Taste in anything (music, movies, coffee, you name it) has long been a source of anxiety and stress for me. I don't know how to determine quality and I worried that I'm getting it wrong and, worse, that my preferences reflect negatively on me somehow. Details within. [more inside]
I'm looking for readable, if not informative, non-fiction books about witches. [more inside]
Last weekend the Māori All Blacks performed a haka that is unfamiliar to me. Was this in particular respect to Anthony Foley? And where could I get a translation of it or any other information about it?
Librarians, curators, history and literature nerds - can you help? My JSTOR and googlefu is failing me. I'm trying to find out whether anyone has researched the phenomenon of writing inscriptions on glass with a diamond which was trendy in the late 18th/early 19th century. [more inside]
Help me figure out what we should be doing on or around the week of Culture Day in Tokyo. [more inside]
Someone put a sticker in the elevator lobby of my building that says "smop." with three lines above it (picture under the fold). Today I saw someone wearing a shirt with the same logo and words. What on earth does it mean? I am at a tech school in Atlanta, GA. [more inside]
What American cultural habits are considered pretentious or eye-rolly when performed in another country? [more inside]
So, in a discussion I observed that wrapping packages was a pedestrian task which the Japanese have elevated to a high art. Which immediately made me wonder, what sorts of things am I doing that I'm actually overdoing or that I culturally expect to be overwrought? That people from other places would peg me as as someone from the US or even the midwest because of what I pay extensive attention to. What about other places? What cultures think a job done right is worth overdoing?
I remember a forum website from the early-mid oughts (though its origins may have been earlier), and I'm looking for the name and/or for others who also remember it. It was characterized by a (CSS-based?) skinning system that members of the community were very proficient with. It was largely used for forum-based roleplay, at least the parts I frequented-- the usual Harry Potter and X-Men and fantasy stuff, but there also seemed to be a large contingent of people who liked to roleplay as wolves. [more inside]
Is there any serious confirmation or statistical corroboration for the idea that they changed the dates on death certificates in some wars, on certain dates? [more inside]
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]
Between 2001 and 2004, I lived in the SF Bay Area and looked forward to a weekly column in a local paper (don't remember which - probably not SF Chronicle, but maybe a smaller publication?) which featured a profile of an interesting local "everyday folk" along with a pen-and-ink portrait. I especially loved the charming portraits. In particular, I remember one of a guy selling boiled crab at the Pier. Does anyone remember this? What was the name of the column, and who was the artist?
After purchasing the Gawker Media assets, Univision will be shutting Gawker (as in the site) down in the next week. I have enjoyed reading the news, political coverage, and the championing of progressive causes in Gawker's often cutting, but humorous tone. SO! Where to next? [more inside]
What TV Series (not Movies) are currently streaming on the big services (Netflix, Amazon Prime & others) that fully capture 1980s American popular culture? [more inside]
I switched roles to a new location with a different culture and I want to make a good impression without messing up my schedule. My employer offers a great work/life balance and the new location's culture seems less aligned with it. I can't figure out how to navigate this effectively. [more inside]
The Olympic Games is large: it contains multitudes. From living in the UK and US, I'm aware of how differently it's presented: the BBC is a little bit nationalistic but mostly treats it as a glorious global sporting carnival; NBC makes it a soft-focus rah-rah-USA reality show with lots of commercials. But how does it come across in other countries? [more inside]
Are there any good books telling the story of imperialism/colonialism through food? [more inside]
What's the general best-practices word for "cultural inclusion"? This would be for a mental-health center consisting of both professional providers and peer support, and we want to get across the idea that we are respectful of cultural diversity and also aware that we may have blind spots. (I realize I may be trying to be overly ambitious in capturing all that in a single phrase.) [more inside]
Are there questions about race and culture that my fiancé and I should be asking ourselves as we figure out the answer to the dreaded Last Name Issue? [more inside]
CGPGrey explained how internet arguments are self-selecting in order to symbiotically grow two opposing sides who mostly just badmouth the other side with increasingly inaccurate stories. That wouldn't be a problem, except sometimes the process spirals out of control and spills over into harassment, doxxing, violence, etc. So, if we understand how the process works, how do you stop it? Is there actually an effective way to treat the angry thought-germs CGPGrey described?
A friend and I are taking a trip tomorrow to Lyon (from Berlin). We found this thread but want more information specific to Lyon. [more inside]
One of my favorite brothers has a job opportunity that would bring him to the East Coast from a small town in the Midwest (Yay!). Specifically, he would probably move his family to Islip, Long Island. He called to ask me what the area was like and I had no idea how to answer him. I live in North Brooklyn and have only been to Long Island a couple of times for brief visits. So I'm asking here for any insight into what life is like in Islip. I can find some facts online, of course, but nothing that gives and inside view of day to day living. Is it really expensive to live there? What is the culture like? Anything unique and wonderful about the place? Does it totally suck? [more inside]
What tools would you recommend for creating a dynamic relationship visualisation? Thinking along the lines of They Rule. [more inside]
ParentFilter: My five-year-old son has a lot of questions about the police. (Also the army, but mostly the police.) He wants to know who the police are, why do they come, who goes to jail, are the police the good guys, do they get the bad guys -- that sort of thing. [more inside]
What do you do when Aunt Beatrice insists on giving you "heirlooms" that you really, really, do not want or like or care about. Without making her cry. [more inside]
As an Englishman, I am familiar with how some of my fellow Anglo-Saxon brethren make a cup of tea. Some make a pot of tea and decant when appropriate, and the rest, for speed, laziness or an unappreciation of our noble drink, use a teabag in a mug. But, apart from a few of our distant cousins, I remain ignorant as to how Americans, Canadians and others across the waters typically make tea (as in the hot drink made from the conjunction of tea leaves and hot water). If applicable, how do you? Are there unique variations in procedure pertaining to your locale? [more inside]
My colleague has been invited to an engagement party for his friends who are Indian-Fijian Hindu. What can he expect at the party and what would be an appropriate gift? If it matters everyone lives in Australia at present.
I'd like to read about the connection between the counter culture/alternative culture in the 60s and the first generation of computer culture. I believe our thinking about computers and the internet contains a lot of DNA from the alternative part of the 60s, but I don't know where I can read about this subject. Your suggestions (preferably links to online material) are welcome!
I have never read any of The Culture series- or anything else by Iain M Banks besides. I happen to have a copy of The Algrebaist in my possession somehow- will I be able to follow if I start from there? Will I miss out on a lot of the finer points if it is my introduction to The Culture?
I've been reading the excellent Emotional Labor Condensed Thread, and it's shaping the way I think about life. What are other recommendations for great reads that change the way you think about day-to-day life? Other examples I've enjoyed include: Ask vs. Guess Culture, Love Languages... Give me more! Format doesn't matter.
So trailing behind stenciled instructions to TRY KRATOM, the streetside signs around where I live trend heavily - and I mean borderline Twilight Zone level - toward advertisements for flag football. I've seen signs for youth leagues, coed leagues, men only, two-hand touch, flag, and on and on, more flavors of flag football than I would ever have imagined could exist. [more inside]
I'm considering moving to Knoxville sometime in the next 2 years. Help me figure out if it will be a good fit. [more inside]
I'm interested in finding accounts of attitudes toward public eating in different social and historical contexts. [more inside]
I am a 27 year old woman, and have always had horrible luck with relationships. I'm starting to wonder if my ethnicity, culture, background (Asian-Indian/Hindu) could have something to do with it? [more inside]
I've been in a relationship for 7 months with a person who I'm incredibly charmed by, but makes me feel lonely when he's inconsistent in his pursuit of me. I've made excuses for his traveling for work, his creative brain, our cultural differences and his hurts from his previous broken engagement. Some things that just seem normal to me - romantic gestures (surprises, flowers, notes) and consistent communication - seem difficult for him. He says that he loves me. Are my expectations unreasonable or is he emotionally immature? [more inside]
Does there exist an updated catalog or wiki list of internet forums and web communities living and dead over the coarse of the internet's history?
I'm planning to give all of my teaching assistants a present for Christmas. Would it be rude to not give a present to the managerial staff? I've also heard that it's rude to give people higher up the same present. Please help me understand appropriate gifting. [more inside]
I've been told I'm introverted and people are afraid I'm judging them. [more inside]
What gift can I offer my anglophile 13-year-old niece ? [more inside]
Hello, I am in a graduate program in the USA and an American. I was accepted into a special short term program in Southern Europe and am having some communication problems with my fellow students/teammates. It's most likely a cultural thing. [more inside]
Where can I find more visual glossaries of international fashion subcultures, particularly the ones that are lesser-known or more specific? They'll have photos or video of the style, some background on what the style is about and where it's from, and some description of key elements. Some examples of what I'm after are Refinery29's Style out There playlist, this guide to Japanese fashion, and this list of men's fashion.
I am looking for any research or books on how we in the west went from conservative to permissive in our culture, specifically around clothing styles, movies, marriage norms etc. Details and a word of caution inside. [more inside]
Looking for a basic intro anthropology text that discusses the breadth of social and political structures in 'traditional' societies across the continents - or just across say Africa, or ... Some comments about the mistaken belief of widespread "communal" cultures across Africa has prompted an interest in the breadth of such variances in cultural organisations in 'earlier' or 'traditional' societies. Thus, an introductory text for the layperson would be good, nothing too massive or encyclopaedic.
Someone gave me "The Player of Games" by Iain M Banks and, having recently read it, I have a couple of questions about the Culture novels. [more inside]
Today, even the most obscure ingredient can often be sourced with the click of a few buttons, but back in the day... I'm looking for examples of recent (+/- last 100 yrs) groups of immigrants coming to the US and how either not having access to their usual ingredients or having access to new ingredients may have impacted their traditional recipes. [more inside]
I'd like names (if they exist) for the following two ideas: [more inside]
Do you have any suggestions for books, websites, other to help a new arrival to the US with learn general cultural references? I'm mentoring a Chinese student who is attending a mid-size US university. This is her first time in the US, and her English is fantastic. She asked me if I knew of any resources that could help her understand more US cultural references since sometimes she feels lost. [more inside]
"Après moi, le deluge" is a famous phrase. Literally it means "After me, the deluge." Idiomatically it essentially means "I don't care what happens after I'm gone, even if the world ends." I get all that. But what is missing from the Wikipedia page I linked to is the historical/cultural context; "the deluge" figuratively refers to the biblical flood described in Genesis 6-9. Is there a specific word for this sort of context for a phrase or term of art? [more inside]
Does the relative treatment of second and third parties vary by culture? [more inside]
I'm from the first world. I work for a first world company. I receive a first world wage. Like many people on this site. You would probably find me completely average. But I live in a country that is poor, with a lot of inequality. [more inside]