Hello everyone! Welcome to the latest iteration of the Open Thr... Hello? Can you read this? Did you win the staring contest with our closest star without wearing eye protection on Monday? Right. Well, uh, come on in and share your blinding experience with us, post brilliant photos of the total solar eclipse, ask a legally blind lad hosting this thread for advice for your eye injury or sign up to host a Friday Open Thread.

Here are all the posts from the past week. They may come in handy for you.

This week the United States went dark under the footprint of none other than our very own Moon. Filled with revenge, he provided Americans with no light but instructions to toggle navigation pane using an auto-hotkey in Windows.

A little kiwi shows how to use VLC to work around the region code restriction on Mac. Those who prefer DVDs and Blu-rays over laggy, pixelated streaming video, can play foreign ones without issues.

Reneald announces that Crashplan, a crash-proof cloud service, is about to crash from a bad business decision. Backup your data now, but you never know what else could possibly go wrong.

Tigrisan shares the news that there is a sequel to Monument Valley coming soon. Those who like games with migraine-inducing optical illusions can preregister now so that the game will appear in the notifications when available.

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  • 1 September: Dorothy Drives a FPV F6 Tornado Ute 
  • 8 September: Moon Drives a Riced Out Mitsubishi Eclipse
  • 15 September: Trabant 601 Waiting to Be Claimed (host TBA)
  • 22 September: SKZ Drove a Back to the Future-esque Toyota Hilux
  • 29 September: Tigrisan Drives a Recalled VW Tiguan 2,0 TDI

This week my family and I went out to celebrate my sons’ birthdays. We reserved a sizeable portion of the restaurant for my parents, in-laws, brother, cousins and my younger son’s close friend to join us.

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On the way to the restaurant, I ran into one of my regulars and her son. The latter obviously wasn’t having a good day. My eldest son of a similar age approached him and asked what was the matter. Her son explained that he was picked on at school for his disabilities.

My regular’s son’s face lit up when my son wrapped an arm around his shoulders and told him that many in the family have disabilities and assured him that there was nothing to be ashamed of. He then invited him and his mum to join us. It is a family tradition to share a dinner with strangers.

My regular’s son unintentionally stole the spotlight, talking with my eldest son. My parents and in-laws took turns to interpret for those of us who are deaf. The rest of us ate and listened to their conversation.

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After dinner we all went back to my house for dessert. My husband and I served vatrushka (literal cheesecake) and chernosliv v shokolade (prunes covered with chocolate), fresh out of our bakery. Everyone loved them! No gifts—a nice dinner with the family was all my sons asked for.

By the time we wrapped up the evening my regular’s son and my eldest son became inseparable. The former was overjoyed to have a friend to hang out with at school. They decided to have a sleepover this weekend and exchanged mobile numbers to make plans. The celebration was better than we had anticipated.

Have you had such an encounter with a complete stranger? How did you meet your best friend or spouse? What is going on in your world? Feel free to talk about anything!

Have a brilliant weekend! Cheers! :)