In Slate's latest Dear Prudence advice column, a woman writes in to ask if she should tell her husband that a famous comedian he admires (and for whose show he bought tickets for his wife and him to attend) treated her viciously 20 years ago:
“Jake” fell in love with me and reacted very angrily when I told him I’d like to remain friends. He’d lash out if he learned I’d done anything with another friend, and he’d turn vicious if that friend was male. I was always scared of upsetting him, because he had a really awful temper, which our mutual friends always downplayed. I eventually broke off contact after I was nearly raped and Jake told me I deserved it.
She says "'Jake' has become a much beloved public figure in the entertainment industry. He’s 'woke,' challenges people like Louis C.K., and is, as he always was, very funny."
Prudence's advice: "I think you need to tell your husband the truth of your 'friendship' with Jake, and ask that he tell your closest friends whichever version of this story you are comfortable is both true and also protective of your own privacy and emotional well-being."
Image by andresilva5 from Pixabay Read the rest
Project Farm is one of my favorite YouTube channels because the guy who makes them conducts useful tests to determine whether or not common tools and materials are all they're cracked up to be. In this video, he tries a bunch of different drain openers to break up hair and soap, vegetables and bacon grease, and a piece of tape and a paper towel. He also checks to see if the various uncloggers damage pipes.
The verdict: Drano, Liquid Plumr, and lye all get an "A." Clobber and hydrochloric acid both get a "B," and Drain Sticks and Roebic get a "C." Read the rest
Good things to know:
There's a little arrow on a car's fuel gauge that points to which side the car's fuel filler is on
Snap-blade knives have a removable piece with a groove you can use to snap off old blades.
French's Mustard squeeze bottles have lids that click into place when you open them all the way.
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Anxiety and depression are deeply inter-related and both are among the most terrible things I have ever experienced.
This is in no way to say that they are worse than other things. It’s not a competition and one of the many terrible things anxiety and depression do is make you feel guilty about feeling bad because so many people have it worse off than you, because of disaster or illness or poverty or circumstance, which just makes the whole thing worse.
Anxiety often starts with a specific concern, something you are worried about, either personal [aggh money, agggh relationships, aggg jobs, aggg illness] or public [agggh run around screaming the whole world is on fire and no one seems to be able to do anything oh dear god I can never look at the news again did that really say nuclear war why won’t it stop and gosh isn’t it getting hot recently].
At some point, it metastasizes, spreading from a particular thing you have been over-thinking about and becomes a persistent feeling of dread and discomfort that will then alter your perception of anything that you think about.
Or sometimes it just turns up for no fucking reason at all.
Dread and discomfort do not do it justice, however.
It makes getting out of bed sort of…terrifying. In fact, it makes anything you have to do at all sort of…terrifying. Even the thought of doing something is terrifying. The sensation is like when you get frightened and there is this clenching in your chest but it never alleviates and turns into a rat that is constantly gnawing at your insides, a thin ribbon of indescribable panic that sits under your ribcage and pulls your focus away from the world. Read the rest
Big Think asked Shane Parrish of Farnam Street to offer advice for getting the most out of a book. From the video (slightly edited for clarity):
Before you read a book, take a blank sheet of paper and write down what you know about that subject. You can mindmap it, or you can write bullet points. Then read a chapter of that book. Now go back to that sheet and use a different color pen and fill in the gaps: what did I learn?, did I learn a different terminology?, can I connect it to what I've already read?
Before you pick up the book for the next chapter skim this sheet. It primes your brain for what you're going to read. I think that's a really effective way to not only build on the knowledge you have but to connect what you're reading to the existing knowledge. It's going to show you what you've learned because it's going to be a very visual distinction. It's going to be a different color of ink, and I think that allows you to connect to the book.
I often do this in the jacket of the book if I don't have a physical piece of paper.
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As posted by Stance Grounded: "I've been doing it wrong this entire time 😭😒" Read the rest
Internet funnyperson Choire "Awl" Sicha (previously) has a new gig: New York Times advice columnist; Sicha is not fucking around either: "The only circumstance in which you can ask this woman out is if she sends you a literal ink-on-paper invitation to do so, like, in calligraphy and maybe with a seal stamped in wax, which would be awesome. (Also might mean she’s a vampire?) But, sure, you can totally ask her out if you don’t care about (1) her security about working with men in any capacity forever or (2) your career! Then have a blast, cannonball as many lives as possible on your way down the trash chute." (via Kottke)
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There is a major retrospective of John Waters' visual art that's just opened in his hometown of Baltimore. It's called Indecent Exposure and it pulls pieces from his entire career. In this PBS NewsHour video, we get to see a glimpse of it guided by Waters himself. In the interview that follows, the filth elder himself gives young people some advice on how to look for opportunities to break into the contemporary art world:
"It's a secret biker club that hates you. I even have a piece that says, 'Contemporary Art Hates You.' because it does if you hate it first. It's a thin line. You can't have contempt about it and go in. You have to learn. You have to study a little. You have to figure it out... and suddenly this whole world opens up to you. You can see it in a completely different way. It was like you were blind before."
There's more, watch.
You can catch Waters' exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art until January 6, 2019.
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Exhibition highlights include a photographic installation in which Waters explores the absurdities of famous films and a suite of photographs and sculpture that propose humor as a way to humanize dark moments in history from the Kennedy assassination to 9/11. Waters also appropriates and manipulates images of less-than sacred, low-brow cultural references—Elizabeth Taylor’s hairstyles, Justin Bieber’s preening poses, his own self-portraits—and pictures of individuals brought into the limelight through his films, including his counterculture muse, Divine.
Did you know that cats like to be squished?
In this now-viral video, YouTube's Helpful Vancouver Vet, Dr. Uri Burstyn, shares advice on how to handle a cat. Introduce yourself and then be prepared to support and, yes, squish it.
(MNN) Read the rest
There's no guarantee that the cat in your life won't cut you at the drop of a hat, but learning the correct way to pick one up might make it think twice before breaking off a shiv in one of your vital organs. Read the rest
The US Navy's Polar Manual from 1965 may come in handy during this week's blizzards. From the list of "Polar Do's And Don't's":
1. Dares are neither offered nor taken. Necessary risks are bad enough.
25. Heavy and bulky polar clothing makes you clumsy and prone to accidents from lack of normal agility. Plan NOT to have an accident.
26. Do not touch cold metal with moist, bare hands. If you should inadvertently stick a hand to cold metal, urinate on the metal to warm it and save some inches of skin. If you stick both hands, you'd better have a friend along.
PDF: Polar Manual, Fourth Edition, 1965 (via Weird Universe)
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While "design thinking" has become an overused catchphrase among consultants, it is also a real thing, a formal methodology for solving difficult problems. Bill Burnett, the executive director of Stanford's Design Program where they take design thinking very seriously, and his colleague David Evans, who co-founded Electronic Arts and teaches a very popular Stanford course called "Designing Your Life," have written a new book based on the class titled "Designing Your Life: How To Build A Well-Lived, Joyful Life". Above is the trailer for the book. From the New York Times:
They say the practices taught in the class and the book can help you (in designing-your-life-speak) “reframe” dysfunctional beliefs that surround life and career decisions and help you “wayfind” in a chaotic world through the adoption of such design tenets as bias-for-action, prototyping and team-building....
The book includes things that are not in the class, like what Mr. Burnett and Mr. Evans call “anchor problems” — overcommitted life choices that keep people stuck and unhappy. A common mistake that people make, they said, is to assume that there’s only one right solution or optimal version of your life, and that if you choose wrong, you’ve blown it.
That’s completely absurd, Mr. Evans said: “There are lots of you. There are lots of right answers.”
"Designing Your Life: How To Build A Well-Lived, Joyful Life" (Amazon)
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The Bad Advisor (previously), who has delighted us for years with amazing, frank, scathing alternative answers to real advice-column questions, has a new home on The Establishment, where bad advice is given at longer length than usual -- and with extra column-inches, the Bad Avisor finds new heights of hilarity. Read the rest
A manager wrote to the website "Ask a Manager" for advice on what she should do about an employee who quit after she was told she couldn't miss work to attend her college graduation ceremony.
The manager wrote:
I’m a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays.
Even though she doesn’t work here any longer, I want to reach out and tell her that quitting without notice because she didn’t get her way isn’t exactly professional. I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee, and I don’t want her to derail her career by doing this again and thinking it is okay. She was raised in a few dozen different foster homes and has no living family. She was homeless for a bit after she turned 18 and besides us she doesn’t have anyone in her life that has ever had professional employment. This is the only job she has had. Since she’s never had anyone to teach her professional norms, I want to help her so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. What do you think is the best way for me to do this?
The site has 1,842 comments for the manager. Read the rest
I posted Sunday's curious Dear Abby column about a woman so disturbed by her husband's ice chewing that she eats breakfast in another room while wearing noise-canceling headphones. This reminded my friend Vann Hall of a strange letter that Abigail Van Buren cited as one of her favorites. Unfortunately I can't find Abby's answer online so please feel free to share your advice in the comments.
My husband burns the hair out of his nose with a lighted match -- and he thinks I'm crazy because I voted for Goldwater!"
And here's another nose-related annoyance from Abby's archives:
My husband has a problem. When we go out to a nice restaurant for dinner, he always orders a martini with 10 or 12 olives in it. Then he sticks the olives in his nose and sucks out the juice. He claims it clears up his sinuses. Abby, this is so embarrassing. What can I do?
"Dear Abby: Are All Those Weird Letters for Real?" (Palm Beach Daily News, 11/16/74) Read the rest
A key component of antibiotic resistance is the over-use of antibiotics. We talk about this a lot in the context of over-the-counter antibacterial cleansers, but there's a doctor's office side to this story, as well.
When sick people come into a doctor's office, part of what they are looking for is psychological wellness. They want to feel like somebody has listened to them and is doing something to treat their illness. Sometimes, that means they ask their doctor for antibiotics, even if antibiotics aren't the right thing to treat what they have.
In the past, and sometimes still today, doctors go ahead and prescribe antibiotics almost like a placebo. It's hard to say no to something a patient really wants, especially when it's likely to make them feel better—just because taking anything, and treating the problem, will make them feel better. But that is definitely not a good thing in the long term.
At KevinMD, family physician Dike Drummond offers some really nice advice for doctors who are struggling with how to make a patient feel better, but also want to avoid contributing to the growing antibiotic resistance problem. What I like best about Drummond's advice: It starts with empathy.
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If you have a major challenge working up some empathy one of two things is happening.
You are experiencing some level of burnout. Empathy is the first thing to go when You are not getting Your needs met. This is a whole different topic and “compassion fatigue” is a well known early sign of significant burnout.