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Posts from July 2013

Craigslist tip: Put some fruit on that table.

Amansara Fruit bowlAmansara Fruit bowl by boydiz (cc by)

I sold a kind of lame coffee table (that I bought at a thrift store for 50 cents) for $50 using the fruit trick. I sold a cheap, scraped and scuffed Ikea pressboard endtable that I got for free for $10 using the fruit trick. I even made five whole bucks selling a fucking used tire that I pulled out of the lake using the fruit trick. (Yes, I put a goddamned bowl of fruit on top of the tire. Yes, I made sure to state that the bowl of fruit was not for sale. Yes, I clearly stated the provenance of the tire.)

phunniemee discusses the best way to sell things more effectively on Craigslist.

by jessamyn

A sweet memory of an old song

Jukebox - 1947 Wurlitzer model 1080Jukebox - 1947 Wurlitzer model 1080 by canorus (cc by)

It was ready, I dug out my box of 45's and we loaded it up, hit the switch on the back and watched the lights come on. Sean punched two buttons, the mechanism started to work, picked up a 45, place it on the turntable, and we listened to that Wurlitzer spit out Louie Louie, a record I had purchased used over 20 years ago.

HuronBob tells a jukebox story that spans 35 years.

by jessamyn

Why is Maalox so hard to get suddenly?

PharmacyPharmacy by Army Medicine (cc by)

There are many reasons, but the primary one is that the massive series of mergers and buyouts in the pharmaceutical industry over the past ten years has meant that companies have consolidated their manufacturing facilities. Where in the past you might have had six or seven companies manufacturing a certain drug in eight or ten factories around the country, you now have one or two companies making it at two or three sites. If one of those sites goes down do to equipment problems or regulatory shutdown for improper safety standards (that's what happened to Novartis -- they got hydrocodone in their Excedrin bottles, allegedly), that means the other sites (if any) can't keep up with the increased demand.

RockSteady explains why we're seeing more and more prescription drug shortages lately, and why it's a big problem.

by jessamyn

Kickstarter tips and stats from an academic

MeFi member blahblahblah is an academic researcher that has studied Kickstarter and shares a bunch of really interesting tidbits and statistics about successful campaigns.

Your chances go down 13% if you make a spelling error. [...] 21% of successful projects have female cofounders. Being a woman has no statistical bearing on outcomes...

(you can download the paper this data was based on as well)

by mathowie

"One of the most fun and memorable jobs I've ever had..."

Fair FoodFair Food by MEFI's OWN Waldo Jaquith (cc by-sa)

The machine also had a lot of blinking lights and complex looking buttons, which I thought were important features I didn't know how to operate for the first few days, and then learned they were just for appearance and to make the machine look more futuristic or such. I poked fun at their brochure and logo at the time, laid out entirely in comic-sans, a sin for a wanna-be graphic designer like myself. I still remember one of the guys impassioned response, borne of having to defend it multiple times. "Why do people hate comic-sans? It's happy, it's FUN."

Pandalicious's first comment is a memory of working at the Tulsa State Fair back when Nitro Ice Cream was getting started.

by jessamyn

On spiders and eyeballs

Funnel Web with venomFunnel Web with venom by dnatheist (cc by)

It turns out that there IS actually enough vascular tissue in your eye to carry funnel web venom to your heart. Not enough to need anti-venom, but enough to make your heart do very strange things and enough to make you go a very strange colour. A trip to the emergency room ensued.

The next day a trip to the opthomologist revealed that the venom had acted like a strong acid/ alkaline and burned a hole in the iris, just missing the pupil (no glass cuts thankfully!). Long-term, the sight in my left eye is a bit worse than it should be. I also get "spider eye": if I'm tired or stressed or jetlagged, my spider eye goes incredibly red, hot and bloodshot for about 24 hours. It's not the most spectacular spidey-super-power of them all, but I'm happy enough to have it :)

Alice Russel-Wallace discusses why Shaun of the Dead is THE definitive opthamological treatment for spider envenomation incidents.

by jessamyn

Why were Victorian houses seen as plausible homes for monsters?

Haunted HouseHaunted House by Sean MacEntee (cc by)

In short, it describes the interwar period as formative for creating the idea of the Gilded Age mansion as a place of mongrel (sic) agglutination in architecture and interior design, thus impure, and a sign of the excesses of the time, anti-industrial and anti-progress. In addition, there remains the idea of the grand old family and the secrets, hidden unhappiness, and isolation which may have remained in the childhood memories of artists creating in a post-WWI era - which has its own Zeitgeist, a combination of glitter and ennui/angst, both meanings of decadence. So by the 1930s the decrepit mansion 1. was actually decrepit when seen and 2. was not appropriate in several ways by economic/socio/cultural standards.

Citations and conjecture about why the Victorian house is always where the monsters live.

by jessamyn

A peach of ripening advice

PeachesPeaches by La Grande Farmers' Market (cc by)

Former fruit agency and Whole Foods employee jocelmeow offers amazing detailed advice on how to find and treat yourself to the best peaches possible.

Ethylene (the fruit's natural ripening gas) output rises for a while but then levels off. The level of sugar the fruit contains and its red color stay exactly the same. The effect of all these changes is that the fruit goes from hard and sour to soft and sweet.

by mathowie

see a random favorite
pb made a method for users to go back to a randomly favorited post.

by jessamyn

14 years old on the 14th

Cat scanCat scan by zircon3035 (cc by)

MetaFilter is 14 years old today, and tradition dictates a reposting of the first thing ever posted to the site.

by mathowie

"I suddenly felt I had found my tribe."

Hazards of Riding BearsHazards of Riding Bears by CarbonNYC (cc by)

As these things do, this scene began a bit underground and then started to gain momentum and then really EXPLODED. Suddenly the bears weren't a movement, they were a marketing niche. And the energy of the scene began to change. Big meetups became more, for lack of a better term, corporate. Suddenly you could buy "bear" merchandise easily rather than having to seek it out. Bear clubs were springing up all over the country, and then breaking up into smaller groups as the fights between the "we want to fuck" and the "we want to socialize" groups surfaced.

hippybear talks about the changes that have happened in a different sort of bear movement.

by jessamyn

A few of the tales with me and bears.

Bear cubBear cub by travelinknu (cc by-sa)

Me in my head: Okay Momma I'm just going to go sideways and climb up as high as I can get on this big pile of logs. I'm sending you vibes that I mean no harm. I climb. Mamma rejoins her cubs. None of them even act like I'm there. I then spend the next two hours sitting on that pile of logs as Momma and cubs wander around foraging. I swear they were laughing at me.

MeFite Jalliah discusses some of their bear encounters.

by jessamyn

What makes a journal entry historically interesting?

Page 66 - Orchid specimen, article on Dr. Chapin's missionPage 66 - Orchid specimen, article on Dr. Chapin's mission by Smithsonian Institution

Fame is not that important to historians. Famous people's lives are generally well documented in sources other than a journal - newspapers, proceedings, parodies, letters, legislative records, etc. PRivate people's lives are, in fact, a lot harder to find out about and lot more interesting to people practicing history today. What we know about events like the Civil War or even World War II, life aboard an American whaleship or on the frontier, we mostly know by the writings of non-famous people who simply observed and recorded the detail of daily life.

At some level it's impossible to say what historians of the future will find important and interesting about our time, and it will change, anyway. Diaries of non-famous people were scoffed at for a long time before they began to be taken seriously as sources of historical evidence. But I think there are some general principles.

Miko gives an in-depth answer from a historians perspective.

by jessamyn

ceiling cat is watching you accumulate fees

Ceiling Cat Debit CardCeiling Cat Debit Card by Tony Webster (cc by)

Now looking back, some of this was my fault. I was stupid. One of my co-workers hammered in to me that I needed to get direct deposit ASAP, and yet between the stress of work and school I kept forgetting about it. I had no experience at the time setting up a bank account, or setting up direct deposit, and so these things that in retrospect weren't a big deal felt like insurmountable obstacles. And all the stress I was surrounded--a new job, working nights, a new school, a new apartment, new bills to pay, new classes, being broke, etc.-- made it that much easier to keep putting it off. Had I been more established, and less overworked, none of this would have been an issue. But because I was weak, precisely because I was weak and stupid and stressed, they preyed on me.

Green Winnebago talks about the sleazy world of jobs that pay you in debit cards.

by jessamyn


Self Portrait ReflectedSelf Portrait Reflected by

Due to the nature of pinball, the ball ends up in places where it's not supposed to be. What's awesome though is that there are machines that recognize when this has happened, and reward you for it.

JHarris explains a few nifty pinball hacks.

by jessamyn

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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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