posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Into the Perilous Night: An Essay by Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers: I wrote a nearly complete first draft of "What It Means" in one afternoon in my kitchen in Athens, Georgia. As a song, I didn't know if it was worth a shit. But I had to get those feelings off my chest. The song at least felt honest and real. Patterson Hood previously in The Bitter Southerner: The New(er) South.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I wrote copy for a web project a few months ago. A potential employer praised in on LinkedIn. I'd like to raise my hand and try to get a job with his company. But the work was under NDA. I REALLY need a job. How do I handle this?Earlier this year, I did some copywriting work on a project for a big global corporation (BGC). My agency, and each of us individually, had to sign a really strict NDA -- we can't even say that we worked on the account. (There's no expiration date.) I've since been laid off and I'm (desperately) looking for work. Yesterday, I came across a LinkedIn post from a marketing executive at one of BGC's competitors praising the project I worked on, and singled out the writing. Working for this company is exactly the kind of job I'm looking for. I want to reach out to him, say it was me, and ask if he'd like the same great writing for his business. Obviously, this would violate the NDA. I'm not overly paranoid that BGC would sue me into the ground -- they'd probably send me a threatening letter at best. But breaking an NDA to a total stranger on LinkedIn is not a great first impression. (And how would he even be able to verify it was me?) I have one connection in common with the guy who made the LinkedIn post, but it's someone I did a small bit of work with, many years ago -- he may not even remember me. Would that be the way to go?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My family and I usually each buy some stocking stuffers for each other. Any recommendations?My family includes 1 older man, 3 women and 3 men in their 30s, 1 preschool girl, 1 toddler girl and 1 infant girl. Since this is not a small group of people, inexpensive items are ideal. A lot of us are traveling for the holiday so it would be nice if stocking stuffers were small and durable. Handmade/DIY is okay as long as it's easy and the ingredients and end result are shelf stable. Also, we could potentially order stuff from AliBaba.com or Etsy. Some items that I think have worked well in the past: - might just be something I liked but I think Tide pens check a lot of boxes (small, useful, inexpensive) - my sister is a Sephora fan so she'd save her free samples during the year for stocking stuffers for the women in our family - touchscreen gloves - I thought about making coloring books and giving people crayons? Dumb idea? I thought that might be a cute thing we could do together. Ideas? Thanks in advance!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I just learned that I can take a sabbatical (yay!), which would allow me to spend a year in France with my two kids and partner. Trying to think through whether this is a good idea.No, I don't speak French, nor does my husband. I've always wanted my kids (who will then be 4 and 2) to learn a language at a young age, so going away for a year has always been a dream. And I love France. My sabbatical is only for a half a year, but I can take the other half unpaid and we can do that if we are able to rent out our home while we're away. My husband works mainly from home, but would have to go to London for a few days every couple of weeks (which is one of the main reasons why France appeals -- it's a really easy "commute" for him.) Here are concerns I'd love thoughts on: 1. Location. We're thinking Lille, because it is easy to get back to London on the train and we've heard it's a lovely place. Of course Paris appeals, and it is one of my favorite cities (I've been many times) but it is generally not the friendliest place and not that easy to learn French there. I think I'd love to visit a lot but would prefer to try my luck living elsewhere. We've also thought of Brussels. 2. Kids. Is it mean to drop kids straight into French schools with no language skills already? Not worried about the 2 year old, but it would be an obvious shock for the four year old. We would do some kind of French classes here, and my husband and I would work like crazy to get conversational before we left and during the year. But yeah, I'm thinking it would be hard. Still, I think it would be way easier now than in five years, which is when I might be able to take another sabbatical. 3. Keeping up the language? If one of the reasons to go away is to get the kids to learn the language, is there any feasible way to keep this up when we return? Or would they lose it so quickly? We would try to get a French babysitter, go to France a lot, and spend another year there while they were children. We live in an area with a lot of French families and might be able to find one who also want their kids to keep up the language. Not sure if that's enough. 4. Visa stuff. We're looking at other fora for this as well, because I know this is quite specialized, but would love any advice if anyone has some. One of us is a EU citizen (not British, so not worried about Brexit), our children are also EU citizens, but one of us is American. The problem is whether the American can come with the EU citizen, if it's not obvious the move is for the EU citizen's work. 5. French bureaucracy just seems insane -- getting health insurance, registering for schools, etc. seems like a nightmare. Is there someone to hire to help sort this stuff out? I'm worried about handling it when neither of us speaks French. 6. French schools. We're hoping both can go to maternelle (in Lille it seems some 2 years can go.) Is there any way to tell what is a nice one in advance? Will we get any choice? How hard is it to register? 7. Renting property. Any thoughts on this? We're not worried too much about renting our place out at home, which we've done before in the past pretty easily. But I don't know what renting apartments in France is like, and how much you cab look in advance. Any advice at all much appreciated; we literally just started exploring these possibilities, and are excited but nervous about it! THANKS!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Here is the story as given by the local news, but a TLDR version was provided by @notwokieleaks on Twitter: Detroit cops posing as drug dealers tried to arrest Detroit cops posing as drug buyers and then they all had a fistfight in the middle of the street.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My mom loves mystery TV. She's seen every season of Midsomer Murders and I can only assume she's seen every mystery TV series on (Canadian) Netflix (Miss Fisher, etc.). She especially loves the Cumberbatch Sherlock, and is periodically obsessed with Jack the Ripper. What hasn't she seen that she might like?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I just woke up from a dream in which I was sitting in a used bookstore, absorbed in a novel that was printed like a coffee table art book - a big heavy hardback in which more than half the pages were printed with beautiful reproductions of colorful 19th through 21st century paintings; but instead of text about the paintings, the text was a contemporary novel. Has a book like that ever really existed?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
What can I do to keep my gut microbiota healthy?Prebiotics? Probiotics? Specific nutrients? Thanks!

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to work out the cultural/ethnic origin of the classic greeting of my mum's aunts. They do a single (sometimes double) kiss, followed by holding hands (one in each) while greeting you and brief conversation. Cultural details inside.We're in Australia but they are originally from Sri Lanka, they've been here for 30-40 years. They are Burghers - of Dutch, British and/or Portuguese descent with some Sinhalese ancestry. Not all the Sri Lankans I've met do this so I'm not sure if it is strictly this.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
We're used to creating Thanksgiving dinners that accommodate a wide number of dietary issues, but this year presents a challenge we're not quite prepared for: one of our guests had their gallbladder removed a few weeks ago. Do you have any yummy, ultra-low-fat recipes for just such a scenario?Bonus points if it doesn't include corn products or distilled vinegar/white vinegar (made from corn) as I am allergic.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I'm having cataract surgery soon in both eyes. I'm getting monofocal lenses. I'm trying to decide whether to have the correction set to favor near vision (no glasses needed for reading, but glasses required for driving) vs. distance vision (will need glasses for reading).I had a pre-operative meeting with a nurse. She discussed different options. She said that most patients choose to have the focus set so that they can see distant objects without glasses, but need glasses for reading. I spend at least 10 hours per day sitting in front of a computer screen. And I only spend about 40 minutes a day driving. I told the nurse that I think it would be better to set my focus to favor near vision. She seemed to think that this was a bad idea, but she couldn't clearly articulate the reasons why. She just repeated that most patients choose the opposite. She offered to have the eye surgeon call me tomorrow for further discussions. Am I missing something? It's puzzling to me why the majority of patients choose to forego glasses for distance vision while using glasses for reading. I would have expected the opposite. Am I missing something? I'll be speaking with the surgeon soon, but I'm looking for feedback from others.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Normally, my partner and I would be spending this Thanksgiving with our three teenage children from our previous marriages, our parents, our friends, or a combination thereof -- but we just discovered today that a last-minute change of plans means that this year for the first time ever, it's gonna be just the two of us. Help us figure out what to do?We're a little sad about the change in plans, to be honest, but we're also...starting to get a little bit excited about it, too. We could do anything! Or go anywhere! Or maybe we could go nowhere and not do a single thing! We're both writers/academics who have been working really hard for the last several months and managing lots of stress. It would be nice to take this opportunity to recharge and reconnect with one another. So, mefites: What would you do from Thursday afternoon - Sunday afternoon during this Thanksgiving holiday for maximum romance and relaxation? A few hopefully helpful details: 1. We live in SW Ohio. 2. We like road trips and adventures, although we have both been traveling a lot for work recently and there's more travel upcoming on our dockets -- so we may be less keen than usual on long flights to other time zones, but for the right flight to the right place, who knows. It would be more convenient for us to head southward rather than northward if we go anywhere, though, because we have to be in TN on Sunday. However, we've already spent a lot of time in Louisville, Red River Gorge, and Nashville; it would be nice to see someplace new. 3. We like cities, we like going off the grid, and we like staying in at home in equal measure. Our work travel mostly takes us to big cities. 4. We like good food and art, and we're happy seeking those sorts of things out as well as making them for ourselves. 5. We can spend $750.00, give or take.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
FR. Reginald Foster, The Vatican's Latinist [Archive.org] The number of Foster's students runs into the thousands, and many of them are now themselves some of the most dedicated teachers in the field. "When I was in college I asked people, 'Hey, we all know Latin is a language. Does anybody actually speak it anymore?' And they told me there was one guy, some guy at the Vatican, who still spoke the language, and that was Fr. Foster," says Dr. Michael Fontaine, a professor of Classics at Cornell University. "I said to myself, 'I have to study with this guy.' And that changed everything for me." Dr. Paul Gwynne, professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the American University of Rome, said of Foster, "He is not just the best Latin teacher I've ever seen, he's simply the best teacher I've ever seen. Studying Latin with the Pope's apostolic secretary, for whom the language is alive, using the city of Rome as a classroom . . . it changed my whole outlook on life, really." The Pope's Latinist, 2000 Pope's Latinist Prononces Death Of A Lanugage, 2007 Foster teaching Cicero Foster interviewed by Milwaukee's FOX SIX News Reginald Foster: The Vatican's Latinist It's remarkable to see what Foster accomplished, but even more so to see the ripple effect, what he has inspired. Other links associated with the article and Reginald Foster: Experience Latin with Fr. Reginald Foster LATINITATIS CORPUS, REGINALDO PROCURATORE

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I may or may not have been volunteered to help setup wifi for the neighborhood pool/clubhouse, halp me.I have set up many folks' home-networks and wireless routers - easy peasy stuff. I know my way around the residential side of the business. But for something where the coverage area goes beyond a house, and the number of clients can be big, I'm a bit out of my element. I understand we'd need a connection from the FIOS/cable company/DSL/whatevs - not sure securing a cable/drop is my job. I'm hoping I'd show up and there's a modem there, ready to go. Is there a back of the envelope for how much bandwidth is reasonable ? (ie if there's a swim meet, and we've got 300+ people there checking facebook, streaming the meet, instgramming their kids on the podium, etc what does that translate into ? Beyond that, we would need to cover a good-sized pool and pool-deck, clubhouse and it's deck/patio. Figure ~200ftx120ft, with the clubhouse taking half that. Or a 200ft radius circle. Is this something you can put together from best-buy level hardware ? (ie am I looking at a single beefy wifi router, several wifi routers with all but 1 setup as a repeater, 2 or more APs hard-wired to a router ? What should the topology look like ? I'm assuming 1 SSID for the whole setup too) Security wise, is it better to leave it open, or have a password on it (knowing the password will probably be shared a-plenty) ? Should there be rate caps so no one can hog all the bandwidth ? (I could see there being summer "pool movie nights" where someone hooks up a projector and their netflix account, so ... ) Are there other things to consider that I've missed ?

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
So I went to a clinic recently for STI testing, and while most of the pre-testing questions made sense (in terms of determining risk factors etc), a few of the questions left me confused afterwards as to what the purpose might be. One question was whether I'm taking any prescription medications and what conditions those medications were for. Why/how is this relevant to an STI test?Maybe certain medications or medical conditions could interfere with testing or treatment, but if so, how? These were just simple throat swabs and urine samples - no blood tests involved. This was routine testing, so it's not like there were any symptoms for which they were looking for alternative explanations like pre-existing medical conditions. The clinic is only for sexual health, which means the nurse wasn't just reading off a standard list of general health questions. The particular exchange that left me wondering was when I said I was taking lamotrigine. The nurse asked what for, I said a mood disorder (rather than epilepsy), and she asked "depression?". Then when I said bipolar, she asked me whether it was type 1 or 2. So - how are these questions relevant? (To be clear, I wasn't bothered - otherwise I would have raised it at the time - but in retrospect it has me curious why the nurse asked them)

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
.......no one remembers. The uncounted. US Military officials say that the air war against ISIS is the most precise in history. ......"Such intelligence failures suggest that not all civilian casualties are unavoidable tragedies; some deaths could be prevented if the coalition recognizes its past failures and changes its operating assumptions accordingly. But in the course of our investigation, we found that it seldom did either"......

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I've got two boxes of spice blends from an Indian grocery store, Zatpat Kolhapuri Masala and Pay Bhaji Masala. For the life of me, I can't remember why I acquired them and I have no idea what to do with them (or any other mysterious spice blends I see in the Indian grocery store) but I long to learn.I have some experience making curries, but I've mostly used recipes and followed them pretty closely. I just came across this old askme that was helpful but doesn't help me understand these or other Indian spice blends and what I can/should do with them. Any general approaches and/or specific recipes would be much appreciated. You can assume I have a well-stocked kitchen and pantry, that I am an adventurous eater (although I draw the line at squid legs. Eew.), and am willing to invest some time as needed in cooking something wonderful to eat. My spice collection is pretty extensive, plus I have a Penzey's nearby.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Boston Dynamics has posted a new video. It's 54 seconds of a robot doing things I never thought they could do. I sort of already knew they did the things in this 2m41 second video.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
We are considering taking out a home equity conversion mortgage so that we can move into a larger home. I've read a lot and am pretty well up on how it works but I am interested in hearing from anyone who has actually been through it. Anyone out there?

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I'm working on individuation from my parents. I've been asked by my therapist to list 12 things each, for mother and father, that I'm thankful for. 12 is a big number in this realm ...I've got a few, for example: Father - good provider - taught me woodworking A few, but far from 12. Can you list, so as to avoid chat, things that you are thankful for from your parents, that I might then recognize for myself?

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I'm on birth control solely to suppress my periods. I don't and will likely never have the kind of sex that could get me pregnant. Do I still have to take it at exactly the same time every day?I know you need to take birth control at the same time every day for it to be an effective contraceptive. However, I don't need it to be a contraceptive. The only sex I have had for the past six years, and foresee having for a long way into the future, is with someone who is also female-assigned-at-birth. Barring rape, I don't even have a chance of becoming pregnant. I take birth control because my periods make my chronic illness ten times worse and I cannot afford to be non-functional for a week every month. I take it continuously and haven't had a period in several years. In that time the only noticeable problem I've had is spotting, but only very rarely. However, because my chronic illness symptoms and the symptoms of a period are so similar, I can't tell if all of the symptoms are being fully suppressed. I don't take my birth control at the same time; it's pretty much whenever I go to bed which is about a 2-3 hour window. Is the "take it at the same time every night" rule only for it to be an effective contraceptive, or will it also impact how well it suppresses my period as well? Are there any hormonal consequences to not taking it on time either?

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
For years, this day had seemed inevitable. It was the predictable end to nearly a decade of well-documented and thoroughly-investigated psychological and physical torment: threatening phone calls, notes, strange encounters, vandalism, fires, animal killings, and a half-dozen violent physical attacks; all perpetrated by an unknown assailant. There were about a hundred documented incidents between 1982 and 1989. Someone was terrorizing her. After Cindy's death, there was a thorough investigation. It culminated in the lengthiest and most expensive public inquest in British Columbia's history. Cindy's death was ruled a suicide. The Mysterious Death of Cindy James Unsolved Mysteries wiki entry. 1989 A Current Affair segment.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Looking for movies or other stories where the antagonist becomes the villain, the antagonist becomes the hero, but in the end work work together to save the world or help each other out in some other way?Variations on this scenario accepted.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Each year Mallory Ortberg explores the horror of what it takes to be crowned People's Sexiest Man Alive. She began with Adam Levine. Then there was Chris Hemsworth and David Beckham. Now, Blake Shelton has been named Sexiest Man Alive. God have mercy on his soul.

Read More...
posted 4 days ago on metafilter
The Greggs £24 advent calendar has 24 tear-off doors that customers can exchange for a treat in a Greggs shop - though the choice of promotional picture has raised eyebrows. However, the UK Evangelical Alliance says it is "not too outraged" about the Greggs nativity scene (contradictory quote), while a vicar from t'north is not amused. Becky Barnicoat rounds up some tweets, while Peter Ormerod argues this is not an issue to be outraged about. (First mentioned by fearfulsymmetry)

Read More...