posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have a hard time listening to and participating in conversations at work... how can I improve?I have a hard time listening to and participating in conversations at work, and am increasingly conscious of how detrimental this is. It's worst in meetings, where I'm usually unable to follow trains of thought being expressed by multiple people. Some reasons why: I'm a really detailed person, and because I know I won't understand every detail during a meeting, I don't stop and ask questions if I don't understand something. Typically if I hear something that my gut disagrees with, I don't normally express that point of view because I feel I don't have all the facts, or haven't thought it through yet, and am afraid of saying something that I should know. Instead I'll grab onto little bits of conversation, write down random notes, with the intention that the pieces will fall into place later. The thing is, the pieces don't always come together, and sometimes are just left forgotten. Some other facts: Overall I struggle with making decisions, seeing the big picture, keeping things simple, and being overly self conscious. Personality-type wise, I'm an INTJ (essentially an introvert who plans and thinks a LOT). I also work on a lot of different things, so I'm often switching between tasks and requests. My colleagues are type A, and I am not. My sense is that these things are all interrelated. I *wish* that I could listen better, be more assertive/confident with asking questions and admitting what I don't know, because this would help me help others. I'd love to hear from others who might have felt this way, and any advice on how to be a better listener and put the pieces together more efficiently.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Kittehs need a tree. I've found one I like ... spoiler alert, doesn't ship to my country.My two kitties need a new cat tree. After looking at all the cat trees in all of the internet, I found a couple I like - difficulty is, the company doesn't appear to ship to the US (and if they did, dang, I expect it would be rather expensive). The trees I like: Natural Paradise Cat Tree XXL Natural Paradise Cat Tree Why I like them: Wooden base, so no floor level carpet to keep clean Natural looking materials (rope, sherpa fleece, light wood [or wood looking stuff, not too picky here]) Removable / washable cushions and covers Lots of spots to sleep - without a huge leap between shelves Tall - we want some higher perches for watching out of windows What I don't want: Tons of carpet That sort of silky faux fur - the kitties both like sherpa style fleece but we have some blankets that they won't touch because of the texture Long stretches or jumps between shelves Tiny or narrow sleeping areas Those little tunnel or "condo" style boxes - the first tree I link to above does have one enclosed sleeping area, but it seems open enough to appeal to my cats. They have a basket they occasionally deign to sleep in. But they have never used the condo style box on the bottom of the current cat tree. Additional Information: We have a Refined Feline Lotus tower (I am very certain I like it more than the kitties do) and most of the perches on it are too narrow for all but the most svelte city cats (which we are not around here). They are 7.5 inches wide - really cramped. It only gets climbed because it happens to have a food bowl on it... I am not terribly concerned about price point (although if I was unconcerned, I guess I'd find a way to get the UK cat tree I want...). I am moderately concerned about looks. I am mostly concerned about my two being able to easily climb up the tree, especially as they are now middle aged kitties. The kitties in question: Clio She is an active, playful, nimble kitty. Favorite activity is running around the house with her stuffed mouse in her mouth, yowling like the dog has her by the tail. She has not yet managed to learn how to use the pet door (but we've only had her 5 years, there is still hope, right?) and it is easily possible to sneak up on her and surprise her. We are always happy that she remembers to breathe on her own. She is very very very not smart, and much beloved by all for it. Her favorite place to sleep is on a towel on the dining room table. Which probably tells you more about us than about her. Miss Moppet She is a heavier, lower to the ground kitty and the one I am currently a bit worried about in terms of jumping. She does jump - this picture is from the top of my desk where she likes to sleep while I work. But some days she looks like she really doesn't feel like making the two big hops to get up there (and I'm now considering some sort of "decorative" shelf to give her a bit of a ladder - our house is decorated in "early pet"). She is a smarty and her best friend is our 130 pound Golden Retriever / Saint Bernard mix Current goals: Find a US based cat tree I love as much as the two linked above, or find a way to get my hands on the UK based ones that doesn't cost an additional fortune in shipping.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
It's pretty simple, really: how often do you replace your vacuum cleaner?Some details that I hope won't derail the question above: I have a Bissell (Cleanview II bagless from Target) that's ten years old, and while it still seems to be functioning, it's lost a lot of its suction. I am using it less frequently as well, as it's a pain in the ass to clean and seems to require more frequently cleaning/emptying of the clear cylinder and filters that collect the dirt. I dislike buying another vacuum cleaner unnecessarily, but I recall it used to be much more powerful and require less frequent cleaning. I have no sense of the lifespan of vacuum cleaners, nor when it may be considered reasonable to replace it. [Note: I'm not looking for specific recs at this time - just a check-in with others on what is a reasonable amount of time before you replace your vacuum. Thanks!]

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
About six months ago I started loosely following curly girl by using Dr Bronners and botanical conditioner on my hair. It looks great and I want to go more natural with my toiletries.i use crystal deodorant but don't love it. Any other ideas for non-antiperspirant deodorants that work? I just bought some coconut oil. Is that something that can replace my 800-ingredient body lotion? Please let me know if you use it for anything else. Are there better for me/ more natural versions of nail polish, hair gel or other toiletries? I have bad skin so I don't use much makeup. I'd be happy for specific products recommendations or basic DIY recipes. Thank you!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
It's hard to get hired for Columbus Ohio Fire, and I heard if you're willing to commute you can find lots of other services who are desperate for new hires. How can I find these EMS/Fire Departments? I am looking to be an EMT-B/Firefighter and move up to paramedic in time. Thanks.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My dog is showing signs of dementia, including numerous bathroom accidents and quite a bit of bad behavior. I haven't slept through the night in at least a year. Can you help me make this situation better, or at least better assess my options?Basically, my current dog situation is not making me happy anymore and I suspect it's not making him happy anymore either. Dog and I have belonged to each other for a little more than 10 years. I adopted him when I was a student living by myself. We then spent 7 years or so living with another dog and human while I was in a relationship. Now it's just Dog and me again and I work slightly more than full time. I love Dog to pieces but he makes me crazy. He is only calm and quiet when I'm home alone. When I have company, he barks and whines and demands attention. His potty training has never been perfect, but until about 12 months ago around 90-95% of the time he would properly ask to go outside. Now it's more like 60% of the time he asks, 25% of the time I make him go even though he hasn't asked, and 15% of the time he just goes whenever and wherever he pleases in the house, including often with no warning. This last 15% includes when I try to sleep through his whining in the middle of the night, so he goes and pees on the carpet somewhere. Dog is only calm and quiet when I'm home alone with him. When I'm talking on the phone or have guests, he whines and barks and demands attention. This is a new behavior since I've been back living alone with him. Additionally, poor Dog is now home alone a lot and I feel guilty about it. Dog used to get significantly more play time when we lived with another human and another pup. Dog now spends about 10 hours per day home alone while I'm at work. I would be more okay with this if I didn't also want to do social things in the evenings and on weekends, again out of the house. Since about a year ago, it's become clear that Dog's age is starting to affect him more. He's lost some vision. He can no longer go on long walks or he'll be sore for a few days. He has increasingly frequent moments of odd forgetfulness or other odd behavior (like standing and staring at the wall next to the door, rather than the door). And I assume his worsening bathroom habits have something to do with age and forgetfulness, too. He's waking me up at least once per night (often 2-3 times) to go outside or get a drink of water. Previously when I've tried to keep him in a crate or confined to the laundry room overnight, Dog's response has been incessant barking. I can't afford to have a dog walker come every single day (I do have one come occasionally when I have a long day planned). I also can't imagine giving Dog back up for adoption. But he's alone so much that I'm starting to wonder if that would be the more loving option (though I also feel like I may never forgive myself if I do this). I want to do more traveling and backpacking this year, which means I either have to find a housesitter or take him to a kennel more. While I am fine with doing those things, they just add to my guilt and wondering if there's a better place for him than with me. To answer a couple of questions I'm expecting: I've taken him to the vet several times this year. The lab tests did not indicate a UTI, diabetes, or Cushing's. There's no obvious cause of his lost vision other than age (and possibly SARDs). We go for at least one 15-20 minute walk every day, and his little legs can't seem to take much more. So: what can I do to improve this situation? At what point does mild craziness + incessant barking + lack of nighttime sleep mean that I can think about other options? And what are some of those other options?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Can Biohackers Succeed At Making 'Real Vegan Cheese'? This article gives a brief overview of the pros and cons of how plausible this is. Different scientist take a crack at answering yea or nay to this. This is a more substantive article, with a lot more about the lab working on this: Cow Milk Without the Cow is Coming to Change Food Forever

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Today I had to take a "break" from a long-time friendship because my friend's announcements (directly to me) of her career successes has been making me feel pretty bad about myself. I feel like I did the best thing for now, but would like other people's opinion on my situation.Ok, so to give you the back story: my friend A. and I have been friends since middle school. She was a year younger, and used to follow me around like she really admired me, and ingratiated herself into becoming friends with me (and it was flattering and positive too, because in many ways she's a great friend, we've been through a lot together). I excelled at art at the time, and she was talented in art too, but I suppose she envied me on some level whereas I didn't envy her at the time. I ended up going to a prestigious art school and she went to a local state school and studied English and Graphic Design. Well, I lost a certainty about my artistic path at this prestigious art school because I was surrounded by top talent, and when I graduated, I picked up graphic design and have been a graphic designer since. It is not my passion, and I've been trying to transition into something that is. On her end, she decided graphic design was not her thing, and applied to art school, where she ended up doing her MFA, and eventually through hard work, has carved out a steadily advancing career in painting and teaching painting. She sometimes has money struggles, but she has a long-term boyfriend, a job doing what she loves, has exhibited, and is altogether doing well for herself. I am happy for her, but the only issue is that when she chats me up, it's always to share her professional artistic successes, or other big, good news. She is the type of person who doesn't say much about herself, but prefers to let others talk. She is supportive when I tell her pretty much everything, but her advice is nothing particularly insightful. So in other words, I end up feeling like I've been vulnerable to her, revealing all the nooks and crannies of myself, while I don't get much of her real self to relate to. She keeps her cards close to herself, revealing one deep, dark secret only if say, I've cooked her a big elaborate dinner or something. (I really appreciated when she did reveal that secret, I truly felt closer to her than I had in ages). And on top of that, the only cards she reveals are when she's won a big art prize or some other thing she can brag about. I tried to be generous and just praise her like she clearly wants me to, but over multiple incidences like this, it was beginning to really bother me (and my fragile ego re: my own artistic lack of accomplishment). It bothers me that it isn't enough for her to share news like that over FB (where I can simply edit such notifications), but that she needs to make sure I personally know. She has plenty of friends, other artist friends too, so it makes me wonder why she can't just tactfully talk some, less sensitive, subjects with me, and gracefully avoid others, and get her praise-seeking from other friends who are less wont to feel insecure or jealous. But on the other hand, I feel bad for wishing that, because I don't want to be that person who people have to walk on eggshells around (like my dad was). I want her to be herself, but her being herself is making me feel terrible about myself, because at this time we are no longer on an equal playing field... I want some time and space to myself to get back to a point where I feel good enough about where I'm at that I can feel genuinely happy for her whatever news she shares... So did I do the right thing by asking for a break? Or am I being some kind of a manipulative, oversensitive diva (for no reason than to preserve an old image of myself)? By the way, she knows that I am sensitive to her successes, and her way of trying to make it better (?) is to go overboard kissing my butt... she'll apologize, she'll remind me how much she used to worship me, she'll say that she thinks I still have so much potential, and she'll list every little thing that she's jealous of me for, like the fact that I'm not allergic to cats while she can't have any because she is, or the fact that I live in NY, while she's only ever wished to. I hate when she does that, because it's just so unnecessary and weirdly sycophantic/condescending when I don't want her to be either. Ugh. Please tell me what you think is going on with this friendship... Thanks.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Our 15 year old Maytag Performa is on life support. The brake assembly is failing, and getting at it to replace it looks like more of a project than I want to take on. Especially since I just replaced the pump in the thing. We don't need anything fancy. A basic top loader will work fine. Has anybody bought one in the last few years that they are generally happy with?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Is there any academic argument or scientific evidence that what people believe about "what should be" leads them to develop underlying beliefs about "what is" in reality? A kind of worldview conditioning? Conceptually, this would be an inversion of the naturalistic fallacy (which goes from "what is" to "what ought"). Does such a thing happen?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm thinking about starting a coding project that involves live-streaming and recording voice chats populated by different users of a web app. Does anyone have any recommendations on what technology to use? WebRTC? Something else? And, depending on the technology, do you have a recommendation on the language I should use? If someone has made a module/gem or an open source project that would make it easier to get up and running, that'd be rad. I have experience with Ruby and JavaScript and would be comfortable using either or both.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I would really appreciate recommendations for a counselor for my daughter. She is in the last stages of a long and demanding academic degree. She is brilliant but has always had some difficulty in reading social cues and tends to alienate people with her abruptness. More inside. She feels that no matter how hard she tries she can never get the "dealing with people" part quite right and this makes really sad and like giving up. She would like to talk to a counselor and learn to work on this but she works crazy hours and has asked us to do the research. We live far away so we turn to you for your personal suggestions. Many many thanks.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"When Tony Scott took his own life in 2012, we lost an unquestionably significant filmmaker. Some dwelled on the whys of his demise (thus leading to the rumor that the man was dying of terminal cancer when he jumped from San Pedro's Vincent Thomas Bridge), but ultimately none of that matters one bit. Scott was a genius behind the camera, leaving behind a filmography that was unified in tone and consistently flat out entertaining. It's a shame that his pictures have been regularly dismissed as nothing more than hollow diversions; mindless drivel meant for mass consumption and disposal. While their appeal is most certainly broad, there's nothing vapid about them." - Acid In The Coliseum: The Films Of Tony Scott Previously: Tony Scott, 1944-2012 and Tony Scott: A Moving Target

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My son, a senior in high school, would like to have a class t-shirt made for any of the students who would like to pre-order a shirt. We though it would be appropriate to give any profits from the shirt sales to a particular charity. Living in Seattle, WA, and only selling shirt pre-sales in person to other students, what do we need to know to keep our claim of "profits go to charity" above-board? (...or where should we be looking/asking for these sort of rules?)Since we are likely selling only 20-25 shirts, and will probably end up giving

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Hey folks, need advice about how (logistically) to most easily rent/return formal attire for a wedding where I'll take several buses and flights between home and the wedding, then fly out directly for backpacking.I'll be travelling Seattle -> Vancouver, BC by bus, then flying to Dublin, Ireland, taking the bus to Cork, then driving out (on Wednesday) to a small town for a Saturday wedding and flying from Cork to France, etc., on Monday morning. I'm assuming/hoping I can return the rented monkey suit/accessories by mail. There are a couple possibilities that seem plausible: - Rent in Seattle, mail from Cork. Issues: keeping it in good condition on international flights/buses, international mailing, week plus rental time. - Rent in Dublin or Cork. Issues: international banking and deposit return (as of now, no chip/PIN card), also something of a long rental. Have you done something like this? Have you got any advice? Are there avenues I haven't considered?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Today is the 260th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language. It was an innovative, landmark work, which focused on not just "hard words" (as previous dictionaries had), and also introduced the practice of providing quotations from authors illustrating the definitions. There's a dictionary quiz night in London if you can make it.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for examples, or what the trope is called, where a director (or screenwriter) takes a source material (a novel, could be a comic book, or even a previous television show) and creates something new with a very particular artistic vision that wasn't there before. Details and examples inside.The best example that comes to mind is Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line. He adapted it from a book which I understand to be nothing like Malick's eventual film. Maybe Malick saw a trace of something in the novel that the author himself didn't see which Malick then decided to explode and bring to the forefront, or maybe he just liked the book for some random reason but then introduced rather forcibly his own theme. Either way, Malick took a relatively flat novel and imbued it with a very strong artistic vision concerning war and humanity. Another good example is the anime Casshern Sins. The source material (as I understand it) is some arbitrary run-of-the-mill action anime from the 70's, but Casshern Sins took this material and charged it with themes of sin, redemption, and death. For a bad example, as great of a film and as skilled of an adaptation Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest is, the film's artistic vision is already present in the novel (from my understanding, though perhaps if Bresson interpreted the novel rather differently from the novel then it could count). I'm curious if there are many more examples like this, as well as what this trope might be called that would facilitate further searches. There didn't seem to be any trope like this on tvtropes (the closest I saw was "sliding scale of adaptation").

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Come read Ulysses with us!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This is a video from a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, shot with a GoPro camera and its fucking gorgeous. Here's background on how it happened and what's going on in the video. This footage was taken by U.S. astronaut Terry Virts during a spacewalk on the International Space Station on February 25, 2015. Virts and fellow astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore routed a series of cables in preparation for the arrival of two International Docking Adapters later in 2015. Virts also lubricated elements at the latching end of the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm while Wilmore prepares the Tranquility module for the relocation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the arrival of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) later this year.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've having trouble understanding this chart, which was included in this article by Vox. It says that the US government's cost/net revenue is 0.66. Does this mean the US spends 62.5 cents for every dollar it takes in?I've having trouble understanding this chart, which was included in this article by Vox. It says that the US government's cost/net revenue is 0.66. Does this mean the US spends 62.5 cents for every dollar it takes in? The IRS seems to claim 41 cents per $100, which would make sense if you read the chart as 0.66 cents per dollar of tax revenue. However, the vox article implies that Poland and the Czech Republic spend more than they take in on taxes, which would be wrong if that were true. It seems like some right-wing sites claim, based on a study by mastromarco, that the government spends $45 per $100 collected here. Does the US government actually spend two thirds of tax revenue on collecting taxes? And where does the money outside the IRS's budget come from? Economic loses from an over-complicated tax code?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm working, but not enough, and am seeking new employment. I pay rent weekly, am constantly a week or two behind, and my landlord has informed my that I need to fix this pronto or (understandably) move out. I'm looking for suggestions for how to financially catch up and possibly get my head above water and quickly.I've had kind of a rough time this past year but am currently living in the most inexpensive place I could find. However, I'm quite underemployed and though I'm looking for additional work I've yet to find it. Some weeks my job doesn't quite vover my rent (let alone food) and this has caused me to fall behind. I pick up any odd jobs or one-off things I can, but relying on public transportation while living in a huge metro area severely limits temporary employment opportunities. I'm really stressed out about this. I've been on the verge of total homelessness on an off since last summer snd really fear losing the lovely dump where I'm living. Does anybody know of any organizations that help with rent assistance or otherwise can help a single guy catch up and possibly get a little ahead? I'm also definitely open to any other suggestions, as other than picking up the odd job here or there I'm stumped. I'm in the Dallas area, if that helps.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A dexterous/aural triathlon. A test of endurance for everyone involved.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
We recently purchased a low capacity instant-on water heater for a small building we put up last summer. We left it pressurized during a freeze and had a blowout on the copper tubing. How can I get this repaired?The heater, a Chef Triton 5L is a smallish, rectangular package that hangs on a wall and runs off propane. The copper tubing on the heater is about 1/2" OD. The blowout is a ragged tear or flap about 3/8" long on the outer edge of an elbow bend. You can see images here. I thought I could take this to a local welder and get something done fairly inexpensively. The first place, a radiator shop, quoted me $75. I've pushed the torn flap back down so it's seems like a fairly straightforward welding job. $75 seems like a lot to do this. I have various tools and torches, including a brazing rig. Is this something I could reasonably do myself? I'm not particular welding savvy, just have a tendency to acquire tools. If not, what's a reasonable price to get this done and who should I look for to do the repair? I work with people using TIG welders and brazing rigs, experts. They don't work in copper though, so I haven't tried asking too much in that direction.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm having some trouble finding historical data on (overall) ad spending by medium. What I would really like, is a single graph or at least table, with some numbers going back ~30 years (or more is fine) that goes up to the present (~2014 let's say). I am uninterested in forecasts, and I'm uninterested in data sets with shorter time windows; my search results are just getting swamped by organizations that (i) are selling something, usually forecasting, and (ii) aren't focused on anything older than a few years ago.Paywall is fine if it's academic, though a lot of possible sources I'm seeing are non-academic paywalls (I'm not going to pay for this beyond my current access). By medium I do hope to minimally include web / mobile / tv / print / radio. It would be gravy if the web/mobile parts differentiate video from non-video, but it seems that this is unlikely from what I've seen so far. I do already know the broad arc of what this graph is going to look like, and so I'm not really interested in anecdotal answers or prose-based discussions of this unless they include hard numbers or graphs based on hard numbers.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Sizzler is the one who brings us choices. A 1991 promotional video for Sizzler.

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