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State of MetaFilter, 2017

Heya, folks, it's time (and then some!) for a State of MetaFilter post. I want to give everybody an update on how the site is doing financially, and catch y'all up on the major goings-on in both the business and community aspects of MetaFilter in the time since the last State of MeFi post.

The very short version: it's been a weird couple years out there in the world; we've hired a couple staff and wished pb well; and things are financially pretty stable, thanks in significant part to the ongoing generosity of the MetaFilter community whose contributions continue to represent a vital chunk of the site's operating revenue. But come on inside for a much less short version!
posted by cortex to MetaTalk on Mar 22 at 8:26 AM
180 users marked this as a favorite

He's been up all night listening to Mohammed's radio...


Rebellion has its roots in government's indifference and incompetence.


Lifetime Not Guaranteed

They Used to Last 50 Years
Now refrigerators last 8–10 years, if you are fortunate. How in the world have our appliances regressed so much in the past few decades? ... Now, many appliances break and need servicing within 2-3 years and, overall, new appliances last 1/3 to 1/4 as long as appliances built decades ago. ... Why is this happening, and what’s really going on?

posted by ZeusHumms to MetaFilter on Mar 21 at 8:55 AM
89 users marked this as a favorite

ooOOOoohheeeerrrrRRrrRrrrRRah aha ha hannnnnnngg

Make some weird noises through manual speech synthesis, with the utterly goddam wonderful Pink Trombone. (via waxy.)
posted by cortex to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 10:22 AM
63 users marked this as a favorite

Irony doesn’t negate sexism, it just helps it dodge accountability.

Emma Pittman's article, Ironic Sexism: the Male Gaze of Hipster Spaces, discusses the ways that hipster spaces try to rebrand sexism as ironic and therefore acceptable.
posted by bile and syntax to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 9:26 AM
57 users marked this as a favorite

I think the secret to doing things is just doing things

Day 87 of Mark Baumer's vlog and blog of walking across the country barefoot is laugh out loud funny. Two months ago, on day 101 of his walk to raise awareness about climate change, the day after the presidential inauguration, he was struck by an SUV and killed. "We would have been better off electing a barrel of burning tires," read the inscription on the photo he had posted to his website the previous day, the last photo he would ever publish.
posted by GregorWill to MetaFilter on Mar 21 at 10:47 AM
57 users marked this as a favorite

49 satin wedding gowns... one in each state's boxcar

The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad boxcars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from French citizens sent to the US in 1949. They were showing their appreciation for the 700+ American boxcars of relief goods sent to them by Americans in 1948 via a project calledFriendship Train. Each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift-laden box cars. Many of those boxcars still exist.
posted by jessamyn to MetaFilter on Mar 23 at 2:53 PM
57 users marked this as a favorite

Service ADVISOR

Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware - A dive into the thriving black market of John Deere tractor hacking.
posted by timshel to MetaFilter on Mar 22 at 5:52 AM
56 users marked this as a favorite

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

In one particularly potent example of party trumping fact, when shown photos of Trump’s inauguration and Barack Obama’s side by side, in which Obama clearly had a bigger crowd, some Trump supporters identified the bigger crowd as Trump’s. When researchers explicitly told subjects which photo was Trump’s and which was Obama’s, a smaller portion of Trump supporters falsely said Trump’s photo had more people in it.
The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs
posted by AFABulous to MetaFilter on Mar 18 at 6:23 PM
51 users marked this as a favorite

Best Salted Oatmeal Cookie Recipe?

What is the best salted oatmeal cookie recipe? I love the salted oatmeal cookies from Whisked in DC but they're a bit pricey for me to consume constantly and they haven't published the recipe (I wrote to ask). Please help me make delicious salted oatmeal cookies at home!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Ask MetaFilter on Mar 22 at 11:00 AM
50 users marked this as a favorite

Fiction that changes (daily) lives?

What are some fiction books you've read that changed your outlook on daily life after you finished them? I'm thinking of books that have the potential to make daily life seem more interesting and adventurous, or to give a new perspective on the seemingly mundane. Maybe they cause you to adopt a new persona, or envision yourself as a character involved in some sort of intrigue. Non-fiction will be considered, but I'm not looking for self-help books so much as inspiration to see things in a more exciting light.
posted by iamisaid to Ask MetaFilter on Mar 16 at 3:54 PM
47 users marked this as a favorite

"The future is here, it just hasn't finished melting yet."

Utopia in the Time of Trump - "Written before Trump's election and released just after his inauguration, [Kim Stanley Robinson's] New York 2140 stands as the first major science fictional artifact of the Trump era, anticipating even in its articulation of the conditions of victory the fragility of progress and the likelihood of reversal." (via) [previously]
posted by kliuless to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 12:12 AM
46 users marked this as a favorite

Gene-mapping Dreamtime

Over the last decade, bearing out what archeological evidence already implied, several DNA studies (previously) have established that Australian Aboriginal peoples belonged to a single migrant group who departed Africa around 72,000 years ago, arriving in Sahul about twenty millenia later. Now a new study of mitochondrial DNA maps out the philogeography of this first peopling of Australia, showing the group rapidly encircling the continent - and then essentially staying put, each subgroup in their area... for fifty thousand years.
posted by progosk to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 12:07 PM
45 users marked this as a favorite

Coffee rust and Panama disease: the problems with monocultures

What started as a drink for social gatherings of nobility and the wealthy spread, and by the 1800s, the British were big fans of coffee with densely planted plantations in Ceylon satisfied their desires for caffeine. But then came coffee rust (previously), and soon after, so did a Scotish grocer, Thomas Lipton, who had Camellia sinensis shrubs planted to replace blighted Coffea trees. Given such a notable history, you would imagine other produce empires might learn some lessons from reliance on a monoculture, but not so the United Fruit Company, who replaced the popular but Panama disease-plighted Gros Michel with the look-alike Cavendish. Around a decade ago, the Cavendish first faced a similar threat to the Gros Michel: humans made the perfect banana, and soon it'll be gone.
posted by filthy light thief to MetaFilter on Mar 20 at 9:18 AM
45 users marked this as a favorite

But you didn't say what type of beans are on the plate!


home is wherever I'm with you

Charlie Peck records a duet cover of Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: between himself on the first day of testosterone treatment and himself 9 months later.
posted by divabat to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 4:06 AM
42 users marked this as a favorite

No one eats like Gaston

How many chickens were employed, at minimum, to provide a steady supply of eggs for Gaston's breakfasts?
posted by DoctorFedora to Ask MetaFilter on Mar 23 at 5:45 PM
42 users marked this as a favorite

How to deal with emotional labor inequity in relationships with males?

I'm a straight middle-aged female who is experiencing a lot of issues with both romantic relationships and platonic male friends who have unvoiced expectations that I should perform nearly all of the emotional labor in our relationships.
posted by nirblegee to Ask MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 6:09 PM
40 users marked this as a favorite

And so it went.

NBC News Overnight, a live one-hour news program, aired for about seventeen months starting on July 5, 1982. Its debut coincided with a lunar eclipse, and despite science reporter Robert Bizel’s disappearance during the live broadcast (he went for some coffee), it was a success from the first night. It was probably the best-written, best-executed news program ever produced. It never talked down to its viewers because, from day one, it never assumed that the lowest common denominator was the way to go. Entirely the opposite, in fact. The writing was crisp, witty, and smart. Overnight closed its doors in the first week of December 1983, after NBC management dropped it because of low ratings. -- Never mind Jon Stewart, I still miss NBC News Overnight
posted by Room 641-A to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 12:27 PM
39 users marked this as a favorite

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Popular Comments

If somehow this all causes Paul Ryan to lose his speakership I will be so happy and it will not be schadenfreude because there will be nothing shameful about it. I am avoiding sugar during Lent but if Paul Ryan steps down I will declare it a feast day and I will bake a celebratory cake and I will write Go to Hell Paul Ryan with icing in lovely... [more]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to MetaFilter on Mar 24 at 7:59 AM
201 users marked this as a favorite

shouldn't the republicans be forced to bring the bill to term [view]
posted by prize bull octorok to MetaFilter on Mar 24 at 12:42 PM
184 users marked this as a favorite

Sen Udall (D-NM), other Ds, intro bill requiring disclosure of visitor logs at the WH and other locations Trump regularly conducts business. (unlike in the Obama admin, the WH visitor logs have not been posted online since 1/20) The bill is called the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act [view]
posted by melissasaurus to MetaFilter on Mar 24 at 10:01 AM
175 users marked this as a favorite

yay, the white house is leaving nunes to twist in the wind: Rep Swalwell "as I sit here tonight we have still NOT seen the evidence that Nunes took to WH first. We are DEMANDING to see it by tomorrow" -- @aliasvaughn Somewhere Nunes is realizing, when you're at the table with Trump, look for the Chris Christie. If you don't... [more]
posted by murphy slaw to MetaFilter on Mar 24 at 8:19 AM
174 users marked this as a favorite

Here's hoping that today is the first concrete victory we've gotten since the depressing failure that was November 8. I want to remind us all of the MAJOR victory we succeeded in getting around the Muslim ban. We did that. We took to the airports. We (attorneys) sat at the airports all night arguing with CBP. We (protesters) fed and... [more]
posted by Sophie1 to MetaFilter on Mar 24 at 8:28 AM
169 users marked this as a favorite

Of course, at this point talking about the Supreme Court, investigations, or Comey, or whatever seems kind of like whistling past the graveyard to me. I'm very close to convinced that we're now inevitably on track to major wars, major disruption of trade, and the massive humanitarian crisis that will involve. I'm pretty sure that even if Trump was... [more]
posted by sotonohito to MetaFilter on Mar 20 at 8:36 AM
163 users marked this as a favorite

They struggle with the federal budget deficit, and they like the idea of personal responsibility Oh bullshit. If they struggled with the deficit they would've become lifetime Democrats when George W. Bush turned an all-time record surplus into a then all-time record deficit. [view]
posted by kirkaracha to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 3:32 PM
152 users marked this as a favorite

my name is duck and wen its nite and the pond is algae blight and all the men haf gon to bed I swim out late I lik the bred [view]
posted by nubs to MetaFilter on Mar 23 at 10:33 AM
152 users marked this as a favorite

Hey Republicans, don't worry, that burn is covered under the Affordable Care Act -- Senator Bob Menendez (D) NJ [view]
posted by murphy slaw to MetaFilter on Mar 24 at 1:01 PM
149 users marked this as a favorite

“People in this community are very conservative. They struggle with the federal budget deficit, and they like the idea of personal responsibility,” said Phil Ennen, the president and chief executive of Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers, which has a 75-bed hospital in Bryan. “But at the same time, we have a lot of friends and family and... [more]
posted by Joey Michaels to MetaFilter on Mar 19 at 3:28 PM
146 users marked this as a favorite

No deal on Gorsuch -- Schumer just announced on the Senate floor that he's voting no on Gorsuch and that McConnell will need to get 60 votes or get rid of the filibuster if he wants Gorsuch confirmed. Paraphrase: "Our goal is not to change the rules, it's to change the nominee." [view]
posted by melissasaurus to MetaFilter on Mar 23 at 7:17 AM
144 users marked this as a favorite

Here is what I try to bear in mind: we have had presidents who were in favor of open, widespread chattel slavery. We have had presidents who were vocally indifferent to widespread lynching. And before we do that whole "but the police, but the prisons, don't you know that the present is just as bad as the past" - back in those days the... [more]
posted by Frowner to MetaFilter on Mar 22 at 2:50 PM
142 users marked this as a favorite

There should be a word in German for how much I'm enjoying schadenfrau's birthday. [view]
posted by kelborel to MetaFilter on Mar 23 at 11:03 AM
141 users marked this as a favorite

Ha, jeez. Sorry about the fakeout there; didn't even occur to me that that might read that way. To be clear, my headspace is very much more like "for just about two years now, and...I'm gonna keep at it forever, fuckers, you can't get rid of me that easy". [view]
posted by cortex to MetaTalk on Mar 22 at 9:16 AM
140 users marked this as a favorite

Has it ever happened that a Supreme Court nominee, during his confirmation hearing, has one of his decisions thoroughly slapped down by a UNANIMOUS decision of the Supreme Court? Well, it has now. [view]
posted by darkstar to MetaFilter on Mar 22 at 10:42 AM
138 users marked this as a favorite

Can someone explain why a bipartisan investigation can't happen now? I'm not connecting the dots. The fundamental purpose of the House Intelligence Committee -- which was created in 1975; that's technically wrong but essentially correct for the purposes of this discussion -- to conduct oversight of the executive branch (specifically, of... [more]
posted by cjelli to MetaFilter on Mar 22 at 1:36 PM
138 users marked this as a favorite

Al Franken continuing to impress with his hard-hitting questioning of nominees. Watch Al Franken shut down Gorsuch’s cruel decision in the ‘Frozen Trucker’ case. “What you’re talking about here is the plain meaning rule. Here is what the rule means. When the plain meaning of a statute is clear on its face, when its meaning is obvious, courts... [more]
posted by triggerfinger to MetaFilter on Mar 21 at 3:24 PM
135 users marked this as a favorite

I mean, half of my family is from a pretty redneck area, and before that from Appalachia, and they'd all gnaw off a forearm before voting for Trump, so it gets me down a little bit to have all this blanket "no sympathy for people from distressed areas". I live in a blood-red rural state. I come from the Ozarks. My wife proudly... [more]
posted by middleclasstool to MetaFilter on Mar 20 at 5:35 AM
133 users marked this as a favorite

I'm at the grocery store right now buying a cake mix and some frosting to write with. Pictures to follow soon. Also, apparently my inability to be right in any political prediction continues unbroken. Hmmmm..... I confidently predict that Trump will not resign! Mark my words he will still be president in six months! Let's see if I can... [more]
posted by sotonohito to MetaFilter on Mar 24 at 1:48 PM
129 users marked this as a favorite

So I have a story about the height of Yahoo! decadence. Somewhere around 1998, I was contacted by an agent of Yahoo! in my capacity as a music scholar with, for weird reasons, some expertise on the subject of yodeling. They were calling to ask me to judge the first ever Yahoo! Yodel Contest Finals, to be held in a glassed-in street level... [more]
posted by spitbull to MetaFilter on Mar 22 at 6:09 AM
126 users marked this as a favorite