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The past 24 hours of questions at Ask MetaFilter

Published: Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:58:19 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:58:19 GMT


How does/will American Net neutrality affect European folks?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:58:19 GMT

Can anyone predict how Net neutrality is going to work out? Please refer to the likely European experience - if that is even possible.

Seeing that this looks likely to happen... Do even the experts know, as this has not happened before.

Holey crochet blanket, Batman!

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:16:17 GMT

How warm/useful is this chunky v-stitch afghan likely to be?

It doesn't get very cold in SoCal, but I would like a blanket to provide some warmth on chilly nights. I can't tell if the bulkiness of the blanket will make up for the size of the holes.

Domain name help

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:11:18 GMT

I'm thinking of registering a couple domains for my wife and young child, and hell, maybe even for myself. I've never registered a domain before and could use some guidance on both how to go about it, and what domains to choose.

My wife is starting to accumulate a bunch of projects and could really use someplace online to organize them publicly. She's in a PhD program and most are related to that. My son is young and I could see him one day wanting his own domain. I would also like my own to hopefully get away from several people who think my gmail address is actually theirs.

I'm debating between a few different domains or one domain with subdomains for each (you can do that, right?). Generally speaking, [first name][lastname].com, [first initial][last name].com and [nickname][lastname].com (this would be for my son, think Tommy as a nickname for Thomas) are all available. [first name][last name] is not available for myself. If I go this route, which format would you recommend?

Alternatively, if I go a subdomain route, I'd have to go with [lastname].xyz (or some other TLD) as com/net/org are all taken. I think '.xyz' would be most appealing to me because it is short and generic, but would there be a better TLD to choose? Also, if my wife wants to build a site for her professional portfolio, would having a subdomain of [first name].[last name].xyz be looked down on?

Finally, who should I use to register the domains, and if going the subdomain route, is that usually included or are there extra charges? Also, is there anything about registering a domain that I probably don't know (clearly I don't know much about it), but should?

How can I get the boiler in my new flat to start up?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:56:25 GMT

I just bought a new flat and I can't get the combi boiler (hot water / central heating) to start up. It turns on, and although it is old I have no reason to believe it shouldn't work. I don't want to look like an idiot calling out a plumber for something stupid I don't understand. Details and photos inside.

I am not in the new flat just now, and won't move in till the weekend. I'm making periodic visits in the meantime. Next one in about 24 hours. So I can't try suggestions straight away...

I have very limited experience of these matters.

This is in the UK (specifically Scotland), in case I use terminology that doesn't translate.

The boiler is an Ariston Eurocombi, either an A/23 or A/27 MFFI. Manual here.

Gas is definitely connected to the flat. There is a gas cooker that lights up without a problem. However, I understand that there may be a "gas cock" nearer the boiler itself. I would expect this to look something like this, but I can't see anything like that.

Here is the control panel. The On/Off button (on the right) isn't turned on in the photo, but when it is on there is an orange light above it. No other LEDs are lit. The button on the left is supposed to be a kind of reset button, but nothing happens when I press it.

Way beneath the boiler is a valve to let in water (I forgot to take a photo of this). I opened this up a little to let enough water in to get the pressure gauge up between 1 and 2.

Directly beneath the boiler, these pipes go into it. I think the one that ends in the solid gold bits in the foreground is likely the gas pipe. There are several in theory turnable bits, but I don't know which, if any, might be usefully turned by me. The bit facing forward among all that gold (in clear plastic) has a screw that could be turned.

Inside the boiler (front view, left angle, right angle), is something identified in the manual as a gas valve. But there's nothing there that seems easily adjustable by me. I guess gas cocks and valves might be different things?

When I turn on a hot water tap, there is noise in the boiler. Maybe just the water flowing through it. But no hot water and no flame through the little viewing window.

If anyone can help me out with a simple solution, I'd be very grateful. As I said, I don't want to call out a professional until I know I've not missed something basic. In Scotland, we have 5 days to check these things are working in a new place (if they're not, it's the previous owner's responsibility, legally).

Rotary Telephone Trick?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:38:58 GMT

I started reading "Secondhand Time" after seeing it recommended in another ask, and I'm curious about a "trick" that involves a rotary phone. The trick was "so that the KGB agents who tapped our phones wouldn't be able to make anything out"

The passage in question describes it like this: "You turn the dial to the end - old telephones had little holes for numbers that you could turn - and then you stick a pencil in it so that it locks... You can hold it down with your finger, too, but your finger gets tired... You probably know that one?"

I don't know that one. I am familiar with rotary phones and I can picture myself doing this, but I don't know what it would actually accomplish. Does it actually do anything?

What do I want?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:34:09 GMT

My parents have asked me for a Christmas list this year, and they do a format of something you need, something you want, something to wear, and something to read. I have no trouble filling out small, reasonable gifts for need, wear, and read, but I absolutely cannot figure out something I 'want'. My mom really likes this format, so I'd like to stick with it, but I can't figure anything out this year. Small details after the jump, but without all too much detail to try and get a lot of ideas.

I'd feel comfortable asking for something around 20 to 40 dollars. Usually I put a board game in this spot, but I'm guaranteed to be moving in a few months and don't want to move any more games than I already have. I'm also going to be taking the bus back to my apartment in NYC from my parents' house where we'll be celebrating Christmas, so I need something that can fit in my suitcase (I'd considered a piece of cooking equipment, but that stuff tends to be heavy). Here are a few categories I've been considering...

Something that would make living in the city easier - but I'm having trouble coming up with any specifics. Is there anything you all can think of that would make living in the city more pleasurable, enjoyable, or fun?

Something that would give me a structured way to be creative / exercise my logical thinking? Something (maybe non-digital) that would be an enjoyable puzzle or creativity sparking activity? This would maybe be a book or a board game, but I think I'd be fine bending my druthers a little bit.

Some sort of small hobbyist item that I could work on as a project? I'd looked at Cana-kits, but they're all a bit outside of my preferred budget. That is a really appealing idea, however, if I could get something a bit cheaper than that would be really cool.

Business banking with check deposit by phone

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:12:49 GMT

Is there a bank that lets you deposit checks into a business account by phone or online? I'm not looking for depositing them with equipment that I rent. Thanks!

Seamed hose for thick-legged women

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:49:31 GMT

I'm plus size and I carry most of my weight in my hips and thighs. I also dress vintage. I'd like to find seamed pantyhose that fit and aren't completely uncomfortable.

I'd like to find a pair of champagne-colored sheers with contrast seaming up the back. Contrast tops and Cuban heel are great, but not necessary. I've been wearing the Berkshire seamed hose, but those tend to run after one or two wears; similarly, the Calvin Klein backseam hose ripped on me while I was putting them on.

I'm specifically looking for pantyhose (as opposed to stockings) because (a) we're going into winter in Massachusetts, (b) chub rub, and (c) I haven't found a pair of garters and stockings that didn't roll down or otherwise pinch my upper thighs.

I've tried Sock Dreams but have only found the Leg Avenue brand (which don't work for how I carry my weight), and I've been reluctant to try What Katie Did because I don't know if they'd fit me. Is there some great brand for bottom-heavy vintage girls that I've overlooked or haven't found?

More stuff like 'traffic cones of Japan' and 'Brooms of China' please!

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:36:12 GMT

I love collections of photos that document the ordinary parts of everyday life in other places, like traffic cones in Japan. I'm not really looking for art and cultural examples, like the masks of Mexico, but a collection of the baguette delivery boxes of Moorea would awesome. Please share similar web sites, instagram, anything else not requiring a log in that you enjoy!

Record digital video without distortion?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:27:22 GMT

I want to take some video of myself, weekly, that doesn't distort the proportions of my body. But, all webcams (and I think my mac's built-in camera?) seem to have fish-eye lenses.

I googled rectilinear webcams (is rectilinear the right term?) and nothing came up. Should I try to directly record video to my desktop via a cheap digital camera? Basically, what (relatively?) undistorted lens object will let me push-button record video on my mac? Ideally this would be through the Photobooth app because it doesn't have pretty or very high-fidelity or well-curated--it's only for personal use. But I want it to be proportionally accurate if not un-grainy.

Which areas can I specialize in with a degree in computer science?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:15:45 GMT

I find myself at a cross roads, I have just finished my internship and with it my time in college. My time as an intern was spent in web development specifically in C# and Javascript. I'm not sure how to feel about it, on the one hand I like UI work but web in general was not very exciting. One of my friends in this career is looking for jobs in the business analyst field, I asked if he was doing this to avoid programming, he told me he was very interested in the large volume of data that is handled in that position. In a way he opened my mind, I don't know which area I want to go in anymore.

First let me start by saying I don't dislike web development, it has its things but I would prefer to be solving complex problems. The sort of thing I was doing in my internship wasn't complex it was rather mundane. I'm also interested in mobile development but like web it seems too simple for me.

My advantage, or what I think is my advantage is that I'm a very social person but I'm also very good in the technical area of my career.

However, I like UI work as well and it seems to me that things like big data, machine learning and cloud computing don't have a lot emphasis on UIs. I think those are the areas I like the most and what suits me best but like I said I don't want to focus just on the back end of things.

I love my career, but as a new graduate without a job and a whole lot of areas to choose from, I'm not exactly sure where to go.

Searching for the best resources for information on Autism

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:10:01 GMT

My newly 4 yr old grandson has been struggling with a variety of issues over the past couple of years. Now they're suspecting Autism might be yet another thing to add to the list.

At age 2 1/2 he had a seizure while in my care. After testing and evaluation it was determined he has Absence Seizures where he zones out for a period of time. In addition to this he has a Sensory Disorder and some learning issues. At 4 yrs old, he doesn't yet know his colors, just as an example. He has weekly appointments with a speech therapist, and is being observed regularly in his Pre-K class. Next month he'll be going to SF for a day of testing to determine if he's on the Autism spectrum.

Where can I find information on what lies ahead? I'm not looking for a "quick fix", but good, qualified information on how best to handle the struggles that lie ahead, what his future holds, etc.

A dear friend is an OT, and she's recommended that he get good OT as part of his routine. Yes?

I'm trying hard to stay positive about this, but it's just so hard....

Is there an app that tracks how much time each person in a convo talks?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:52:16 GMT

I would like an app that keeps track of how much time each person in a conversation, meeting, therapy session, etc talks. This could be done manually. It doesn't have to involve speech recognition or anything. The interface would be something like a chess clock in reverse. There's a spot for each person. When a person starts talking, they tap their spot and the app begins running up their time. When they are done, they tap their spot again to stop their clock. Alternatively, if someone else jumps in they can tap their own spot and the app starts running up their time and stops running up the previous person's time.

You could also have a mode where the timers count down. At the start of the meeting, you give each person 5 minutes or 10 minutes or something, and that's all the time they get to use.

The app would work for 2 or more people (unlike chess clocks, which are limited to 2 people).

I realize that this would be annoying, but it could also be very revealing to meeting participants. In the appropriate circumstances (e.g. therapy) it could also be educational for family members, couples, etc. Think of it as a conversational equity tool.

Does anything like this exist?

Bonus question: would this actually be useful, or would it be an almost guaranteed nightmare?

Have you ever chosen love before career?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:59:44 GMT

I am a 32 year old gay guy from Argentina. I work for a big company and some weeks ago I was offered a temporary position in Europe for 9 months, with no extra pay as I would only cover a coworker during her maternity leave. Once I finished it, there was a chance they would want to keep me there or send me back to Argentina to a different city.

I am into a 2 year long serious relationship, the best I have had. We talked about it and he supported whatever I decided, although we both agreed long distance would be difficult. At the end they gave me just 3 days to made a decision I decided to stay.

At first I was pretty sure about my decision even when literally everybody told me hoe stupid I was. Some days later I started feeling deppressed, like I had thrown away the opportunity of my life. Now I can get it out of my head and I feel terrible.

I know that being as emotional as I am, I probably could not stand the risk of losing my relationship but I don't know why I am feeling regrets at the same time.

Is it normal?

Seeking eerie tales of the icy sea

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:56:55 GMT

A number of my favorite books and stories are eerie tales of the sea - China Mieville's novel The Scar, John Wyndham's Out of the Deeps, the boat parts of the Earthsea Trilogy, ghost stories that take place on ships, the Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, etc. Eerie tales of the sea are extremely restful, for some reason. I especially like tales of Antarctica, such as Ursula Le Guin's "Sur" and Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica. I would like more.

I think I'm mostly looking for fantasy, science fiction and ghost stories. If you recommend non-fiction or realistic novels, please avoid the "everyone freezes to death and dies" kind - if people are lost at sea, they should be found at sea later, because the purpose of this exercise is to enjoy the power of the sea rather than contemplate death.

If you want to recommend non-fiction books about the sea itself, that is also good. I am a particular fan of The Sea Around Us, even though it's a kids' book - the big format, illustrations and calm tone are restful.

What to say in job application when supervisor will speak unfavorably?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:53:27 GMT

With my last long term full time employment, I was subject to some rather unsavory behavior by my employer. Human resources had to be involved, and I wasn't told very much about the situation and they were not terminated. Most applications ask A) may we contact supervisor and B) why did you leave. Officially I was laid off, as that was really the only retaliation they could legally do (state employment). I obviously won't be getting a good review from that person even though my employment reviews were quite good. What do you say i this situation?

Non-US Disability/Handicapped Access

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:01:03 GMT

Can anyone suggest an information source for learning about disability/handicapped accessibility resources in other countries? Are public buildings/facilities set-up or required to have ease-of-access entry? I have family members that would like to travel but are concerned about a lack of access. In particular, they are mobility-impaired and use either a walker or scooter for most of their daily activities.

Recommendations and advice for a 2 in 1 windows laptop

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:47:15 GMT

I'm looking for an affordable 2 in 1 laptop that can serve as my primary all purpose machine. I'm not a heavy gamer but I do like to play occasionally. I do some light coding - no seriously computationally expensive stuff. Weight isn't an issue. I'd prefer a larger screen. I don't want a Chromebook or iPad.

I don't need blazing speed as I am quite comfortable being a few generations behind on tech both as a cost-cutting measure and as a form of usability testing ( I like to be where my users are at rather than on the cutting edge where I might not notice the pain points of slower systems ).

Also I'm completely new to this form factor and don't really know what the potential gotchas are so any warnings/pointers are appreciated.

I'd prefer something closer to $500 than $1000 but I am willing to spend more if it makes a big enough difference.

Expanding (kids') views of the world through other views of history

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:32:21 GMT

Inspired by a note about secondary school curriculum across West Africa from glasseyes, I'm interested in how history is taught in different places, for myself and for my kids. Details below.

I'm a white guy who grew up in California, and I vaguely recall my experience with the California 4th Grade Mission Project, and other state history classes or focuses in High School. Others mentioned their state history classes in this prior question.

More specifically, I'm interested in more details, overviews or summaries of curriculum taught in elementary and secondary school around the world, because I want to help myself and my kids (6 and almost 3, not home schooled, just trying to introduce big ideas at this point and get them thinking) re-frame the world away from US- and home-state (currently New Mexico) centered views.

Smart meters- yes or no? [UK]

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:18:55 GMT

I got a text from my electricity company today, with a date for my smart meter installation, which I haven't requested. Should I just go ahead with the installation or cancel?

I'm slightly irritated by the text, which is probably making me irrational (anxiety about having people in my house means I hate unexpected stuff like this). But I also know a few people who've had problems with smart meters and I've read articles about overbilling (which we cannot afford). I also switch energy companies most years and I'm worried that this will end up with us tied into the current company (our fix ends next Feb, so not long). Pros and cons appreciated.

I Have Tendinitis In My knee. Are My Running Days Over? What Cardio Can

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:12:47 GMT

I ran for years. At one point my knee starting really hurting. I went to the doc and they told me that I had tendinitis. I would take a month off. The pain would stop. I'd run again and it would come back. Ibuprofen would help, but the pain would come back whenever I ran. I tried again recently, after years, same result. Is there anything that I can do to still go running outside? If not, what other forms of cardio can I do? Other info inside.

I ran for years. At one point my knee starting really hurting. I went to the doc and they told me that I had tendinitis. I would take a month off. The pain would stop. I'd run again and it would come back. Ibuprofen would help, but the pain would come back whenever I ran again. I tried again recently, after years, same result. Is there anything that I can do to still go running outside? Any leg braces or anything? If not, what other forms of cardio can I do? I work out at the gym, but I much prefer the scenery outside. The bikes at the gym are boring and I don't feel like I get as good of a cardio workout. Treadmills are a bit awkward for me and still may be too high impact. I don't have access to a pool in the winter. The elliptical machines are awkward. Perhaps I'd get used to. I enjoy lifting weights, but want to do cardio too.

To summarize: Can someone with tendinitis still run outside? What is the best form of cardio at the gym? I really don't want to get pain from the tendinitis again and have to not do squats for a month either.

Thank you

Storing flour cut with butter

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:22:59 GMT

For biscuits, can I do the "cut flour into butter" step once, for multiple recipes, and store it until needed? How (refrigerator/freezer)? For how long?

I've been experimenting with recipes for one biscuit, as a means of portion control — I live alone, and if I make a batch of eight biscuits, I will eat eight biscuits. That day.

I've gotten some good results, but it's a bit of effort for one biscuit. The recipes typically begin with cutting cold butter into flour (and other dry ingredients) — and for one biscuit, a typical amount might be 1/2 tbsp. butter and 1/4 c. flour. This is too small a volume to effectively do in a full-size food processor, and takes a good bit of effort (OK, not huge, but quite a bit considering it's only one biscuit) to do it by hand with a fork or pastry cutter. If I had a mini food processor, that would work, but I don't.

So, I'm wondering if I can make a larger batch of the crumbly flour butter mixture, then just store that and portion it out as needed for one biscuit at a time. If so, how should it be stored — refrigerator, freezer? And how long can it be kept?

Help me use these new mental health diagnoses to find resources

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:00:19 GMT

Had severe, treatment-resistant depression for a long time. Recently, after a few suicide attempts, there are two new diagnoses on the horizon: my psychiatrist thinks I may have bipolar 2 rather than depression, my therapist agrees and is pretty sure I also have borderline personality disorder. I've got a basic, Tumblr-and-Wikipedia-level understanding of both of those. I know they're treatable and the stigma they carry is often unfair. I know DBT for borderline is A Thing. What else should I know about living with either of these diagnoses? What books or articles should I read? What resources should I make use of?

Osteo, physio, or something else?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:41:57 GMT

YANMD, but I slipped 3 discs in June, and have been in physio twice a week for most of the time since then, with two spinal epidurals in August and September. I feel like I should be better than I am by now, and would like advice on what other kind of treatment to look into.

I've asked my doctor this but she wasn't sure, and asked the physio if I should see an osteopath but she has her biases obviously. I am British living in France, and I would never bother with a chiropractor, but lots of French colleagues have advised I see one.

This is the fifth time I've had disc problems, but it was one at a time before and this recovery is much longer. In the UK after the fourth time of having a slipped disc (two discs, one three times and one once) the doctor told me surgery may be necessary. In France I have been told that surgery is rare, I would like to avoid this anyway.

With the physio we are working on improving core strength, but I cannot yet go swimming or do Pilates, even walking too much causes pain the following day.

Who should I see?

How to ask for what you need/want in dating?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:32:58 GMT

New to dating, and it seems so different than what dating used to be- how can I ask or express what I want for my long term without putting pressure or expectations?

I just started casually dating... it has been fun getting to know people, and in turn getting to know myself and what I want/need. I was in a pretty bad relationship for a while, and have spent the last year really focusing on myself because I really lost who I was. Although I am not pressuring myself to date for any other reason than to learn, have fun, and hopefully meet that right person one day, I do know that in my future I would like a partner to experience life with. I have no expectations or time-lines of marriage, more kids, exclusivity, or anything else- but my long term goal as far as relationships go is to hopefully encounter someone that I connect with on an emotional level, to committ to, to gain a best friend, and to experience life with. I like to date with intentions but not expectations. I am not looking for someone to fill a void, or a role- and the only reason I say this is because, I am finding that most of the men I'm dating keep me at arms length, and I can tell I'm creating this dynamic in allowing it, because I am afraid to voice what I want without it coming across as I'm saying "hey committ to me, I need a husband, or boyfriend." So, I end up getting caught in pseudo relationships where the men express how amazing I am, we have a great time together, we open up- but we don't see each other but once every two weeks. It's a pattern, and it is because I'm not saying (or I don't know how to) say, hey look, this once every two week thing isn't working for me, I need a real connection and I can't do that with seeing you twice a month for 7 hours.

How can I make it clear what I am looking for in the beginning so I can avoid these string along type of "relationships." I don't want to move fast, I am happy with moving slow, but it feels like twice a month for 4 months is turtles pace, and I'm not sure how to differentiate between healthy progression, or no progression, and how to voice what I desire for myself in my future one day. Thats part two, is what are signs of healthy progression- I try to remind myself that with the right person you just kinda feel like it's right, and there's no questions, but if I don't learn to speak up for myself how is anyone going to know what I want or need?

Best English translation of the Decameron?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:04:24 GMT

Please what is the best English translation of Boccaccio's Decameron? I can't find any quotes of chunks of the McWilliams or Nicholls translations online and I want to buy a fun but full translation.

Please what is the best English translation of Boccaccio's Decameron? I can't find any quotes of chunks of the McWilliams or Nicholls translations online and I want to buy a fun but full translation.
There seem to be several free ones, of which Payne is unreadable, J M Rigg barely less so, and Florio readable but boring (i say after short tries). I'm used to older literary English eg Chaucer and I can read Italian, but I'd like to get the most out of it and enjoy reading it. I used the kindle's sample function and got Hainsworth's abbridged Penguin highlights and the new Rebhorn translations. In fact i found Hainsworth mostly easier reading than Rebhorn; i prefer ladies 'cooped up' to 'pent up' in their rooms, the physicality of the chicken coop; i prefered Rebhorn's 'mull over' their thoughts, for its sound-similarity to 'mill', the physicality; and this physicality is very like the middle ages' poetry and how we imagine their world, where everything had to be done by hard physical labour, it didn't come in a packet. I got the feeling Rebhorn was trying to follow closely huge long sentences from the original and stilted language, because the Payne translation has these faults too. But if i'm going to read it, i don't want to do it twice, i want to do it once and get the most out of it and enjoy it to the maximum. I found Hainsworth's shortened sentences helped enjoy it rather than persevere. Online people mention McWilliam and Nicholls, but i can't find any chunks of their prose to find out what they're like. I usually don't mind long sentences but three kindle pages isn't worth it in stilted language (and i've persevered through 'the book of memories' by that hungarian and loved all celine's novels). Normally i read the full thing, but i'm open to the merits of an enjoyable abridgement after my experience so far. In the unlikely event that anyone wants to add any opinions on the various english translations of Rabelais' gargantua and pantagruel, or that chinese monkey/journey to the west book, feel free! Thanks a lot in advance.

Compromising with someone who won't compromise

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:18:27 GMT

I'm involved in a legal dispute over an insurance policy. It's been going on for a year. The other party is completely unwilling to settle and it is eating me up inside. I know I can't make them resolve this if they don't want to. I need to focus on dealing with my own stress better. How can I do this?

The short version is that as far as case law goes, she needs to be paid her share first and then I would be eligible for the remainder. The haggling has been over what percentage of it constitutes her share. We have made various offers to her in hopes of avoiding escalating legal costs, and her position remains that she believes she is entitled to all of it, we should get none, the end.

The legal process, as it often is, has been slow and ponderous. There was a four-month delay when a piece of paper was filed a few hours too late by both lawyers. There was a case conference where we were 14th on the docket, didn't get seen until 5 pm, and the judge had not even read the briefing. The next step is an evidence hearing in March. The thought of having all of this weighing on my mind until then makes me sick.

I'm not a confrontational person. I don't enjoy drama. This has all been very hard for me. I just want this all to be done so we can move on with our lives here. But I can't make her do it. I can only control myself here. So how can I manage this as better?

Why was freedom of movement one of the founding principles of the EU?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:35:14 GMT

Why was freedom of movement one of the founding principles of the European Union? I can find lots of articles that take this as a given, but none that talk about the motivations that led to it being regarded as a fundamental principle. Does anyone have any pointers to such an exegesis?

After the whole Brexit thing went nuts, I found myself asking where the idea that 'freedom of movement' was an inviolate founding principle actually came from. I knew it was part of the original European Coal + Steel Community treaties back in 1951, but I haven't been able to find any explanation of why it was regarded as being foundational.

What was freedom of movement expected to achieve or prevent? How was it expected to achieve those aims? Who was responsible for making it part of the original treaties? Was it controversial at the time? These are the kind of questions I'd like to see explored.

Any pointers gratefully appreciated. If the answer is as simple as 'the goal was a single European State & states have internal freedom of movement' then that's fine, but I'd like actual documentary evidence of that, not mere assertion. Thanks everyone!

Where can I buy a used sewing machine? Should I buy used?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:39:12 GMT

My mom has a Sears Kenmore from the 70s, and it is solid. It's made of metal and it smells like oil. It has worked beautifully for the past four decades. Can I just buy one like hers somewhere? Should I? I'm in the Bay Area.

In my mind, a machine like the one my mom has can be bought for relatively cheap, and will be perfectly adequate for what I'd like to do. I don't need computerized stuff, and I don't need a bunch of different stitches. I need to be able to hem jeans with it and do some other fairly simply stuff. It would be nice to be able to work with other kinds of heavy material and (possibly) even get into quilting, but those would be nice extras, not requirements. It's not like I don't already have enough to keep me busy.

I've been poking around the internet (AskMe,, and another site whose name escapes me at the moment). I've seen arguments against buying used, because you'd want to go through a dealership and get a warranty, but the only dealership I've found in the area (the Sewing Machine Shop, in Walnut Creek) charges an arm and a leg and only seems to have higher-end machines. They also have refurbished models, but it's all stuff like refurbished Berninas, and yikes, that's a lot of money.

I'm assuming I want to shop locally, because it looks like it can cost $100 just to ship a used machine off eBay. But I'm not finding any other stores near me, and I'm wary of going through Craigslist and getting something that doesn't work.

Is there anywhere else I should be looking?

For that matter, does it make sense to be looking for an old Singer or Kenmore from the Carter administration? Am I better off looking for something else?

poem with the line "Why do I fall in love with every girl I've ever met"

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:11:36 GMT

Just that--I think it's part of the classic canon, like Bukowski or TS Eliot or something. Might've even been quoted in a television show like Mad Men. Would love to read the full thing again.

Dog breeds that are good with cats and with stairs

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:02:01 GMT

My wife and I would like to get a dog. We're both fond of pretty much all kinds of dogs, but there are a couple of practical considerations. First, we have a cat, so we're looking for a gentle dog with a good sense of humor (the cat is pretty funny.) Secondly, our house has lots of stairs. The dog would need to be able to handle stairs, certainly in the prime of life and, hopefully, when older, too. Given that we may need to carry the dog up the stairs in its senior years, though, maybe we should look for one that weighs no more than, say, 50 pounds.

We're inclined to get a puppy, which will pose less of a threat to the cat, and which the cat can train. Also, in order that the puppy's eventual adult disposition be more predictable, we're inclined to get a purebred. (We're well aware of the arguments against buying a purebred dog, and agree with many of them. But we want to do whatever we can to maximize the chances of happy co-existence between dog and cat. For the purposes of this posting, I'd appreciate it if we could leave out the pure- vs. mixed-breed debate.)

What breeds would you recommend?

Big difference between Wordpress stats and server logs

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:38:46 GMT

Hi, I volunteer as co-editor and main tech person for an academic collaborative blog. In our most recent full calendar month (October 2017), there was a 4-fold difference between the unique visitors reported by our server logs (Awstats) and what was reported by Why?

We host our blog on our own domain and those are the only two stats programs I have access to. The big difference last month is not unique - in most months, Awstats/server logs are showing 4 times more unique visitors to our blog. Whom do we trust - the webhost or Wordpress? And why the big discrepancy? I have searched the web and the AskMe archives as well as both Wordpress and server help files, with no success.

Feel free to also recommend any good resources for non-profit web management and analytics. Thanks in advance for your help!

Buying better

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:16:32 GMT

Help me come up with a list of 'good' brands that don't rely heavily on sweatshop labour

I am trying to compile a green list of mainstream brands selling (i) grocery/food; (ii) skincare/beauty; (iii) fashion brands which I can trust (more or less) to have better-than-average employment polices but I'm not sure which online resources I can trust.

I don't realistically think I will go too far out of my way to look for more niche ethical brands I'm always tired and impatient when it comes to shopping - so please help me compile a mainstream list of 'good' or at least 'less terrible' brands.

It would also be nice to know about (iv) unethical companies. I know about Nestle and La Senza. Anything else?

Thank you!

animism shmaninism!

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:55:01 GMT

I've been reading a lovely but very heady book about animism. What are some other books (or other types of media) that explore animism themes further, and perhaps more directly?

I'm really really loving learning about animism -- panpsychism, paying attention to the wakeful and energetic basis to things, challenging the apartness of consciousness and inner thought. Animism has helped me understand the pieces of Buddhism and Quakerism that resonated with me over years of on-off spiritual practice, and also provided this great invitation to spend more time around trees and birds and explore with greater presence and kindness. I'm into it!

My main problem is that I'm having trouble finding texts that feel as direct and playful as animism itself... I think what I'm looking for is something closer to poetry and analysis woven together. I'm also open to suggestions that are not strictly animist but might scratch the same itch -- for example, I just purchased a used copy of Ursula K. Le Guin's translation of the Tao Te Ching that will be here at the end of the week.

Thank you!

Skype call log

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:01:10 GMT

I want to see my skype call log on an android phone with specific details (i.e. number of missed calls) from a specific contact for the last 4 months.

Right now I only see an overview, like one missed call when there may have been 12. Can I recover this info on my android phone that originally received these calls. How?

The college experience, for adults.

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:02:57 GMT

I miss having random conversations with smart people who are doing research in fields that are not my own. Is there any good way to scratch that itch as an adult?

What I miss about college is not the random drinking and partying (well, that's not the *only* thing I miss). I miss meeting smart people who are doing research for research's sake and asking about what they are doing. Those conversations were so interesting, and I wonder if there's a way to increase my chances of having conversations like that. I like my co-workers and enjoy talking to them - they're smart people who are doing new things in my field - but it's always about the same industry.

I guess I could seek out and go to lectures, but I'm looking more for conversations, and something I really liked was the spontaneity of it. You never know when something really interesting it was going to come up. So I'm at a loss for how one might recreate those spontaneous conversations with people who are doing new, interesting things? I met a sociology professor at a block party 3 years ago and had a great time asking about his research, but I'd like to do this more than once every 3+ years.

Can an old git get a part time degree at Berkeley?

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:11:24 GMT

I'm someone in my 50s living in the Berkeley area and although I have written software since the 80s and probably wrote part of your web browser, I have no actual qualifications in computer science. No degree at all in fact. I was wondering if there was some way I could attend CS classes at Berkeley here and there and and work my way to a degree. Is there an organization that helps people like me work this out?

Will you help me time my Thanksgiving meal?

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:49:54 GMT

I have never cooked a big meal before. I'd like to do as much in advance as possible. Please share your expertise.

I'm going to link the recipes and hopefully an avid cook will share their suggestions for how far in advance I can make these dishes, and what order to make them in. For example, is there anything I could make tomorrow that would keep well until Thursday afternoon? Or anything that could be made Wednesday? Is there a way to make two things at once with minimal fuss? I don't know how to figure this out on my own. Maybe there's a website out there that helps you figure this out?

I'd rather do as little as possible day-of, at the same time, because the stress of that type of cooking is part of the reason that I made it this long without ever hosting Thanksgiving. That said, I also want everything to seem fresh.

So here are the recipes. Thanks in advance.

Mashed potatoes which will be served with mushroom gravy
Deconstructed green bean casserole (I will be simplifying this. I hope to use coconut cream instead of heavy cream and will skip the cheese.)
Stuffing made with lentils and bread
Fake ham that must be thawed 24 hours before cooking then baked for 75 minutes at 325 f
"Holiday roast" that should be baked from frozen at 425 for 60 minutes with foil, then 450 with foil removed for 15 minutes