posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Recommend me a neat 2015 wall calendar whose purchase benefits a good cause!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Snapshots of LGBT life in Midcentury America Coursey of the ONE national gay and lesbian archives at the University of southern California libraries.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Ars Technica's Lee Hutchinson reviews a military grade F-18 flight simulator.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to find some music with simple instrumentation and composition with a focus on drums/percussion/heavy guitar and intense/strong vocals. I'm not sure how to describe what I'm looking for, but I do have a couple of examples. I blame the bear for reviving this intense need...I wish there were a way to put my finger on it, but there's something about the combination that doesn't let up for me, but sadly the two songs that fit it perfect are kind of short. Kaneda's Theme was my first taste of this weird sweet spot, but that's been one of my jams for over ten years... I desperately need more.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My 9-year-old daughter has an old wifi-only iPhone. Her 9-year-old friend has an old wifi-only android phone (i.e., neither is on a contract). They want to be able to message each other for free. What's the best option?Constraints: (1) Texting isn't an option; the phones aren't on cellular and no one has a texting plan. (2) Someone in a previous thread suggested AIM. It's currently my top contender, but AIM requires you to be 13 for an account. (I could lie, of course---but is there a better option?) (3) What's App has been suggested. There is a $1/year charge, and there's some concern (from the other mother especially) that it asks for/shares too much personal information about the kids. Plus apparently it was just bought by Facebook. (4) Ability to set up whitelists would be awesome.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've been putting this off for too long, so it's time to see an optometrist. Ideally in the inner east side, or around Portland State. Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
It's finally Friday, and I feel like celebrating with a smooth grooving' twist... and a little mashed potato and a little... If you don't do it, you're just considered out. ... and go like this! Oh Rob! Twistin' (and more) with the Kang! They're doin' it in Italy! (if you can get past the ads, it's worth it). They're doin' it in France! They're doing it in Scotland.. and they won't stop! Even in Japan -- though without music, apparently. You can do it too!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
We're going to be in Austin for several days before and including Christmas Day. What is there to do on Christmas Day, including places to eat (bonus for vegetarian) - i.e., what's open?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am taking my partner on a long weekend trip to Truth or Consequences, NM as a Christmas gift. I don't know the area at all, so I'm looking for suggestions on what not to miss while we're there.We will be there from Friday Jan 16 through Monday Jan 19, and we will be driving from Albuquerque. I've booked the hotel already (Fire and Water Lodge) for those dates. Neither of us is a huge fan of the cold, so any nearby winter-specific outdoor activities (skiing, etc.) are out. I'm open to both places to stop on the way to/from T or C and things to do while there. My car is not meant for anything extreme, so please don't recommend that I drive us up a steep, windy dirt road to the top of a snowy mountain or anything. Budget is flexible, but I'd prefer to keep the costs down when reasonable to do so. About us: We both like good beer and wine, nice food of all varieties (no dietary restrictions), artsy things, mildly strenuous outdoorsy things (no 15 mile hikes, but shorter hikes welcome), weird local kitch, local history/culture. We are both in our 20s, she is female, I am male. I have zero interest in getting a massage or anything like that, but she might be into it, so if you know of a good place that she would enjoy going alone for a bit, feel free to send it my way. Bonus points for cute ideas about how to present this gift visually in a wrapped box that she can open on Christmas morning. Thanks Metafilter, you're the best!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"'It really speaks to the lack of access to health insurance that's particularly predominant within the Latino community,' says Sarah de Guia, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, an advocacy group. Latinos make up 62 percent of the uninsured, she says, either because they can't afford to pay for health insurance, or because they're afraid that signing up for coverage will expose family members who aren't lawfully present in the U.S." California Whooping Cough Infections Run High Among Latino Babies, NPR. More about pertussis: "Although cases of pertussis have dropped dramatically in the United States since the introduction of the pertussis vaccine, the disease has caused widespread outbreaks in recent years. In 2012, nearly 50,000 cases of pertussis were reported in the United States, the most cases since 1955. Twenty pertussis deaths were reported in 2012. Fifteen of those deaths occurred in infants too young to have received the vaccine. Pertussis also remains a major problem in the developing world. The World Health Organization estimates that pertussis caused 89,000 deaths worldwide in 2012. "The tendency of pertussis to be milder in adults, sometimes escaping diagnosis, further complicates disease transmission. The coughing associated with the disease may be mild enough in an adult case to be written off as a simple cold. The adult, however, will still be contagious and can easily spread the disease to infants too young to be vaccinated, or to individuals whose immunity has waned." From January 2, 2014 – New California Law Requires Doctor's Note For Vaccine Exemptions... But There's An Out, by Claire Trageser for KPBS: "But there's a way around this new requirement. "The new form also has a box that says the family belongs to a religion that prohibits 'seeking medical advice or treatment.' If parents check this box, they don't need a doctor's signature to exempt their children from vaccinations." September 2, 2014 – Plunge in kindergartners' vaccination rate worries health officials, LA Times: "California parents are deciding against vaccinating their kindergarten-age children at twice the rate they did seven years ago, a fact public health experts said is contributing to the reemergence of measles across the state and may lead to outbreaks of other serious diseases. "The percentage of kindergartens in which at least 8% of students are not fully vaccinated because of personal beliefs has more than doubled as well, according to data on file with the state. That threshold is significant because communities must be immunized at a high rate to avoid widespread disease outbreaks. It is a concept known as herd immunity, and for measles and whooping cough at least 92% of kids need to be immune, experts say." December 8, 2014 – NPR's Morning Edition, Health Shots: When It Comes To Day Care, Parents Want All Children Vaccinated, Patti Neighmond, NPR News. Transcript. Further links Pertussis (whooping cough) page – includes vaccination recommendations, data, recommendations, fact sheets, and more. (California Department of Public Health) Fact sheets in PDF format, in English and in Spanish, at the Contra Costa Health Services website. Vaccine-preventable outbreaks map – just tick 'whooping cough' and apply to see the map results. (Council on Foreign Relations, wikipedia entry here.) Why vaccinate? – The History of Vaccines See also: Misconceptions about Vaccines, from the same website. PDF summary reports of number of cases of pertussis in California., latest report from November 2014 (CA.gov) California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (About page). Previously: Vaccination map of Los Angeles schools

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
hello, i'm new to metafilter. happy to be here. this is a cool video of how surface texture affects blood stain patterns. happy friday!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I need the BEST CHERRY CORDIALS IN THE WORLD that can be ordered online and mailed!My dad loves those cherry cordials. I love my dad. His actual gift won't arrive by Xmas, so I would like to send him some cherry cordials, and I'm hoping that Metafilter's Chocolate Snobs can point me towards some wonderful chocolatiers that do mail order. No Queen Anne's or Brach's, please. Ideally they will be: - not too sugary. I know that's a weird thing to ask for in a candy, but you know how cheap candy tastes? Think the opposite of that. - available in a small package. He's one guy, he doesn't need six dozen of them. 4-6 will be fine. - able to be delivered by Dec 24th The best suggestions will be places that you have personally experienced. Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My loyalties are firmly in the Apple camp. I've owned many iPhones, iPads and various Macs. However, I know nothing about Android devices... and it's about time I learn. I'm a self proclaimed tech geek for pity's sake, but yet I am woefully ignorant about all things Android. I want to change this!It's almost Boxing Day in Canada (it's about as crazy as Black Friday in the states), and it should be a good time for me to pick up something to play with. Given the price point I'm hoping for it'll probably mean I'm getting a tablet, but an unlocked phone would work as well. My criteria are: * price - I'd rather not spend more than $200, less is better than more * version - I'd like something that'll have (or could be upgraded to) Lollipop, and bonus if i can upgrade it as newer versions come out * not a complete piece of crap, hardware wise. It's ok if it's older hardware, but I'm not interested in a cheap knockoff brands or anything that will make me want me to throw it out the window. * works with the google play store? (ie not anything Amazon-branded?) Things I don't care about: * screen size or resolution * memory, drive space, etc Any idea on what I should be looking at in order to get a non-crappy first Android experience? This question was inspired by the fact my local (canadian) best buy currently has an 'Asus MeMO Pad 7"' on sale for $100, but the specs say its upgradable to Android 4.4 (KitKat). I can't quite figure out if that also means I can also upgrade to Lollipop. (I'm ok with rooting the device or futzing a bit if necessary, as long as there's instructions online somewhere.) I came this close to purchasing the Asus on impulse, but then figured I should actually do some research first. Hence, I came here! I know there are some good Google and Samsung tablets out there, as well as other big names, but it's a little overwhelming when trying to chose something. I'd prefer to buy online (as long as they'll ship to canada) but B&M works too (I noticed several options at Costco, for example...). Suggestions?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm applying for an H1-b visa to enter the US. All my documents are ready. All I need to do now is go to the embassy in London: I have an appointment on Monday, which is the 22nd. The problem is this: I already have a flight booked back to the US on the 31st. Should I change my flight now, or wait?The embassy says that typically it takes 3-5 days for the visa to be given. Since Christmas day and boxing day are not working days, the 5 working days after the 22nd are: - the 23rd - the 24th - the 29th - the 30th - the 31st Should I change my flight now, or should I wait? (To change my flight costs $300 + the difference in price between my old flight (about $600) and the new flight.) The safe option is to change my flight now. It'll cost about $700. If I wait, I might get my visa in time for the 31st, in which case I won't have to change my flight at all - hooray! On the other hand, if I wait I might not get my visa in time, in which case I'll have to book a flight to the US at very short notice, which is likely to cost a small fortune. My first day back at work in the US is the 5th of January. Thanks in advance, MeFites! (I live in the SF Bay Area, in case that's relevant.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This bot takes works of literature and algorithmically summarizes them, a chapter at a time, to 1% of their original length. These are then read aloud by the lovely voice of Fiona, a Scottish speech synth, and posted at on Twitter at convenient 3 hour intervals. This way entire works of literature can be consumed in bite-sized algo-chunks, giving you the gist of the book, without any troublesome cause to actually 'read' or 'understand' it at all...

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Some family members have a dog that they can no longer care for. Their lives have gone through a lot of upheaval in the last year. At some point I guess getting a puppy seemed like a good idea? Well it wasn't and now they have an approximately 9 month old dog that is not trained, he barks a lot, and is basically chewing everything and anything including the walls. He is medium sized maybe 40 lbs. A poodle pomeranian shih zsu mix. But kind of looks like an all white lab. I don't know much about dogs.My grandfather is in his 80's and had to go live with them and he has a bunch of problems including some symptoms of dementia. The barking gets to him and he tries to hit the dog. From what I have been told the dog will get hit when it barks or just behaves as a dog would. I've contacted shelters but they are full. I have a home full of cats and can not take him in myself. I'm concerned for the dog. I'm sure some people hit their dogs but it bugs me and I don't see how it will stop it from barking. Especially when they aren't taking it out for exercise or putting any time in to train him. What are some other options or resources? They will probably be surrendering the dog to the aspca very soon if I can not find a no kill shelter.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Everything You Need To Know About The Dangerous Teen Trend 'Wodehousing'

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
How can a dryer with 2 thermostats have three heat ranges, especially since only one is on the blower element?I have a GE electric dryer model DBXR300EG4WS. Recently the low heat setting seemed too hot so I bought a new cycling thermostat and swapped it out. It now cycles between 125-135 on low heat, and from what I can read on the nets that's about right. What is really bugging me is that this dryer only has two cycling thermostats, one on the blower ranging from 125-135 and one on the heating element ranging from 180-210. How can it have three heat settings, low medium and high with only two thermostats? One of which isn't even measuring the air temp?! My only guess is that it uses some fuzzy logic and timing to extrapolate the other ranges. Like 10 seconds after the blower thermostat clicks and 5s after the heating element clicks that's max high, or something like that. Does anyone know?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Tonight Craig Ferguson will host The Late Late Show for the last time and wrap up with an interview with Jay Leno. If you can't stay up late enough to watch it live, you can stream it tomorrow (at least in the USA.) Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm going home for the holidays for the first time in five years. Help me assemble the perfect soundtrack for my trip.Home is extreme northwestern Minnesota/northeastern North Dakota. I want songs that evoke the feeling of either taking a trip to that part of the country (or somewhere rural) OR of returning home OR of being "home" for Christmas (Okkervil River's "Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas" is a good example). Bonus if songs are cozy and wintery but not overtly Christmasy. Extra bonus if it's a semilocal artist. The only thing I'm opposed to adding is that one song by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. My taste is very broad/eclectic but my favorite stuff is pretty mellow and lo-fi. Favorites include Smog/Bill Callahan, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Joni Mitchell, the Fall. Playlist already includes: Obligatory "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel "Say Shh" - Atmosphere "We Can Get Together" - the Hold Steady "Lemon Grove Avenue" - Mason Jennings "Empire Builder" - Mason Jennings "Just Like Christmas" - Low "Take Me Home, Country Roads" - John Denver

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Are there areas outside the U.S. -- or well-run organizations within it -- where the words Invoice and Receipt are properly used interchangeably? Cultural issues belowAs a small part of my job, I deal with hundreds of individuals per year who order our product. When they order our product online, they can choose to pay immediately via credit card, or pay later via check or money transfer. If they pay immediately, our system automatically sends them an email receipt and an email confirmation. If they choose to pay by check or money transfer, they automatically receive an emailed invoice and emailed payment instructions. The issue is people who do not seem to know the difference between an invoice and a receipt. I have always understood it--and every credible source I've seen says--that an invoice is given to people who OWE money and a receipt is given to people who've PAID money. We are a U.S. based company. I've had issues with this with many of our customers--or, more often, their secretaries--who seem unclear on this concept. That is, I often get asked for an invoice when people have already paid us. When I say, "I'm sorry, our system sent you a receipt because you are paid in full; the receipt shows you are paid in full." They say, "But I need an invoice." Now, I believe several things might be going on here: 1. Their need to satisfy some bizarre bureaucratic requirement. 2. Their genuine confusion, among English speakers, as to the difference--I've met and worked with many fellow Americans who literally do not know a difference and we've had to get a high-up in accounting to tell them the difference. 3. Many of our customers are from outside the U.S. (from countries all over the world) and perhaps they are not knowledgeable of the English words--or perhaps their language does not distinguish? The real reason I'm asking is because I've had several instances, in the past, where I've worked with people from a certain culture who were doing things "wrong" with our ordering system, only to find out that in their culture, they were using, say, capitalization, in the correct way. So does anyone know of 1. Well-run American organizations who have deliberately decided to use "Invoices" and "Receipts" interchangeably? or 2. Countries/languages that recognize no such distinction in their business culture?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
3 female computer scientists held a Reddit AMA. You can totally guess what happened next.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This will be the first Christmas in my life where I'm alone - no significant other or family. While I've never thought of myself as much of a holiday person, the idea is beginning to weigh on me and I'm looking for suggestions as how to spend the day (and days leading up to it) in a happy manner. Extra challenge: I'm quite extremely broke.I've been going through my options: I do volunteer work several times a week already and though I know I could likely find something extra in that nature I'm not sure it's how I want to spend Christmas, if that doesn't sound too selfish. Unfortunately none of my friends will be around. Due to my financial situation getting out of town isn't an option. I'd spend the day at the movies or something similar but even that doesn't fit into my budget. Is there anything I'm overlooking (besides sitting home and reading)? This is an issue that I've never had to tackle before. I'd rather not just hold my breath until the season is over but otherwise I'm at a loss.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
So Notch loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimmin' pools, movie stars. What's a "spec" home? The builder of the home is purse tycoon Bruce Makowsky.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
In July I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Since then I've made significant changes to my lifestyle. I'm wondering what to expect on my next doctor visit.In July I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. My blood sugar was 135 and A1C was 6.5. Since then I've made significant lifestyle changes, losing about 30 pounds and dropping my BMI from 32 (obese) to 29 (overweight). The lifestyle changes I've made include at least an hour of strenuous exercise 5 to 6 days a week (mostly cardio -- running and biking -- with some weight training), and changing my diet from VB6-friendly to about 80% vegan with minimal simple carbs. (I'm still having a hard time avoiding alcohol, especially beer, but I have cut back quite a bit.) I have my next blood work schedule for mid-January. With the progress I've made with my health so far, I'm wondering if I can expect my blood sugar and A1C to be below diabetic levels, or whether this takes much longer than a six-month turnaround.

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