Popular posts and comments from across all sites, marked as a favorite most often in the past seven days. Also check out a curated list of highlights at Best Of MetaFilter. Subscribe to Popular Posts via RSS or Twitter and Comments via RSS.
"We can go to science fiction for its sense of wonder, its power to take us to far-off places and future times. We can go to political fiction to understand injustice in our own time, to see what should change. We may go to poetry — epic or lyric, old or new — for what cannot change, for a sense of human limits, as well as for the music in its words. And if we want all those things at once — a sense of escape, a sense of injustice, a sense of mortality and an ear for language — we can read the stories of James Tiptree, Jr.
," the reclusive, award-winning author whose vague biography started out in the Congo, routed through a period as a painter, then service as a photo intelligence officer in WWII, and finally a researcher and teacher of "soft" sciences before getting to writing science fiction
. There was another facet that was only guessed at by some, dismissed by others: the fact that "Uncle Tip," and his reclusive friend, the former school teacher Racoona Sheldon, were the same person. And they were Alice Bradley Sheldon
posted by filthy light thief to MetaFilter on Dec 20 at 7:32 PM
110 users marked this as a favorite
The boyfriend and I will be attending a holiday dinner with his brother, who professes to hate all plant-based food except grains, rice, and potatoes. He has thrown down the gauntlet and asked us all to produce a vegetable based dish that he will actually enjoy. Please save us from defeat by sharing your most delicious vegetable and fruit-based dishes. Main meals, side dishes, appetizers, and desserts all welcome, and the dish can include other food groups, as long as the fruit or vegetable is prominent.
posted by rpfields to Ask MetaFilter on Dec 21 at 1:15 PM
84 users marked this as a favorite
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success.
posted by mannequito to MetaFilter on Dec 16 at 1:44 PM
72 users marked this as a favorite
I'm pretty recipe-bound in the kitchen. I'd like to get better at improvising. I'm looking for things to cook that are instantly identifiable and delicious despite major changes in the ingredients list, the culinary equivalent of a jazz standard that can be played a thousand different ways while still being itself. Dishes that have the weird recognisability of Benderick Cumblebatch's name. What have you got?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow to Ask MetaFilter on Dec 18 at 4:08 PM
66 users marked this as a favorite
I'm depressed. What can I do to keep one small negative experience from spiraling into a cascade of negative thoughts about myself? I'm working on getting into therapy and getting on meds, but I need some strategies that will help me cut these cycles now
posted by ocherdraco to Ask MetaFilter on Nov 10, 2010 at 7:56 AM
60 users marked this as a favorite
Several years ago I found the Game of Throne books after several people suggested it on here. I have a pretty decent amount of Christmas vacation this year and I would like to read more, well-written, fantasy. This is where you come in - what would you have me read?
posted by WinterSolstice to Ask MetaFilter on Dec 17 at 5:59 AM
56 users marked this as a favorite
"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia
was written by Pliny the Elder
between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian
, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
posted by Blasdelb to MetaFilter on Dec 16 at 5:48 AM
51 users marked this as a favorite
There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style.
But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone.
-- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes
takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
posted by Potomac Avenue to MetaFilter on Dec 20 at 9:57 AM
51 users marked this as a favorite
Let me tell you about my cookie cutters.
My Uncle B and Aunt M (really my father's much older uncle and aunt, and rather terrifying in demeanor and voice) gave us the same gift each year: a homemade cookie cutter shaped out of an old tin can and a tin or box of cookies made from their own collection of cutters. Uncle B made the cutters and Aunt... [more
posted by Elsa to MetaFilter on Dec 18 at 8:04 AM
267 users marked this as a favorite
Your guy is in his fifties. You are in your forties, for god's sake. Him meeting an old friend without telling you is totally allowed. If he was going to cheat on you, he wouldn't tell his paramour about his live-in girlfriend.
He said it was a last minute, "Why not," type of thing and then he couldn't figure out how to mention
posted by Think_Long to Ask MetaFilter on Dec 16 at 6:44 AM
164 users marked this as a favorite
You cat-hating dogfood eaters, just hush. Cats are more than capable of forming intense, loving bonds with their humans. Dogs don't crawl in your suitcase when you're packing, partly because they're too stupid to understand what a packed suitcase means. Cats know. They want to be with their human in any situation.
My last cat demonstrated... [more
posted by Purposeful Grimace to MetaFilter on Dec 14 at 8:35 PM
161 users marked this as a favorite
Chris Tucker The Fifth Element (1997)
The Performance: Screeching his way through this otherwise divertingly daft sci-fi, Tucker sounds like a litter of cats slowly drowning in a futuristic river. We’re always up for a little camp silliness, but this one's a serious patience tester.
No! This misses the point! Ruby Rhod is a celebrity sex-god... [more
posted by the man of twists and turns to MetaFilter on Dec 17 at 1:26 PM
121 users marked this as a favorite
I realize my tone is more somber than the other answers, but...
I left my abusive, cheating husband and, ever since, my happiness and well-being has exponentially changed.
As those of us who have experienced abuse know, I felt I was flawed and wrong and at fault until I sought help from AskMeFi. The selfless members who took time to answer... [more
posted by Punctual to MetaTalk on Dec 15 at 8:43 PM
113 users marked this as a favorite
After seeing my similar post tonight on Facebook, and getting the link to this very thread forwarded to him by a family member, the mystery is solved!!
- It was my brother-in-laws father!!
Apparently a few of my family members knew the whole time, and this is something he's done to his old college roommates and his buddies... [more
posted by Hellafiles to Ask MetaFilter on Dec 20 at 6:09 PM
108 users marked this as a favorite
And immediately following on page 49 is this winner, emphasis mine:
Although the State did not directly present an argument based on religious freedom, the court notes that its decision does not mandate any change for religious institutions, which may continue to express their own moral viewpoints and define their own traditions about
posted by MCMikeNamara to MetaFilter on Dec 20 at 1:55 PM
103 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any experience with medicine but I do have a lot of experience with academics.
This stood out to me: What bothers me is that I think I could be "limited" in the places I could go later on because of these black marks on my record. In other words, if med school were a video game (and ha, I know it's not), I surely would
posted by pretentious illiterate to Ask MetaFilter on Dec 15 at 10:16 AM
101 users marked this as a favorite
I think cats are just pickier about the people they choose to love than dogs are. Most dogs, if properly raised, will learn to love just about any kind human who cares for dogs and feeds them. A cat will befriend and tolerate kind humans with food, but whether or not the cat chooses to really love that person is another story.
When I was a kid... [more
posted by BlueJae to MetaFilter on Dec 14 at 9:27 PM
97 users marked this as a favorite
I think the biggest benefit of AskMe is that if you read it long enough, you sort of get an AskMe in your head that tells you what to do in certain circumstances:
"Yes, you can ask them out, but only once, and don't be a creep about it"
"That's inappropriate, talk to HR about... [more
posted by jcreigh to MetaTalk on Dec 15 at 9:18 PM
95 users marked this as a favorite
Much to my surprise I have entered my eightieth year. It is just a fact that I might not live much longer but I am aware that mentioning this ordinary reality does seem eccentric to younger people. When I have an inexplicably stressful and stupid day, I also sometimes say things that I would certainly have put more diplomatically in earlier years.... [more
posted by Anitanola to Ask MetaFilter on Dec 16 at 4:37 AM
95 users marked this as a favorite
I feel there has been a recent spat of "That think you like that is sort of progressive? IT'S ACTUALLY TERRIBLE AND OPPRESSIVE" essays recently. Essays that frequently seem to miss the point in all sorts of ways.
Maybe the person writing this should consider Stan Lee wrote the comics from the perspective of a Jewish guy for whom the... [more
posted by schroedinger to MetaFilter on Dec 18 at 7:50 AM
84 users marked this as a favorite