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A race by any other slur

How do other languages (non-English) express the scientific term 'race?' vs the colloquial? In taxonomic terms, the word "race" is 90% used as a misnomer in US discourse. This is rooted in "Social Darwinism," or contemporary racist applications of seminal evolution concepts. This colors verbiage across the sciences, especially the social sciences. To wit, the term 'racism' is in fact based on a dehumanizing paradigm. So, um, how does this shake out elsewhere? [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah on Mar 11, 2013 - 9 answers

well known examples of power corrupts

Help me with my ten year old sons school project ! I'd like to find people - as well known as possible - to whom the adage "power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely" . So an ideal example would be someone who started off with good intentions and then on gaining power started behaving poorly . Also ideally once they'd turned nasty their actions would not be so despicable that you wouldn't mind explaining them to a ten year old Thanks
posted by southof40 on Mar 9, 2013 - 38 answers

Help me learn more about the labor and leftist movements via audio

I'd like to learn more about the history of the left, particularly the far left, particularly as it relates to me, a late-20's north american male. I'd love to learn more about the left, labor, unions, communism, socialism, labor laws, etc., particularly in what factors and machinations gave and took away rights and freedoms. Here's the kicker - I'm really, really hoping to find them in audio format so I can learn while I exercise. Audiobooks, podcasts, lectures, etc. [more inside]
posted by rebent on Mar 8, 2013 - 8 answers

History of Rape

I'm interested in learning about rape in 19th century America for a fictional piece I'm writing. I'm not really sure where to start in researching this, but I'd be grateful for any resources or information. [more inside]
posted by Put the kettle on on Mar 8, 2013 - 8 answers

Massachusetts history trip and Maine scenic ocean trip, t minus two hour

My friend is visiting me in Rhode island today through Sunday night and has her heart set on historical sights in Boston and going to the coast of Maine (maybe acadia). Given weather, Boston traffic, and driving times, what is the best way to do this? [more inside]
posted by geegollygosh on Mar 8, 2013 - 23 answers

Where can I learn about man's interaction with new ingredients?

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 - 29 answers

Who said this?

Looking for a quote from Napoleon about women. [more inside]
posted by _DB_ on Mar 5, 2013 - 2 answers

Mormon History?

How does Brigham Young University teach American History? Do they tell students that Jesus actually came to America? And how do they deal with the story that Missouri was the real Garden of Eden?
posted by mmf on Mar 4, 2013 - 14 answers

Sailing away on the Ship of Theseus

I'm taking up restoration of mechanical calculators as a hobby. To what extent would repairs/part replacements constitute "restoration", and when does it become "reproduction" instead? [more inside]
posted by jackbishop on Mar 1, 2013 - 2 answers

Word Freak for Chess?

Can you recommend a good chess book with as much history, context, stories, and culture as strategy? [more inside]
posted by suprenant on Feb 27, 2013 - 10 answers

Book on Papal History (on Kindle)

Can you recommend a good book on papal history that is solid on facts and theology, honest about blemishes, but doesn't revel in scandal? Oh, and I hope I can find it in a Kindle version. [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk on Feb 26, 2013 - 6 answers

History is divided into two roughly equal parts -- source for quote?

Can anyone give me a original source for this (almost certainly garbled) quote? "History is divided into two roughly equal parts -- that which probably never happened and that which doesn't matter much anyway". [more inside]
posted by unSane on Feb 19, 2013 - 2 answers

Ancient greek origins of separation of powers?

Somewhere I read an interpretation of the development of democracy in Ancient Greece that went something like this: A king died and three princes struggled to seize power. No one prince was strong enough to defeat the others. They made a deal that one would be responsible for military matters, the second for administrative matters, and the third for religious. This system proved relatively effective and was continued, eventually on a non-hereditary basis, and is the original source for the separation of powers between different branches of government. [more inside]
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy on Feb 13, 2013 - 6 answers

Visual references for armor?

I'm looking for visual references for medieval / faux-medieval armor. Bonus points for something lightweight / leather and I'm really looking for rear views but anything would be useful. I've tried a bit of googling but haven't really found what I want.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 13, 2013 - 8 answers

150 years, 10 people

The London overground is celebrating 150 years. There are these posters hanging around. Can you help me identify the different decades that each person is supposed to represent? [more inside]
posted by like_neon on Feb 8, 2013 - 21 answers

What techniques should be used to find the already written future of me?

Let's say that certain phases of my life were already written in a book 70 - 100 years ago by someone, who was either a futurist of a scifi-writer. Let's also say that there are people, who want to make sure - for some yet unknown reason - that I live through those phases and that my personality gets developed similarly to some character's personality in that book. The book would have been written a long time before I was born. Now, what kind of search engines and what kind of search strategies I should use to become sure that there actually is such a book? There might exists traces of revitalizing of the book, if the original writer didn't make good enough guesses about the future.
posted by spctrm on Feb 5, 2013 - 13 answers

Need non-racist-affiliated Viking jewelry and traditions for a wedding

My fiance is half-Norwegian, and all the family he's in contact with are pretty Norwegian. We're having a wedding and trying to honor each other's heritages. I need touches and customs that can be added to said wedding. Problem: while googling on the internet for Viking stuff and/or meaningful runes, I'm finding a ton of racist stuff. My fiance has done antifa work and I just plain hate Nazis. How can I find cool customs that have not been appropriated by horrible people, and how can I buy jewelry (particularly ring-type) that isn't going to racist pockets? [more inside]
posted by corb on Feb 4, 2013 - 24 answers

Recommendations of books about unconventional defectors

I've been listening to 'Escape from Camp 14' on audiobook for the past few days, and I was struck by a brief overview of & reference to the story of Charles Robert Jenkins, an American defector to North Korea. I found the concept as mystifying as it was intriguing, so I would like to know if any of you have heard of any non-fiction books about other defection stories that involve citizens of democratic nations obtaining residency in nations that would be deemed objectively totalitarian and renouncing their countries of origin. I'm on the lookout for his book, 'The Reluctant Communist,' but I'd like to hear about other stories of this type as well.
posted by Selena777 on Feb 3, 2013 - 13 answers

Is it possible to track the history of someone's fortune over centuries?

Let's say someone (anyone) made a fortune in the early 18th century - would it be possible to track their fortune over time to see where it is in the present day? I can imagine this being relatively simple if the money just stayed in the family, but what if you wanted to track the fortunes made during something like the Gold Rush?
posted by domakesaypat on Jan 26, 2013 - 8 answers

Roma æterna

Where can I find some educated speculation about how the Roman Empire might have avoided its decline, and how it might have developed (and affected world history) had the empire not fallen? Would prefer works by historical scholars, but alternative history works would be OK if thoroughly researched and detailed.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico on Jan 25, 2013 - 19 answers

Books on the history of photography?

I only really have time to read a single book on the origins of photography. What do you recommend? Think Daguerre and Talbot, no need for hundreds of pages devoted to the camera obscura. I'd also prefer something heavier on text than actual photographs.
posted by Lorin on Jan 25, 2013 - 5 answers

visualizing human history in the context of earth's history

Can you recommend web-based tools for visualizing human history/civilizations in the context of larger geological timescales and weather changes? [more inside]
posted by par court on Jan 18, 2013 - 3 answers

History of Christianity(focus on Britain) for law degree.Where to start?

Hi. I was wondering if anyone here could help to recommend resources for a complete beginner to better understand the history of Christianity, etc so I may have a deeper, more contextualised understanding of british history and politics. Some stuff I'd like to know better are: [more inside]
posted by ethelwulf on Jan 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Looking for Books on WW1

I'm finishing up The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman, and while it's a really good read, it does what it says, and covers the beginning of the war. I'm interested in other books on WW1. What do you recommend? I'd like to read both a good, solid overview of the whole war, then maybe later read more in-depth books on certain parts or phases of the war. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Jan 12, 2013 - 23 answers

Have norms surrounding eating chicken changed over time?

Was there ever a period in time before widespread acceptance of germ theory, or, is there a current culture where raw or undercooked chicken is an accepted part of cuisine? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jan 10, 2013 - 19 answers

Spoiler-free guide to the history behind The Tudors?

Where do I find Nitpickers Guide to The Tudors? Or something like that. [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Jan 5, 2013 - 2 answers

I Want My 80's TV

Are there any good drama series from the eighties available streaming online? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 4, 2013 - 26 answers

Real Life Royston Vasey?

Are there any real-life historical examples of the Small Town With A Terrible Secret horror trope? Towns where long-term, ongoing crimes (or unsavory religious practices one supposes) where purposefully covered up and kept hidden from the outside world and any attempt to investigate them resulted in the investigator being detained, thrown out, or killed?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 4, 2013 - 35 answers

Peace corps medical history

For current and previous peace corps volunteers, Have you lied on your peace corps medical clearance? What did you lie about and how did it end up working out? [more inside]
posted by Globallife12 on Dec 31, 2012 - 8 answers

What are the greatest (yet most original) love affairs of all time?

What are the greatest (yet most original) love affairs of all time? [more inside]
posted by skylar on Dec 22, 2012 - 76 answers

Studies of actual "False Flag" operations?

Are there any good historical/scholarly studies of false flag operations? Not so much chroinicles of a specific single event, but more about how common they've actually been throughout history, how effective they tend to be, how they are eventually disclosed (whether on purpose or not), etc. They seem to be the core of a lot of conspiracy theories ("9/11 was an inside job", "Oswald was a tool of the CIA", and so on), and I'm curious about how prevalent the real thing is.
posted by Lentrohamsanin on Dec 20, 2012 - 2 answers

History of Sociology of Religion; Why Bellah Doesn't (Much) Cite Eliade

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 - 3 answers

What did the history books get wrong?

What facts about history did people once believe, only to have them later discredited? I'm looking for cases where historians changed their opinion about concrete facts ("It turns out George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree") or about cause and effect ("Maybe the French Revolution wasn't just caused by the rise of the Middle Class.") I'm NOT looking for cases where historians re-evaluated their ethical judgments ("Maybe it wasn't so cool that the Founding Fathers owned slaves.")
posted by yankeefog on Dec 17, 2012 - 51 answers

How can I replicate the experience of the mid-90s web for a curious Generation Z tweenager?

Does such thing as an early web emulator exist? My 12 year-old stepson is learning HTML and CSS, and today I was trying to describe the web of yesteryear (for me, c. 1995-96). I'd love to show some visual aids. I have googled to no avail. [more inside]
posted by allisonrae on Dec 13, 2012 - 17 answers

But I don't have an answer to this question!

What is the history behind feminism supposedly claiming that women could "have it all"? [more inside]
posted by nakedmolerats on Dec 13, 2012 - 9 answers

Looking for specific quote by Charles de Gaulle on the alliance

My boss (I work in Tokyo for an independent think tank) has asked me to track down a particular quote for him by Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French Forces and first president of the French Fifth Republic. Specifically, he is looking for a quote in which de Gaulle says something about the alliance not sharing a common destiny... I've been looking like crazy but have yet to find anything along these lines? Any ideas?? [more inside]
posted by amirachel on Dec 11, 2012 - 4 answers

Help me inform my reading of the Baroque Cycle

I'm looking for your favorite books on early modern European history (~1550-1750 ish) to inform my reading of the Baroque cycle by Neal Stephenson. I usually rely on Amazon ratings to pick good books, but they are coming up short. History buffs of AskMeFi, please help! [more inside]
posted by permiechickie on Dec 11, 2012 - 12 answers

What are other kinds of "magic" than the ones found in the West?

Leading off this comment, what are some good sources about magic in the Renaissance? The Roman Era? Ancient China? Egypt? Mesopotamia? Ancient India? Pre-Colombian civilizations? How did they differ from the "dark age" concept of magic?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 10, 2012 - 13 answers

WWI buff Xmas gift?

What's a good gift for a World War I history buff? [more inside]
posted by airguitar2 on Dec 9, 2012 - 10 answers

Books about fighting.

Looking for good, critical books and resources on martial arts and fighting. I prefer them to be academic enough to have survived peer review, but will take what I can get. Anything martial arts related would do, I'm interested in understanding martial arts and fighting in a more general sense. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee on Dec 8, 2012 - 10 answers

Once again I require awesome history books plz

I need to stop reading wikipedia at work, so please give me books instead [more inside]
posted by elizardbits on Dec 5, 2012 - 16 answers

I am trying so hard not to make a joke about prawns.

I get to go to South Africa to do field work next summer, hurray! I know very little about South African history and culture beyond what I get from the (US) media. I'd like to read a few books between now and then to try and get caught up. [more inside]
posted by TungstenChef on Dec 5, 2012 - 7 answers

Where is the site that does neat code archaeology on git repos?

It's a visualization tool that analyses history of a code base to do some archaeology so you know who to talk to if you have questions about that section -- I swear I saw this somewhere recently, in the past week or so. I thought I bookmarked it because it was neat. I can't find it. What's the url? maybe it was some fancy git blame thing.
posted by bleary on Dec 1, 2012 - 3 answers

Ideas for starting a local history habit?

I work downtown, and recently on my lunch, I happened upon a local history archive in the library branch near my work. I'd like suggestions for fun tasks that I can accomplish there on my short lunch break. [more inside]
posted by to recite so charmingly on Nov 30, 2012 - 6 answers

What would it take to make a photograph in 1910?

What would it take to make a portrait photograph in 1910? [more inside]
posted by rinosaur on Nov 28, 2012 - 9 answers

1970s animated cartoon about U.S. History (NOT schoolhouse rock)

animated 1970s tv series about U.S. History? this is NOT the schoolhouse rock episodes. the one i am remembering was more serious, working through historical situations with animated scenes. the episode i remember most vividly was about the British burning the white house. does anyone else remember this series and what the name of it was?? might have been made around the bicentennial, but not sure.
posted by cmp4Meta on Nov 27, 2012 - 9 answers

Berlin, when the wall fell?

What was it like to be in Berlin when the Wall came down in 1989? [more inside]
posted by meronym on Nov 27, 2012 - 8 answers

Where to go with a car near Dublin and Cork?

Driving Around Dublin: SO and I will be visiting Ireland (Dublin and Cork) for about a week and half right after Christmas and we'll have a car. What are some fun, interesting day trips from the two cities (or stops along the way between them?) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2012 - 14 answers

The Men Who Built America books

I've been watching The Men Who Built America. Please recommend interesting books on the people covered in that series or other influential people from that time period. Thanks.
posted by rastapasta on Nov 24, 2012 - 3 answers

Eat that, Gillies!

Can you help me assess this piece of medical history? I would like to know if it is historically interesting. [more inside]
posted by Jehan on Nov 21, 2012 - 6 answers

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