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]
What are some good sources - blogs or books - for learning what everyday life is like in different parts of the world? [more inside]
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.
Recommend me some stuff to do in Los Angeles in January! [more inside]
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]
Birmingham, England. Christmas Day. Is *anything* open at all? [more inside]
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution? [more inside]
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]
What is the earliest depiction (not description) of an iceberg in Western Art? [more inside]
What interesting writing has been done on the overlaps between Gene Wolfes "Book of the new sun and Iain M. Banks Culture novels? [more inside]
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]
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]
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.
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]
Looking to find either the author's name or his article. [more inside]
Are there any magazines for anglophiles and francophiles? Google not helpful. [more inside]
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?
How do I deal with my short-tempered husband? [more inside]
Where's the scene? [more inside]
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.
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
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]
Are there any ethnic groups that don't wear hats?
Do egalitarian heterosexual marriages exist as a cultural phenomenon? [more inside]
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]
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]
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.
Are there Asian, African, or Spanish speaking equivalents to the Arthurian legends? [more inside]
I have no idea how to talk to normal people about my not-normal relationship, particularly when it comes to parents. At what point does it become strange? [more inside]
Hypothetical (I'm writing a story): is it okay/normal for someone to visit a cemetery and mourn, even if their loved-one wasn't buried there? [more inside]
Help me put together a list of 1980s Hollywood films that indulge in faux Asian magic and mysticism. I'm thinking along the lines of Gremlins, Big Trouble in Little China, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Golden Child. Bonus points if the plot kicks off with a wise old shopkeeper selling weird things.
I read (and failed to bookmark) an article or blog post a week or two ago that drew parallels between the idea of "corporate personhood" and the "quantify everything, optimize your own happiness" ethos shared by many young people today. Basically the gist of it was that many people were emulating corporate "persons" rather than real people as role models. Can you help me find it?
Enlighten me on current state of the art thinking, discourse and vocabulary around gender politics please. Terminally unique details inside. [more inside]
I've been obsessing about the artificial jellyfish lately and I want to know how difficult it would be to make one myself. [more inside]
Recommendations for Chinese literature that presents average Chinese citizens in context of a modern Chinese urban setting [more inside]
I've recently been watching Twin Peaks again, and I've been wondering... to people who actually watched it air in its original run, what was it like seeing something like this on TV? Did you have watching parties that I've heard so much about? Was the reveal of the killer and the twists and turns along the way surprising? Did you watch until the end of the second season, and were you disappointed when it got the plug pulled on it? [more inside]
Have olympic spoilers always been this bad? I'm so so very annoyed to already know the outcome of tonights gymnastics, just like I've inadvertantly known the outcome of almost every event I am interested in so far in these games. Even though I try to avoid the obvious spoiler media outlets, I can't ignore everything; esp not elevator tv's, the radio, or overheard coversations at the cubicle farm. Are the days of sitting on the edge of my seat during the evening broadcast, jumping for joy at an unexpected gold over? Or has it always been this way and I'm just catching up now?
How have you negotiated being frustrated with the culture and experience of young-white-people-in-the-city without alienating friends or becoming a hypocrite/cynic/other mopey monster variant? [more inside]
To what extent do American Highschools resemble the stereotypical American Highschool seen in just about every movie and TV show ever, withever present competition for social status, rigidly defined cliques, omnipresent bullying, etc... etc?
What is the relationship between the ritual and the algorithm? Are all rituals algorithmic? [more inside]
What could slow down the pace of change (religious/scientific/economic/cultural) in a civilization? (Please see specific details inside.) [more inside]
Help me with ideas to make my Chinese relative feel comfortable on her first visit to the U.S. [more inside]
Business idioms that are actually useful? [more inside]
Help us decide where to live - options inside! [more inside]
[PhillyFilter] You have a day to explore the city. What do you do? [more inside]
I always hear that the traditionally heavy US diet ( or any " traditional" cuisine, really ) was developed for people working long hard hours of manual labor, farm work, etc., so what did the people who had sedentary, less active jobs eat? What were the historical diets of people who didn't haul lumber through the woods or dig ditches, but recorded numbers or did accounting or translated documents?
What culture(s) is the practice of putting beads or string around your beard from? (Just to clarify, I mean putting the facial hair into a 'ponytail' at the chin and then stringing the beads on.) [more inside]
I live in Philadelphia. I love sculpture and art installations, but suck at finding them when they happen. Help me find RSS feeds or email services that'll tell me when cool art-type things happen nearby me! [more inside]
I'm a 6'4 dude, medium build, long arms. I wear 38/36 pants and a medium tall shirt. I am a non affiliated humanist. I would like ankle to knee length clothing, loose fitting and of plain style. Complication: cultural overloads. [more inside]
Can you recommend a good men's blog or community? [more inside]