyond. In short, I have a ton of *related* experience, but almost none that's actually teaching ESL in a formal classroom setting. I've never had to explain the ins and outs of grammar from the ground up, and haven't formally taught speaking and listening classes in over a decade. If I'm offered the job, it's possible I'll be able to do a CELTA class at a reputable school in the States before I leave (since I think their turnaround time will be veeeeeerrry slow), but obviously that doesn't help me in the initial interviews! Anyway, I'd love any ESL-specific interviewing & job advice you have to offer!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
With the summer about to come on strong, we're considering installing a whole house fan in our newly bought house (Los Angeles area). Before we take the plunge, I'd love to hear from anybody who has one, preferably in a climate like ours -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Worth it or not?We bought our house a bit over a year ago, just in time for summer... which, indoor heatwise, was just awful. The days got hot, the house heated up, and at night when the air got nice and cool... the house simply stayed hot. We had to either run the air a lot (expensive, and really irritating to do at night when it's nice and cool outside) or just suffer through 85+ degree heat indoors. Mostly we did both. I'm not willing to go through another summer like that, especially since we now have an infant son to think of. We've fixed a lot of the obvious problems: we installed nice blinds, fixed the hole in the ceiling. Although our attic insulation is crap, we're getting that taken care of. I don't think all this is going to be enough to keep the house cool, though. I really like the idea of a whole house fan (not to be confused with an attic fan) to expel the hot air and suck in the nice cool air at night. I wish I could use a powerful window fan for this, but our windows are all pretty narrow and I can't find a decent one that will fit. I'm leaning toward getting a decent whole house fan installed, but given the cost, it would be nice to get some input on this before we commit to doing that. I don't personally know anybody who has one, so we're asking the hive. If you have one, do you like it? Do you still have to run the AC much or does it help with that? How do you effectively use one? Thanks so much!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I want to take a vacation that includes some sort of intellectual festival or conference where I'll meet interesting people and discuss ideas. (I'm a party animal.) Think TED gone to summer camp or Davos for hipsters ;-) The Do Lectures and Porcupine Freedom Festival both sound massively interesting - what other events should I look into?Anywhere within the continental US is fair game.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Please help me suggest some nutritious and appropriate foods and easy recipes for my mom who has a colostomy bag and is simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy. Nutrition is key, and so are food choices that don't cause blockage. If you've been in this situation or know someone who has, advice appreciated! Thank you.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The Amazing New Thing by Tom Gauld [New York Times] [Magazine]

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm headed to NYC for the weekend and would like to spend part of a day relaxing at a spa, with massage, sauna, baths, the works (think Aire Ancient Baths or Russian Baths, for two I've considered). Where, based on your experience (preferably personal) will I be least likely to stick out as a woman who's a size 22?Posting this in part because I've seen reviews for various places that mention things like too-small robes, or a clientele made up of models. I'm pretty comfortable in my skin and don't deal with much unpleasantness due to my looks on a daily basis, but would definitely like to know what I'm likely to walk into, especially when I'm paying specifically for stress-free relaxation. So, any recommendations? Although I want to visit the mighty Spa Castle* and King Spa someday, I can't make it outside of Manhattan this trip and am especially looking for advice there. *if they'd just reopen the one in Manhattan, there'd be no question!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
We are involved in a court process which may take some time to complete. The stress is getting to me. How can I deal with this better?The short version: my husband has a child from a previous marriage who lives, not by his choice, in another city. I have been involved with him since this child was very young and have a good relationship with the kid. I fully support all of his parenting efforts and we enjoy our time with the child and also enjoy regular Skype time with him. Their initial visitation agreement was intended to be adjusted on a yearly basis. The time has come for An adjustment, and his ex is not cooperating.The delays have been numerous: first. Her grandmother was sick; then her other grandmother (not the sick one) died. Then she agreed to a small modification for the holidays, but in the context of a swap and not an outright increase. This has been going on since mid-December. Finally last month, my husband asked his lawyer to file papers to get in front of a judge. The preparation of those papers took several weeks. Now, they have been filed and we are waiting for word on the court date. And then before the court date, we have to do a settlement conference... It just seems like this is going on forever. Everything takes time to prepare. Everything has delays, or steps we must do first, or offers and counter-offers. I know this is how the process works, but the feelings of living your life in a sort of limbo is a terrible one. We need to make plans for some of these visits. They involve transportation arrangements, hotel arrangements and so on. We have to save money based on how many there will be. There are family events we have to rsvp for and we don't yet know if the child will be joining us. I am getting pressure from my family to commit our attendance, and I can't do it until this process is done. The stress is getting to me. I have seeing my husband so torn up emotionally about this. He just wants the chance to be with his son. I am a child of divorce myself and I suffered from having a father who was not as involved. If I had a father who wanted me as much as he wants his son, it would have been a very different childhood for me. I am also finding my own anxieties coming into play as this drags out ever-longer. I have nightmares about it. I worry about paying the lawyer bills. My husband is getting a modest inheritance this year and all his money is going to this. It seems like such a waste to me. It feels like she is dragging this out because making him spend money is the only way she can punish him. The access time he is asking for is so modest, but she simply will not cooperate. We are facing several more months of this. How can I cope better with a stressful process that feels like it will go on forever?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
In which the crowd at Dangerous Minds get serious about the question that's been on everyone's mind. warning: advertorial

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Mozilla is moving to deprecate support of HTTP: After a robust discussion on our community mailing list, Mozilla is committing to focus new development efforts on the secure web, and start removing capabilities from the non-secure web. There are two broad elements of this plan: * Setting a date after which all new features will be available only to secure websites * Gradually phasing out access to browser features for non-secure websites, especially features that pose risks to users' security and privacy.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The title of this collection is wrong. These are dogs at their doggiest.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Want to change your mind? Wear a suit[study] or a labcoat[study].

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I want to know how to try to create this look with one of my own jellyfish shots, but I'm a bit of a Photoshop noob and have no idea where to start or even what to search for in order to find a tutorial. Any suggestions?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Hi mefites! I'm looking for blogs or websites that post interesting news or tidbits on science and anything science-related. I'm sure there's tons out there, but I want the metafilter-curated collection.I'm up for anything - science history, climate, geology, psychology, space, medicine, whatever. All I require is that they be targeted toward a general interest audience and not folks with inside expertise. Like today, where would I go to find the lowdown on this new Tesla Battery, for example? Thanks everyone!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A colleague's company run gmail account is filtering to the spam folder for other people on the same company run gmail account. Is there a fix beyond "not spam"?Yesterday I missed an email from her work account to my work account because it filtered to spam. She's also been having this issue with email being sent to gmail proper (not our alias work address) accounts. She uses the gmail app through her phone and gmail through chrome to read and send all her mail. The bandaid, of course, is to have people check that she's not spam and then have the emails revert back to the inbox. However, the problem fixed itself for me today without having to do this. While testing I received two messages from her directly to my inbox without issue. I don't understand! I also don't know the questions I need to be asking to make sure I'm troubleshooting it correctly. Is it fixed? Why did it happen? I'd rather know I'm not able to fix this and escalate it to our tech vendor than lose my time thinking I can get it worked out.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
When [Griffith Dickenson Compton, a Methodist minister and leader of a temperance group] donated his land to incorporate and create the city of Compton in 1889, he stipulated that a certain acreage be zoned for agricultural purposes only -- thus Richland Farms was born. This isn't such a unique thing, except Richland farms is still focused on agriculture, while the rest of Los Angeles County became urbanized. It's here you can find Compton's cowboys who support the Compton Jr. Posse, which focuses on ranching, riding, education and outreach. And if you watch the rodeo circuit, you might have seen Tre Hosley representing his community. You can read much more about Richland Farms and its residents in KCET's online Communities series.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A close relative is retiring this year, and I'm considering throwing a party-- but have absolutely no skills or experience with this type of event (or, really, with party-planning in general). Looking for tips/ ideas/ planning frameworks that will help me put together an awesome retirement bash.I'm most in need of general guidance/ ideas: --what do such parties (thrown by family members, but with retirees' coworkers as guests) look like? How long do they last? --Who gets invited? --What kinds of fun activities/ extras do people do? --What level of food generally gets eaten (assuming average middle-class demographics)? But I also have a few snowflake questions, as follows: -- This person's spouse (also close in relation to myself) also retired a year or two back, so they'll now be entering post-work life kinda/sorta together. Is it weird to do a combined retirement celebration for them both? Is it weird not to? -- Both Retiree and Retiree's Spouse work fairly white-collar, educated jobs in education. Will it create an odd dynamic if I invite both their co-workers and some very blue-collar extended family? Is it OK to just leave the extended family out, given that it's a work-related party anyway? -- What about other categories of invitees (neighbors? non-work friends?) -- If there's already a small collective retirement celebration planned at Retiree's work (for several people retiring at the same time), is it Not Done to invite the same coworkers to another, individual retirement party later on? As you may be able to tell, I've really got nothin' at this point. Help me, Metafilter!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Warning: do not watch this if you're epileptic. Don't watch it if you're on your way to a meeting or about to write an article, either. This video will allow you to hallucinate without taking any drugs. The video works on the motion aftereffect principle. Some more examples here, here and here.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm interested in exporting a Google drive spreadsheet to an image file. I need it to be relatively simple since it will be a process for someone else on a weekly basis. Plug-ins from the Play store are fine, but these are state government machines and are locked down from unauthorized installs.

Read More...