What are some subtle or lesser-known examples of current-day real-world USA being a dystopia? [more inside]
Made a mistake in my F-1 visa application. Am I screwed? [more inside]
In the US tax code (specific to the AMT), is mortgage interest to a private party treated differently than mortgage interest to a bank? [more inside]
What was the first message sent by the Soviet Union over the infamous 1960s "hotline"? [more inside]
Let's say you live somewhere in the rural or suburban United States. You hear distant train horns all the time. Where are you? [more inside]
Spurred by the MtGox implosion thread and by a TV episode in which "real", presumably USD funds in US banks were stolen by an evildoer who illegally transferred the money elsewhere, I am wondering: What protections do US dollars in FDIC-insured US banks have against fraudulent electronic transfers? Would a victim of such a theft be likely to see all, some, or none of the stolen money reimbursed by an insurance policy?
With all these winter storms here in the Northeast (and Midwest and South), I've been hearing a lot about salt supply issues. Supposedly much of it has to come from Chile...but there are plenty of salt mines in North America, aren't there? What about solar evaporation from the ocean right here? Wouldn't such sources save on the costs and environmental impact of shipping long distances? Are domestic sources just exhausted by demand in the Midwest and parts of the South far from ports?
We want to travel somewhere warm in early March for a week, so the Southern US is on our list. Help us determine where to go with an almost-two year old. [more inside]
Um, hi guys. I know there are some other writers on MeFi (help me PhoBWanKenobi...) and I've seen a few previous questions here about writing fiction and non-fiction, but I think my Ask is specific enough to have merit: [more inside]
I am travelling to Chicago in two weeks and want to use my smartphone whilst I am there (and away from WiFi). Importantly though I am not actually bothered about making phone calls. DATA is what I crave. What are my best sim card options? [more inside]
Okay, I'm trying to keep this brief: I am a German citizen who's been toying with the idea of moving to America for a year or two (or more) for a while now and I need help regarding the work permit papers. More details within. [more inside]
I'm a semester away from finishing my MFA in San Francisco and I'm looking for advice on how to start job-searching especially as a (about to be former) international student. [more inside]
Hello all, I was laid off from my job in July and went to Europe for a few months. Now that I am back in USA, I tried to sign up for affordable care act via www.mahealthconnector.org/ only to find out this site is the reincarnation of the devil. I cannot finish my application for this health insurance because I get stuck on a page that requires me to put in my employer info. Now since I am unemployed I obviously do not have an employer. This site literally will not let me complete the rest of the application without entering a whole bunch of information on my current employer which does not exist! How on earth do people without jobs apply for this?? Does anyone else run into this frustrating issue? Is there any other health insurance I can sign up for?
Boyfriend and I are planning a round trip (by rental car) through California and the Southwest and we'd love some input on the first rough draft of the route. We're going for 23 days in September next year and would like to stay in fairly affordable hotels and motels (no camping). [more inside]
I'm interested in learning more about late 20th century American history and politics, particularly the Cold War, Watergate and Nixon. What books, fiction or non-fiction, can you recommend to a non-American? [more inside]
Defense Against Enemy Propaganda, a 1956 film intended for US troops, contains a couple of clips of Soviet propaganda with voiceovers in English. Are they genuine Soviet films? Where did they come from? [more inside]
Wondering is there anywhere online where people seriously discuss about USA as a nation, as a home? I am not talking about tourism or which town to move to and such but the actual things and problems that we should all work on together and improve. Not sure if I am worried too much, I do feel that there is a need to get the voice out now because the politicians are losing it, and so are the citizens. If there is a good one, please share with me, thanks!
Why are there so few Indonesian immigrants in the USA? [more inside]
I think the far right House representatives causing the current shutdown deserve political consequences, which I would like to take the form of losing their seats. As a non-US citizen, I cannot give money directly to any politician or campaign or related group (right?). So what's the next best option? [more inside]
So, the National Parks are shut and husband and I are on a US road trip of a lifetime, during which we were due to visit/camp at many of those National Parks. Boo! Please help us salvage our trip and tell us about your favorite State Parks/hikes/non-NPS camping spots in OR, CA, AZ and southern UT! [more inside]
At the end of July I visited Canada for the first time. I took my car with me. While driving through Toronto I got onto 407 ETR. Thinking better of it I got off after going one or two exits. So what now? [more inside]
auto-mats, greyhound buses, Pan-Am, radio, TV etc. Pop culture and day-to-day life. A book with lots of pictures would be ideal.
Dear Mefites, My sister and I have an opportunity to get away for a few days in the next couple of months, and we need your help. [more inside]
A friend and I are planning a month-long roadtrip down the West coast of the United States - starting in Oregon, and possibly going so far as to cross Texas and finish up in Louisiana somewhere - to take place sometime in the new year, and we'd appreciate some advice in re: must-sees and logistics. [more inside]
If you lived in Britain and were coming back from California with an empty suitcase what would you bring back. Are there things that are a) cool b) curious c) ultra useful d) much cheaper e) unique that you would bring. [more inside]
Is there such thing as an English-language, available in the US, version of "livres de poche" (pocket-sized books)? [more inside]
Hi all, So my UK Lloyds regular bank account was suspended while I was in the USA and now they want me to show up in a local branch. I have spent three days on the phone explaining to them that I cannot because I am in the USA at the moment. They insist that I do and until then all my funds are frozen! Nightmare! It looks like I will have to fly home just to show my face at the branch so I can access my funds. Anyone had anything like this? Do I really have to fly back to the UK just to ID myself? Thank you!
I have a semi-emergency situation involving US and Dutch driver's licenses. Complex situation inside. [more inside]
My father (who emigrated from Cuba 30 years ago) and I are interested in visiting Cuba eventually. What exactly do you have to do to (legally) travel there? [more inside]
I'm hosting a French teenager this summer and would like to find some English-language videos for her to watch. She really likes Cyprien, a 20-something French YouTube performer. Help me find something similar in English, Hive Mind! [more inside]
I currently live in Toronto. From September to April, I'll live in Boston, with regular short trips back to Canada during that period. After that I'll come back to Canada. I am, alas, a total iPhone newb and I'm looking for advice on what someone in my position should do. [more inside]
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]
My SO sent me a package via USPS (and it is EMS on this end) on June 17, from Ohio. I can include the tracking number if that would be helpful but the tracking website's latest information says "Processed Through Sort Facility June 18, 2013, 10:29 pm ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) PO to Addressee" Inside the package were just some inexpensive gifts, nothing that I think would get stuck at the border. Is my package lost? What steps can I (or the sender) take to recover it? any advice would be much apreciated
I am about to send some used personal effects to the US from Europe. I'm sending four boxes of used books and clothes. Each box weighs about 20kg. What should I put on the customs label? In particular, how do I estimate the value of used personal effects? Is it zero? I don't care about insurance/replacement value, I just want to minimize/avoid customs charges. If it matters, I'm in Germany, and will be sending by DHL. I'm a European citizen who will be moving to the US for three years with a J-1 (academic) visa. [more inside]
I will be on the East Coast of the US on the Fourth of July. What town or small city would be the best place to be in? [more inside]
Calling all internationally mobile, 'creative-class' freelancers- how do you determine who taxes you, if your design clients are in one country (for me, USA) you live in another country (Germany) but are a citizen of yet somewhere else (Canadian)? Does everyone get a piece of my income? [more inside]
Husband and I are applying for jobs at the moment (our contracts expire around end of July). Interviews have gone well, but the guy I was talking to yesterday said he couldn't offer me a position as all the HB1 visas were gone for this year. Apparently they were all allocated within four days of being available! And there were 800,000 applicants for 65,000 places. When would I need to apply/what do I need to do do maximise my chances? Husband can also work on an O1B visa - is that the same process? Have any of you applied for these visas, and if so how did it go/what was your experience like? Does anyone have any tips? Would it be good to hire a lawyer for this or can we do it on our own? TIA for any info/advice.
I'm trying to identify two separate growths I'm unfamiliar with, just for curiosity's sake. The first is a tight, cauliflower-like dome found on the base of a cut tree trunk. The second formed tiny red "spears" on a weed leaf. Pics within. [more inside]
I'm going to SF with my partner for our first wedding anniversary - yay! We've been before and have seen some of the sights (list after the break), but are looking for things we might have missed, awesome places we haven't eaten at, great things we haven't seen, etc, so we can make the most of it. Only limiting factor: neither of us drive. [more inside]
I'm creating a database and corresponding web-app to assist a progressive "hyper-local" political action committee. The system will cover get-out-the-vote efforts and volunteer tracking. I'm looking for real-world (non-technical) advice on GOTV and fundraising systems. Have you used one? What did you like/hate about it? [more inside]
I know I should be talking to an financial planner/adviser about this, and I will do, but... I am British. I'm going to be living and working in the U.S. for somewhere between one and three years. I will probably return to the UK afterwards, but there is a chance I will stay in the U.S. forever. I would rate that chance at about 50/50. I would like to save a fraction of my income while in the U.S., and I would like those savings to grow. I would like to retain at least the possibility of suddenly withdrawing them if and when I leave the U.S. I understand there will be fees and taxes involved in such a withdrawal, but I would of course like to minimize them. And I would like to balance this possibility against the possibility that I will be staying forever, and should make a start on saving for retirement. [more inside]
Do the confirmation e-mails for e-filing federal tax returns with Free File Fillable Forms contain sensitive information? [more inside]
I'd like to read about the extensive streetcar networks that serviced most US cities in the late 19th / early 20th century. Any recommendations? [more inside]
I came to Canada on a visa (NAFTA treaty visa, technical writer) and I met the love of my life and married her. I'm the breadwinner in Canada, and I have been since shortly after we moved in together. How on EARTH do I move her home with me??? [more inside]
I've finished watching all my favourite things and am televisually lost while I wait for Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire to start again. Can you suggest English/American/Australian etc series (will also accept interesting BBC documentaries) that are actually watchable? [more inside]
I'm a dual Portuguese - Canadian citizen, living and working in Canada. Can I travel to the USA for a business trip on a Portuguese passport? [more inside]
I want to spend two or three weeks driving across country this summer, then probably fly back to the east coast. I have a decent amount of money, but I'd like to spend as little money as possible on travel costs and accomodations (so I can spend money on activities and siteseeing) [more inside]
My wife and I (early 30's) are visiting my parents in Orlando for a week in mid-March. They have kindly offered to babysit our 2-year-old for a couple of nights. We will have a car and 2 nights to go somewhere. Where should we go? [more inside]
The Wikipedia page on statistics about rape shows a very high crime rate for countries like UK, US and Australia in stark contrast to, say, India. The gap can't be explained simply by under-reporting, as that exists in all these countries (even assuming different rates of under-reporting). Is it because these countries have different definitions of rape? Or something else? [more inside]