posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The Afghan Women's National Cycling Team trains six mornings a week in the quiet predawn streets of Kabul to futher their dream of one day qualifying for and participating in the Olympics. "In a country where girls have faced acid attacks just for going to school, the dangers of doing sport in public go beyond insults or the momentary impact of a well-aimed stone." Mountain2Mountain is a human rights organization based in Colorado, USA that is behind securing much of the equipment and funding for these women. For much, much more behind this project, check out @Mtn2Mtn on Twitter. Afghani women in sport: previously, previously.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How do you refer to your widowed parent's new spouse, when you are talking to someone who does not know them?My mother died in 2010, and my dad remarried over the summer. When talking to my dad, or another family member about her, I'll just call her "Laura" - "How's Laura doing/I went out to dinner with Dad and Laura the other night", etc. But if I'm talking to someone who doesn't know Laura, it gets....weird. "Stepmom" seems more for someone who has an active parenting role over you (I'm in my early 40's). "My dad's wife" seems too clinical and mean-spirited. They're not going to know who I mean when I say "Laura". Am I overthinking this? What do you say?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm having a hernia repaired next week, and I'm having trouble finding much reliable information on what to expect online. What was your/your friend/your lover's hernia repair like?I have a left indirect inguinal hernia (though my surgeon says there's a chance it's a femoral hernia). It's still fairly small; I started noticing it about a year ago. I am female and in my early 30s, which makes it harder to find information since inguinal hernias are much more common in men. Thanks to a previous MetaFilter question about hernias, I knew to ask about mesh vs non-mesh, and my surgeon agreed to do my repair without mesh. I'm curious to hear about experiences recovering from the surgery particularly. How long did it take you to start to feel better? Were there any things that were really difficult? Any things you found out that made the recovery easier? Anything I should know to ask my surgeon? I'm nervous because I really feel like I don't know what to expect, so any information you can share would be really helpful (or point me in the direction of good sources of info online, if you have those)!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Today is Jonas Salk's 100th birthday. Salk, who reimagined the idea of a vaccine by suggesting that immunity could be established in the body by using inactivated viruses chose not to patent his polio vaccine, which he first tested on his own family. In 1954, at least 1-million children — the Polio Pioneers — were tested across the nation ...The vaccine was announced as safe and largely effective on April 12, 1955. The Anti-Vaccine Movement Is Forgetting the Polio Epidemic: On the 100th anniversary of Jonas Salk's birth, his son Peter talks about the backlash against vaccines and other human factors that make it difficult to eradicate deadly viruses.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The closest a film has ever come to adapting King's internal-horror aesthetic is a film King himself has publicly lambasted: Kubrick's version of The Shining. It's the most artful, scary, and beautifully directed of the King adaptations, and even excludes some of the novel's more overt (and potentially silly) visual elements, such as the hedge animals that come to life and stalk the family in the yard. Yet, the film never tackles the serious human horrors that infect Jack Torrance throughout the novel, specifically his alcoholism, along with the themes of cyclical abuse and mounting financial pressure. King's criticism of the film is that Torrance, as played by Jack Nicholson, is portrayed as unhinged right from the start, whereas the novel slowly unravels the man's sanity, the haunted house he occupies pushing him deeper into madness and violence. Part of the AV Club's A Week of Horrors series for Halloween.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How NYC's iconic Katz's Deli stays in business

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What experiences have you had with big (a.k.a. "enterprise") digital asset management systems? Good or bad, I want to know it all.I have paralyzing quantities of images, video, and page layout files to sort, search, tag, and archive among various departments. I need to be able to have separate collections; access controls (Active Directory integration would be ideal); Adobe integration; and the ability to group together various versions of one file, or the various files of a print job or video-editing job. I think I will be hosting it internally, and doing ILM migration of the oldest data to a tape device on the back end. I have some rather out-of-date prepress skills, and current sysadmin skills, so I know the vocabulary. :7) But I no longer know the real players and issues in this space -- and I distrust the ability of salespeople and consultants to be objective. Thanks in advance!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I never was fond of houses with picture windows, or too many windows at all, but then I fell in love with this home...I just want to know how practical it is to have a house like this? It's very beautiful, but it has so many windows and doesn't seem very secure. Is it just something nice to look at?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I am trying to find a place for four people to meet for a business meeting/interview at Logan airport.Logistical specifics: Two of us are local and will drive in. Two others are flying in just for the day, on different flights and different airlines (one will arrive in terminal E, not sure about the other). We would look to meet around 11:00 AM. I'd take restaurant, hotel, function room or other suggestions for a place that we could have conversation in relative quiet (though a not-too-noisy restaurant would be OK). Actually having lunch isn't a requirement, we can always find something afterwards. We'd meet for roughly two hours. Any input is appreciated!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell, writes for the Pacific Magazine on how confidence and incompetence often go hand in hand: We Are All Confident Idiots

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My three cats are urinating all over my basement and the smell is terrible. How do I deal with the smell and correct this behavior?I live in a rowhouse with a cellar-y basement (very porous, rough concrete floor, patches of broken concrete, some bare dirt sections, low ceiling that necessitates stooping 95% of the time one is down there, rubble walls, damp after rains.) This seemed like a perfect location for litter boxes for my three cats, as it is out of the way and not used for anything other than storage, and we were tired of sweeping up litter multiple times a day and dealing with the constant (though now relatively faint, in retrospect) cat stank. You can probably see where this is going; at some point the cats discovered a giant dirt pile from a decades-ago construction project, and deemed it a preferable location for doing their business. I quickly cleaned it up and all was well for a while. Flash forward to a few months ago. My older cat (early teens, we think) was having some urinary tract issues, and urinated, well...everywhere, both in the basement and in our living space. This has since been dealt with, and I thought everything was back to normal (except for some territorial urination by the front door which, when I blocked access to the spot, stopped. ) Now, however, it seems that all the cats have decided that the basement is a urinary free-for-all. It doesn't help, I'm sure, that there is dirt everywhere, even after frequent vacuuming. This behavior was occasional for a while, but now they apparently have forsaken the litter box almost entirely, and at this point they only seem to use it for solid waste (i.e. almost 100% of their urine is being absorbed by the floor.) As a result, a really unpleasant odor now fills the basement and, often, our hallway. I need to find some way to reduce or eliminate this odor, and, if possible, the cats' behavior. I have gone through bottle upon bottle of Nature's Miracle trying to remove the smell, but it seems not to work, or the issue is so widespread that I simply can't find and treat all of the spots. I also think the issue is largely a matter of habit now, and I only have so many objects I can place over problem areas to dissuade them from returning, which hasn't helped when I've tried it anyway, as they will simply urinate next to the object. This is after also treating with NM and also concreting over the area, which does seem to be very effective in containing the smell. Of course, I can't continue to add layer upon layer of new concrete, because eventually, you know, space will run out and the floor will be inches from the ceiling (on second thought, completely filling the basement with concrete doesn't sound like such a bad idea...) Needless to say, this issue is causing me and my family all sorts of stress and embarrassment. Our house has never smelled like a giant litter box before, and I'd really like to return to it being that way. What do I do? Some steps I am considering taking: -changing litter (we currently use pine pellets, which have worked fine for years, but perhaps something softer in texture will persuade the cats to return to the litter box.) -putting a cat door in the basement door, rather than leaving the door ajar for feline access. -concreting over remaining rough areas, treating whatever spots I can find with NM, and painting the floor with an oil-based primer to contain the smell and help prevent absorption. Getting rid of the cats is a last resort, and I'd really like to find a way for us all to live in relatively odorless harmony again. I also need to keep the litter boxes in the basement. Beyond that, the limiting factor is really only money. Aesthetics don't matter in the least, and I already put a ton of time and effort into trying to (unsuccessfully) deal with the smell/behavior, so I don't mind putting in some more to possibly reach a more permanent solution. Completely eliminating both the smell and the urination outside of the litter box is the ideal, but I would settle for reducing both. Hope me?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Profs Bumble Into Big Legal Trouble After Election Experiment Goes Way Wrong Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch filed a complaint Friday alleging that Stanford University and Dartmouth College researchers broke four laws by sending 100,000 election mailers to voters that appeared to come from the state. Their peers in the field have ripped their social science experiment as a "misjudgment" or -- stronger still -- "malpractice." "According to a description provided by Stanford, the research was intended "to compare voter participation levels in precincts that receive the additional information with voter participation in precincts that do not." It included 100,000 mailers sent throughout Montana, 66,000 mailers sent in September in one New Hampshire congressional district, and 143,000 mailers sent to two congressional districts in California. There have not been reports of similar complaints in California or New Hampshire, and TPM could not reach state officials for comment." Chris Blattman is less convinced that this is 'malpractice': "Let's use a different example. I run field experiments trying to reduce poverty and violence. Sometimes I design experiments and interventions myself. Seldom do people say to me, "You are mucking around with real world outcomes. Who gave you the permission to do that?" Maybe people should ask. It's a good question. Thinking it through, I get a more nuanced answer than malpractice."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
After 80, some people don't retire. They reign. A collection of portraits of and interviews with men and women of a certain age. Here there be wisdom.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
In January, one of the last remaining specimens of a nearly extinct water lily was stolen from Kew Gardens. Collectors and nursery owners continued to beg Magdalena for the plant. "All the time," he said. "All the time." He sensed that people were willing to break the rules. "When there is no way of getting it, people grow sick and obsessed." When the water lily was taken from the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Magdalena wasn't shocked in the slightest. "What surprised me is that it took so long," he said.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Modern art generator Suitable for framing! /via boing boing

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How can I forgive myself for exercising such poor judgment?About a month ago I broke up with, and kicked out of my house, my boyfriend of 4 months after he lied to me about "not" drinking half a bottle of vodka. Since then, I've realized that there were so many problems and that moving in with him in such a hurry based on feelings and conversations (we met interstate and he moved in with me a few days later so we could date in my city) was stupid. He owes me a thousand dollars or so and I'm still getting bills in that he won't be able to pay as he never seems to have stable employment (apparently he lost his job the day after we broke up). It was dumb that I offered to cover things for him assuming he'd be able to pay me back "soon" because I didn't want him to have to sell all his favorite records. It was dumb that I tried to pay two people's rent and bills by myself, thinking that he'd pitch in "soon", once he was making more money at work etc. Yesterday he emailed me and asked if I had moved on, and I said yes (I'm dating someone else, but told him no details at all). He reacted really badly and has been sending me lots of really nasty emails since and has told me he is going to be attending a small event I am performing at. He is a bigger part of that scene than I am as he's been involved for 15 years (I've only been around for one) and the idea of everyone hearing from him what a "scumbag" I am makes me feel a bit sick. I have a few friends coming for support. One of the people I perform with is his good friend (they have a band together too) and thinks I was being unreasonable for breaking up with him. His friends don't know that he owes me a this money. They also have substance abuse issues. Previously I felt proud of myseld for not sticking aroind, but now I feel like I've gotten myself into this yuck situation and I just feel embarrassed. This is not the first relationship like this I've been in - in fact I have only had one healthy relationship in my life - and even though I caught it early it makes me despair that I am STILL making crappy choices. The new guy I am dating is not my usual type at all, and I'm hoping that will be helpful, but it seems weird to feel confident going AGAINST my gut. Part of me feels like I should just never date again because I just choose manipulative partners every time. How can I forgive myself for making this mistake and feel confident that I should keep trying? (Not in therapy at the moment but was for years. I can see the patterns and why I do what I do)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My 87 year old Mother likes to help in my office. She is healthy, but frail. Should I mention to clients that I don't want them coming in to see me when they are sick and that I would prefer they have a flu shot? Is there some sort of proper business etiquette for this? Thanks. I'm in casual California, if that helps.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
We live in a rented apartment which has big windows, big transparent sliding doors, and no coverings. To reduce light in our bedroom, we have installed some simple curtain rods. The building has a steel frame so there are no wooden studs for us to drill into. So for each curtain rod, we installed three simple brackets directly into the drywall. Unfortunately, the brackets have come out of the wall several times. How can we fix this?We don't own the unit and don't get much cooperation from the landlord so we don't want to do anything super-permanent. We also aren't highly skilled at home improvement, and likely won't be staying here for years but need a solution now. The brackets run vertically on the wall with a screw on the top and one on the bottom. We got some improvement by using longer screws and angling them slightly toward each other rather than perpendicular towards the wall but I'm worried they're going to fall out again at some point and won't have time then to research the best way to reinstall before I need to sleep.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Does anyone else's fitbit show what appears to be a wildly inflated number of steps per day?I am a very lazy person who does a few short walks a day (e.g. from home to the bus stop, from subway station to office, from office to the shop at lunchtime, style of thing - never longer than 15 minutes!) and my fitbit flex keeps showing me as reaching nearly 10,000 steps a day. Can this be possible?! (And if it were, wouldn't I be a lean mean walking machine, instead of a tubby coach potato?) A cursory Google showed that this is a common issue for users of the flex. I googled 'how to decrease flex sensitivity' and followed the instructions to change the wrist setting to 'dominant' while still keeping the flex worn on my non-dominant wrist but this just threw the numbers even more wildly off. So now, I wear the flex on my non-dominant wrist and keep the setting as 'non-dominant' also. I do still want to use the fitbit. Does anyone have any ideas about how to fix these readings, or how to read the numbers in a more useful way? E.g. if I knew the fitbit was counting 2 steps for every 1 step taken I could halve the total count and thereby have a more realistic idea of how much I was talking.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
When I'm not watching Russia Today, obviously, I'm watching pop TV. Even my son's embarrassed by the infantilism of my tastes, but there's some good stuff out there now. Pharrell Williams's Happy– that's absolutely fucking knockout. Williams is as good as any 60s soul singer and the song is brilliantly put together. It's a great drum track, and there are only four chords or so, but they're just enough. It's really subtly done, absolutely spot-on. My granddaughter tells me I should totally disapprove of that other song he did, though. With someone else... something lines? Blurred Lines! That's the one. Take it from me that I don't like that one at all. Robert Wyatt talks to the Grauniad about The Soundtrack of his Life. (Robert Wyatt previously) A short bio of Robert Wyatt, for those who don't know him: He started out as a jazz drummer in the early sixties in the Daevid Allen trio, before moving on to the Wilde Flowers, the Canterbury based pop group that would launch a thousand Canterbury Scene prog rock groups. When that broke up, Wyatt joined Daevid Allen in his new band, Soft Machine (named after the Burroughs novel, natch). He remained with the group for their first two albums, through which he expressed his interest in pataphysics: Wyatt was introduced to 'pataphysics in 1967, when Soft Machine—already established, alongside Pink Floyd, as darlings of the London underground scene, and about to tour the States with the Jimi Hendrix Experience—performed a live soundtrack to Ubu Enchaîné at the Edinburgh Festival. By the time of their second album, Wyatt was introducing the band as "the official orchestra of the College of 'Pataphysics," going on to prove these credentials by singing the letters of the alphabet in reverse. Wyatt was both drummer and vocalist in the Softs, but artistic differences between him and other members of the band led him to leave and set up his own, Matching Mole (a pune, or play on words, which if pronounced the right way, sounds like Machine Mole, which is of course French for Soft Machine) in which he set out to explore his own experimental music to great critical acclaim. Until, dead drunk, he fell out of an upstairs window during a friend's party and was paralysed from the waist down. That didn't stop him however, though Matching Mole was disbanded. He came back with the 1973 solo album Rock Bottom and actually had an hit with a cover of the Monkees' I'm a Believer. Of which he has said: There was a bit of mischief there, too. I didn't like the fact that hierarchies had developed between what people thought was "serious" rock music and pop music-- that was all rubbish. I was very uncomfortable with that. That was exactly the kind of situation I thought our generation had got rid of. I've always admired pop music, because I think it's the modern post-industrial folk music. Everybody can join in, you don't have to be a specialist. You can sing along with it. But there's not much room in pop music for all the things I want to do. It's a bit like food: I like all kinds of interesting food, but in the end, I can just sit down with an egg sandwich and really feel great. Since then he has been working steadily on both solo projects and collaborations with other musicians, including Björk and Hot Chip. For more on Wyatt, the BBC4 documentary on him from a few years back is essential viewing.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
1000 Days of Syria is a text-based historical fiction game that timelines the first 1000 days of the Syrian uprising through interactive narratives. From the start of the opposition protests on March 15th, 2011 to the dismantling of Assad's chemical stockpile on December 9th, 2013, 1000 Days of Syria seeks to illuminate the smaller stories of a civil conflict.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What are the best news/opinions about Android in terms of quality of writing and analysis? I'm after sites that post relatively infrequently, but tend to produce high quality stuff when they do post: the Android equivalent of sites like MacStories, Daring Fireball, and Six Colors. (I know far more about iOS than I do Android, but should really know about both.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Is there any country, besides the US, which has a lottery for a permanent resident visa? I'm coming up short, but wondering if there are any countries that I'm missing. Thanks.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A BBC Sport study into prize money found 30% of sports reward men more highly than women. The biggest disparities in prize money were found in football, cricket, golf, darts, snooker and squash. "A total of 56 global sports were looked at in the extensive study. Out of 35 sports that pay prize money, 25 pay equally and 10 do not. Fourteen sports, including rugby union and hockey, do not pay any prize money at all."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
So I finally got health insurance in the US and made a 'new patient' appointment for a physical. After talking the nurse through my (very limited) medical history, I was asked to undress and put on a medical gown. I then met my new doctor, talked about my medical history again, asked for a referral to a chiropractor (I have scoliosis and associated back pain, and wanted to re-establish treatment). She took my blood pressure, did the stethoscope thing on my back, and did a bit of abdomen pressing. The rest was talking. So why did I need to undress and wear a medical gown?My experience with doctors in the UK and Australia is that doctors are easily able to do those things by lifting up / adjusting my clothes (and when I see a doctor, I wear clothes appropriate for these checks - I'm not stupid). Apart from pap tests and IUD insertion, when I've been asked to remove the bottom half of my clothing - of course. What is the purpose of this disrobing for general primary care visits in the US? It takes more time (they gave me 5 minutes to disrobe and 5 minutes to put my clothes back on - rather excessive given that I have been dressing and undressing myself for over 38 years, and it takes a lot less than 5 minutes!). It made me feel uncomfortable - I wasn't wearing my clothes. It made me feel like I should have had a medical problem to be there (this was a long overdue physical, without any presenting problem). It made me feel disempowered (she was fully clothed, I was wearing a gown with nice pretty flowers on it that left my back and ass exposed).

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