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Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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July 21

Boston, Austenite. Austenite, Boston.
Please introduce me to the institutions, places, publications, and other tips, tricks, and shibboleths that will help me to hit the ground running when I relocate to Boston. [more inside]
posted by Austenite at 3:47 PM - 35 answers
A call from beyond the grave?
Years ago, I read a "true story" about a man who receives a strange phone call from his brother, then later finds that the brother was surely dead at the time. Do you recognize it? Can you tell me anything about its origins? [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 2:38 PM - 11 answers

Social Mapping
Does Twitter or Facebook provide any mapping like this, or is there an app that can, through access to a TW or FB account, create this kind of map? [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 12:29 PM - 5 answers

What is wrong with the world?
With the recent events in Ukraine and Gaza lately, I've been feeling upset as to what our world has become, and where we as a race are headed. I'd like to understand how we got here. Can you share your favorite books, and explainers that illuminate the history of the Middle East conflicts, as well as that of Russia and Ukraine. [more inside]
posted by rippersid at 11:50 AM - 22 answers

July 19

Can I buy a mail jeep?
I'm not talking about the old mail jeeps, I'm talking about the Grumman LLV. [more inside]
posted by BenevolentActor at 7:45 PM - 7 answers

Trying to jump the accent divide
One of our new IT vendors at work makes heavy use of an Indian workforce. Conference calls have become a challenge as we try to work through their accents. I recognize that I have a responsibility to do what I can to meet them halfway on the conversation. Are there podcasts, online radio streams, etc. that I can listen to where people from India are speaking in English so I can acclimate my ears to their peculiarities of their accents? [more inside]
posted by Golfhaus at 6:18 AM - 13 answers

July 18

Icebreakers for creative, nerdy adults
What are some fun ice-breaking games that could be used for a mixed group of 30 science-minded writers and filmmakers? Preferably something involving telling a story and/or sharing anecdotes about themselves (a la "2 Truths and a Lie") in order to foster connection. Trying to find ways to get a sense of someone's history and personality, so games that are just for fun (like Mafia) aren't really going to do the trick here. [more inside]
posted by egeanin at 5:17 PM - 10 answers

Could someone please translate a marriage record for me from Alsace 1772
I have located on-line a 1772 marriage record from Alsace, France pertaining to my family but can't make much out The image is sharp and clear enough but it looks to be in Latin. I can send a copy. Any help would be appreciated.
posted by mcbeitz at 12:42 PM - 12 answers

July 15

We want to have a wedding in the Atlanta area but in a big field. How?
One of the possibilities we've discussed for our wedding next year would be to have it in some sort of "country-ish" setting. We live in Atlanta but the idea of a more casual feeling wedding that mixes the beautiful, sprawling outdoors near to a covered building or tent is very appealing to us. [more inside]
posted by rbf1138 at 6:57 PM - 8 answers

July 14

Tattoos as Women's Self-Defense in Colonial India
I met someone today who explained that their tattoo was based on a style adopted by Indian women during British Occupation which served as a way of turning off British men who might otherwise want to take them away for various unsavory purposes. The women would in some cases get these tattoos on their necks and faces. Although the person told me the Indian term for this particular style of tattooing I failed to write it down, and now cannot seem to google up this phenomenon. Was hoping someone knew about it, what it's called, or could provide some links to more information.
posted by cthuljew at 10:38 PM - 3 answers

Cuenca, Riobamba, & Ambato, Ecuador
Can you compare/contrast the towns of Cuenca, Riobamba, & Ambato, Ecuador for me, from personal experience? [more inside]
posted by falsedmitri at 4:51 PM - 1 answers

Searching for Remote Trading Posts that are still Active.
Does anyone know of any remote, off the grid (USA or Canada) trading post(s) that are still operational?
posted by mm-ut at 4:35 PM - 9 answers

July 13

Thoughtful sci-fi recommendations
Looking for recommendations of sci-fi authors who are adept at some technology topics without compromising storytelling. More inside! [more inside]
posted by azazello at 11:50 PM - 24 answers

July 12

Economics and Magic
Has anyone ever attempted to realistically and fully work out what the economic and/or sociological implications of a world where dungeons and dragons or lord of the ring-style magic exists? For example, how it would impact the feudal system and so on. In any form, essay, fiction or otherwise.
posted by empath at 7:54 AM - 25 answers

July 11

Finding other Somervilles in North America
What neighborhoods or towns in the metro areas of NYC, DC, Toronto, Vancouver, SF, Seattle, and Portland are similar to Somerville, MA (north of Boston)? [more inside]
posted by acridrabbit at 11:08 AM - 23 answers

July 10

Best way to learn languages in interactive way?
What's the best way to learn languages (particularly French and German) through software or online which a) does NOT rely on long lectures, b) teaches sufficient grammar and vocabulary to read moderately complex books, and c) is interactive (if possible with a clear measure of progress) and d) self-paced?
posted by shivohum at 8:27 PM - 13 answers

Birthright Trip to Israel- to go or not to go?
The experience sounds amazing but it feels, for lack of a better word, sleazy to go while they're busy bombing Gaza. I want to go really badly but not if I have to pretend to love the IDF. [more inside]
posted by winterportage at 6:41 PM - 30 answers

What to do in life before getting pregnant in a year or two.
We're planning on trying for a baby in a year or two. I want a comprehensive list of goals for the time leading up to getting pregnant so that we're ready- psychologically, physically, and in every other way. I think my planned preparations fall under three categories- 1) getting our lives in order 2) enjoying the last of our unchained youth, and 3) practical stuff directly related to the baby. Please help me populate these lists. [more inside]
posted by cacao at 12:28 PM - 35 answers

July 9

Kid's book: little girl on vacation in Vermont who rides flying monsters
When I was a kid, I read a book about a little girl who was on vacation in the mountains of Vermont with her family. She became friends with flying monsters/dragons/dinosaurs. That's all that I remember!
posted by goethean at 8:02 AM - 2 answers

July 8

Help me brainstorm names for Science Fiction Convention / Festival
Looking for ideas for a name for science fiction convention. This event will cover the full spectrum of the science fiction genre, as well as real space and science stuff, and I'm hoping for a name that is both intriguing and fun. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by Unsomnambulist at 3:01 PM - 14 answers

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