posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Hi-Phi Nation is a new podcast that uses narrative storytelling to explore ideas in philosophy, featuring thoughtful interviews with philosophers and nuanced storytelling, created by philosopher Barry Lam. Episode 1, The Wishes of the Dead, uses the weird case of Milton Hershey, a 19th century industrialist who constructed the oddest business structure to ensure that his idiosyncratic wishes would be fulfilled hundreds of years after his death. The story raises questions about why we give the dead so much power over our lives. Episode 4, The Name of God uses the story of one woman's gesture of good will toward Syrian refugees which incurred the wrath of evangelical Christians on social media to ask: Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I currently drive a 2007 VW Rabbit S-model and love it to bits. But it's got almost 150K miles on it and I am faced with either $4K of expensive repairs, or getting a new car. I am up for a new job which will require the occasional long commute, and if I take the job (and get the associated raise), I am going to go the new (or new-to-me) car route. Given my needs and preferences, what should I get?Things I love about the VW: *The blue and red nighttime lighting. I have always loved this feature of VWs. *The hatchback, moonroof, cuteness, and overall zippy feel of the car (although I am ready for a smoother, quieter ride) *Seat warmers *My excellent, trustworthy mechanic who specializes in Audis and VWs Things I don't love: *Repairs are somewhat expensive *Gas mileage is not particularly great (under 20 mpg) *The gas warning light doesn't turn on until the gas is almost empty (which would be okay if it weren't for the bad mileage thing, because it means I have to get gas RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND every time the light comes on) *VW did that horrible thing with the diesel cars and not sure I want to support them Things I want in a new car: *A more luxurious car experience, particularly leather seats, rear back-up camera, and other fancy new features *Safety, safety, safety! (I have a small child) *Reliability (but having been a fan of VWs which are very hit-and-miss, I will do my research here) *I love the automatic nighttime lighting that tints the rearview mirrors green at night in my partner's car (a Lexus) *Something with some personality to the styling -- I find your basic sedan indescribably boring. A sedan is okay as long as it looks stylish somehow. (I realize this is subjective.) Also open to a small SUV. *Something comfortable for tall/large people. Things I don't care about: *GPS or satellite radio *DVD player in the back *How good the sound system is (although I would like to be able to play CDs) *Bluetooth stuff My commute would be up to two hours or so per day, three days a week, in California weather. I don't have an electric car hookup and the range of electric cars might not work for me, although I do like the idea of getting an HOV lane sticker as it would save me massive amounts of commuting time where I am located. And also, you know, the earth and stuff. I'm open on price, will get Consumer Reports and start researching, but would love suggestions of some cars I can look at that might fit my special snowflake needs! Thanks, Mefi!

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I run a lunch counter. I need a secured WiFi network for my point-of-sale system.Here's the catch: the business is located within a much (MUCH) larger business that has a multiplicity of secured networks and IT systems all humming along carrying millions of dollars of transactions and identifying personal details. So I can't use their network. I can't even use their land-line. I can't, in any way shape or form, get near their stuff. So. All I need is a secured network to run credit card transactions, EOD batch data, and the intermittent POS software update. I figured I'd use my phone as a personal hotspot, but alas, that's incompatible with my ancient (unlimited, mwah ha ha) data plan. I saw where a 2 GB plan from AT&T is $25/mo, which seems reasonable. But I honestly have no idea how much data I'm actually using (credit card transactions hafta be measured in kb, right? They're tiny, data-wise, right?). So help me out, MeFi! What're my options? How much data should I expect to use? What's the best way to do this? I don't care about speed, as long as it isn't 20-30 seconds per swipe, which will kill me during lunch rush. Thanks!

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I could use some help please in figuring out whether my workout routine is good enough. I mostly work out on the weekends and don't do much during the week. Am I in danger from being a "weekend warrior"? I want to lose fat and gain muscle and flexibility.On Saturdays I do an hour cardio class followed by an hour yoga class. On Sundays I do an hour weight lifting class and then an hour of cardio. During the week I'm much more sedentary. I sometimes do an easy half hour cardio class on Wednesdays and/or an hour yoga class on Thursdays but to be honest a lot of the time I skip them both as it's difficult to motivate myself to go after work. I'd like to know whether I can get away with doing just the weekend stuff and not have to feel guilty for being lazier during the week. Also is there anything else I can do to optimise my routine? I'm a forty something woman who is slightly overweight. I'm much more interested in being healthy than in looking good.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
From Google, Perspective API for scoring comments Perspective is an API that makes it easier to host better conversations. The API uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation. [...] We'll be releasing more machine learning models later in the year, but our first model identifies whether a comment could be perceived as "toxic" to a discussion. Now Anyone Can Deploy Google's Troll-Fighting AI (Wired) Type "you are not a nice person" into its text field, and Perspective will tell you it has an 8 percent similarity to phrases people consider "toxic." Write "you are a nasty woman," by contrast, and Perspective will rate it 92 percent toxic, and "you are a bad hombre" gets a 78 percent rating.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Urasawa Naoki no Manben is a NHK documentary series in which mangaka Urasawa Naoki (20th Century Boys, Yawara, Master Keaton) goes around talking to and filming other cartoonists at work. There has been one special and two seasons of each four episodes so far: Pilot: featuring Urasawa himself as well as Kawaguchi Kaiji (Zipang) and Yamashita Kazumi (The Life of Genius Professor Yanagizawa) S01E01: Higashimura Akiko (Princess Jellyfish) S01E02: Fujita Kazuhiro (Ushio and Tora) S01E03: Asano Inio (Dead Dead Demon's De De De De Destruction) S01E04: Saitō Takao (Golgo 13) S02E01: Hagio Moto (They Were Eleven) S02E02: Hanazawa Kengo (Boys on the Run) S02E03: Igarashi Daisuke (Children of the Sea) S02E04: Furuya Usamaru (Lychee Light Club) NO English subtitles Urasawa was inspired by an 1985 documentary the NHK broadcasted about Tezuka Osamu, the God of Manga. A third season of Manben is scheduled to run in September.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
What wouldn't exist now, if not for grad students? I would like to compile a massive list of high-profile or notable creations -- from inventions, to ideas, to works of art -- that were conceptualized or created by Masters/JD/MD/Ph.D seekers during their graduate education.What wouldn't exist now, if not for graduate and professional students? I would like to compile a list of high-profile or notable inventions, algorithms, companies, insights, policies, treatments, and works of art that were conceptualized or created by Masters/Ph.D seekers during graduate school. If possible, I would like to know what state/country this happened. Any additional context about metrics about the impact of these works -- whether that impact is financial, political, etc. -- would be gravy. One example I can come up with off the top of my head: Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both Ph.D candidates, who met and developed the idea that would eventually become Google.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
"Get Out" Lets Black Men Be Scared Instead Of Scary: "Not until films like the Purge trilogy and Peele's Get Out have black men been allowed access to the countryside, and depicted as vulnerable — a privilege they are rarely afforded in real life — rather than caricatured by the associations usually attached to their mythic bodies or the rumors of their sexual prowess. These films grant black men a rare aura of grace precisely by staging their moments of vulnerability in a suburban landscape, traditionally depicted as pristine and white." Get Out trailer

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Help me find Paczki in the Bay Area; Fat Tuesday is coming up and I'd love to find a place to buy a dozen of these jelly-filled fried balls of dough. (Alternatively let me know your best recipe so I can recreate my own if I have to)Backstory, my girlfriend and I moved from Chicago a few years ago, and they were a favorite of hers. In Chicago we clearly never had a hard time finding them this time of year, but clearly the Bay Area is a different beast. We live mid-peninsula, so far north or east wouldn't likely work, but I'm happy to go a decent distance to procure them if necessary.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
I've been introduced to the miracle that is an RSS reader and I could do with some suggestions on what are great sources of information/articles. More inside.I enjoy good quality articles/essays/accounts about specific things, like information on the Chernobyl disaster (past or present), Fukushima too. I like pieces written about creatures big and small, for example; the parasitic nature of crypt keeper wasps, the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin or speculation on how stray Russian dogs that have learnt to use the subway. I also enjoy human interest pieces, but the kind that genuinely are great not weird self indulgent fluff. Essentially I like snapshots of things, places, people, animals. I like articles to be more detailed rather than a big overview. I don't want vague, I want to learn about a part of a larger picture. For more context, I like the podcasts Radio Lab and Serial and a site I've just found and love is called Guernica. So basically I'm after interesting websites or blogs to add to my RSS feed and I'd really appreciate some suggestions. Feel free to recommend podcasts or anything else you might think I would like. Thank you!!

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
How to make a wooden bucket. 6th generation cooper George Smithwick charmingly discusses his craft as me makes a bucket. Previous cooperage on MeFi Bonus for those who enjoyed the rope-work

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
For sentimental / familial reasons, I'm looking for small kitchen witch. However, I am mostly finding cutesy puppets & Halloween knickknacks, and I'm looking for a more stylish alternative. Ideas?Various Swedish relatives of mine have always had witches hanging in their kitchens, and I really like this idea & tradition. However: the crafty / bumpy puppet riding a broom or cooking spoon I often see won't fly in our kitchen. I'm looking for something that nods in that direction but fits with our style & other stuff (midcentury modern; some type-heavy prints I'd call design nerd stuff). Things I've considered that don't exactly work: a print from Kiki's Delivery Service, orange crate art with a witch, old ads for Strega liqueur. I'd consider little hanging/standing objects too but everything I've found* feels too hippie, too sexy, or too farmhouse-cutesy. It's possible I am being too fussy & looking for incompatible things here, but: Metafilter, do you have offbeat suggestions that would serve as a kitchen witch? Cheeky is fine; but nothing overtly sexy or lascivious, please. (I am also not looking for actual religious items.) Thanks! *I have already looked at other metafilter threads, including this AskMe and the great (though witchless) show-us-your-art MeTa. I've also looked a fair amount on google, etsy, ebay, & various art sites I like, and I'll continue to do so. Hoping here for a line of thinking that hasn't occurred to me yet.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
We have about two to three months before we bring home a puppy. When you got a puppy what were the most helpful links, books, or resources you found? What is your best new puppy advice?My partner and I are getting a puppy because I've never had one before and I would really like to experience it. We got our amazing Great Dane Luna from her previous owner at two and she was pretty much perfect from the start. We work with her on minor issues with a private trainer and I couldn't ask for a better dog. I know this new puppy isn't going to be like that from the start and I'd like to be prepared (as best as I can) for when we bring her/him home. This puppy is going to be a Toy Poodle so any breed specific tips/tricks would be appreciated. They are coming from a local breeder with seemingly great lineage because I'd really like to have a health history. We have a house with an unfenced yard that they would never be unattended or off-leash in (learned my lesson!) I run a non-profit and work from home 50% of the time and when I'm not working from home Luna has been coming to the office with me or going to a daycare that I trust. I don't know if that could/should change with the addition of a second dog. Maybe they'd be better served by a dog walker coming by the house? Luna is not crated but I would like to crate the puppy. Would this be an issue? I've already combed through the *extensive* ask.mefi questions tagged with "dog" and "puppy" and I'm looking for more resources, links, things to read or do to prepare myself for a second dog. Obviously you can never be completely prepared but I'd like to know a little bit about how to have/train a puppy before we bring one home.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
My Twitter timeline is out of control. I follow friends, etc., but there are like 7 Twitterers I want to keep 100% up with, and it would be super handy if I had a feed merging them, and....doh...I realize I'm using Twitter all wrong. So....should I create a second (lurker) account following only those 7? Or is there a Twitter client (for ipad) that let's me optionally filter all others? Or...?

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
I'm an upper intermediate mandarin speaker, focusing mainly on speaking/listening. Something that I think is really important in any language, but especially mandarin, is getting exposed to a wide range of how people ACTUALLY speak... not just the "neutral" language that a language teacher will strive for. I have a number of teachers from different parts of China, but they are just that: teachers. While their mandarin accents do vary, they all speak fairly neutral mandarin. What I'm looking for is a way to find Skype partners with heavier accents. I think this will really help develop my ear. Any suggestions? I've been using italki with great success, but everyone on the platform does everything they can to convince you their mandarin is standard, and there's no good way to search for people from Xinjiang or other places where an accent is more likely.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
Recommendations for good practical books and resources on spirituality from indigenous cultures such as Native Americans or Australian Aborigines? Something not academic, but also not light and fluffy - something "useful". Most likely something focusing on one specific culture rather than an overview. I am open to poetry and things if its well done.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
It's time to take a stand against sexist beer marketing. Popular Canadian beer blogger Ben Johnson penned an entry last month talking about it in the Canadian craft beer industry and unsurprisingly, breweries went with the "harmless fun" defence. "Is a drawing of a comically endowed woman in a bikini needed to sell a beer? If your answer is yes, there's something wrong with the beer." Women drink 32% of craft beer (as of 2016) but it can be uphill battle as a female craft beer drinker and/or a woman working in the industry. Here's an interesting data set from last August's Brewer's Association that not only discusses women, but also snake people and Hispanics. More and more women in the industry are taking aim at sexist beer marketing. (Hooray!) Another lovely lady beer blogger in the UK who is glad it's at least being talked about, but we need more action. Not sure what all the fuss is? Well, imagine if you're a woman and you see these beer labels when you're just trying to get your drink on.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
The Washington Post brings us a tool to check which of your local bridges might be "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete". Bridges are rated by a sufficiency rating that is an overall measure based on inspector ratings of many aspects of the bridge's top deck and underlying structure. According to the National Bridge Inventory, the worst bridges, generally with a score below 50 percent, are classified as "structurally deficient" due to at least one defect that requires attention. Bridges that are "functionally obsolete" cannot handle the required traffic needs. A low score does not mean that a bridge will fall, but it indicates that it needs repair. Bridges with posted load limits are in greatest need of repair.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
I need a vacation! I'm looking for some ideas for this summer as a single traveler.I know that I don't want to just go somewhere by myself, so I'm thinking of some kind of group trip. I'm a middle-aged woman, not super athletic, but fit and in shape, and I like the idea of being somewhat active, rather than just seeing sights. But I'm open to lots of possibilities. I'm hoping for firsthand recommendations, as in, "I did X and it was amazing!" But hearsay is also fine. Specific tour companies would be helpful. Destination is open — could be far afield or in the U.S. Thanks!

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
Can anyone tell me what is happening with Hwy 427 (in Mississauga, Ontario) as it goes northbound past Pearson airport? It seems to have been under construction for a very long time. But nothing seems to have happened for a very long time and it looks like there are three or four completed, unused lanes just sitting there to the west of the over-congested lanes. What is the problem??? What are they waiting for?

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
I want to do cool, space-themed activities. Observatories, planetariums, date-specific events like the upcoming solar eclipse, incredible nighttime viewing, etc. What are the best ones in the Northeast US area, and what are the amazing, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime ones nationwide and worldwide?Which planetariums are the best? Museums, also. What observatories are open to the public? What are some cool events coming up in the next year or years that I might want to plan for? (notable meteor showers, visible planets, eclipses, etc) What are some amazing places I can go to view the night sky in general, or specific phenomena? (I suppose seeing the aurora borealis would fall under this category) I am based in the Northeast US, tri-state area (generally impossible for any nighttime viewing unless you drive 2+ hours west or north) so would like stuff within about a 3 to 4 hour drive, but would really love to know possibilities for the rest of the US and also worldwide, for long-term planning. This would generally involve just 2 adults, no kids/family.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
I want to put some play equipment in our back yard for our young toddlers to enjoy this spring (2.5 and 1 year old). Please tell me how you planned a play area, purchased equipment and share any tips and tricks.One of our challenges is that our backyard, while pretty big (.5 acre) is mostly on a slope so there's very little flat land. Pls advise how to overcome this challenge - what's the best material to put around play equipment (mulch, chips, something else?) Any suggestions on good resources/websites for DIY projects on creating a safe play space in the backyard for toddlers would be helpful. I've googled and looked at websites for the major home improvement stores and did not find much useful info on this topic. Also, any tips on ensuring play equipment is safe for playdates and a related question: is it true if a child is injured on your property you're liable to be sued by their parents and if so how to safeguard from this happening? TIA.

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
When Wikileaks releases emails, how do we know they're authentic? Apart from Wikileaks saying they are, or the purported authors of the emails confirming they are?

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
Have you been a teen living in a hospital for an extended period of time with no specific known end point due to a very serious medical issue? What would you have liked in a care package? Also would you have appreciated a semi-awkward visit from a relative you don't know all that well, or would rather just have seen the people you love and care about most?(Food is not an option, money has already been donated). So far all I can think are iTunes/Amazon gift cards and maybe (gasp) a real paperback book or two, and some kind of funky artwork to decorate. Any other ideas?

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posted 5 days ago on metafilter
My new manager (let's call him Kafka) is someone who is outright disrespectful and shows disdain to everybody - except his boss, with whom he is very kind and friendly. Help!Despite having several problems with him in the past that I reported to our then boss (let's call him Franz), Franz appointed Kafka as my manager. We're several people to report him now, and all of us are in dismay. Our former, large team is also baffled by such a decision. As soon as I learnt the new management organization, I explained Franz why it's going to be problematic by describing several of Kafka's behaviors. Franz was in disbelief, said he knew Kafka wasn't as cool as a cucumber but didn't imagine he was that unprofessional and rude. I also met the HR. Both Franz and HR said they will have a one to one conversation with Kafka and keep an eye on him but have no intention to change the management organization for now. I am angry, have lost faith and trust in my management and my work suffers (and it doesn't help Kafka is incompetent). What are your survival tips? How can I make sure I am un-attackable? Kafka is probably going to be pretty angry to learn that Franz knows about his behaviors. How can I be a good employee (as I was till now) and keep strict boundaries with Kafka? I need verbatim examples of what I can say to Kafka that have a flavor of Aretha's « R.E.S.P.E.C.T. » (metaphorically or not...) and also tips on what I must and mustn't do that might give him even more power or that might be detrimental to me. Some details that might be relevant : me = young cis-female, Kafka = male in his forties. Thanks!

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