posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Imagine, if you will, that you have a vexing, life-altering, deeply troubling health chronic problem. It's not degenerative, it's not fatal, it's just f*cking up the most important part of your life. You are on a quest to heal, convinced that you cannot have the life you want until you get the problem under control.Imagine, also, that you're a highly resourceful person who has been through a long list of healers and modalities, from the everyday M.D. to Helminthic Therapy Fecal Microbiota Transplants, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Chi-gong, Osteopathy, on and on. You don't give up easily, and you find the prospect of knocking this condition down far more appealing than most other things you can do with your time or money. [The condition in question is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), though it's a diagnosis of exclusion, and pretty useless at indicating treatment.] So what else is there? We know that many alternative/fringe/new age therapies simply don't work. But sometimes they do. Ahead of all the double-blind studies and solid scientific confirmation, sometimes they do. Chiropractic Neurology? Ayahuasca or Ibogaine? Macrophage Therapy? Tropical medicine? ----------------- What kind of radical things have people tried for conditions where Western medicine has pretty much given up? ----------------- I'm going to quote another metafilter user at length so you can see what I'm going for: Here's the thing with Google: In every profession, every area of life, 99 percent of the people in it are good enough to be usually adequate. They can get your car running or your tub to drain or fix your toothache or get your cat to stop throwing up, as long as the problem isn't severe or unusual. Those are the people you can find using Google, and I've already been to see them. I've spent decades going to see them. They can't help me. I need the other one percent. But who they are is a secret you can only find out via a direct recommendation by someone who's been to see them. http://ask.metafilter.com/254547/How-can-I-get-help-with-an-extremely-bad-intractable-sleep-problem

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Rice University Fondren Library maintain a guide to cat videos on the web. But what do they think? Meanwhile, in the UK Labour Party leadership contest, socialists cannot vote, but cats can. And people like watching cat videos on TV. And as for Tinder for cats? There's an app for that. But, why so popular? And why does Larry Ellison like them? So do you want more? Why not go on a cat holiday, or run away and join the cat circus?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
LSD - Line Square Dot ... an addictive, minimalistic, JavaScript game. (source)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Is there a particular phrase or word to describe the phenomenon of people who are famous for innocuous reasons being extremely unpleasant human beings?I've talked about this with some friends, and every once in a while a particularly heinous example appears in the news, but none of us are aware of any specific shorthand descriptor for it. The latest, of course, being the horrific story of Jared from Subway. He is a man with some degree of fame gained from eating a particular kind of sandwich many times and losing a bunch of weight, and also appears to be a complete monster. In addition to sandwich pitchmen, beloved comedians, and "Painters of Light," there are many apocryphal stories of musicians who make bland, unthreatening music being entitled and cruel towards others. It seems like this sort of thing happens often enough that there would be a word or phrase for it, but as far as I've been able to tell there isn't. (NOTE: The title of this post comes not from a real story about Neil Diamond, but from a Will Ferrell Saturday Night Live skit in which he plays on this concept as Neil Diamond, saying a bunch of horrible stuff and threatening people.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Every day the members of the Bureau of Proto Society debate the cause of the fall of the world from past documentary videos. New Anima(tor)'s Expo short from Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Time of Eve, Patema Inverted). Site will show up as Japanese at first, but there is a translation if you click "EN" in the upper right.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Rant posted on the wrong non-private blog. I deleted the post (which I now know was not good) from the app because my computer was too slow to do it there. I turned off my feed once I was on another computer. How screwed am I that all of the 18 people on my feed got an email about that?I have two blogs. One for private rants and one not so much. I posted a rant on the NSM one and hit post. I realized the moment it posted that it went to the wrong one. I'm not sure how to recover the post and how to delete it from my feed. Any one know how this works? Looking at my feed stats, not many people are reached by my feed but I don't want this sitting in an email somewhere.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Happy Friday MeFi, I was wondering if someone could shine some light onto why my stomach freaks out when I have regular coffee (Dunks, Starbucks, Keurig) but doesn't scream when I have Espresso? I can't quite wrap my heard around it, although I suspect it may have something to do with acidic content from instant-coffee, but whenever I try to have coffee from Dunkin Donuts or from one of those little Keurig cups, my stomach feels like it is being stabbed to death. It usually follows with a very painful stomach-ache for the next 30-45 minutes and then it goes away. However, if I use my work's espresso machine, it doesn't hurt my stomach at all. What gives? This is probably not related, but I have similar issues when I drink beer but no issues when I drink Vodka or Tequilla. Thanks for all your responses.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I like to visit independent toy stores when I travel. I'm looking for stores that sell "natural" toys, wooden toys, Waldorf dolls, etc. Toys made in the U.S. would be great, but not necessary. Can you recommend such a toy store on the East Coast or Midwest?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The Revenge of Flash Friday - It's ALIVE! Anatomy Arcade "makes basic human anatomy come ALIVE through awesome free flash games, interactives and videos." There are two timed games: Whack-A-Bone and Poke-A-Muscle (both feature auto-playing music, but you can turn it off in PAM). For less stress, there are jigsaw puzzles to help you get familiar with the digestive system, skeletal system, muscular system, the brain, the eye and the heart. (Via everlasting blort)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I want plants in my house. I tend to kill most plants. Also, I have hardwood floors and curtains and cats. Help.So I've moved into a new home with a nice big sliding glass door in the family room. It's the perfect place for a few houseplants. I need help with a few things: 1 - suggest varieties of plants that don't die easily and aren't harmful to my kitties or kids (so no cacti, sorry). I will make a concerted effort, but history has shown that these plants will be mostly fending for themselves. 2 - tell me how you handle the gunky stuff that comes off of plants. I don't want sticky, gummy stuff on my beautiful new hardwood or my curtains. Is it only certain plants that give off this stuff? 3 - what do you put your pots on when you have hardwood floors? I hate the look of those wire plant stands! 4 - tell me anything I need to know about cats and plants. I don't want them digging in the pots and spraying soil everywhere. Or...God forbid...peeing in them. Is this a thing? Can it be avoided? Thanks!!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Vox argues that the reason the technical set gets frustrated with American politics is simple. They have a mental model of the political structure that is divorced from the actual reality of American politics. (SLVox) The main myths that are hit on: *The myth of the independent voter, *The myth of the rational center, *The myth that the parties are reflections of each other, *The myth that centrism reflects moderation.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Former FEMA Head Michael Brown: Stop Blaming Me For Hurricane Katrina (SPL) In which he explains from his point of view what the real problems with the Katrina response were.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A dear friend of mine has just finished their PhD and is immediately starting a post doc. What gift can I give them to help them get off on the right foot dealing with their anxiety, etc.?They have struggled mightily with anxiety, procrastination, and disorganization. They've been working on their mental health for the last few years, and want to take the opportunity of a fresh-start to develop better habits - food/sleep/exercise, dealing with paperwork, not hiding from everything because they're so anxious. I'd like to give them a gift to help with this process. They have generous family financial support and decent pay, so even a list of resources/strategies to try would be a good present for them. Of course, a more tangible gift would also be nice. Also, I know that in many relationships this would be kind of a weird or even offensive approach to a gift, but trust that this makes sense and will be appreciated in the context our ours. They live in the US and I do not, so in-person gifts are not feasible. It doesn't need to be academia-specific, but it would be cool if it was. This question was somewhat helpful, but my friend doesn't really struggle with social anxiety and I'd like some more ideas.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"This was also the tour that I was jumped by a disgruntled fan in the ladies room. A rather tall woman, she may have not been over six feet tall, but only seemed that tall after she slammed me up against the wall, and forced me in a corner (people often seem taller when they're threatening you). She was angry about the new book, angry about Anita having sex with someone that wasn't Richard, and angry with me for adding new men to her life, and basically not happy with the way my series had turned in book ten, Narcissus in Chains." Laurell K. Hamilton on book tour woes.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"How To Make Me Come" is a collection of anonymous essays penned by women about their orgasms. (Content NSFW: Text only.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking to retrofit a greywater system into my house in the Bay Area, California so that I feel better about watering my trees in a severe drought. Unfortunately, plumbing is not my area of expertise, and I am apprehensive that Something Terrible Will Happen if I mess with it. To that end, I'd like to know what could go wrong with a greywater system. Also, if anyone has experience choosing a good greywater designer and installer and can speak to how to do that, or just flat out recommend a greywater genius, I'd be very happy to hear from you.My back and front yard are small, there is a crawlspace under the house which can be used to mess with the plumbing, and I'd like to reclaim water from the washer and dryer and the shower and tubs in the bathrooms (which share a wall).

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking to upgrade my collection of PJs with some really nice tops and bottoms that are worthy of slipping on after a nice long nighttime bath. They must be made of super soft fabric, with pants in a long inseam and top either tank-style or short-sleeve. I don't really like quirky prints, but I do like things that are flowy and sort of elegant. More snowflakes inside.Yes to: -33-34" inseam for the pants is a MUST -soft flowy fabrics like modal or some sort of cotton blend -drapey loose cut, but still with style and femininity No to: -flannel. I am a human furnace and don't need help staying warm at night -lots of lace, ruffles, or super frilly stuff -loud cartoony prints or words -plaid -tight fitting tank tops or leggings-style bottoms -button-up tops (impossible with my chest) -shorts, chemises, gowns, caftans, capris, or anything that's not full-length pants It does not have to be a matching set - I am willing to buy the pants and top separately if necessary. The hardest part has been finding bottoms that meet my inseam and fabric/style criteria. My ideal is something like this because it is sort of drapey and elegant, not your typical tee-and-cotton-pants pajamas. But alas, the inseam is only 29". That said, I will take something more casual if it is really nice quality and has some other interesting feature (asymmetrical neckline, for example). I'm willing to spend up to $150ish.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
American Stiob: Or, What Late-Socialist Aesthetics of Parody Reveal about Contemporary Political Culture in the West, Dominic Boyer and Alexei Yurchak, paper here in PDF DB: The one thing I would add is that one of the fascinating things about this is that even in the case of Colbert– Stewart it's clear the satirical moment, but we also don't describe Stewart as doing stiob exactly, he's doing something different – but Colbert is more of a stiob-esque type of performer. They've done these studies, we mention it briefly in the paper, that over half of political conservatives who watch Colbert take him literally as a populist. They don't think of him as a comedian. I was just teaching this in my media class and there was a student who came from a conservative family who said that her father and older brother watch Colbert and find him hilarious and they don't think of him as being a liberal or a leftist. It's this interesting ambiguity that stiob can inhabit that makes it so effective. It allows stiob to have a different political, critical intervention than a more literal oppositional politics would. What Late Socialism Teaches Us About Late Liberalism, Soviet Society in the Era of Late Socialism, 1964–1985 edited by Neringa Klumbyte, Gulnaz Sharafutdinova A Multi-Lectic Anatomy of Stiob and Poshlost': Case Studies in the Oeuvre of Timur Novikov The Case of Stiob The notion of stiob, in usage in nonconformist circles for decades, has recently received Western academic attention due to the work of Alexei Yurchak, who has integrated its explication into a broader theoretical framework (Yurchak 2005). He describes a 'hyper-normalisation of form' of official Soviet practices, juxtaposing this with their increasing lack of denotative semantic content in the late-Soviet period. Yurchak proposes the concept of a 'performative shift' to describe how certain formulaic acts (public eulogies for Communism, for instance—whether performed sincerely or not) often became ideologically vacuous means to totally different ends (Yurchak 2005, chapter 6). In lay terms, his diagnosis is of a mismatch of official form and non-official content. "It required such a degree of overidentification with the object, person or idea that it was often impossible to tell wheter it was a form of sincere support, subtle ridicule, or a peculiar mixture of the two" - Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, Alexei Yurchak "The Language of the exclusive and subversive sistema turned into a popular and mass-produced stiob" - The Future of Nostalgia By Svetlana Boym Simply the best: Parody and political sincerity in Iceland [PDF], Dominic Boyer

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I just received two standard-looking emails from a legit-looking European Web site, one welcoming me to the site and the other asking me to verify the email address. I've received those hack-y "here's the password reset you requested" emails and just ignore those, but the welcome email included the username (the old email address) and password. What's the best way to deal with this?The emails appear to come from a legitimate multinational company with a hefty Wikipedia page and concerns some kind of application submitted using an old email address that was forwarded to my main account. The email also states that it may take a few days to verify the application and seems to be of a wholesaler/retailer nature. Is this just an routine phishing thing? A scam? Should I go and change the password/cancel application since I have the password? Ignore it? Report it using the Gmail report tools? If it matters, the email address could possibly be someone's name, so it might be that old google mix-up that pops up here occasionally. Also, I have not been compromised by any known hack, either online or like the Target hack. (I'm not sure if it's a good idea to name the company, but it sells a legal product that you inhale that is not pot.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I find myself being recruited for (and sometimes taking) healthcare IT project management jobs, and it turns out I hate them all. Specifically, I hate being held accountable for everything but having zero authority to actually do, fix, or decide anything. How do I break out of this project management career trap?Despite my healthcare colleagues thinking I'm a technical genius for being able to work Excel and quickly learn the infinite quirks of an electronic medical record system, I don't have real technical skills (i.e. coding, networking, hardcore statistical analysis, software certifications). While I think it might be nice to be actually able to fix problems or build/design new tools, I don't want to be chained to my computer like the IS/IT analysts at my organizations have been - I like getting out and about during the day. Have any of you escaped from project management? What career jumps/paths did that take? Did you stay within the same field and become more of a specialist? If so, how did you beef up those specialty skills while working as a project manager? Despite having a master's degree in public health, I don't have a real clinical background, so it's hard for me to transition to other healthcare management jobs without having trained/worked as a nurse, for example. And while I like the money that project management salaries pay, if I have to sit through another hour-long debate on SharePoint site hierarchy, I may find myself doing something that I regret even more than taking my current job.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A cow in Northamptonshire has gotten its head stuck in a lawn chair. The County of Northamptonshire in England's East Midlands was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1011), as Hamtunscire: the scire (shire) of Hamtun (the homestead). There are 129 things to do in Northamptonshire, the best of which is a llama farm. But all that changed today, when Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service were summoned to save a cow who had somehow gotten its head stuck in a lawn chair. By the time firefighters arrived, the cow had managed to get its head unstuck from the lawn chair. A happy ending to this story. But it remains unclear how the lawn chair got into the field. Until this is sorted, Northampton's cows will have one more thing to be stressed about.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Absolutely true plotlines from the latest season of Law & Order SVU. [single link imgur album]

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Frankly, sophisticated audiences are not a problem. Dumb audiences are a problem. But I think audiences are getting more sophisticated — that's just a product of time. In the '50s, audiences accepted a level of artifice that the audiences in 1966 would chuckle at. And the audiences of 1978 would chuckle at what the audience of 1966 said was okay, too. The trick is to try to be way ahead of that curve, so they're not chuckling at your movies 20 years down the line.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
If you only had $5000 for a used vehicle, would you buy a RAV4, CRV, or Lexus RX?I just lost my awesome Toyota RAV4 in a car accident. We made many wonderful memories and many miles together. I now need to replace my vehicle with the most reliable similar vehicle possible, but I'm on an incredibly limited budget of about $5000. What small, used SUV would you recommend for that price? I'm considering a Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, or Lexus RX series. Any used vehicle at this price range will have tons of miles on it, but which vehicle brand would give me the most for my very limited buck?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
GQ's Taffy Brodesser-Akner looks at the culture and economics of sugar daddies.

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