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Miley twerking?! MeFiNK needs a regular pop-culture schooling.

MeFite, No Kids here. Where do I dedicate 15 minutes a day on the internets toward study of what's fresh, even if it's stupid? [more inside]
posted by AnOrigamiLife on Sep 23, 2013 - 25 answers

Advice on really appreciating/taking advantage of living abroad?

How I can make the most out of a few months living in a foreign country? If you've spent time living abroad, what kinds of things were you most glad you did (and/or most regret not doing)?  What helped you feel like you were really experiencing/appreciating a different culture?  (Definitely interested in general advice, but FYI I'm in Buenos Aires if you have specific thoughts.) [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Sep 19, 2013 - 10 answers

Portuguese cemetery wall vaults?

I was recently in a small village cemetery in Portugal. In the cemetery there was a wall with coffins interred on shelves, with a modern lockable double glazed door over each vault so that you could look in at the contents. [more inside]
posted by mani on Sep 16, 2013 - 9 answers

Please help me to understand the drinking culture of my boyfriend

My boyfriend is german and I am spanish. We are both in our early 30s and are together for 2 years. Our relationship is good and in general we deal quite well with the fact that we come from very different cultures. However, there is a topic where we always fight. In my opinion, he drinks too much and too often beer. In his opinion, he is doing what all his friends and family are doing and he even drinks moderately compared to them. He doesn't like to get drunk every time he drinks but he likes to get boozed. [more inside]
posted by maggie32 on Sep 13, 2013 - 44 answers

I've exhausted Iain M. Banks. I want more. What should I read next?

So I'm a dedicated Culture fanatic and have loved almost everything I've read by Iain M. Banks. (His Iain Banks stuff is pretty good too, but his sci-fi is what I really dig.) I particularly love the holistic, humanist morality that pervades his work and the way that he digs right down into the philosophical implications of various ideas and worldviews while simultaneously serving up lots and lots of sex, action, and sensawunda. However, I've read everything he's written several times over. What should I read next? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Sep 9, 2013 - 36 answers

Religious pilgramages united India prior to British rule?

I read an article a few months ago that challenged the idea that British colonization united and created the country of India. Instead it suggested that religious pilgrimages to holy sites across vast distances prior to British rule created a cultural cohesiveness prior to any British involvement. Now I can't find it! I am pretty sure it was on reddit but I can't find it. Please help!
posted by j03 on Sep 6, 2013 - 6 answers

Balzac's Benchwarmers

Recently, I purchased a complete set of Balzac's Human Comedy for my Kindle. At roughly the same price as my morning coffee. Balzac was a infamously productive writer. So I'm asking for some recommendations to help me navigate this hyoooge corpus. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 1, 2013 - 4 answers

Visual Culture Films

I need suggestions for movies to show in a series I'm curating. The series is associated with a Visual Studies program, and so I'm seeking films that relate to visual culture or non-cinematic modes of representation in some meaningful way. In other words, the theme of the series is intermediality. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Aug 28, 2013 - 20 answers

Help help I’m trapped in a Graham Greene novel

I am in a foreign country. I just had an encounter with another foreigner, on his way back to his own country, which went along the lines of “You’ll never make it here, you are destined to be unhappy, these are people for whom lying is second-nature.” I just moved here and I feel like I’m being sabotaged. [more inside]
posted by spaceheater on Aug 20, 2013 - 36 answers

Age-Gap Relationships in Europe

I just finished watching Fat Girl (2001) [French: À ma soeur!], I'm currently reading A Certain Age by Rebecca Ray and I previously read and watched An Education. In every one of those films and/or books, an early teen (e.g. In A Certain Age the girl is 14.) has a boyfriend that is at least in his late twenties. In each case, the mother doesn't seem to mind, the father is only a bit annoyed and the man is even allowed to come to the house for dinner. Are these open age-gap relationships anomalies or are they common in Europe?
posted by lrnarabic on Aug 10, 2013 - 25 answers

How is the jargon in Shadowrun translated in other languages?

Kind of curious about this. I know Shadowrun does/did well in Germany, and has/had at least a nominal presence in Japan. One of the (for good or ill) characteristics of the setting is the jargon and street slang. How are these translated into other languages? What are some examples?
posted by curious nu on Jul 26, 2013 - 4 answers

Where can I find reactions to the original Godzilla?

How did audiences in Japan 9 years out of WW2 react to the extensive use of war-imagery in the original 1954 Godzilla? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Jul 21, 2013 - 2 answers

"Late" to the game - Cultural/Therapy/Educational Qu. - Snowstorm?

Hey folks. I'm having some hang ups lately about arriving "late" to some areas of culture and life. I'm also still in a "phase" where I am reaching out, establishing new social circles, and attempting to validate a sense of self(I just* turned 24). Largely, I am wondering if any Mefites happen to recall stories of success, especially on a grand scale, of folks who pursued passions academic or not, a wee bit later in life and still fought/worked/finessed a means of becoming successful/happy/prolific in their fields or passions - especially after a means of difficult time or trauma. Super inspiration, please? Motive to keep going, work harder, even if you feel like you've been pretty beaten up/down and out for a little while? Stories of life-changing occurrences or pick-ups in character/pace, in a positive/radical/tremendous way? [more inside]
posted by thewolfandewe on Jul 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Watch your vegetables first, then dessert

My ten year old wants to spend most of her summer days on the couch streaming TV over our roku. It is a zillion degrees outside with 200% humidity, so I sort of understand the couch potato impulse. How can I direct her so that her couch potato time doesn't spud her brain? [more inside]
posted by cross_impact on Jul 16, 2013 - 23 answers

What's cool in Metro Manila, Philippines? I'm new and I need friends.

What's cool in Metro Manila, Philippines? I'm new and I need friends. [more inside]
posted by Hawk V on Jul 13, 2013 - 10 answers

What interesting unique items should I buy in Japan?

I'm travelling to Japan for the first time. I'll be there for about a week, and want to buy some interesting, unique, useful items. What can I buy in Japan that I can't get anywhere else, or that is better than what I can get elsewhere? I'm a utilitarian minimalist who doesn't like owning stuff for the sake of stuff. I like things that are useful, well-designed, beautiful and high-quality. I also like small things. What should I buy in Japan, and what kind of stores should I be looking for? [more inside]
posted by Susan PG on Jul 5, 2013 - 32 answers

Tips for travelling to Kurdistan

Does anyone have recent experience of Erbil in Kurdistan? [more inside]
posted by arcticseal on Jul 2, 2013 - 2 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

Most libertarian culture in history

What culture throughout history has most closely approximated the Ayn Randian ideal of the libertarian state? [more inside]
posted by goethean on Jun 20, 2013 - 15 answers

Examples of background clues from vocabulary and/or usage?

When someone says head or latrine for bathroom its likely that they were in the military or around the military. A less common example,when someone says "avoid the near occasion" about something its likely that they are from a Roman Catholic background, I'd even say its use indicates a likelihood that they are or were a priest, seminarian, religious, in a kind of serious catholic family or school etc. Reckon is a common word and its being used once doesn't mean anything but when its use is pretty frequent it might be indicative of someone's having lived in the south east United States. When people say pop instead of soda or coke they likely are from somewhere roughly between Chicago and Denver, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Things like this interest me and I'm sure I know only a infinitesimal fraction of a percent of them. Do you have any like observations to share? [more inside]
posted by logonym on Jun 19, 2013 - 92 answers

Wedding and controlling parents-- how to cope

I'm getting married in 10 days, and it's stressful for everybody involved, mostly because I have controlling parents who are intricately involved with every part of this. Any tips/advice for coping with this situation? Lots of culture-specific snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 18, 2013 - 45 answers

Can you explain Swedish relationship /sex culture to an American?

As an American woman, I understand we have different expectations regarding sex and dating/new relationships than what generally happens in Sweden. My experiences with Swedish men have been a bit confusing, and I wonder if that may be part of a cultural communication disconnect. [more inside]
posted by zettoo on Jun 11, 2013 - 8 answers

Possibly Moving back to London- Help?

Hi, I am considering moving back to London after over a decade in NYC. I have a few questions that I am curious about. But after just typing and erasing them- I am just going to ask how other people have found the differences between living and working in (not visiting!) the two cities. [more inside]
posted by bquarters on Jun 1, 2013 - 4 answers

Where can I find a transcript of a radio interview from April 2010?

Hi, Please could someone tell me the name of an academic who was interviewed on radio in April 2010? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on May 31, 2013 - 5 answers

Why did my carrot juice turn into eggwhite?

Gross but I must ask -- FOR SCIENCE. What creature IS this in my homemade juice? [more inside]
posted by bitter-girl.com on May 26, 2013 - 4 answers

Peace Corps to Senegal: needs, reads, tips, advice, cautions and so on

Someone has joined the Peace Corps and is going to Senegal, working in agro-forestry. Here is what is requested: needs, reads, before and during, what not to miss seeing, what to know, all necessary tips on the Peace Corps, Senegal and the Peace Corps in Senegal, and so on. In a word: advice. In another: experience. Hive mind, please hope me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 26, 2013 - 8 answers

Looking for blogs and news sources about Romania in English

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 - 4 answers

Got the Italian Girlfriend Blues...

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 - 43 answers

Is Australia just the West Island?

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 - 12 answers

How should I address my soon to be in-laws?

I have no idea how to address my in-laws. Please help. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 25, 2013 - 25 answers

I need a culture fix!

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 - 37 answers

trying to patch together a career.

Unemployed, interested in a bunch of things, not sure how they fit together. [more inside]
posted by winterportage on Apr 18, 2013 - 18 answers

HIST490: Contemporary History of Haiti from Ask.Metafilter

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 - 6 answers

Question re: Organizational Cultures in the Federal Government

Where do classy, educated, intelligent people work in the (U.S.) Federal Government? Which organizational cultures would welcome me? [more inside]
posted by the hot hot side of randy on Apr 4, 2013 - 38 answers

What are the cultural drivers of innovation?

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 - 8 answers

Help make me literate like an engineer

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 - 34 answers

Etruscan resources

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 - 12 answers

What's so awesome about Korean stuff?

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 - 10 answers

Unusual things people do to stay/get healthy?

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 - 33 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

Compromise: draw a face on those very nice abs?

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 - 12 answers

Lose a good friend or try to fix it?

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 - 54 answers

Delicatessen for Dilettantes & Greenhorn Cuisine

Please recommend outstanding recipe books and resources for clueless cooks! [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Feb 26, 2013 - 11 answers

Cultural shifts in Oakland

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 - 6 answers

I'm traveling to India (New Delhi), for business in a week. Need advice!

It's my first time out of the USA, and I don't know what to pack! [more inside]
posted by PetiePal on Feb 11, 2013 - 21 answers

Why are baby animals cuter than baby humans?

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 - 46 answers

What's the most popular music among 5 year old (Serbo-Croatian) girls?

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 - 19 answers

Your favourite clever pop culture sites/podcasts/lectures

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 - 13 answers

How can I find out more about what Polish people eat?

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 - 6 answers

Joymany

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 - 38 answers

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