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The past 24 hours of questions at Ask MetaFilter



Published: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:28:01 GMT

Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:28:01 GMT

 



Help me identify this Jordanian(?) singer

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:28:01 GMT

I heard this wonderful music while on a minibus from Petra to Aqaba. Male singer singing a capella. I think it was on the radio, but I'm not sure. The music was very relaxing and almost hypnotic. Didn't sound religious to me, but I don't speak Arabic so not sure about that either. Any ideas?



Recommend me a flashcard app for iPhone

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:38:43 GMT

Cramberry was my go-to flashcard app, but it doesn't seem to be supported or available anymore, and I have stuff to learn!

I still have Cramberry loaded up on my iPad but now need something for iPhone. (In theory I could use Cramberry through the web browser but in practice it's unusable on my iPhone.)

The features of Cramberry that I liked were:

* Very clean and uncluttered;
* Very easy to create new decks and cards, including on an iPad (I'm likely to do most of my creating on iPad and using on iPhone, though I could use a laptop if really necessary for creating – so reliable syncing is important too);
* Quite effective spaced repetition when working through a deck (I have less need of spaced repetition more generally, like over days and weeks, but it would be a nice feature to be able to activate if I wanted to);
* Tapping for the answer, rather than typing in an answer.

I have no interest in pre-prepared cards or importing decks made by other people, so I don't want an app that is mostly focused on that. I don't need images or sound, but one of the things I will use it for is language learning, so it also needs to support diacritical marks and (ideally) Cyrillic script.

Recommendations from a few years ago tend towards Anki – I don't mind paying for this if it's still the best out there, but I'd need some pretty strong endorsements. Also, their app seems to be primarily an add-on to the computer interface, whereas ideally I'd like something that could equally well be freestanding on the iPad and iPhone, especially for creating cards.

Thanks!



What were the purposes and pitfalls of introductions a century ago?

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 04:24:18 GMT

Emily Post devotes her entire second chapter to the etiquette of introductions. The Victorian-era Lady Constance Eleanora Caroline Howard likewise spends 20 pages on the subject. But what were the larger purposes and goals of introductions?

I'm assuming here that we are not talking about people who need to work, so it's not a commercial endeavor. I get that it's undesirable for some reason to be introduced to the wrong people, meaning people of either much higher or lower social standing, but I don't understand the logic. E.g., "On no account should [introductions] ever be indiscriminately made; and the amount of tact and knowledge of the world and discretion required, among those who make the introductions, must necessarily be very considerable." Did the making of an introduction oblige one in some way, such as requiring dinner invitations? I get that for very high ranking people it would become an inconvenience if one acquired too many hangers on, but it doesn't seem that's the case for an ordinary upper-class person needs to read an etiquette book.

The etiquette books are so concerned with the following of the rules that the reasoning behind them is obscure to me. Is it a desire to preserve the social order of the world? Why did people care so much about whom they were introduced to?



Can I improve the view outside my windows?

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 04:02:30 GMT

My apartment is lovely inside, but all of its windows face a back alley. There is a conspicuous lack of green when I look outside. What can I do/plant to remedy this?

I live in Chicago and my view is other people's garages, telephone wires, dumpsters, etc. No trees grow back there. I get nice light (east facing windows), but the view is ugly. I'm on the third floor. I miss the green from my previous place where I had a big maple outside of my window. Flower boxes are possible, but seem like they won't make big enough of a difference. Any green thumbed MeFites have any ideas?



How to record WeChat voice call

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:45:27 GMT

Tomorrow morning I'm conducting an important interview with someone who lives in China and prefers WeChat voice call over skype or traditional call. I'd like to record the interview -- with the interviewee's consent and everything. What's the best way to do that?

I've used Call Recorder for Skype before, and it worked beautifully. Also any number of call recording apps. Basically I want to record a call-- the only problem is that this call will be made through the texting app, WeChat, and my call or skype recorder apps don't support that. I can't seem to find an app that works with WeChat-- I'm sure it exists. Please show me the way!

**I will absolutely only record with the caller's consent**



Learning Spanish: Windows 95 edition

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 02:21:20 GMT

I have vague memories of learning Spanish with a Windows program aimed towards children. It was drawn, had mini narrated stories/conversations with clickable objects, and a dog with a sombrero. I remember locations being a bus stop, a bar (?) and the inside of a house (cross-section, with each room and its objects labeled). I'm guessing it's from the Windows 95/98 era, and definitely not a JumpStart title. Does this ring any bells? I've Googled keywords to try and identify it by the CD-ROM cover, but no luck.



Getting scammy/random calls on my cell of late...

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 01:34:47 GMT

Every so often I'll get unwanted calls, but they tend to be thankfully few and far between (aside from when I got put on a political call list for a while). The past few days, however, I've received a much higher number of weird calls that are not for me, most of which seem to have a real person on the end but some of which are robocalls. Any ideas on what gives?

The calls are from a variety of area codes (I know the numbers could've been spoofed). Of the more memorable ones, one person was persistently looking for a friend, another seemed to think I was his booty call, one just asked me to urgently bring over toilet paper, and a couple were robocalls about student loans. Did some list with my cell just get published? Is it just a coincidental clump? Is blocking these numbers even remotely accomplishing anything nowadays? Is someone pranking me? Should I stop answering the phone if I don't recognize the number?



"You Got This" songs

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 01:23:33 GMT

I'm going through a really tough time at work. I stood up to my boss about something and got threatened with disciplinary action for being "disrespectful". All that to say, I need some music to make me feel better about standing up for myself and taking care of myself. What songs inspire you to feel that?



Developing real estate for dummies

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 22:50:21 GMT

I'm considering buying an empty lot in California to build my dream home. Whose professional advice do I need and when?

There's an empty 2 acre lot in unincorporated Santa Clara county that's caught my eye, I'd love to build a home for myself there but I don't know much about the process. Obviously I would rely on some combination of lawyers, agents, architects, contractors, and who knows what else, but I don't even know where to start.

A few quirks about the property:
1) It has a high voltage PG&E transmission tower and an easement for a dirt road that runs through the neighboring property. The lot is on a public road but the front face is very steep, but the seller's agent said there's an easement that would let me use PG&E's road. There is a small (about 4000 sqft by my estimate) approved build area just outside of the power line no-build zone, and the seller's agent said they would be willing to include build permit approval as a contingency, so that limits my zoning risk to just the sunk cost.
2) It's actually two parcels that are separated by a thin strip of another parcel. I asked about just buying the one with the approved build area but the seller only wants to sell them together. He said he already got an offer that ended up failing because they failed to get a build permit for this other lot, I guess that was one of their contingencies. So I suppose in my offer I should either price in the other lot as worthless or try for the same contingency.
3) One of the disclosures lists it as a quitclaim deed, but the seller's agent says it's actually a grant deed. That page of the disclosure also misstates the acreage of that lot so this isn't totally surprising. I understand a quitclaim isn't really worth anything, definitely want to protected against any kind of title risk.

None of these are real problems for me as long as I can build, and the upside potential is definitely there, but it's been on the market for almost a year, which makes me suspect there's something problematic about the property I just don't see.

I'd like to build a 1500 sq ft home which I imagine would cost $200-300k, but I don't know what combination of well/septic, retaining walls (build area is on a flattened ridge top, think a slight slope on top surrounded by steeper dropoffs), road development, etc will be needed. What kind of planner can help me scope that cost out before I'm too deep in this? I asked a friend who does geological studies, no big red flags on the hazard maps, but that's just one aspect of it.

I distrust buyer's agents, because I want someone who will tell me why this won't work, and their interests are just aligned with getting the deal done. I found a real estate attorney who seems good, they charge $395 for the initial consultation and need a $5k retainer to engage them. If this works out this would be money well spent, and I think it could make sense to use them instead of an agent (lowering the offer price accordingly), but I'm not sure at what point I should bring them in.



What help exists for People-Who-Harm?

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 22:18:45 GMT

I've been studying cycles of violence and abuse. Though I've found many resources for survivors, I see few geared towards abusers.

First: I am not at risk in any way; this is not for a friend or acquaintance; I am simply interested. Please bypass this question if it's painful for you.

I especially want to know about resources and research that engage with domestic and dating violence, emotional/verbal abuse, and abuse in kink and queer communities. I'm curious about complex cases, for someone who both receives and perpetrates abuse. And what about broader social response – I've heard about community accountability processes and transformative justice, but I don't really get the specifics.

So: How do abusive people get help? How do treatments target specific abuse patterns and behaviors? What do we know about the effectiveness of various interventions?



Reflections after a friend's suicide

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:27:31 GMT

Hey everyone, I'm looking for some reflections, magazine or blog style, about a friend or loved one's suicide.

Just thinking about my own friend and how he died at 19.

This one quote from a Murakami book keeps nagging at me. The protagonist muses on how he gets older every year, but his friend won't ever get that chance again.

Books that touch upon this theme would also be welcome.

Thanks.



Our princess is in another console

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:26:22 GMT

Can I play a Nintendo Classic without a TV, using a laptop or desktop computer (a 2015 MacBook or a 2012 iMac)?

I don't have the Nintendo Classic yet, but let's assume I can get one soon.

Most discussions of the console are about using it on a TV, so I had thought that you absolutely need a TV. And I don't have a TV, so I figured I'm out of luck.

However, this Forbes article says:
You can also run the console off of USB power, which is awesome, so you can just plug it into your laptop and play it right there on your laptop screen (or desktop, etc.)


That's exactly what I would want ... but is that true, or was the author mistaken? Other things I've read make it sound like the USB only charges the console, and doesn't display the games.

I don't know much about HDMI, but my understanding is that a MacBook can have an HDMI "out," which is the same thing the console has — so they couldn't be connected to each other because the out needs to be connected to an HDMI "in." Right?

Is there any way to do this? Or is getting a TV my only option for using the Nintendo Classic?



Anniversary in New Orleans

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:07:42 GMT

The mister and I are celebrating 15 years of wedded bliss by returning back to our honeymoon spot of New Orleans. We'd like to have a nicer dinner for our anniversary. No special snowflake requirements other than he doesn't want to bring a suit.

Jeans with a button down and tie will is preferable. We are pretty adventurous with food (we really enjoyed The Cannibal in NYC and Animal in LA, but your suggestion doesn't have to be weird!)

Ideally, we would like to have a good dinner, one that isn't rushed and where we can enjoy some cocktails or wine. Some place that is a good experience and/or has a great view is also good. We will be taking Uber or a cab.

Where should we eat?



tattoo touch up question

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:11:06 GMT

Tattoo artists/people experienced with tattoos, I come with a question regarding getting an existing tattoo touched up.

Back in September I got a blackbird tattoo based on an image I found online. Source image on top, my tattoo below that.

I am mostly happy with the way the tattoo came out but I don't know if I did a great job of communicating with the tattoo artist what exactly I liked about the source image (which I acknowledge is my fault - I have several other tattoos and I understand the important of being on the same page as the artist, and I think I just didn't do a great job of that this time). In the source image I like that the bird is very dark, and I like the appearance of feathers in the lower body and on top of the head. I think in my tattoo the artist captured more or less the essense of the idea but it seems more like a watercolor-inspired image than I wanted.

The artist did mention that she would be willing to darken the bird once it had healed but didn't want to do too much that day and overwork my skin to an uncomfortable degree. It healed and at first I was fine with how it turned out but as time has gone on I'm wondering if it's too late to go back and ask her to darken it, and maybe modify it a bit more to resemble the source image. However, at this point I don't know if it's even possible to do the latter.

My two questions are: is what I want, modification-wise, even possible with this tattoo, or am I stuck with what I have? If it is possible, how do I politely ask for it in the tattoo shop? I don't want to cause offense - I think this artist does great work and I don't want her to think that I find this tattoo to be a disaster, because that couldn't be further from the truth. If there is a script I can use to request this that you could suggest, that would be helpful - I'm coming out of a bit of a mental health crisis at the moment and my ability to manage my social anxiety is a bit compromised right now so ways to make this conversation easier would make this whole process way less stressful for me.

Thanks in advance.



Autopay Luddite Bills When my Bank Doesn't Offer It?

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:55:59 GMT

Is there a service out there that will send paper checks to my billers automatically each month? Difficulty: my bank absolutely does not offer this service.

Here's my situation:

1. I have to write three checks every month to three organizations that do not take electronic payment of any sort.
2. My bank does not offer free bill pay service.
3. I want to set these payments on autopilot until I switch to a better bank.

I am thinking there has to be some kind of service out there that will charge my debit card or bank account, then send out paper checks for me automatically each month with details of my choosing. Does anyone know of anything like this? I'm coming up with nothing on Google.



Where can I buy Bonibee Eterna frying pans?

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:34:41 GMT

I'm looking for a reputable on-line seller (i.e. something I've heard of, like Amazon) or a brick-and-mortar place in the Greater Seattle Area.

Specifically these.



Seasonal allergies... how long is spring season?

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:44:22 GMT

I've had fall allergies for years, and I usually take allergy medicine until first frost. Spring allergies are a new thing for me the past few years. Claritin (or generic equivalent) works well for me... but how do I know when to stop taking it? I don't really want to just try stopping and see what happens, because if it turns out that allergy season is not over for me, it takes about 4 days for Claritin to fully kick in.



Can the LiveScribe pen keep my notes from dying?

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:35:09 GMT

I'm really looking for a solution to this problem: when I have an important idea, I write it down on whatever is nearby- sometimes a notebook, sometimes a receipt, sometimes an index card. I'm working on multiple projects, and the notes get disorganized quickly. The LiveScribe seems like a solution- makes your notes digital and searchable. But is it?

The LiveScribe *seems* to offer a solution-- you write in a notebook, it syncs to your phone, and you can tag items. The tagging/search feature is key for me-- if I could just tag each note and then access all the related notes in one spot, I'd die and go to heaven. But I've read mixed reviews online.

Do you have experience with LiveScribe or anything like it or better? Is there a digital tool to keep my notes organized, searchable, and useful? Thanks!



Children's books that encourage questioning everything

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:13:27 GMT

There's a new baby in our family, and I'm building a library so he'll have interesting things to read when he's 5, 10, 15... What children's books pack a powerful intellectual punch for their size? I'm looking for ones that make the reader question everything (e.g. social norms, traditions, their identity, even consensual reality). Kind of like a Philip K Dick book but for children. Also good: anything which encourages precociousness (like Matilda). A few that came to mind: 1) Eat Now, Pay Later. Short story I asked about here years ago: http://ask.metafilter.com/251717/Name-of-short-story 2) The Sneeches, by Dr. Seuss 3) Matilda, Roald Dahl



What is motivating in a knowledge based company?

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:01:42 GMT

I'm putting together a list of employee recognition ideas, where the recognition is more than a pat on the back or a gift, but geared towards life long learners and other growth-based individuals. Details within.

Hi metafilter, I'm looking for ideas on what would be rewarding to someone in a knowledge based industry like tech. Jobs where people develop expertise over time, are used to a high degree of autonomy and are already well compensated with somewhat flexible work hours. More intrinsically satisfying recognition. Aside from promotion (to Sr tech guru, or management) what would leave you feeling recognized? The opportunity to present ideas to management? Attend conferences? Leave early if you work is done for the week? Pick a team building activity for the group? Donation to a charity of your choice? Harder tech problems? Have the impact of your accomplishments highlighted to the team?

What satisfies higher order needs?



NYC apartment hunting: broker edition

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:22:20 GMT

Should I get a broker for my NYC apartment hunt? Bonus question: what exactly can a broker do for me?

I will be moving to New York with a loved one in August for at least a couple of years. It will be our first time apartment hunting in NYC, and, based on other people's estimates, we're thinking of starting to look for apartments in late June/early July. Neither of us are in the city right now and we'll only have one weekend together to really look at apartments, though one of us is weekend-trip distance and can visit again if necessary. We'd prefer to move straight into an apartment, without having to futz around with sublets (though attempts to convince me otherwise are welcome - especially with specifics about where to find these sublets).

Given our naïveté, long-term plans, and less-than-ideal availability, plus the student housing rush in August, is working with a broker worthwhile? I'm willing to swallow a fee, especially less than 10%, for a good apartment the first time around - but I want the person who's getting the fee to actually pull some weight helping us, as opposed to what appears to be the uniquely New York experience of finding my own apartment and still having to pay a fee to the landlord's broker. I'd also rather not get totally scammed. Can I have it all?

Specific company or individual recs or warnings are greatly appreciated, along with thoughts on the current lay of the NYC broker land.

If it's pertinent - we're aiming for brownstone Brooklyn (in the vague triangle between Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, and western Crown Heights) for a studio/1 br, ideally $2000 and under. Feel free to adjust my expectations on that price point. Subway line flexible.



Help me think/be more like a Businessy Person

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:49:49 GMT

Businessy People communicate in bullet points and actionables. Their focus is always on the bottom line. They're calm and reassuring (because they GTD, and talk clearly and simply about how they're going to do that). I am a million embedded clauses, diversions - complications. I tend to notice nuance instead of the bottom line. Or problems to solve that people may or may not agree exist, Big Picture issues that I may be the only one seeing or caring about. How can I discipline my mind and communication for work?I used to be able to fake it well enough, when I worked 9-5ish - although even then, I had a tendency to overcomplicate basic processes, and to want them to be executed perfectly instead of adequately and on time (like "deliverables" should be). (Same issue came up at school, all the time, as a matter of fact...) I think I got by at work in the past because I was indulged by bosses who liked me personally, and were maybe similar in character. (I mostly worked in education, and mostly for other women [not that that should matter, but I feel it does]. Maybe importantly - worked in the education sector in the UK, where e.g. email communications [at least at that time] were maybe a bit more formal than they are here - so e.g. longer sentences weren't completely loathed - and where there's a bit more tolerance for kookiness/goofiness in a work setting, if you know people.) But I haven't done Businessy work (here) in a long time. I'm applying for jobs and, I guess I'm saying the things I actually think, the way I think them, instead of massaging them into the form and tone I gather (after the fact) would be more appropriate. Example, in an exercise requested of me in a second round, I made what I thought was a well argued case for X using what I now think might be idiosyncratic or overly flowery language. I think a few buzzwords were probably called for (vs "dehumanization" + my personal theory of why some fundraising approaches work, etc.) - but I don't even know what those might be these days. (Don't know yet if I got that job, suspect not.) Is there a handy (2017-oriented) resource for learning to communicate clearly, simply, and effectively? Also, something to help me stop focusing on the kinds of things I focus on? Or at least get better at avoiding bringing them up when they shouldn't be brought up? Or at least *notice* when they shouldn't be brought up? A book might ask for more time than I will probably commit to this, tbh, although if there's a good one that you feel will really help, I'll definitely read it. I think I come across well enough in interviews - I do get the sense most people like me, on the level of being likeable... I usually feel there's a rapport; I crack the odd joke and interviewers seem to like them - but I'm not sure I'm communicating that I'm actually effective. (I suspect I might be coming across like I'm at a cocktail party instead of at an interview. I think I need to convey more seriousness.) I may not actually be that effective, which - yeah ok, go ahead and talk about that if it's called for :/ At the same time, I know I'm more effective than some people I've had to have dealings with, I must not be unsalvageable. I will have to fix those deeper issues eventually, but at this point I think I need to focus on how I communicate in a job application process, from the cover letter, through to any exercises, through to interview/s [esp when there are multiple *panel* interviews, for jobs that honestly aren't even th[...]



Please tell me about Readers Theater.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:28:23 GMT

What states have Readers Theater as a speech/debate event? Did you do this as a student?

I am a high school speech and debate coach in STL, MO. I had not heard of Readers Theater before this year, so I'm trying to get an understanding of it. For reference, my background is in Lincoln Douglas debate, extemporaneous speaking, and impromptu - I don't know the standard dramas.

If you competed in or know about readers theater, where did this happen? What ages? What kinds of pieces? How were those pieces found/chosen/compiled? Can you point me to "good" examples of both pieces and performances?