posted 2 days ago on metafilter
For close to a year I've been searching for a mid-career public library job in the northern half of the US (I'm employed, but I need a higher salary or a cheaper city); I've had a bunch of interviews but no offers yet. I am also seriously considering applying for a MFA in fiction writing. But I don't know how to handle trying to do both.First things first: I know it's ridiculous to go into debt for an MFA; I know there aren't any jobs in the field; but I think the opportunity to work seriously, full-time on my writing would do me a world of good personally. I would only apply to well-funded programs, and I'm hoping that the teaching experience and the degree would give me a leg up in applying for academic library jobs (though I would also be happy going back to public librarianship). I don't want to put my job search on hold to apply for an MFA because a lot of the programs I'm considering only have something like a 1%-2% acceptance rate, and I don't want to apply to programs I otherwise wouldn't apply to just to have a "safety school" option. I'd rather keep my day job and keep writing on the side. I don't want to give up on applying for an MFA either -- if I got accepted to a good program with good funding, I would go in a heartbeat. But trying to do both at the same time means that I might move across the country for a new job and then have to face the choice of either quitting after less than a year and moving across the country again, or turning down an offer. It means that I'll be spending money on GREs and applications and transcripts, and asking for recommendation letters and writing critical essays, for something that probably won't even happen unless I get rejected from every single job I apply for between now and February. (I keep getting sad when I try to figure out the odds of this). (Relevant fact: I'll almost certainly need to relocate for any job I get, because I really need more money to stay in my current city than the city libraries pay. Nor am I applying to any local grad programs.) How do I figure out what to prioritize, and how? Does it make sense just to choose one and give up on the other one, at least for a while? Or can I try to figure out a way to keep all those balls in the air and live with the uncertainty?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Can you guys tell me how your gallbladder removal surgery went? Is it true that you can go back to work after a full week? I am having surgery on Friday and I am not going back to work until the following monday( a full 9 days at home besides the surgery day). I am completely frightened. I heard about davinci surgeries that are robot assisted. I am next looking into that. I heard some can do even with one single incision.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Can I ship excess baggage to a US address from somewhere in JFK airport on a Sunday afternoon?I will be arriving in JFK airport from an international flight on Sunday September 6. I want to take the train from NYC to my final destination in Central Pennsylvania, but Amtrak does not allow checked baggage on the New York -- Harrisburg route. I will thus have to figure something to do with my two extra suitcases. Is there a service in/near JFK (or, perhaps, Penn Station) from where I can mail my excess baggage to myself in the US? Difficulty: needs to be open on a Sunday afternoon. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Help! How would you market a company to corporate groups, bachelor, bachelorette and birthday parties?Basically, I am trying to market my company, which is a fun and unusual sports type game, to people for a private event instead of focusing on selling individual tickets. Primarily, we would love to focus on corporations that do team building events, but I am wondering if I need to just identify a bunch of companies and pitch them (if so, who would I pitch to - like what job title / department would handle such things? And should I go in person with brochures, on the phone or via email?) I also want to focus on universities, bachelor / bachelorette / birthday / reunions... where do people looking for something to do for such events turn to? Do i need to buy ad space on google? try to use social media websites? are there lists that promote these types of things. Please lend me your marketing ideas. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The Pop-Up Chorus in Durham, NC. has no auditions. Once a month, anyone can show up and sing - people of all ages do. Imperfection is embraced. Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants How Can You Really? - Foxygen Africa - Toto No Rest for the Wicked - Lykke Li Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana Their YouTube Channel Previously on Metafilter, the Chapel Hill Chorus Project Pop-Up Chorus is a program of the Community Chorus Project.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Kyle Jean-Baptiste died in an accident on Friday at the age of 21. Mr. Jean-Baptiste joined the company of Les Miserables this summer after his college graduation, and became the first African-American man to play Jean Valjean on Broadway on June 23, while understudying the role. He recently announced on Facebook that he would be joining the Broadway cast of The Color Purple alongside Jennifer Hudson. His last performance as Valjean was on Thursday night. He recently performed "The Confrontation" with Lin-Manuel Miranda at the #Ham4Ham lottery for Hamilton tickets. Last night, the show's current Jean Valjean, Ramin Karimloo spoke to the audience and paid tribute to their friend and cast mate. Collection of performances (BroadwayWorld)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I want to sell my Nikon D50 on eBay. It works but has developed what I would guess is a processor problem. I would like to swap to a Canon anyway next year so don't want to repair it myself. Should I sell it as a piece or split the body and lense?The lens is fine and can be used for other cameras. The camera takes pictures and some people might not even notice there was a problem. I didn't until I viewed the pictures on my pc and zoomed in and saw more noise than normal and a thin dead pixel line on part of the image. So I decided to sell it, and was going to do so as a bundle of body, lens, charger and case. My thinking is that someone might buying to repair, but also if you were starting off in DSLR photography, you might find it an acceptable beginner's camera. Then someone said I should split the lens and body to get more money. But to me that means anyone buying the body will probably just be wanting to repair it and this will pay less than someone just getting a working-ish kit. Any thoughts please? I need to make a bit of money and now instead of just listing it I am sitting here beanplating. Aargh.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I posted this question a while ago. What I failed to mention there is that my ex-friend was also a coworker. I've since moved on to a new job that I love, but now I hear that my terrible ex-friend is thinking about applying for a job at my new company. This has sent me into a panic.My question is, is there any way I can approach HR to say something like "Please do not hire this person because she has affairs with her coworkers' husbands" without making MYSELF look batshit crazy and vindictive, especially considering (a) I am a new hire, and (b) I will have no way of knowing if/when she actually applies? Don't ask me why she wants to apply there. It's a great company and she is a horrible person.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The clinical neurologist, author, former weightlifter, and popularizer of science has died of the metastatic melanoma that he announced in February had spread to his liver. A perennial guest on WNYC's broadcast of WNYC's Radiolab, he unfailingly came across as clever, kind, and self-deprecating (including about his prosopagnosia, or face blindness). Dr. Sacks remained engaged with science and the public until the end. The Guardian, the NYTimes, and FT have all registered their regard. [Previously on Mefi.]

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How the ballpoint pen killed cursive.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Hey, I'm going to Costa Rica December 5th to 19th this year. I am in over my head as far as planning where I will go and stay. Can you help me? I'd like to get reservations all set, and I have no idea what I am doing.My goal for this question is to end up with a detailed itinerary complete with hotels, excursions, and (least important) restaurant recommendations. I am hoping that some of you might have done a trip to Costa Rica already and are willing to share exactly where you stayed, for how long in each area/city, and the hotels you stayed in. Important information: Flying into San Jose at about 2:30 p.m. on Sat December 5. Leaving San Jose 11:30 p.m. Saturday Dec 19th. I am prioritizing birding excursions. I have a field guide already. I am especially interested in endemic and tropical birds. Hummingbirds, Trogons, Parrots, Tanagers, Antbirds, Cotingas, Woodpeckers, Manakins, Euphonias etc. I am currently, however, pretty out of shape physically, so would prefer something kind of chill. I will be working on conditioning before I go. Budget is middling. I would like to spend less than $1000 for lodging over 14 nights. Paid excursions will be a treat, but think more along the lines of $100 for a day trip rather than the crazy $5,000 birding trips. More likely I'll usually just find some areas to wander on my own to bird. (Suggestions?) Beach time would be cool, too. Do I need a car? Do you have a place you'd recommend renting from? Bonus: what and how to pack. December is a transitional season, from wet to dry. I have a rain coat and will be getting good shoes. How will I do laundry? Previously this question and this one are helpful. But I am looking for a lot more.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm editing a series of long interview transcriptions that need to stay in their original question-and-answer format. Where would you draw the editing line?A similar question was answered here, but that was in the world of articles, where you have the ability to add "implied ellipses" as the best answer put it (eg "quote someone's words here," then add a few words in between before "quoting something else they said"). The transcripts I'm editing are extremely long, need to stay in q&a format (so not quite like oral history where quotes seem to be arranged by topic), and of course have all the jumbled, garbled stuff you'd expect from people thinking on their feet in an interview situation. They're meant to be read, so I feel I have a duty as an editor to make things more concise and easier to read. But is that a good idea, or even ethical? Among the things I'd like to do in ascending order of seems-like-a-bad-idea (all of which I'm sure we've all seen people do in any real-world editing room): Tweak words to make the meaning clear (add a missing word, clarify the name of a person or product) Tweak words to make it easier to read (change a sentence to active tense, split a sentence in two) Shift whole responses around to avoid everything jumping back-and-forth chronologically Shift a sentence so it sits in an earlier or later response with related sentences. Common sense (or paranoia?) tells me that any edit would look bad to the original speaker, or to anyone who heard the audio and thought, 'Hang on - why does this not match up?'. I want to make sure I do the right thing. But the transcript in its current state is so long, hard to read, and chronologically jumbled. Help!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The Verge has developed a way to game the New Yorker cartoon caption contest (previously: 1 2 christ what an asshole 4), in the sense that roulette and chuck-a-luck are games.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I am looking for a party space in NYC with specific requirements: midtown; modern/industrial; one floor (not bi-level); capacity of around 100 people; allowable to bring in own food/caterer. I've been looking but have come up short. Do you have some ideas for me? TIA!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I recently dropped out / failed to complete a 2 year social science Masters program after I was unable to complete my dissertation for a whole variety of reasons I won't go into here. How do I represent this time on my CV in a way that is both honest of what I did and did not achieve, but not off putting to employers or just a big unanswered gap. (I am seeking employment in a field that is not particularly related to the subject of the course)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I moved to the US from Canada during the 2014 tax year on a work visa. My departure date from Canada is considered the day after I sold my home in Canada. The tax people say it is advantageous for me to file as Married Filing Together, forcing me to declare the entire 2014 (not just the part I was in the US). Therefore, they say, I have to pay capital/mortgage foreign exchange gain on the sale of my home in Canada, even though everything about the house occurred before I was in the US. Does this sound accurate?I know you are not my accountant or tax lawyer, but I'm wondering if anyone has any idea about this. Or if there are other Canadian ex-pats that went through this. Here is some history (with fake numbers). I bought my previous house in Canada in 2008. I had to remortgage in 2011 to consolidate some other debts. I got the new job in the US at the end of 2013, so we sold our house and moved to the US in mid-Jan 2014. Because we bought the house just before the crash in 2008, we actually sold at a loss of about $50000. The proceeds of the house sale went to clear out the mortgage. The new US company has a national tax service preparing my taxes. They finally have gotten around to finalizing my return and say that I owe approximately $20000 in taxes on the sale of my house to the US government. The rationale, they say, is as follows: * They agree there is a loss on the sale of the property, so there is no taxes there. * The mortgage was worth $3000000 CAD at the time of closing in Jan 2014, which translates to $273000 USD. * Because I remortgaged in 2011, they consider that the inception date of the mortgage. When you consider the closing value of the mortgage back in 2011, you get $309000 USD, because the Canadian dollar was worth so much more in 2011. *The difference in these two numbers is $36000, and I therefore made $36000 in foreign exchange on the mortgage. * I have to pay taxes on this foreign exchange gain. I was baffled at first how they figured I made money on the sale of my house until they could explain that it was this foreign exchange gain that was happening. I do see references/explanations of this tax on the web, so I understand it is a real thing and I understand what it covers: example page 1, example page 2. All of the examples and references that I find about this, though, applies to US citizen, or ex-pats, or at least people who have been routinely paying US taxes. For me, I had no inkling of moving to the US at the time I bought my house or remortgaged in 2011. I had lived and worked in Canada my entire life. I do agree that I moved to the US in 2014 and that the sale of the house occurred in 2014. I just don't see how/why I should pay taxes on these activities that occurred before my life in the US and that the US had no part of. Can anyone help me figure this out? Can you cite the law or at least give me examples of other Canadians having to pay this tax?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
How should I let someone know whom I'm potentially dating that I'm unemployed and going through a transition phase in life? Should I even be dating? Any advice.I just finished graduate school this May, and was studying for my licensing exams while working part time this summer. After having one of the most stressful/intense summers of my life - I decided after I passed my licensing exams ---to quit my part time job. Too much stress and I hated my part time job which would have transitioned into a full time position. It was a difficult and tortuous decision decision which I spent many nights stressed out, worrying about. After quitting and passing my licensing exams, about a couple of weeks ago - I decided to just go out and live life a little. I ended up inadvertently meeting a guy at a bar. We ended up talking and just chuckling a lot, and felt a lot of chemistry between us. However, he abruptly left and I never expected to hear from him again. Several days later he contacted me asking me out. A bit surprised, but still interested - I said yes. Should I tell him I'm unemployed in terms of scheduling? How do I handle the fact that I'm in a transition phase? I wasn't expecting any of this. Just wanted to get out of my box and do something else, I wasn't really expecting to meet anyone. It seems difficult to not say I'm in a weird transition state, unemployed looking for jobs but it's also not necessary to tell him everything. Plus, I don't know if this could even go any where. Any advice on what to say would be appreciated.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have used the Galaxy Note2,3,4, and I loved them. I specifically love the removable battery, and the external sd card slot, along with the huge screen and really long battery life. Help me pick my next smart phone (as the note 5 has no removable battery/ micro sd card)I was planning on upgrading to the Note 5, but it has no battery and no external micro sd card. I really enjoy top end Android smart phones, with a huge screen, and external micro sd card. I would even use the Galaxy 7" Tab (I tried it before but the battery life was HORRIBLE). I'd like a recommendation for a phablet smart phone that has the following, in aproximate order of importance. GSM (can use my straight talk wireless [ATT towers] sim card to get the 4G fast data) Huge screen (at least 5.5", and preferably smaller than 8.5") Long battery life (hopefully at least as good as note 4?) External micro sd card slot (preferably can use my 128gb micro sd card) Android OS Removable battery High end model (fast processor) Super fast charging like my note 4 has (it can go zero to 60 in 30 minutes)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a short time to decide on going back to school for a career path and I'm looking for advice on how to make the decision. I have a very mixed work and educational history and am in the middle of a divorce, and I can't answer in any way yet "What job do you want?" Ideas are appreciated, but really I want to know how to figure out this decision.I grew up in an abusive home and being bright was a useless thing as a girl. I graduated high school early and then dropped out of university so started waitressing at 16 and wound up in a string of jobs in programming and publishing, then married early and stopped working full-time to stay with my kids, homeschooling them earlier. I freelanced and helped my ex-husband with his editing and writing, and ended up setting up and running a small charity which employs about 60+ people. This was unpaid work largely - I had a token salary from the charity for legal reasons that was less than what I spent volunteering, and anything I earned working with my ex went to him (prior to the seperation), so I haven't had a real paid job in 16 years. I did go back to university briefly when the kids were little, and I got As easily with minimal work, so I have a few course credits there. Now I know there are two jobs I don't want: book buying (I had this offered to me once and thought about it very seriously and turned down the opportunity), and running a charity again - I love the work I do for this one and will continue to serve part-time on the board, but I couldn't simultaneously work for another charity full-time as a result. I'm pretty sure I don't want to be a full-time corporate freelance writer, although I love editing books and book design, because I'd rather have the writing side of my brain for writing I want to do, than paid work only. Other than that, I haven't got a clue. I have always been "the writer" and I want to write more fiction but not as my sole source, or any source, of income. The easiest degrees for me to get would be either a social work degree (I already know most of the material from work), or an english literature degree, but I could do most of them because I'm a very fast reader and quick to learn things. I'm good with maths, science, humanities - it's all interesting and possible, which is great except I have no idea which. I want to work towards a job with structured hours and relatively decent pay, something where I don't have to think about the people and work outside of work hours. Right now, I have no confidence about making this choice. I spent years helping my ex figure out what his job dreams were, and helping my kids do the same, but I just did what was in front of me and what people asked me to do. I didn't imagine I would get a career because that wasn't my role. I spent a long time making sure everyone saw my husband and I as happily married and that I was super-fulfilled and happy in my role, so asking people in RL for advice has been very difficult as they are used to seeing me as confident and capable, and are already reeling from the divorce etc. 99% of them went to university and corporate careers. My therapist has suggested I consider becoming an art therapist which is about 5 years of training, but is a career with a relatively long life then. It's a strong possibility, but how do I know if I'm just following the same "do what other people tell me to do" trajectory? I have been reading through textbooks for different courses, reading career accounts, and trying to imagine myself in different jobs but I'm 37 and I have no job dreams at all. On a good day, I think sure, I can do anything, and on a bad day, I think a barista gig at Starbucks is pretty much as high as I'll ever get. I don't feel paralysed by choices, I feel like I've got no answer to make. Sure, I'll be an accountant, a lawyer, a barista, a truck driver, an HR manager, an engineer.... How do I figure out what I want, not what other people want me to do?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Escaping from Children's Abuse of Social Robots. "the robot is programmed to run away from people who are below a certain height"

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Createdigitalmusic collects together 11+ documentaries on the history of electronic music. Ranging from 2 on Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (1 previously), to EMS (previously), to detroit, acid house, rave (previously), tresor, and more. Plus one news report an the early days of Chicago house that's a documentary in and of itself.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Is cleaning an older toaster oven possible and worth the effort?My Toaster Oven doesn't have a lot going for it--it smells, doesn't heat up as hot as it's digital thermometer claims and looks gross. But it still is good at broiling meats and I like the fact that I don't have to bend over to check on it, like I do with my oven. (I'm starting to think years and years of baked on gunk is just on there for good and is probably causing the deficient heating). Is throwing it out the most compassionate course of action at this point?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"July saw 45 homicides across Baltimore, a toll that matched the deadliest month in the city's modern history and came amid a violent crime surge that has stretched the entire summer. The killings occurred across the city, overwhelmingly in historically impoverished neighborhoods. The victims included a 5-month-old boy and a 53-year-old grandmother, a teen stabbed to death in a dispute over a cell phone and a carryout deliveryman killed in a robbery. The Baltimore Sun sought to profile each victim, through interviews with relatives, friends, neighbors and police, as well as information on social media — and to chronicle the impact on those left behind."

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Considering what I've done with my life, are my career ambitions too high?I was an intelligent, precocious teenager, but I didn't care much for the general high school experience. In my senior year, I decided I'd had enough and moved to Germany via an exchange scholarship program. Eventually, I got accepted into SUNY Buffalo but I decided to enroll in an unspectacular American uni based in the Netherlands so I could stay in Europe. After two years, I realised I wasn't getting what I needed academically and I transferred to a public liberal arts college in the PNW. (You know which one I'm talking about. It's the "non-traditional" college with no grades.) I loved it there. I flourished in the political economy programs. I was active in community development work. I genuinely didn't care that after spending my youth with everyone around me pushing me to get into a prestigious school, I ended up somewhere with a 96 percent acceptance rate. My evaluations were impeccable, though my GPA equivalency, at 3.6, wasn't exactly stellar. Now, I'm 23. I'm at a middle-tier UK university and I'm a year away from my MSW. I'm contemplating what I want to do when I graduate in Summer 2016. I don't think I want to work in statutory social work forever. Options-wise, I've been looking at things like: 1) the UN Young Professionals Programme 2) a four-year fully-funded PhD program on the East Coast 3) the Peace Corps I know getting within even a mile of any of those options will require hard work (and excellent entrance exam/GRE results) on my part, and I'm totally willing to put the hours in. There's a part of me that feels like I might be good enough. My academic pedigree might not show it, but I have some good things going for me. I have a knack for critical analysis and writing. In a UK-based system, my written assessments consistently come in with marks in the high-70s and low-80s. I have between one to two years of work experience (albeit voluntary) with refugees, young offenders and the Red Cross. Besides English, I speak two other languages fluently, though neither of those languages is French. I look at what I've written and I feel so...competent, and then I realise that there are other people in the world who have the same background but have the paperwork and connections to show for it. I feel like I'm going to be an underwhelmingly ordinary person in a candidate pool full of born-and-bred High Achievers. So all this boils down to the essential questions: Do I stand a chance in achieving my goals when I'm against equally-or-perhaps-even-more talented, accomplished people with more impressive academic backgrounds? What more can I do to get where I want to be? (If it's relevant, there's more to my life than my career prospects. I do ballet and contemporary dance. I write bad poetry. I'm on a roller skating team. I eat too much pizza and yell at the tv with friends.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm thinking of getting my genome sequenced by 23andme. However, I am not interested in a responsive, user-friendly experience. I want to get my raw data, upload it to Promethease, and also play around with it myself. I also have some privacy concerns, and am wary of the family/ancestry features. Help me think this through.I don't believe there's a huge privacy risk involved in giving 23andme my genome, as long as I can trust that that they'll delete my information if I ask, and that they won't sell individually-identifiable information. Is it reasonable to assume that they'll stick to their privacy policy? Are regulations like HIPAA and GINA strong enough to protect me if they don't? While 23andme doesn't do too many "nasty surprise" tests (e.g. no Huntington's), if something seemingly innocent that they do sequence were later implicated in disease, would I face job/insurance discrimination that I could have avoided by refusing to get my genome sequenced? (Like, being forced to disclose certain genes, but if I haven't been tested then I can truthfully say I don't know.) A more immediate concern is the fact that the service shows you your genetic relatives. I am not interested in being connected to these people. I also don't want to get any family surprises. It's okay if these connections are stored in a database somewhere, as long as I can't see my relatives and they can't see me under my real name. If a past customer can confirm that it's possible to avoid the "DNA Relatives" features entirely, I would feel a lot more comfortable using it. My main interest is in uploading the raw data to Promethease, since 23andme can no longer give health information. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is trivial but interesting (e.g. earwax, caffeine metabolism). I also might want to play around with bioinformatics tools, if there's anything interesting to be done with an individual genome. Suggestions also welcome for cool hobbyist projects; the tools don't need to be user-friendly at all.

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