Seconding The Pushcart War & The Phantom Tollbooth. In other children's/YA, try Gordon Korman's The Twinkie Squad.
Maureen McHugh's China Mountain Zhang's ending made me super happy and alive.
The first book in Pat Barker's "Regeneration" trilogy (Regeneration) had a similar effect on me (the trilogy on the whole can be a downer, though). posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 11:17 AM on April 22, 2014
I haven't seen them in years, but I have fond memories of The Big Kahuna and Secrets and Lies and Desk Set and Norman McLaren's Synchromy and Oskar Fischinger's Composition in Blue. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 10:48 PM on August 14, 2013
Punctuality is huge, and is a subset of reliability. People who keep their word, without anyone needing to remind them, seem far more mature than those who don't. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 7:59 PM on February 3, 2013
You mention that you find nonfiction books dull; how have you been learning your science, including recent science history? Documentaries, courses, word-of-mouth, blogs, or some other method? It could be that what you dislike is the book medium and you'd do better with, for example, the History of Rome podcast, the Crooked Timber blog, documentaries like Helvetica, clicking around Wikipedia, and lectures at your local college or at spaces like The... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 9:28 AM on December 19, 2012
More and more jobs are completely fine with telecommuting. If you're in the same country as your employer, in some fields, you're unusual. Can you try remote work? posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 8:49 AM on December 19, 2012
Check out Dreamwidth which actively encourages community feedback on site structure, features, etc. I'm linking to the dw-news community which has the site staff posting DW news and asking for comments.
Also check out how Wikimedia made its five-year strategic plan as a collaborative community effort (the process "lasted a full year and resulted in 1,470 content pages on the wiki").... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 3:37 PM on October 13, 2012
If you want more experience working with big data, you can get it without having to do it for a job -- OpenStreetMap, Open Knowledge Foundation, Wikimedia, and other open data sources are available, and Hadoop and other bigdata tools are open source. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 3:25 PM on October 8, 2012
How can I productively network with alumni contacts (at alumni functions, etc.) as my career trajectory starts to depart from theirs.
You could start a volunteer project and ask your fellow alumni to help out. I find that making/doing stuff with other people makes more useful ties and can turn into new opportunities. What are your favorite open datasets? (Plug.) posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 2:02 PM on October 1, 2012
If there is any company gossip you have ever been curious about (especially regarding harassment, and people whose personal problems get in the way of their work and yours), and you are good at subtlety, see if you can get the conversation in that neighborhood. Or wait to have that conversation until she's no longer at the company. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 1:45 PM on October 1, 2012
One wonderful thing about hanging out in female-friendly online spaces is that we barely ever know what our friends look like. Dreamwidth is great for this, and most people who hang out there are feminists. Maybe you should blog, read blogs, and feel more supported that way. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 5:56 AM on August 29, 2012
Speaking of open source projects: OpenHatch can help you look for design-related problems to work on, to build your portfolio and get critique from others in the community. Example. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 7:32 AM on August 27, 2012 marked best answer
Raidallinen, here's a short guide to quickly skimming the publicly available information about an open source project to see how active it is and whether it's amenable to new volunteers.
I work on bringing new volunteers into Wikimedia technical projects, and you might be interested in helping bring the new Wikidata project to fruition (background on Wikidata). This is only indirectly related to the underlying science, but given how many scientists end up referring to... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 5:30 PM on August 20, 2012 marked best answer
I run a fair number of workshops and events. Hope this isn't condescending.
Define your goals really clearly and specifically, and then do as much preparation and structure as necessary to achieve those goals. The trick here is to just skip things that you might assume are necessary. You might not need any presentations at all, or discussions, or trainings, depending on your goals.
Example -- lessons learned by OpenHatch, which puts on lots of... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 11:21 PM on June 15, 2012
Thank you for posting this question, and thanks to everyone for the answers. I was constantly told, over and over, by my family, that I had "no common sense," and remembering that angers me to this day. I now believe there is no such thing as "common sense" and that anyone saying "oh that's just common sense" or "you/s/he has no common sense" is a thoughtless jerk. It takes active learning and training to get any skill other than sucking at a nipple.... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 5:38 AM on June 8, 2012 marked best answer
I sit reminded and corrected! posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 4:50 AM on June 10, 2012
taking 6 years to finish a BS degree that I don't even know if I can complete just feels embarrassing
I know that, from your perspective right now, it feels embarrassing. But think about it this way: when future employers look at your resume, you can just put the end date on there -- "graduated 201x" -- and they won't know or care about how long you took to get there. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 5:32 PM on May 24, 2012
Do you have a mentor, or someone else you trust to check in with you for 15 minutes a week? That kind of regular one-on-one appointment helps you set your goals for what's really important (not just urgent, but important) for you to focus on and get done.
Have a private accountability blog that you only share with that mentor or a few trusted friends, and every day, take 10 minutes to post:
* what you did the previous day
* what you... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 8:34 AM on May 17, 2012
The more I thought about buying a smartphone the more my sentimental side rose up in protest against buying an Android device, and I used to have a Nokia N900 so I'm somewhat familiar with that ecology and (as I realized) sentimentally attached to the Maemo legacy. So I got a Nokia N9. Maybe I'll regret it and get a WebOS or Android device if it doesn't work out for me. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 8:02 AM on May 17, 2012
Alexandra Erin is doing online fiction - writes a lot of ongoing serial fiction, and gets enough donors and merch-buyers to make a living. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 10:35 PM on May 13, 2012 marked best answer
I'm at the Wikimedia Foundation (hiring), and I came into it from a few years working and volunteering in open source software. I'm the community manager on the engineering side. I help volunteers learn and grow, I contribute to freely-licensed software that anyone can reuse and contribute to, I help nurture the development community that makes the software platform for Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, and thus I'm helping empower people all over the world with information.... [more] posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 10:20 PM on May 13, 2012
I meant to move Eyebeam into the not-hiring-right-now list, whoops. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 10:32 PM on May 13, 2012
Have you ever managed other people? You can get experience in management in volunteer projects and those skills do transfer (not 100%, but substantially) to the workplace. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 7:12 AM on February 2, 2012 marked best answer
The protagonists of Pat Barker's Regeneration, Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small quartet, Cat Rambo's "Magnificent Pigs", Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed, and Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 4:22 PM on September 22, 2011
For future reference: your insurance card may have on it a phone number for a 24-hour advice nurse. If so, keep that in mind for the next time you're dithering on whether to go to the emergency room, or otherwise trying to figure out how urgent your medical need is. The advice nurse is trained in helping stressed-out people make that very decision. posted to Ask MetaFilter by brainwaneat 12:39 PM on September 18, 2011