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4gifs: Brave geese chase an alligator off a Florida golf...

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4gifs:

Brave geese chase an alligator off a Florida golf course. [video]

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minderella
1 day ago
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They aren't "brave" geese. Geese are assholes. Dumb, possessive, territorial assholes. They will chase anything.
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Suburban lawns as ecological wastelands

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Excerpts from a rant at Earther:
Americans devote 70 hours, annually, to pushing petrol-powered spinning death blades over aggressively pointless green carpets to meet an embarrassingly destructive beauty standard based on specious homogeneity. We marvel at how verdant we manage to make our overwatered, chemical-soaked, ecologically-sterile backyards...

“Continual amputation is a critical part of lawn care. Cutting grass regularly—preventing it from reaching up and flowering — forces it to sprout still more blades, more rhizomes, more roots, to become an ever more impenetrable mat until it is what its owner has worked so hard or paid so much to have: the perfect lawn, the perfect sealant through which nothing else can grow—and the perfect antithesis of an ecological system.”..

Up until the 1940s, we at least left odd flowers like clovers—which actually add nitrogen back to soil—alone. Then we figured out how to turn petrochemicals into fertilizer, Windhager said. “The new goal became to have a full monoculture.”..

According to the EPA, we use 580 million gallons of gas each year, in lawnmowers that emit as much pollution in one hour as 40 automobiles driving— accounting for roughly 10 to 18 percent of non-road gasoline emissions...

All America’s farmland consumes 88.5 million acre feet of water a year. Lawns, with a fraction of the land, drink an estimated two-thirds as much. Most municipalities use 30-60 percent of drinkable water on lawns.
Suggestions at the link regarding how to cope with neighborhood associations.
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minderella
4 days ago
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Torch your yard. Put in a garden.
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Dollar Street

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Dollar Street is a project by Anna Rosling Rönnlund that imagines the world as a street ordered by income…poor families live at one end and rich families live at the other. A team of photographers went out and photographed the everyday items owned by families of all income levels — shoes, toothbrushes, TVs, beds, lights, sinks — so that visitors to the site can see how much income affects how families live.

Everyone needs to eat, sleep and pee. We all have the same needs, but we can afford different solutions. Select from 100 topics. The everyday life looks surprisingly similar for people on the same income level across cultures and continents.

Rönnlund explained her project at TED recently:

Bill Gates, who lives just one house in from the very end of the street (Bezos currently occupies the cul de sac), wrote about Dollar Street recently:

Income can often tell you more about how people live than location can. Whenever I visit a new place, I look for clues about which income level local families live on. Are there power lines? What kind of roofs do the houses have? Are people riding bikes or walking from place to place?

The answers to these questions tell me a lot about the people there. If I see power lines, I know homes probably have electricity in this area — which means that kids have enough light to do their homework after the sun sets. If I see patchwork roofs, families likely sleep less during the rainy season because they’re wet and cold. If I see bikes, that tells me people don’t have to spend hours walking to get water every day.

However, Gates’ conclusion — “It’s a beautiful reminder that we have more in common with people on the other side of the world than we think” — is not what I would take away from this. (via @roeeb/status/994474179339501568)

Tags: Anna Rosling Ronnlund   Bill Gates   finance   photography   video
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minderella
10 days ago
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Fascinating stuff.
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Old memories, accidentally trapped in amber by our digital devices

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Part of what humans use technology for is to better remember the past. We scroll back through photos on our phones and on Instagram & Flickr — “that was Fourth of July 5 years ago, so fun!” — and apps like Swarm, Timehop, and Facebook surface old locations, photos, and tweets for us on the regular. But sometimes, we run into the good old days in unexpected places on our digital devices.

Designer and typographer Marcin Wichary started a thread on Twitter yesterday about “UIs that accidentally amass memories” with the initial example of the “Preferred Networks” listing of all the wifi networks his computer had ever joined, “unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés”.

Digital Memories

Several other people chimed in with their own examples…the Bluetooth pairings list, the Reminders app, the list of alarms, saved places in mapping apps, AIM/iChat status message log, chat apps not used for years, the Gmail drafts folder, etc.

John Bull noted that his list of former addresses on Amazon is “a massive walk down memory line of my old jobs and places of residence”. I just looked at mine and I’ve got addresses in there from almost 20 years ago.

Steven Richie suggested the Weather app on iOS:

I usually like to add the city I will be travelling to ahead of time to get a sense of what it will be like when we get there.

I do this too but am pretty good about culling my cities list. Still, there are a couple places I keep around even though I haven’t been to them in awhile…a self-nudge for future travel desires perhaps.

Kotori switched back to an old OS via a years-old backup and found “a post-breakup message that came on the day i switched phones”:

thought i moved on but so many whatifs flashed in my head when i read it. what if i never got a new phone. what if they messaged me a few minutes earlier. what if we used a chat that did backups differently

Similarly, Richard fired up Google Maps on an old phone and was briefly transported through time and space:

On a similar note to both of these, a while ago I switched back to my old Nokia N95 after my iPhone died. Fired up Google Maps, and for a brief moment, it marked my location as at a remote crossroads in NZ where I’d last had it open, lost on a road trip at least a decade before.

Matt Sephton runs into old friends when he plays Nintendo:

Every time my friends and I play Nintendo WiiU/Wii/3DS games we see a lot of our old Mii avatars. Some are 10 years old and of a time. Amongst them is a friend who passed away a few years back. It’s always so good to see him. It’s as if he’s still playing the games with us.

For better or worse, machines never forget those who aren’t with us anymore. Dan Noyes’ Gmail holds a reminder of his late wife:

Whenever I open Gmail I see the last message that my late wife sent me via Google chat in 2014. It’s her standard “pssst” greeting for me: “aye aye”. I leave it unread lest it disappears.

It’s a wonderful thread…read the whole thing.

I encounter these nostalgia bombs every once in awhile too. I closed dozens of tabs the other day on Chrome for iOS; I don’t use it very often, so some of them dated back to more than a year ago. I have bookmarks on browsers I no longer use on my iMac that are more than 10 years old. A MacOS folder I dump temporary images & files into has stuff going back years. Everyone I know stopped using apps like Path and Peach, so when I open them, I see messages from years ago right at the top like they were just posted, trapped in amber.

My personal go-to cache of unexpected memories is Messages on iOS. Scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the list, I can find messages from numbers I haven’t communicated with since a month or two after I got my first iPhone in 2007.

Digital Memories

There and elsewhere in the listing are friends I’m no longer in touch with, business lunches that went nowhere, old flames, messages from people I don’t even remember, arriving Lyfts in unknown cities, old landlords, completely contextless messages from old numbers (“I am so drunk!!!!” from a friend’s wife I didn’t know that well?!), old babysitters, a bunch of messages from friends texting to be let into our building for a holiday party, playdate arrangements w/ the parents of my kids’ long-forgotten friends (which Ella was that?!), and old group texts with current friends left to languish for years. From one of these group texts, I was just reminded that my 3-year-old daughter liked to make cocktails:

Digital Memories

Just like Sally Draper! Speaking of Mad Men, Don’s correct: nostalgia is a potent thing, so I’ve got to stop poking around my phone and get back to work.

Update: I had forgotten this great example about a ghost driver in an old Xbox racing game.

Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together — until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

See also this story about Animal Crossing. (via @ironicsans/status/996445080943808512)

Tags: Marcin Wichary
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minderella
10 days ago
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Old minecraft worlds, netflix accounts, pandora stations going back to that web design company where i worked for a few years.
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1 public comment
MotherHydra
10 days ago
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I'm apparently an asshole because I proactively remove these.
Space City, USA

#1098: “Oops, just figured out I’m polyamorous, 18 months into a serious monogamous relationship with the father of my child.”

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Captain Awkward,

I’ve found myself in a really damn sticky situation. I’m polyamorous. I just recently told my partner, we’ve been together for 18 months this June, we’re engaged, and we have a kid together. (For anonymity, I’ll be referring to my partner as Darin and our son as Ash.) I love Darin, and I love our son, before they came along, I didn’t know that kind of love was possible. I want to grow old with them. But I’ve recently figured out I’m polyamorous, and I told Darin, and he had said, ‘If you wanna go out with other people you do realise that we’d break up, right?’ And obviously, that’s the last thing that I want. But I feel really strongly that if I don’t explore my polyamoury, I’m doing myself a disservice. I feel like some part of me is saying, ‘You have to do this, if you don’t, you’re killing yourself.’ And there’s this guy, who I’ll refer to as Fireball, who I like and who likes me, and I did our natal chart for compatibility and we’re basically made for each other, unlike me and Darin’s which was 3/4 negativity and challenge.

My question is really, I feel like I need to do something about my polyamoury, like if I don’t, I feel like my Soul is dying, but my partner isn’t cool with it, and I have no idea what to do.

Thanks,
–I Don’t Want to be a B*tch to My Fiancé

Hello there,

Only you can decide what you want to do, but maybe we can help you with a framework for how to make the decision. There are lots of books about polyamory (Opening Up, More Than Two, and The Ethical Slut are recommended here quite a bit) where you can read the wisdom of other people who have been through the same dilemmas and tough conversations.

My take:

Darin has already told you he’s not about it. So you know how he feels, and you know what he would want to do if you did want to pursue other relationships (Break up). Whatever polyamory is going to look like for you, it will not be Darin + You + Fireball/other people. It will be more like You + Fireball and/or other folks as you meet them. I think once you start thinking of it that way, it might clarify a way to make decisions and imagine your future.

You will always have some sort of relationship with Darin because you have a child together. So, think about how that relationship would change if you stopped being his long-term romantic partner, and make a plan for that. For example:

  • If you and Darin did split up romantically, how could you be great co-parents to your son?
  • How would money work? What would your living situation be like? How would you divide up the time and work of raising Ash?
  • What’s the kindest way to end the romantic part of your relationship & call off the wedding?
  • What’s the right timeline?

Getting involved with Fireball in secret in hopes of holding onto Darin is not ethical and you know it. So if you want to explore dating or sex with Fireball, you need to call off marrying Darin. You need to let Darin know what you intend, you need to make sure you always practice safer sex and protect Darin’s health, and you need to give him space to possibly exercise his option to end the relationship rather than open it up. And while you’re still deciding all of that, it’s definitely time to stop flirting with Fireball. Don’t put yourself in a gross “it just happened!” situation.

It’s okay to ultimately decide that a monogamous relationship with Darin long-term isn’t what you want. You’ve only been together 18 months, during which there have been a ton of big changes in your lives. Maybe Darin wasn’t the right guy to settle down with, maybe it wasn’t the best time to have a baby, but Ash is here and babies don’t give a single shit about timing or regrets or lust. Deciding to leave probably does mean playing some parts of your life on Hard Mode, but if it’s worth it and necessary to you, then you get to make your choices knowing that lots of families think they will be together forever and end up making other plans.

But can we agree that this Fireball dude is bullshit? You won’t actually die if you don’t explore your polyamory right this second, with him. When you talk about star charts, what I hear is “I have found an excuse that will let me have what I want and pretend that it’s fate.” There’s a lot of language in your letter (“I’ve found myself in a really a sticky situation”) that feels like an attempt to remove agency from you, like this is something that’s happening to you and not something you are making decisions about. I mean, like the stars I also forsee a lot of conflict and strife with Darin as you figure all of this out, but there will be other hot, interesting dudes after you’ve spent a little more time thinking about both how to get the romantic life you want and how to ethically and lovingly co-parent your kid with the person who didn’t sign up for this. You don’t owe Darin the rest of your life if that’s not right for you, but you do owe him and Ash some very careful thought. You owe honesty, and kindness, and doing your homework. You owe yourself and everybody else language like “I’m choosing to do this because I think it’s right for me.”

Movie recommendation: Take This Waltz, by Sarah Polley. Synopsis: Happily coupled woman gets hit by the Lust Lightning Bolt and makes some decisions about that. I don’t know if it will give you answers, but it might make you feel less alone.

 



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minderella
14 days ago
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Has anyone ever seen a good science stock photo?

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I was once drafted to be an extra in a commercial for the University of Oregon. First thing they did was hand me a white lab coat. Second thing was to complain that they’d looked around the lab they were filming in, and couldn’t find any colored solutions in the refrigerator — could I get them some? I at least managed to stop them before they started mixing up random reagents from the shelves.

Public misconceptions about how science is done are terrible. How terrible? Here’s a whole collection of terrible stock photos. This one was my favorite.

There are a lot of botanists in my department. I should ask them if they have a stethoscope.

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minderella
21 days ago
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