Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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September 6

roll, roll, roll down ze hill.

trying to remember something from the 80s. help? [more inside]
posted by koroshiya at 2:43 PM - 4 answers

story from the 70's or 80's about the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon

In honor of Labor Day, I wanted to revisit this amazing account of the telethon that I had read somewhere online several years ago. It was definitely written/published sometime in the 70's or 80's, and it was a pretty unvarnished look at Jerry Lewis and his involvement in the MDA telethon. Google is completely failing to help me track it down right now, can anyone help?
posted by cakelite at 8:47 AM - 5 answers

September 2

Why does being mixed-race mean double the rejection?

How do mixed-race people (i.e. with multiple ethnic backgrounds) reconcile living in white supremacy? Do mixed-race people ever transcend the barriers to become grounded and thrive in their identity? (so no, I don't mean a mixed-race person who has settled for a singular identity as the pricetag for membership benefits in a single ethnic group; I mean mixed-race persons who've thrived in spite of membership or acceptance by either group). [more inside]
posted by human ecologist at 11:34 AM - 27 answers

Tell me about ordinary life in apartheid South Africa

I'm looking for books (or films, documentaries, blogs) that give an insight into ordinary day-to-day life in apartheid South Africa, particularly during the 1980s. Obviously much has been written about the great political ructions, but I'm interested in what ordinary daily life was like, for black and white. I've recently read 'Boyhood' by JM Coetzee, which is exactly the kind of thing I'm after; and although it's about Rhodesia rather than South Africa, 'Mukiwa' by Peter Goodwin was also very helpful.
posted by matthew.alexander at 1:58 AM - 11 answers

September 1

Does medicine always taste bad in Germany?

I'm from the UK. I bought some over-the-counter cold medication in Germany recently. It tasted really bad, much worse than any UK meds I have had. Is this a cultural thing e.g " if it tastes bad, it's good for you"? [more inside]
posted by Jakey at 2:38 PM - 10 answers

August 30

What's the situation at Analog BKNY?

Analog BKNY is a relatively new club in Gowanus. Some DJs I like will be there soon, but I'm having a hard time figuring out if it's the kind of club that a skinny computer nerd like me can just go to or if there's going to be, like, hostile bouncers and weird status judgments. Any Brooklyn MeFites who've been there and can comment on the general vibe?
posted by vogon_poet at 8:01 PM - 5 answers

What is the name of this sleeping puppet show?

On a recent trip to Mexico (like, last month), I was watching TV in my hotel room at night (maybe around 10 pm or later) and found a show that seemed to literally just be a puppet sleeping for about three or more hours. I cannot find anything that makes me feel like I'm not crazy for having seen this. [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense at 6:34 PM - 6 answers

Seeking engrossing nonfiction book suggestions for Europe travel

Going to Europe and need books to pass time during the long flight there and various train trips between destinations. Strongly prefer nonfiction--more specs within! [more inside]
posted by lovableiago at 5:35 PM - 38 answers

August 29

For lovers of history and their elderly relatives

Was "Fighting the Nazis/Japanese was a mistake" really a thing in the post-war years? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama at 2:59 PM - 13 answers

Some advice on moving to Chicago from WI

Thinking about moving from Wisconsin to Chicago this year. The grad program I am in allows me quite a bit of flexibility for location so long as I am back monthly for lab stuff. My interests are in 1) living in a reasonably interesting and pleasant part of the city, accessible to cool stuff, without breaking the bank, and 2) picking up some part time work that will help cover the increased cost of living and also pad my bank account a bit (complication: I need flexibility so that I can, with quite a lot of advance notice, occasionally miss a week or so). Looking at Hyde Park and Lakeview. Would love some advice. [more inside]
posted by pdq at 1:23 PM - 16 answers

August 27

2016 in 3 videos or less

Let's say you have a friend who pulled a Walden for all of 2016 so far—went to a house in the woods, no internet, no TV, no phone. This friend is now returning to civilization and ready to see what he missed. What do you show him—videos, headlines, etc—that will help him understand what 2016 has been? [more inside]
posted by Mender at 1:39 PM - 9 answers

Correct term for current cultures using stone tools

MeFi... help us please! My boyfriend and I cannot figure out the correct term to describe a group of current people whose technology consists of stone tools and not much more. More information in the extended explanation below. [more inside]
posted by Rage-chel at 11:09 AM - 19 answers

August 25

Harry Potter language question

The spells in the Harry Potter books are in a kind of Latin. There is a Latin translation of the first Harry Potter book. What language are the spells in that? (PLEASE SAY GREEK!) What language are the spells in the Greek translation? (PLEASE SAY EGYPTIAN!)
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:35 PM - 9 answers

August 24

How can we make our wedding a communal event?

The best weddings (to me/us) seem to be the ones where the couple's tribe is invited to participate in some way. We'd love ideas for how to make this happen. [more inside]
posted by brynna at 12:23 PM - 31 answers

How do I support the media I like, financially

I read tons of small to medium blogs, read and listen to many independent news producers from public radio to online editions of mainstream newspapers to indy news sources, and listen to dozens of different podcasts. I have started donating directly to a few of these writers and producers, but frankly, it's impossible for me to donate to all of them. What can I do to support a sustainable economy for these nonprofits/progressive media companies/small ventures/creative projects/etc? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 8:04 AM - 10 answers

August 23

A wedding venue to get married in the southwest of England

I'm hoping that I can get some recommendations for places to get married in either Devon or Somerset in England. Me and my girlfriend are hoping to get married in March-April 2017. We have three main requirements for the venue: 1) We can hire our own caterers or have self catering 2) The cost of the venue hire excluding catering is less than £3000 3) That the ceremony and reception are in the same place 4) For the wedding venue to hold roughly/up to 150 people Also, we're having trouble finding a venue like this... is there any particular terminology for a more inexpensive choice of venue as we only seem to be able to find posh mansion/expensive manor type houses at the moment.
posted by sockpim at 10:13 AM - 15 answers

August 22

Not Florence Foster-Jenkins.

Can you help my fiancé remember the name of a singer who had a cable access show in the 1980s, and who sang arias very badly? [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:56 AM - 8 answers

August 20

Where to send my grandfather's memoir?

I recently finished editing my grandfather's memoir and I'm wondering what institutions may be interested in a copy. He is a German Jew (b. Halberstadt) who left for San Francisco in 1934. Topics: his early childhood (family life, local businesses, Jewish life/education, shifts under Nazi regime), the voyage, a good deal about growing up in San Francisco in the 30s and 40s, some WWII Army engineer anecdotes of France/Belgium, Berkeley in the 50s, the technology industry, MIT in the 60s, and more. [more inside]
posted by waninggibbon at 5:09 PM - 8 answers

August 18

What climate-specific learned behaviors does no one think to explain?

Can you give me examples of behaviors "everybody knows" who has grown up in a specific climate, but is never talked about so no one ever thinks to explain this to people new to this climate? I'm especially interested in examples of where this lack of forewarning has caused problems. My example below the cut. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 3:51 PM - 93 answers

What is this engimatic equipment buried in a stream bank?

You can view the equipment here. I took this photo of some old equipment embedded in the bank of Crane Creek in Crane, Missouri. I'm wondering if it might relate to the numerous tomato canning plants that operated there in the 1920s and 30s. It appears to be possibly a conveyor belt (?) They used those in the factories, I know.
posted by clockworkjoe at 11:35 AM - 6 answers

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