help me 'get out of my head'

No Way Out Inside My HeadNo Way Out Inside My Head by Jeremy Brooks (cc by-nc)

I'm an anxious beanplater in desperate need of a positive distraction. I want to come up with a long list of activities I can refer to that will help me 'get out of my head' - in other words, the activities are so (manageably, safely) intense or consuming or absorbing that I don't have the time or mental space to waste on unimportant worries and anxieties that would otherwise eat me alive.

Ask Mefi helps nightrecordings out with some distraction action.

08/15/16
by taz

Super Models

signaling (animated)signaling (animated) by Genista (cc by-sa)

In fact, the proximate cause for posting this was so I could more effectively answer the question I frequently get from people I work with: "what should I learn next?"

If you didn't catch it, blahblahblah's post about Gabriel Weinberg's list of useful mental models is a good roadmap for exploring approaches to brainstorming, deciding, reasoning, negotiating, strategizing, managing, mitigating, and much more. Gray cells, activate!

08/11/16
by taz

MetaBuffy

SNAP00078SNAP00078 by froussecarton (cc by-nc)

pjsky's post I'm Buffy and You're History discusses the Slayer as a "role model for the modern feminist" (plus the show's intersection of feminism, pop culture and rock, and Buffy-inspired diy feminist queer pop band "The Potentials"). Mefites might have a few opinions.

08/08/16
by taz

FanFare goes to Rio

RIORIO by Isaias Fernandes (cc by)

Come join us on FanFare to discuss the Olympics! Tonight the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. All athletic events will be in the Olympic all-sports thread, and specific sports will be listed on the Olympics page as the games go on.

There's a MetaTalk thread for giving feedback on this experiment.

Best Of The Web #119: We're Very Helpful You're Here

Come listen along as cortex and jessamyn chatter about the last month of MeFi and take short breaks to (a) meditate and (b) make untranscribable mouth noises.

08/05/16
by cortex

Place settings

Reflections, windows, mirrorReflections, windows, mirror by Mind on Fire Photography (cc by-sa)

Tornado sirens, weird traffic signals, and more... What are some locally-normal things unique to your home area, that you thought were universal 'til you left home?

fraula and others describe food culture in France

beagle explains some of the appeal of Dutch carbide shooting - "perhaps the pinnacle of cultural achievement in a nation of soccer-playing, bicycle-riding dairy farmers with long winter nights"

Want to be recognized as an independent nation-state? First, get a national football (soccer) team -- diplomacy by sport in occupied Western Sahara.

"Even outlaws have to grow old" -- the story of a legendary Florida marijuana bust in 1973

Take it from a tv person, these two reporters "are the gold standard of TV news feature journalists." -- Minnesota stories

Get to know tiny Hans island, center of a genteel Canada vs. Denmark conflict -- with booze.

Mysteries, puzzles, and problems

And a small child ...And a small child ... by Counselman Collection (cc by-sa)

Recently on Ask Metafilter...

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb. It's in the Bible, right? Well no, Isaiah 11.6 says the wolf will lie down with the lamb. Why do I and so many other people remember it as a lion?

What was a petrified animal doing in this tree?

Can someone explain to me why my non-stick pans are still greasy, even after I thoroughly wash them?

Marine biologists, what was that thing I saw all the time in Bermuda?

WTF Abe Lincoln Ephemera, ISO uncanny things related to Abe Lincoln

What's making this creepy noise in the woods?

How is this street performer just sitting there, balancing his bike on the front wheel?

How does the icing get on black and white cookies?

What could have killed a shrub/bush in one day?

How to completely prevent solicitors from coming to my house?

07/31/16
by taz

The briny deep and the bright blue sky

Seafloor Surveys After KatrinaSeafloor Surveys After Katrina by NOAA Images

bassomatic says, "my dad and his team of underwater archaeologists were the first to find an ancient shipwreck using side-scan sonar..."

Scary stories and freaky facts about oxygen deprivation at altitude

How does a scuba diver smell shipwreck cheese underwater? And some other ancient foods, eaten in the name of science

AskMe offers some resources on cloudwatching for beginners

Moby Dick is fabulous - Mefites talk Melville and subtext, and what you thought of classic novels before you read them, and the linked writer drops by to respond

Submersible finds glowy purple orb in the depths

And finally, that pressing question, what if I fell out of an airplane in a tank full of water?

July Viewfinder

Out of Nowhere photo by Ray Kelly"Out of Nowhere" by Ray Kelly

So MANY great photo posts this month: a rare view of Victorian Women of Color; "Through Our Eyes" asked 100 homeless people in Spartanburg, South Carolina to take pictures of their lives; Vintage aerial photos of rural America; Was Diane Arbus the Most Radical Photographer of the 20th Century?; Six degrees of Copenhagen by Jens Juul; WaterWigs project by Tim Tadder; Restricted Areas series by Russian photographer Danila Tkachenko; freaky and cute Secret Friends; photographs by Degas; using drones to portray scenes of inequality in South Africa; Famous landmarks photographed from the "wrong" direction.

07/27/16
by taz

Culture loupe

Harvesting Palm SugarHarvesting Palm Sugar by edbrambley (cc by-sa)

Join Mefites for a deep dive on some arts and culture from outside the west:

Catchy song and an intro to Kriol language and culture from an Indigenous Australian singer

A new movie provides a window into the unique culture, language, and politics of multigenerational Tamil-Malaysians

Classic short story from "one of Bengal's greatest writers"

Men's fashion from a prizewinning Indian designer

Regional politics, arts and music from Sudanese and South Sudanese journalists

Transport yourself

Lada NivaLada Niva by Hugo90- (cc by)

daniel_charms tells the story of how my father bought a car when he was a farm worker in the USSR, others share memories of their own Ladas, and languagehat offers some more detail on the process in the Soviet car-buying thread.

It's so hot the railroad tracks are buckling! But not everywhere... vacapinta asks, why are railroad tracks okay in the heat in some places but not others?

oog and others remember driving the Nullarbor Plain (including the longest straight road in Australia): "I did this mind-numbing drive in March of 2005, alone. ... I thought I was prepared..."

Remixing the 80s

Anna's Eighty-eight butterflyAnna's Eighty-eight butterfly by Charlesjsharp (cc by)

Bop out, with your neon top out - for music Saturday, share your favorite 1980s pop song remixes

Faux House

Bunker FuchseggBunker Fuchsegg by Kecko (cc by)

One day, bored in the teenage manner, I was aimlessly poking around in the basement of our building, where our family's modest storage area was. I had noticed, mysteriously, that the stairs that led down to this lowest level appeared to continue down, but that the stairwell was not illuminated... mwhybark

Cool post on fake Swiss chalets from Michele in California, with a lot of interesting comments, anecdotes, and links in the thread.

07/22/16
by taz

"I am a roadgeek."

You had one job!You had one job! by jessamyn (cc by-nc-sa)

On BGS ("Big Green Sign" - yes that *is* actually the technical term for them) assemblies, usually the letters are made of reflective metal that is riveted onto the reflective green background. ... I'm guessing PennDOT Region Whatever awarded a contract to some company to fix this sign to replace letters which may have fallen off due to premature rivet failure or other reasons. And PennDOT is NOTORIOUS in the roadgeek world for being CHEAP. Likely, they awarded the contract to the lowest bidder, who subsequently paid no attention whatsoever to MUTCD regulations and now you have this odd mixed case.

Great answer from tckma (and our introduction to the world of roadgeekery) to cortex's question (about a photo by Jessamyn) How do highway signs get (incorrectly) made?, including some wonderful links to AARoads forum threads on "Erroneous Road Signs," "Signs With Design Errors," and "The Worst of Road Signs."

07/20/16
by taz

Hey, good morning, nice to see you

42114211 by Jori Samonen (cc by)

Stories of people who made train friends on their daily commute.

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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