posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A neighbor showed me her deceased father's extensive collection of old camera lenses and doesn't have time to catalog, research, value and dispose of them. Apparently they number in the dozens (maybe more?). Would like to help guide her. Any thoughts welcome.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The Alabama Department of Corrections has confirmed to local media that Holman Prison guards have joined prisoners on strike.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I live in the U.S. in a fairly progressive city. I have an ethnic sounding last name, an ethnicity which happens to be uncommon to this area and so it makes my name easily identifiable and, apparently, memorable. My co-worker feels the need to sing my full name, at random, in an accented voice that is characteristic of my ethnicity. This is loud enough for all of my cube neighbors to hear. Yeah, awkward.Sometimes he just says my name as a sigh, like "ohhhhh, onecircle, onecircle, onecircle." (This one is really awkward because it's really uncomfortable and it can be construed the wrong way). Sometimes it's a song that he makes up himself with a cadence that sounds like the cadence of a popular song from my ethnic background. (This one is enraging because it's so mocking and obvious). Why I won't just talk directly to him about this: My co-worker is known to be overly social, unprofessional, unfocused, unfit for the position and also known to produce very little work of poor quality. He's a jokester, always ready for a laugh and has been spoken to by management several times. He gets his feelings hurt really easily and gets passive aggressive. I barely leave my desk, am somewhat serious/studious and while I'm friendly, I am known to be very focused. I'm also petite and female, which doesn't help my cause. In the past I've had people see me as a pushover and have treated that way until I gave them my .02 cents which genuinely shocked them (although, I got respect after that! Go me.). So, morale is really important to me. We have a good relationship, but it's a little tenuous. I've worked hard to find points of interest with this person so we can have a good working relationship, but at times I've inadvertently strained it by calling out his poor work ethic to my manager because it had a negative impact on my projects at the time (which I inherited from him after I was hired). After I was hired, things changed for him professionally - because I tipped the scale of the team toward upleveling everything instead of screwing around. So anyway, I fear that by bringing this up with him, it will have a negative impact on the unit and I'll incur the silent treatment, his shitty moods and passive aggressive behavior, which I really don't feel like dealing with (again). So, yeah, he sings my name in an ethnic voice. Sometimes it's a couple of verses of some shit he made up (today the lyrics and lullaby tone sounded like he was singing about a child) but usually it seems to serve no purpose other than to announce to the world that I am ethnic with a capital E. Ignoring his behavior hasn't worked. Do I just need a sense of humor? Should I run to my manager with this, or is it a waste of time? What would you do?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I need help finding glow in the dark or light-up balls with a tennis ball texture or a floppy, sturdy glow in the dark or lighted frisbee (or good ideas for to manufacturing the same at home).Winter is coming. Where I live, that means that it is dark by 4 PM. I need a way to get my favorite dopey dog tired quickly after dark on the afternoons I can't go for a run with him. In daylight, this involves him sprinting HARD after a ball or frisbee in the unlit dog park near our house. I would like this to be the case at night as well and am looking for lighted alternatives. BUT: He is a ball snob and exclusively fetches balls with a tennis ball texture and size. Chuck-its? Nope. This cool glowy ball? Or this one? Giant fails. If it's not a tennis ball texture he will. not. touch. it. He is rough on frisbees and insists on picking them up in the middle, like a giant taco. We have tried this lighted frisbee, but the battery/light cover flew off the first time he picked it up in his lunatic fashion. We have this glow in the dark one which doesn't glow strongly enough to be found (and is white, so hard to find against snow). He loves the floppy Kong frisbees and these Dogobies and if we had a way to securely attach a handful of little LEDS (where do you find those? how would we secure them?) that would be awesome. Anyone have ideas for DIY-ing, or know of a product that might work better than what we have tried?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I was taught "Dear Sir or Madam" was acceptable for cold job applications, but in my recent round of job searching, I'm seeing multiple blog posts talking about cover letters saying that this is no longer acceptable and shows a lack of initiative on the side of the job seeker. Is this so, HR professionals of MetaFilter?I'm applying to a job at a VERY large academic institution for a non-teaching job. Through some legwork drilling down through the website, I've narrowed down the HR staff assigned to the unit the job is attached to. One is very senior, who has an executive assistant, and one is a coordinator. Would it be weird for me to email to one of them letting them know that I was going to apply (it's all done through an automated online system), but was wondering to whom the letter ought to be addressed? This seems a little over-the-top to me, but what do I know? If you think this is the proper course of action, do you think it should go to the coordinator? The executive assistant? The executive? In case it matters, this is a non-teaching associate/assistant director level position. (I'm a little clueless because I've been recruited by former colleagues for nearly all of my former positions.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
His clothes were not on the outside of his body; they were—for now—the outside of his body. They were the visible form taken by the way he chose to define himself. None of the gawky young models, standing around flat-footed and hunch-shouldered with their assigned coats and jackets and baggy shorts hanging off them like drop cloths thrown over a dining room set, could say that. My Son, The Prince Of Fashion

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I was given this plant [pics] by someone who I'm not in contact with anymore. Is it a Philodendron? Species?Care tips? OK to pull off or cut off dying leaves? I read that Palms continue to store nutrients in their yellowing/brown leaves, so should be left until they fall off by themselves. True for this plant, too? Fertilizer needed? I could be watering it more regularly for the air-conditioned dry office it's in, but the new leaves from the center are still growing pretty vigorously. Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Ever wonder what it would be like to flush a toilet with mercury instead of water?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm a fledging runner, a little over halfway through the C25K program. Now that the runs are getting more strenuous, I'm beginning to notice some nagging lower back pain after runs (also some annoying heartburn, but I think I can fix that on my own). I've been generally very lazy about stretching before runs (read: I don't stretch before runs), but surely there must be a good targeted stretch I can do to help my back. Please tell me what that stretch is!Note: I'm not wearing fancy top of the line sneakers, but I'm not wearing converse either. I think for my extremely low-impact runs, the sneaks I'm using are probably fine.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
BBC: "Sam Allardyce has left his post as England manager by mutual agreement with the Football Association after one match and 67 days in charge. It follows a newspaper investigation claiming he offered advice on how to "get around" rules on player transfers. Allardyce, 61, is also alleged to have used his role to negotiate a deal worth £400,000 to represent a Far East firm." Alan Shearer: "England a Laughing Stock."

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Why The Princess Bride Is a Perfect Fantasy Movie. Discuss. Bonus: The 40 Best Quotes From The Princess Bride (soundtrack optional but recommended)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've started getting this weird hot/puckery/irritated feeling eating chocolate. Allergy testing results suggest it's not an allergy, though. What else could it be?For the last couple of years, I've noticed that my mouth seems to get this weird hot, puckery, irritated feeling when I eat chocolate. It's sort of difficult to describe and I don't get it with other foods. It happens instantly on the first bite; occasionally the top of my throat also feels irritated a little later. After about 30 minutes it's mostly faded away and after an hour it's totally gone. My first thought was obviously a food allergy, but: 1. apparently allergy to chocolate itself is super rare, like case-report rare -- and 2. I've had skin testing done since this started happening, and while I am apparently allergic to a ton of environmental stuff (3-4+ ratings for pet dander, dust mites, and some trees/grasses/weeds), the skin test came up flatly negative for chocolate. My impression is that false negatives are pretty rare in skin tests, esp. compared to false positives. I did get a mild skin reaction to one tree nut (pecans), but I have this same reaction to chocolate that is supposed to be nut-free (e.g., Trader Joe's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, which doesn't list any nut cross-contamination and which nut allergy sites list as safe). I also thought maybe it could be oral allergy syndrome, but I've never found any evidence that chocolate could be a potential pollen-food cross-reaction. And chocolate is heated during preparation, I think, while most OAS-causing epitopes aren't heat-stable except nuts and seeds. (I'm also not allergic to birch, ragweed, or mugwort -- just grasses and other weeds/trees.) So all that together kind of makes me doubt it's a bona fide allergy, but at the same time, I don't know what else it could be. A couple other things I considered: I do remember that I used to get aphthous ulcers all the time, and chocolate was unique among foods in that it was extremely painful on contact. But this happens even in the absence of ulcers. I've also read some stuff about burning mouth syndrome but that seems different since most foods don't cause this reaction, just chocolate. And tannins in tea and wine do make me pucker up, but not this intensely and not with that same kind of burning feeling. While the discomfort is very noticeable, it's also not so intense that it alone would prevent me from eating chocolate now and again (as long as I don't have a mouth ulcer), and I also don't want to restrict my diet unnecessarily. I just want to make sure I'm not tempting anaphylaxis or something. I'm also just curious about what it could be, especially since I don't remember having this sensation growing up, at least not this intensely. Are there any other plausible reasons besides a food allergy that I could be experiencing something like this? Obviously YANMD, but I don't even know what I should be asking my doctor about, if anything. I also know I'm prone to health anxiety, so I don't want to go off and request an endless series of tests if it's probably something normal/benign. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
So now that CW has cut ties with Hulu in favor of Netflix (full seasons will be available 8 days after the season finale), I have three places to keep track of current TV: Hulu for NBC, Fox and ABC; CWtv.com for CW; and cbs.com for CBS shows. Halp!I watch 90% of current TV on a computer rather than a TV, and I have Fire TV which I use when I'm watching at home in my living room, but that's not where I usually watch TV. There is a

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
We would like to relocate to Pittsburgh, in the next two to three years. Help me find a neighborhood in the Steel City similar to our current (awesome) one in Buffalo!I'd love to hear from people who have lived in both cities in the past 2-3 years, but anyone familiar with PGH will be able to give me great insight, I'm sure. Background: I was raised in SWPA, but rural suburbia east of the city. My only experience living in the city was as a student at Pitt; I lived in Oakland for two years in the late nineties/early 00s. I settled down in Buffalo in 2008. Now my partner and I are thinking about relocating in the next few years. We have lots of time and opportunity to scout any suggested locations. We don't really want to leave Buffalo but my parents would never move here (lake effect snow freaks them out) and I do want to be closer to them. We would like to find a similar neighborhood to where we live now. We live in the West Side adjacent to Allentown for those familiar with the BUF. We know we won't find anywhere as beautifully designed in terms of parks and streets in Pittsburgh, but we would like a similar vibe and demographic. So, where in Pittsburgh are the neighborhoods that have: -Ethnic diversity? We live in a Puerto Rican neighborhood but there are lots of resettled refugees in our neighborhood. -Small businesses? We can walk to a hipster pickle store, a farmstand but also lots of immigrant owned and operated businesses. This mix is important, at least in that hipster shops haven't overrun the place. -Access to parks? Just for lounging/strolling. -Access to public transit? Pittsburgh and Buffalo seem equivalent in paucity of mass transit. We are used to it. But we want to be able to catch a bus within a block or two of our house. We do have one car. -Friendly neighbors and community events. -We aren't going to be priced out of rents in 2-3 years. We are facing this now; we can't move within our current neighborhood without a huge rent increase. We are also open to moving into ethnic blue collar neighborhoods but prefer the residents to not be racist a-holes like a lot of the blue collar neighborhoods in Buffalo (e.g. Kaisertown, South Buffalo). Perhaps a mythical neighborhood like this exists in Pittsburgh? I have ruled out Lawrenceville (too gentrified) but I am open to anything else. My brother lived on the North Side for ages but moved away several years ago. That's pretty much the only place on my list to look into at the moment. Any suggestions?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Dear Mefites, I'm looking for a new travel-shoulder-backpack-tote bag. I really like the Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote but the price is a bit high and I'd like to have a couple more inside pockets. I do like the size, weight, foldability, water bottle pockets, and convertible backpack stylings. I have heard that this bag is also quite durable. Do you know of a similar bag that offers more interior pockets and organization, at a similar (or lower!) price point?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This is the third time I've gone to get a contrast IV for either an MRI or CT scan and the tech was unable to start the IV. What, if anything, can I do to fix this?I've had many IVs successfully started by EMTs and one started by the roaming IV folks at the hospital for surgical prep. The EMTs never seem to have any issues, but the roving IV person managed to cause me to spurt copious amounts of blood from the top of my hand for 45 minutes and the anesthesiologist was called in to fix it. She claimed to have been doing this for 15 years and never saw such a thing. When I went for two different contrast MRIs they stuck me repeatedly and never got an IV to start. The first time they claimed I was dehydrated, so we rescheduled. I hydrated and went through the same thing--multiple sticks, no joy. After they started prodding around my ankles I said "Yeah, no, goodbye" and never managed to get the test done. Yesterday, for the CT contrast, the tech squeezed and tapped both of my arms and muttered about not being able to trace the vein. After holding fists for more than half an hour with the tourniquet on I finally just said, "OK, I'm done now, thanks for trying." Here's what I don't get. I am so pale that my skin is practically translucent. I can see veins all over the place. I know I tend to get dehydrated, so I've made an effort to drink extra water the day before IV starts. It doesn't seem to help. So is there anything I can do to make this easier on myself and the techs? The longer it takes and the more they prod the more my anxiety ramps up, mostly because I start to lose confidence in the tech's ability to do it correctly. I do my relaxation techniques, but two techs have complained that my slow and deep breathing makes them "more nervous." I just want to get this stupid test done. If it's of any consequence, I'm not diabetic and I'm not a drug user, iv or otherwise. I did have to get a ton of blood testing done when I was lithium and I've donated a massive quantity of blood, so I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My daughter (college sophomore) is fulfilling a dream by spending her whole winter break in Korea and we've got tickets booked, but she's getting a little stuck with planning an actual itinerary. Possibly relevant is the fact that she's dealing with moderate generalized and social anxiety. Looking for suggestions of maybe the top 3-4 destinations other than Seoul that will be relatively easy for her to negotiate as a solo traveler and allow her to appreciate what the country has to offer over her 28-day stay.She is on her second semester of Korean language classes and so has some basic language skills and can read Hangul phonetically even if she doesn't always understand what she's reading. At least some time in a homestay environment might be good for her to practice her language skills. She does not drive. She likes cold weather and snow, non-strenuous hiking and nature, photography, but does not ski. We are hoping to make this a fairly budget-minded trip so while I've looked at some outfits that offer things like guided day trips and shorter overnight excursions they seem a bit pricier than she/we are wanting to spend. My initial thoughts would be for her to do something like 1 week in Seoul, 1 week each in a couple of towns in the interior with good historical sights/scenery, and then maybe 1 week on Jeju Island? I realize that probably by ordinary tourism standards spending a whole week in some popular destinations may seem like overkill but I think she'll be much more comfortable if she can settle in a little, take lots of downtime, and not feel pressured to be constantly on the move or fit in too much--slow boat rather than whirlwind travel.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The final week of September comprises the fourth week of the latest iteration of Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance, and Populist Protest, a 14-week interdisciplinary seminar taught by NYU Professor Frank Leon Roberts. Texts, videos, and reflective writing prompts for each class are being made available online. Next week's readings are Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill and the U.S. Department of Justice Report on the Ferguson, MO Police Department (previously); this week's reading is A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, and Justice (previously). Titular poem by Audre Lorde.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Why does the Twitter app on my iPhone open retweets in Safari?I'm pretty sure it just started doing this a few days ago and this morning I updated the Twitter app to ensure it wasn't an outdated version. The app opens web links included in a tweet within the Twitter app browser but if a tweet in my feed includes a retweet, the retweet gets opened in mobile.twitter.com on Safari.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
How do I get rid of a cucumber beetle infestation -- in my living room?A week or two I noticed a growing population of what I'm relatively sure are cucumber beetles, in my living room. I'm killing 6-8 a day (and missing who knows how many more). I've now read that cucumber beetles can overwinter inside walls. I've only been in this place for a few months, so I suspect that they've been in the wall all this time and are now reaching the crawling/flying stage of their life cycle. The exterior wall has a large window that runs the length of the wall, and they seem to be originating from there. I don't see any on the outside of the house, so I think they have to be starting out inside. What's the safest and least toxic way to get rid of them? I have two indoor cats -- and one of those cats and I both have asthma. My best idea so far is spreading diatomaceous earth along the windowsill and inside the tracks of the two windows that open, but I have one cat who spends a lot of time on that windowsill and am concerned about her breathing it in. Please help me de-beetle. The biggest annoyance is that they smell really, really bad when you get within sniffing distance of them, so the cats won't eat them. If they were tastier I probably wouldn't be asking this question.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've been wearing slide sandals all summer, and the tanlines on my feet are super obvious when I wear any other sort of shoe. Could I just like...paint that part of my foot with self tanner? Do you have any advice for making it not look stupid?I just want my feet to be all one color!!! I'm mixed race Mexican and Italian and have a lot of red AND yellow in my skin tone. Very here for brand recommendations, preferably ones that will actually match, not be super stinky, and last a while. I'm pretty dark skinned and the area I'm trying to tan is pretty pale, so I think the "subtle natural glow" products would take forever to make a difference.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"Cultural appropriation: It's about more than pho and sombreros." Viet Thanh Nguyen, recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Sympathizer, presents the 101 basics of Cultural Appropriation for a general audience and then addresses how to move forward.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Europa, the moon of Jupiter made famous by the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact, appears to have plumes of water at its south pole. This will make it easier to figure out what's in the ocean underneath all that ice. Currently NASA has tentative plans to launch a spacecraft to Europa in 2022. The ESA will be sending a separate probe to the region sometime in the late 2020s.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"It may seem strange to sleep away the day at the firing range / but times they may change, they'll get you up and make you walk / sitting in my room and the walls are turning into water falls." Song has a bit of a lilting, alt-country feel. Wilco / late Beck.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Alligators hiss and bellow, and crocodiles, same thing. If you can hear them, they're around... More excellent sound resources. If you're in Florida, lure gators to your house (or or up out of the sewer?) with these handsome wooden gator calls if you're so inclined, but be sure you know what to do once you get them (so here's a helpful PDF.) Despite being totally adorable living dinosaurs, alligators are terrible pets. But if you must keep an 8-foot, 50-year-lifespan, carnivorous predator reptile, crocodilian.com has your back. At least put up a sign.

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