posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm currently working on a project that involves figuring out the editorial policy of the New York times historically (specifically in the first 50 years or so of its existance as a newspaper). Any thoughts on where to start?Books dealing with other papers in the period of 1850-1900 would also be welcome, if you know of any.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Somebody: A new app by Miranda July (previously) allows you to send somebody a message... sort of. When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. Watch the Somebody movie.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
To entice new homeowners, Russia's biggest bank is running a special promotion which adds unusual perk with its mortgage - a cat. The promotion is linked to a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to check a home out first before the owners move in. But since not everyone has pets, Sberbank has assembled a team of ten loaner cats, owned by bank employees and volunteers, who be delivered to customers' new homes the day they move in to scope it out for a couple hours. There's even a hairless Sphinx on the roster for allergy-prone homeowners. However, Business Week reports that supplies are limited - only thirty people will get a cat with their mortgage; fifteen in Moscow, and fifteen elsewhere in the country. The eight pages of fine print also state that they have to give the cats back after two hours. This is something of a trend for Sberbank - an earlier promotion invited customers to take a "What Kind Of Cat Are You" Personality quiz which ended with a pitch for the purrrrfect home for your newly-discovered feline personality.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
What are your favorite loose-fitting jeans for fall? Bonus details about my body type inside.I want a pair of loose-fitting, not-skinny, not-bootcut, not-flared and not super-straight-legged jeans for fall. I'm looking for something like this. My body type doesn't seem to do well with this style, so I'm wondering if you, who might have a similar body type or a eye for fashion, could recommend a style that would work for me. I'm 5'4, 115 pounds and a fairly standard hourglass. I have no torso. I'm short-waisted as hell. If someone were to say, "Hey, I'm going to kill your family unless you give me some of your torso," RIP family because I have no torso to give. When I wear slightly baggy shirts with loose jeans, I look like I'm cosplaying the pope. Here are some details about my butt I'm about to put on the internet: it's low on my body and while not flat, gives the illusion of flatness since it's low. My legs are long, my hips are wide but proportional and basically all loose jeans engulf me because I'm short (even with the longer legs) or look strange because of my wider hips and skinnier legs. I tried on several pairs of different brands yesterday at the consignment shop and came away looking like a boxy, shortish, no-butted monster. I towards to the trendy side, so I'd like the jeans to be in vogue. I'm 33, if that has any bearing on your answers. Please point me to brands or styles you think would work for my body type. Thanks, MeFi!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have quite a few points accumulated in my OpenTable account, enough to redeem for a good sized gift certificate. However, I don't want to use one if the restaurant essentially gets stiffed on the amount of the certificate.Are OpenTable gift certificates true gift certificates - i.e., does OpenTable cover the amount redeemed, or are the restaurants eating the balance as a cost of doing business with OpenTable? I have shied away from Groupons since learning how they often end up costing local businesses money and I'm not interested in using an OpenTable certificate if it's going to financially hurt the restaurants I frequent. Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
So, what do medical professionals call those bars around the bed so patients don't roll out?I'm a non-medical professional writing something short that will be read mostly by medical people, so I'm looking for something precise. THANK YOU

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I want to learn to draw. I'm middle aged with little (but some) time on his hands, and I want to learn to draw. I've started going to a local art circle, and this has demonstrations and live drawing, and that's great. However - I'm also looking for online drawing courses to give me a grounding in basic techniques and to force me to practice. I don't mind paying if it's worth it. Any recommendations for online courses I can take; websites I can go to and books I can read.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm going through the worst depression I've ever had, and I've started seeing a therapist (along with meds), but a few things she has said irk me. When do you look for someone else? Juicy details inside.I've only seen this therapist three times. I'm a late-20's female and my therapist is female (I'd guess in her 50's). I've gone to counseling once before in my life but I guess I just lucked out liking that counselor. There are three annoyances I've had: 1. She (therapist) talks a lot more than I expected, and a lot more than I remember my previous therapist talking. She tells what I perceive to be long-winded and largely irrelevant anecdotes. Sometimes they have some kind of moral related to something I've said, but more often they don't. This annoys me because right now I'm feeling desperate for relief from the depression, and these stories aren't helping me. More practically, she's eating up my time, and I'm a paying customer. 2. She says things that feel patronizing or misogynistic (or something else that makes me feel icky), though I know they are not intended that way. For example, today she told me "but you're pretty AND you do science" [I have a doctorate and work in a science-y field] in a tone that suggested that pretty + smart was some kind of rare combination. Being attractive and smart describes most of my female friends, so I felt a little like, come on lady, you're setting us back here. I know she was trying to boost my confidence and say I can be both, but her delivery was off and it turned me off. 3. Today (third session) was the first time I felt like I learned something about myself and the issues I'm currently dealing with. I don't know if this is a fair problem. Like I said, I'm desperate to feel different right now. So my questions are, when do you get a new therapist? I'm not totally clicking with this woman, but I am not sure if my expectations are too high. Is there a way to bring up these issues with her (this feels like conflict to me, which I avoid at almost all costs, so specific scripts would be helpful)? If consensus is that I should seek someone else, is there a way to screen for this or talk about expectations at the beginning? I told her the issues I had identified that I wanted to focus on, but I didn't really ask anything about "methods"--I'm not sure what vocabulary to use. If you've been in therapy or are a therapist, what is reasonable for feeling some kind of better? I know every session may not be a breakthrough. Is it common for some appointments to feel kind of pointless? I'd like to feel like I have something to reflect on or a task to focus on after each session.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My brother had access to my late grandmother's banking accounts. She passed away two years ago. My mother mentioned several months ago that there was still some outstanding money to be distributed to beneficiaries from the estate. Around $5k had been reserved in case there were any outstanding fees or taxes to pay.I recently reached out to my brother for an update. He says he is being audited by revenue services because of shared access to these checking and savings accounts, and that the money is in limbo. He says he may end up owing back taxes, totaling greater than the money left, as he was a co-signer, and that he would not be in this position had he not been a co-singer. This makes no sense to me, as I would assume the estate would be held liable for any taxes owed – and as I had assumed the estate was reconciled/wrapped up over a year ago. My Grandmother's taxes have been managed by the same accountant for years. My brother and I are not close, and when the bulk estate was distributed there was some confusion over amounts and timing, though it was eventually worked out. My brother has been known to bend the truth to cover his ass on occasion, though not in situations involving other people's money. He has had spotty work history in recent years, which might account for his taxes being audited (just a guess). I'm not in dire need of my share of these funds, but I'm concerned there might be something weird going on. Is this fishy? Why would there be any tax implications on my grandmother's estate for 2013, when she died in 2012? Why would my brother be audited for being a co-signer on some bank accounts? What am I missing here? Note – she was / we are Canadian, living in Ontario.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Can anyone identify this heavily bearded fish species?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital are reporting that xenon gas has the potential to become a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1971

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
'You don't have food, you don't have water, you don't have a tent, what are you doing here?"

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for an iOS messaging app that is specifically aimed at the visually impaired or senior citizen, but am having trouble locating them in the App Store. Any suggestions? (snowflakes inside)My wife has low vision that's makes it very difficult for her to message to me during the day from her iPad (my job is such that she can't just telephone, but I can check messages frequently and answer within a half hour if routine or seconds if an emergency). Simply put, she can't use the iPad's built-in Mail or Message apps, even with VoiceOver and contrast turned up, nor can she text on her iPhone -- there just isn't enough contrast or workflow in some areas. I am guessing that apps that are designed with the visually impaired in mind (i.e. iBlink Radio is a big favorite), or apps that are designed for seniors (or small children, we're not proud) might have that combination of visual clarity and baked-in workflow that would help, so I'm here looking for recommendations.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Can someone shed some light on what that chin strap contraption worn by "Captaine von Rauffenstein" (Erich von Stroheim) in Renoir's "La Grande Illusion" is? A fashion accessory? Or rather a medical prosthetic of some sort? Am baffled.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I want to use the massive wikipedia database to look for people alive in a given profession that match a certain criteria such as age or their alma mater.Suppose, I want to find a list of political scientist currently alive who are over 85 years old and went to Yale, how would I go about doing this in Wikipedia? Or perhaps I am interested in finding fiction writers or authors alive who were born before January 1, 1924. What would be the best way to do this? What sort of language or application I would need to use to get this accomplished?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
So a little while ago, I set out to write some tutorials that would guide the non-coding-but-computer-savvy journalist through enough programming fundamentals so that he/she could write a web scraper to collect data from public websites. The intro webscraping resource at ProPublica, built around the example case of the their Dollars for Docs project (previously), first appeared up as a series of tutorials on author Dan Nguyen's blog: Tutorial 1: Go from knowing nothing to scraping Web pages. In an hour. Hopefully. Tutorial 2: Scraping a County Jail Website to Find Out Who's in Jail. Tutorial 3: Who's Been in Jail Before: Cross-checking the jail logs with the court system with Ruby's Mechanize. Tutorial 4: Improving Pfizer's Dollars-to-Doctors Pay List.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am looking for a UK website that lets you book private shows at cinemas. I know it exists but I have just forgotten it's name. From memory, you picked the film you want from a selection, the cinema and the time. You said how many tickets to put on sale, and if it sold enough the show went ahead.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Have you sent mail to Finland from the U.S. with Priority Mail International? Has that ever taken longer than 10 business days? (No customs value involved, in my case - just a standard flat envelope of papers with no value.)I'll be mailing an envelope of papers from Philadelphia to a city that's 100km (60 miles) north of Helsinki. I hope to use Priority Mail International, which the USPS claims (but doesn't guarantee) has a delivery time of "6 to 10 business days" to "major markets." I need some time to finish the papers, so what I'm looking to figure out is the latest safe date when I can mail in order to have the envelope arrive on or before Tuesday the 30th of September. (There's also a "3 to 5 business days" Express service that's much more expensive -- I may end up using that if I want more time, but I hope I can just use Priority.)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for the closest approximation to Franklin Gothic Book in Google Docs. I'm not a typographer and the choice is rather overwhelming.A couple of years ago it seems that web fonts was implemented in Google Docs, with some 450 fonts to chose from. Which of these offers the best approximation of Franklin Gothic Book? Bonus question; if you were looking for a classic san serif for a relatively text-heavy presentation, what alternatives would you recommend?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have been trying to figure out how often facebook's nearby friends option updates location, but I'm not having any luck.When I look at my nearby friends some say they were somewhere "1+ hours ago" - even if I know they have been on Facebook since that time. Others say "4 minutes ago" even in the middle of the night, when I suspect they are not active. I am wondering how that works - is it updated in the background? How often? Does it matter what kind of phone you are on? (The middle if the night updates seem to come from non-iPhones?). Googling is failing me! Thanks.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've always followed the same, for want of a better word, 'beauty' regimen and until now there have been no issues. But now suddenly, I am experiencing many appearance-related issues and having to rethink decades-old methods. My problems are with my hair and skin. Is this a thirties thing? I could do with some advice on how to look decent again, as well as some help dealing with the emotional repercussions of suddenly looking terrible all the time.OK I'm exaggerating, I don't look terrible but I don't really actively look good a lot these days. I am looking for advice to address specific problems, as well as more overarching advice regarding why I seem to be having all these problems and how to deal with it emotionally. Because at the moment I find it very time-consuming, expensive and depressing. Sorry in advance for the essay-length question. I have always thought of myself as low-maintenance. I don't really stick to a particular brand of hair or skincare, but just buy whatever's on offer or looks interesting. I wear very little make-up. Over the past 6 months or so I have noticed the following problems: -Hair: I have curly hair which I've never had issues with (I consider myself well-versed in the care of curly hair) but its texture appears to be changing. The curls seem limper and frizzier and I have bad hair days more often than I used to. The ends look dry and the roots look greasy. I don't use expensive products, but I do the usual curly hair standards of trying to moisturise it a lot, never brushing when dry, vinegar rinses, honey, coconut oil etc. I style it with regular conditioner which I use as a leave-in product. This method has worked for me since I was 12. We all have the occasional off day, but now everyday feels like an off day. I have always had 'good hair' - shiny separated curls etc. It feels like an intrinsic part of my personality. It feels very depressing to have day after day of limp, frizzy, shapeless hair even though I'm doing everything the same. Also on the hair-theme, my facial hair seems particularly luxuriant. I never seem to be entirely moustache-free even though I remove regularly with facial hair removing cream (I refuse to wax or thread my upper lip even though I do my eyebrows and other parts of body regularly). -Skin: I am getting spots all over my face. I'm used to getting them in my T-zone but now I have a number of gross yellow-heads on my cheeks and throat. Also, I have rough skin patches on my hands. I remove make-up at night religiously, moisturise frequently, wear gloves while doing the washing-up. I've never been entirely spot-free, but I am definitely experiencing more spots than usual. My hair and skin look much better whenever I go abroad - the effect is almost transformative despite the fact that my routine stays exactly the same. So I wonder if it might just be a hard water thing (I live in an area with very hard water), but then I've lived in the same city for a decade, and only started noticing these issues earlier this year so I don't understand why the hard water never seemed to cause problems before. When I was in my teens I spent a lot of time experimenting with different skin and haircare methodologies and I have not really varied from what I found worked for me then. I didn't enjoy it, I am not wired for researching and experimentation and like to just find what works for me and stick to it. It is depressing me now that I am having to spend my lunch break trawling beauty blogs to figure out what I am doing wrong with my skin and hair. (The answers always tend to involve spending money on new products or extending my morning routine by a good 10-15 minutes.) Other pertinent info: I'm 32. Overweight. Diet-wise, I tend not to overthink, as a general rule ingest a lot of water (I drink a ridiculous amount of water, I have colourless pee), vegetables, carbohydrates, caffeine, not a lot of chicken or fish unless I'm eating out. No supplements. Some daily exercise, but not enough. Thinks in advance for your help, Mefites.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Say he don't like 'em boney, he wants something he can grab So I pulled up in the Jag, and I hit him with a jab like Dun da da dun dun dun dun dun dunI've been obsessing over the Anaconda music video and this beat, and rap genius is giving me nothing. It's a reference to MIA's (Nicki's 'bad bitch from Sri Lanka') identical beat in her collaboration with Timbaland, and the jungle setting of the video is also an echo of MIA and a reinforcement of the way the song and video explore and play with exoticization of black/brown womens' sexuality, I and I'm wondering what rhythm it is that both women are using. I don't have much music theory experience and and kind of grabbing at wikipedia straws, and would really appreciate if a mefite who knows more about this school of music could help me out. Music theory mefites, what is the name of this rhythm?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Where to look, what's a good price, what price is too much of a bargain to get a nice product, are there any tricks to the process? (And if we can get what we want ordering stock items that's great too)We're in Chicago USA. We have a living room/dining room/kitchen and want an enclosed pantry thingy where we currently have an open shelf unit with crap falling out. We want it to be 40-44 inches wide, 24" deep and ~84 tall. Maybe narrower than that and with a pullout pantry alongside it. The door needs to closely match the look of the shaker kitchen cabinets it will be near but we want the stain to be darker. We'd also like a lower storage cabinet to fit between that pantry and the fireplace. We think it will all have to be custom-built but if anyone knows tricks for saving money by buying cheaper (custom?) cabinets and then ordering nice custom-made doors, please teach me how. I have looked at BarkerCabinets.com which looks great (and expensive) but they don't stain the wood???? Also at two Chicago companies, T2Cabinet and TrimLogic . In our bedroom we'd love to cover a wall with "fitted wardrobes" like we've seen in England. The ones I saw in England are not all closet rods inside, there are also some drawers and cubbies, and I swear I even saw in a living room a set where the lower part was sliding doors, so when covered up by furniture it would be easier to get into the cabinet with the furniture pulled out just a little bit. However I don't even see anything like that on British sites for fitted wardrobes and as I don't see that as an option on any cabinet sites here I think I'm out of luck. I've looked through Ikea and my mind has boggled. They do have wardrobes but none have any option other than tall door and closet rod inside. Some of their tall living room units might work for the bedroom but they only seem to sell them as a set with a low thing in the middle to hold a TV. I thought Ikea stuff was more modular, so if it is please tell me how to make it so. Many thanks for sites and advice so we can have good storage!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I met a chap in July, and am now entirely done with dating unless widowed early. I would probably benefit from advice on relationships that go through the usual relationship stages at a rapid pace. With kid in tow. Assume 'don't do that' is not going to happen.I was not on the prowl to do this or anything. I had in recent years thought it would be nice to have a boyfriend, but I have a nice life of my own, and a young grade-school aged child, and good friends, and things are happy. And dating, never mind serious high-level commitment stuff, seemed overwhelming because he would have to meet such high standards. Especially with a kid! We'd both have to love him and who on earth was going to live up to two of us being picky? Then in July I met an old friend's old friend who I had not previously crossed paths with. Now he is at my house every weekend and everything is terrific. Terrific except for the vague awareness that we are doing things at a more accelerated pace than one normally does these things, and the feeling that if one is going to do that anyway, perhaps it might be good to pause and ask for counsel. Practical whatnot: we are late 30s/mid 40s. He has no kids. My kid's father is not in the picture. There is a bit of a commute involved to see each other, but nothing unmanageable. Neither of us are what one might term "career-oriented" so I don't see huge concerns about sacrifices on either side for the other's work. We have checked in here and there to find the other one of us enthusiastic over the nice-to-meet-you, here's-a-dresser-I-emptied-out-for-you path we're on. (Google of interest here to me: "sliding vs. deciding.") We are both sane, intelligent, stable grown-ups not prone to relationship dramas. So the request here is for the sort of advice you might want to give a friend who was single for years but suddenly all "Hey I just met this guy, and that's it, I'm set for life here partner-wise. Cool." He comes with an endearing collection of old friends who keep being lovely to me and my kid, and if there is any hint of disapproval at all in those circles it is entirely imperceptible. My own circles seem to generally assume I've got it together enough to be making good choices but I know I've gently raised an eyebrow or two -- to be clear, while my kid likes him loads and expects to keep seeing him around (and, er, I think early on I may have threatened his life or something if things went pear-shaped and he involved any drama in the exit, but I just cannot see him being a locus of drama under any circumstances and would be eager to keep having him as a friend if for some bizarre reason we couldn't be a couple), kid is used to Mummy having friends; we have a little extra space and a sort of unique community so weekend houseguests are not something you are surprised by or would rush to bond to forever, etc. I am not a fan of the hackneyed advice given to single mothers about dating, which tends to lean to the "don't even say their name in front of your child until you have a ring on your finger!" side. By that logic one should never have a close friend in one's life at all, because they might move away or die or stop being your friend or whatever, and then your child might be hurt. And how are you supposed to assess compatibility with your offspring like that? I don't want a relationship with anybody my kid dislikes; I don't have the time or child care to sneak around, and my kid has excellent taste in people and has consistently been the canary in the coal mine for alerting me to flakes and baddies on the periphery of our lives. My view is that the risks lie in encouraging the kid to think along this is your new parent! lines. Which: ew. But shortly after it was obvious that he was a boyfriend I tucked my kid in one night and got "You know, I wouldn't mind if [he] was my stepfather," which completely threw me because the kid had previously been wholly anti-stepfather in general. I had had sort of boyfriend-lite things twice before and my kid couldn't have cared less, but now it is "Please can we have him over again? Soon?" (I have not mentioned the seriousness with which I am taking the whole thing, just: yes, we will, I'd like to see him too...) So I am also open to advice on throwing a second adult into a single-parent family, early as it may be to be thinking even further down the road here. If you were the kid in this situation (assume of course your mother's boyfriend is the bees' knees as far as you are concerned) your perspective would be useful.

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