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Published: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 03:37:18 GMT

Last Build Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 03:37:18 GMT


Telemundo! Univision! What to watch?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 03:37:18 GMT

I've been working on improving my high school Spanish, largely by reading YA Spanish novels (slowly and with my kindle to click on words I don't know, which is a depressing percentage of nouns) and by skimming the local daily news in Spanish online. I previously lived in a market with NO Spanish media, and now I live in a market (Chicago) with Telemundo and Univision and Spanish-language radio and Spanish periodicals, and I intend to take advantage! What ought I watch?

I now get Univision, Telemundo, and Telemundo substation TeleXitos (American sitcoms of the last 50 years dubbed in Spanish). I'm watching everything with subtitles on to keep up with the speed of speech, and trying to watch the local nightly news in Spanish. I'd love to get hooked on a couple of shows, like maybe some kind of telenovela for me and some cartoon or kids' show for the kids. I like character-driven dramas, and I do not care if they are soapy and unrealistic, so telenovelas are right up my alley as long as I can loosely follow the plot while missing key nouns.

(My kids speak a little Spanish and spend a great deal of time with some close friends who are fluent and who speak Spanish exclusively with their child, who talks with my kids in a mix of Spanish and English. They could probably follow the high points of a Daniel Tiger sort of show in Spanish.)

How can my partner and I stop getting exploited by his family?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:57:45 GMT

My partner had a stress-induced psychotic break from the demands of caregiving for an elderly, chronically ill parent. His family is taking advantage of him (and me). YANML or social worker, but any advice on how to deal with this situation is appreciated.My partner, L., a man of about 40, has a mental illness that causes episodes of psychosis under stress. He was diagnosed about 10 years ago. Since then, he's been living with his mother. He has worked sporadically and been on meds. When I met L. about two years ago, he told me he had promised his mother he would take care of her in her old age, and he felt that he owed that to her because she had taken him back home as an adult when he got sick. I entered the relationship on those terms. We are now living together and I have taken on some of his mother's care. She needs 24-hour attendance and has mobility and balance issues, and her mind is affected as well though she is still relatively sharp. I soon learned that my partner was the "identified patient" in a dysfunctional family and that he felt controlled financially and emotionally by his three siblings, who are successful, independent adults. His stance toward them has been one of placation, for fear he might be thrown out and go homeless if he displeases them or his mother. None of them live with us but they live in the same area. L. and I are now both taking care of his mother 24-7. L. has a job through a home health care company that is funded by the government to pay him for 15 hours of caretaking for her per week. I am a freelancer and my income is a few hundred a month. I have some mental health issues myself that make it difficult to work a 9-5. L's mother insists that we pay her everything we bring in for rent and bills, and shames us for not being able to pay our "fair share." Essentially, we are indentured servants. L. seems to feel like he has to put up with this or go homeless. We are at her beck and call morning, noon, and night. L's condition is exacerbated by sleeplessness and she feels entitled to wake him whenever she has a bad dream, hears a weird noise, or has to pee (which I understand is legit as she can't easily get to the bathroom on her own). L's financially secure siblings will occasionally give us money for food, because his mother insists on organics and we are both on food stamps and can't afford them. One brother takes the mother for respite rarely. L's siblings have indicated that they believe L "lived off" his mother for 10 years so this is an equitable quid pro quo. However, L was not immobilized and needing to be waited on hand and foot. He also worked, though sporadically. And he kept his mother company, which she needed, being a widow who never worked outside the home. She receives some money, I think it's a pension from her late husband and Social Security. Her monthly income is just over $2000 per month. L's is about $400 after taxes and mine varies but it's usually only $100 or $200 in freelance income. L is in the hospital due to this breakdown and his mother is with another sibling. I have a chance to sit down and figure out the situation. I've looked at caregiver pay and live-ins make several thousand dollars a month PLUS room and board in some cases. The siblings claim they don't have the money to pay for anyone, which I think is bullshit. My partner seems to feel conflicted. I've told him my opinion. On the one hand he knows he's being exploited but on the other hand he loves his mother and feels responsible for her. He has told me he wants to keep caretaking, but get respite regularly. I do believe his siblings and mother love him. They rationalize the hell out of this arrangement, though. And my partner has never known how a family with good boundaries operates, or what it's like to not be at the bottom of the pecking order (he's the youngest and also "the crazy one.") I feel like his family switches their opinion of him to whatever is convenient for them at the time. He's either "too mentally ill to work" or a "mooch." They can't hav[...]

Flying with (not my) wheelchair

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:48:56 GMT

I'm taking an international flight next month and I need to bring a folding wheelchair with me, for a grandparent. Can I check it without further packaging as part of my baggage allowance? I am able-bodied myself, don't know if the regular wheelchair rules apply for a non-user.

How to encourage a person's aesthetics?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:28:45 GMT

A young man I know is adept at quickly memorizing, reading through, music, art literature. But I get the nagging feeling that he is following lists; critics top 100s; etc. for it's own sake, and almost intentionally skipping over the ideas or emotions or messages behind them.

These lists are good places to start looking for ideas. But it seems like alot of accumulation. I have several times asked if there was a particular piece, note, passage that meant something to him. That carried him away; impressed him. Especially if he could not analyze it.
Not a quiz, just a mild question.
I am completely ok w/ just "because I liked it". I do it all the time!
Yes, he has to develop his own personal sensibility; and I am not being presumptuous. But is there a way I can just simply, quietly encourage him to leave the lists behind; and open him up more to a scene in a film, or something that is sometimes evoked? He has never shied from giving an opinion; reticence is not his style.

Cold Feet: Seller Request Release of Earnest Money

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:28:31 GMT

I'm in the process of buying a duplex that needs a lot of work. Things have gone well so far but the sellers have presented me with an unexpected bump in the road. The seller has requested that I release my earnest money. The reason they have conveyed is they are concerned I will get cold feet in the next month as we wait for the sewer and electrical work to be completed. Contractors are booked out far in advance in my city, making it difficult to get the work done in a timely manner. This has pushed our initial closing date from the 8/23 to at least 9/28. While I understand their concern that I will back out before then, I have my own concerns with releasing such a large sum of money or even a portion of it. I'm curious if anyone has had an experience similar to this as either a buyer, seller or a real estate agent.

Yet another half-remembered sci fi story question

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:12:03 GMT

It was a short story. The basic plot was: guy who lived a life he really disliked (it was boring, he didn't take risks, denied himself pleasures) because he thought that would earn him brownie points in the afterlife wakes up dead, only to find that the afterlife is not clouds and golden harps, but basically just a re-creation of the earthly life. What was the story title and/or author?

Do I have lice?! What the HELL are these bugs I found in my hair?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 01:34:53 GMT

I just got back from a vacation and for the past few days, every morning I have been noticing about 3-4 of these bugs in my hair. Are they lice? I don't think I'm particularly itchy, but I keep finding them in my hair every morning! What are they?! And if they are lice WTF do I do?!? [Picture Inside]

Here's a picture I was able to take of one of them:

Ironically, I work at an elementary school (that has been out for summer since June 30!) and I'm moving to a new place at the end of the month! How the hell do I get rid of whatever this is??!?!

Can an arrest be made without a warrant in a different state?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 01:23:54 GMT

If a person commits a felony in State A, but a warrant was never issued and they were never charged with anything, can law enforcement officers arrest him in State B without a warrant for the same crime? And does it change things it it is just a misdemeanor? Neither state would be Florida.

Why are so many vinyl records I buy from bandcamp low quality?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:46:36 GMT

It goes like this: I find a rad artist on bandcamp, I buy their (physical, vinyl) record, and I end up with a pressing that sounds terrible. It's happened three times now. I've compared songs, digital stream vs. physical vinyl, and there is a hugely noticeable difference, with the vinyl sounding muted, dull, lower quality. Almost like a 64k mp3 file, with a bad EQ.

I'm assuming this is a pressing issue. Or maybe it's a mastering issue. But now I'm curious: what is going on? I love vinyl, and I love supporting independent artists, but damn I've been burned 3 times in a row now.

For the record (heh): I've compared digital streams of lots of other albums I own in both digital and vinyl form, and none have had the discrepancy that I've seen in recent albums I've gotten via bandcamp. I know bandcamp isn't the problem (I think?), and I'm assuming this is something like "a new vinyl pressing company just opened to meet demand and they suck" or something. Or maybe it's "bands don't know how to master for vinyl". Or possibly it's "bandcamp provides LP pressings via this company with band QC standards".

Swear the goodness, I've heard higher fidelity from a dinner plate on a record lathe.

Music industry people, please help!! Thank you!!

How do I home office?

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:44:51 GMT

I'd like to put together a sort of office nook for myself in a corner of my large bedroom. I'd like it to be pleasant (rather than a huge mass of black plastic) and functional and semi-separated from the rest of the room. I'm on a tight budget. I have no idea how to do this. Help?

So I've recently started spending a lot more time doing office-y stuff at home and I have nowhere to really do it. Currently I'm just sort of sprawled out over the dining room table (which is only rarely used for dining) but this isn't really ideal and I'd like to set up something more permanent, private, and pleasant. I do have a large bedroom, and I'd like to turn a corner of it into kind of an office nook. However I've never done this before and in general I have zero interior design sense and also a pretty tight budget (I'd like to put $500 max into this, less if possible). I've got about an 8'x8' area to work with, and I'm OK with making simple things myself; I could certainly knock together a basic set of wooden shelves, for instance. What should I do?

I do know that I like wood and natural fabrics much better than plastic and metal, especially in my bedroom. Think "warm, natural, old-fashioned" rather than "sleek, new, modern." I'm going to need a large desk, obviously, and a chair. I'd prefer a chair that is comfortable and ergonomic and yet does not scream "office chair." I want to sort of partition the area off from the rest of the bedroom a bit, perhaps with folding screens or fabric? Maybe an interesting rug? It's OK if it looks pretty low-budget, as long as it's low-budget in sort of a bohemian way rather than just "I went to Office Depot and bought the cheapest of everything." I'm thinking I'll need a combination of open and enclosed storage (shelving and cabinets/drawers) and some lighting, maybe a floor lamp and a task light or two?

I'm looking for advice on every level here. Basic design principles, things that you did in your own office that you love, strategies for doing this on the cheap, and recommendations for specific items that you think might be worth considering are all great. Really any advice you have at all would be super welcome. I want this to be a nice, comfortable little space where I can get some work done and feel at home. Thanks in advance for the help.

Appeal MTEL Teaching Licensure Test

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:25:28 GMT

Is it possible to appeal your test scores? I recently took the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure Exam for Foundations of Reading and failed by 1 point. I already signed up to retake the test, but do I have any other options such as king for a re-verification of score, appealing my test, etc.. I tried googling this and official MTEL and Pearson education websites are of no help. So turning to Mefi for some personal experience help.

What can my cat eat after dental work?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:03:20 GMT

My cat had a lot of teeth extracted today. The vet advised wet food for a week, but my cat will not go near wet food. I've tried it over the years, and it doesn't matter what brand or flavor or how I give it to him; he won't eat it. The vet tech said I could soften his dry food with hot water. What else can I try while he recovers? He can't have chicken, but no other dietary restrictions.

Vegan meals that are nut-free?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:44:29 GMT

Hello. I have a dear friend that will be visiting and she is sensitive to nuts and identifies as a vegan solely. I am wondering if there are vegan dishes to make that are nut free and filling? She said she can eat hemp seeds and sesame seeds; if that contributes to anything. I am sensitive to certain pastas, so we will have to balance out what will work out for the two of us. Any filling recipes to make?

Perhaps something with avocado and a spiralizer machine to make things? Beans? Tacos? Tofu? Any ideas would be heavily appreciated. Thank-you!

What should we do in the San Juans?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:39:15 GMT

We're staying on Orcas Island for almost a week soon. What should we do?

I've done no research this time! Whale watching and Mt. Constitution are on the agenda. What else? What about food, either restaurants or vendors of any description?

We have reservations on the ferry from the mainland and back; any tips for inter-island ferries? Will there be a wait for them?

We'll have two sixty-somethings, two thirty-somethings, and a three-year-old.

How do you merge personal videos into one video?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:09:17 GMT

I have an I-phone 6 and I want to merge some videos into one video. Would it be easier to download an app and merge the videos on my phone? Or is it easier to download each video separately onto my computer and then use a computer program to do it? The easier the better, as I am not computer savvy, and if you have any names of apps or programs that you specifically know of, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Matching on Tinder... 30 years later.

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:45:23 GMT

I just matched with a woman who attended middle school with me. I was able to instantly recognize her face and recall her name after over 30 years and was able to verify it was her via mutual "friends" on Facebook. How to message her?

Her profile description is blank so all I have to go on is a couple of mutual friends one of which I know only in passing and the other I only know because she is the wife of a friend and the middle school connection. Both feel weird to me but the last one feels especially weird as something to talk about in my first message. It doesn't help that I rarely send messages first to women with blank profile descriptions. Any ideas? if you prefer to email

Should I present at an open forum about a Confederate memorial?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:44:10 GMT

I have the opportunity to speak to a county conservation board about the removal of a Confederate memorial in my state. Should I do so?

By way of the SPLC's map, I discovered my state, a Union state during the Civil War, has a single Confederate memorial. It's to a general who was born here, lived here but one year, then moved to a Confederate state, where he rose through the ranks to become a Confederate general. He is certain to have commanded troops that killed my state's Union soldiers. He never returned here.

The memorial was installed in 2007 on public land in a rural county managed by the conservation board. Its sponsors were my state's chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a national organization.

I don't live in that county - I live about 2.5 hrs away - but as a resident of this state, I oppose this memorial. I (somewhat rashly, but very politely) wrote to the board saying so, giving my reasons, and they offered to hear me out next month at their next meeting. I'd have to submit a formal request to be on their agenda. They didn't say so, but I'm certain they'd offer a chance at rebuttal to the group that placed the memorial.

I'd go through with it if I thought that's as far as it would go. I fear it won't. I fear my name would be shared among the members and sympathizers of this group, and that I'd wind up a target. Someone from anywhere would learn my identity, I'd get doxxed or otherwise harassed, and my life would be a shit show. I wouldn't broadcast my involvement, but I'd be foolish to think the state's largest newspaper wouldn't get wind of this (at a minimum).

I want to have the courage of my convictions. I want to stand up for this cause. But I'm certain it would place me and my family at risk.

Two questions:
1. Should I do it?
2. If I choose to do it, what should I be prepared for, and what can I do in advance to protect myself and my family? Not super-tech savvy, here. Also, I'm all over the internet with a username easily linked to my real-world identity and that I've unwisely used across many platforms.

ISO metal and movie soundtracks for weightlifting!

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:24:40 GMT

AskMe is great for workout music recommendations (spinning, running, intervals). I'd love to find some good weightlifting music, which for me means mostly epic, bombastic, and metal-ish -- but all kinds are welcome!

I've found that some soundtrack music works amazingly well for me personally -- like the main theme to "Pacific Rim", and the Brothers in Arms sequence from "Mad Max: Fury Road" -- as does metal along the lines of Slayer or Gojira's "The Heaviest Matter of the Universe". But I'd love to open this up to anything that works for you for fighting gravity! Thanks --

Granite, soapstone, or marble?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:10:46 GMT

Persuade me to choose one or the other of these stones. I'm interested in durability, staining, etching, etc. I'd love to hear your experiences with these (in any form - countertops, etc.). What is your regular maintenance for the stone? Which would you buy again? Which would you not recommend to your worst enemy?

Context: I'm finalizing my decision on a hearth reno in my new old house (didn't actually want to do a hearth reno, but it must be done immediately for Reasons, so the moment of truth is upon us). I've gone back and forth between honed marble and soapstone. I've never liked granite much because it looked too cold and shiny and modern (my house is 19th century); however I recently saw some pictures of honed/leathered granite that had the softness and patina that I like in the other two stones. So now I'm back to square one. Thoughts?

My understanding is: Soapstone's downside is that it's soft and can get marks/dents, but that it won't etch or stain. Marble etches, stains, and is also soft and dents. I'm not sure about granite: I know it's very hard, but apparently it's also porous, especially when it's not polished? What kind of maintenance have you done on each stone to keep it looking nice? This house currently has renters, so I'd like something durable. Ideally I'd like no etching or stains if someone happens to spill something on the stone, but I'm okay with a few dings (it's an old house so a bit of wear would fit in well, actually). If anyone has had any of these stones in their house (whether for countertops, hearth, etc.), I would be very interested in hearing your experiences and recommendations.

How do I enter a product key for Office 2016 on OSX

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:42:28 GMT

I have an MSDN subscription and a valid product key. My Office365 account is tied to work and they are only licensed for 2011. I need to install 2016, I can't figure out how to do this as the only way to activate it seems to be by logging in. Googling shows old documentation.

Academic affiliation in publishing a zombie paper

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:55:11 GMT

I have a PhD in social psychology but have not been involved in academia for almost a decade. A paper that I assisted with in grad school is being polished up for re-submission and now the question has come up about how to list my academic affiliation. Complicating factor: as a freelancer, I'm unaffiliated with anywhere when it comes to research.

Pretty much as above. A paper that we wrote almost 15 years ago is being re-submitted by one of the other former students who worked on it. The advising professor has asked to be removed from authorship as he's been retired for 12 years and is out of academia entirely (he will be acknowledged in an authors' note instead). The (then) undergrad student (now full professor) who is now the first author is spearheading a resurrection of this paper as it's become more relevant given current events. He contacted me to let me know, as I'm now the third author. However, I've been out of academic research since earning my PhD. I've had several industry jobs but for the last year I've been freelancing as a research consultant.

So, what is appropriate to put as my affiliation? The first author thinks that we could put where I earned my PhD, but that feels inappropriate to me as I'm not actually affiliated with the institution anymore as a professor or student. If someone were to try to get in touch with me via searching at that institution, they'd quickly learn that I'm not currently there. This Academia Stack Exchange question suggests listing one as "independent researcher", but that doesn't really sum up my role in the authorship of the paper. Social science academics--what would you do?

Upgrade part or whole of gas hot water system?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:54:02 GMT

We have a gas boiler and an indirect water heater. Boiler seems to date to 2002, and water heater from 2001. Water heater has a leak in the port for the aquastat, and we were told it needs to be replaced. Shall I replace just the heater, or should I upgrade the otherwise-working-but-15-years-old boiler, too?

What it says on the tin, really. The boiler, a Burnham Series 2, with about 80% efficiency when it was made, and surely less efficient 15 years later, seems to be in good shape. The water heater runs dangerously hot—it's set to 125 or so, and water comes out at 150. It turns out this is due to a leak in the aquastat port, which has damaged the sensor relay.

I'm told we need a new water heater. We've been given the option of 1) replacing the whole system with a high-efficiency tankless boiler ($14-16K, all in); 2) replacing the water heater (various tiers of add ons and guarantees, with the lowest coming in at $3K).

A new efficient boiler would be, say, 95% efficient—but we have a small house and small family, and only pay about $1650 in gas total per year. At the higher efficiency, we'd pay maybe $250 less per year. We also just installed a heat pump HVAC system; our electric is cheap, so our gas needs will probably be less next winter.

There are various state incentives to upgrade the system—no interest loans and rebates, but as I write this, there seems to be no way in which the more expensive boiler makes any sense.

Am I thinking about this right? More/better insulation will surely give me much more savings than an expensive, but efficient, boiler, no?

Assuming that's right, if I get the water heater and the 15-year boiler goes, is that just a sunk cost, or can I still use it in a new, say, 2018 installed system (high efficiency or otherwise)?

Trans in the trades

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:00:42 GMT

I'm seriously considering changing careers and moving from public librarianship to an apprenticeship in my local carpentry union. I'm also trans. Is this a terrible idea?

I'm in Michigan, 33, finally debt-free and sick of office life. I like working with my hands, I'm fairly strong, I like creative problem solving and teamwork and having a tangible output for my efforts at the end of the day. Reading about showbiz_liz's career shift here planted a seed in my brain and I haven't been able to squash it. I've been slowly putting together an exit strategy at work, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, and talking to the local carpentry union about what I might expect during my apprenticeship. I think I'm going to do it.

But! I'm trans, like it says on the tin. Non-binary, female-assigned, and a smallish person in general. I'm out at work, and I am far enough into a medical transition that I'm read by strangers as a very young man about 50% of the time. I also have a kid who calls me "mom," and I'm not planning on moving out of the community where I live, where I'm pretty visible as an out trans and queer person. Going stealth is neither possible nor desired. I work with the public, so I'm very well accustomed to being constantly misgendered and questioned about my identity in polite and less-polite ways. But I'm under the impression that construction is a very different world with a culture I might find more hostile.

I'm having a difficult time finding even anecdotal reports of what I might be walking into. Help?

Help dress me for a conference - broken bone edition

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:52:33 GMT

I'm in New York to attend/speak at a conference, but I broke part of my arm/shoulder the other day, and need to change my planned outfits. I'm wearing something vaguely like this (but grey) to stabilize my shoulder. Can you help me find women's clothing available in store in NYC or available for delivery by Tuesday which is business casual-ish, and can be put on using only one arm and very little assistance?I need to be able to put on my clothing while my left arm remains generally in this position shown in that image - not negotiable. (the stabilizer goes on over the top of my clothing.) Unfortunately, I don't have help getting dressed beyond simple, less personal assistance such as getting help with the last bit of a zipper or button (think asking coworker upon arrival at venue, or doorman), so I need to be able to get myself mostly dressed using only my right arm. I'm 5 foot two, average weight, and have a large bust, so almost everything I brought to wear is a not stretchy empire waist type cut and has a zipper going up the spine, making it untenable now. Wrap dresses might be promising, as would be dresses I can step into, pull up, then tie around my neck. Sleeveless shirts with buttons all the way down may work too, as would dresses that zip or button all the way to my waist. I'm having a really tough time putting on bras, which concerns me but I haven't solved yet. Cannot get into shapewear. I shop in the women's section and usually wear size 6 or 8. I'm in my mid 30s. I am sort of apple shaped so I generally try to camouflage my stomach, but that might not be an option. My budget is roughly Banana Republic level prices or below, though I'm flexible. The space is air conditioned but a bit warm, so sleeveless or short sleeved plus a drapey scarf is my current plan. Dress code is business casual (emphasis on casual), fun/funky detailing welcomed. I'm not awesome at style or stereotypical femininity, though I lean feminine for this context, and I kind of understand dresses and can fake it. I don't often wear skirts so if that's your suggestion please suggest what top to go with it. Options I own already which I can put on w/o help, if useful: A black and white printed pencil skirt w/red detailing (most promising thing on list was originally planning to wear) One of these convertible dress/skirts (but white with gray geometric print) with two more prints arriving partway through the conference (this is more casual then I'm really comfortable with). This Uniqlo dress with tied straps (again more casual then I'm really comfortable with) plus the blue and white version but with adjustable straps rather than tied These pants in black and army green. Patterned light scarves that don't match anything else listed here Miscellaneous ballet flats, casual sandals, and a pair of eggplant colored clarks heels Ughhhh thank you for any ideas, the thought of figuring this out makes me want to cry and give up. [...]

What's your favorite boba tea flavor?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:12:27 GMT

I'm in a bubble tea rut. I pretty much always get some match of mango, passion fruit, or lychee slush/jelly. Tell me what your favorite flavor matches or drinks are so I can try something new! No chocolate avocado shake though, I already know that one and while I want to like it, I just...don't. I'd particularly like reccs involving egg custard, not sure what to get with that. Thanks!!

Help me find more actual play podcasts

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:31:19 GMT

I love The Adventure Zone and have spent the last couple weeks devouring Campaign. Please recommend some other podcasts of nerdy people playing role playing games.

I have no preferences as to what system the players are using. What I like about the above listed shows is the inventive collaborative storytelling, characters that I end up caring a lot about, and that they make me laugh.


"Flickr and Yahoo are now part of "Oath" blah blah" ...implications?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:23:01 GMT

Logging in (I'm old school) to Flickr, where I'm a Pro user, now gives a new message: "Flickr and Yahoo are now part of "Oath" and are members of the Verizon family of companies. Beginning 15 September 2017, we plan to share some user information within our new family. Learn more" - what's the implications of this in real, concrete, no PR terms?

I've read the linked page, though my eyes started to glaze over with this kind of detail which I find it difficult to focus on. The core of it seems to be:

"We will share the same information that our companies have previously collected and used for the development and operation of our products and services. This may include your account registration information (such as your user ID, gender, name, email address, postcode & age), your content and advertising interests, content associated with your account, the types of services you use and how you engage with them, cookie and device IDs, IP addresses, geolocation information and activity information from across our websites, apps, software and other services. All of the information that we collect about you may be shared across the various Oath brands and within our Verizon family of companies."

The implication being from the first sentence that nothing different will happen, but from the rest that a bazillion companies (well, 50 or so) will have access to a pooled amount of data about me(?) Are there any tangible differences in what information the various companies will have about me, and how will it affect - in real terms, not speculation or fears - my privacy online?

New York Library or City Hall Filter

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:18:10 GMT

Defenders: Season 1 Episode 2 features Jessica Jones looking through a New York Library Card Catalog / or City Hall Records. Is this still done? Are these things not in some sort of Lexis/Nexis catalog online or something of the sort? Do people still have a use for card catalogs? What records departments (anywhere) still use this sort of system?

Given that this is the intersection of Libraries, New York City, Fanfare, and overthinking a plate of beans - this is the place to ask!

Kitty needs a night light

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:10:47 GMT

My 16-year-old cat is having some vision issues and needs light in order to use the litterbox at night. I'm currently leaving the dining room light on with a dimmer, but I don't think this is a long-term solution. I also don't understand electricity and am concerned about fire. Snowflakey problems inside.

So FencingCat (sorry no picture) is an elderly kitty and has started only using the litterbox at night if I leave a light on for her. I feel like I'm wasting a lot of electricity leaving the dining room light (which has three bulbs) on for her (it has a dimmer though, so it's not super bright). I bought some LED nightlights that plug directly into the socket, but the light sockets are too far away from the litterbox to work. I'd be fine putting a small lamp in the general area (there's a table and I can use a long cord), but I'm having trouble finding one that is more of a night light. I'm also concerned about fire. I'm usually gone for a week at Christmas. I have people who come in to feed her and check on her, but they don't stay overnight. Battery-operated lights are fine, but they need to last for a week - a lot of them are only good for twenty hours. I've done a lot of searching on Amazon, but I haven't found anything that seems right to me. And maybe there's something I'm not thinking of.

She is getting proper veterinary care, so I don't need medical advice.

How do I improve my storytelling?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:59:30 GMT

Some people can tell the most boring story and keep an audience on the edges of their seats. On the other hand, when I try to tell people about the most interesting things I've experienced (and there are some pretty interesting ones), it tends to land with a thud. I seem to have no natural talent for storytelling, but I'm hoping it's something I can learn to improve.

This applies to both spoken and written communication, in social and business contexts. I think there must be some foundational techniques for structuring and telling stories to make them effective, but I haven't really been able to reverse engineer them.

Are there books, websites, or other materials I should look at to learn this? Or do you have any specific tips or guidance for me?

Ways to learn French without taking a class?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:59:22 GMT

After having a French class at the local community college canceled twice due to low enrollment, that looks like a non-starter--what are some other ways I can work to learn French? I've already done Duolingo for a while and I'm pretty sick of it (and ready to move onto a more structured method.) Thanks!

How to avoid saying why I really quit?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:56:44 GMT

Due to really bad drama, I am about to submit my resignation to my position in the board of an organisation. How can I graciously avoid answering questions about my reasons?Since the beggining of the year, I have been serving in the board of trustees of this small civil rights organisation, a local chapter of a larger organisation. The board's chairperson, who has a history of driving people away in previous years, and I, have had many disagreements that they have turned into personal issues. This has escalated to the point where they have resigned to their position in the board, but remain in management of a project, a festival, which is our biggest activity of the year (it accounts for half of our budget). The festival is a great initiative, which differentiates itself in many aspects from similar festivals in the region, and targets several points of intersectionality with our organisation's focus. I am also part of the workgroup that organises the festival, and this person, right after quitting, made a big public post about how the whole team wants me gone and has to vote to get me out or everything will be cancelled. The team met, turns out only this person wanted to vote me out, possibly they had been trying to convince everybody that all problems were my fault (I know that conversation happened with at least one person) and failed. Since that tactic failed, this person and their spouse (who is still in the board, and was neutral until now) have written to the national organisation recommending my removal, twisting and stretching facts and conversations we've had. A number of those things were said over email, facebook or messages, so I do have records I can provide (and this person has been reported before by other people), but that is beyond the point. The national organisation may not take any action one way or the other (as they didn't before), this person is still in charge of that working group, and the board of trustees is now practically locked (the other members are not very active, so it could be said it's just this person's spouse, who is no longer neutral, and me). Regardless of wether I am in the right or in the wrong, all this drama and this person's actions have led to this situation where it becomes really difficult to do any work, so I am seriously considering stepping down. Unlike this person, I do not want to make the organisation look bad as I leave, so my announcement is going to be very concise. But people are still going to ask. Members, as well as people from other organisations we collaborate with. I have no desire to create more drama, to get down to this person's game of personal attacks, or to make the organisation look unprofessional (it has its issues, but this person may not be there next year for other reasons, there are amazing people doing great work, and I hope more will take a more active role next year or after the likely to happen anticipated elections). When being directly asked about what happened, how can I graciously avoid explaining the whole crisis to anyone that wasn't involved, and preferably not even hinting at it passive agressively? [...]

Long Employment Gap + Debilitating Depression

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:11:05 GMT

I've been unemployed and unoccupied for a year and a half and can't get moving on finding a new job. Complications: I'm depressed and lonely and anxious, have crap for social skills and no local friends, don't know how to explain my time off, and don't want another office job even though that's all I'm qualified to do. I understand this vicious cycle is feeding itself but don't know how to break out of it. I will also be alone at home for a week starting on Friday and am worried about this extended solitude's impact on my mental state. Please share practical and mental health solutions to help me get my shit together and get a job.I left my last job in December 2015 with the intent of taking just a few months off. The job was very stressful (executive assistant-ish role at a mid-sized national law firm, erratic 24/7 on-call, unrealistic expectations, toxic environment, echoes of childhood emotional abuse, basically Team Selina Meyer), and I wanted some time to recover, learn to be myself again, and figure out what to do next. The parting was amicable at the time (I actually extended my tenure by several months after giving notice to give them time to find a replacement for me to train), but given the shifting winds of the practice I'm not sure what my old bosses think of me now. In the beginning I visited friends and extended family, caught up on pop culture, and looked at classes for things I've always wanted to do, but due to anxiety (mainly social) never pulled the trigger on the classes. I planned to start looking for a job in mid-2016, started obsessing over election news instead, told myself things would quiet down after Hillary won, got really depressed post-election, consoled myself with Internetting, and now it's August and I'm panicking. I never wound up doing anything constructive with all this time off: I explored LA (my partner and I relocated here in early 2015), started writing for a friend of a friend's quasi-obscure website, haphazardly practiced my Spanish reading comprehension, kept the house clean and learned some new recipes, but mostly stayed at home, and professionally have nothing to show for this time and no way to account for it. After a brief uptick in my general mental well-being, the loneliness and lack of meaningful employment took their toll, and instead of working on resumes or cover letters or looking for work I've just been wallowing in a pit of self-hating procrastinative inertia. My job skills are, like all my life decisions, haphazard and hard to quantify, and I'm terrified that this, combined with the long duration of my time off, makes me unemployable. I'm past 30 and have no career to speak of. My post-college "real job" history is basically two administrative support roles, each held for several years, both in law. I like to think I'm a good worker, reasonably intelligent, tenacious, and resourceful, but I don't present well on paper or in interviews because I'm afraid of overselling my abilities. My last jobs started as temp gigs. Potential employers seem to like me well enough once I've done some work for them, but not really before. It's probably super obvious, but I don't have a lot of friends. Neither my partner n[...]

Physical Experiments for Proving/Disproving Simulation Hypothesis

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:09:44 GMT

In the novel After On, there's the following phrase: "[a]lthough some people have proposed actual physical experiments to test the Simulation Hypothesis ... ", going on to say we don't have the technology to do it yet (to which the author muses 'by design?'). My Google searches aren't honed enough, and I'm getting too much chaff and not a clear answer. Assuming the proposal of the physical experiments was itself not fictional, can you point me towards a description of the proposed physical experiments?

Eclipse traffic, South Carolina edition

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:44:21 GMT

I had plans to stay on a barrier island east of Charleston, SC for the eclipse, but my afternoon flight from NYC to CHS was just cancelled due to weather. One option is to get on a flight to Savannah tomorrow morning and have a friend pick me up to drive to the John's Island area, but I am worried about eclipse traffic. Does anyone local have a read on what the traffic situation is expected to be like? I don't know this drive at all.

My racist in-laws

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:31:37 GMT

My husband's entire immediate family is pro-Trump/republican/conservative, pro-white (or on the less-evil end, "colorblind", uncomfortable with LGBTQ (unless they know someone personally or like a celebrity), anti-immigration, etc etc. How to handle this going forward, especially with my 3 year old?I don't want to get too specific here but there is a scale and not all of them are at the most evil end of it, but they have all expressed feelings and ideals (and made jokes) that absolutely do not match with myself or my husband's way of looking at the world (the two of us are white, privileged, upper middle class, cis, hetero). We don't see them much because they all live relatively far away. They know our world views pretty clearly and they still try to argue with us, make comments and jokes in front of us to see how we'll react, and the s*** they post on facebook is pretty terrible. They are all academically gifted and ALL highly enjoy debating, and getting the last word. This makes me shut down, disengage, and leave the room, usually saying something like, "You know how I feel about that" or "I don't agree and I know I can't change your mind" before leaving. A couple of times I was "cornered" one on one with someone and I basically held my ground with as little emotion and words as possible, and it was exhausting. My husband will get into arguments that get nowhere except making him angrier. He only recently started talking to his parents again after the election. And they are still our family, and my husband and I do not want to completely shut them out of our lives. His parents are probably visiting soon. I want to (am trying to actively) raise my son to be an ally, be anti-racist, pro-feminist, and I also want to raise him to have a relationship with his grandparents. Is this even possible? Right now I'm telling myself that as long as I continue to talk about our worldviews, and talk about why certain people (like his relatives) might feel differently, and that we can disagree with them and tell them why without expecting to change their minds (or calling them bad words), then it's still ok to love them as his family. (Obviously this will be a gradual, building conversation over many years, not all while he's 3). But is this really teaching and modeling to him "let's all just get along, live in peace" white privilege mindset? And I'm still not sure how to react when grandma says something in front of him, especially now that he is listening to the adults more often than not. Do I just say something like, "Grandma you know we don't agree, let's talk about or do xyz instead", or even say, "My son and I are going to play in the other room now, don't ever say that again in front of him." I read articles and statements along the lines of, "Your white silence kills" and "Unfriend me now if you are not actively calling BS on every single person you know who supports and condones what's going on" and I feel like a terrible helpless fake "ally", because I know for a fact I'm not going to actively fight and cut off my in-laws. (though if my husband reached a point where he thought that[...]

Flip flop failure | Sandal setback

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:31:12 GMT

I bought Birkenstock Gizeh sandals at the beginning of the summer. They are cute, stay on my feet, and have a fantastic footbed. However, I can't stand the bit that goes between my toes.

I was assured by several people that I'd get used to having something in between my toes, but I've taken the sandals on several test walks and ugghharrhgghh I hate that feeling! It makes me feel nauseated for some reason. To alleviate the sensation I crab up my toes and walk on my heels, which is not comfortable. Will I ever get used to them? How long did it take you? Can I do something to make it better? Halp.

Your Vision Quest experience

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:20:00 GMT

My therapist has suggested that I may be ready for a Vision Quest. So I am researching what that might mean for me.

The first thing to do was search the internet of course. I found The School of Lost Borders.

Four days fasting, etc., that's the classic Vision Quest in my mind (which was largely based on TV tropes and other pop culture). Have you done this? What did you do for 4 days? Did you have a tent? a chair? a book? (Seriously). I'm a big hiker and spend lots of time in the mountains so being outside is not a problem. But I'm also not into "no pain no gain" as a spiritual philosophy. I had my fill of that growing up catholic. Also not into drugs so I don't want to take the peyote/ayahuasca route.

Or suppose that my Vision Quest is not that. Something less extreme perhaps. Have you done anything like this? Is so, what?

So, note what I am asking. I am asking if you have gone on your own vision quest, in whatever form, and what your experience was like. If you are not comfortable writing about your experiences publicly, I invite you to memail me (and it will be held confidentially of course).

What Else to Listen to?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:51:59 GMT

I like to listen to DJ mixes but am not great and finding new music to listen to. I have been following the Essential Mix each week this year and saving what I like on Soundcloud. Please help me find new things to listen to.

I listen to the below mixes regularly:

Above and Beyond 2004, 2011 and the latest live one from Ibiza - Comfort listening
Ben Pearce 13/05/17
Wilkinson 04/0/17 (but not his older one) - This is currently my favourite
DJ Pierre 06/01/17
Flux Pavillion 2012
Kaskade 2017 - Second favourite
Paul Oakenfold - World Tour Essential Mixes + Urban Soundtracks. Don't like the Goa mix.
Knife Party 2011 (live in Ibiza) - I just love this music although I could pass on the lyrics.

I lean towards the pop size of EDM (I think) and would like specific mix/ set recommendations. I've tried listening to individual tracks by these djs but find they don't have the same feel although Knife Party comes close. I have also listened to Above and Beyond's radio show as well as A State of Trace but don't find them interesting. If you can help me define the specific genres I like that would be awesome as I don't really understand all the different subcategories.

I have Soundcloud, Spotify and the BBC iPlayer.

So 6dollarshirts is out. What else is out there?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:23:37 GMT

Mr. Too-Ticky was thinking of ordering a bunch of T-shirts from, since many of his current shirts are falling apart all at the same time, and they have some fun, geeky stuff. But they also sell this (the Gadsden flag) and we're both all '.... Nope'.

Any other source for geeky/nerdy T-shirts of decent quality, that ships internationally (or just within the Netherlands)?
Reasonable shipping fees are a must. Cheap is preferred if possible. Volume discounts are great too. Your recommendations are welcome!

How are Nazis and cake different?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:34:29 GMT

Help me to see what I'm missing in terms of the difference between banning Nazis from online places and same-sex couples being turned down by a baker.

It's kind of enjoyable to see GoDaddy and OKCupid banning Nazis and other white supremacists from using their services. Less hate speech on the Internet. But aren't these businesses supposed to take all comers regardless of their personal beliefs? If a baker can't turn away a same-sex couple wanting a cake for a wedding reception, how can a hosting company ban Nazis?

Let me be very clear: I know there is no moral equivalence between same-sex couples who want to celebrate their love and white supremacists who want to spew hatred. I'm strictly asking about the legal issue of companies serving the public.

I Have Two Cars, You Have None

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:41:03 GMT

A close relative of mine is in need of a car. I'd like to help out but I need help figuring out how in a way that feels good. Advice, please? More under the fold!I recently bought a newer used car to replace my very high-mileage (240,000+ miles) older vehicle. At the same time, a close relative of mine happens to be in need of a vehicle. I'd like to help them out but am struggling to figure out how. This situation is really out of my element for me, so please bear with me as I explain. I'm grateful for whatever insights and advice the community has to offer. The family member in question is someone I care about and would like to help out. I know they are without reliable transportation and have been talking about getting a car for some time now. I don't know the exact details, but I have reason to believe this family member is financially strapped. In addition to being someone I care about, everyone in the family benefits by this family member getting a car because it would be easier for us to get together and see each other more often. It's hard enough given our respective schedules and the physical distance between us. Add in this family member's lack of reliable transportation and we hardly see each other at all. I'm not fabulously wealthy, but I am in a position to assist. We don't have the kind of relationship where we talk about our personal financial situations, and they've certainly never asked for help with a car, so it's not easy or intuitive for me to figure out how to even bring up my desire to help in a natural way without either party feeling awkward or out of place. I could pass on my older used car, but I don't feel great about that option. I got a newer car for myself because the older one was really getting on in years and mileage, past a point I was comfortable with. The car appears to be worth $1,000 or so. There isn't anything completely wrong with it as far as I'm currently aware, but I'd need to take it to a mechanic to verify. I estimate I'd need to spend a decent amount of money to get it in a shape I'd feel good about passing on (smog check, tire alignment, new battery, new windshield wiper blades, and who knows what else), and then who knows how long it will stay running smoothly after that given its age. My opinion is that money would be better spent towards getting a nicer vehicle in better shape. It would be so easy to just go ahead and donate the car and be done with it, especially being someone who doesn't have a ton of free time to run around and get estimates and then work done and a smog check and all that jazz! I wonder if that's faulty logic, though? While I currently have a sufficient financial buffer in my life, I'm not so far removed from knowing what it's like to go without. I know enough to know the difference a decently running vehicle (even one that's high-mileage and heavily used), can have on a person who otherwise does not have access to a car. I don't want to be so o[...]

Transitioning to evil by killing family members or loved ones

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:27:10 GMT

Does anyone know examples of characters from any kind of media who, in becoming truly evil, killed a family member, loved one, or good friend? For example, Voldemort killed his father, Darth Vader killed Padme -- stuff like that. A bonus would be that the villain has magical or supernatural powers. Thanks!