posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Almost exactly a year after rejecting the merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast, both the FCC and the Justice Department have given their blessing to the marriage of TWC and Charter. As first reported by the New York Times*, the New Charter - or Time Charter or Charter Warner or Charter Time Warner Bright House (because there's a third much smaller partner - it's complicated) will become about as big as Comcast, and be operating under restrictions, like NO data caps, usage-based pricing or peering fees (for seven years). But The Company Known On 30 Rock As Kabletown hasn't been doing nothing since their mega-cable merger was squashed... A day after this other deal was approved, Comcast apparently is offering over $3billion to buy DreamWorks Animation SKG, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal*. Of course, this probably won't require any regulatory approval even though they already own a feature animation studio as part of Universal Studios, the entertainingly despicable Illumination Entertainment. Dreamworks' desire to get bought out has been a continuing story (Among other complications, Hasbro backed off from a deal with Dreamworks when Disney threatened to cut off Hasbro's licensing deals for its properties). Questions remain: will Dreamworks and Illumination remain separate (like Disney & Pixar) or will the Minions have to learn How to Ride Dragons? And will they finally drop from their name the now-meaningless "SKG" (initials of the 3 founders, only one of which is still involved with the company)? *additional links provided for those of you unhampered by NYT or WSJ paywalls, while the original Consumerist links are for those of us who don't WANT to be exposed to NYT or WSJ.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Lately I've been wondering if I am too picky and if I have too high standards, and dumping people before giving them a chance.Lately I've been wondering if I am too picky. It's been five years since I've been in a serious relationship, and I'm 27. I am beginning to feel anxiety about settling down and not being able to have children when I want to. I'm a lesbian, if it matters. I came out relatively recently (about three years ago). I've been dating a healthy amount - meeting lots of women, and going on dates. But I find it challenging to meet someone who meets my standards. I don't like to drink much, so I find it annoying if they want to spend a lot of time going out. I also like to be in shape, so I want to be with someone who also values being active. I also need to be intellectually stimulated, and someone who bores me rarely make it to the third date. Because I know what I want, I've been fairly upfront when I am inclined to think there is not really long term potential. Recently I've been dating a few people who are great, and tick all the boxes...but I am not attracted sexually. And I then dump them (gently). I also recently had a run in with an ex who was abusive to me, but I found that I was still sexually attracted. I don't know if it was other elements of her personality (she is very witty etc.) After I finally cut off contact with her, but that led to a whole questioning of whether I am doing the right things when I date and if I am maybe bypassing lovely people just because some weird thing inside of me is attracted to unkind people. I guess I am wondering if I am attracted to the wrong things, and if I should be more open to going on that fourth or fifth date....and if I am doing the wrong thing by having set standards and cutting people loose when they don't meet them.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A majority of millennials now reject capitalism, poll shows. The Harvard University survey, which polled young adults between ages 18 and 29, found that 51 percent of respondents do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent said they support it.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology BirdCast: Bird Migration Forecasts in Real-Time. When, where, and how far will birds migrate? Our migration forecasts will answer these questions for the first time.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
We are currently in the process of remodelling our bookcases, which includes having stripped back the original stain (using a hand plane) and now restaining them. The timber is relatively cheap pine. We have been experimenting using instant coffee as a stain and we like the look. However searching for information on how to seal it is resulting in every website saying you MUST do xyz, and all these musts are completely different.Our preference is for oil or wax, but we are willing to go chemical varnish if that is what is really required. Essentially we need to seal the stain so that it doesn't transfer (on to the books that will be sitting on it mainly) or attract insects, or fade dramatically.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a dilemma. I want to listen to podcasts to relax before I drift off to sleep, but I strongly dislike a lot of them. Most of them. I cannot tolerate the rambling, self-focused, chatty style podcasts that I keep downloading. They seem so interesting, too! Video games, murder mysteries, film and book critiques... but they're clogged with obnoxious banter or in jokes or naval gazing. I know this is picky, but any recs? I want calm, intelligent, well-written podcasts about interesting topics that aren't scary or highly emotional (I'm trying to doze off). No pseudo-science or spiritual stuff. A minimum of vocalized pauses, please. This American Life is riiiight on the edge of what I can tolerate. Sometimes I have to turn it off. Quirks and Quarks is wonderful, but I want to listen to podcasts about a variety of topics. I did look at previous AskMe questions regarding podcasts but there are so many recommendations (over 200 posts) for a variety of podcast types. It's overwhelming.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What are the two circled album covers being covered on this book cover of Music: What Happened by Scott Miller? Already got covered the ones not circled.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm in the market for a new car and I _think_ I've narrowed the options to either a Honda Accord or a Honda CRV. Help me decide!I'm closing in on making a car buying decision and am hoping to receive thoughts, feedback, etc., on two options on my list: the Honda CRV and the Accord. I'm looking for those who have owned Hondas and also those knowledgeable about autos. A bit of background: -I'm not interested in super powerful engine options (e.g., the Accord V6). - my previous daily drive was a sedan (Ford Focus). I loved the fun way it handled, not the maintenance cost of owning one. (I will not buy another Ford, no matter how well-reviewed.) - I initially thought, "Let's not get a sedan again; let's look at SUVs." So I looked at the Honda CRV as I wanted a car that would haul a lot easily: big, bulky items (cat trees! furniture! Ikea! Costco hauls!). This is immensely appealing about the CRV. - I loved the CRV after the test drive; but I needed a cooling off period. When I cooled off a little, I considered the gas mileage of the CRV; I don't think it's as prudent a choice as I can make, you can get better gas mileage on other models. Also, perhaps a bit more crucially: I'm not sure that I'll be using that extra hauling space in the back enough to justify buying an SUV. - I do like the high driving position, love the smooth CVT engine, and do not care about the power so much. It seems powerful enough for my purposes (driving around doing errands, the occasional freeway journey, and I volunteer a long way from home so will be commuting in this car at least once a week, maybe more). Was incredibly impressed with the turning radius and brakes on the CVT. Notes on the Accord: -Felt much, much more luxurious and refined on the inside. I almost feel _uncomfortable_ with how nice it is! I have never owned a car so nice, I'm 47 - this is the time to have a nice car, right? - I liked the way it drove - I tried an automatic but am now wondering if I should try the manual. - I especially liked the rear visibility as opposed to the CRV (although I get that there's a backup camera and on some trims, a side-mirror camera). - I loved the size of the trunk! But I'm a little concerned about that carved hole in the back that connects the trunk to the back row of seats: seems to restrict putting in long items, not sure why it's there. But the trunk is HUUUGE! - Small, niggling detail: I dislike the hubcap design on all current models of Accords, except for the Sport Accord trim. - I had a more limited test-drive on the Accord so I'd have to go back for another test-drive. Ironically, having tech stuff in cars seems all the rage these days, but I do not own a phone, do not use all the gizmos that are offered (e.g., I would not pay for XM, or whatever it is, ad-free radio.) Any car I'm missing? I already tried Mazdas and have crossed them off my list. I have tried to like Toyotas, but cannot see buying one as long as Hondas exist. (Apologies to Toyota and Mazda enthusiasts.) I strongly dislike the 2016 Civic rear tail light design, but maybe I should grit my teeth and look at the Civic, as it gets rave reviews? (I also realize most people recommend buying used as you lose a certain amount of money on a new car the second you drive it off the lot. I may or may not buy used, but let's just assume, for the moment, that I'm buying new.) I hate not having a car and would like to speed up this process, while avoiding rushing into anything that I'll regret. Also: how many test drives do you take of a car before you pull the trigger and buy it? I feel like I need at least one more test drive of the CRV and Accord, but am wondering what other people do. Please advise. If you've reached this far, thank you for your time!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
For the past couple of days, I've been getting bitten by things at night. One bite on one night, two bites another night... and then last night, which was apparently some kind of crazy Ender's Game AU in which the bugs won. I thought I was getting bitten by mosquitoes, since I had the window open for a couple of nights (not last night). But a "kind" "friend" suggested these might be bed bug bites. Picture of bites included below.Picture of bites: Here. As you can see, the bites are plentiful. They're also extremely itchy. These are not the only bites; they're just the only bites in a location I'm willing to post online. Other bites are in the torso region, one on a thigh, one on my neck. Bites do not seem to be confined to bits of me that are uncovered at night. Risk factor: I recently spent two weeks in a hotel room of middling quality in the Deep (DEEP) South (Gulf state). I did check the bed the first night, and I didn't see any evidence of buggy activity. But one time several years ago I did have a mouse in my room at this same hotel, so it's not like the place doesn't have occasional fauna. (I had to stay there; it's the best out of limited options, and I had no choice about going.) Mitigating factor: I was there from March 28 - April 11, and experienced no bite symptoms during that time. The first bites showed up a couple of days ago. This is why I immediately went to "mosquitoes" instead of bed bugs... but the aforementioned helpful friend tells me it can take up to two weeks for bed bug bites to appear. 2nd mitigating factor: I haven't seen any bugs, and haven't seen any bed bug sign on my mattress (believe me, I have checked very closely). I have had a perfectly terrible year so far, and I'm hoping for some reassurance that these aren't bed bug bites. If I have to set fire to all the fabric I own and then replace it - on top of everything else that's gone down this year - I will need to seriously explore the possibility that I am laboring under a bad past life's karmic burden. So - hope me? Are these bed bug bites? Mosquito bites? Something else? There's an outside chance they could be flea bites, I guess... we have indoor/outdoor cats. But these cats got treated with Revolution while I was down south, so it seems unlikely. (oh god i almost tagged this post "incestbites"...)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I am about to graduate college with a business degree, a mediocre gpa, and very little experience. I have not made a single friend in college or been in a relationship. I lived with my parents for the whole entire time in college and they expect me to be married before leaving the house. I tend to succumb to extreme laziness and procrastination. I can spend 8 hours daily on the internet instead of doing homework. This procrastination has seeped into my job search. Am I ever going to be prepared for life?It took me an extra year and a half to finish school because of my major procrastination issues. There was one specific class where I failed catastrophically, where we had to write a 3,000 word essay. It took me three tries to finish this class, because I would procrastinate it to the point where I felt too embarrassed to show up to class. I've always had issues like this with schoolwork where I would wait until the last second to finish or study for anything. I've skipped exams because I did not feel I was adequately prepared for them. Or I've gone into the exam knowing that I did not prepare enough and failing them with expected disastrous results. Instead of studying, I will spend hours upon hours on the internet. I have a sink on my couch from sitting on it for so long. I literally have no other hobbies. I've realized that my academic issues spill over to other aspects of my life. So much of my drained self confidence comes from not being able to manage my time. Because of these results, I have not applied to any internships because I assumed that no one would ever waste their time on me. It has affected me socially as well, because for some reason I am so terrified of people knowing my secret that they would dislike me immediately. Even when I have tried to make friends, I feel that I have been taken advantage of. In one case in particular, this person used me for rides to and from class. I think I knew that they disliked me from the beginning but for some reason I did not want to accept it until it blew up in my face. I have a quiet voice and people speak over me all the time. I do have some sort of social anxiety, I think. Often when someone tries to approach me for friendship I assume that they will think the worst of me. I do not think I am capable of making friends. My parents expect me to stay at home until I am married with someone that they consider acceptable. I am not allowed out late at night. Despite their strictness, they do everything for me. I think a little bit too much for me. I feel that I am much too dependent on them and I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to take care of myself. I have thought about moving out before but I have about 25k in loans that I would like to take care of before I move out. Most days I feel like everything is out of control. I do not have interest in doing much besides being on my laptop for hours a day. I don't know how to change and I'm afraid of failing. I don't know what to do anymore. I just feel like its too late to change. I spend too much time berating myself and feeling like I will never amount to anything. I am scared to be a friendless, jobless, thirty five year old living with my parents. This is the trajectory that I am going in right now. I just want to stop being afraid of everything and feel like I am capable of things. Help?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
On April 26th 1956, a converted World War II tanker, the Ideal-X left the Port of Newark, New Jersey. Five days later, it arrived in Port Houston, Texas, with 58 35-feet (8 feet wide by 8 feet high) containers, along with a regular load of 15,000 tons of bulk petroleum. Malcom McLean had started something big, changing the long tradition of shipping goods on ships. Before that, cargo handling was almost as labor-intensive after World War II as it had been in the mid-1800s. After McLean's innovation, shipping was transformed by this, one of the most important innovations in the global markets of production and trade (Google books preview), though that's not without its complications. Malcom McLean was 20 when he started his first transport business with one truck, which grew to five for hauling cotton bales, and eventually branched out and owned 1750 trucks and 37 transport terminals, the fifth largest truck transportation business in the whole of America. He sold that business to start his next, an effort to shift heavy truck loads into standardized cargo containers, to save money and speed up the on- and off-loading of cargo. Containerization started well before McLean came along, but his work with engineer Keith Tantlinger, who convinced McLean to give the patented designs to industry, and thus began international standardization of shipping containers. Sixty years later, a significant part of the world seems to be shaped around moving this internationally standardized shipping container, commonly referred to as a twenty-foot equivalent unit, or TEU. In the three decades following the work by McLean and Tantlinger, ships and ports changed dramatically to accommodate the shift to containerized transport. Ships were now designed specifically to carry more and more of these standardized containers, and ports changed, too. San Francisco and Manhattan could not compete with other ports with deep-draft container ships. With an estimated 32.9 million TEU world-wide in 2012, people are looking for other things to do with these sturdy boxes. Container homes are not uncommon, but they're not without their problems, just as there are pros and cons for container-inspired emergency housing. They have been used for pop-up shops (previously) and containered clinics. Containers aren't stuck in the past. There are new designs, including some made with stronger, lighter materials, and others that can be collapsed to allow for more empty containers to be carried in the less space, as empty containers are shipped around the world following supply and demand. We'll wrap this up with an article on container loss, which is generally small number given the total volume moving around the world, and 8 lesser known facts about the modern cargo ship. Happy shipping container day!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Fast forward to July 1945. In the interval the cylinder became a minor part of the neighborhood. It was sometimes used by the locals as an impromptu bench and children climbed over it and rolled it around for a playground amusement. One end of the tube was closed and one had been crimped off by the bulldozer that uncovered it, and that end had re-opened enough for a boy to discover something in it: a skeletal foot.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What are some good examples of Tinder-like user interfaces on Desktop (not mobile)? Looking for something with a similar (like/dislike) card interface, but formatted for a desktop screen. Having a hard time picturing the interface scaling well, but I'm guessing somebody has done it already, and I've got a client who's hoping to go that direction. Would prefer not to copy cover-flow, as one of the key requirements of the interface is that only one card is visible at a time.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need your recs for best trash can dogproofing.My 13 year old dog, in what I realize is age related cognitive decline, has become SUPER interested in the trash. She never went after it before but now it's ALL the time, even when I purposefully keep a trash bag out of it. She is immune to or doesn't care about normal deterrents like bitter apple or pepper or mouthwash. Budget is ~100 USD. Difficulty:I have no doored pantry or closet or a place I could just easily hide it from her. Bonus difficulty: coonhound with nose. She is a large, tall dog that can problem solve.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I guess Canadian ISPs are starting to contact pirates to say that their downloading has been detected, and warning them that the copyright holder has been notified. I just got one of these popups, and it says they caught me downloading the season 6 opener of GoT last night. Except I don't download torrents, haven't ever seen an episode past season 1, and nobody else has access to my network. What's the explanation?I'm not concerned about repercussions from HBO. I can't imagine they'd go after someone they suspect of pirating a single episode of a single show. But something must have caused me to get flagged, and I'd rather this not happen again.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've been seeing a great guy. All of his behavior indicates that he's interested in me... except he's almost stopped initiating contact in the past week. I'm anxious as hell about this. I need help figuring out what this could be and how to approach it, if at all.Disclaimer 1: Yes, I have an anxiety disorder. No, I am not medicated. I think the anxiety makes my feelings worse but I don't think that's the only problem here. Disclaimer 2: Yes, this is the same guy from my last question, who I spent 11 hours with and felt SUPER OVERWHELMED. Yes, he listened and slowed it down. I've been seeing this guy for a little over a month. Really, he's great. He's super kind, super funny, doesn't pressure me into doing anything I'm not comfortable with.... I really, really like him. And he has seemingly shown his interest in a variety of unmistakable ways. He took me to a very nice restaurant last Friday but kept where we were going a surprise. We go for hikes. We went for a walk along the river during sunset one night, his idea. We walk around the city together. He holds my hand. If I'm cold he'll take off his jacket and let me wear it; he'll even help me put it on. He's going to buy a bike so we can go on bike rides together (he says he's been thinking about doing this anyway). Last time we were together, we made a list of things we want to do together, a couple of which included taking short trips together. We wrote down thirty things total and figured that if we do one a week we would be done by November. So, I mean, clearly the kid sees [i]something[/i] together. He told me when we started seeing each other he wanted to keep it "casual". He had just gotten out of a relationship and it was "fresh". Fine. Since then he's said that he wants to work toward a relationship and he's "not sure [his] feelings are casual". Again, fine. As long as he can commit, which I feel like he will, he can take time to sort through his feelings. I'm in no rush. Here's the problem. For a while we would alternate texting each other. I'd initiate, he'd initiate, etc etc. It made me very happy that we adopted that little system without discussing it. Now, suddenly, in the past week, he's stopped initiating. He's only texted me first once in the past week to confirm plans. He also surprised me with that nice restaurant this past week, and we wrote up that list, so it's not like he seems less interested overall. It's only with texting. I'm anxious and crabby about it. I really like the damn kid and, for me, a significant drop-off in initiating contact indicates a waning level of interest. This is how it's gone in the past for me. He'll text me back if I contact him, but it takes a while. He indicated on his okc questions that he wants to communicate with a significant other every day. Obviously no one can discern his intentions for me... but, I mean, does this SEEM alarming? Could it be that he's not a texter and as he gets more comfortable he forces himself to text less? Should I bring it up to him and, if so, how? I'm tempted to text him and say hey, I miss hearing from you between dates! How was your day? But I literally contacted him yesterday, so that may seem needy, and is it better to do it in person? If at all? I've never been in a serious relationship and this is all new to me. Any input is very appreciated.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Cattle rustling in Texas has risen five-fold in the past decade. Driving it? Drought and desperation: "Cattle rustling has returned, but it has also changed; if the essential act has not, its context has. Today's rustler has no hope of parlaying a few stolen cattle into a business. Rustling is no longer an aspirational crime, but a stopgap, a stay against desperation. A single head of cattle is not the seed of an empire; it's a payday loan, a child support payment, or cash for pills. Rustling is not, in this sense, an archaic crime at all, but a crime very much of its time and place, adapted to today's America, in which social classes are established and the frontier, whatever it was once, has collapsed." Among the most ancient and universal of crimes, cattle rustling appears in numerous religious texts and ancient epics, including the Irish Táin Bó Cúailnge, in which a teenaged Cú Chulainn protects Ulster's prize bull from the thieving Queen Medb; the Rig Veda story of Sarama and the Panis, in which the Panis are demons who steal cattle from the ancestors of men; the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, in which Hermes steals Apollo's cattle; and the Book of Samuel, in which David goes raiding Philistine cattle. Cattle rustling isn't just a Texan problem; it exists and persists anywhere cattle are raised, including Israel; Kenya; Scotland; Argentina; Australia; and Nigeria, where Boko Haram engages in cattle rustling to fund and feed their terror campaign. Tips to prevent cattle theft, and don't forget to check your fences! If, however, you're looking to take up cattle rustling (or raiding or duffing) yourself, keep in mind that driving a calf around metro LA in the backseat of your compact car might be a little suspicious.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I just purchased some Jaybird X2 wireless headphones and I listen to them through my Galaxy S6 smartphone. Problem is....the sound just isn't either loud enough or clear enough for my liking.I found out about Noozoxide apps for EQ, which helps the sound quality but not the volume. Ideally I want big and clear sound but using these earphones and only my smartphone as a player. What can I download or add as a wireless headphone amp to make the most of this sound setup?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How do you keep reminders of potential events you might want to go to, or activities you might want to participate in, so that you actually take advantage of these opportunities?Basic, practical question. When I hear of or read about exhibitions and concerts I might want to go to or places I want to visit, activities I want to try, I often write them down but I rarely remember to actually go / do them. Some of these are time sensitive, some are not. What I don't have is a system to track these so that they're both easily accessible and I'm reminded to think about them in time to book the concert or the exhibition etc. My diary (google calendar) doesn't really work as I only really look at things at the time, and I just ignore the reminders when they come up). I'm not sure I'm articulating this well, but how do you keep track of fun things to do so that you actually do them. I'm sure everyone has this problem, but I've not seen a simple way of solving it. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have purchased a package of 500 pairs of self-adhesive googley eyes in various sizes. Help me figure out what in my house to stick them on.I already have all the glasses in the cupboards, all the bathroom drawers such that the knobs look like noses, and all the fruit in the fruit bowl.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Please recommend an appropriate gift for a professor from an auditing (ie, non-credit and ungraded) student.My friend is a retired professional whose hobby is auditing college physics classes. This school year, he's audited an upper-level two-course sequence from the same professor. These courses don't usually attract auditing students. My friend doesn't take exams, but does work on some of the problem sets, and I think the professor corrects those for my friend's benefit. My friend would like to get a thank you gift for the professor. The goal is an appropriate gift without awkwardness. Ideas include: -booze -gift card to a restaurant -donation to the nearby physics research institute in professor's honor -basket of baked goods from nice local bakery The gift etiquette I know for this situation is for students who are much younger than the professor and are receiving a grade for the course. In that situation, money and alcohol are extremely the wrong choice, which is why I suggested the baked goods and nixed the first three. But maybe the etiquette is different here? We're in the US, at a four-year college. I would love some guidance on an appropriate gift from the professors of AskMe. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm brainstorming a YA novel that would be set in a wealthy Long Island suburb in 1979. What was life like for teenagers then? Anecdotes, stories, and book or movie suggestions welcome.I was born in 1983 so this is outside my lived experience. I'm very concerned about getting the little details of daily life right--what was leisure time like, what did you eat in the mornings, did you drive to school or walk or take the bus and where did you make out and what were the different cliques? I'd love book or movie suggestions (fiction or non-fiction) that really capture the feel of life then but personal anecdotes appreciated as well.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How the Myth of the "Irish slaves" Became a Favorite Meme of Racists Online Liam Hogan's five-part series debunking the myth of Irish slavery: Debunking the imagery of the "Irish slaves" meme How the African victims of the Zong Massacre were replaced with "Irish slaves" The "Forced Breeding" myth in the "Irish slaves" meme A review of the numbers in the "Irish slaves" meme Exaggeration and the appropriation of the torture of enslaved Africans in the "Irish slaves" meme

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
RecipeFilter: My husband and I are hosting a family of four (two grown-ups, two kids) for a few days. What easy, quick things can we cook? One of the guests doesn't love cheese (a little is okay, but no mac-n-cheese type meals) and two are vegetarians; the kids are rumored to be easy eaters. We'll be touristing all day so will likely want something we can make fairly quickly before getting the kids in bed. We have a fairly small kitchen and oven, but are decent cooks and bakers. Please share your best recipes!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Hobbes and Me: an obviously unauthorized, yet surprisingly true-to-the-original, live-action Calvin and Hobbes by Rafael Casal and featuring Daveed Diggs.

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