posted 3 days ago on metafilter
St. Paul police roughly assault and arrest man, who is black and sitting in public area waiting for his kids. [SLYT] Police defended arrest but all charges were dropped by St. Paul police against 27-year old Chris Lollie. Lollie is filing complaint and now plans on suing.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Recently, I was my PCP and inquired about appetite suppressants. (I had taken adipex many years ago, which was great) and she informed me that she did not prescribe Adipex due to the possible cardiac side effects - but that she was prescribing Topamax as a weight loss aid due to the side effect of the medication being loss of appetite. She said it works quite well for a large majority of her patients, but not everyone. Has anyone here been prescribed Topamax specifically for this reason? If so, how well did it work and would you recommend it?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Dear Metafilter, I need to automate some tasks at work, and I'd like to make it happen quickly.These tasks have been digitized, which saves a lot of time, but digitization is not the same thing as automation. The work in question has absolutely not been automated; in fact, it requires a ton of hand-holding. However, in the meantime, my workload keeps increasing, which means I have less time to dedicate to these repetitive tasks that consume my attention, but must be performed on a regular schedule. So I want to learn whatever I need to learn to make these processes run on their own, start to finish. Whatever I create to accomplish this goal needs to interface with my OS, with other programs, and with various webapps. (E.g., locate this file on this SFTP server, place it in this directory, rename it with these naming conventions, open this webapp, log in with these credentials, load the file, run an error report, and so on.) So my question is, can you recommend any quick-to-learn, quick-to-implement tools or programming languages, or anything else, that would enable me to fully automate some digital, but still time- and labor-intensive, tasks? Thanks in advance, all.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This week Allstate Insurance released its 10th annual Best Drivers Report for the 200 largest US cities. It's wicked pissah being at the bottom (again). The report "tabulates property damage collision frequency of Allstate insured drivers from 2011-2012". This year you can see the raw rankings in addition to new adjusted rankings controlling for population, density and weather. In first place for the fourth time is Fort Collins, CO: "...the results indicate the average driver in Fort Collins will experience an auto collision every 14.2 years, which is 29.6 percent less likely than the national average of every 10 years"

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I broke my back a few years ago and suffer from mild paralysis. I found a great job overseas (in Israel) but now I need to find a health insurance plan that covers my pre-existing condition.I've found one plan that covers me after 24 months of not needing any medical care related to my injury, but considering that my job assignment will be 24 months - it's fairly useless. I don't generally need any special care for it, but obviously it would be really dumb to not have coverage in case I need it. One idea that popped into my mind is to buy the aforementioned insurance because it provides great coverage otherwise and then get a special insurance specifically for the preexisting condition. I'm also looking for a plan that covers mental health (the plan I found only covers it after a year), so bonus points if you can help with that.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The Nishiyama Silk company explains their silk production process from reeling silk out of the boiled cocoons through handweaving the final cloth. Their factory video is a three minutes of hypnotic machine motion (along with some adorable socks on the weavers).

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
About 7 years ago, I created a website for my small business using Current Webhosting Company's WYSIWYG editor. Current Company has not really kept up with advances in website technology (i.e., no responsive design options, difficult to create a mobile site, clumsy blogging, etc). But I've worked hard on my site and I'm generally proud of it. Should I cut my losses and start all over again? Or can this website be saved... and how???I can't decide if I should just cut my losses and start all over again using one of the newer web hosting companies that allows my site to look good on any device (Squarespace, Weebly, etc), or if there might be any advantage to keeping my site where it is. Specifically, maybe someone who knows more about SEO can tell me: if I switch from Current Company to Modern Webhosting Company, will this in any way affect my ability to be found in google searches? Will it have a negative impact on current rankings (which are not spectacular, but are okay)? I tried creating a mobile version of my site using DudaMobile, because Current Company specifically offered a promotion through DudaMobile, but it didn't work out at all. Later, I learned that Current Company's website building software wasn't actually compatible with DudeMobile after all, and they offered this feature, essentially, in error. If I want to keep my site with Current Company in an effort to avoid a total overhaul, are there any options for making it more user-friendly for mobile / tablet users? I have seen my site on phones and tablets, and it's not pretty. A few additional details: I make updates to content and images regularly (at least once a month). For financial reasons, hiring someone to take care of this for me is not really an option right now. For child-having reasons, the time needed to create a new site myself is limited. I could do it, but it would take a LONG time. My site does not involve or require comments, forums, or anything more interactive than a "contact me" form. The site does not get a huge amount of traffic - for the most part, only someone looking for the particular service I offer in my city would be using it. There is no commerce involved, so the ability to sell things is not needed. Assume I know nothing about coding... like, really NOTHING. I hope this makes sense... Thanks for your advice!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
The co-op I work at is making a new VEGAN flavor of pizza. It's got broccoli, mushrooms, red onions and nutritional yeast based "cheese". Help, we need a cool name!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I was given a tablet demo unit from my workplace because we no longer sell this model. It's functional and great, but still has the old security base attached. It's a circular nub about 1" thick that fits into the cradle of the demo pedestal, and has wires coming off both ends of the nub. I can cut off the wires, but the nub is superglued onto the back of the device. What's the best way to remove it? Photos within.Photos: 1 2 It's a Kobo Arc tablet. I was the one who superglued the security nub onto it in the first place - I'm in charge of the Kobos at my store. Lest anyone think I'm asking for nefarious purposes. All superglue removal tutorials online seem to focus on removing a patch of glue from a surface using acetone/hot water, not unsticking two items. And anything that does involve unsticking two items involves lots of heat (hair dryer etc.) which I think would damage the tablet. Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am looking for recommendations for simple software to assist our managers with doing their employee performance evaluations efficiently and timely. Our small company has about 20 employees, and we have previously used paper evaluations but would like to move toward software for this. I would like something where the manager selects a rating for a particular category, and the software auto-fills in some generic description text that the manager can then alter. Then the form can be exported to PDF. Integrated self-evaluations would be nice, but not necessary.Most of the software I'm finding are too big and do too much. What we don't need: - full HR Management/Payroll software - 360 feedback - recruitment/on-boarding - multiple templates - digital approval process - org charts - time & attendance What we do need: - easy for managers to use - auto-filled suggested comments - export to PDF Any suggestions that other small companies are using would be most appreciated!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Justice Map Digital Maps Show Race and Income Data Down to Street Level via

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"Worldcon is like a family reunion," said longtime convention-goer and fanzine writer Curt Phillips, at a panel about the history of Worldcon. After a few days, I could only agree. It was indeed like being at a family reunion, in that it felt like you were spending your time with elderly relatives. You might want to talk to them and listen to their stories, but you'll have to tolerate some offensive and outdated opinions along the way. For the Daily Dot, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw examines how the growing generation gap is changing the face of fandom, comparing the recent London Worldcon with the Nine Worlds convention run the weekend before.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This is hypothetical. I have allowed somebody to drive my car (in British Columbia, Canada) who I know does not have valid driver's license. She has a crash in which somebody else is badly hurt. She (the uninsured driver) does not have the money to pay the damages. How liable am I for these damages, and will my ICBC insurance cover them? If my insurance doesn't cover these damages and they are extreme, are all my assets endangered? (ie: worst case scenario, could I lose my home?)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Elephant plays with blue streamer. (SLYT)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Anyone have experience with co2doctor.com products?I have obtained a Cuisinart sparkling beverage maker, and have discovered that, at least where I live, there's really no way to exchange the (tiny, 3 oz) co2 cylinders, so the only official option is purchasing them for $20 ($20!!) which means it's way more expensive than just buying soda water. co2doctor.com sells an adapter kit specifically for Cuisinart models that allows one to use a normal non-siphon co2 tank instead. Any pitfalls I'm not thinking of?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
In this video edition of Chad Smith's interview series, the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer sits down with his old friend, Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, to talk about their early days on tour together, their attempts to form a "jazz odyssey" band, producers Rick Rubin and Brendan O'Brien, and a whole lot more. A jam-packed, laugh-filled hour-long chat.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A controversial player follows up a disappointing NBA career with a major success in the Chinese Basketball Association, including two national titles with the Beijing Ducks (yes, they're named after the delicious Peking Duck dish). Now, he's Starring in a musical about himself in Beijing.(NYT)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Emotionally abusive parents are coming to visit. Difficulty level: boyfriend introduction. How do I deal with the fallout?Hi all! Parents are coming to visit next week. They have a history of being controlling, manipulative, boundary-pushing, and irrational. I try to maintain a semblance of a relationship because, well, they're my parents and I'm a forgiving person. But still. Relevant background: I'm a grown woman, financially independent, advanced degree, great career, debt-free, have traveled the world and moved cross-country on my own – in other words, I'm a responsible adult. Parents can't seem to wrap their heads around this. Even worse, when subjected to their machinations, I regress to the quivering, capitulating child from some decades ago, making it easy for them to bully me. Bonus: they're meeting my (awesome, lovely, generous, supportive) boyfriend for the first time. Based on how they acted during my previous relationship (also a great guy), things are bound to turn nasty sooner or later. To them, the fact that I have a boyfriend means they're losing control over me. They're also unhappy that my boyfriend stays at my place a lot, which to them means I'm living in sin. Yes I know, I need therapy. But what I need right now are tips, tricks, mantras to tell myself, ways of mitigating the drama, techniques for staying calm if they start hammering me, possible scripts to respond to them instead of freezing up, and any other advice you guys might have for dealing with difficult people. In particular, I'm trying to think of things to say when certain scenarios arise. I tend to go mute with helplessness or devolve into robotic compliance when confronted with their disapproval, and I'd like to not do this. For example, what's a gentle way of saying "that's none of your business" when they start prying into topics that I'd like to keep private (e.g. bedroom activities, birth control, etc)? For deflecting when they say something derogatory about my boyfriend? For when my mother whines about not having grandkids (bf and I don't want any)? For when my dad makes racist/homophobic comments (I live in a much more diverse area than where they are)? Bonus points for light humor, but firm politeness will suffice. Cutting them out of my life is something I've thought about, but for now assume I'm trying to make this work. And heck, they've already bought the plane tickets, so I'm stuck.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am a man. I had an emotional affair with a friend - let's call him James - whom I was very much in (unrequited) love with, and recently decided to "break up". The long story is here. Then I decided to start dating and recently met this person, let's call him Fred, whom I like very much. The problem is that I am absolutely not over James, and we've even managed to re-establish contact, still very guarded at this point, although we have not yet met. So I find myself in a quandary and wondering whether it's fair to start something with Fred when my heart is really with James. I mean, I like Fred very much and could ever grow to love him. But I fear I may be just using them as a convenient toy while waiting for a James moment that will never come. And Fred is a nice enough person that I don't want to play with him. But then, I also need company and intimacy and I like having him around and he seems to feel the same about me, and is prepared to wait for as long as it takes for me to be truly over James.So my question is: should I continue the relationship with Fred and hope that what I feel for James will fade over time (provided that I don't feed it by becoming super friends with him again), or should I wait until I no longer feel anything for James before I can seriously start dating again? I'm in a monogamous streak right now, so sleeping around is not an option. What do you Mefites think? Am I even making sense? Also, I don't come from a coutnry / culture where we even have therapists, so please no suggestion along those lines.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
"But not doing things too disastrously is not some minimal achievement; it is a maximal achievement, rarely managed." Does it help to know history?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
What's a cool bar in Berkeley that a wedding crowd can go to after we get kicked out of the reception venue at 10:30pm this Sunday?Good friends are getting married in Berkeley this Sunday evening. Since we have to be out of the reception venue (near Tilden Park) by 10:30, I've been tasked with finding a cool bar to go to for the after-party. Qualifiers: Open till 1 or 2 am (again, on a Sunday); age-appropriate (the people going out will be late 20's/early 30's); dive bars are ok but nothing too rowdy or seedy; clubs/lounges might be okay, but nowhere so loud that and conversation is impossible. Also I've been warned that the wedding food will be disappointing, so bonus points for a bar that's close to somewhere that serves food late (eg pizza by the slice or something). Berkeley area is preferable (I know a lot of people going out are staying at hotels on University). North Oakland might be okay if it doesn't involve a very expensive cab ride. Thanks in advance!

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
for an interview for a position that you are not sure that you want?A few months back, I wrote this question about what kind of job I should be shooting for as a recent graduate with a master's degree and a few years of experience. Well, I recently finished my program and began job hunting a bit more intensely. Currently, I have a number of jobs in the works, although none of them feel like "perfect" options. Actually, I am not really sure what a perfect option would look like. My ideas about what I want to do with my life have generally been fluctuating wildly lately. Anyway, because of this, I have kind of been taking a shot gun approach to applying for jobs. The job in question is for an organization that I really respect and have felt for a long time is doing really good work, for a department whose work that I find particularly interesting and kind of dovetails nicely with some of the research I was doing the past year or two. However, it is a lower level job that is probably about the same amount of responsibility as the position I held before graduate school, and is largely administrative. After stalking people on linkedin who had held the position before, it is apparent that I definitely have more experience and education than they did. So far, I have had a phone screen with the HR person, and yesterday a shorter conversation with the department head. The theme of both of these conversations was "this is a largely administrative job, are you okay with that?" I feel like I did okay answering that question with the HR woman, saying that I was not sure if I wanted to do more program management/administration type work or more research/advocacy type work (which is what the organization does a bit of and part of the reason I am interested in the organization) and so thought this position might be a way to look into both at the same time. And in fact, that is the truth. In all reality, I don't know what exactly I want to do with myself. I have done both research and administration in the past and have enjoyed both of them. After having just finished my graduate degree, a part of me yearns for more substantive work, and would like to get back into the research side of things, but that is just how I have been feeling this past week - and a couple of days ago even, I was considering applying for an entirely administrative job and it seemed appealing to me. Before I went into grad school, I was doing administration and thought that that was what I wanted to do with my life, or what fit me best. So, sorry about the long explanation, but I guess that the bottom line is: I am ambivalent about what I want to do with my life and what kind of job to pursue. The work of the department that this job would be supporting is super interesting to me, and I would stick around for at least a year or two if I got the job, I think, though I also think it is possible that I would feel frustrated with not having higher-level work after being at the position for a while. In the interview yesterday, I was told right off the bat that I was one of the top candidates. Then we had a pretty nice discussion about the work of the department, although in retrospect I am kind of unhappy with a few of my responses to the questions posed, or think they could have been better. I am also a bit worried that I gave off the impression that I was less than enthusiastic about the administrative side of the job, which the interviewer asked about a couple of times. I gave him the same explanation that I gave the HR person, but he asked a couple more times in different ways about this and I feel like I was only able to muster a monotone, "That's fine, I am fine with that." He did say that they would be in touch shortly about the next steps in the process, so maybe I didn't completely bomb the interview, but I have been feeling like it could have gone better. Anyway, I was considering sending a "thank-you" note. Do you think this is a good idea? If so, what would you suggest putting in it? Also, okay, bonus question: in this situation, assuming that the process continues, what kinds of questions should I ask to gauge if there will be any chance for upward mobility after I have spent a while in this position? And how can I ask more about what kind of substantive work this position might be doing without sounding like I have a problem with the lower-level admin work?

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
My almost-3-year-old is cute and delightful in all the typical ways. So, people smile and laugh when she says or does cute things. So what's the problem? The laughter makes her cry.My daughter is adorable. She gets excited and runs around and says cute things, all the usual stuff for a child her age. However, whenever someone laughs, she gets super sensitive....she stops whatever she is doing, lowers her head as though she is ashamed, and often starts to cry. This happens whether it's her dad or myself, other adults she knows, or strangers. (And these are just usual fun laughs, nothing mean-spirited at all.) This has been happening for quite awhile, and we don't know how to handle it. We always try to comfort her when it happens. At first, we tried to explain that we are laughing with her, not at her, but I think that's a little advanced for her age. We tell her that it's a "joke", people are not laughing AT her....so often she will lower her head, frown, and say to herself, "just a joke, just a joke". But we can see that it upsets her. It takes her out of the fun moment she was having, and makes her feel bad about herself. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch! I just want her to be herself and have fun. She is a normal child, developing right on target for the most part. (A little on the late side with some physical milestones, but nothing out of the ordinary...walking at 15 months, a little late to start jumping, etc.) She is very bright and curious, and good with language. She tends to be shy around new people for the most part - not really hiding behind our legs or anything physical, but she can sometimes be hesitant to talk to new people. Have any of you experienced something like this? How should we be handling it? This has probably been happening for about a year.... and while it has improved a little bit at times, it still happens quite often. We are at a loss...any and all suggestions are welcome.

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
Trying to resize two photos without compressing them so much that they are unviewable.I need to upload two photos to a technical Q&A forum and each photo must be a jpg and no more than 19.07 MB and 1200 Width and 3600 Height. The two photos are currently 3456 x 2592 (only 3 MB so all set there). I have tried resizing them with Gimp and the Gimp Liquid Rescale plugin. At 1200 Width the image has been compressed so much that it does not resemble what the original photos captured. I tried changing the size from pixels to % but while it was less compressed it was still no good. Can someone help me figure out how to resize the photos without compressing them to death? Photo 1 and Photo 2

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posted 4 days ago on metafilter
I got a new job (cool!) but have to turn in my MacBook Air from old job (oh well). Since I also used as my primary laptop for personal stuff, like banking and Facebook, it also has a ton of personal data on it. (I plan to buy my own laptop for next job. And no, I did not look at naughty stuff on it -- I do have a tablet.) The company wants the programs already installed left on the computer, which is reasonable -- so leave Photoshop and Word installed -- but I want to clear off any personal data. Is there a good way to scrub an Apple computer while leaving programs behind? Right now you could go to Twitter on my browser and log into my personal account without a problem. (I realize I can just Clear History on browsers, but also looking for deeper scrub, such as WiFi passwords and stuff on keychains).

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