Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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June 30

Help my friend improve her TV diet!

My friend has taken a vow to only watch television shows that have socially conscious casting and writing, and she's doing this by applying what I'll call "The Nanton Test." Can you recommend well-written shows that fit the bill? [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog at 11:58 AM - 37 answers

You Must Be This Tall To Ride The Cyclone

What is the meaning of this declaration by Jeremy Clarkson? [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat at 10:40 AM - 8 answers

June 28

Could Michael Jackson read?

I have a very strong memory of reading an article about Michael Jackson that suggested he may have been functionally illiterate. The article argued that he never went to school, and that neither his dad nor his brothers never made sure that he was meeting his tutors. Are you aware of any references that support this contention? [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk at 8:50 PM - 4 answers

Shared Interest + Consistent Meetings = New Friends?

I want to join a committee, board, or club, and have a regular reason to meet folks a couple times a month to some specific end. Ideally, the other people in the group would be of both genders, and some would be in their late 30s or 40s. I live in Brooklyn. What’s available to me that I don’t already know about? [more inside]
posted by Violet Blue at 12:40 PM - 5 answers

June 26

"By hand" on a hand delivered thank you note

I have observed that when thank-you notes written by people from old money families are personally delivered, the annotation "By hand" is invariably added to the bottom right corner of the envelope. Can anyone educate me as to the origins of this practice?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:10 PM - 4 answers

June 24

Longshot filter: current, updating, blogs about French music in Quebec?

I'm finding it harder than I figured to keep up with Quebec music, two years after moving to Ontario. I'm looking for websites or blogs that are currently active, and focus on French-language music in Quebec.
posted by Shepherd at 5:34 PM - 2 answers

What Possible Evolutionary/Biological Purpose Does Toddlerhood Serve?

Why did the toddler phase of human life evolve as it did? [more inside]
posted by aabbbiee at 11:04 AM - 23 answers

What are the best pro-migration groups in the UK?

I want to turn the sadness and anger I'm experiencing with the leave vote into something positive. My main thinking at the moment is that pro-migration groups are the best way to do this. Does anyone know of any good ones? [more inside]
posted by Cannon Fodder at 8:15 AM - 4 answers

June 22

Snappy comebacks for when people joke about my name

My name is Joy. People often say things like "Happy happy joy joy" and "joy to the world" and "joyous Joy" to me. I find this practice insanely irritating (I know, I know, very first world problem). It's not just colleagues who do this, it's receptionists and delivery people, radiologists, baristas, people I meet in a social setting. It's like an automatic response when someone sees this particular name. Give me something to say that isn't serious or rude but may discourage them. [more inside]
posted by b33j at 6:45 PM - 73 answers

We are grateful, really grateful - we just had too much going on.

My baby is four months old, and due to a plethora of reasons, we never ended up sending out thank you cards after the baby shower. I know there's a period of time after which you just don't... but is it too late to send out thank birth announcements? What is the best way to show our appreciation for the gifts we were given for the baby months later? [more inside]
posted by Everydayville at 11:36 AM - 42 answers

What's the general best-practices word for "cultural inclusion"?

What's the general best-practices word for "cultural inclusion"? This would be for a mental-health center consisting of both professional providers and peer support, and we want to get across the idea that we are respectful of cultural diversity and also aware that we may have blind spots. (I realize I may be trying to be overly ambitious in capturing all that in a single phrase.) [more inside]
posted by lazuli at 9:59 AM - 18 answers

Help Identifying/Translating Turkish or Arabic? Writing on Artifact

I volunteer in an archaeological lab and sometimes people bring in things they find in their yards or on the beach. A woman brought in this spoon that she found buried in her yard. None of us here have any idea what it is other than it is a spoon. [more inside]
posted by jenjenc at 6:32 AM - 4 answers

June 21

I don’t want to be a woman

How did you “know” you’re trans? [more inside]
posted by a strong female character at 6:12 PM - 40 answers

Recommendations for LGBT-friendly custom clothiers in S. Ontario/GTA?

I'm getting married in the fall, and I'm also a queer, nonbinary person (assigned female at birth). I'm planning on wearing a suit, and I'd really like to have one custom made. I'd also like to avoid any gender-policing BS from potential tailors, so I'm looking for suggestions. If anyone knows of any shops in Southern Ontario (Greater Toronto Area would be ideal) that are known to be LGBT friendly, I would greatly appreciate being pointed in their direction!
posted by Jynnan Tonnyx at 3:33 PM - 5 answers

Kiwi Filter: Where should we live in NZ?

Like the title says, we'd love some insider info as to which towns/regions would best suit myself and my partner. First things first: It absolutely must be sunny: i.e., lots of sunshine hours, relatively little cloud, little rain and wind (adios, Wellington). [more inside]
posted by Socky McSockface at 10:56 AM - 17 answers

What are people's motivations to work on open & collaborative projects?

I'm interested in finding the (psychological) reasons why someone decides to start and contribute to an open and collaborative project. After some research into open-source software (a typical example of open and collaborative projects), it seems to me that necessity (scratching an itch, or improving a product someone or her business is using) is the main driver. Is that so, and what are other motivations and incentives for people to work on open and collaborative projects?
posted by Captain Fetid at 12:45 AM - 16 answers

June 20

Instagram direct message mystery

How can I be sure a person read the message I sent them recently? I follow them, they don't follow me. The "seen" or "eye-with-username" icon under my message is nowhere to be found BUT the person liked one of my pictures yesterday, so I assume they did read it...? Otherwise they definitely wouldn't have checked out my profile. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by divina_y_humilde at 6:00 PM - 8 answers

June 19

Do you live near a camp-meeting town?

I have an ongoing research project to document and map locations of camp meetings, which originate in 19th century religious revivals. I've mapped more than 50 (listed inside), including some famous ones like Oak Bluffs, MA, Bay View, MI, and Indian Springs, GA, and am now looking for others. I'm interested in three kinds of sites: current active camp-meetings that still operate as a religious camp or revival; "legacy" sites where the camp meeting evolved into a town or incorporated secular association; and defunct sites where a camp once was before being abandoned. Any and all links, vague memories, and coordinates welcome! [more inside]
posted by Miko at 9:48 AM - 36 answers

Did anyone record opinions on codpieces?

So codpieces were... a thing. Are there any records of what people who couldn't flaunt them, particularly court ladies, thought about dudes walking around with them?
posted by colin_l at 7:47 AM - 4 answers

June 18

Brother gets violent

My brother gets violent during arguments. How can I relay that his behaviour is unacceptable? [more inside]
posted by raintree at 1:30 PM - 24 answers

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