Saturday Night Metatalktails: TIL January 14, 2017 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday night, MetaFilter! It's time for another metatalktail hour! This week's conversation starter: Today (/this week) I Learned ... But don't restrict yourself! Talk about whatever sociable/personal thing you want! (Just no politics, the bouncers are very anti-politics.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 7:20 PM (149 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

not_on_display and I went to the raptor center and got to watch them feed the owls and the falcons and the buzzards. And then tonight I went to my local music hall and got to see REDACTED and REDACTED talk about REDACTED and it was really nice to get to hang out in a room with a lot of my neighbors and see them all nodding along. Plus I found out where they hide the M&Ms.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:22 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]

My beloved 15+-year-old (one-eyed) cat had to be put down a week before Christmas, and my surviving 8-year-old (one-eyed) cat is pretty lonesome, and one of our friends messaged me this week to be like "MY FRIEND HAS A ONE-EYED CAT THAT NOBODY WILL ADOPT I THOUGHT OF YOU IMMEDIATELY" so I may be getting a new cat on Tuesday or so!

TIL that the star Sirius, our brightest (non-sun) star, is very close to us -- only 8.6 light years away. Rigel, our 7th-brightest star, Orion's Western foot, is very far -- 860 light years away, 100 times as far! Sirius is twice the size of the sun; Rigel is 100 times the size of the sun. They are pretty close together in the sky so it's interesting to look at them and compare what something 8.6 light years away looks like compared to something 860 light years away! (Answer: Not all that different from earth, but STILL INTERESTING.) The light you're seeing from Sirius departed about when Obama was elected; the light from Rigel departed round about when Henry II was crowned in England.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:36 PM on January 14 [20 favorites]

Today I learned the title and artist of the song that goes "... durn durn DURNNN!"

I had heard it here and there for a long time now but just never knew anything about it. And now I do! Very satisfying.
posted by theatro at 7:43 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]

I learned the year Camembert was supposedly invented, but I forgot when already. Guess I'll have to play Timeline again.
posted by ferret branca at 7:49 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

A couple of friends and I are trying to start up a neighborhood solidarity group and today we had our second meeting (5 attendees!) in the surprisingly spacious community room of a local library. None of us are entirely sure what we are doing or trying to accomplish just yet but a whole shitload of people showed up to the first one so it seems like a thing people want.
posted by griphus at 7:53 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]

I learned that someone created a 23 page list of sexual orientations (Google doc). Post-rubor aromantic! Epuisamorous! Omnigay! Autochorissexual! There's something for literally everyone.
posted by AFABulous at 7:55 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]

Today I learned that 2.5 miles of skijorjng through deep fresh snow is thankfully approximately the same as 5 miles of skijoring through packed snow on the how-exhausted-is-the-doggie scale, which means I have a sleepy cute exhausted doggo here who likely will not bug me to play frisbee at 10:30 PM.

When I tried to ski without a bonkers dog pulling me later on in a different location [note! Never go to the second location!] I learned that sometimes the grooming reports are a lie and what you thought was going to be fun in fact is a slog.

But at least the dog and I can be exhausted together, and he tolerates a little more snuggling when he is tired.

Eyebrows, I am pretty excited for the possible continuing reign of one-eyed cats in your household!
posted by charmedimsure at 7:57 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

Oh the thing I learned is that the above is not politics bc they expressly don't allow the community room to be used for politicking.
posted by griphus at 7:57 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

TWIL that "anthology" means "collection of flowers" which I think is just the coolest thing ever.

Also, speaking of TIL, somebody learned something from one of my websites a few days ago and posted it over on Reddit TIL which gave me a fairly ridiculous spike in traffic, so that was nice.

Also also, I listened to the BBC In Our Time podcast on Akhenaten and felt like I actually understood something about Egyptian history for the first time ever, and hearing the scholars talking about the shift away from anthropomorphic god figures to the sun disc (which has hands!) was super interesting and sent me to image search to go see what they were talking about.
posted by kristi at 7:58 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]

Today I learned the title and artist of the song that goes "... durn durn DURNNN!"

There's a great scene in It Might Get Loud where Jimmy Page talks about the influence that song had on him. He does air guitar to it. I'm pretty sure that's the only reason I know the title and artist of that song.

Today I learned that if you remove a botched binding job from a guitar body some of the wood will come with it. I also learned that pine isn't great for a good guitar body, at least the soft stuff I have. I also learned that doing binding on a guitar body is harder than it looks.

I posted my first thing ever on MeFi Music this week, something very very silly, and I was terrified and everyone has been super supportive so I guess I learned that MeMu is a very safe space if you're scared to death about putting yourself out there.

My wife Amy and I did a five mile hike/walk today on a trail in our town, part of which we'd never been on. We saw a hawk, three deer and a couple bluebirds.

Yesterday my son learned what Goatse is. He read the word on Reddit and asked me about it. We were in the car so I used my hands and the steering wheel as a visual aid. I told him he might not want to Google it because he'd never be able to unsee it. I bet he's already googled it. He's 14 1/2 and while I'd prefer he didn't know about Goatse he's old enough where I'd rather he learned it from me than Google. We had a pretty good laugh about it.
posted by bondcliff at 8:00 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]

"Eyebrows, I am pretty excited for the possible continuing reign of one-eyed cats in your household!"

That's how we know which ones to adopt!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:06 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]

Today I learned a whole bunch of neat factoids from a Jane the Brown core dump. And the next one. And the one after that.
posted by Quietgal at 8:08 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]

Today I learned from my optometrist that my old contacts (before he changed them last year) were blocking oxygen to my eyes and my new (well, year-old) contacts let much more oxygen into my eyes, and that's apparently changed their shape and improved my vision, and that's why my glasses have been making my eyes hurt.

I also learned that planning to go out for breakfast and read right after an optometrist appointment is maybe not the best plan, but it was weirdly fun to watch my book get more and more in focus as my eyes un-dilated. Also there was an adorable baby seated at the table next to mine who kept making faces and waving at me, so that was a good distraction when the print got too blurry.
posted by lazuli at 8:12 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]

This week we learned that irony can be sad: a firehouse about five blocks from our house burned down in a fire a couple of nights ago. My wife was woken up by a loud bang in the middle of the night that started dogs barking in the neighborhood. It ends up that an explosion somehow went off in the firehouse and started a fire that consumed the place, like a Michael Bay movie. Fortunately most everyone working there was out on a medical call. Two people were sleeping there at the time, no injuries. It was touching as it rallied the fire teams around town together as they spent all night trying to put it out, but as people were interviewed, you realized that it wasn't just a job location that burned down, but a place that a lot of people called home. It was an older fire house that was being replaced by a new one soon, but it still made you feel like something wasn't right in the world. It hits that part you that you first discover when you find out that childhood heroes are vulnerable, too.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:13 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]

Also I met a cat today who meowed at me until I pet her, at which point she flopped down and exposed her belly, and I thought, "HA! IT'S A TRAP!" and pet her back instead, and she grabbed my hand with both her paws and moved it in place for belly scratches. Which I cautiously commenced, and she seemed very pleased. So today I learned that some cats do that.
posted by lazuli at 8:15 PM on January 14 [37 favorites]

This week I learned that soda in cans freezes and explodes at temperatures about 0 deg F.

Also, don't leave cans of soda in your car when it gets about 0 deg F.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:18 PM on January 14 [26 favorites]

Today I learned from my optometrist that my old contacts (before he changed them last year) were blocking oxygen to my eyes and my new (well, year-old) contacts let much more oxygen into my eyes, and that's apparently changed their shape and improved my vision, and that's why my glasses have been making my eyes hurt.

And yesterday I found out that contact lenses can be made like bifocals. I never knew!

(It's been awhile since I've been to an optometrist.)

posted by SpacemanStix at 8:19 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]

(lazuli, my cat does that.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:24 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]

After years of pulling myself up by the bootstraps and actively battling certain negative thought patterns, this week I learned that the right medication just magically changes your thoughts. Or maybe it's like training in difficult conditions and the resulting ease running with higher oxygen and a good track or something. Either way, it's...nice. Light.

This week I learned that tea-bagging is playground talk, and my daughter learned what "satire" is.

My beloved 15+-year-old (one-eyed) cat had to be put down a week before Christmas, and my surviving 8-year-old (one-eyed) cat is pretty lonesome, and one of our friends messaged me this week to be like "MY FRIEND HAS A ONE-EYED CAT THAT NOBODY WILL ADOPT I THOUGHT OF YOU IMMEDIATELY" so I may be getting a new cat on Tuesday or so!

Our tiny one-eyed cat was THE BEST, and her owly head movements that preceded jumps were adorable. Everybody should have a one-eyed cat.
posted by moira at 8:29 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]

(Our giant roly-poly cat used his hind legs to redirect errant hands back to his belly.)
posted by moira at 8:30 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]

Also, don't leave cans of soda in your car when it gets about 0 deg F.

in the mid 90s I exploded an entire 12 pack of Dr. Pepper in the carpeted trunk of an Olds Cutlass. I'm glad it was in the trunk because you can never ever really get that out.
posted by AFABulous at 8:33 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

Today I learned a new (to me) roller derby rule by getting called on a penalty for breaking that rule, and this week I learned that the little flap of skin that attaches your upper lip to your upper gums is called the frenulum. I also learned that the 12-year-old kitty I adopted in November likes to jump up on your shoulder and drape herself around your neck like a warm, purring, furry boa, and it's the best thing ever.
posted by coppermoss at 8:36 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]

Today I learned NOTHING, because we spent the day playing World of Warcraft and hermiting from the world. It was delightful. My paladin finally finished all of the heroic dungeons.

This week I learned how to use a really primitive task scheduler to pull a list from a database view, format it as a comma delimited file, and FTP it to a location. I did this because someone actually asked me, in 2017, if we could manually pull a list and email it every day. No. No. No. Our IT department is tiny and overloaded with work, so I did this thing to save myself the labor.
posted by kimberussell at 8:39 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

So many kitty bellies!
posted by lazuli at 8:41 PM on January 14

I learned that I need to find a hobby. A new coworker asked me what my hobbies were yesterday, and I couldn't answer. I've been so busy for the last couple years that now that I have time to slow down and actually have some free time, I honestly don't know what to do with myself. Huh. That's kind of weird.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:56 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]

TIL the origin of LOL BUTTS.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:01 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

I freakin' love using the rowing machine to work out and have used one for 20 years and yesterday a trainer at the gym walked up to me and told me I was doing it wrong. It turns out there's a Proper Way to row and I didn't know. Huh! Neat! Well, I sure know now and my body's telling me about it, how cool is that.

Last fall I read Roberto Bolaño's 2666 and it just blew my circuits; I haven't stopped thinking about it since and almost every book I've read since has been disappointing. I can't remember the last time a book has affected me so profoundly. This isn't anything new I've learned, really, I've just been thinking about it a lot. Anyway, today I read Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things To Me and I'm happy to report that it was not disappointing at all, 10/10.
posted by barchan at 9:06 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]

This weekend I fled New York City and am in a small town in the Hudson Valley. I was exploring it today, and today I discovered what is quite possibly the most Hobbity, Hufflepuff shop in existence - a combination tea and yarn store.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:42 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]

TIL that one of the saddest things I've seen at this job is a four-week-old infant's hand holding onto oxygen tubing.
Also a crazy coincidence happened. About 10 years ago I had an intern when I was working as a magazine editor in Portland, Oregon. We didn't keep in touch after I left the job. I ran into him today in an ER in Oakland. He's now a paramedic working in SF. I'm an EMT/paramedic student working in the East Bay. And it was an ER we're both rarely in.
posted by not_the_water at 9:46 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]

Today I (sadly) learned what goatse I'm going to sleep and maybe tommorow I will have forgot.
posted by SyraCarol at 10:03 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]

Today I learned about the mechanics of porcupine sex! (Link is SFW; field biologists geeking out about animal reproduction are delightful.)
posted by ActionPopulated at 10:22 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]

Today I learned that some MeFites go skiijoring and think it's okay to talk about it without posting adorable snowdog pics. Ahem.

I also leaned some stuff about DNA sequencing using nanopores, but it was kind of complicated and I don't feel like I understood it well or could apply it. So, still seeking the right overview of a review article to read, there.

Finally, it looks like my Twitter notifications are slowing down (1 like every ~10 minutes, now!) after my brush with science fair related celebrity. It's been an interesting week.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:33 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]

My apologies! I forgot protocol. No pictures from today's adventures but here is the general wintry snowdog idea. He would like you to note that the stick is a) extremely majestic b) really, really far away from any tree.

Current status. The carpet came with the house I swear it.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:50 PM on January 14 [15 favorites]

TIL that skijoring can be done with other than equine partners. In addition to dogs, a little Googling revealed reindeer and bovine skijoring, but none with zebras.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:09 PM on January 14

TIL that skijoring can be done with equine partners. Seriously it is a weird enough combination of thrill and anxiety with a usually (but not always) well-behaved 65 pound dog on a multituse public trail. I think with anything bigger I would just be lovingly stroking the line's quick release in the parking lot and reflecting on my life choices a lot.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:15 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]

Just moments ago I learned that there's an Arkansas City, Kansas, and it is pronounced "Are-Kansas," and THAT'S JUST MEAN
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:19 PM on January 14 [13 favorites]

Last time I saw goatse explained - or, really, thought about it - was at an antarctic research station. A perfectly innocent research-related group activity just happened to align almost perfectly with the image, which caused giggles among the 2/3 of the group who recognized it and prompted us to take photos. The remaining 1/3 of the group were dumbfounded. And, since we were all a lot less nice than bondcliff and also searching for NSFW material from the local network has a significant probability that high-ranking NSF officials will receive phone calls, our explanation was basically, "tomorrow, when the satellite is up, you need to set up an SSH tunnel proxy to a non-work-related server, and then you should go to this website. . ." It was a long wind up, and we never saw the result

I'm not sure whether the world itself has changed dramatically (in this domain) since 2004, or whether it's just the brutal dulling of familiarity, or whether I've just spent a lot more time hanging out with weirdos and kinksters since then, but goatse feels very quaint and cute today. More like a five year old telling fart jokes than something actually shocking. (I think that's probably a good thing, although being shockable can also be fun.)

Just now, learned two things. First, skijoring exists. I'm not sure my cat is really cut out for it, but it sounds like fun.

Second, when reading askme earlier (and clearly not paying close attention) I'd assumed "durn durn DURNNN" referred to the iconic move suspense sting, which I didn't know anything about but figured someone would immediately identify. I've now learned from a large number of individually dubious sources that the suspense sound is called Shock Horror (a) and was created by someone named Dick Walter. Finally, I've learned that it's surprisingly hard to find a detailed history of "Shock Horror (a)," and that it's something the world (very slightly) needs.

Also, huzzah for one-eyed-cats! (And adopting cats that aren't healthy kittens, in general. Though healthy kittens also need adoption, of course.)
posted by eotvos at 11:24 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]

Today I learned that if you live in New York State, and the 529 College Plan you put money into isn't specifically labeled as a New York State plan, you can't list the money as a deduction on your tax return and the IRS will send you a notice to pay the extra taxes when they pick your return for an audit.
posted by Lucinda at 11:31 PM on January 14

I think that's a lovely carpet. I'd be astonished to find out it's less than 80 years old.

This week I learned that my local Subway has discontinued Caesar dressing. I only got to try it once, and I was looking forward to having some more on my spicy Italian sandwich.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:35 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

Today, KidRuki and I bought the dog a kibble puzzle when we stopped at Petco to buy the proprietary litter for the cats' self-cleaning litter box. We wondered if the dog was smart enough to figure it out. The dog is meant to flip a panel to send kibble out of a chute. She realized almost immediately that she could flip the panel halfway and eat the kibble right from the chamber. After emptying one chamber, she sat and stared at it. We rotated the puzzle and demonstrated. The dog laid down and proceeding to reap the kibble rewards from us flipping the panels. So, tonight I learned that my lazy dog is smart enough to train her humans to do the work for her.
posted by Ruki at 11:59 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]

House was built in the early 2000s and the carpet dates merely to then! But it was built and designed by a very elegant woman whose soul was at least 80 years old when she emerged from the womb, so yours is not an unreasonable guess.

Basically I feel that with my current lifestyle and Costco-leaning furniture tastes I can never live up to my carpet's design ambitions. I let my carpet down daily and we all know it.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:21 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]

TIL that there truly is no end to the vast reservoir of hate within me

i hate so many people they're so bad i hate them

esp tracer mains why are they allowed
posted by poffin boffin at 1:28 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]

This week I learned the origin of a joke I wasn’t getting from both a Terry Pratchett title and a reference on Sherlock: the phrase “Monstrous Regiment” is an allusion to a book by John Knox published in 1558 called The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women—a disquisition against female sovereignty, written during the reigns of both Mary I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots.

So then I re-read Monstrous Regiment for maybe the fourth time, and TIL that there is a read-through of the Discworld novels just starting up in FanFare!
posted by obloquy at 1:32 AM on January 15 [10 favorites]

Today (er, yesterday, as I am writing this on Sunday) I learned that my missing-for-a-month wallet had been under the refrigerator this entire time. There is no other explanation possible except to blame the cat, because it was so deeply wedged that I had to use the long serrated bread knife to get it out. Ironically, the only reason I even found it was because I was down on the floor with a flashlight, retrieving a cat toy.

Today I learned that my cat is a terrorist, as earlier in the day he also broke a second table lamp.
posted by janepanic at 2:56 AM on January 15 [20 favorites]

A few days ago I learned that a DNA sequencer that cost a half million dollars in 2012 could be totally obsolete by 2016 and sold for scrap on ebay for a couple hundred dollars. (If you're an electronics geek, don't miss the followup videos where he plays with the cooled CCD array from that thing. It's a fascinating bit of tech that he essentially rescued from the garbage.) Also, if anyone knows why the reagents for a single run of that machine cost $6000, I'd like to know. Maybe that should be an AskMe.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:50 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

Today (or rather, yesterday now) it was the first day here that there was still a little bit of daylight in the western sky at 5:30pm, which was traditionally dinner time in the winter months for us Asum folk. It helped that yesterday was an afternoon of clear sky.

One of the reasons I like this time of year is that, day on day, the sunsets are noticeably later. I don't really give a damn about sunrise times as I'm not a morning person, and with them the length of daytime is also irrelevant - with me am all in for the sunset, especially when for whatever reasons I sometimes can't, don't or won't leave the house until the afternoon.

Here, we see in January with a sunset time of 4 ish, and finish the month with a sunset time of 10 to 5. Nicely progressive. If you're a fellow Northern Hemisphere resident, then similar will be occurring for you and you can check your sunset times. Southern Hemisphere types are currently enjoying those long evenings and therefore can't gripe at being left out as they could/should be e.g. having a barbeque dinner on the beach.
posted by Wordshore at 5:28 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]

While I didn't learn this for the first time today, it does blow my mind every time I think about it (and I was reviewing it today as I prepare for my med school board exam): The fact that erythropoiesis (the process by which blood cells are made) happens in BONES. And when you're an adult, most of it is happening in your flat bones (like your pelvis) not your long bones. Like, when you were a kid, would you have ever imagined that blood comes from your skeleton? Every single time I think about it I just marvel at how amazingly weird bodies are.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:38 AM on January 15 [17 favorites]

I learned that the local Indian grocery store here in the US stocks PG Tips. So all is good!
posted by life moves pretty fast at 6:05 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

I picked up a biography of Buster Keaton during the happy hour meet-up at our local used book store Friday and learned yesterday that he had his own film studio by age of 25.
posted by octothorpe at 6:13 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

This week I was supposed to learn more about the local Democratic Party, but they changed the day of the meeting and I wasn't able to attend. My wife did go and learned why Will Rogers made that famous quote about not belonging to an organized party.

I learned I really like Cynar.
posted by maurice at 6:24 AM on January 15

I learned that an advantage of a bedside beaker is that the mice are more likely to stay out of your bin.
posted by emilyw at 6:53 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]

I (or we) learned this week that a lot of people think you are cured of cancer when you finish radiation treatments. If only it were that easy. My wife is doing great though, and we are looking forward to getting some normalcy back in our lives now that the grind of daily radiation treatments is behind her.
posted by COD at 6:54 AM on January 15 [17 favorites]

I learned that no matter how many times I listen to La Boheme, kleenex is a requirement because I will be teary-eyed through most of it. Even in bits of Act II because it's so full of joy. And while the version of "O soave fanciulla" with the high C unison ending might be the crowd pleaser, the C/E harmony version REALLY brings on the waterworks.

And that sent me down a rabbit hole, where I saw this amazing piece of history: Luciano Pavarotti, 1964, Moscow.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:22 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

This week I learned a new word, frippery.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:24 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Today I learned that I shouldn't assume that everyone knows what goatse is. Sorry about that.
posted by bondcliff at 7:38 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]

Today I realized that I missed one Christmas decoration when packing them up last week, so there is still a Santa hanging off the front doorknob. I think I'll leave it there.

Yesterday I learned that our university's course management software has no functionality for turning in the same assignment two times (as in, submit a draft, receive feedback, and submit a final copy). That was super annoying.
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:19 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

in the surprisingly spacious community room of a local library

I have been learning this over the past two months, but I keep finding out that there are community rooms available in our local libraries and fire stations and I feel like there's just been this secret society of societies hanging out at county buildings all this time and I never knew.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:29 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]

This week I learned that people in Scotland are far more likely to be called for jury service than people in England and Wales. 95% chance of being called at least once in your life in Scotland; 35% in England & Wales.

I also learned that you can get an awful lot of reading done while sitting around in a court, waiting for a trial that doesn't end up taking place because the accused pleads guilty at the last minute.
posted by Catseye at 8:38 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Today I learned that TIL is short for Today I Learned, not This I Like.
posted by hippybear at 8:39 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]

i learned that you can really teach yourself a lot in three days of reading, and hopefully it's enough to get you a job offer
posted by dismas at 8:39 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

This week I learned how to bury my mom. Which is why the entire Trumpocalypse-aftermath sort of went past me, because I was caring for her 24/7 at her home during December. That was fucking hard, but also an awesome thing to be able to do for one's mom.
posted by Namlit at 9:07 AM on January 15 [26 favorites]

kristi, thank you so much for the link to the Akhenaten podcast! I read two books about him last year (one very poetic but archaeologically not very good (link to my GR review), and one scrupulously researched and footnoted but harder to get through). If you ever get the chance to go to the Cairo Museum and stand among the enormous, almost extraterrestrially stylised statues of him there, please do.

Eyebrows, I too hail the reign of one-eyed cats in the McGee household. My friend has a one-eyed cat and I'm always amazed at the intensity of expression she packs into her eye.
posted by daisyk at 9:17 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

ohmigosh, the next episode after Akhenaten is about the Dreyfus affair! I'm going to listen to that so hard!!
posted by daisyk at 9:17 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]

I have learned nothing this week. I have been giving my brain a break! Maybe I learned that my brain gets a little bored if I give it too much of a break. Next week, however, I will be learning all sorts of things, because I start my Discrete Structures class. I am still not sure exactly what I will be learning, but I am sure that I will be learning things, if only that I am not smart enough to do whatever you do in Discrete Structures.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:36 AM on January 15

Sorry, Namlit. Good thoughts to you and your family.
posted by lazuli at 9:45 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]

It's not yet cocktail hour here in SF (for me, anyway - others are welcome to do as they wish, of course), so I am drinking coffee and watching a cat watch pigeons out the window. I got woken up too early this morning by a guy delivering an Amazon package for your housemate (8:30 on a Sunday morning WTF) and also being nearly shoved out of bed by a cat who was taking up all the room.

On the agenda today is step 2 in the experimental clarified milk punch process, maybe a little housework, and then a Hamilton singalong at a local drag bar tonight.
posted by rtha at 9:49 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

Oh, the thing I learned is that Amazon packages can be delivered early on Sundays. And I need to drink more coffee before hitting post.
posted by rtha at 9:51 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

This week I learned how hard it is to talk about miscarriage. We told a bunch of people after seeing the heartbeat and making it to the start of the second trimester. And now I find myself breaking the bad news that the fetus inside me has died, and having to reassure and comfort people (including my OB who cried during my appointment). So, I'm feeling a mix of grief, relief that the weeks of overwhelming worry are over, guilt at feeling that relief, and sort of a feminist rage and desire to educate everyone about the Ring Theory of grief. This sucks, you guys.
posted by beandip at 10:12 AM on January 15 [24 favorites]

We started domesticating cows over 10,000 years ago!!! Cows are really man's best friend (not sorry dogs). Even better is when dogs are cow's best friend.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:17 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Today I learned Tamiflu comes from star anise! But this fact was relayed to me by my father who is still quite woozy from the flu, so it may not be entirely accurate.
posted by whitewall at 10:20 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]

Hugs to you both, Namlit and beandip.
posted by billiebee at 10:20 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]

This week I learned that a watercooled tile saw is a very good tool to have when you're making tile mosaic, even if you need rounded shapes.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:40 AM on January 15

pobre miguel
posted by dhruva at 10:47 AM on January 15

So sorry Namlit, my Mom died in 2009 and I still miss her, and beandip, I have no words.

(I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, but you have helped put what I learned yesterday in perspective. Yesterday I learned that even a long time spouse can miss the boat, hence him giving me nothing at all for a "big" birthday, not even a card. I really did not want much, but a token would have been nice).
posted by gudrun at 10:53 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

Guess it doesn't count as it's not Saturday night anymore but on Sunday morning I learned that I should check the grey for a new post on Saturday evenings.
posted by sammyo at 11:08 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

I started watching Falling Skies on Amazon Prime. Noah Wyle is in it, and I was inspired to check his IMDB page, where I learned that he stayed with ER until the bitter end, and has been working non-stop since. This made me unreasonably happy, considering that I stopped watching ER right after Dr Greene had the brain tumor, and hadn't really thought about most of the people who were in it since then. He's good in Falling Skies, so I guess it just made me happy to know he was out there finding steady work and chugging along in a career that is so often all-or-nothing, or that consigns most of the stars of hit TV shows to obscurity once the hit show ends.
posted by Orlop at 11:20 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]

TIL that when my boss suggests that I go buy things at Costco during the day on Sunday, I should ignore him and do it on another day.

I learned to drive last year and am still a bit nervous about certain driving situations: today I learned that I can handle the Costco parking lot on a Sunday.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:21 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]

This week nakedmolerats and I learned that dolphins are actually toothed whales; somehow we got to this question in a conversation that started off being about anal bleaching.
posted by DingoMutt at 11:23 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]

(Anal bleaching of people; not cetaceans)
posted by DingoMutt at 11:25 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]

The power went out and I tripped and fell on the edge of the iron tub and quickly discovered that I can control the amount of air going to my left lung. Assumed I'd cracked ribs and as long as I wasn't coughing or peeing blood this would just be a matter of time. Never thought I'd be shining a flashlight into a toilet.

If I dropped something it was lost to me. I couldn't bend over or put away the dishes or dress myself and my housemates were away. I'm not a whiner, but this pain rivaled kidney stones and the fact that I was complaining about the pain was signal enough to my annoying friends that they hiked up here. Driving was out of the question because weather.

One of them, an eighty-two year old Iranian witch doctor who could never practice here after the revolution felt me up and told me he could try something and if it didn't work, I'd feel no pain at all but if it did the pain would be much worse and slowly fade. He's Bahai and I've teased him about things he's said but I didn't feel like teasing him now.

It's odd. He dropped a pen in a market 25 years ago and swore in Farsi when he couldn't pick it up so I did and handed it to him and responded in Farsi and then he wanted to have coffee. And he was absolutely sure I was Iranian, concealing it because of '79 and kept coming back to that. How could I speak Farsi and have my name and not be? The Mongols got pretty far into Poland too, you know? But if not Iranian, I was a secret Persian.

This guy really annoyed me but I kept having coffee with him and eventually got through to him that his name was Mongolian too and things developed until we were bringing books and maps to the diner and he took a fucking rubber mallet to my back and relocated my ribs a couple nights ago with very precise blows. It's like you fell off a horse, he said. Thanks dad. Please no stories about the horsemen from Afghanistan.

So I've learned that ribs can be relocated. I don't recommend this particular procedure. I can move. This is good.

Mine felt real enough but there is some real pain just upthread.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:32 AM on January 15 [22 favorites]

TIL that I can tell a Mr. Yuck comment from the first paragraph.
posted by billiebee at 11:36 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]

(Anal bleaching of people; not cetaceans)

Few know of the long-suppressed section of Moby-Dick, Chapter 32, "Cetology," which dealt extensively with the subject of anal bleaching in the toothed whale. Melville was, in this as in so many things, ahead of his time.
posted by Orlop at 11:37 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]

- I learned that public cord blood cell banks throughout the world are already searched by the National Marrow Donor Program, the world's largest stem cell registry, in addition to registered marrow donors. I thought it could be an unexplored resource for potential stem cell matches for my nephew Ally who needs a stem cell transplant match. I was disappointed, but it's excellent that the NMDP federates all that together.

- I went to a talk about data sonification. It's a rather vaporwave-ish sort of field, and there was very little "here's a concrete and useful thing you can do with it" stuff in the talk. However, I was inspired just by the feeling of possibility there. TwoWordReview pointed me to a bunch of cool sonification projects by edlundarts. It felt a little indulgent to go out to something not directly usable, but I think we need to be exposed to things like this once in a while to keep creative hope alive.

- We had my son's friend over for the morning today. My son is 2 and his friend just turned 3. Unlike last time, which was fairly harmonious, there was a lot of contention and shoving over toys and spaces. Very awkward to have to break up! Oddly, at the end, they seem to have considered it a good time and did a bunch of high fives and big waves. Friendship is weird, right at the start, it appears.

- This is a great writing prompt! I think I could use something like this to populate my barren blog. Thanks, Eyebrows!
posted by ignignokt at 11:38 AM on January 15

Video games! I have been having trouble paying attention to long-form video games lately but finally got back on the wagon, and so:

I have been playing Bravely Second the last couple of days; it's a 3DS game, which is a shame because it should exist on a wider variety of hardware so more folks can play it. But anyway it's the sequel to another game called Bravely Default, and they are essentially older-generation console Final Fantasy games rebranded and with a ton of crazy polish on the core explore-and-grind-and-level mechanics that were both definitive of and a downside to those older games. So you can play battles on fast forward, with auto-repeating commands, modify your random encounter rate on the fly, etc, all while leveling up a bunch of different jobs that then have crazy synergies that end up producing silly things like 9999 damage. It's a weird little bit of weaponized nostalgia being used in basically good ways; if you like JRPGs at all and have a 3DS, I heartily recommend the series.

But also it has an idle game built into as a consequenceless mini game thing that I spent this morning absolutely crushing to the limit because apparently I will never be truly free of clickers even if I did escape my deepest early fixation with them.

But also also these games are full of puns and pretty merciless about it; one repeating bit that they've committed to like 110% is that there'a kind of nasty moon monster out there called a Ba'al, and one of the folks in your party is a professional hunter of those things, and so casually refers to herself as a Ba'al Buster.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:45 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]

because apparently I will never be truly free of clickers even if I did escape my deepest early fixation with them.

{Looks in MetaFilter draft FPP folder at posts to be public at some point}

Yeah, you may be having somewhat unproductive work week fairly soon...
posted by Wordshore at 11:52 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

I'm very sorry for your losses, Namlit and beandip. Those are really hard things and I hope you can find a little comfort this week.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:54 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]

Today I learned that I suck at ordering a sandwich at Subway... if it's not my old standby BMT, then the selections I make are an awful tasting combination.

Last week (or this past week; or however you say it) I learned the fundamentals of working in Autodesk Revit. It was an intense fast-paced week-long course and I am excited to have the opportunity to learn something new.
posted by mightshould at 12:10 PM on January 15


Bacon M__ Tomato?
posted by ardgedee at 12:12 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Today I learned that Unrest's Perfect Teeth album is still total earworm from start-to-end. I mean, check this shit. How can you not want to pick up a guitar and also yell along with it now?
posted by ardgedee at 12:18 PM on January 15

Today, prompted by ardgedee's query above, I learned that Subway's BMT sandwich originally stood for Brooklyn Manhattan Transit, and then evolved into standing for Bigger, Meatier, Tastier--but it actually contains pepperoni, ham, and salami. Who knew????
(Side note-- I absolutely love these Metatalks! It's like getting a peek into everyone's daily lives and I feel like I'm reading little pieces of a lot of different novels.)
posted by bookmammal at 12:33 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]

And also today I learned that I guess Mark Robinson is a dad because alongside the official video posts for Unrest, Tuscadero, Air Miami et al, the TeenBeat record label youtube account has videos of Lego and Minecraft play.
posted by ardgedee at 12:34 PM on January 15

Today I cleaned off that Dusty Shelf With Far Too Many Nooks and found a deck of playing cards from 1929 and learned all about playing card tax stamps.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:57 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]

Today I learned that "prerogative" is spelled like that, not "per-og-ative" like I think it should be.
posted by Secretariat at 2:20 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]

Today I learned that I should have more faith in my ability to coach archery. This of course means nothing to you, but it made me feel immeasurably better.
posted by pipeski at 2:40 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]

Not THIS week, but last week I learned that there is a website that also has a smart-tv app which will stream asian TV dramas, with community-sourced subtitles. I won't say which site, since I don't want to seem like a spammer. But I have gone from never turning the TV on (like, seriously, World Cup and Presidential Election night) to binging hours a day. Which has to stop, obviously, but for now I'm just enjoying it.

This week I learned that people are full of innovative ideas, they just don't know it and so won't be able to tell you if you ask outright. But if you eavesdrop on them while they're working sometimes, you can learn some interesting (in a good way) things.
posted by ctmf at 2:41 PM on January 15

I had two exciting things today! Since I Kon-Mari-ed my whole house and can now find my dining room table on the regular, we had a fancy family dinner a few times over the holidays and now my kids are insistent they want to do it every Sunday, so today I made a ham with green beans, mashed potatoes, pineapples, cranberry sauce, and rolls. I also feel all set for this ice storm if it arrives, since I can make ham soup and fried rice with ham and ham sandwiches and not have to leave the house for groceries for quite a while.

The other exciting thing that happened is my kids built a MudWatt last week (something Santa brought them) and today the LED started flashing! Only about once a minute -- it should get faster as the colony grows -- but we were SO EXCITED that it's aliiiiiiiiiiive. (We all cheered, and the baby, who didn't understand why we all suddenly started shouting, cried.) We moved it into the living room because it's the warmest part of the house so the bacteria can grow faster, so I'm totally sitting here watching my pet mud.

I was just thinking I could use a new clicker game or two ...
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:20 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]

TIL that I can tell a Mr. Yuck comment from the first paragraph.

I've no idea why, but I recognised your comment on sink-peeing as yours about ⅓ of a second after I read the word halls rather than dorms to refer to university accommodation, billiebee.
posted by ambrosen at 3:54 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Video games!

cortex have u heard of overwatch
posted by poffin boffin at 4:00 PM on January 15

I'm so proud :)
posted by billiebee at 4:01 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Today I learned:

* That if you stand still and quiet enough, you can actually hear ice on a lake melting.
* The sound that a frozen-solid lake makes when the ice starts popping can echo.
* That if you lose the trail around the lake, and are less than a quarter mile from the end point, you may want to consider just walking across the frozen lake to get back to the trailhead, especially if there's like a whole team of Girl Scouts skating and a couple guys ice fishing.
* That dogs running on frozen lakes are adorably unconcerned about whether they're gonna slip. (No camera, sorry.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:13 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]

I was just thinking I could use a new clicker game or two ...

Earlier this fine day one communicated, via the medium of The Twitter, details of a new clicker game to Mr Cortex. However, he expressed profound disappointment in the experience and after one's own investigations, one was inclined to concur with his judgement in the matter.

(One should, perhaps, give advance notice that the clicker game is political in nature if this is not your contemporary desire)
posted by Wordshore at 4:17 PM on January 15

TIL from this comment that Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" was based on a Stevie Wonder song: "Pastime Paradise".
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:33 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]

I have learned that a kitty will think her bonded sister is a scary intruder just because she got vet stink on her. I get that kitties are reliant on their sense on smell but how superior is this sense of smell if a bit of vet stink erases all trace of beloved sister kitty?

I have a question. If they eventually make up, has the original relationship been erased and a new one forged or will she eventually realise that it is her litter mate?
posted by kitten magic at 4:41 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Rhomboid, I loved the DNA sequencing machine, and I'd love to go to a cocktail bar where one was used to make cocktails, however that would work.
posted by ambrosen at 4:49 PM on January 15

TIL that Weird Al's "Amish Paradise" is actually based on another song.
posted by ambrosen at 5:04 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]

Thanks for posting these good vibes threads!
posted by latkes at 5:12 PM on January 15

Today I learned that the trauma from a blow to the head often happens when the brain smashes against the skull which is apparently all ridgy and jagged inside. The brain is just floating there in its fluid and it's cruisy as anything, and the whap you get hit, the brain bounces around, and you're in concussion town. Also because of this sometimes the brain gets injured worse on the side that was not hit, whiplash style. Like you get knocked on the left, your brain bounces into the right side of the skull, and gross. Contrecoup injury. Then when the brain gets injured it swells, and because of the skull it has nowhere to swell to really, and that is when you get raised intracranial pressure and also trouble. On autopsy sometimes people with brain injuries have actual pus and blisters on their brain, like why you even gotta do a thing brain? Those are my brain facts, thank you.
posted by supercrayon at 5:30 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]

Today I learned (again) that a little piece of my heart stays with my kid when I leave him at college, 500 miles away from home. It really honestly feels like a physical part of me is there. Not just missing; it's there with him.
posted by cooker girl at 6:01 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]

It is currently strawberry season in Japan.
posted by brujita at 6:23 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]

I have some Orange & Cream flavored Joose (it tastes like baby aspirin only boozy) and some Virginia Dinner Old Bay Peanuts (they taste like crab cakes only nutty). Life is OK.
posted by jonmc at 6:27 PM on January 15

This week I learned that a plane can be turned away from an airport because there is no space to park the plane, and that the plane can be made to go back to the airport it came from and that the airline will not really feel inclined to do much other than let you wait all day for a standby seat on another flight. This week I also learned that driving 5 hours from Charlotte to Charlottesville is a lot better with a decent traveling companion and that my gaydar on picking out a decent traveling companion is pretty good.

Today I learned that I can actually nag my mom to do a thing and she will do it, in perhaps one of the more terrifying role reversals of getting older. And that she was unwilling to call the pharmacy to get a refill of the prescription meds that she couldn't find because she hadn't thought to pack them separately while moving out of the house in which my parents have been for the last 47 years to the shiny new 2 bedroom retirement condo, because she was afraid that the pharmacists would make fun of her for losing her meds. I assured her that misplacing her cholesterol medication while moving was not even the strangest thing the pharmacy heard today and it wasn't worth risking her health for fear of embarrassment. But sheesh.

On the upside, I remembered that there's an ABC (liquor) store near her pharmacy, and consequently am sitting here in the guest room with a bottle of Bulleit rye. My parents are moving out of the big sprawling rural farmhouse into a retirement community we have dubbed the "elderdorm".

Also, any mefites in the Charlottesville area, HMU. I'm here until Tuesday and could use some conversation with someone other than my parents.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:54 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]

Today I learned that, despite all the imprecations against Chatfilter and exhortations scattered across the site and FAQs that staff are, above all, normal members like everybody else, it's perfectly OK to start an open-ended chat in MetaTalk if you're a mod.

I also learned that, despite knowing that we're free to "flag it and move on" or just skip the thread if it doesn't interest us, if you're someone who isn't interested in small talk (or, worse, finds directed small talk particularly excruciating) you might find everyone sharing their little stories and triviata more than a little clique-y and, yes, subtly exclusionary in ways that are hard to explain without dragging in a whole load of individual personal baggage.

Looking forward to the near future, I expect to learn very quickly dozens of new reasons why it's all OK or how it's not exclusionary at all and everyone should feel welcome to join in - or not - if they wish, and many new ways to and explanations of why we are indeed free to only click on threads that interest us.

And, I'm sure, a few new exhortations to do exactly that in the future…
posted by Pinback at 7:50 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]

Today I looked at the camera and made a face like I was Jim from The Office.
posted by bondcliff at 8:01 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]

TIL that I'll pay $130 to take my family to a museum. What the fuck California Academy of Sciences?

TIL that my mother is the kind of person who would post of picture of herself on Facebook standing at a Confederate War Memorial wearing a "Proud to be a Deplorable" t-shirt. On MLK weekend no less. I wouldn't know this actually because everyone else in my family has cut off contact with her, except my Mexican brother in law and my Indian wife who were still Facebook friends with her until about an hour ago. Hope your desire to be cute and provocative on Facebook outweighs your desire to ever have contact with your grandkids again, mom!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:01 PM on January 15 [10 favorites]

Well, I went to a very cool event about responding to the election, and learned about the work that a lot of long-time community organizers are doing here in the Bay Area. I was inspired and got a lot of information and analysis to think about. Unfortunately, I am still not sure how to go forward as someone who is not a full time organizer, besides continuing to attend rallies, give money, call politicians. But I'm hoping a more organized movement grows.

I also learned that I can't fix my dryer.
posted by latkes at 8:22 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Today I learned that if the apartment you rented doesn't come with a refrigerator, and you have a secure back door screen. You can hang a shopping bag on the door handle, between the doors, to act as a refrigerator for the time it takes you to acquire a refrigerator, (as long as it stays cold, but not too freezing.) I am truly torn here, I have a refrigerator 750 miles away, and I am loathe to buy a used one on the cheap. I am loathe to buy a new one, since I have one; but not ready to travel again for a bit.
posted by Oyéah at 8:45 PM on January 15

I'm so sorry, beandip. *hugs* if you want them.
posted by lazuli at 8:50 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Today I learned that, despite all the imprecations against Chatfilter and exhortations scattered across the site and FAQs that staff are, above all, normal members like everybody else, it's perfectly OK to start an open-ended chat in MetaTalk if you're a mod.

Chatfilter's a rule on Ask. People, primarily non-mod users, start friendly chatty MetaTalks sometimes, for a variety of reasons. Having a just-for-the-hell-of-it non-bummery conversation now and then in among the more utility- and conflict-driven stuff is a good thing for a community and gives everybody, from the very active to the deeply lurky, a chance to just sort of chill out together and reaffirm the value of having a shared space.

None of this means you have to like or want to participate in or approve of those threads. If it's not for you, that's fine, be where you want to be and do what you want to do. But they are in fact an okay and normal part of the history of this place and not designed to exclude or out-group but rather do the opposite and be a zero-stakes thing that everybody can be involved in. If anything, this sort of thing is something we could do with a little more of on MetaTalk these days, mixed in with the tougher stuff that's been going around.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:58 PM on January 15 [19 favorites]

Today I made strangers on twitter listen to terrible 90s Christian ska because I am a supervillain
posted by beerperson at 9:26 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]

tim is it nostril club time, our secret exclusive club for fans of adrien brody's majestic nostrils
posted by poffin boffin at 9:37 PM on January 15

All great movies begin with characters falling out of the sky
posted by beerperson at 9:38 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

TIL about Okayafrica's amazing music page and this song, in particular, which is making me dance around my tiny Hong Kong apartment.
posted by mdonley at 10:07 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]

This week I learned that my cat understands what the thermostat is for. The power went out so we had no heat and she was desperately pawing at it trying to fix this terrible situation while her stupid humans were being useless. We have not yet caught her successfully changing the temperature but we are keeping a close watch.
posted by carolr at 10:26 PM on January 15 [22 favorites]

TIL that barring disaster, my daughter will be able to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall despite being a couple classes shy of finishing her associate's. I also learned that--praise the Lord and the ativan--she has gone from barely being able to take a city bus last year to surviving a month-long solo sojourn in Seoul.

Other good news: I closed on my new house/farmette on Friday, so now I have a place to put my new Christmas present. Considering that 2016 started with the collapse of my marriage and ended with me buying my dream home, dream horse, and seeing my daughter inch ever closer to independence, I truly feel like I'm living my best life.
posted by drlith at 10:40 PM on January 15 [23 favorites]

I got one of those infrared thermometers with the laser-pointer guide thing and I've been laser-thermometering everything.

It says:
- the radiators (when they're really cranking) are around 215 degrees F
- the tip of the cat's ear is about 6 degrees cooler than the base of the ear
- we're losing a lot of heat through the vent hood over the stove, the attic hatch, etc.
- thin bamboo windowshade makes a surprisingly large insulation difference
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:49 PM on January 15 [18 favorites]

Today I learned that there is a jelly-bean game called "BeanBoozled" where there are matching beans where one is coconut and the twin is spoiled milk; one is strawberry-banana and its match is dead fish. Juicy pear, booger. (It's clearly the logical extension of the Bertie Botts Beans they came out with during the height of Pottermania.) So you gather all your friends and you spin a spinner and it lands on blue or whatever and you have to pick one of the blue beans without knowing if it's blueberry or toothpaste flavor. I am somewhere between horrified and impressed and horrified. I need someone to try this game and report back. (My family will never cooperate!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:13 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]

This weekend I have NOT learned that I am an adult with a professional job and I cannot keep staying up until 4 in the morning. Not just adult, apparently getting old, to judge from the fact that I spent the day complaining about how the weather is evidently the cause of my mysterious new pain in my hands. But I assembled some Ikea furniture and now I have a dining set and I think I can actually call my apartment furnished, more than two months after moving in, so that was exciting.

The nice thing in my life at the moment is that at least if I have to work in the morning, I'm going to be working from home because of said storm, so I don't have to deal with commute. Or real pants.
posted by Sequence at 1:08 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]

TIL that my procrastination is only getting worse with age and that despite having Friday off and a mostly free weekend it is now Monday morning and I'm in work and the essay which I have to hand in at 5.30 tomorrow is still very much Not Done. What's even worse is that by this stage I'd usually have an internal monologue going ohshitohshitohshit which would motivate me to get on with it out of fear, but something has broken and now all I'm hearing is lalalaitllbefinedeedlededee which is not helping at all.
posted by billiebee at 2:25 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]

Yesterday, I learned (because I was at my mom's, and she'd bought, in cash, a vest, at the incredibly lazily staffed Bay [department store] , which had not had its security tag removed at the time of sale, and she'd lost her receipt, and was too embarrassed to go back to get the tag removed) that a neat way to get a security tag off clothing is to freeze the item and bash the crap out of the tag with a hammer.
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:14 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]

I learned two things this week:

1. Even better than getting the all clear and no lymphoma from my oncologist was something even better, believe it or not. Two weeks ago, my cat Mikko got out after running away TWO weeks ago. He slipped out during a Percocet haze and I noticed something had been nibbling the wet food I left outside for the past three days. Two nights ago, I saw him eating the food but he ran away. I live right off 128 in the Boston area so I was sure he was a goner. I got a Haveaheart trap and set it, and the next morning the trap was shut but nothing was inside of it. I was certain I'd never see him again.

Lo and behold, I set the trap yesterday afternoon, and a few hours later my son returned from work at Trader Joe's and said, "Mom, the trap is closed." I was like, "IS MIKKO IN IT, YOU IDIOT?" and he replied he was scared to look.

I pulled Mikko's old blanket off the trap, AND THERE WAS MIKKO!!! Purring and happy as could be. He came inside for scritches and snuggles and his purrbox is off the chart. No worse for the wear.

2. I opened a Twitter account with the handle Dios Mio because that's how I respond mentally to his tweets, and respond to everything Tr*mp tweets; it's been amazingly cathartic. I strongly suggest others do this because it feels really good to talk back to him.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:36 AM on January 16 [20 favorites]

We got nice new neighbors this week in the rental house next door. This makes three for three in three nice neighbors in that house since we have been here, and also three for three in the neighbors having a toddler. This time though, we also have a toddler, so it is extra good.
posted by rockindata at 5:41 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]

TWIL That while I like the taste of the Matcha Bubble Tea, I don't actually like the boba/tapioca pearls in the tea. This has lead me to seriously considering figuring out how to make my own. All she used was matcha, cold green tea, ice, and a blender bottle. I have all these things but the matcha - but holy hell is this stuff expensive. I also can't seem to find consensus on what is the appropriate ratios.

I also learned I like the big fat straw that comes in these drinks.

And if you only drink 1/3 of it, and leave it on the hood of your car accidentally - it freezes solid overnight.
posted by INFJ at 5:58 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]

As an update, TIL that if I am now old, I am not so old that I can't get out of bed on less than three hours' sleep and still be basically functional with coffee. Thank god.

So excited to hear about the returned cat!
posted by Sequence at 6:39 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]

Today I learned that there is a jelly-bean game called "BeanBoozled" [. . .] I need someone to try this game and report back. (My family will never cooperate!)

So, someone at work got this last year as a joke Christmas gift, and they brought it in for us to try (no surprise, their family was also too chicken to give it a whirl.)

Some of the bad flavors are surprisingly realistic - "dirt" was one I remember being like, "Yup, tastes like dirt" - and some are not, or at least nobody would admit to having tasted the original (boogers.) But they're all bad in a "spit it out, quick go wash your mouth out" kind of way, and possibly gag-inducing for the more sensitive-taster folks. The "game" aspect of it didn't last more than a couple of rounds, once you've seen everyone's surprised horrible face one time and gotten a laugh that's about it, so the whole thing just became everyone rooting through the box, picking a bean and taking a tiny nibble. If it was good they ate the rest if, it was bad it got passed to someone else so they could see if it really tasted like spoiled milk or whatever.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:49 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]

> I don't actually like the boba/tapioca pearls in the tea.


Although I do admit that the boba at a lot of bubble tea places is not that great - not cooked properly, or not fresh, so the texture and/or flavor is off.

I learned in the past week that taking zinc does alleviate cold symptoms in my case. And a co-worker told me about Elixir. So I guess some extra motivation to play around with Erlang!
posted by needled at 7:36 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]

The "game" aspect of it didn't last more than a couple of rounds

The only time I've seen these in the wild was at a friend's wedding, where the groom had them in his pocket and was challenging every elementary-aged kid to eat a color with him. It was ideal for that, and also funny to watch 7 year olds going through several of the motions of doing shots, but with jelly beans.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:21 AM on January 16 [9 favorites]

This doesn't fall into the "today I learned..." category, but it amuses me, so I will share it here.

Saturday night we got together with my parents for Chinese food, and we encouraged the youngest nubspawn to broaden his palate and try something from each dish on the table - the noodles, the beef dish, the salt& pepper squid, the veggies, the palace-style chicken.

Last night we were having some of the leftovers and he informed us that he liked "the noodles, the squid, the beef, the little corns, but not the sexy chicken."

From now on, in my house, we will be ordering the sexy chicken when we have Chinese.
posted by nubs at 8:25 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]

I'm in Israel on a somewhat spur of the moment vacation, for the first time since I lived here almost a decade ago. It's amazing how much has changed (electric bikes everywhere! Working meters in taxis! You can't drink outside anymore!) and yet how little has changed (Israelis).
posted by Itaxpica at 8:51 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]

Welp, today I learned what a flat tire looks like.

...I also learned that there are great people in the world. When I asked in a diner in Saugerties "where's a tire place that'd be open today?" one of the waitresses instead called her mechanic boyfriend to come help. He swapped out the spare in the parking lot, gave me a couple tips, and sent me to the garage he works at with the instruction to say that "Fat Chris sent me". I am now chilling in the garage with daytime NBC on the TV and am about 2 hours from home.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:58 AM on January 16 [17 favorites]

TIL that if you tweet nice things about the Netflix series One Day at a Time, both of the producers will like your tweet, even if you don't @ them or anyone to do with the show. In related news, this week I also learned that the Netflix series One Day at a Time is very charming and funny and a good thing to binge watch while knitting pussyhats.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:17 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]

TIL that "anal bleaching in the toothed whale" needs to be my new sockpuppet name.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:51 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]

oooh, drlith, that house is so *dreamy*. Both in summer and winter. *heart eyes* And solar panels on the roof?!? *exploding heart eyes*

TIL, drlith is living both her, and apparently my, best life. (Horses scare me, though, so I'll keep my horse-sized kitties instead. Although that one looks very soft and fluffy.)

TIL this weekend is that the orange tom cat that I've had for a year and a half now who mostly just puts up with me and adores my husband, likes to be carried around like an infant, belly up, cradled in my arms, with his ludicrously long white bunny hind feet sticking up. His not-so-bright cohort miss fluffy cat mcfluffers snuggled up with me multiple times on the couch, so it was basically the best cat weekend I've had in years.

We took my 3yo sledding for the first time ever. The weather was PERFECT with fresh fluffy snow from the week before and a bright, sunny 20F so not too cold, and not close enough to above freezing to get us soggy. I still have a limit before I start swearing at children old enough to know better than to walk up the middle of the damn sledding hill in front of sledders instead of walking up the sides out of the way. I did not call any children "dumbass" this time, though, so there's that.
posted by jillithd at 12:41 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]

Thanks, deludingmyself. If I ever end up getting married, I'll really try to remember to have something fun to do with the children who come to the wedding.
posted by ambrosen at 3:06 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]

TIL that if someone scrapes the "C" off the Baby Changing Table label, it becomes a Baby hanging Table.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 4:41 PM on January 16 [4 favorites]

TWIL That while I like the taste of the Matcha Bubble Tea, I don't actually like the boba/tapioca pearls in the tea.

Whenever I go to boba tea places I ask them to skip the pearls for this reason.

TIAmLearning how to write a game - a friend got me interested in the world of busking (hence this Ask) and I'm converting it into game-ese. I'm trying out StoryNexus (Fallen London's engine) but am already running into limitations, which means a rethinking of some of my game structure. Or finding a new engine entirely, though none of the ones recommended for interactive fiction quite work the way I want (mostly because there's quite a few stats being calculated). Hmm.
posted by divabat at 12:51 AM on January 17

divabat, I'm very interested in what you end up using for your game. I can't recommend anything as I've only messed around with Twine, but I find the increase of interest in interactive fiction very exciting. :)
posted by daisyk at 3:58 AM on January 17

Does this still hold past Saturday? Saturday was the day my kidlet took the entrance exam for a Jesuit school that has a strong focus on compassion and service and I'm super excited to maybe get her into!
posted by corb at 1:51 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]

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