posted 4 days ago on metafilter
A Common Policy, Anna Aslanyan writing at LRB Blog La Disparition, a lipogrammatic classic, turns 50 today [29 March 2019]. You probably know who it's by; if not, you can look it up to find out why I'm unwilling to say who did it. From its first publication on 29 March 1969, this book built a cult following. It's primarily famous for what's missing from it, a basic but important thing that forms a part of words you can't usually do without. Staying strictly within this tight constraint, it says what it wants to say about its protagonist, Anton Voyl, and his vanishing act – a conundrum for his companions – in a grippingly ludic, rigidly formulaic way. via our own cf: travails of translating La Disparition and also: An Author Who Drops An Uncial Sign or: G. P.: A Manual

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Dragonglass (Game of Thrones wiki), the common name in Westeros for volcanic glass also known as obsidian, was recently forged or cast in Game of Thrones, but don't try that at home. While you can knap obsidian, trying to cast an obsidian sword is a very hot, messy process, and glass blowing and bending a obsidian knife doesn't go much better, if your goal is to make an actual weapon (How To Make Everything YouTube videos x3).

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I need a new suitcase. I also realized my preferred method of getting to the airport is biking to BART, leaving my bike in a locker, and then taking the train to the airport. I did this successfully on a short trip with only a duffle bag thrown into my front basket. I need a new suitcase. Help me find one that I can easily bike with on some upcoming longer trips.All the caveats and requirements: 1. Suitcase needs to be waterproof. (I don't want to worry about the rain or snow.) 2. I need to be able to pack for work travel of 5-7 nights. This includes suits, oxford shoes, shirts and the like. 3. It can be slightly larger than a carry on since I usually check my bag (to not worry about competing for overhead space). 4. It should be relatively easy to strap to the front basket of my bike or worn. I cannot attach a trailer or something like that to my bike because it needs to fit in the locker. I usually travel with a messenger bag or backpack with my plane gear/laptop/work stuff. These bags will fit in my basket.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Hello. I need to get a copy of the stipulation in a 2013 case in Manhattan housing court in which I was involved. I know how to do this in person, but before I fly in from out of town, I want to know if there's any way to get this information remotely. Feel free to memail me if you'd rather. Thank you!

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
In Cultist Simulator, Death Is Only The Beginning [Kotaku] "The most fun thing to do in Cultist Simulator is die. Cultist Simulator is a new game about running a cult, interpreted as a virtual card-based board game. There are no instructions for what to do, really, so you begin picking up cards, putting them in different slots, and hoping for the best. Sooner or later, you'll die—usually as a sacrifice. Then the game opens up. You play the game by putting cards in slots and then waiting for them to resolve." [YouTube][Trailer] • Half the fun of Cultist Simulator is simply figuring out how it all works [PC Gamer] "But Cultist Simulator is the rare game (I'd throw Crusader Kings 2 into this category) where it's still immensely fun to play, and lose, without really knowing what the hell is happening or what went wrong. Plus, over the course of each game, I'd always get a little bit further, last a little longer, and learn a bit more. Most importantly, in each game I played I'd get a glimpse of just how much more there was to learn. Maybe just before I perished, I'd meet a character I'd never seen before, or I'd come into possession of a mysterious new item, or discover a new location card. This meant each time I failed and died and watched my lovely collection of cards turn to ash, I'd feel eager to immediately dive back in, intrigued by the new possibilities I'd seen in the last game, ravenous to discover those new cards again and uncover their meaning and purpose. It's a dark, murky, mysterious game, and that mystery goes on and on, even dozens of hours later." • I'm obsessed with Cultist Simulator, even after it made me a cannibal [Polygon] "Serving the themes of mystery, cults and the disquieting unknown, Cultist Simulator leaves tempting gaps in information. Even as you scratch your head about how to proceed, figuring out which cards go where and what you're missing, the game gently guides you without giving too much away, allowing an aspect of discovery. It's addicting work because, as long as you put in the effort and learn from mistakes, you're always rewarded in some manner. It's an approach that Weather Factory's developers likely learned from their old work with Sunless Seas, and while it's risky on paper, it leaves players wanting to explore the world. And like with Sunless Seas, it's extremely easy to fail if you aren't paying attention or get unlucky. You die and restart many times, starting from scratch each go with only better intuition about the game and its world. Suffering and failing so routinely only made my successful save file that much sweeter. Between my wild micro-management skills and the draws of curiosity and achievement, I'd created a wonderfully delicious pursuit, and I refused to give that up." • Cultist Simulator: the transcendent bliss of unravelling mysteries wrapped in enigmas [Rock Paper Shotgun] "Stripped down to its skeleton-patterned underwear, it's a game of time and resource management, of crafting and experimentation. By combining cards with tiles that represent verbs like 'explore' 'talk' 'work' and 'dream', you'll gradually uncover mysteries, gain arcane knowledge, and learn to effectively blend certain combinations to give you the results you'll need to survive and progress. One of your earliest tasks is to form your own cult. Some cards represent acquaintances, curious but unversed in the dark arts. Some are scraps of lore gleaned from tattered books. There are manifestations of your passion, and of your ability to reason. Begin to combine one or more of these with the verb tiles, and you'll set timers into motion. When the timers run down, you'll flip the tiles, and check the results. This sense of progress propels you. Timers tick and brew and search in the dark. They meld and meddle and unravel. They can tell stories in themselves, sometimes. Long, plodding work days in boredom haunted offices or hurried jaunts at secret clubs. Occasionally, they'll turn up answers. Mostly, though, they'll just produce ever more maddeningly fascinating questions."

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to track down the source of a quote I heard once about packing light for travel, something along the lines of "Never bring more than you can carry at a flat-out run for a quarter mile." I thought it was from Mark Twain (of course), but I'm having trouble verifying that--or any source.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
"Much of the modern economy, pioneered by Walmart, is reliant upon increasingly complex supply chains that push production costs down onto subcontractors, giving them incentive to wring every cent of profit out of workers and protecting large corporations from responsibility. This must end. Companies claim they cannot patrol their supply chains but this is a choice. They do a great job of controlling for cost and quality, yet when it comes to labor standards, they plead ignorance. That is not acceptable. If a Walmart supplier refuses to pay its workers the minimum wage, then Walmart is responsible for that by choosing that contractor. Holding Walmart financially accountable for its supply chains through U.S. courts would alone raise global workplace standards." The Democrats' Yawning Silence on Trade (Boston Review)

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
My dad had a stroke 4 years ago and his mental and cognitive health have deteriorated significantly in the last year. He won't get help. Is there anything that I can do?My dad had a major stroke during open heart surgery 4 years ago. He lost the use of the right side of his body and initially could not speak. In the first year after the stroke, he made tremendous progress and he can now walk with a quad cane, speak (though slurred), and even got his driver's license back. The biggest cognitive deficit that he had at the time was an inability to sense his own limitations, but for the most part he was just as sharp as he had been before the stroke. In the years since then, his mental and cognitive health have deteriorated dramatically, especially in the last year. He had some cognitive testing about a year ago, but the results were only shared with him. His short-term memory is awful. He has significant anxiety that has led to panic attacks and skin picking, and makes him not want to leave the house anymore. He has a hard time processing what's going on around him, so watching a movie or keeping up a conversation is difficult. Overall, he just seems like he's not really there. My sister just had his first grandchild and yesterday he sat in her hospital room staring ahead or playing on his phone for an hour, then he got up and left without saying goodbye. I know that this is how it is now, and he's not going to get better. But I also know that he could probably receive some kind of care for these issues, like therapy or medication, to help him feel better in the day-to-day. Unfortunately, there are two roadblocks: 1) he lives with his wife (my stepmom), who takes care of him day-to-day but isn't really interested in improving his medical/mental care; and 2) he is still responsible for his own medical decisions. He does not want to go to any doctors, and when he does go to an appointment, his doctors talk to him and don't share any information with us as his family. I am so, so frustrated seeing him like this and knowing that things could be better for him, but he isn't willing or able to get the help that he needs, and my stepmom isn't willing to push, either. Is there anything that I can do?

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Does anyone have personal experience with having elective surgery in another country? There are a couple I have looked at including Thailand and India. Taking money and or insurance completely out of the equation, what are things to know and understand?

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Based on this article – discussed in this post – I've used the iOS app Dictionary Universal to access the 1913 version of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. It was easy – the app. linked to it in its settings, and I clicked the link and it downloaded the whole dictionary. And the app *still* appears to link to it. But I got a new iPad recently and the link downloads something else – an abridged version of that dictionary. Please help me get the real unabridged 1913 version of the Webster's dictionary back on my iPad.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
We have a neighbor, who despite multiple requests, permits her uncut tom cat to roam the neighborhood. Because of this, I've learned I can't open my windows, or her cat tries to attack my cats through the screen. Even if the window is closed, he attacks. I've had to replace two screens just in the last month, and another needs to be replaced after last night.What can I do to keep this tom cat away from my windows, so I can open said windows? So far, those little plastic windowsill spikes haven't worked, and I haven't wanted to try anything that might disrupt my bunnies or birds or other critters that are allowed to live free in the yard.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Am I doing something wrong while cooking with ghee?I bought a huge tub of ghee from Costco. It's been sitting next to the stove for several weeks, and I've realized that's not good. I'm thinking of storing it in the fridge. I scrambled eggs with it and the smell was overwhelming to me. It felt so greasy and it stuck in the air for hours. I cooked with ghee before and don't remember the unbearable greasiness. Has the ghee gone bad or is it poor quality? I'm thinking of returning it. Since ghee has a high smoke spoint, I didn't "burn" it, right? I used it with jasmine rise and it turned out fine. I'm thinking of returning it because I don't want to cook with it if it gives off that greasy odor. But I really want a neutral oil to cook with. Last night I pan-fried cod in regular butter and I didn't get a greasy smell. So am I doing something wrong or is the ghee bad quality or off or am I just not used to ghee?

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
In zero G, it helps to have a tail – NASA scientists have now published the first detailed study of how mice behave in the NASA Rodent Hardware System, which has housed almost a dozen experiments on the International Space Station since 2014. They found that the rodents engaged in all the typical mouse behaviors, even in the "weightlessness" of the microgravity environment [video at end of article].

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
The AV Club takes a look at why there are so few science and nature documentaries narrated by women.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I'm having some friends over for Passover on Saturday. I'm not making brisket because 3/4 of us are vegetarian. However, man cannot live on charoset and matzoh ball soup alone. What is your favorite Kosher for Passover vegetarian main dish?I'm the only Jew among the four of us. My great aunt usually makes a seder and during that event I usually gorge on charoset and matzoh ball soup. I'd like to make something more exciting as a main course, and I'm at a loss. 1. No kitniyot 2. No meat or fish

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
So I have periodontal disease and Dr. was probing and probing and now everywhere that probe went measuring pockets in my gums, I am sore and hurting.Does this soreness go away? How? Is there a place I can talk to other people suffering from the same thing? TIA

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
> ) A whole bunch of Infocom's original source code is now available on github. Throughout its history, Infocom used a TOPS20 mainframe with a compiler (ZILCH) to create and edit language files - this repository is a mirror of the source code directory archive of Infocom but could represent years of difference from what was originally released. Available here is: Arthur Zork Zero Shogun Sherlock Zork 3 Zork 2 Zork 1 Witness Trinity Suspended Planetfall Leather Goddesses of Phobos Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Stationfall and many others.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
Introducing Speedgate, a sport created (mostly) by AI. TechCrunch: AKQA says it used AI to invent a new sport called Speedgate The AI was good at coming up with descriptions for sports like "underwater parkour," an exploding Frisbee game and one where players pass a ball back-and-forth while in hot air balloons and on a tightrope. But it took a back-and-forth process with the human team at AKQA to narrow the list down to the final three for playtesting, and then to refine the rules into something people might actually want to play. "We know we can't dangle 30 feet in the air, we understand the confines of what makes sense as a sport," Jenkins said. Still, he insisted that Speedgate could never have been created by humans alone: "Using AI as a member of a creative team takes us to a new place, that we never could have gotten to without it." Endgadget: AI developed a whole new sport The design agency AKQA has introduced Speedgate, reportedly the first sport envisioned by an AI. The event has six-player teams competing on a field with three open-ended gates. Once you've kicked the ball through a center gate (which you can't step through), your team can score on one of the end gates -- complete with an extra point if you ricochet the ball through the gate. You can't stay still, either, as the ball has to move every three seconds. AKQA created the game by feeding data on 400 existing sports to a neural network, which then created basic sports concepts and rules. A large chunk of those were completely unrealistic (exploding Frisbees, anyone?), so the team gradually whittled down the eligible characteristics until there were three remaining sports. Playtesting led to Speedgate winning the prize. (Creative Director Whitney) Jenkins said that while Speedgate isn't meant to be derivative of any particular sport, "If I was talking to my buddy walking down the street, I would say that we used AI to create a new sport that pulls the best of rugby, soccer, ultimate frisbee and croquet." AKQA will be demonstrating and discussing Speedgate at an event in Portland... Jenkins said the team has hopes for Speedgate beyond Design Week, including discussions with the Oregon Sports Authority and a possible intramural league this summer. Single image description of the rules.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
In the old days, I'd write all transactions in my checkbook. Nowadays, when I use a check to pay for something big (like my son's daycare tuition), I have a written record, but it doesn't get tracked online with all my Chase debit card purchases. Is there any way to add notes about pending checks to my Chase account?10+ years previously

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
I have a slide deck in LaTex that I need to personalize (change templates, change some text), export to pdf, and present. Today. I have a Mac. Are there good tutorials for these tasks?It's not an emergency if this doesn't happen but I would really like it to. I'm comfortable editing the .tex file in Sublime. I would be able to figure out how to export to pdf. Having a pointer to a good tutorial would make this less stressful and possibly faster. The last I'm really most worried about is changing the template.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
Our cat, the very Reverend Dr. Professor Cat, probably will need a tooth cleaning under anesthetic. I'm worried about this. What has your experience been and what steps did you take to make sure the vet knew what they were doing?The photo does not capture her beauty and charm, but it's the only one I have handy. Our cat is a bit more than ten years old and has no particular health problems that we're aware of. She is probably a pound or two heavier than she should be but not a noticeably fat cat. We noticed last night that the edge of her gums around her front incisors is reddish looking, so presumably she has early gingivitis. (No other redness or symptoms.) We are taking her to the vet within the week and assume that they will recommend a cleaning, which means anesthetic. I've looked up a list of questions to ask the vet about best practices and we have the option of a cats-only practice up the road if our vet doesn't sound satisfactory. (For the record, we have tried to brush her teeth but just as we were getting her used to having her mouth handled last year, an enormous crisis happened and I have basically had to live elsewhere to deal with it. Cleaning the cat's teeth is a two person job and we let it go because there was only one of us available. We plan to clean her teeth in the future, but that can't start happening for a while. ) What was your experience with this? What questions did you ask the vet? How worried should we be given her age and weight?

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
I'm getting ready for a literature group with my 6th graders, and I would love to introduce them to Toni Morrison. But is it age-appropriate?I believe Beloved could be a profound experience for them, but even with parental permission I fear it might be a little too adult for them. It's been a while since I read some of Morrison's earlier books, so can someone suggest one that might be appropriate for mature 6th graders? I think A Mercy would be too difficult narratively for them, and Home I myself found a bit slow. I have not yet read God Help the Child. Alternatively, I'm open to other suggestions for a non-white audience of readers.My kids have already read most of the YA books like Chains by Laurie Hale Anderson, so I am looking for more for them outside of the teen genre. They are advanced readers for their age. Also open to nonfiction books that explore questions of identity in general and race.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
In which ZDNet puts together a pretty good summary of a Romanian malware gang whose members were found guilty by a US federal court just this last week -- The Bayrob malware gang's rise and fall: The story of how a talented computer science student and his friends created and ran a multi-million dollar botnet. [medium length read, pretty fascinating really]

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
Four years ago, I installed a sump pump in my basement that can be powered by a deep-cycle marine battery. I little while ago, I discovered that the system's manual advises topping off the cells with fresh water monthly, a regimen of care that I've never undertaken. The attached battery monitor/tender hasn't given any alerts despite my neglect. Can I reboot my care of this battery? How to start over? Or is it best just to replace after so long, given the stakes?

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
The shape of the jelly, like the shape of the McDonald's McRib, pays homage to something that it is not - The Secret History of those Passover Jellied Fruit Slices. Still don't appreciate them? Economy Candy says Don't Diss Passover Fruit Slices (audio) Passover Candy - Good or Evil? "People feel strongly about it," said Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder. Want to make your own? Although it takes only about an hour to make the jelly-candy base for these diminutive treats, you'll need three days to finish the candies. Bonus: The Essential Ranking of Passover Foods

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