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‘Our country is in a hellhole right now’—Cardi B

As the partial US government shutdown winds up its fourth week, we learned that President Trump directed his attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his Moscow Tower Project (BuzzFeed), a bombshell development immediately condemned by Democrats (Politico) as obstruction of justice if not an impeachable offense (Lawfare). House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler both pledged to investigate (AP). Attorney General nominee Bill Barr, writing to DAG Rod Rosenstein last June about "Muller's 'Obstruction' Theory", also declared, "[I]f a President […] suborns perjury[…], then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction." In other Cohen news, the Wall Street Journal revealed he hired an IT Firm to rig early CNBC, Drudge Polls to favor Trump, subsequently stiffing the firm and Trump (allegedly). Cohen still intends to testify before before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on on February 7th, despite concerns for his family (CNN) after Trump's repeated hostile public remarks.
posted by Doktor Zed to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 9:40 AM
134 users marked this as a favorite

Unendowed with wealth or pity

@girlziplocked asks, "What's a dirty secret that everybody in your industry knows about but anyone outside of your line of work would be scandalized to hear?" Twitter responds with dozens of reports of systemic fraud, abuse, prejudice, corruption, incompetence, and precarity from restaurants, heavy industry, non-profits, technology, theatre, shipping, customer service, flower arranging, medicine, law, art, education, government, senior care, agriculture, telecommunications, and virtually every other sphere of modern economic activity.
posted by Iridic to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 11:14 AM
124 users marked this as a favorite

A brief history of secular mindfulness meditation in the West

Deconstructing Mindfulness: Embracing a Complex Simplicity. "There’s been a marked increase in studies of mindfulness and meditation in recent years. I’m worried that many of today’s researchers may think they know what they’re doing. ... [I]t makes all the sense in the world that we deconstruct mindfulness, by which I mean that we understand it to have a history, a 'side view.' It’s not a given or an absolute. It comes from somewhere. Mindfulness has been constructed."
posted by homunculus to MetaFilter on Jan 19 at 11:20 AM
87 users marked this as a favorite

Tea by sea. Cha by land.

History of the word for 茶 (tea). Silk road land based trade led to the spread of 'cha' based words, but 'te' based words come from the sea based trade.
posted by freethefeet to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 9:42 PM
78 users marked this as a favorite

That's "one hundred ten", not "six"

Donald Knuth Lectures - a playlist of 110 lectures (most of them about an hour long) on TeX, mathematical writing, algorithms, data structures, hardware, cryptography...
posted by Wolfdog to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 6:15 AM
73 users marked this as a favorite

My ancestors did wrong. It's right here in black and white.

#1 is Edie. She's 45 years old, and valued at $800. And she, her, it's hard to say the word…owner...it's not right. This is my second great grandfather, William Hayes Paxton. #2, Julia. She's 26, valued at $1400. The list goes on. There are 44 names on this list.
After Two White Colorado Women Unearthed The History Of Their Slave-Owning Ancestors, They Turned To Reparations by Ann Marie Awad, Colorado Public Radio (article and audio of radio interview at link).
posted by medusa to MetaFilter on Jan 16 at 8:02 AM
67 users marked this as a favorite

not just for students

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

Through trial and error (mostly error, he says), Vermonter Peter Burke has developed a great way to enjoy fresh greens year-round without special equipment and at low cost. He describes his method in a book and a podcast. Yankee ingenuity at its finest.
posted by No Robots to MetaFilter on Jan 16 at 12:29 PM
57 users marked this as a favorite

Civilisation (1969) and Civilisations (2015), British views of the past

In 1966, David Attenborough, the controller of the recently launched BBC2, asked historian Kenneth Clark to host a show, which would become Civilisation (Wikipedia), which inspired audiences in the UK and US to go to head to art museums after each of the 13 episodes originally aired, in 1969 and 1970, respectively, as noted in The Seductive Enthusiasm of Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation” by Morgan Meis for the New Yorker. Almost 50 years later, BBC returned to the theme, now titled Civilisations (Wikipedia), with three presenters, Mary Beard, David Olusoga and Simon Schama, who looked beyond the Great Men of Europe (BBC). And it's all online ...
posted by filthy light thief to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 10:00 PM
55 users marked this as a favorite

Are you ready for some (smart) football?

American football season is winding down. The college football season is already over, and there are only three more NFL playoff games. (Although the Alliance of American Football will kick off its inaugural season in February!) Now that we don't have games to keep us occupied anymore, let's turn our attention to Xs and Os instead. If you can't tell the difference between a 3x1 spread and a flexbone, jump in to some Xs and Os blogs and start learning. By next season's kickoff, you'll be able to impress all your rowdy friends when you say things like "oh, that's a simple smash concept to the boundary with the H-back check-releasing to the flat, gives the QB an easy hi-lo read".
posted by kevinbelt to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 2:10 PM
54 users marked this as a favorite

Untreated chronic pain is a human rights issue

The clampdown on opioid prescriptions is hurting pain patients. "A report released last month by Human Rights Watch paints a cautionary and at times harrowing picture of what pain patients are experiencing today. Because of well-intended efforts to address the overdose crisis, many doctors are severely limiting opioid prescriptions. Patients who rely on opioid analgesics are being forcibly weaned off the medication or seeing their prescriptions significantly reduced. Other patients are unable to find doctors willing to treat them at all."
posted by homunculus to MetaFilter on Jan 20 at 2:32 PM
51 users marked this as a favorite

3. Trying to be an author is a very bad idea.

A year after Ursula Le Guin's death, Alison Smith recalls escorting her during a university conference in 1987. When I met Le Guin, I was in outer space, hovering in that darkness. Cast out from my homeworld, I spent my days orbiting a new world, afraid to land.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 6:20 AM
49 users marked this as a favorite


This Science Fiction Novelist Created a Feminist Language from Scratch - "Can a language be designed specifically to express the thoughts and feelings of women? In 1984, the linguist Suzette Haden Elgin wrote a science fiction novel to test this question. The result was Native Tongue, a dystopian tale of a future America that has been widely compared to The Handmaid's Tale. It was a pioneering feminist experiment, sold as a paperback original with a big green alien on the cover." (via; previously)
posted by kliuless to MetaFilter on Jan 20 at 11:11 AM
47 users marked this as a favorite

Everyone Reinvents Taylorism

“Yet while they introduced some novel details, neither Gantt nor Taylor created the task system. It has a much longer history and was one of the principal methods of organizing labor under slavery. Under the task system, an enslaved person would be assigned a set “task” or quota that he or she was expected to complete by the end of the day; this was in contrast to the gang system, where enslaved people labored under constant supervision for a set period of time. In some cases, slavers who used the task system even gave monetary bonuses for achievement above set targets. They “dangled the carrot” in a way that resembles not just Gantt’s methods but those of the gig economy today. Indeed, except for the base payment and the critically important ability for workers to quit, Gantt’s new system was in nearly every respect the same as the system used by some slaveholders, a fact that Gantt made no attempt to hide. Rather, he acknowledged that the word “task” was “disliked by many men” because of its connection to slavery, and he regarded this negative connotation as its “principal disadvantage.” How Slavery Inspired Modern Business Management
posted by The Whelk to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 8:06 AM
46 users marked this as a favorite

Remembering why the backstop is needed

These pictures show what life looked like during the troubles. The future of the Irish border is one of the key issues of the Brexit negotiations. Because of its sensitive history, there are fears over what might happen if a hard border and checkpoints returned.
posted by Long Way To Go to MetaFilter on Jan 16 at 9:15 PM
45 users marked this as a favorite


FUTURE ZONE is a YouTube channel devoted to full length science fiction movies, many of which are Italian - but not all, I think. Of course there is
posted by wittgenstein to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 2:07 PM
43 users marked this as a favorite

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver has died. She was 83.
posted by gauche to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 9:20 AM
42 users marked this as a favorite

"You won't have to worry about feeling desolate when autumn comes"

Hiroaki Sato (LitHub, 11/5/2018), "Haiku: The Evolution of a Strict Poetic Game": "In simplest terms, haikai meant rejection of poetic diction and adoption of language in daily use. Orthodox court poetry did not tolerate references to quotidian, down-to-earth things like shiru, 'soup,' and namasu, 'fish salad,' so incorporating daily elements was haikai. As Bashō himself explained, harusame no yanagi, 'willow in spring rain,' represented the world of court poetry, but tanishi toru karasu, 'a crow picking pond snails,' was haikai, according to Bashō's disciple Hattori Tohō."
posted by Wobbuffet to MetaFilter on Jan 19 at 3:42 PM
41 users marked this as a favorite

Minorcan Food of Florida

Way down in St. Augustine, Florida, America's oldest city*, jewel of the First Coast, you'll find a unique and largely unheralded culinary tradition: Minorcan food.
posted by saladin to MetaFilter on Jan 16 at 8:50 AM
41 users marked this as a favorite

travel writing from a “radically different” American slave

David Dorr, who in 1853 became the first African American to visit the Holy Land, couldn’t pass up the trip – he was a slave, forced to travel with his owner Cornelius Fellowes. Dorr later wrote about his three-year journey through Europe and the Middle East in a unique travel book, A Colored Man Round the World, which provided white readers with a rare look, before the Civil War, at an educated Black perspective. Slaves back then were erased from history, but Dorr, turning the tables, wrote as if he was traveling alone, and barely mentioned Fellowes except to mock him as clumsy or awkward.
posted by LeLiLo to MetaFilter on Jan 21 at 12:45 AM
38 users marked this as a favorite


Popular Comments

Nor did Ellen pay much attention to Steven’s views when they first started dating in early 2017. At the time, she was a university student, and he was between jobs with aspirations to work in finance. “He was interested in conspiracy theories — the kind of thing that most guys are into[...]" I always wonder whether there's not some... [more]
posted by Frowner to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 10:29 AM
143 users marked this as a favorite

to truly believe that actual nazi viewpoints are a matter of interesting debate is to inherently be a white supremacist. you don't have to be burning crosses while wearing sheets in order to be one. all you have to do is think hate speech is a valid point of view. it's not that difficult to understand. [view]
posted by poffin boffin to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 3:10 PM
126 users marked this as a favorite

I'm an executive assistant to the CEO of a large public company, and the secret I've learned in a career of holding this job for various people is that the only thing that sets apart C-level executives from the rest of us is their willingness to subsume their entire lives into making money for the company (and themselves) at the expense of... [more]
posted by something something to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 12:21 PM
126 users marked this as a favorite

Lost in the "lol molasses" chatter is something sciatrix mentioned: this was actually a story about corporate greed and irresponsibility killing dozens of people. That tank was designed to a spec that should have never in a million years been approved; it was built with even thinner steel plates than the spec called for, because the... [more]
posted by Mayor West to MetaFilter on Jan 15 at 2:00 PM
107 users marked this as a favorite

My suspicion is that @Jack is alt-right. There are a lot of tech alt-right people who keep their mouths shut about it, and I don't see how you could make the vast array of pro-fascist decisions he's made unless you were. It's like that reporting about white supremacist cops - I think that, should society survive long enough to have deep... [more]
posted by Frowner to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 2:27 PM
107 users marked this as a favorite

Sidenote: not sure what the hate is for googling. Of course we're going to google. The skills are for picking the right search terms and choosing which of the 100,000+ results is the best one. The days of having the entire corpus of (whatever your professional field is) memorized are long gone. [view]
posted by Mogur to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 11:44 AM
99 users marked this as a favorite

I genuinely believe that Jack Dorsey isn't so much Alt-Right as an indecisive moron who doesn't want to commit to anything one way or the other. We have a word for someone who works with Nazis in order to profit - Nazi. [view]
posted by NoxAeternum to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 2:57 PM
96 users marked this as a favorite

God, I am so fucking tired of these conversations where we rend our garments about how we can keep these young men from choosing to formalize their commitment to being abusive. Which, btw, is what these groups offer, what these ideologies represent, and what these gurus are preaching: a worldview and a way of life that elevates and enshrines... [more]
posted by schadenfrau to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 1:16 PM
92 users marked this as a favorite

between 2013 and 2017, [Washington's] [...] murder rate rose forty-four per cent, which was more than twice the increase nationwide. Oh for fucks sake. This kind of statistics abuse is bad, even for this jerk-store. Washington state's homicides and murder rates, year over year: YEAR DEATHS RATE 2017 266... [more]
posted by Mayor West to MetaFilter on Jan 15 at 11:58 AM
92 users marked this as a favorite

She told Broadly her influences were ‘Sloane Crosley, David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, and David Foster Wallace’. Well, that sounds like an extremely bearable combination. [view]
posted by Kitty Stardust to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 2:31 PM
89 users marked this as a favorite

Hey, I have a better idea! Let's empower women, queers and people of color through anti-discrimination work and a stronger social safety net. This will have some knock-on benefit to whiny, violent white men (since it will entail access to medical care, better wages, retirement security, etc) and the ones who aren't actually terrible can start... [more]
posted by Frowner to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 1:46 PM
85 users marked this as a favorite

Non-profit boards and executives are almost to a person only obsessed with their image in my decade of experience. The way they will spend to excess on themselves is only bounded by how poorly they'll advocate to treat their social workers and other staff. Good for you. It took me almost two decades to realize this. (In my first decade,... [more]
posted by Slarty Bartfast to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 1:04 PM
85 users marked this as a favorite

What really surprises me, in trudging through some of the YouTube comments, is how someone can get so angry at the suggestion that maybe men should try not to be assholes sometimes. Like are you really fighting for the right to continue being a bully and a harasser? [view]
posted by Ben Trismegistus to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 12:54 PM
84 users marked this as a favorite

I see he discharged himself. [view]
posted by gnuhavenpier to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 2:03 PM
82 users marked this as a favorite

I'll take widely broadcast messages like these wherever I can get em, even if it's still Procter & Gamble selling us something Two boys in my life are youth hockey players, and both of them -- in just the last few months-- have had stories about trying to get their teammates to be decent re: girls playing on their teams.... [more]
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 1:03 PM
80 users marked this as a favorite

I hate writing and don't have a book in me, but for $500,000 I would write the damn book. Hell, I'd write two. The only other thing I have to say about her is that she's a bad swearer. Now, I love swearing. I swear a lot and I'm very amused and delighted by other people effectively and deliciously swearing, and I don't think I've ever said this... [more]
posted by Squeak Attack to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 4:01 PM
77 users marked this as a favorite

A search of more eclectic internet sites and forums found no other documentation of semen injection for back pain treatment or other uses. Q: “How was work today?” A: *stares off into middle distance* [view]
posted by mandolin conspiracy to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 3:09 PM
77 users marked this as a favorite

If you do e-discovery as a lawyer even a little bit, you will quickly learn that an appalling number of people carry out extramarital affairs over their work e-mail. If you happen to have to speak with them in the course of defending them, they'll usually tell you that they didn't want to risk their spouse finding out by using their... [more]
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter on Jan 18 at 3:37 PM
75 users marked this as a favorite

Given recent events, I continually wonder about the mysterious process by which peoples' opinions are formed and why it's often so hard to get people to change their minds or even entertain the validity of differing viewpoints, while at the same time certain ideas just take hold in their minds and instantly clamp themselves there forever like... [more]
posted by Frowner to MetaFilter on Jan 17 at 10:50 AM
74 users marked this as a favorite

As the city went into mourning, Poland grappled with the question of whether the toxic and aggressive tone of the country’s political debate could have instigated the attack. It wasn't the tone of the debate. It was the fact that he opposes the far-right, nationalist, Holocaust-denying President that got him... [more]
posted by Etrigan to MetaFilter on Jan 14 at 1:45 PM
72 users marked this as a favorite