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MeFi post: Free Thread Forever
I'm taking down the Christmas lights today. Our neighbors must think we're weird for leaving them up so long, but whatever. Maybe I'll hang more string lights inside for the rest of the winter.
posted to MetaFilter by May Kasahara at 9:19 AM on January 18, 2022
Ask MeFi post: Any old-school bloggers still posting?
Well there's me, my blog dates to 2001. Although mostly I post on a different wordpress blog these days, and also Twitter. I think that's the case with a lot of "early bloggers", their content is kind of spread out in lots of places and they may only post on the OG blog every few months. The nice thing about an RSS reader is you still see it when it shows up.

So this answer isn't just a self-link, I'll also offer that Andy Baio and Anil Dash are still out there... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Nelson at 9:48 AM on August 27, 2019
My blog's been going for nearly 18 years, updated virtually every day, but its scope is determinedly local. It moved from Blogger through several different stages of Wordpress (hosting went down, etc.) so I don't have a full archive available.

I was part of a group called YULBlog of whom a few of us are still blogging, some from other places now, some quite personally, so I hesitate to link. Maybe half a dozen folks.... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by zadcat at 10:10 AM on August 27, 2019
MeFi post: Cortex's beautiful stained glass piece
Heyyyy! It's my thing!

I know I'm basically repeating myself from the link, but y'all this process was so dang interesting to learn, and so much less intimidating in practice than I had guessed! There's lots to learn and plenty that can go wrong, but the basic step-by-step of it felt really dang approachable, and my instructor and the class environment was really great and supportive. If you're curious after this and there's an intro class/workshop in your area,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by cortex at 11:22 AM on February 14, 2019
MeFi post: She is not a Futurist. She is the future.
I am a Duchamp fan. I think he would be delighted that this has finally been revealed. Regardless, I am delighted.
posted to MetaFilter by evilDoug at 6:57 PM on July 3, 2018
Not as egregious as outright theft, but here is some scholarship regarding male-female collaborative work that pop culture credits, usually, to a Solitary Genius Man:

Mothering the Mind [writers]

Creative Collaboration [artists, thinkers]

Creative Couples In The Sciences

Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:09 AM on July 3, 2018
I think Duchamp would be totally on-board with this development.
posted to MetaFilter by Thorzdad at 9:27 AM on July 3, 2018
MeFi post: “In the right context you can make words do all kinds of things.”
Miéville is not any sort of ally or fellow traveler. In his novels, any attempt to change the status quo is a farce to start out with, but he takes the sadistic satisfaction in showing how far the cruel will go to exercise their power, and how useless the most heroic efforts at change are. The man is a psychopath, and this novel was written simply to rip the guts out of surrealism, which he sees as an agent of change the powerless have. No, I am not kidding.
posted to MetaFilter by Slap*Happy at 5:19 PM on July 25, 2017
Ask MeFi post: Good reading about the little process details of painting and art-making
Great question. Here are a few thoughts. On the studio practices associated with American minimalism, Caroline A. Jones' "The Machine in the Studio" is one of the canonical works. It may not have as much of the minute by minute process stuff as you're interested in, but it's very good on those figures and how they made their work.

Another famous book that takes a very close look at the daily working practice of a singular (sometimes) minimalist artist is... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by informavore at 6:36 PM on May 27, 2017 marked best answer
MetaTalk post: Metatalktail Hour: Other Science Facts
My dissertation is all defended! I am DrDr. ChuraChura now!
posted to MetaTalk by ChuraChura at 4:44 AM on May 4, 2017
By request, a few more details about Nutkins.

+ + + + +

There was this squirrel that, for a while now, had brought entertainment and amusement to several of us in this part of the street. Unusually adventurous, even by squirrel standards, the squirrel would run along the rooftops, jump from tree to tree, try and get into bird feeders, and not run away from the many cats in this area (apart from Catzilla, but even people ran away from him). The... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Wordshore at 9:24 AM on April 27, 2017
Off topic: 7 days without a MetaTalk? That's got to be close to a record.

At 7 days 2 hours 39 minutes, the gap between this MeTa and the previous one is the fourth longest interval between non-deleted posts in the history of MetaTalk, beating out the gap between this and this by less than 3 minutes.

The longest gap between MetaTalk posts is the unimaginable 15 days 9 hours 7 minutes between this and this.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Gerald Bostock at 11:09 AM on April 25, 2017
So many fun biology facts. You can also have a single horseshoe shaped kidney! And when they transplant a kidney, they don't remove the old one!

Topping the list of amazing science things I've seen/done was definitely scrubbing into a liver transplant on a patient I'd been following for a couple weeks. Her liver function was so poor that we knew she was at the top of the list. I asked if I could watch when it happened and then got in touch with the surgical resident on... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by bobobox at 2:41 PM on April 23, 2017
A partially defrosted adult squirrel, on a miniature viking boat-style funeral pyre, requires a surprising amount of petrol (gasoline) for an effective - full - and befitting cremation.
posted to MetaTalk by Wordshore at 5:56 AM on April 23, 2017
Human breast milk contains a type of sugar known as oligosaccharides. They are, in fact, the third biggest ingredient in breast milk. And yet, human babies can't digest them. Why are we filling our breasts with sugar that babies can't even eat?

It's not for the babies, it's for bacteria in their stomachs. Good bacteria loves eating oligosaccharides, and that bacteria greatly aids digestion and does a crapload of other stuff, too.

We have evolved... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by smoke at 10:35 PM on April 22, 2017
Everybody knows you should thank us biochemists for beer (at least, for large-scale consistent beer), but did you know we also discovered the magic that enables chocolate-covered cherries?

I mean, how on earth do you put a cherry inside a chocolate shell completely filled with syrup? Invertase to the rescue, my friends! It is an enzyme that converts starch to sugar, and to make this candy you start by covering a cherry in a starch paste that contains a little... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Quietgal at 6:40 PM on April 22, 2017
Off topic: 7 days without a MetaTalk? That's got to be close to a record.
posted to MetaTalk by Bruce H. at 5:52 PM on April 22, 2017
Very basically: the muscles to bend our fingers are all the way up in our forearms.
Amaze and astound your friends and kids by having them relax their arm/hand/fingers on a table, palm side up, grabbing their forearm a few inches away from the wrist, and gently squeezing.

Fingers gently curl in.

Can do it to yourself.
posted to MetaTalk by herrdoktor at 4:01 PM on April 22, 2017
Ask MeFi post: I haven't liked any fantasy books for awhile...
Oh, and other fantasy I've enjoyed lately is all of Charles Stross's "The Laundry" series, Lovecraftian Horrors being managed by the British civil service. It occasionally delves into light comedy, and sometimes turns into deeply unsettling (Stross does that in a lot of his books, but he doesn't overdo it in them). Definitely firmly in the real-life-with-fantastical-touches category, though.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Sunburnt at 7:52 AM on May 4, 2017
MetaTalk post: Identifying mods on the blue and the green
Generally we're much more likely to be speaking in a moderative capacity in any given comment in MetaTalk, and less likely to denote an explicit this-is-a-moderator-note angle to comments here with [our conventional mod note styling], so identifying staff with byline tags made sense as a change to make a number of years back.

Elsewhere on the site, most of our comments are in just-a-person-chatting/answering context, and those that are explicitly mod notes get the small... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 2:25 PM on March 8, 2017
MetaTalk post: Podcast interview with mathowie on leaving Metafilter
little bits where Matt had the gist right but the details wrong.

Yeah, before we talked about the fake suicide thing, I told him upfront I don't remember a lot of the nitty gritty details since it's been a few years and I was so angry about it I blocked most of it out.

I was surprised how little activity there was for Matt since he left. Last post a year ago, a comment maybe every month or two, maybe a favorite a... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 1:11 PM on November 29, 2016
FanFare post: Movie: Arrival
Entranced by Martine Bertrand's Heptapod-B semagrams they are reminiscent of Ensō or this card
posted to FanFare by otherchaz at 10:52 AM on November 13, 2016
Ask MeFi post: A poster of Steve Wozniak
posted to Ask MetaFilter by stevewoz at 6:26 AM on June 9, 2016 marked best answer
MeFi post: Guardian restricts commentary on contentious topics
But more seriously, this is a good move and is the sort of move I hope a whole lot more media sites that aren't specifically in the business of fostering good conversation will look into.

Because it is, in retrospect, bizarre how much the terribleness of unmoderated or poorly moderated comments has been accepted as just some sort of unhappy fact of nature rather than as a crappy, and totally mitigable, by-product of a bunch of changes in the social... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by cortex at 9:02 AM on February 1, 2016
MetaTalk post: The Emotional Labor Thread shouldn't be the exception
cortex, if you don't mind me bringing it up here (it seems relevant to the subject), I'm curious about why this post stands as-is.

Because it's a first post from a user whose intentions seem totally good, and leaving an explicit note and monitoring the thread seems like it'll help get the thing off on the right foot despite the wobbly framing. If it were a long-time user, I'd have been a little more inclined to nix it with a "hey, maybe give that... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:16 PM on September 25, 2015
Music post: (I'm Gonna Drink A) Fifth Of July

Wake up halfway offa my bed
Feels like an M-80 went off in my head
Expectin’ the clock to say half past dead
But it’s really just quarter to ten

Yeah I gotta get moving it’s the country’s big day
Independence of the USA
Hop in the shower, wash the cobwebs away
Then head down to the firework stand

But the stand’s shut
... [more]
posted to MeFi Music by cortex at 1:07 PM on July 4, 2015
MetaTalk post: 15 years of Metafilter (Blue) in graphics
More generally, I share the sense of "hrm" about the long-term implications of a downward trend in activity, but my concerns there are more on the "long-term" bit; that the site would see some degree retraction as time goes by isn't any more surprising than that it would see growth, and if in part we're seeing fewer new users jumping in in tandem with lowered visibility from search traffic being people to the site, that's frustrating but sort of hitched unavoidably to the... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 12:45 PM on June 29, 2015
That a cracking pile of datawankery, elgilito, nicely done.

My immediate takeaways:

- would be interesting to see essentially the same analysis for Ask Metafilter, to see how the differences in subsite activity play out

- re: slide 17, where you note "Slide 17 shows that at that time the monthly number of new active users (first comment) started decreasing whereas the monthly number of users who stopped commenting... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 12:40 PM on June 29, 2015
MetaTalk post: State of Metafilter, and funding update
not just shirts but also hats

Hats! I've been looking for a new baseball cap and I would buy a MF hat today.
posted to MetaTalk by curious nu at 5:47 PM on June 8, 2015
can we find an alternative to them, too?

We have no practical alternative to Amazon for the affiliate revenue they generate, no. Similarly to how we have no real alternative to Adsense at this point regardless of whatever problems Google has. If there were viable sources of site revenue at the levels we need to operate and pay the staff that didn't involve dealing even passively with gigantic corporations and all their associated warts, we'd pursue... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 5:00 PM on June 8, 2015
If I purchase something through the Amazon affiliate link, how much info do you guys get about what I've purchased?

The affiliate account reports give us (well, Matt and now me, it's not something that ever comes back to the site) info on what was purchased, but no info about who did so or why. So if we really wanted to go looking, we could figure out that someone who likes Metafilter bought a pile of Raisinets, but we'd have no clue who.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:36 PM on June 8, 2015
I'd like to do more T-shirts and look at other merch stuff at some point, yeah. That said, it's always tended to be a surprisingly complicated discussion and process every time we've done it, so it's something that'll really need some planning and attention as it's own thing vs. something we really want to tackle in conjunction with this right now. And as something that didn't have any time pressure on it, it's something I'll need to query Matt a little bit about as far as the details of the... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 3:04 PM on June 8, 2015
Have you made any plans to turn this into a more official yearly pledge-drive type of thing? I don't think the userbase would begrudge a bit of a donation push from you guys once a year.

Yeah, we've been thinking about how and how often to do that sort of thing. At a bare minimum it's something we need to do an update on on a yearly basis, so this is a start on that, but I think it'd be good to formalize a once- or twice-a-year post/event specifically... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 2:38 PM on June 8, 2015
1. How much are Mefites currently donating on a monthly basis? What's the median and mean donation?

It fluctuates from month to month as people update stuff, cancel, restart, etc, but over the last 12 months it's been on the order of $9000-$10000 per month. The rest of that hundred and forty k was from a lot of one-time donations right in the first couple weeks after the news broke last May, which, considering how broke and on the edge we were, was a... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:45 PM on June 8, 2015
$140,000? Wow. With my current, admittedly very low expenditures, I could live on this money for... like a decade?

Part of the difference between MeFi as a workplace and most other places on the web that employ people is that the employees here have real jobs. They have health care. They are paid living grown-up wages and, at least at some points in the past, had retirement funds and a bunch of other minor perks (phones, tech, etc). One of the things... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:12 AM on June 8, 2015
So there's been no change from Google's part on the ad revenue thing?

Google's a cipher. We've seen some ups and downs over the last year, with a dip around the end of 2014 and then some recovery in a couple stages since then. Right now we're doing a little better there than we had been for the first few months of 2015, which is great and will hopefully stay steady or improve, but the nature of the Adsense revenue situation is that we can't really... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 11:07 AM on June 8, 2015
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:06 AM on June 8, 2015
Are the fees the site pays different depending which service we donate through, and how often? Any other pros or cons from the site's perspective for either the service used or the frequency?

The per-transaction fees are comparable, so either Stripe or PayPal will have similar associated costs. It's on the order of $0.30 + 3% of the payment.

In general, for smaller funding amounts it's a little more efficient to do fewer lump... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:35 AM on June 8, 2015
MetaTalk post: To queue or not to queue
his staff feel free to question and overrule the big boss's judgment calls

If you hire people smarter than yourself, it's pretty easy to agree with their advice even when it contradicts your own position -- they're probably right.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:32 AM on November 19, 2014
MetaTalk post: Hazlitt's love letter to MetaFilter
Oh hi guys! Thanks JCiFA for posting! And thanks to phire for tweeting. It's super nice to see you guys' reaction, I'm glad you generally seem to like it. This was one of my first ever journalism type pieces of writing, and as a regular mefi reader (clearly), with the essay being ABOUT mefi, and figuring it would end up here on way or another, I was hyper conscious of the kind of ripping apart pretty much everything that gets posted here gets in one way or another. So actually, thanks for... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by skwt at 1:19 PM on October 31, 2014
MeFi post: I also check my skeletons twice. You can never be too careful.
I teach physical anthropology at a large Midwestern university; this (or something analogous) is a situation which I find myself in at least a few times every semester. My class is a gen ed course called "Introduction to Physical Anthropology" and fulfills the same natural science requirement as things like general chemistry and physics. We always have students who just want to take ANYTHING BUT A HARD SCIENCE and don't read the course description carefully or who just don't know what... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by ChuraChura at 5:51 AM on October 20, 2014
MetaTalk post: Leveraging the community to help develop Mefi functionality?
In addition to cold, hard, cash, are there other ways in which MeFites can assist MetaFilter to survive / operate / flourish?

Be awesome people on the site and good ambassadors off it is really about all we can ask.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:38 AM on June 9, 2014
Also, yeah, I appreciate the sentiment behind it, but logistically, it's a non-starter. A combo of old weird programming language, insane work of managing volunteer code and review, and coding speed is rarely a limiting factor.

Honestly, I can't think of the last time we had an idea for a thing, mapped out how it would work, mocked it up, and then had to wait more than a couple of hours before there was a working demo. New features coming to MeFi aren't limited by pb's... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:24 AM on June 9, 2014
^ that has actually happened at least a dozen times before.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:20 AM on June 9, 2014
Pay pb to work overtime

I honestly suspect we would not be able to pay pb to not work overtime. The guy is a workhorse, we often have conversations over email that go like

Josh: Hey, I had an idea about a tweak for x. Worth trying?
Matt: Oh, hmm. Yeah, we could think about that, maybe after the weekend we'll look at—
pb: here's a prototype for x
Josh: wait that... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:12 AM on June 9, 2014
And I also hope this isn't how people are going to treat Metafilter just because they're paying something to use the site.

I totally understand people having this reaction to the idea of a "because we paid money, ergo..." type propositions, but I don't think that was what philipy was going for at all so I'd rather people not pile on about that. If anything I think the intent was the opposite: "we're helping via method x; can we also... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:51 AM on June 9, 2014
It's a very nice thought but it's also really impractical, yeah. Our bottleneck is basically never "pb can't accomplish that", it's process stuff—design, testing, iterating, layout—that can't be reasonably rushed by chucking personhours at the problem.

And that's before even getting into the amount of work that would be required just to sanely expose and organize and manage contributions to the codebase.

Properly... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:45 AM on June 9, 2014
MetaTalk post: Because You're Worth It, Metafilter.
Yeah, I plan to do something later this week with a link in the nav somewhere, and taking down the top banner soon after. Not sure exactly where it will end up, but it'll be somewhere in the header and footer. Also, I'll post a big update tomorrow about where we stand with the fundraising.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 2:08 PM on June 1, 2014
MetaTalk post: Turning on the Metatalk queue
This may seem kind of elaborate

Yes, it does. It's a Rube Goldberg device for chasing off theoretical wraiths of bad action, making some of the bones of the metatalk queue half-visible without offering anyone who felt truly aggrieved or silenced an actual platform. It's show transparency, a spectacle as a consolation prize for the actual thing some people are wishing would be available instead.

Transparency is a means, not an... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 6:30 AM on May 31, 2014
Ask MeFi post: Help identify this painting
It's a print of this Calder lithograph.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by jessamyn at 5:35 PM on May 28, 2014 marked best answer
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