posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I love looking at photos of buildings or cityscapes that are so ornate, intricate, or overbuilt as to give me a sense of vertigo and/or looming existential horror. Things like the Kowloon Walled City or aerial views of Shanghai or, to a lesser extent, the new Executive Office building in DC. What else is out there? I'm interested in any or all eras and styles.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Amusing Surface Tension Experiment (SLYT) Mad science with a ball point pen, cup of water and a bit of liquid soap. Surprisingly educational and accessible. With a dash of humor and fun.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
New analysis on Richard III's bones reveal the richer diet available to a king, as well as his drinking habits.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
This charming short film, maybe 15-20 minutes, is about a Mexican woman's morning routine of roasting her own coffee beans in frying pan, filtering coffee through a linen handkerchief, then washing the linen and hanging on clothesline to dry. I thought it was by Les Blank, but can find no listing for it. I also searched Werner Herzog, but couldn't find it. Film came out of the Bay Area food renaissance of the '70s, I believe. Think I saw it in '80s. Anyone seen it, can give me a clue to provenance? TIA.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Breathtaking Aerial Landscapes of Iceland by Sarah Martinet [via Colossal]

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've recently gotten three spam texts, one per day, via iMessage. Is there any way to block them?I really don't want to start getting spam via text. That would pretty much destroy my phone, turning it into even more of a torture device than it already is. The thing is I don't even know what number these messages are coming from. As you can see in the screenshot linked below, the only info provided about the sender is "yetangchui0@yeah.net". Screenshot. Is this person somehow sending texts from an email account? That doesn't seem to make sense, but maybe iMessage enables it? Alternately, is there any way I can possibly turn off iMessage (which I've never seen the point of) and configure my phone to only use standard SMS texts? (I guess switching to a non-iPhone device would accomplish that, but that would be time-consuming and expensive.)

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A company in Tennessee will, for a small fee, cover someone's lawn with pink flamingos for one day.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am having a hard time letting go of something. I have been told that I have an amazing ability to persevere and I can, unfortunately, keep on trying to make things work- for ever! Needless to say, letting a current bad situation go is proving to be near impossible because I see doing that as outright failure, not to mention a complete waste of 1+ year. My friends say its not failure, and I don't think I understand the difference. So I am hoping that maybe you can explain with personal anecdotes?If you have been in a tight spot, personally or professionally (say, deciding to divorce or leaving a bad job), how did you decide whether it was failure or quitting? If you have as much trouble as I seem to have with letting go, how did you learn to overcome it? And finally, if something is affecting your health adversely, what is the tipping point- losing sleep and/or appetite, a trip to a psychologist, getting cancer or getting admitted in a mental hospital?? How would you know that your health is really, truly, definitely being affected adversely, and its not a function of not getting your act together and dealing with whatever life throws at you? Thanks in advance!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I really like the Rhino Records Spotify Playlists, especially the ones that get updated periodically like Alt Country. Can you recommend other playlists or users (either individuals or organizations) that I should follow. I'm open to any genres, but I gravitate to punk/new wave/post-punk/alternative if required to label my tastes.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
What are the pros and cons to having a wedding at a large vacation rental home? What should we be thinking about? Details inside.I'm considering renting a lake side vacation home. It's huge, has 7 bedrooms, parking for 30 cars, a large kitchen, lawn games, boats, enough picnic tables for everyone. The owner says that people do weddings there all the time, and he said anything up to 75 people is okay with him. I'll have to take care of my own decorations and setup. We'll have the place for a week -- Wednesday to Tuesday, so we'll have plenty of time to setup and tear down. The reason we want to do this is because we want a really casual wedding, and we'll have a bunch of kids there. We don't want a fancy sit down dinner, just catered BBQ, some picnic-style foods and a couple of kegs. It'll be a daytime event. What are we missing here, and what should we be thinking about? We have a wedding planner, but she's only going to get involved after we pick a venue. From what I can tell, we just need to rent a tent and a stage/chairs for the wedding, and take care of decorations. We're not going to have a Dj, just some speakers hooked up to an iPod. We found a BBQ place nearby that's really inexpensive for catering. The immediate family that is flying in from out of state will stay at the house and help with setting up everything and cleaning up later. Are there any reasons this is a terrible idea and we should just do it at a traditional wedding venue?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
So all of your friends have either just started playing Magic: the Gathering or have picked it up again or else admitted to having played it continually for twenty years now, and eyes are glazing over as they discuss bomb rares and 2-for-1s and mana flooding and drafting. You're not sure if you actually want to immerse yourself in this but you can't know for sure without, well, immersing yourself in it. We've all been there. Thankfully, Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry channel has a show for you - Spellslingers! Host Day[9] (a.k.a. Sean Plott) explains the basics of how to play, what types of cards do what, and general strategy over a series of games with internet celebrities, with great production values and a lot of good humor. Episode 1.1: Blizzard's Rob Simpson Episode 1.2: NASA's Bobak Ferdowski Episode 1.3: Comedian Jesse Cox Episode 1.4: Actress Michelle Boyd Episode 1.5: Felicia Day Herself Episode 1.6: Mythbusters' Grant Imahara Episode 2.1: IGN's Greg Miller Episode 2.2: MMA Fighter Josh Barnett Episode 2.3: Hyperbole and a Half's Allie Brosh

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've been taking Adderall XR for about a half a year, and it has made a tremendous difference in my life. The med, however, was recently put on the Prior Authorization list - which means that I now need to receive approval from my insurance before they cover it. My doc submitted an application, which I just found out was denied on the grounds that I don't have sufficient documentation of ADD. I took a test with my doc, and was denied again. What exactly do they want from me?The first rejection document I received states that anyone 18 and older who starts on a stimulant needs an ADHD screening before starting on the medication. I had had a screening back in college, but that was many years ago and I couldn't find it - so I took a short test with my psych. She handed me a questionnaire, I filled it out, then she looked at it and said "yup, you have ADD." It was pretty bare-bones. I was denied again. (The test was the ASRS, found on this site: http://www.help4adhd.org/documents/adultadhdselfreportscale-asrs-v1-1.pdf) I called to ask and their answer was very noncommittal - along the lines of "Well, we can't say what kind of documentation you would need that might help, anything else would certainly help but the PA request could go either way..." I get the feeling that my insurance just doesn't want to pay for stims. My psych was pretty dejected as well, and seems to want to give up. I can go on without the med, but without it I'm back to being my usual head-in-the-clouds self who can't focus on any one thing a a time. Its made such a positive impact on my life, and I'd like to get back on if possible. So, I'm wondering... what else could they want from me? Maybe a more comprehensive test? If so, would I ask my psych for it, or if not where would I take it? Is there another solution that I might be missing? PS: I am planning on switching from Adderall XR to Vyvanse. Also, I was taking a booster of IR Adderall in the afternoon - combined, a daily total of 25mg.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've been unemployed for about six months now and I'm looking to get back into the workforce with any position that pays a wage that I and my wife can afford to live from.My area of expertise is call center technical management, (when you talk to one of those specialty tech support groups that inevitably are the ones who figure out whatever the absurdly weird problem actually was, I was one of the people providing them coaching and the like.) Last year, there were dozens of jobs in my area that fit this description, now there are virtually none, so I've mostly given up on continuing that career path, and management in general, as I'm just not getting callbacks on the resumes I'm sending out. Since this same resume scored me dozens of interviews last year, I don't believe that the document itself is the problem - but I could be wrong. I have kept it updated to include any new skills I've developed, so it's current and accurate. At this point, I just am looking for some advice on how to rebrand myself as someone who can do office/ clerical work for a fair wage. Aside from management, where the bulk of my skills and training have focused for the last twenty years, I can do all the typical things needed to keep an office running; 80+ word per minute typing, excel, powerpoint, word, VOiP phone systems, creating and generating reports, research, training, hiring and firing, technical writing, speaking with customers in any capacity, project management, etc. My fear is that my resume is now scaring off average jobs, because they might see me as too qualified, but I'm at a point where I'll take nearly anything that pays enough to cover my mortgage and some medical bills. It's becoming increasingly desperate that this happen sooner rather than later. So how should I market myself? Get rid of all the management stuff on my resume and just focus on the clerical skills? Pick a specific set of the clerical skills and try to shoot for an office assistant type of position? Is the management stuff even really a problem in making me look overqualified, or does that not really factor in anymore? I am also more than willing to consider a complete job shift into something entirely new, but I believe that might be a harder sell considering how specific my abilities have become over the last few decades. I'm considering going to a hiring coach to help me focus on what is really needed in the market right now (in S.E. Wisconsin) and aim my resume at that, but I thought here would be a better place to start.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking to buy a book/books as a gift for my grandmother, who was recently in an accident and faces a long recovery. She is a voracious reader, but has specific tastes. Last Christmas I sent her Edith Pargeter's Heaven Tree Trilogy; she's told me multiple times since, in no uncertain terms, that these books were among the best she'd ever read and that she immediately re-read the trilogy upon finishing it. The trouble is, the rest of Pargeter's corpus - including her pseudonymous works, as far as I can tell - don't fit my grandmother's preferences nearly as well as the Heaven Tree books, so I am not sure what to send her.Though I love historical fiction, this area is pretty far from my personal wheelhouse, so I'm hoping MeFites can help me determine what book or books may spark her interest in the same way. Grandma's preferences are, as near as I can tell, thus: she loves details about the non-ruling classes (low/middle etc - no real interest in royalty or elites) in 12th-13th century England. I would presume this can extend to Scotland/Ireland/Wales etc, and potentially to the 11th and 14th centuries. She is quite learned about the period, as she loves reading non-fiction and taking online courses on things relating to this topic. She's also whip-smart and we are a very literary family, so the quality of the writing is key. Please know romance for romance's sake is way off the table - romance in the context of a good story is obviously fine, but she's really not the type to pick up a bodice-ripper; she is, however, a big fan of mysteries - she says she loves trying to crack the case before the end (with this in mind, I am going to send her an Ellis Peters novel, but she may have already picked these up on her own since she knows EP=EP, so I'm not sure if I'd be sending her something she's read - but if anyone has recommendations for any *specific* Ellis Peters' novels, that would be appreciated!). Finally, my guess is that she'd prefer stories that center on the ruling classes from 12th-13th c. England versus, say, a story about lower classes from 14th c. Sweden or 18th century Scotland (that is, it would be best to stay in her favorite time and place rather than stretch to a different culture or vastly different time) than not, but I can't say this for sure. Is there anything that fits these general parameters that you'd recommend? Knowing her, her mind is sharp as a sharpened tack and she's mad as hell about being bedridden, so I would dearly love to send her a book, and I wager a really great book would help her recovery greatly; her body has aged but she's very cerebral, and books are, in both of our views, a fantastic panacea. I'd appreciate any and all help, MeFi!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
(NSFW) Gay Men Read 50 Shades of Grey. Related: Straight Men React To Grindr - Gay Dating App

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Family trip coming up, and I need advice on helping my five-year-old daughter manage sleep-deprivation and jetlag. In the context of a wedding weekend, with all the attendant social and behavioral expectations. With bonus similarly-aged relative who brings out her most rambunctious side. What can I do by way of scheduling, boundaries, etc., to keep this sane while still being polite?We'll be travelling west across a three-hour time difference. Daughter's current bedtime is 7:30 PM (generally asleep by 8), and the weekend's events will consist of three consecutive fancy restaurant meals, all starting ~9:30+ PM home time (6:30 PM destination time), plus some morning stuff on two of the three days. I have been advised by the family that letting her stay home from one dinner with a babysitter will NOT be an option; nor will she be able to come in PJs/ have a separate room to relax in/ etc., as others have suggested. Unfortunately, the very last evening of the three is a close relative's wedding in which she will be participating, so there'll be extra pressure at the very end to perform and generally not f** things up by rolling around on the floor, bursting into tears, etc. Daughter is generally well-behaved, but gets hyper and temperamental on progressively less sleep. We've never really tried her beyond 1-2 nights of staying up 1-2 hours past bedtime, so this is Uncharted Territory we're going into. Unfortunately, she has school both immediately before and immediately after the trip, so pre-acclimating her to Destination Time is not really an option. I am increasingly agreeing with previous advice here that this could be a disaster in the making, and I'm trying to put together a broader plan of attack to manage things as best I can for both my daughter and the wedding folks. I need advice on two fronts: (1) Logistics and child management. What kind of schedule is going to be best to help my daughter keep it together through the weekend and especially through the formal events? Should I let her sleep in as late as she wants? Naps or not, and if so, when? During the day, should she be out running around in the sun, or relaxing quietly indoors? Meals on Home time, or on Destination Time? Are there other discipline/behavior structures that have helped you in like circumstances? (2) Civility and family obligations. Obviously, the expectation/hope of the relatives is that Daughter will be both present and non-disruptive for most of the time at all these events. Various older attendees may have still more stringent expectations for her comportment and participation. As a non-blood-relation, what boundaries can I safely set w/r/t scheduling and logistics, while still being polite? If we leave early from some dinners, how early can we leave? If Daughter is starting to lose it, may I remove her from the table and take a long walk? How much tableside amusement apparatus (headphones, DVD player, games) can we bring along without being conspicuous or rude? And finally, there will be another young relative there who is a great but very spirited and active child, and my daughter doesn't have a history of the best public behavior when they get together. The general sentiment among family lawmakers is that they are just so cute together and should hang out and support each other through the events, so I'm sure we will be thrown together quite a bit. I have no idea how I will manage this sort of thing, in a fancy restaurant context, with elders in attendance, without offending OtherChild's (very nice) parents by saying things like, "Now, I know OC did it, but that's not a polite way to behave in a restaurant," or "No, you can't run around the room with OC, you need to stay in your seat and watch Frozen." So if anybody has insights there, I'd love to hear 'em. Any advice, particularly if you've managed similar situations before, would be much appreciated. (Or if it's gonna go fine, and I'm stressing about nothing, then please feel free to reassure me!) Thanks, Metafilter!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm working with a professor of medicine, and she has a clinical decision algorithm that needs to be turned into a website with a database backend. We need to find a person.The algorithm involves selecting donors for bone marrow transplants (i.e. from person 1 into person 2). It takes information from a given patient (let's say a list of about 20 or so integers), plus information for a number of potential donors (for each donor, a list of about 20 more integers, plus a dozen booleans), takes all of that, looks some stuff up in a few associative arrays supplemented with an external website, and assigns each donor a score so that they can be sorted from highest/most suitable to lowest/least suitable for that patient. Right now the algorithm rests primarily in the heads of one or two research/medical type folks, who run everything mentally with the aid of a few Excel spreadsheets. Obviously, this is time-consuming, doesn't scale very well and can be error-prone. The actual algorithm is only a few pages of flowcharts, even after it's made fairly explicit, but it needs to be converted to a web front-end, plus the algorithm on the backend, and to store all the results as well into some sort of a vaguely robust database that can be mined later for clinical research. Complicating this is that the algorithm is a research project, and thus changes over time (on the span of say, weeks to months) -- so the project is not a one-off. Rather, we need someone who can write maintainable code, and is willing to continue to update it. Unfortunately, the medical/research folks who are doing all this now speak no computerese, only medicine/biology, so thus far I've 'translated' what they have into flowcharts. However, the project needs someone who can at least grasp at least enough biology that they can talk to the researchers without me intermediating. Difficulty: a limited budget (i.e. unlikely to support even one full time programmer yearly) but might be appealing to academic or research types as there may be publications and similar academic type 'rewards' on the table. After all that: I don't expect a name, but do you folks have any idea what kind of consulting outfit or other clearing-house type organization we need to be talking to, in order to find people or consortium that may be a good fit in turn?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A hypnotic video merging every actor who's played Doctor Who into one average face. [SLYT] (Laughing Squid via)

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
It's 2014. I should be backing up my thousands of photos in iPhoto online. Please tell me he best options available for long-term storage. Print options would be nice too.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
We recently acquired this record player console from family. I had the genius idea to paint it to go with our decor more effectively... And now it looks like this. I am displeased as I feel it looks like children's furniture. Help me fix it please!I have determined that I think the problem is the color of the insets and it needs to be something darker, but I'm not really sure where to go. I can no longer trust my instincts as I thought these colors looked good together in the first place. These are the paints we are using and the color options. I'm looking for color suggestions for the inset parts, or if there are any other things I can do to make it look good. I have been so excited about this project and now I'm so disappointed with the results. I must fix it!

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Wifey and I remember hearing a spoken-word, like an audio-book, story of a Selkie who eventually has a child. We don't recall it being a poem, nor was it music-with-sparse-lyrics; it was telling a story, with maybe some short musical interludes, and was probably an hour or more long. We heard it on Public Radio (not sure in which state) several years ago. Anybody know what this was?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for good, professional videos that describe the techniques of CBT for laypeople. Basically, a visual version of a CBT self-help book. I've searched YouTube and the videos are either light on technique and/or have a creepy narrator. I think my friend could benefit from it, but he needs an introduction to it first. Second choice would be a workshop where the techniques are covered. Any suggestions?

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I've always wanted to know how funny people became funny. What particular attributes, behavior, types of humor makes them so hilarious? Do some of them practice jokes in advance? Do they watch comedians and funny tv shows a lot?I'm a nervous person and I often get embarrassed while making a joke or funny comment. I totally ruin the intonation, emphasis, facial expression, and basically regret the thing while it's coming out of my mouth, which just results in weird and nonsensical half finished sentences. Suffice to say, I am pretty awkward. While this obviously isn't crippling and doesn't even bother me all that much, I would really like to better understand what makes a person funny and how they got there. I'm asking because I'm just curious and also because lately I've been thinking a lot about that Oscar Wilde quote, if you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you. At this point in my life I'm not overly concerned with telling people the truth, but I am interested in social dynamics. I see that having a solid sense of humor is crucial to navigating confusing and transient relationships with people (romantic and otherwise), making small talk, meeting people, etc. And plus it's a lot of fun! I can only make jokes with my really close friends and that's when I'm happiest. It'd be nice to be able to open up to more people especially since I'm surrounded by strangers these days.

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
A few weeks ago, I smashed my hand and wound up with a ruptured finger tendon, or "mallet finger." this means my middle left hand finger cannot straighten and I cannot control it above the top joint. It looks like a bent straw when my other fingers are straight and I obviously can't type normally.The treatment for this is to wear a splint for 5 weeks, but the hand surgeon said that if you don't wear it *every second* 24/7 you are back to square one and the five weeks *starts over* each time you take it off even for a minute. Basically, every time the finger flops back down unsupported, the healing is broken and you're starting fresh. This is maddening. The splint is not a cast. It keeps coming off. I've used surgical tape, velcro and athletic stretchy stuff but -- when you wash your hands, grab your wayward dog by the collar, change a lightbulb, wash your hair or even sleep, it sometimes slips off. A thin rubber glove won't fit over it. ALso, I can't type with the splint on. I admit to taking it off in frustration so I can type -- without using the middle finger, but also without this cumbersome splint causing constant typos. I am at the point of wondering whether it would be so bad to just live with mallet finger for the second half of my life. Yes, it's cosmetically and practically not good, but I can't see this splint really working ever, and I need to type RIGHT NOW. But will it get worse if I don't do the splint? Is there a danger to just taking the darn splint off and accepting having a bum finger is now my lot in life? Sometimes it gets swollen and I wonder if the rupture could get worse. ** Do you have permanent mallet finger? Did you have this injury and get it to heal with the splint? If you do have a mallet finger, is it impacting your life significantly?**

Read More...
posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm a grad student/translator who's debating picking up an iPad mini. Help me decide if it's worth it when I already have a bunch of other tech.I have a chance to pick up a non-retina 16GB iPad mini for $199. I had some vague ideas about getting a tablet for grad school anyway, but only if it'll be useful to me- I already have an iPhone 5c and a macbook pro. To the translators/interpreters of MeFi: has having a tablet been useful to you? Any apps you'd recommend? Other perhaps pertinent details: - I don't really care about retina/non-retina; it's nice to have but not a deal-breaker for me. - I read and listen to audiobooks, mostly; occasionally I watch movies or TV shows. I'm a casual gamer but unfortunately Pokemon does not exist on the iPad. - I don't travel much, but occasionally I will make the kind of trip where having an iPad will be much easier on me than a laptop. TIA!

Read More...