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Need some of that quiet confidence.

I've been dating a great person for about 4 months. She's really outgoing, charming, attractive, and funny, and people just love her. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 28, 2014 - 20 answers

Likeable characters with lives I might want to live vicariously

I've been reading a lot of bleak books lately, often with antiheroes. Now I would like the opposite of that. I don't mind if some bad things happen, of course, or if there's conflict - usually that's kind of necessary for a good story. But I would like it if at least one of the main characters were someone I would want to be friends with. And if some of the stuff that they do or that happens in their lives makes me smile. [more inside]
posted by lollusc on Feb 8, 2013 - 53 answers

Help me join my generation or at least get more cultural references.

This ranks up there with "non-anonymous embarrassing questions." If you wanted to feel hipper than someone today, here's your big chance. The last time I really listened to newly-produced rock music of any kind was somewhere between Casey Kasem and Nine Inch Nails. I don't even own a radio right now. I have an iTunes account....I use for free podcasts. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Jan 17, 2013 - 47 answers

Chinese music

Chinese pop music question. What is the background music in this video? It doesn't identify in Shazam or SoundHound. I looked through 50 pages of the YouTube comments and it's all a lot of arguing about HAARP and ice crystals, so I guess I'll need some help from Chinese MeFites. Thanks.
posted by crapmatic on Oct 25, 2012 - 2 answers

How would you describe Cutty Ranks to a deaf person?

Is there a technical terminology that could describe different styles of popular singing, in the same way that linguists might describe accents? Try your hand at a couple of examples inside. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Feb 17, 2012 - 4 answers

Beautiful Afrikaans music albums

What are some beautiful Afrikaans-language music albums? I'm looking for modern popular music that is not too folksy or religious, in addition to more timeless songs. [more inside]
posted by datarose on Jan 7, 2012 - 3 answers

How do I become more successful with children?

How do I become more successful or popular with children? I love kids, but I don't know how to act around them. [more inside]
posted by bradly on Nov 2, 2011 - 30 answers

RSS feeds for Yahoo! News?

What happened to the RSS feeds for Yahoo! News most popular and most emailed stories? [more inside]
posted by achmorrison on Jul 25, 2011 - 4 answers

Why go to harness races?

Who goes to harness racing (a.k.a. horse buggies, trotters), and why? A friend compared it to speed walking, lots of activity but still pretty darned slow. Is it simply something else to bet on or is there something wonderful or at least interesting about the sport that I'm missing? [more inside]
posted by brynnwood on Jul 4, 2011 - 16 answers

Amazing Adventures - You know, for kids.

Rocket Boys? Kavalier and Clay? All Our Yesterdays... [more inside]
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit on May 16, 2011 - 13 answers

Greatest Karaoke Night of Your Life?

I'm making a piece on and of karaoke with an experimental theatre company. What are your top 5 karaoke tunes - spectators, performers, and KJ's? [more inside]
posted by JaiMahodara on May 6, 2011 - 5 answers

I Vahnt to be Ahlone

Female introverts in popular culture? [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust on Mar 14, 2011 - 52 answers

Diss question

When did the word "diss" pass into popular/mainstream usage (either in the US or Australia)? [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Jan 7, 2011 - 18 answers

Popular science written by scientists?

Recommend me some popular science written by practicing scientists. [more inside]
posted by IjonTichy on Nov 29, 2010 - 32 answers

pop music for classical musicians

What popular music do classical musicians listen to? [more inside]
posted by onell on Nov 3, 2010 - 23 answers

I'm good

Where does the colloquial English phrase "I'm good" come from, and has it suddenly exploded in popularity? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Sep 28, 2010 - 32 answers

Fun, interesting books about psychology and sociology?

What are some interesting pop-psychology or pop-sociology books that I could read this summer? [more inside]
posted by kylej on Jul 6, 2010 - 21 answers

Don't drink the Kool Aid!

The phrases "Don't Drink the Kool Aid" or "Drinking the Kool Aid" are references to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Though the origin of the saying is awful and unfortunate, sometimes the current phrase as it is used now just fits the situation. What are some other widely used phrases in American culture that have their origin in an unfortunate historical event?
posted by angiewriter on Jun 12, 2010 - 102 answers

Religion's Greatest Hits

What was the world's largest religion before Christianity, and when did Christianity overtake it in size? [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Jun 12, 2010 - 19 answers

How to compile WordPress author stats from a database

Where to find WordPress post view stats. [more inside]
posted by thelastenglishmajor on Mar 25, 2010 - 6 answers

Fugal writing in popular music?

Do any popular musicians (as opposed to art music composers) use fugal writing in their music? I'm looking for hardcore, Well-Tempered Clavier complexity, not simple 2-voice counterpoint.
posted by archagon on Feb 20, 2010 - 3 answers

Mocking School Lunch in the Movies

When was the first time "school lunch" was ridiculed in a movie (most likely a teen flick) or a TV show? We're currently producing a documentary on school lunch, and we know that there was a cultural shift in how school lunch was perceived (great social achievement to grotesque laughingstock). If you can help us identify the first instance of this shift in popular culture, we'll give you a film credit.
posted by jacknose on Nov 18, 2009 - 17 answers

I suspect it's Gen X, damn them.

When, exactly, did Halloween become so frickin' popular? [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Oct 13, 2009 - 26 answers

Why is Nicholas so popular after 1977?

Why was the name Nicholas suddenly so popular after 1977 in the US? [more inside]
posted by chiababe on Jun 6, 2009 - 8 answers

What Is That Song They Always Use...?

What Is That Song They Always Use...? [more inside]
posted by jfrancis on Jun 3, 2009 - 127 answers

Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?

I like to gripe about Top 40 radio, but I don't have much of a technical music vocabulary. Are there names for the vocal styles of Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, et al.? [more inside]
posted by Beardman on Mar 9, 2009 - 20 answers

Nonfiction accessible to the layman?

Nonfiction accessible to the layman? [more inside]
posted by btkuhn on Dec 16, 2008 - 19 answers

"I did this on a blog for a year and I got famous for it" blogs?

I'm looking for blogs where someone did a personal project online for a year and/or it got some notoriety. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon on Nov 19, 2008 - 22 answers

Best HCI Examples In Pop Culture

What are the best examples of human/computer interaction in tv and movies (please mention specific scenes and episodes if you can). ex: HAL in 2001, The touch screen in Minority Report, Scotty talking to the mouse in Star Trek IV -lol, etc...
posted by libraryman on Jul 13, 2008 - 33 answers

I'm popular. Just not in North America.

What are some fashion trends that are popular everywhere else but North America? [more inside]
posted by 913 on Mar 25, 2008 - 58 answers

Why does China put lead in/on everything?

what's so great about lead and why are Chinese companies using so much of it? [more inside]
posted by flowerofhighrank on Nov 29, 2007 - 15 answers

Apples to Apple, Inc?

Research Filter: How and when did Apple become so popular? [more inside]
posted by InsanePenguin on Nov 5, 2007 - 32 answers

Origina of "Local Boy Makes Good"

What is the origin of the phrase "Local Boy Makes Good"? I Googled it and see that it was a Mervyn LeRoy movie from 1931, so it's at least that old.
posted by abbyladybug on Sep 11, 2007 - 4 answers

Dr. Disco, I Presume

What makes disco disco? In particular, what makes it different from funk, r & b or soul? Is it the arrangement? Is it the beat? Is it the horns? Details please.
posted by wittgenstein on Sep 5, 2007 - 12 answers

Favorite / best / any harpsichord songs?

I was recently introduced to two songs featuring the harpsichord, and I really liked them a lot. And it got me thinking: is there a lot of this kind of music out there? They're not classical (I think), but they're definitely enjoyable. [more inside]
posted by cybertaur1 on Mar 6, 2007 - 22 answers

Why do we want to one-up one another?

Why do people (myself included) feel the need to identify oneself with something cultural (i.e., book, movie, etc)-- as having been interested in it PRIOR to another person? What, if any, is the evolutionary purpose for this instinct? [more inside]
posted by mireille on Nov 11, 2006 - 27 answers

Best 12 albums for the 60's & 70's

We are sending a capsule into deep space to carry a sample of America as it was in the 60's and 70's. We can include 12 CDs (or albums transferred to CD) to reflect popular music of the time (1960 through 1979.) What 12 CDs best represent what was happening then?
posted by leafwoman on Jul 28, 2006 - 26 answers

Does American popular culture have a negative attitude towards apartments?

I know many people who don't live in houses but in apartments - empty nesters, young couples with or without children. However, if you were to base your idea of Americans' residences solely on television shows, it would seem that absolutely everybody lives in a house. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Mar 21, 2006 - 39 answers

Memes that cause people to think outside the box and shift their paradigm... to the extreme!

I am trying to make a list of big new ideas. [more inside]
posted by Hildago on Feb 15, 2006 - 15 answers

Where can I find recordings of early American popular music?

I enjoy early American popular music (say up until the late 1920s), and especially period recordings of the same. I have about a dozen CDs compiling this music, and have downloaded other songs from alt.binaries.sounds.*. I'm looking for other sources of free mp3s of early American popular music. (Don't fret about copyright issues: the stuff I'm looking for is old enough that it's in the public domain.) I'd also love recommendations for modern(ish) recordings of these old songs. I know Garrison Keillor performs some from time-to-time (and just did on his last broadcast, for example), and I know of Joan Morris/William Bolcome and Jody Dall'Armi.
posted by jdroth on Oct 2, 2005 - 19 answers

What is the most photographed thing ever?

The Gates could be "the most photographed thing ever." Could be! To date, what is the most photographed thing ever? A landmark like the Taj Mahal or the Grand Canyon? A sporting event? New Year's Eve in Times Square? Something totally different?
posted by djacobs on Feb 11, 2005 - 33 answers

Social bookmarking spam

Is it just a matter of time until spammers usurp the del.icio.us popular page? Or does social bookmarking by nature provide some kind of defense? [more inside]
posted by deshead on Jan 8, 2005 - 6 answers

What are some good pop culture blogs?

What are some good pop culture blogs? I'm looking for some good writers who like to riff on anything and everything: music, movies, books, random pop-sociology articles, etc.; people who aren't breathlessly following the latest reality show but also who aren't trying to show off their fanboy Pitchfork-esque indie creds. The less politics, the better. Bonus points for people who do more original stuff and less meme-o'-the-day crap and for people with a wicked sense of humor.
posted by alidarbac on Nov 18, 2004 - 20 answers

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