Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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September 26

What are good podcasts for discovering music?

So, due to a series of computer hard drive failures and cross-oceanic moves, I have no access to my music collection right now, and may never get it back. I've decided to look on it as an opportunity to start afresh and get into new music. I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I'd like to add one that's new music focused. Do you have any recommendations? Further specifications follow. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 4:11 AM - 18 answers

September 24

Teach me to speak Masshole

I've lived my whole life in the Midwest/Rust Belt and the South. A year ago, I moved to Boston, and I am floundering, struggling really hard to adapt to the aggressive conversational style people have here. I feel like I can't get a word in, can't ever finish a sentence, never get a positive or encouraging reaction to anything I say, and spend most of my time smiling and nodding stupidly as others talk over me. I know I need to "be more assertive" and "grow a thicker skin" and whatever, but... how? [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:31 PM - 23 answers

What is the difference between "loner" and "keeps himself to himself"?

I believe "loner" is used in the U.S., whereas the expression "a man who keeps himself to himself to himself" is used in the U.K. Do the two have different connotations? If so, what are the differences, and why? [more inside]
posted by A. Davey at 3:24 PM - 9 answers

People Who Changed The World But Died Before They Turned 40

I'm making a list of folks who did something world-altering but died before turning 40. Historical/political/scientific like Alexander the Great or Srinivasa Ramanujan preferred, recent/pop cultural like the 27 Club, not so much. Thanks!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:34 AM - 47 answers

Life of a 14th Century Irish Historian

I'm hoping some History fans can help with resources on what life would have been like for a person who was an Irish historian during the 1300s. [more inside]
posted by catrae at 6:51 AM - 6 answers

September 23

Death Takes a Holiday

Is there any serious confirmation or statistical corroboration for the idea that they changed the dates on death certificates in some wars, on certain dates? [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 2:27 PM - 5 answers

September 21


Herman Melville was an obscurity when Carl Van Doren (with Raymond Weaver's help) started promoting his work in the 1920s. Domenico Scarlatti was a completely forgotten Baroque composer until Ralph Kirkpatrick wrote his biography and republished his sonatas, which are now part of the keyboard canon. Petrarch discovered Cicero's letters and supposedly kicked off the entire Renaissance. What are some other examples of famous artists, writers, historical figures, etc. whose reputations were revived by a single person?
posted by theodolite at 9:16 AM - 63 answers

Are hair-slips a thing?

Should I have told my hijabi classmate a bit of her hair was showing? [more inside]
posted by Promethea at 7:54 AM - 5 answers

September 20

Looking for Empowering, Intelligent Magazines for Girls and Young Women

So this happened. I would totally subscribe to the magazine on the right for my daughter. Am trying to find its (English language) equivalent. Does one exist?
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM - 25 answers

September 19

Where to watch the presidential debate(s) in Berkeley/Oakland?

The first debate is coming up in a week. I could watch it at home, but I'd rather watch it with some like-minded (i.e. fiercely anti-trump) people for psychic support. Anyone know a good bar/cafe/other public venue in Berkeley or Oakland that will be screening the debate(s)?
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 8:11 PM - 7 answers

September 18

Name this video - catty gay guys in LA

This has been driving me crazy for a while. I saw this comedy video on something like CollegeHumor 2-5 years ago, there were 2 in a series. It was two slightly effeminate men in various locations in LA basically talking shit in a really catty way about everyone around them. It was funny in an accessible way but also a little dark, in the sense that it was aware that this was a shallow way to live. The best joke was them greeting someone with something like "hey jennifer" - "my name's not jennifer" "..... ..... isn't iiit?" WHAT IS THIS VIDEO HALP
posted by thedaniel at 3:22 PM - 4 answers

September 17

Pattern recognition

What subculture of guys wears Hawaiian shirts and combat boots? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar at 11:01 AM - 31 answers

September 16

Help us with a kid naming issue, OMG, SMH, IMO...

Do you ever use your full initials including middle name(s) for anything? If a person's full initials spell out a common... ummm, mildly risqué word is that going to be a problem? [more inside]
posted by pixlboi at 12:08 PM - 77 answers

September 14

Understanding modern Russia

I'm looking for good books and documentaries on Russia. I took a course on this topic in college (starting with the fall of the Tsars, through the USSR, and finally into Putin's first presidency), and I found it fascinating—but this was a decade ago, and clearly things have changed. Recent events have inspired me to start reading in this area again; help me sort out the wheat from the chaff. [more inside]
posted by cellar door at 5:33 AM - 8 answers

September 13

ISO of more Spanish language TV series like Narcos

I loved Narcos. What other Spanish language TV series, including telenovelas, do you recommend and which are available on streaming? I prefer dramas and thrillers. I have Amazon Prime and Netflix, but I'm willing to pay for additional content. I do not speak any Spanish, so subtitles are a must. [more inside]
posted by invisible ink at 6:38 PM - 9 answers

How local is the slur, "zombie" = homeless person/addict

I moved to a new area (just outside the Bay Area, California) and encountered a new er unflattering euphemism for homeless people or addicts — zombie. I'd never heard this before. I'm wondering if it's local flavor. Have you heard this, other places? [more inside]
posted by fleacircus at 4:49 PM - 51 answers

September 12

How can I activate?

The USA election has been distracting me to the point I can hardly function. I've never been an activist, or even active politically, but I feel I need to become more active or share some responsibility for the election's outcome. Problem: I really don't have time, I don't have experience, and I don't want the comments section to find me. [more inside]
posted by StrawberryPie at 12:40 PM - 8 answers

September 10

Gay as a pejorative?

A gay 20-something that I know used the phrase "fuck this gay earth" in a tweet. I challenged him (as someone who came out in 1990) for his use of the word "gay" as a pejorative, and he said "it's an established meme, it's okay for me to use it that way". How do I combat this? [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:32 PM - 37 answers

September 9

Living long term in Cairo region

I have recently completed a move to Egypt, from Canada. I will be here at least two years. I would love any suggestions folks here have about Egypt, advice for new arrivals, getting set up/integrated towards long term living, old memories of visits, last minute travel recommendations, foods/places/people not to miss, and more. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 11:18 AM - 2 answers

September 8

Wondering about an old character from Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

Does anybody know the story and/or current whereabouts of the Venice Beach busker who balanced an oven, wine glasses, and some other stuff on his face circa late-90s/early-00s? I believe his name was Frank Simon. [more inside]
posted by kensington314 at 1:03 PM - 4 answers

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