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Goodbye, Miami [?]
Just because no one is tracking every single person displaced by the increased frequency of extreme weather; doesn't mean they are not out there.

There's a guy down my block who was a Katrina refugee.

I think a mental block on this is simply that refugees don't look like what middle class USians expect. We've received so much media imaging that says that "refugees" are draggled people in camps somewhere who have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:56 AM on June 25, 2013
Buyouts?! WTF?

It isn't really a "buyout" if the government gives you money for something worthless, is it?

Why do people who persist in building on flood plains or other areas deserve any buyouts? In particular, this is a group of people who, demographically, has generally been against "government handouts" in any form - who, statistically, have mocked us for our claims of "climate change coming".
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on June 25, 2013

As if baking wasn't complicated enough already
Okay, here is what I don't understand: why would you spend all this time printing out paper bits and pieces (as with the cupcakes) and assembling all this stuff and buying special paper and so on and then use nasty box cake and brownie mix? I get it, predictability of results, but I don't understand why someone wants to make something that will look so cute (if you're into that kind of thing - wouldn't be a great thing for my dad, for instance) and yet… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 PM on June 22, 2013

truths about gay relationships on the road to marriage equality

Two thirds of men have affairs? Am I that weird?

I always ask myself "who with?" since the statistics seem to come back that far more men have affairs than women. Are these mostly bisexual guys? Are women lying? Are men lying? Perhaps the cheating women are all having multiple affairs and evening things up that way, but I find myself doubting it purely from a logistics standpoint. I mean, I am in an open relationship and I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on June 20, 2013
Well, theoretically the men could be sleeping with unpartnered women...

Technically, but then either those women are dating (but not married to and thus not formally counted as "partnered") one guy plus having the affair, or they are dating no one except the married dude, which is too depressing to contemplate (since in my social circle at least that tends to boil down to years of 'and when he leaves his wife...' followed by nothing.). And… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:45 AM on June 20, 2013

The EDL almost felt ignored.
This article is about a specific UK situation, right?

Here is a thing that I think folks outside of long-term radical activist circles don't tend to realize (and, because I tend to hang around with cultural anarchists and do much more ad hoc stuff, I didn't realize either initially): folks who see themselves as long-term anti-racist or anti-imperialist organizers (or really any kind of long term organizer) tend to think both strategically and ideologically.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:29 AM on June 18, 2013

The Silence of Animals
It's worth noting that Gray is the child of a dockworker and went to Oxford - as far as I can tell due to the massive "progressive" post-war reforms in the UK education system. I doubt very much that a dockworker's child, no matter how intelligent, would have gotten into Oxford and then climbed the academic ladder absent those reforms.

How to interpret that? I don't know. Does Gray feel that he's experienced liberal humanism and it wasn't worth it and he'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:02 PM on June 13, 2013

A vision of post-apocalypse Britain?
Is this what Daily Fail readers see in their heads all the time? Only you know, caused by the gays/the immigrants/the "immoral" pop stars?

I was thinking of it more as a yearning for ruins - a yearning for apocalypse. It's as though no one can see any end to the crisis [or to neoliberal capitalism] except through pandemic and catastrophe, and so the only way to get beyond our present untenable situation is to imagine a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:29 AM on June 12, 2013
Hmmm. I think one needs to be cautious about reading the appeal of images like this as being all that specifically tied to a particular moment of "crisis" or a particular phase of late capitalism or what have you. After all, there was a huge vogue for these kinds of images in the C18th (London in ruins, Paris in ruins etc. etc.).

No, no - what you're suggesting is that we must have either no broader cultural explanation for… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on June 13, 2013
How you get that from "I think one needs to be cautious" about facile historicizing arguments I truly cannot imagine.

Because "be cautious" is polite-academic for "you're doing it wrong, and probably foolishly".

I don't know - I have always figured that comments on non-academic websites that I phrase as "I was thinking of it more as...." are pretty informal and tossing-ideas-around, but next time I'll be sure to add a disclaimer.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:18 AM on June 13, 2013

"There is no single way to sum up what it means to be a trans man."
One thing I wonder, as someone who is some-sorta-transmasculine, is why we have to refract all this stuff through the lens of sexual desirability, and what that means for trans guys who don't/can't/don't want to meet these particular standards.

On the one hand, it's exciting and validating to me to see these posts - on the other hand, I feel a little weird about it. Doubly so because while I'm certainly no slim young person, I know that I actually do… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:22 PM on June 10, 2013

Pacific Heights is just a movie, right?
I was definitely expecting something much worse by way of the terrible tenant. I mean, I've had housemates worse than that. It mostly struck me that this person - who had the means to buy in the Castro in 2004 - has super-snowball-ish expectations about how housing works. There are lots of good reasons not to be a landlord - and one of them is that even the nicest, best person will at some point in their life do or go through something that makes them a difficult tenant.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:03 AM on June 7, 2013

Business attire: birthday suit
See, this kind of thing actually depresses me. What happens if they have a chubby intern? Or an intern with a physical disability? Or, god forbid, they've hired someone who has physical flaws? Or someone with a history of abuse who doesn't want to be in naked pictures on the internet but also doesn't want to lose their position? Or is it just that "their office culture" is that if you're not ready for a publicity-worthy nude shot on the internet, they just aren't going to hire you no… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:11 AM on June 5, 2013
The real of this is that if they had a fattie (or even a saggy Old) on staff, they would not have done this promotion, because creative people are ruthless and the internet is ruthless in a different way and that would not have generated "wow this is transgressive", it would have generated cruelty and laughter. And part of this type of branding is to show that not only is the work you do good work, but you are also a certain type of person.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:00 PM on June 5, 2013

Are you a liberal baby or a conservative baby?
They contrast "minority" with liberal and well educated and just generally do a piss-poor job of everything.

What a good point! I was uncomfortable with that but could not express it so well.

Also not impressed with the bit about how "partisan politics are basically the purview of rich white people", because it's framed in such a way as to suggest everyone else just doesn't care and is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on June 5, 2013

"There was never a call for suppression. There was a call for respect."
Mike Resnick: I’d say that just about every other cover [in the romance section] shows a man’s bare torso, lean and muscular, usually with a few more abs than Nature tends to provide. The man’s head is rarely portrayed. Clearly these are erotic covers, designed to get a certain readership’s pulse pounding.

This fills me with rage. (And it's sad about Malzberg - I was just reading some of Joanna Russ's early reviews in A Country You Have Never… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:27 PM on June 4, 2013
They met a few weeks later at Boskone, the Boston science fiction convention. Isaac had been asked to present the E. E. Doc Smith Award. Somewhat maudlin, he addressed the crowd, saying, "Right now, among all my societies, it is you — and science fiction — whose good opinion I require. I want you to love me, love me, love me, or I will die." Loudly, from the back of the room, Anne [McCaffrey] yelled, "Live, Tinker Bell!" to the crowd's laughter. To even more laughter,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:15 PM on June 4, 2013
If everyone involved was happy and having fun and enjoying themselves, why should it be gross to you?

Ah, that question was precisely what I was trying to get at! Why does it seem gross? Because it does - not the sex, the anecdote and the style of telling - and I think that sort of nudge-nudge SF sex anecdote (which, as I say, recurs a lot - I think there's one or two in Judith Merrill's memoir, and she was as feminist as they come)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:22 PM on June 4, 2013

And a child in every box
Yeah, one of my friends, who's Finnish, makes her babies take naps outside in the winter. It's apparently a Finnish (or Scandinavian) thing. And it does seem to be true that the babies don't mind at all.

People at least used to do it in England - there's a scene in a Margaret Drabble novel from the late sixties/early seventies where the young mother is looking sadly at her baby through the window and wishing she could bring him inside but....… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:20 AM on June 4, 2013

This Man Is Not a Cyborg. Yet.
This is interesting, and I hope they get somewhere. Although I'm not sure they should focus primarily on the avatar part. If they manage to get mind uploading working (even imperfectly), I don't think people would necessarily want to confine their mind to a physical avatar.

But isn't mind uploading just a copy? Yes, it would be neat if copy-Frowner could explore Mars or live forever or appear to the world as a cat/eagle/human… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:54 AM on June 3, 2013
I hate to break it to you, but what was Current Frowner when you wrote that comment doesn't exist any more. There is only what used to be Future Frowner. Ah, see! The new Current Frowner just ceased to exist as well, and became Past Frowner.

Okay, so if an "I" dies every moment (current-consciousness Frowner dies) regardless and a totally new, disconnected "I" is formed, which new "I" is equivalent to an externally-created… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:27 AM on June 3, 2013

The Suicide Epidemic
I know in the US there are a lot of people out there living paycheck to paycheck without much social support. If anything goes wrong -- health issue, car breaks down, laid off, etc., it can be disastrous. For me personally, I don't have anyone to lean on and there aren't many shelters/support/resources for down-and-out single white males (boohoo, right?). For the most part, I feel no sense of community where I live. I drive around Chicago and see all the homeless folks, the drug… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:05 AM on June 3, 2013

But can you find it on a souvenir bicycle license plate?
Why does someone name their child 'Major'? It seems neither faux-old-school like a hipster name nor especially 'unique' nor very grandiose. (I mean, why not name your kid "General" if the goal is some kind of military status thing?) And the social circles I associate with the Madison/Jayson kind of name are mostly people who have some experience with the military somewhere in the family, so I would not expect them to use a military title as a name.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:29 AM on June 3, 2013
Here's a thing: I used to sigh and get all upset over nonstandard names. "Madyson!!! Emalay!!! Those are barbarous, non-standard spellings!! And why the fuck would you name a child Galadriel?"

And then I started spending time in social circles where many people have either weird given names, weird chosen names or names that are ordinary in various non-English-speaking countries - meaning that I always had to pay attention to people's names,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:48 AM on June 3, 2013

Heather's Lunchtime Poll: "What Is Popular Privilege?"
This blog seems like it would be an exercise of frustration. Instead of crafting a new story for herself, she is, ironically enough, simply restating the social order she suffers from: the popular kids are active actors at the center of attention, whereas she is an unpopular person who observes them from afar. Even other Tumblr people are sniping at her. She is reenacting her problems. When she checks others' popular privilege, she's sending up a signal flare that this upsets her, but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:34 AM on June 2, 2013

Nuke it from orbit: GM wheat goes rogue in Oregon
If memory serves, this very "escaped GMO product contaminates non-GMO crops, wreaks economic havoc" thing appeared in either a John Brunner novel or one of Ursula Le Guin's short stories from the 1970s. My memory is of a sort of re-enactment of a hippie commune that used to be a real commune/organic farm but there was so much cross-contamination with GMO crops everywhere that they could no longer sustain themselves and switched to amusing the tourists.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:26 PM on June 1, 2013

This Look Has Always Fascinated Me
O lol. And his awful house, too, with the faux-tiques and the cheap para-antiques. He would have been better off with good, honest modern styles in decent materials rather than the bits and bobs he has. And the occasional posts about going antiquing and bringing home some godawful bit of late 19th century kitsch. It makes me sad to see someone put so much time and money into such a misguidedly ugly environment, when it would have been so easy to have something pleasant… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:57 PM on May 31, 2013
The second pair was an eBay acquirement

How do people end up writing like this?

Vis-a-vis style blogs and racism/misogyny/general assholishness: the people I've seen consistently not be racist jerks are the guy at Affordable Wardrobe and the Put This On folks. None of them write creepy things about women, none of them disparage hip-hop or hip-hop-inflected fashion, they don't freak out if someone is ~gasp~ gay...they're not… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:03 PM on May 31, 2013
The thing is, sometimes I felt sorry for him because he'd have a few really lovely things - a nice pair of belgian shoes, I'd love a pair of belgian shoes - and he'd put everything together so badly, in such a jumble. Again, back before I saw posts with the racism, I used to look at his blog sometimes and think "here is a guy who at least has some urge toward nicely made things, appealing textures, taking pleasure in craft". And I'd feel a bit sad that he was doing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:11 PM on May 31, 2013
Oh god, you have to look at his campaign blog.

It reads like something written by a fourteen-year-old. I don't understand why he doesn't have a competent staffer who could at least put some gloss on it. And look at this piece of incredible nonsense:

We inherited from the previous majority one of the worst shortfalls in state funds since the Great Depression, which came about from decades of over taxing and spending… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:16 PM on May 31, 2013
The reason people dress like this is because of the halo effect of prepatory clothing and propriety. It's basically just a cargo cult of class and pretension and signifies that the wearer is both highly out if his league and aware of it. A craven soul that is more than willing to look bad to shamfully borrow the ornaments of power from his manly superiors.

See, I think this is half true - the zeitgeistyness of "trad" and preppy clothing is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:49 AM on June 1, 2013
Actually, I suspect that the political kicker for this guy may be his open boasting about wealth - his own ambitions toward it and the endless "when I had lunch with my kazillionaire friend" routine. While I'm sure there are plenty of snob republicans in his constituency, it can't help him that much to be seen so nakedly boasting and bragging about his proximity to the genuine upper class.

I think the toxicity of the blog is lost on a lot of people who did… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:47 AM on June 1, 2013

"the whole rational creation formed a single dancing chorus"
I was kidding about the horse, and I am good with Nightingale (i do have a problem with the ECLA and the episcopals canonizing MLK jr, but that's another point), but this is so ahistorical: Bacchus wasn't gay for one example; Herschel and Frank as xian saints is not that different than the politically convient christianizing of Edith Stein, for another; though Black Elk is a mystic, he is not a mystic in the episciopal tradition, which digs the genocidial element of we just respect… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on May 31, 2013

The more you ignore me, the closer I get
Oh god that was creepy. It grew creepier as it went along.

Perhaps I have not read enough of This Kind Of Thing for its effect to wear off. But yes, that was creepy! I kept picturing it written by a monstrous crocodile with opposable thumbs.

Thanks for posting, I think.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on May 29, 2013

The Unexotic Underclass
The veterans thing is pretty tragic though, because that's supposed to be the government, free of the constraints of the market (no no don't laugh) and there's no reason for those applications to be stacked somewhere waiting to be gone through by hand, while the veterans who sent them in languish and die. Except that our government's (and by extension, voters') priorities seem to be more on the "create new veterans" side of things. Sigh.

No,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:58 AM on May 29, 2013

I don't like Wired's original title: weird framing
I'm a bit curious about the politics [or the zeitgeistyness, if you'd rather] of all this, although I don't have any theory.

1. I've noticed a lot of "autistics, they are smarter than the rest of us" stuff kicking around the internet. It seems to be replacing some of the "Asperger's means you're really smart but awkward" stuff I was seeing. In both cases, the narrative was this sort of hero narrative about tech people - programmers as autistics or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:37 AM on May 27, 2013

But where are you REALLY from?
This is totally why I have become very, very careful to ask everyone "where did you go to school?" or "did you grow up in [city where thing is taking place]?" because even "where did you grow up?" can sound like you're exoticizing someone.

Actually, one thing that I've realized about my social milieu - it's generally considered in poor taste to ask most sorts of questions about people's past until you know them fairly well, regardless of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:53 AM on May 26, 2013
Why is it such a burden to talk about your ethnic heritage?

Based on my experience as a sort of all purpose queer - trans - gender-non-conforming person who often has to Explain It All For You, I bet a lot of it is just that it gets tiring. Dealing with someone who is well-meaning and friendly and who has totally incorrect ideas about a large important aspect of your life - well hey, if it's only once you just want to set them… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:22 PM on May 26, 2013

Richard Simmons Found in a Freeway in Pound Cake and Fudge
I've never thought he looked fit. Kinda flabby, shapeless limbs dressed in ridiculous tank tops and short-shorts? Zero apparent muscle definition? He almost looks like the epitome of the new trendy term, "skinny fat."

And this is actually because we have a really, really misleading idea of what "fit" looks like. We think that "fit" looks like "gym bunny" (is that still a term?), jock, bodybuilder, pro athlete,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:30 AM on May 25, 2013

"...he doesn't even pay road tax! #Bloodycyclists."

This. Whenever I come to a complete stop at 4-way stops it seems to make car drivers crazy. They'll either try to go right after the car in front of them for whom I had waited, making me wait far longer than I should have to, or they'll start into the intersection just as I'm starting as well, and maybe screech to a halt when it's clear that otherwise we'll collide.

Yes! Now, if the way things shake out is "the new normal is that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:25 AM on May 22, 2013
I don't know what you think you're doing, but it is not possible to "stop fully" without a total loss of momentum.

This is why it is helpful for folks to cycle a bit. I used to drive every day for years, so I have a fair idea of what various kinds of stops feel like in a car, etc, and I know that bicycles can be hard to see and that it feels like you're really close to one even when you're four feet away… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:34 AM on May 22, 2013
What we cyclists are referring to is coming to a full stop, briefly, but maintaining the potential energy by not putting our foot down. Keeping both feet on the pedals maintains that potential energy and makes starting and accelerating much faster. There is a complete loss of momentum, but not a complete loss of potential energy.

Precisely. It would be nice if folks would take the whole "I am trying sincerely and truthfully to explain something… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2013
I am, however, perfectly happy to moan about people on Nice Ride bikes (our Boris bikes). Granted, those things are so heavy that I don't think they can be anything but a nuisance, no matter who's riding them.

I actually like the Nice Ride bikes. I mean, they're fifty kinds of hideous, of course, but I do see a truly surprising number of people riding them and having quite clearly a good time, and I can't help but think that this is a good thing. I'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:23 AM on May 23, 2013

New York's Hottest Club Is
I'd love to be invited, but I'd hate to go . . . kinda sums up my life actually.

One of the happiest moments of my life was when I realized that I had a standing invite to [Something Really Rather Exciting And Outre] and instead of going to spend an evening in a smoky room full of status anxiety [and, it has to be said, also full of amazing costumes, good music and very fine radical drag performances, but the status anxiety really tips me over into… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2013
I mean, I have a super-exclusive invitation-only club in my apartment, but the only drink available is 2% milk and the entertainment is cats.

Get some tap water in addition to the 2% and I will be totally up for an evening of being entertained by cats.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:03 AM on May 23, 2013

Woolwich Attack
Police misconduct boards around here (Minneapolis) are very weak - they have very few powers to get information from the police, their work is heavily political and they have no meaningful power to sanction. Ours was actually dissolved for a while, IIRC, and there was a big national to-do about how corrupt it had become. I would say that this is typical of the US. You all have the occasional de Menzies tragedy under stressful circumstances; we have enough police killings of black men [and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:45 PM on May 22, 2013

Commence whey puns... NOW!
(Okay, I will just jump in here with some greek yogurt observations, based on briefly falling off the vegan wagon [bump! ouch!] and buying some greek yogurt at an inner city grocery store after reading up on it in Cook's Illustrated.

First: CI did a comparison test and recommended the brand distributed as Greek Gods, which is available in both the inner city chain groceries I shop at. It tastes different IME from Danon and the other "greek"… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:01 PM on May 22, 2013
Wait, what issue was that? Because I'm not seeing the Greek Gods yogurt winning in any category on their website. While that brand tastes perfectly fine and is available full-fat, it's got a remarkably low protein content. I'd take it over no/low-fat yogurt, but not over pretty much any other full-fat yogurt.

Did I totally hallucinate this? It was a paper issue, but I will pre-emptively admit that I did not have it in hand at the grocery store, have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2013
What is weird to me about this: I feel like I pretty much stopped eating yogurt back when there was nonfat yogurt but it was still a specialized diet food, not universal, and when I had my brief retour de dairy products it was bizarre to see that all yogurt was fat-free. I mean, fat-free yogurt isn't even good. I remember it well from my teen borderline-eating-disordered years.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2013

Greek Gods yogurt is not actually Greek yogurt. It's regular yogurt with pectin to thicken it. Pertinent Chow thread here.

And all along I was fooled!

Well, perhaps it is time to admit that as a vegan I should not be commenting on dairy....Tsk, boo me.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2013

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