Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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December 5

How do I make the most of my attendance at the World Economic Forum?

I’ve received a rather unlikely invitation to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. What can I expect? What shall I do in preparation, and at the event, in order to maximise the opportunity? [more inside]
posted by the_wellspring at 5:07 PM - 2 answers

Sing for your Grog!

We are having a solstice winter holiday open house where I plan to have two kinds of alcoholic beverages. I would like people to sing for their grog! Basically, I'm looking for short sing-able stanzas (spoken word, poetry, limericks, etc., would be totally acceptable) that I will put into a hat for people to select, perform their bit, then fill their cup. Help me fill the hat with good stuff! [more inside]
posted by amanda at 9:32 AM - 9 answers

December 4

South African Vocal-Styled Cover of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?

Yes, it exists, and apparently I even included it on a tape of novelty Christmas music I made years ago for a friend, who wants to know who it was and where I found it. If only I could remember! It sounded a great deal like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, although I am reasonably certain it was NOT them. It was done in a somewhat to-these-untutored ears isicathamiya styling. Can anyone provide a clue?
posted by dorgla at 9:41 AM - 6 answers

December 3

Christmas Music 2014 Edition

I'm on the lookout for fresh Christmas music. Pretty much anything goes. What's new, good, unusual, or just plain worth a listen?
posted by mazola at 10:34 PM - 19 answers

Which PNW fiction convention is the best PNW fiction convention?

NorWesCon and Sasquan/Worldcon are both happening in Washington this coming year. If I could only go to one of them, which one should I go to? More details inside. [more inside]
posted by phildini at 2:32 PM - 10 answers

Books about ordinary German life pre-WWII

I'm looking for books about the daily lives of ordinary, non-Jewish Germans in the run-up to WWII. Ideally about someone who wasn't that interested or involved in politics and didn't have any strong feelings about Jews, Roma or other Nazi targets. Specific questions inside. [more inside]
posted by desjardins at 12:36 PM - 13 answers

No I'm not interested in saving energy dammit!

I'm looking for a TED Talk about people who bring things to the party vs. leeches, both on line and in the real world (I'm pretty sure I got the link here). Now I'd REALLY like to refer someone to it but I can't, for the life of me, find it. And that makes me sad. [more inside]
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:56 AM - 5 answers

November 30

"You know, my last three girlfriends were Asian."

How can somebody on the receiving end of the unfortunate manifestations of Asian fetish ("yellow fever") suck it up and get on with her day/life as best as possible? [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit at 6:36 PM - 30 answers

How can I find a print of this artist?

I'm looking for a print of Micheline Boyadjian's Two Girls. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg at 3:45 PM - 1 answers

What is a good book on the history of the "L" in Chicago?

I'd like to read a book with more details on this. This is a cool page. "When the Northwestern Elevated Railroad built its Ravenswood branch in 1906, [lots of cool information with pictures]. Are there any books like that? I want to read all about the development of the area, illustrated with historical photos. What kind of cars did they use? Did they have to build through neighborhoods? how did that work? etc etc etc!
posted by bleary at 10:10 AM - 3 answers

Help me identify this (probably fictional) conversation?

Hey all, a particular literary conversation has gotten stuck in my head for days and I can't source it. I've tried every number and combination of Bing/Google searches, but it may be that I'm not getting the exact words right in the phrase. [more inside]
posted by The Zeroth Law at 3:08 AM - 10 answers

November 29

World religion for kids

What are some good books of mythology/stories from world religion for kids? [more inside]
posted by lieberschnitzel at 7:58 PM - 12 answers

November 26

How xenophobic is Basel, Switzerland?

I'm considering a job offer from a Big Pharma corporation in Basel, Switzerland. I'm Filipino-American, currently based in DC, and am concerned about xenophobia and racism in Swiss society.* If you know of any blogs, articles, etc., that touch on this subject on a more personal level, please point me in their direction. I'm especially interested in reading first-person accounts.
posted by anonymous at 6:31 AM - 10 answers

November 25

Names on remarried mother's headstone

I am trying to figure out the best way to name my recently deceased mother on her gravestone. I would like my father's name to be included but I would also like to be respectful of my step-father and of my mother's marriage to him. [more inside]
posted by fries at 1:11 PM - 24 answers

November 24

Help me find stories of epiphanies.

Help me find stories of epiphanies, particularly striking moments of self-awareness. Fictional, non-fictional, any kind of medium (books, articles, video, etc...). [more inside]
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 6:54 AM - 18 answers

November 23

Why was the US Army base Fort Worden named after a Navy Rear Admiral?

Fort Worden is apparently the only US Army base to ever be named after a Navy officer, one John Lorimer Worden, commander of the Monitor in the US Civil War. The reasons why are possibly lost to history. Any military history buffs out there who might possibly know why? [more inside]
posted by loquacious at 11:24 PM - 12 answers

What is your experience with Renaissance Weekends?

If you (or someone you know) attended a Renaissance Weekend, what was it like? [more inside]
posted by Herr Zebrurka at 2:55 PM - 0 answers

November 22

Toni Morrison essay in NY Time Magazine about children

Does anyone know the date, title of the article written by or about Toni Morrison many years ago in which she speaks at length about the U.S. treatment of children? It appeared in the New York Times Magazine.
posted by Melanctha at 8:57 PM - 1 answers

Mariachi inflected pop

I'm looking for indie pop with mariachi elements, specifically the soaring trumpet fills, but jangly acoustic guitar is cool too. Something in the vein of Calexico, but less folk-y more pop-y. Barring actual good music I'd gladly take recommendations for mariachi style covers. You know how there's albums of Bossa Nova style covers and reggae style? Someone must make mariachi style covers? Okay, screw it, I want cheesy pop hits of yesteryear transcribed into a mariachi idiom.
posted by Keith Talent at 6:19 PM - 22 answers

Why did pioneers think it was a good idea to settle in Buffalo?

Not meant to be snarky on Buffalo per se-I wonder this about most cold places- but why did the people who settled Buffalo think it would be a good idea to live there permanently? [more inside]
posted by the foreground at 3:10 PM - 28 answers

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