Best Of MetaFilter

Posts from April 2012

social security is not going broke
"Here's a 2012 reading list for the serious Student of Social Security, all of the finances, projections and actuarial assumptions are publicly available."

04/30/12
by jessamyn

The Art And Activism Of Jimmy Somerville

IMG00050IMG00050 by Karenjw (cc by-nd)

Member hippybear makes a post about anything and everything there is to know about Jimmy Somerville (formerly of Bronski Beat, Communards, etc). It's an amazing post filled with hours of videos and loads of background information about the history of Somerville's activism and music, also posted to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the creation of ACT-UP, an organization Somerville still works with today.

04/29/12
by mathowie

Why Yes, That Is A Prime Factorization Sweater.

Knitter nerd Sondra Eklund wearing a hand-made sweater with a prime factorization design.Sondra Eklund's prime factorization sweater.

This is a nice little find from Metafilter user Foci for Analysis this morning: a sweater which expresss the prime factors of the first hundred integers graphically. In base ten, and base eight on the back, and bases two and three on the sleeves while you're at it because why the heck not. The creator, Sondra Eklund, explains the visual methodology on her blog, and discusses the visual order in the colors and shapes:

The patterns are wonderful and fascinating. You’ll quickly notice that the yellows and the blues line up, because 5 and 2 are factors of 10. You also might notice that all perfect squares are symmetrical. Multiples of 11 go in a lovely pink diagonal across the sweater. There are hundreds more patterns.

04/29/12
by cortex

"You got BEES up in your car!"
In a thread about guys working with bees, member sonascope tells two stories of his own bee keeping. They are calm enough to keep in the car and if you go with the flow, you won't get stung.

04/29/12
by mathowie

we don't know why brain stimulation has the effects that it does
"The headline is a more exciting than the actual study (though the finding is exciting), but I figured I'd give some background on this type of study."

04/28/12
by jessamyn

Help for old school Blogger users

Blogger Logo

Are you an old school Blogger user from back in the day? I bet you got a few "update your old account" emails this week (I got 7 of them) and wondered why. MeFi member feelinglistless wondered if they were fake emails and how to save those old blogs associated with them and lucky for him, a Google engineer that works on Blogger showed up to explain why they emailed everyone and helped out a few users along the way.

04/28/12
by mathowie

143 hours and four ink pens

detail of revikim's drawingdetail of revikim's drawing

MeFi member revikim made this beautiful design using nothing but ink pens over six days of work, posted it to Projects and it ended up on MetaFilter. Stunning work while also being hard to imagine the hours that went into producing it.

04/27/12
by mathowie

what's the vector, Victor?
"This is why the original programmer said it couldn't be done, and why it's so damn impressive that this guy pulled it off."

04/27/12
by jessamyn

Free tips for aspiring (or reluctant) public speakers
"You will see significant improvement for every 5 minutes you speak in front of groups - I am not kidding here at all."

04/26/12
by jessamyn

musicForProgramming();

Computer RoomComputer Room by Sam Howzit (cc by)

Whenever I have to spend my days cranking out lines of code or copy, if I end up working in a noisy place, I'm constantly looking for mellow instrumental music that can help filter out noise without being so distracting I can't think. Lucky for me (and anyone else), member Doeful Creature posted about the site musicForProgramming(); which compiles a variety of ambient tracks into one-hour mp3 files you can play while working. They even offer a podcast feed to keep up with new episodes automatically.

For any writers or programmers working in noisy environments (offices/cafés), musicForProgramming(); looks like a killer way to find new music to work by.

04/26/12
by mathowie

An Oldie but a Goodie

me & scodyme & scody by jessamyn (cc by-nc-sa)

A recent Ask MeFi question referenced an older thread, both about couples that make it work where one person is an intellectual while the other is not. Longtime member scody shares her own happy experiences with a quote that is so great it has to be shared:

"having things in common is overrated. Having each other in common is what's rare."

originally spotted by jessamyn
04/25/12
by mathowie

there are constant reminders that one does not belong.
"I don't think anyone who hasn't spent some time in the United Arab Emirates can really fathom what it's like."

04/25/12
by jessamyn

The problem with trusting a prognosis

In a thread about a doctor confronting misdiagnoses and financially strapped hospitals, MeFi member stormpooper tells the story of her own mother's recent passing due to misdiagnosis, cancer, and bureaucracy:

But if you take away the barriers of economics, both women had fear of what would happen to them, their family, their job (although my mom didn't work). And that shouldn't be. There should be no fear---period. I can't imagine every nuance of what my mom and this woman in the story went through during their disease but I can say I saw how afraid my mom was of dying when her time was coming. Both were braver than I could ever be and they deserved better.

04/25/12
by mathowie

Olivia, And Other Gorgeous Tunes From Metafilter Musician chococat

Metafilter Music launched several years ago as a place for musicians on the site to share and discuss their own recorded work, and Mefi community members have posted several thousand songs since then.

Olivia is one of the earliest songs posted, way back in mid-2006; it's a wonderful tune by a mefite named chococat, one of my all-time favorite contributors to Metafilter Music. His songs have a consistent warmth and charm to them, with great lyrics, gorgeous vocal harmonies, and really admirably solid mixing and production.

He's posted dozens of songs over the last several years, and you can listen to them all here; a couple of my personal favorites include Kevin Is Lonely (from his recent album-in-a-month Cake Dome) and what is unquestionably my favorite ever cover of the Elvis Costello tune Watching the Detectives.

04/24/12
by cortex

Great teachers have a way of turning things around

Student in ClassStudent in Class by Tulane Public Relations (cc by)

In a thread about apologizing to grade school teachers many years after the fact, member Navelgazer tells the story of an impromptu popularity contest that had the potential to hurt the least popular kids, but thanks to their amazing teacher, it got turned around:

Anyway, the next day, the last day, he's giving us the speech about having never taught a class nearly as gifted as this one, the speech every teacher gives, but this time it's utterly 100% sincere, and he's near tears, and there's just good feelings going all around, which must be how we convinced him to let us do the thought experiment with our classmates.

I don't know at what point it dawned on him just how cruelly awful an idea that was, but by then we had control over the classroom and there was seemingly nothing he could do about it.

04/24/12
by mathowie

Highlighting the best bits from the MetaFilter universe

MetaFilter started as a community weblog in 1999, later added question and answers, then music by members, jobs, projects by members, a podcast, and finally an area dedicated to meetups.

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