What are the "tricks" used by authors such as Malcolm Gladwell in making science topics into "popular science"? [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]
Recently poutine came up in a convo I had with a foreigner. After they told me they visited Canada and while here made sure to try poutine, I explained to them that I was familiar with poutine before most Canadians knew what the hell it was and that in the not-too-distant past poutine wasn't well-known outside of Quebec. I estimated that it only started becoming popular outside of Quebec in maybe the late 90s. Am I off in this estimate, MeFi? [more inside]
So far they're not really into popular music, but I'd like to share a little with them and see if I can entertain and/or pique their interest. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
What happened to the RSS feeds for Yahoo! News most popular and most emailed stories? [more inside]
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]
Rocket Boys? Kavalier and Clay? All Our Yesterdays... [more inside]
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]
Female introverts in popular culture? [more inside]
When did the word "diss" pass into popular/mainstream usage (either in the US or Australia)? [more inside]
Recommend me some popular science written by practicing scientists. [more inside]
What popular music do classical musicians listen to? [more inside]
Where does the colloquial English phrase "I'm good" come from, and has it suddenly exploded in popularity? [more inside]
What are some interesting pop-psychology or pop-sociology books that I could read this summer? [more inside]
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?
What was the world's largest religion before Christianity, and when did Christianity overtake it in size? [more inside]
Where to find WordPress post view stats. [more inside]
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.
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.
When, exactly, did Halloween become so frickin' popular? [more inside]
Why was the name Nicholas suddenly so popular after 1977 in the US? [more inside]
What Is That Song They Always Use...? [more inside]
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]
Nonfiction accessible to the layman? [more inside]
I'm looking for blogs where someone did a personal project online for a year and/or it got some notoriety. [more inside]
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...
What are some fashion trends that are popular everywhere else but North America? [more inside]
what's so great about lead and why are Chinese companies using so much of it? [more inside]
Research Filter: How and when did Apple become so popular? [more inside]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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?
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]
I am trying to make a list of big new ideas. [more inside]
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.
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?
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]
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.