In the not too distant future I will be relocating to Romania (through work), probably for a few years. Before I go, and while I'm there, I'd like to keep abreast of local current affairs and culture. What well-written and well-informed blogs or news sources *in English* should I keep an eye on? (obviously I am hoping to use this posting as a chance to brush up on my very limited Romanian, but that's going to take a while...) [more inside]
posted by oclipa
on May 13, 2013 -
Any tips from Metafiltrati with latin/italian lady experience to make things calmer or more manageable? [more inside]
posted by letsgomendel
on May 9, 2013 -
Quick question for folks who've lived in both Australia and NZ: what cultural and language differences did you notice?
posted by superfish
on May 3, 2013 -
If I were to choose 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books to read within the next year to make me a better, more well-rounded conversationalist (for argument's sake, let's say within a college-educated professional audience), what books would give me the most bang for my buck? [more inside]
posted by dynamiiiite
on Apr 23, 2013 -
In a few weeks, I'll be going to Haiti, specifically the Northern region, for a couple months to work for a NGO.
While I've worked and lived in other lesser developed countries and have briefly spoken to co-workers living there, I haven't been to Haiti before and I'd like to have a greater, more nuanced understanding of Haitian cultures and recent history before I arrive.
I'm looking for short novels, recommended blogs, or articles - pieces on Haiti would be great posts on Metafilter (I've already read past ones on here) that give me a deeper understanding of Haitian cultures and recent political history.
posted by fizzix
on Apr 15, 2013 -
Have there been studies done on the cultural elements that spur innovative commercial development in particular people, companies/organizations or regions? [more inside]
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre
on Apr 3, 2013 -
So people like to name-drop authors and works that those who went to university and/or have a curiosity about the world should know as part of the basic vocabulary of being an educated Westerner. For example, "Kant" or "Dickensian", or "Gertrude Stein".
I would like to learn this stuff, please. [more inside]
posted by grahamsletter
on Mar 20, 2013 -
I'm learning that many of the customs and traditions that I think of as Roman actually originated from the Etruscans instead. Can anyone recommend some good books, videos, or websites about ancient Etruscan culture and history?
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Mar 13, 2013 -
I'm interested in Korean pop culture: K-pop, K-drama, K-film. I've seen previous questions about specific recommendations if music and movies. I am checking those out. There is so much material, I'm trying to get a broader perspective. [more inside]
posted by gimletbiggles
on Mar 12, 2013 -
I'm going into the health field and curious about cultural/ethnic health practices that are off the beaten path. For example, can anyone tell me the "what", "how", and "why" of cupping and coining? What other cultural/religious/traditional practices can you share? [more inside]
posted by mschief
on Mar 10, 2013 -
What was Italian food like before the tomato?
When coffee houses started popping up in Europe what establishments lost business as a result?
Did Marco Polo really bring noodles to Europe from China?
Where can I find the answer to all these questions and more? [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm
on Mar 6, 2013 -
I'm a boy who wants to make out with other boys. Problem is, I'm bothered by the culture of some of the more popular online options (e.g. Grindr). What are my options? [more inside]
posted by Conspire
on Mar 5, 2013 -
Is a man who pretends to be friends with a woman when he is actually interested in more than friendship doing something shady?
Should said woman (myself) drop him as a friend or give him a chance to adjust? He’s a good friend and generally a positive, interesting and charming friend to have (smart, insightful, witty, capable of deep conversation, trustworthy with secrets, understanding…). I’m simply not interested in dating him (for many reasons, the most glaring of which is that he’s sexist in subtle ways that I couldn’t tolerate in a partner), but I value and love his friendship and conversation. I do not want to date him, ever. I don’t know if I should salvage our friendship or let it go, for his sake and mine...I've included the details below but I think this summary captures what I am trying to intellectually and emotionally figure out. [more inside]
posted by grassbottles
on Feb 28, 2013 -
Oakland MeFites: What are the most interesting cultural manifestations of Oakland's two-decade-long demographic shift? [more inside]
posted by grrarrgh00
on Feb 21, 2013 -
Why do kittens, bunnies, puppies, and their ilk seem so much cuter than human babies? This is something I've always wondered, and I am surprised that it doesn't seem to have been asked here. I've seen some idle speculations about the reasons in various places around the Web, but nothing resembling evidence. Is there any actual research related to this topic? Or is the question based on flawed assumptions somehow? [more inside]
posted by fermion
on Feb 7, 2013 -
I want to fill an old i-pod mini with pop music for a 5 year old girl. What kind of music do kids this age like? If the answer is Justin Bieber I'm okay with that. [more inside]
posted by vincele
on Feb 7, 2013 -
I'm at home ill at the moment, watching lots of films and reading a lot (this week I've watched 14 films and read 2 books). I'd like to find sites (or podcasts/lectures/etc) that intelligently examine media and/or popular culture. I regularly read articles on Popmatters
and sometimes the A.V. Club
(but not so much). What are your favourite film/media crit resources? Podcasts? Lectures? Thank you in advance for any help!
posted by everydayanewday
on Jan 29, 2013 -
Can you think of any good sources of information on Polish daily eating habits, dietary trends, frequently used ingredients and dishes etc.? Bonus question: how much overlap is there with other Eastern European countries? [more inside]
posted by sively
on Jan 22, 2013 -
My friends went to Germany on a whim and now they are cold and miserable until their flight back in early February. I don't want them to give up hope. What are some truly awesome things that they can do in Berlin and the surrounding areas in the coming weeks? [more inside]
posted by cloeburner
on Jan 18, 2013 -
What are some good sources - blogs or books - for learning what everyday life is like in different parts of the world? [more inside]
posted by kristi
on Jan 15, 2013 -
Some decades ago I heard the term "Ur trait" (can't be sure of the spelling) in relation to a collection of cultural beliefs or possibly culturally driven practices that are universally distributed in humans around the globe, and which are believed to reach back to the early development of humans, so that they might represent bits of a core of human culture. I'm unsure enough of the concept that I don't want to make up examples which might lead respondents on a wrong path. Googling "ur trait" didn't yield any useful answers. The concept sounds similar, but is not identical to Jung's idea of a collective unconscious, which seems to be related a little more to psychology than cultural anthropology.
I'm primarily interested in whether the phrase "ur trait" was ever in use, and secondarily in the concept it represents if not what I've described above.
posted by paphun123
on Jan 10, 2013 -
I dragged my kids (ages 13, 11, 9) to see Les Miserables. They loved it. What other works should Mean Dad "drag" them to enjoy so that they become well-rounded adults with perspective and taste when it comes to media choices? [more inside]
posted by cross_impact
on Dec 27, 2012 -
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution
? [more inside]
posted by ibmcginty
on Dec 18, 2012 -
If a child is immersed in a particular language on a medium-term basis (say, a year of preschool, or maybe two or three), and becomes fluent in it, but then the exposure is taken away, how much does this language stick? Can the child still understand the basics of the language a decade later? Or does it make the language easier to relearn later in life? ALSO: What does early exposure to a foreign culture do for a child, if anything? Is cultural uprooting and rerooting of this nature disorienting and/or destructive for a child? [more inside]
posted by UniversityNomad
on Dec 11, 2012 -
I have moved to a foreign country and am looking for suggestions as to how to get along in the best way possible until I can return to the US. I am a single woman with a professional background.
I came to this country to reconnect with my ancestral roots. I have found the culture and behavior really appalling and irritating on a profound level as well as being sexist at a very deep level. [more inside]
posted by malach_sadriel
on Dec 2, 2012 -
Think of an office or cubicle in the United States around 1999, particularly in tech/IT companies. What kinds of objects would you see there which are less common now? [more inside]
posted by ErikH2000
on Dec 1, 2012 -
Asking for a friend. A coworkers wife has been diagnosed stage IV brain cancer. They are East Indian. We would like to bring flowers to their home. Does anyone know if certain flowers have special meaning culturally and / or are there flowers to avoid? Thank you.
posted by jennstra
on Nov 28, 2012 -
Korean culture filter: Are you familiar with Korean culture from 30 years ago? Can you tell me if these experiences were normal in terms of the social culture at that time? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 27, 2012 -
Why has there been no new youth subculture since 1998? 1960s had hippies, '70s had disco and punk, '80s had hip hop and goth, '90s had grunge. And yet kids and twenty-somthings have been wearing trucker caps and ironic sunglasses for 15 years now. What happened?
posted by four panels
on Nov 10, 2012 -
Where can I find summaries of historical developments, technological breakthroughs, political and social changes etc. in a similar style as the Afterword in Charles Stross's anthology Toast (free download here)
? I am interested in stuff that has happened in the last 30 or 40 years.
posted by fullerenedream
on Oct 22, 2012 -
Hello Austin, Where are my people?
I recently moved to Austin, TX from Fargo, ND (of all places).
I've quickly discovered that this place is flooded with awesomeness, to a point of being mildly overwhelming.
Thus, I am asking for help with finding things and people with similar tastes.
I am, a maker crafts person type, I mostly sew and knit but I have a background in sculpture and some interest in learning electronics.
I am also a cyclist, who loves chill coffee houses and a sense of community.
I'm looking for:
1. a place to consign/wholesale goods I make, mainly plush toy monsters, before the holiday season. also craft fairs
2. a couch, or a place to find a couch (secondhand); thrift stores dont seem to have much in the way of furniture.
3. a good, non-chain, hardware/surplus store.
4. a good fabric store
5. a job
6. fellow makers
posted by misformiche
on Oct 21, 2012 -
I've just been diagnosed with ADHD, and have started an initial stimulant-based management plan. I'm in my mid-forties, and work in a very traditional industry and come from a not-very-accepting Old World culture. How open do I need to be with colleagues and friends that I'm doing this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Oct 13, 2012 -
How did leather, latex, and vinyl get to be the most popular and celebrated materials in the kink/BDSM world - as opposed to say velvet, silk, organza, lace, muslin? [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Sep 25, 2012 -
I have tried to figure out Twitter on my own for over a year. I still don't get it. I googled articles. I emailed people and asked questions. I paid attention when it came up in conversation in online forums. I finally screwed up my courage and set up an account, even though I didn't know how to use it. At some point, I asked someone I met in person about it. But I am still doing it Rong. So Rong in fact that I just stopped bothering to try. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California
on Sep 21, 2012 -
I have never used "Jew" as a verb. I no longer "welsh" on debts, and I haven't used "gyp" since I was educated on the racism behind that term. Do I also need to stop using terms like "Mexican standoff", "Chinese firedrill", and "kabuki dance" if I intentionally don't want to create offense to a reasonable person in another cultural group? I grew up in very homogeneous territory
and so I'm still learning. Please school me.
I love words, I love colorful language and descriptors, but I don't want to be an ass. Words matter.
posted by availablelight
on Sep 17, 2012 -