posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"It's like magnolia paint in rented accommodations. The tune is turgid. It's like someone going 'la la la la la' in the shower. You don't feel there's a strong voice, and when I say voice, I don't mean Chris De Burgh's voice. I mean something that's been lived. It's like a soup from Walmart." Steve Coogan, on why he hates 'Lady in Red'.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My stepdad is ill and has some non-fun things coming up (surgery and chemo). I'd like to send him light, interesting videos or picture-heavy articles about his interests, mostly exotic birds and pirates. Can you suggest some?He's interested in and very knowledgable about exotic birds -- he used to run a pet shop, breeds budgies and other birds, and the best times I've had with him have been walking around zoos, where he knows something about seemingly every species. He likes watching history and "How is it made?"-type programmes as well, and his other big interest is pirates: he built this and has an extravagant pirate outfit of his own. He also loves a bit of controversy or argument! I'm hoping to send him a stream of fun, interesting things to take his mind off things, but he's much more a video person and I'm more of a words person, so I need your help, hivemind. Pictures and picture-rich articles are OK too. He's all set for Facebook communities and moderates several. Thanks in advance!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." Quick Link to Report and other AR5 volumes Working Group III Report website Summary for Policymakers (pdf) The Working Group III contribution assesses the options for mitigating climate change and their underlying technological, economic and institutional requirements. It transparently lays out risks, uncertainty and ethical foundations of climate change mitigation policies on the global, national and sub-national level, investigates mitigation measures for all major sectors and assesses investment and finance issues. -IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe is eminently affordable -Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple to Save Climate, UN Says Can we? Rising Sun - "It's no longer remotely true that we need to keep burning coal to satisfy electricity demand. The way is open to a drastic reduction in emissions, at not very high cost. And that should make us optimistic about the future, right? I mean, all that stands in our way is prejudice, ignorance, and vested interests..." Salvation Gets Cheap - "The incredible recent decline in the cost of renewable energy, solar power in particular, have improved the economics of climate change." How Solar Energy Could Be The Key To Reducing Economic Inequality - "Once solar is cheaper per watt than coal, oil, and natural gas, falling energy costs will provide massive relief to people squeezed in recent years by the rising cost of fossil fuel extraction, a burden passed on to the consumer. All else being equal, falling energy prices mean more disposable income to save and invest, or to spend. And because of the decentralized nature of solar energy, the benefits of cheap, plentiful energy can be realized by anyone with a solar panel, instead of being accrued by the capitalist who owns the coal mine, the power plant, or the oil well." Are We Halfway to Market Dominance for Solar? - "So how can 1 percent of all global electricity sales suggest in any way that we're on the road to a world dominated by solar?" World Solar Power Capacity Increased 35% In 2013 - "With about 37,007 megawatts (MW) of solar PV power installed in 2013, world solar PV power capacity increased about 35% to 136,697 MW. Whereas Europe had dominated annual growth for years up until 2013 (10 years, to be precise), solar PV growth was much more evenly split last year, and China actually topped the tables... with around 11.3 GW connected to the grid. With around 6.9 GW, Japan was the second global biggest market in 2013. The US ranked n°3 with 4.8 GW. Germany was the top European market with 3.3 GW (down from 7.6 GW in 2012)." One-Third of Texas Was Running on Wind Power - "Texas has more wind power than any other state, by a huge margin. And it keeps blowing through these major milestones just about every year. There was some trepidation that Texas's wind industry would slow as fracking rose in prominence and a key tax credit faced expiration, but hallmarks like this underline some very strong fundamentals. Wind power is ideal for Texas, where there's a lot of open land, a lot of breezy plains—and a rising demand for electricity, as the state's population continues to grow. So the wind boom has carried on. After new power lines are installed to better route the power from rural areas to more populated cities, Texas will be the 5th-largest wind power producer in the world. Most importantly, perhaps, is that there's now a thriving industry with real economic and political power—citizens and politicians alike appreciate, work, and profit from the wind sector, so they'll be more willing to fight for it." Or can't we? The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy - "In a setback for the renewable energy movement, the state House in Oklahoma this week passed a bill that would levy a new fee on those who generate their own energy through solar equipment or wind turbines on their property. The measure, which sailed to passage on a near unanimous vote after no debate, is likely to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin. The bill, known as S.B. 1456, will specifically target those who install power generation systems on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid... Last year, Arizona enacted a similar law." Coal's Best Hope is Costly Power Plant in Mississippi - "Rising from the scrub pines of central Mississippi is a $5.2 billion construction project that may determine the future of coal in the age of global warming. It's here in Kemper County, 90 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, that utility Southern Co. is building the first large-scale power plant in the U.S. designed to transform coal into gas, capture the carbon dioxide and pump it underground... there are plenty of doubters." Post-Fukushima Japan Chooses Coal Over Renewable Energy - "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing Japan's coal industry to expand sales at home and abroad, undermining hopes among environmentalists that he'd use the Fukushima nuclear accident to switch the nation to renewables. A new energy plan approved by Japan's cabinet on April 11 designates coal an important long-term electricity source while falling short of setting specific targets for cleaner energy from wind, solar and geothermal. The policy also gives nuclear power the same prominence as coal in Japan's energy strategy. In many ways, utilities are already ahead of policy makers. With nuclear reactors idled for safety checks, Japan's 10 power companies consumed 5.66 million metric tons of coal in January, a record for the month and 12 percent more than a year ago, according to industry figures." German Energy Push Runs Into Problems - "Chancellor Angela Merkel's government plans to revamp the energy law to focus on wind turbine parks and solar energy as the most cost-effective renewable sources, in the hope of reining in runaway electricity prices. But international energy experts, who recently completed a study of the German energy sector, say the country cannot meet its future needs solely through renewable sources. They say the plan must also include a climate-friendly — even if not renewable — option, like domestic natural gas." Ukraine spotlights Germany's nuclear power switch - "Merkel's ambitious plan is for renewable energies including wind and sun to make up 40-45 percent of Germany's energy mix by 2025, compared with just under a quarter now, and 55-60 percent by 2035. Critics say it's not green enough, though: coal and lignite — decried as dirty by environmentalists — accounted for 45.5 percent of Germany's energy output last year, up from 44 percent in 2012, as nuclear energy dropped to about 15 percent from more than 20 percent at the time of Fukushima... If Germany makes its goal of having 80 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2050, there is no question it will add to the country's energy security. But along the way, as it takes nuclear power plants offline and builds up its renewable network, the country remains reliant on fossil fuels — and that means Russia." Shale revolution reverses global energy flow - "The United States has replaced OPEC as the marginal petroleum supplier to the world thanks to the shale revolution and improvements in automotive fuel efficiency. Net U.S. imports of crude and products have halved over the last five years, or by an amount equivalent to the entire daily crude exports of Saudi Arabia. Net imports totalled 5.2 million barrels per day at the start of 2014, down from 11.2 million at the beginning of 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)." Grid Utilities Sol Invictus - "There is a lot of buzz about the effort by the Koch brothers and assorted conservative groups to end 'net metering' for solar power. Kevin Drum and Paul Krugman think that it's mainly about conservative tribalism - conservatives have identified solar as something liberal, so they fight it on ideological grounds. Personally, I suspect that the current fight against net metering is mainly economic - utility companies stand to lose their government-protected monopolies if rooftop solar takes over, and of course the Kochs make their billions from the fossil fuel industry. Anyway, the first thing to realize is that even if net metering gets killed (and if it does, it will only be in red states), it's not the end for solar." Let's Celebrate, Not Lament, Renewables' Disruption of Electric Utilities - "Renewables are making headway in Europe and bringing a low-carbon electricity system to the forefront. Renewables were 69 percent of new capacity added in 2012 in Europe and 49 percent in the United States. Not surprisingly, this threatens utilities unwilling to let go of outmoded business models and fossil-fuel generation." How rooftop solar and big utilities can co-exist - "Solar installations don't just cut into the electricity sold by a big utility. They use its grid, and depend on its generating plants for back-up power. Non-solar customers usually carry the brunt of these costs. California has already cut the link between electricity use and profit. If more PG&E customers install solar panels, the utility can ask for a rate hike to make up for that lost revenue. 'Our profit is not tied to the electricity we sell,' says a PG&E spokesman, Denny Boyles. But PG&E still has to maintain backup power and the grid. To share those fixed costs more evenly, this month California passed a law that allows utilities to bill solar customers an additional $10 a month. The solar industry got a win, too: The law removes a limit on the amount of electricity solar customers can sell to a utility." EBay, Ellison Embrace Microgrids to Peril of Utilities - "Microgrids are emerging as a credible threat to the dominance of America's 100-year-old-plus utility monopoly. The small-scale versions of centralized power systems, once just used against blackouts, are now gaining thousands of customers as homeowners in states with high power costs turn to them as a way to manage rooftop solar systems, cut electricity bills and, in some cases, say goodbye to their power companies. The systems use computer software and remote measuring devices to control energy sources such as rooftop solar panels and natural gas-fueled power generators. They allow a home or business owner, a college systems engineer or a farmer on a mountainside to generate, distribute and regulate their locally produced power with an ease and sophistication that only utilities had a few years ago."also btw... What Does the New IPCC Report Say About Climate Change? (previously) The warming is unequivocal. Humans caused the majority of it. The warming is largely irreversible. Most of the heat is going into the oceans. Current rates of ocean acidification are unprecedented. We have to choose which future we want very soon. To stay below 2°C of warming, the world must become carbon negative. To stay below 2°C of warming, most fossil fuels must stay buried in the ground. Some Myths of the Economics of Climate Change and its Economic Conclusion - "Ultimately, economists need to step up on climate change. It is more than a textbook example of externalities and far more nuanced than many simple accounts make it to be. It is also far more harmful than many of their models suggest (consider the limits). Economic logic sometimes fails... [I]f an asteroid was about to crash into New York City, we wouldn't ask economists to create a poorly-founded model of its costs. We would tell NASA to do whatever it can to save us. Economists need to stop telling us what the program for change should be, but rather identify the most efficient means of implementing a program scientists already deem necessary."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Forrest Park Middle Schooler Melissa Bell reads her Ashton Kutcher fanfic for the Spring Talent Show. (SLYT) Don't worry, it's fake.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
We are looking for shelf-stable, packaged proteins and veggies that are gluten free to go in lunches. We know about GoPicnic already, but we'd like some more variety and real vegetables of some sort! Proteins are mostly easy (spreads, dips, cheeses, jerkies), but finding the individual packed shelf stable ones are tough. We have found no veggies that fit the bill at all- we were thinking freeze dried veggies, but that sounds unappetizing and looks really expensive (also not individually packaged).

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I know Google Voice and Hangouts will merge on May 15th and XMPP support will end. XMPP doesn't affect me, but I'm trying to figure out what will change. Has there been an announcement or is it still unknown what features from Voice will survive in this new service?I need my Google voice number to: 1. Ring a land line (actually a VOIP line from Optimum cable) and an iPhone 2. Let me make outgoing calls from the land line and iPhone with caller ID showing the Voice number 3. Receive texts and voicemails on iPhone, with notifications It would be nice to have an application on Mac OS X 10.8 that can show texts and voicemails, and alert me to both. I used GrowlVoice but Google cut them off last week. If my 3 needs aren't met I'll happily pay another company that can replicate these features so recommendations are welcome. Everything I'm hearing about seems to be focused on VOIP calls but don't mention the existing functionality of Voice.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Like most people, my first thoughts upon hearing about Disney's EDM remix album "DCONSTRUCTED" was: "Oh dear God. This cannot end well."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Can you think of examples of a work of fiction directly referencing its author's prior but unrelated work of fiction, when these works do not take place in the same fictional universe or contain any characters in common?I was recently reading a novel called Love, Dad by the author Evan Hunter, who also wrote the novel The Blackboard Jungle. In Love, Dad, one of the characters is described as reading...The Blackboard Jungle (the actual book, not a different book by the same name). To the best of my knowledge, these works are set in completely different fictional worlds, with no characters in common (i.e., this is not like one Nancy Drew book describing a past caper Nancy's been on, a novel in which the real-person author includes himself/herself as a character in the same universe, or a work of nonfiction that describes a real person reading a fictional book by the author). The Blackboard Jungle was sort of a zeitgeisty work, and Love, Dad is set in the '60s, so it makes logical sense that a character in the latter would read the former, but I still found it a bit strange and don't recall seeing this before. (I do have a vague memory of hearing that Kubrick would include movie posters from his earlier films in his later ones, which would qualify, unless that was intended to suggest all his work took place in one coherent fictional world.) Can anyone think of any other example of whatever this is, or anything close? (I'm placing this in Writing & Language, but happy to hear examples from other mediums too.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Blue Sky Black Death are a duo of hip-hop/electronic producers from Seattle who took their group name from an old skydiving term for the yin/yang balance of a beautiful blue sky above and the possibility of death below. They have worked with a number of rappers (Cam'ron and P.A.P.I. (Nore), Hell Razah, Jean Grae, and Nacho Picasso [NSFW lyrics]), but they show that their music can stand on its own, "wringing strangely affecting emotional grandeur from the rudiments of sound ... [relying] less on glitch or drone and more on starry-eyed orchestral vastness," as heard in (the extended version of) Noir, and so much more of their discography that is on Bandcamp and their YouTube account.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Across Canada a beloved and familiar face is silently disappearing. Everyday transactions in shopping centers and banks are slowly feeding a systematized extinction unnoticed by most. The object of destruction: the Canadian penny. -- via PBS NewsHour

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a memory of seeing a movie on TV when I was maybe five or six years old (so, early 1970s) in which a young woman was frozen cryogenically in order to keep her fresh and young while the young son of the mad scientist doing this freezing would have time to grow up and then, twenty years or so in the future, marry the then-to-be-unthawed woman. What am I remembering?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Neil Patrick Harris is getting glowing reviews for his turn in the title role in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, now playing on Broadway. But wait, why is "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig even playing Broadway in the first place? Because the Belasco Theater was suddenly available because Hurt Locker: The Musical opened and closed on the same night. In fact, the floor of the theater is found to be littered with discarded Playbill magazines for the failed production. One page from Playbill asks, "How Many Have You Seen?"

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
netcat are a Seattle based free improvisation group that have released their album, Cycles Per Instruction as a Linux kernel module. ... also available on bandcamp.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I could keep trying different options but I'm on a deadline and would love a recommendation for a reliable, "package" friendly solution. I'm working in Storyboard Pro with Mavericks and so far: -Google Drive keeps intermittently kacking out. -Box won't accept Storyboard project files. Storyboard projects contain many nested subfolders, holding many, many more tiny vector graphic files. I don't need more than a couple of gigabytes of space but it needs to be free. I've left Dropbox because of the Rice appointment, not because I dissatisfied with the product.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Why Aren't Stories Like '12 Years a Slave' Told at Southern Plantation Museums? Evil is not a word you hear, though, when you visit one of the hundreds of plantation-house museums dotting the South. Instead, these historic sites usually lure tourists with their stunning architecture and wealth of antiques, as the privileged members of the planter-class denied themselves nothing. They had the finest china and silver of the 18th and 19th centuries; European-made furniture like settees and tea caddies; the most expensive rugs, drapes, linens, and clothing that money could buy. Even the toys and kitchen utensils offer a glimpse into the privileged life in the antebellum period, and tours play this aspect up, connecting these objects emotionally to the stories of the white planters. Many of these museums let visitors walk away without considering that all of these exquisite things were accumulated through the violence and forced labor of slavery. An Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives Slave Narratives: John W. Fields: It was the law that if a white man was caught trying to educate a negro slave, he was liable to prosecution entailing a fine of fifty dollars and a jail sentence. We were never allowed to go to town and it was not until after I ran away that I knew that they sold anything but slaves, tobacco, and wiskey. Our ignorance was the greatest hold the South had on us. We knew we could run away, but what then? Sarah Frances Shaw Graves "Allotments made a lot of grief for the slaves," Aunt Sally asserted. "We left my papa in Kentucky, 'cause he was allotted to another man. My papa never knew where my mama went, an' my mama never knew where papa went." Aunt Sally paused a moment, then went on bitterly. "They never wanted mama to know, 'cause they knowed she would never marry so long she knew where he was. Our master wanted her to marry again and raise more children to be slaves. They never wanted mama to know where papa was, an' she never did," sighed Aunt Sally. Sarah Gudger I 'membahs de time when mah mammy wah alive, I wah a small chile, afoah dey tuck huh t' Rims Crick. All us chillens wah playin' in de ya'd one night. Jes' arunnin' an' aplayin' lak chillun will. All a sudden mammy cum to de do' all a'sited. "Cum in heah dis minnit," she say. "Jes look up at what is ahappenin'," and bless yo' life, honey, da sta's wah fallin' jes' lak rain. Charley Williams, James Cape, Tempie Cummins, William Moore, Walter Rimm Narratives by State PBS has links to sites with more information, like the Ohio Historical Society and the University of Virginia, and Mississippi. Slavery And Emancipation In The Mountain South: Evidence, Sources and Methods - Slave Narratives Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives [PDF], a documentary by HBO, now on youtube. previously

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How can I deal with the anger of my easily peeved boyfriend?He gets pissed off when he's having an allergy attack, sleep-deprived, working late, the cloud ate his document, etc. He tends to snap, yell, bang around the house, fume, and respond to me with sarcasm and annoyance. Sometimes it's because of things I do (interrupting him when he's talking), but often I feel like I'm stepping into his anger accidentally. He's got stress in his life most days (we're graduate students), so this happens a lot. Sometimes I feel hurt, like when he seems to respond to everything I say with sarcasm. Sometimes I just feel embarrassed, like when he snaps at me in front of our friends. Maybe it bothers me so much because I don't express my emotions the way he does; I tend to be more anxious, mopey, and self-doubting when I'm upset by something. He's good at comforting me when I'm like that, but I obviously have no idea how to deal with it when he's upset. My attempts to talk to him about it so far have been really unsuccessful--even counterproductive. If I say in the moment that he seems angry, ask if something's wrong (thinking I'm being sympathetic), or outright say "Hey, don't shout at me like that," he tends to deny it or get offended that I think something's wrong. He'll say, "I'm angry? News to me," or "Since when does this count as shouting?" When I've tried to use "I" statements to talk about how I'm feeling because of the way he's acting, he's said I'm exaggerating. When I've brought it up later when we're not on edge, he's said he doesn't know what I'm talking about. The only time I can remember him acknowledging that he was acting out of the ordinary was when he threw a book across the room. It's obviously really frustrating and hurtful to him if I try to talk about his tense and angry behavior; I think he thinks I'm picking fights or criticizing him. Trying to comfort him is definitely not a good course of action, either. So I do my best to just act like nothing's happening, which is actually pretty hard and leaves me feeling like I'm walking on eggshells. I'm really puzzled by how this guy who has always been so sweet and thinks it's important to talk about emotions can also be someone who repeatedly denies what I see as a major aspect of his emotions and behavior. I don't think this is a dealbreaker, but I'm clearly missing something that's going on here. Any ideas for how I can see this differently or take a new approach?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Flying RC Aircraft Carrier , Last year we saw the first launch of and RC Aircraft from and RC Carrier. Now we have the first launch AND landing of an RC Aircraft on a Flying RC Carrier.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
So, the company that employs me just recently rebuilt and redesigned their website. It's a pretty large site (think trade association that does a lot of public outreach), but only about eight templates. Now that that's done, the brass wants to the site to be responsive, and now it's time to budget that.Yeah, I know. We should have done this during the redesign process, but they didn't. Details: Kentico 6 platform, about eight page templates (news story, basic text/graphics page, document download lander, etc.). Not really complicated pages at all. Basically, what ballpark would you shoot for? $150,000? $15,000? $150? I'm finding it difficult to figure out just because there isn't a total redesign to do with it, but I do understand this will be a major overhaul. Since it probably matters, we don't have a mobile site either. Phones and tablets see our site just like somebody with a 27" widescreen. Anonymous because, well, it wouldn't be that hard to find out who I work for, and I don't want them or anybody else to know. Throwaway email: responsivedesigncost@outlook.com

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Hi, Looks like I will be spending a good while in China and I'd love to read your recent experiences with VPNs, general internet use there. (I noted a question about this from almost two years ago, with lots of people speaking well of witopia, can believe things have changed.) I'll be in Chongqing, for what that's worth. Thank you for taking a moment to help me.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a newly acquired 2007 Lexus ES350 sedan. It was my dad's, it is in excellent shape, has been well maintained, and has 50,000 miles on it. I drove a 2003 Lexus before this and had a similar issue to the one I'm having on the 2007, which is that the brakes are just too soft for my tastes. It seems it is part of Lexus' "feel" to keep the ride smooth but I really dislike that I have to press so far and so early to get a good stop.So, what are my options to improve the responsiveness and "tension?" A quick google mentioned braided stainless steel brakes. Is that what I want here? Any ideas on how much changing the brakes more to my liking will cost? Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Put in my old internal hard-drive into my new set-up as a secondary drive. Can't figure out how to navigate to the Desktop folder through Windows Explorer.So my old machine gave up the ghost about 2 months ago, and I finally got a new machine. I took out the HD on the old machine (it was fine, power source was blown). Installed it in the new machine, and it shows up just fine in Windows Explorer (not booting to it). Able to navigate through my Program Files, etc. folders and move things to the new HD. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to navigate to my Desktop on the old HD. When I try going to Users->kuanes, it just sits there. Where else can I navigate through Windows Explorer to my old Desktop where there are some important things I'd like to bring over to the new HD? Old HD is connected to SATA within the machine.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
100 NEW EMOJIS

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A plea for socks for a fussy, fussy, fussy man.So Mr. Llama has a sock problem he's been struggling with for years. I'd like to help him solve his sock problem. Here are things Mr. Llama hates: Smartwool (I hate Smartwool too, it strangles your feet, it's like getting your blood pressure taken) Floppy sad socks from Target that scootch down your ankles Thick, itchy socks. Prickly socks with too much elastic that he got from The Gap. Having cold feet, which he has from September through June. He has high arches, which translates as wide feet. So you can probably gather the problems with constraints. To the best of my ability to discern the preferences, I think he wants a lightweight sock that won't roll down and create a depressing little leg warmer around the bottom of his calf. I think he needs crew socks for the summer, for sneakers, and taller socks for the winter. He got some sock liners at one point, and liked that okay. I don't think he cares where he has to go to get these awesome mystery socks, but I have watched him hit retailer after retailer for a full ten years and the man still hates his socks. I kind of thought Thorlos, which I like a lot, but after my showing them to him, he remained unimpressed. What to do for the finicky sock wearer with chilly feet? It is possible he simply hates socks, but he isn't going to like sockless feet any better.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm currently a records manager for the Feds, but what I really love is the data. I've been thinking that I would like to change over into a more research/policy analyst type of job, but I'm unsure of exactly how to get from here to there.My first masters is in information science. During undergrad (many years ago) I took some research methodology and statistics courses and really enjoyed them, but I would essentially be starting from scratch in that area. My tech skills are pretty decent, but I wouldn't call them expert. My favorite part of my work is designing new information systems, working with an office to determine what data they need, how they collect it, and what format they ultimately need their results in. I think (hope?) that those practical skills will serve me well if I chose to go this route. So my questions are these. Does this sound doable, or am I totally nuts? What type of schooling might I need? And are there any resources you all can point me to that will teach me more about this career path? I'm really in the information-gathering stage at this point. Thanks in advance!

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