posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Help a new Dungeon Master/Game Master run her first games with tips & tricks you wish you'd known when you first started out. Add to that the difficulty level of learning a new system, D&D Next at the same time.Our D&D Encounters group has doubled in size over the past few months & we are now running 2 tables. Our usual second DM is busy with work & has asked to drop back to just playing for the next season so I've been asked to step up and fill in. I am super excited about it but realize I have only the vaguest idea of the best way to do this as I've only ever been a player. I am looking for tips on organisation mainly. Most of the players are super experienced at various RPGs so tips on how to keep them interested & maybe a little surprised and not trying to out guess me and also to keep the group moving also appreciated. Other relevant info. I have only been playing for a year, & will be DMing guys who have been playing for anywhere from 5 to 20 years or so. They are all very easy going & super supportive of me DMing as is the other DM and all are happy to help me with the more esoteric aspects I might not have mastered yet. But the game will be run in a store & open to the public. I have only played 4E up until we played this last D&D next playtest encounter and we are about to start D&D Next seriously. So I get to DM a game whose full guide isn't out yet and I have no idea of the quality of the materials they will be releasing to support the Encounter. I have the PDF guide & starter set they have released already.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
We are remodeling our house and we just learned that the windows are arriving a month later than originally planned. What are our options for getting some of our money back to cover the added expense this will incur?This delays the whole project by a month, creating tons of additional expense. I'm trying to get a partial refund from the window company, but unfortunately the contract does not obligate them to do anything. If they decide not to do the right thing, what are my options (aside from "learn from this experience")? All I really want is reimbursement for added expense - karmic vengeance and/or bad yelp reviews don't interest me unless it's a means to the aforementioned end. PS: the windows are coming from a company in Austria.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm an obsessive tracker. I have an awesome to-do list that helps me get shit done. I just started physical therapy for an ankle injury (yet again). I want to keep track of the exercises and how much I'm able to do.I've been wracking my brain all night trying to figure out how to put this in a spreadsheet, and I can't come up with anything. What I have to track is date, exercise, number of reps, number of sets and number of times per day. For example, one exercise is heal lifts. I should try to do 30 reps, 2 sets, 3 times a day. An additional wrinkle is that I won't necessarily do all the reps in each set. Using the above as an example, I might do 30/30, 20/15, 20/10 depending on pain level and fatigue (I generally rest about 5 minutes between sets). I tried Googling for something out of the box, but either my Google-fu is weak (quite possible) or this is something too niche that would only cater to OCD perfectionists like me. I have access to Libre Office and Google Docs or any other free option. I'm not opposed to installing software as long it is something you have personal experience with. I basically don't install stuff I've never heard of or doesn't come on a personal recommendation. I wonder if I wouldn't need something closer to a database, but I know less DB than I do python (also an option) and I know very little python. I'm running Windows 8.1 but I'm going to try to get my laptop to dual boot with Fedora this week (if I can figure out this bios thing).

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Ellen Rumel plays in the band The Nunnery and takes 35mm photographs of the underground music scene in Boise, Idaho. Alexander Miranda plays in the band Underpass and takes 35mm photographs of the DIY punk scene in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm going through for a marketing gig at a startup - but my idea of a job is influenced by my family's idea of a job, which tends to be very working class hourly wage stuff. Please help me figure out fitting in and working well with what I've had presented to me.The position appears to be really invested into a lot of the stuff involved with start up "fun" culture. For example they put 'Rockstar' into the job title and the role, while marketing oriented, has a much lower title than the responsibilities of the position. From the looks of things, this was one of those marketing admin jobs that expanded as the company did. They are now looking to replace the person they started with, and there's the usual attempt to find someone who is an exact replacement for a ranged set of skills including being: 1) The customer support for the tech product and general PR relations 2) The secretary and ground control for the social and promotional calendar/meetings. 3) The copywriter/editor and email campaign manager. 4) The data analyst. 5) The online advertising person. 6) Basically anything else they feel like, whenever. Thus far the interview process involved a phone interview (fine), and in person interview with three people (very informational), and now a skill test project (reasonable) and the promise that the top two candidate will go onto have coffee with the CEO as a final selection interview. Things I've learned so far: 1) There are zero benefits (I'm Canadian, thus I have healthcare so not a disaster). 2) The job expects willingness to handle email after the 40 working hours. 3) There is a huge amount of stress on looking for someone to join the team who is as passionate about X field as them. 4) There was additional emphasis on how the CEO is a startup guru with other successful projects already and 'mentors' everyone. 5) They feel that there will be a lot of self directed "just look it up in the online tutorial video" style training. 6) No HR and so forth. It's a less than 25 people company with dreams of growing to being 200, but they still have weekly entire company meetings and everything is supposed to be fun, fun, fun of the fooseball table kind. 7) They really liked my response to "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" as "If you are planning on expanding, I assume managing a large team of people." Things I don't know 1) How much money is this supposed to pay? I gently brought the subject up at the phone stage and managed to avoid risking low balling myself by saying I expected the industry standard- but they didn't give me anything concrete. What's that? 2) What's the correct title for this to help me research it? It seems to basically a marketing and communications campaign manager. 3) How do you do a coffee with other candidate interview? This feels profoundly weird. 4) What are some tips for a decidedly working class scruffy weird girl who is not a programmer and is on the ASD spectrum to seem start up culture suited? I correctly guessed that putting on arty earrings with my dress and blazer combo was a good idea. 5) The vibe I got was almost more like they wanted someone to join a sorority. Assuming that I'm also using this interview like a learning process, can you give me some advice for a more 'chummy' dynamic? 6) Is there anything I should watch out for here?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Thirty Essential Songs from the Golden Age of Emo Including, of course, and with all sincerity, a late-era Jawbreaker song that opens with a clip of Christopher Walken's monologue from Annie Hall.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I need a recommendation for a leg pillow.Referring to the contoured pillows placed between the thighs for extra back support while sleeping on one's side (as opposed to the under-leg wedges for sleeping on one's back). Most of the ones I've checked out have bad reviews outlining problems like it flattens too easily, or it's not durable, or it slips around at night even with light movement. Does anyone have one that they really really like? Things or brands to look for in descriptions?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Sarah McKinley and Violeta Duncan for Community Wealth: Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty. Women of color working low-wage jobs must often navigate unregulated work conditions, as much of their work is domestic labor—caregiving, house cleaning, child care—an industry that, historically, is not only low-paid but also exploitative. The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), a 10,000 membership-based organization for nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers, describes, in its 2012 Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work [PDF] report, the substandard conditions of domestic work, including lack of employment benefits, meager wages, exposure to toxic chemicals, and physical abuse. Such unhealthy work environments and insufficient pay have led a number of these low-wage women to take matters in to their own hands. Many have formed women-owned worker cooperatives that ensure good pay and healthy working conditions, help women overcome the isolation and vulnerability of domestic work, and empower women to build wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities. Women-owned, women-run worker co-ops featured in the article include:Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES) - Oakland, CA Natural Home Cleaning Professionals (NHCP) - Oakland, CA Emma's Eco-Clean - Redwood City, CA Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) - The Bronx, NY Si Se Puede! (We Can Do It!) Women's Cooperative - Brooklyn, NY Beyond Care Childcare Cooperative - Brooklyn, NY Other women-owned, women-run co-ops in the United States:La Colectiva - San Francisco, CA Mujeres Unidas - Mora, NM Golden Steps Elder Care Co-op - Brooklyn, NY Freedom Quilting Bee - Gee's Bend, AL (history) Ginger Moon 'Food Doula' Co-op - Brooklyn, NY Spice & Rice Catering Co-op - Chicago, IL Native Women's Cooperative Project - Tahlequah, OK Apple Eco-Cleaning Co-op - New York, NY Capay Valley Meat Growers Cooperative - Yolo County, CA Artes del Valle Crafts Collective - La Garita, CO Émigré Gourmet Catering Co-op - Brooklyn, NY Caracol Interpreters Cooperative - Brooklyn, NY Vida Verde Housecleaning Co-op - Brighton, MA (see also: Vida Verde: The Story) Bonus reading material:UN Women: Economic empowerment - facts and figures Grassroots Economic Organizing: Black Co-ops Were A Method of Economic Survival Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity: Worker-Owned Cooperatives—A Resilient Model for Grassroots Economic Development International Labour Organization: Promising Practices: How cooperatives work for working women in Africa [PDF] stories.coop: Empowering Rural Women in Developing Countries Through Savings And Credit Cooperatives Gujarat State (India) Women's SEWA Co-operative Federation Wikipedia: Feminization of poverty Wikipedia: Women in cooperatives Previously on MeFi:Worker co-ops: American Worker Cooperatives, Put Up the Factory...and Own the Job Domestic workers: Employment Rights for Domestic Workers In New York State, 58% of domestic workers spend more than half their income on rent

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Are you playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood yet? Pretty much everyone is, including the EPA Office of Water. Your mission is simple: become an A-list celebrity through networking, flirting, modeling, promoting vodka, avoiding landlords and poking birds for money, and dating assholes in fedoras. Oh, and plenty of in-app purchases. Or you could just cheat.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
With growing fascination for the large land vertebratomorphs that are so startlingly diverse on Tatooine, I secured Imperial funding for an expedition to Tatooine, to survey the exotic megafauna and search for fossils of Tyrannodraconis that might further illuminate their evolution. My ensuing report summarizes my trilogy of investigations and discoveries from this "holiday in the suns." ----- After years of seismic ultrasound and magnetic macroimaging, my team was able to decipher the gross anatomy of the Carkoon sarlacc, albeit from a safe distance. I present it for the first time here, accompanied with archival droid imagery obtained from the Rebel War archives. ----- The heat was forceful. We had docked the ship not long after sunsrise, and the temperature was already hovering near 40 degrees. By double noon, an additional 10 degrees could be counted on. It was a dehydrating heat. The humidity of the air here is said to average 5.4%, with little variance about that value. In my homeland, humidity can reach 100%, as gentle showers nourish the land beneath. ----- Predators play an important role in structuring ecosystems, with predator population declines being linked to a variety of negative ecological effects. Here, we present evidence that the planet Tatooine, famous throughout the Galaxy for being a desert planet, experienced desertification as a result of unintended changes in herbivore populations caused by the intentional large-scale killing of apex predators by offworld colonists. Fossil evidence and interviews showing traditional ecological knowledge suggest that once-abundant Krayt dragons were hunted to near extinction by early human colonists. As a result of the decline in predation, populations of large herbivorous banthas populations grew out of control and overgrazed the plants once found throughout Tatooine. ----- The Working Group contribution to the TIPCC's First Assessment Report (AR1) considers cumulative evidence of climate change based on many independent scientific analyses from observations of the climate system, paleoclimate archives, theoretical studies of climate processes and simulations using climate models. It represents a first concerted attempt to address the possible long term effects on the Tatooine geological and biodiversity systems, particularly as it pertains to the current unregulated practice of water mining. ----- On Earth, we see Namibian desert beetles that harvest water from the fog that rolls in off the Atlantic Ocean, allowing droplets of water to condense on their forewings and flow into their mouths. Why couldn't the massive, rideable Tatooinian lizards known as "dewbacks" do something similar? ----- On Tatooine, there are krayt dragon, rancor, sarlaccs, dewbacks, banthas, among other animals. Our understanding of life requires water. On a planet with less than 10 inches of sporadic rainfall annually, how do such big animals get their water? ----- Science writing aims to convey ideas, engaging and educating readers on topics from biology to astronomy. Because science writing is focused on real efforts to understand the real universe, you might reasonably ask why a collection of science writers have chosen to spend time and creative energy writing about imaginary animals from a planet that does not exist... The short answer is that in science writing, as with all writing, it's easier to capture an audience's attention if you have a good story to tell.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
So I've got a two-pound tenderloin defrosting in my fridge, and I'd like to make pulled pork out of it. I've never made pulled pork at all, but I understand it generally calls for pork shoulder, so I feel like I need some extra-special hand-holding to help me figure out how to make it work with a totally different cut of meat.I started Googling for recipes and only found a few specifically geared to tenderloin, and wasn't totally convinced by any of them, so my question is: do you have a tested, fail-proof technique for turning tenderloin into pull-apart tastiness? Any other tips or suggestions? I have an oven and a stovetop but no BBQ/grill/smoker. Thanks all for your ideas!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Iron, Steam and Coal. Photographer Matthew Malkiewicz captures the timeless beauty of the steam locomotive and steam trains - the steam, the tracks, the folks who run them and just the folks who love them. (Via Petapixel)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I ripped a bunch of my DVDs to my Mac so that I could put the cases in storage. Currently, the files sit on my hard drive on my Mac Pro, and when I want to watch something, I copy the relevant file to a USB stick and walk it upstairs to the TV, where the Blu Ray player has a USB input. Is there an easier way to get these files onto my TV (and ideally, iPads/iPhones) than walking the file around the house? We're an all-Mac household.Details: I have a Mac Pro that's wired into a Verizon-supplied router; my wife has a MacBook Pro that's connected wirelessly to the router. We each have iPads and iPhones on the home network. Our TV is an older Sharp LCD from around 2004; Blu Ray player is a 2009-ish LG (which can connect to the network, but is not currently). We also have an XBox 360 (also not currently connected), and I expect to get a PS4 in the next year or so. We also have some Airport base stations that are not currently in use, if that's relevant. We don't currently have an Apple TV or a Roku, or anything like that. What's the easiest way for us to get the videos from the computer to the TV and the iOS devices without moving the file (i.e., copying to the USB drive or moving to the iOS device via iTunes)? Ideally, I'd like to have the ability on the TV and the iOS devices to browse the directory from the device and start streaming, rather than "pushing" the file from the Mac Pro (like I might do with Spotify and Airfoil). And it would be great to have different streams going to different devices simultaneously. Possible complicating factor: I think the videos are all in m4v format. When I watch on my TV, I have to copy to the USB and then change the suffix to mp4 for the Blu Ray player to recognize them. I am solely interested in getting the videos around the house, not having them be accessible via the internet or to anyone other than my wife and me. I guess I need some sort of home media server (maybe?) but I'm not sure how that works. I'm ok with spending some money to make this happen. I'd strongly prefer a Mac-based solution (or, at least, a non-PC solution). Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Computer Virus Catalog (NSFW) shows artists' renditions of famous computer viruses.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A Republican panel of the D.C. Circuit has ruled [.pdf opinion] in the case of Halbig v. Burwell that a drafting error in the Affordable Care Act provides subsidies exclusively to state-based exchanges and not to federally-facilitated ones, even while subjectively intending to provide subsidies in both cases. The ruling threatens to take away federal subsidies for insurance sold on Obamacare exchanges in 36 states.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 on the Bell network in Canada. It is bloated with bloatware, and most apps can't actually be transferred to the SD card i've mounted. So i have a phone without much stuff i actually want on it, and tons of stuff that i don't, and i want to fix that situation - but i'm nervous. I've seen various solutions on message boards and stuff online, but i'm very wary of downloading zip files from random message boards, for a solution that may or may not work for my phone.I'd really appreciate a lead on a reliable solution that is clearly explained for someone who isn't an idiot but isn't technical either. Your recommendations, links, instructions please!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
In summary: my sponsor, and her sponsor, advised me not to take a medication that is helpful to me and which I was not abusing. This makes me feel uncomfortable. More details below.I'm an alcoholic, and have been sober for a little over a year. In May of this year, I started experiencing an acute tension headache. After trying ibuprofen, naproxen, massage, and heat, I gave up and went to urgent care. The headache receded due to the IV they gave me, but returned. I took the following week of of work, and went to my PCP as soon as possible. My PCP knows I'm an alcoholic, and I reminded her of this fact at the visit. She prescribed me 10mg cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) to take for my tension headaches as needed, but up to 3 times daily. I had been on Flexeril in the past and had not abused it, but my sponsor and I decided to be proactive - she would hold on to, and dispense, my Flexeril. I took 1-2 a day for a few days, until the headache dissipated somewhat and I was able to go back to work. Over the next six weeks or so, I took the Flexeril as needed but far less regularly. (My guess would be 10mg, once a week.) I should note that I was not relying solely on the Flexeril; I have been trying to cut down on my stress and meditate using MBSR. I only took Flexeril when ibuprofen didn't help. I got rear-ended about three weeks ago, and went to urgent care for that. The doctor there told me I could take Flexeril to deal with the pain. (I'd informed him of my previous prescription - he did not need to write me a new one.) I took the Flexeril once a day after the accident for about a week. At that point, my sponsor decided she didn't want me to take Flexeril anymore and she wasn't comfortable dispensing it to me. I was really upset by this because I had been taking the Flexeril as directed and only as a last resort. I met with her and her sponsor a few days after this conversation so we could try to hash things out. I felt awful after that conversation: I felt like Flexeril was evil, I felt like I had relapsed, and that I was on the road to ruin. After returning home from that meeting, I realized how upset I still was. Why did I feel so horrible when I'd been taking Flexeril as directed? My sponsor and her sponsor encouraged me to follow up with my doctor about the pain from the accident. I did this - or rather, I met with a PA since my doctor was out on vacation. The PA actually said that taking 10mg once a day actually wasn't helping me heal / helping reduce pain very much since I was only taking it once a day. However, since 10mg does have a somewhat soporific effect, he suggested I take 5mg three times a day, for five days. Again, I was very clear to him about being an alcoholic, and asked him for alternatives to the Flexeril, but he felt that was the best option for me. (I ended up doing this, and surprise, I feel much better after those 5 days on the lower dose of Flexeril.) I feel really uncomfortable and unhappy about AA right now. I know that my sponsor, and her sponsor, were both concerned for me, and trying to be helpful. But I also know that my Flexeril use was not irregular and did not warrant their response. I am not used to people thinking the worst of me. I don't want to participate in an organization that encourages me to think the worst of myself - I have a difficult enough time with my self-esteem without that. I also don't want to participate in a program that encourages me to ignore my body and physical concerns in favor of dogma. On the other hand, I'm concerned about leaving the program. I don't have a strong social network outside of AA, and while I don't want to drink, I also worry about what would happen if I left. A few other things that may be relevant: * I'm an agnostic. I find AA to be challenging for that reason, but thus far, it hasn't been a reason to leave. * I have looked at other options, but non-AA-based recovery groups are uncommon in my area.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Can you suggest what my husband's next job should be?My wonderful husband is professionally stuck. He is 45 years old, holds only a high school diploma, and at the age of 20 went to work for a very large manufacturing and retail company in our area (one of the 5 largest employers in our state) in a warehouse job. Over the past 25 years he has bounced around in a variety of blue-collar positions within the company, and for the last ten years or so he's worked at what is sort of a mailroom-type job. Basically what he does now is that he accepts packages (sometimes THOUSANDS of packages in a day) that are incoming through FedEx and UPS, scans them, and makes sure they end up where they need to go within the company. He helps design and development employees find lost packages, and helps them ship packages to vendors and other outside B2B type folks. He also assists with the management of the product sample room. This sounds simple, but it can actually be pretty complex and requires good detective and customer service skills. He's good at his job and well-liked by everyone who works with him (which is a staff of about a hundred product line managers and developers). He is the only person in this company that does this work (others in his department are trained to do it for coverage, but his is the only full-time position). The problem is that he is paid hourly, and has maxed out his (very low) pay grade (ie: the grade for his job is $x.xx to $1y,yy and he currently makes the highest hourly wage available). He currently makes under $13.00 per hour, even after 25 years with the company. Without a college diploma, he cannot really advance any higher. He could return to the warehouse and make slightly more (he maintains a current forklift licence) but he LOATHES it. Also, in the past year he has had hernia surgery and also has ruptured a disc in his back, so going back to the physical grind of warehouse work would likely cause him further problems. He is eligible for tuition reimbursement but getting a degree seems to be off the table for him -- he's had many opportunities, and did take college level classes at one point some years ago, but it's just not for him. He's done some inquiry to see if Fedex or UPS would take him, but they'd need to start him as a PT driver, which would be a big step backward for our family (and we'd be unable to make our mortgage if he was making less than he is now). Given what I've outlined above, can you think of other blue collar type jobs that he would immediately be qualified for that would pay him more? Nationally, the average wage for folks with a HS education only is around $33K a year, and it would make a huge difference for our family if he could find a job that would pay him that or a bit more. What jobs should he be searching for? What, after 25 years with the same company, is he qualified to do in the 'outside world'? What terms should we look for when searching? What should my husband's next job be?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Please help me identify these mugs, in the hopes of possibly acquiring more of them.Once upon a time, many, many years ago, my mom gifted me a set of mugs. They are stoneware (not porcelain), look to be mold-made (not thrown), but appear to be hand-painted/glazed (Asian-style botanical motifs). There's no marking/logo on the bottom. I've found mugs on etsy and ebay (one, two, three, four) that are similarly sized and shaped (different hand-painting/glazing/designs, though). I've asked the sellers if they have any info on the manufacturer — no luck. Mom doesn't remember where she got them, either. Photos: - my set (one, two, three) there were 6 originally, one broke - mold mark - with ruler for scale (width, height) Specs: - 3.5" tall x 3.25" diameter (excluding handle) - they hold about 8 ounces (250 ml) I'm hoping there's a MeFite out there who recognizes these mugs and can clue me in on who made/makes them.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Last week, a 43 year-old man named Eric Garner died during an arrest on Staten Island, New York, when he was put in what looked like a choke hold. The NYPD claims that Mr. Garner was selling illegally cigarettes outside a store. The entire encounter, which was videotaped and posted to YouTube, (graphic) has so far resulted in the removal of the badge and gun from the arresting officers, as well as the suspension of two EMTs and two paramedics who were seen on another video taking Garner's pulse but apparently doing little else for about two minutes. An NYPD internal report prepared right after his death on Staten Island last Thursday plays down the incident, with supervising officers failing to note the chokehold and insisting Garner was not in "great distress." The death of Eric Garner has brought more attention and protests against NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, the former Police Commissioner under Rudolph Giuliani, who then went on to serve for the LAPD before being hired by Mayor de Blasio last winter. "I didn't do shit!" Garner can be seen telling cops in a video of the incident. "I was just minding my own business." "Every time you see me, you want to mess with me," he added. "I'm tired of it ... Please just leave me alone!" How Anonymous Cops Online Are Reacting to the Death of Eric Garner

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How many kinds of dinosaurs were alive at the same time?I understand that there are fewer than 1,000 distinct kinds or species of dinosaurs (maybe many fewer), but that dinosaurs lived on earth for about 150 million years. This would mean that even if a single species lived for 10 million years, there could be no more than 50 or so species alive at any one time. Yet I had assumed that dinosaurs were a bit like mammals in the sense that hundreds or thousands of distinct kinds lived all at once. So if you went back to the time when dinosaurs lived, how many species would be alive on any given day? (I'm not asking how many individuals could have been alive at one time, as that is a different ask altogether.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm in a mood to read non-fiction history books dealing with sailing ships. Any suggestions?For starters: I've read In the Heart of the Sea and Sailing Alone Around the World, so there's no need to suggest those. Requirements: Non-Fiction (There are great novels set on boats, but my mood is toward non-fiction right now) Concerning sailing ships and/or boats (I'm sure there are great books about non-sailing ships; I'm not interested in those right now) Non-Requirements: Naval history is great, but so are books about commercial shipping, the whaling/fishing industry, etc. Books about the classic Age of Sail is ideal, but good non-fiction about modern sailing is also fine. More recent books are preferred, but absolutely not a requirement.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I live in the midwest, and for the last three years by mid-summer there is a small horde of winged insects stalking our backdoor. They look like a cross between a bee, a wasp, and the angel of death from the Adventures of Baron von Munchausen. They have red wings, red legs, and a distinct black and white striped abdomen. These suckers are freaking huge, maybe 2" long or longer. At various times I have unleashed a vast spout of projectile wasp and hornet poison which I am now convinced only makes them stronger. It does nothing. I might as well be using airborne bug steroids. By late summer they have multiplied and must have a hive, maybe similar to a mud dauber? They mostly fly around, land on flowering plants, and I'm positive are plotting something. What are these terrible insects and how do I kill them forever?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Wife got gift certificate from work. Decided we could get Ipad since the certificate must be used at Amazon. We will share the Ipad. I have desktop at home and wife has laptop, so this is an addition and not the sole device for us.Alas, so many models, generations etc. and we are confused as to which to order...the certificate is for $500.00, so that pretty much covers a number of devices, and we can always add a few bucks if it is a bit more. Advice, please, on what is current, best deal, and something useful for reading, writing, pictures...we do not need tablet for gaming. All advice appreciated.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How do you email a follow-up to someone who hasn't answered an email?My program director has several times now not sent any kind of reply to (different topics) emails I've sent. How can I follow-up without being overly pushy? I'm currently several hours away and it is a time-sensitive matter (though not super urgent). Sometimes I just re-send the exact email but I'm wondering if there's a better way.

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