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History of the USA ..but in an interesting way

I am looking to read up on the history of USA and need book recommendations [more inside]
posted by jellyjam on Aug 28, 2014 - 21 answers

Finding my ideal climate

I'm trying to find all the areas of the US that have my ideal climate, and I'd like to do so by playing with data. Is there an app, site, or method that can help? (Or can you?) [more inside]
posted by daisyace on Aug 11, 2014 - 17 answers

Travel filter: 3 weeks in the US. NYC, and then what?

The Red Thoughts consort and I want to go to New York City as part of a 3 week getaway in October. We thought that we might also visit some other places in the US. The problem is, we don't know where else to go. Hope us, MeFites? [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts on Aug 10, 2014 - 19 answers

Pop music concerts in San Fran area over next few months

My sister is moving from the UK to the San Francisco area in a few weeks. As a goodbye and good luck present I want to buy her tickets to a pop music concert in/near SF. Her tastes are quite broad, but mainly she likes good old sing-along pop music. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jul 25, 2014 - 9 answers

how to fix the failour of downloading pictures on my wechat ?

I am in China and my SO is in USA. we both use the app WECHAT a lot to keep in touch.. wechat is a very popular app in China as a social utility that connects people with friends on mobiles phones. but since 2 months ago, i could not view the full images of the pictures he have sent me and could not download them. we can still send each other text messages and he can recieve the pictures i have sent to him. And i can view and download other pictures my chinese friends sent me. i think this is strange. does anyone know why it happens or how to fix it?
posted by denimchair on Jul 22, 2014 - 3 answers

Book recommendation: a good historical overview of the US in the 1980s?

I am seeking recommendations for (reputable/peer-reviewed) essays or books that could help me develop a nuanced but well-rounded understanding of the social, political, and economic climate in 1980s America (economic deregulation is a particular point of interest). [more inside]
posted by coastisclear on Jul 14, 2014 - 8 answers

Why is this almond milk different?

I am traveling in Europe and have found unsweetened almond milk here with very different nutritional information than I find in the US. Help me figure out what's diffferent, or if one country just has the wrong information. [more inside]
posted by yellowcandy on Jun 7, 2014 - 8 answers

a road trip without any ability to drive

BeMyTravelAgentFilter: Help me figure out a way to make a trip from the Bay Area to New Orleans doable and affordable - when driving is not an option. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jun 4, 2014 - 23 answers

Is there an easy way to overlay photos in state-shapes on a US map?

I saw a pinterest item recently: the person took a large US map and cut photos from each state into the shape of the state, then overlayed the photo on the map of the state. The result was a US map with a photo standing in for each state. This was done by cutting photos by hand. Is there an easy way of doing it on the computer?
posted by jefficator on Jun 4, 2014 - 5 answers

Best SIM card for data and texting travelling in the USA?

I will be in the USA for exactly three weeks in July. I've been looking for a SIM card option (for my unlocked Nexus 4), and it seems like most people recommend the T-Mobile $2 or $3 per day unlimited texts/calls/data option. I also saw a deal from Spot-Mobile that looks better: it's $39.99 for a month of unlimited texts/calls/data, with the first 1GB of data at 4G speeds and free $10 credit for international calls. I'm a little wary, though, because I basically can't find any reference in forums to travellers using Spot-Mobile, or any reviews of them. Their coverage map looks fine, though. Also, I can't tell what their data speed will be for me, since my phone doesn't have 4G. Will it default to 3G or 2G for that first 1GB? Has anyone had any experience with Spot-Mobile? Would you recommend this plan? [more inside]
posted by lollusc on May 24, 2014 - 13 answers

What is the Intellectual Property component of the USA's GDP?

Any economics geeks out there who can point me to how the government calculates intellectual property now in GDP figures? Is there information on how they calculate the value of a movie versus a TV show versus a book? I've seen some articles that say news shows and newspapers don't count towards the intellectual component of GDP, but is there a thorough explanation anywhere?
posted by lostguy on May 9, 2014 - 5 answers

The rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air

What are some subtle or lesser-known examples of current-day real-world USA being a dystopia? [more inside]
posted by divabat on May 5, 2014 - 52 answers

F-1 visa issues

Made a mistake in my F-1 visa application. Am I screwed? [more inside]
posted by Tamanna on Apr 29, 2014 - 8 answers

How is mortgage interest to a private party treated under the AMT?

In the US tax code (specific to the AMT), is mortgage interest to a private party treated differently than mortgage interest to a bank? [more inside]
posted by true on Apr 19, 2014 - 2 answers

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Setting Sun

What was the first message sent by the Soviet Union over the infamous 1960s "hotline"? [more inside]
posted by alan on Mar 26, 2014 - 3 answers

That lonesome whistle blow.

Let's say you live somewhere in the rural or suburban United States. You hear distant train horns all the time. Where are you? [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Mar 5, 2014 - 41 answers

What protections exist for fradulent theft of funds from real banks

Spurred by the MtGox implosion thread and by a TV episode in which "real", presumably USD funds in US banks were stolen by an evildoer who illegally transferred the money elsewhere, I am wondering: What protections do US dollars in FDIC-insured US banks have against fraudulent electronic transfers? Would a victim of such a theft be likely to see all, some, or none of the stolen money reimbursed by an insurance policy?
posted by jepler on Mar 4, 2014 - 4 answers

Why does the road salt (in the Northeast, anyway) come from far away?

With all these winter storms here in the Northeast (and Midwest and South), I've been hearing a lot about salt supply issues. Supposedly much of it has to come from Chile...but there are plenty of salt mines in North America, aren't there? What about solar evaporation from the ocean right here? Wouldn't such sources save on the costs and environmental impact of shipping long distances? Are domestic sources just exhausted by demand in the Midwest and parts of the South far from ports?
posted by Seeking Direction on Mar 2, 2014 - 4 answers

Southern USA travel in March with a 2 year old?

We want to travel somewhere warm in early March for a week, so the Southern US is on our list. Help us determine where to go with an almost-two year old. [more inside]
posted by evadery on Feb 25, 2014 - 9 answers

Does Barbara Ehrenreich get rape threats??

Um, hi guys. I know there are some other writers on MeFi (help me PhoBWanKenobi...) and I've seen a few previous questions here about writing fiction and non-fiction, but I think my Ask is specific enough to have merit: [more inside]
posted by polly_dactyl on Jan 31, 2014 - 25 answers

Getting a US data plan for my foreign cell phone

I am travelling to Chicago in two weeks and want to use my smartphone whilst I am there (and away from WiFi). Importantly though I am not actually bothered about making phone calls. DATA is what I crave. What are my best sim card options? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jan 29, 2014 - 6 answers

European (German) looking to move to and work in the US

Okay, I'm trying to keep this brief: I am a German citizen who's been toying with the idea of moving to America for a year or two (or more) for a while now and I need help regarding the work permit papers. More details within. [more inside]
posted by mrsh on Jan 21, 2014 - 12 answers

Int student finishing MFA, possibly obtain one-year working pass...

I'm a semester away from finishing my MFA in San Francisco and I'm looking for advice on how to start job-searching especially as a (about to be former) international student. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Dec 28, 2013 - 3 answers

I need health insurance and MassHealthConnector is broken

Hello all, I was laid off from my job in July and went to Europe for a few months. Now that I am back in USA, I tried to sign up for affordable care act via www.mahealthconnector.org/ only to find out this site is the reincarnation of the devil. I cannot finish my application for this health insurance because I get stuck on a page that requires me to put in my employer info. Now since I am unemployed I obviously do not have an employer. This site literally will not let me complete the rest of the application without entering a whole bunch of information on my current employer which does not exist! How on earth do people without jobs apply for this?? Does anyone else run into this frustrating issue? Is there any other health insurance I can sign up for?
posted by bostonhill on Dec 19, 2013 - 12 answers

California / Southwest road trip itinerary advice

Boyfriend and I are planning a round trip (by rental car) through California and the Southwest and we'd love some input on the first rough draft of the route. We're going for 23 days in September next year and would like to stay in fairly affordable hotels and motels (no camping). [more inside]
posted by Skybly on Nov 23, 2013 - 34 answers

From Dixons to Nixon

I'm interested in learning more about late 20th century American history and politics, particularly the Cold War, Watergate and Nixon. What books, fiction or non-fiction, can you recommend to a non-American? [more inside]
posted by mippy on Nov 19, 2013 - 18 answers

Real propaganda?

Defense Against Enemy Propaganda, a 1956 film intended for US troops, contains a couple of clips of Soviet propaganda with voiceovers in English. Are they genuine Soviet films? Where did they come from? [more inside]
posted by cincinnatus c on Nov 18, 2013 - 2 answers

Is there any good forum online where people seriously discuss about USA?

Wondering is there anywhere online where people seriously discuss about USA as a nation, as a home? I am not talking about tourism or which town to move to and such but the actual things and problems that we should all work on together and improve. Not sure if I am worried too much, I do feel that there is a need to get the voice out now because the politicians are losing it, and so are the citizens. If there is a good one, please share with me, thanks!
posted by lanhan on Nov 10, 2013 - 6 answers

Why are there so few Indonesian immigrants in America?

Why are there so few Indonesian immigrants in the USA? [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Nov 2, 2013 - 17 answers

As a resident alien, where can I donate against the Tea Party?

I think the far right House representatives causing the current shutdown deserve political consequences, which I would like to take the form of losing their seats. As a non-US citizen, I cannot give money directly to any politician or campaign or related group (right?). So what's the next best option? [more inside]
posted by jacalata on Oct 2, 2013 - 16 answers

Please help save our road trip!

So, the National Parks are shut and husband and I are on a US road trip of a lifetime, during which we were due to visit/camp at many of those National Parks. Boo! Please help us salvage our trip and tell us about your favorite State Parks/hikes/non-NPS camping spots in OR, CA, AZ and southern UT! [more inside]
posted by atlantica on Oct 1, 2013 - 27 answers

407 Blues

At the end of July I visited Canada for the first time. I took my car with me. While driving through Toronto I got onto 407 ETR. Thinking better of it I got off after going one or two exits. So what now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 1, 2013 - 6 answers

Looking for a good historical overview of life in the US from 1945-1950

auto-mats, greyhound buses, Pan-Am, radio, TV etc. Pop culture and day-to-day life. A book with lots of pictures would be ideal.
posted by Dag Maggot on Sep 15, 2013 - 5 answers

Please help us find an interesting, older US city to visit

Dear Mefites, My sister and I have an opportunity to get away for a few days in the next couple of months, and we need your help. [more inside]
posted by gothchick33 on Sep 11, 2013 - 34 answers

Help us plan our trans-American odyssey!

A friend and I are planning a month-long roadtrip down the West coast of the United States - starting in Oregon, and possibly going so far as to cross Texas and finish up in Louisiana somewhere - to take place sometime in the new year, and we'd appreciate some advice in re: must-sees and logistics. [more inside]
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Aug 12, 2013 - 28 answers

Ill have what the yanks are having.....

If you lived in Britain and were coming back from California with an empty suitcase what would you bring back. Are there things that are a) cool b) curious c) ultra useful d) much cheaper e) unique that you would bring. [more inside]
posted by london302 on Aug 4, 2013 - 50 answers

love pochin' #9

Is there such thing as an English-language, available in the US, version of "livres de poche" (pocket-sized books)? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jul 23, 2013 - 13 answers

Lloyds UK bank account suspneded while I am in the USA!

Hi all, So my UK Lloyds regular bank account was suspended while I was in the USA and now they want me to show up in a local branch. I have spent three days on the phone explaining to them that I cannot because I am in the USA at the moment. They insist that I do and until then all my funds are frozen! Nightmare! It looks like I will have to fly home just to show my face at the branch so I can access my funds. Anyone had anything like this? Do I really have to fly back to the UK just to ID myself? Thank you!
posted by seatofmypants on Jul 15, 2013 - 12 answers

International driver's license help, Netherlands & USA addition

I have a semi-emergency situation involving US and Dutch driver's licenses. Complex situation inside. [more inside]
posted by digitalprimate on Jul 15, 2013 - 11 answers

Traveling to Cuba from the US

My father (who emigrated from Cuba 30 years ago) and I are interested in visiting Cuba eventually. What exactly do you have to do to (legally) travel there? [more inside]
posted by myntu on Jul 5, 2013 - 11 answers

Funny, short, PG-rated videos on daily life in US?

I'm hosting a French teenager this summer and would like to find some English-language videos for her to watch. She really likes Cyprien, a 20-something French YouTube performer. Help me find something similar in English, Hive Mind! [more inside]
posted by brianogilvie on Jul 4, 2013 - 3 answers

What iPhone plan should a frequent Canada-US traveler get?

I currently live in Toronto. From September to April, I'll live in Boston, with regular short trips back to Canada during that period. After that I'll come back to Canada. I am, alas, a total iPhone newb and I'm looking for advice on what someone in my position should do. [more inside]
posted by Beardman on Jul 1, 2013 - 5 answers

How did the Japanese public come to admire U.S. culture, post WWII?

Japan and the Japanese public are often portrayed as being admirers of the culture of the United States. But within living memory the two countries were involved in a brutal war, which culminated in conventional and nuclear bombings targeting Japan's citizenry and devastating their country. In Japan's case, how did a societal contempt sufficient to wage and sustain total war turn, in such a short time, into a societal affinity sufficient for some to embrace many parts of the culture of the nation that had dealt them destruction on such a massive scale? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jul 1, 2013 - 14 answers

Help me recover my lost package sent to me here in China from USA

My SO sent me a package via USPS (and it is EMS on this end) on June 17, from Ohio. I can include the tracking number if that would be helpful but the tracking website's latest information says "Processed Through Sort Facility June 18, 2013, 10:29 pm ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) PO to Addressee" Inside the package were just some inexpensive gifts, nothing that I think would get stuck at the border. Is my package lost? What steps can I (or the sender) take to recover it? any advice would be much apreciated
posted by denimchair on Jun 26, 2013 - 12 answers

How do I label customs forms when shipping personal effects to the US?

I am about to send some used personal effects to the US from Europe. I'm sending four boxes of used books and clothes. Each box weighs about 20kg. What should I put on the customs label? In particular, how do I estimate the value of used personal effects? Is it zero? I don't care about insurance/replacement value, I just want to minimize/avoid customs charges. If it matters, I'm in Germany, and will be sending by DHL. I'm a European citizen who will be moving to the US for three years with a J-1 (academic) visa. [more inside]
posted by caek on Jun 18, 2013 - 3 answers

Fourth of July on the Eastern Seaboard?

I will be on the East Coast of the US on the Fourth of July. What town or small city would be the best place to be in? [more inside]
posted by Zeinab Badawi's Twenty Hotels on Jun 13, 2013 - 4 answers

International Freelance Taxes -Canadian in Berlin /w US clients?

Calling all internationally mobile, 'creative-class' freelancers- how do you determine who taxes you, if your design clients are in one country (for me, USA) you live in another country (Germany) but are a citizen of yet somewhere else (Canadian)? Does everyone get a piece of my income? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 23, 2013 - 17 answers

65,000 US visas gone in 4 days?!

Husband and I are applying for jobs at the moment (our contracts expire around end of July). Interviews have gone well, but the guy I was talking to yesterday said he couldn't offer me a position as all the HB1 visas were gone for this year. Apparently they were all allocated within four days of being available! And there were 800,000 applicants for 65,000 places. When would I need to apply/what do I need to do do maximise my chances? Husband can also work on an O1B visa - is that the same process? Have any of you applied for these visas, and if so how did it go/what was your experience like? Does anyone have any tips? Would it be good to hire a lawyer for this or can we do it on our own? TIA for any info/advice.
posted by everydayanewday on May 15, 2013 - 19 answers

Two plant growth oddities to ID (mold, fungus?) - Eastern Massachusetts

I'm trying to identify two separate growths I'm unfamiliar with, just for curiosity's sake. The first is a tight, cauliflower-like dome found on the base of a cut tree trunk. The second formed tiny red "spears" on a weed leaf. Pics within. [more inside]
posted by cocoagirl on May 13, 2013 - 6 answers

What's missing on our trip to San Francisco?

I'm going to SF with my partner for our first wedding anniversary - yay! We've been before and have seen some of the sights (list after the break), but are looking for things we might have missed, awesome places we haven't eaten at, great things we haven't seen, etc, so we can make the most of it. Only limiting factor: neither of us drive. [more inside]
posted by abbagoochie on Apr 27, 2013 - 19 answers

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