Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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June 20

What was this satirical gastronomic essay?

Maybe you can help me! Some years ago I found online a satirical essay about how to make some obscure French food, possibly quenelles. (It may have been that the food was compared to quenelles.) The essay was written pretentiously and the technique for making the food went on and on in its complexity to the point of absurdity. [more inside]
posted by palominopearl at 2:44 PM - 3 answers

June 19

Gov't Filter: How to thank upper management

Spouse and I work in state government in two different departments. Recently, we dealt with an HR/maternity leave issue that had the potential to have a devastating financial and emotional impact on our growing family. A few folks in upper management strongly advocated on our behalf and went above and beyond our expectations. We want to thank those individuals in each department with a handwritten note and [something else] but don't want anything that can be misconstrued as a quid pro quo. What would be appropriate? [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday at 12:35 PM - 16 answers

Black and White

What is the earliest photograph of a sitting US President and an African American?
posted by matkline at 9:17 AM - 5 answers

June 18

Activism Supplies

I'm going to a protest in San Francisco tomorrow. What should I bring? What should I do for prep other than "bring stuff?" [more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:41 PM - 19 answers

June 17

UK-based children's books aged 3-5, light peril, diverse leads?

Llight peril' = monsters, getting lost, scary pop ups, or adventure themes; ideally without overt moralising (because it's boring for the parents); if the lead could be a girl and/or non-white that would be fab; super bonus for images of gentle interaction with animals or other children; no religious themes. UK English crucial, ideally ones I can get outside Amazon....
posted by AFII at 11:50 PM - 7 answers

June 16

Why is 'genius' so unevenly distributed in Western civilization?

People of extraordinary ability seem to clump together in space and time. Periclean Athens, Renaissance Florence, England's Elizabethan poets, 19th century novelists (mostly English women or Russians with giant beards), the Harlem Renaissance, NYC hip hop. Some of this is bias towards artists from famous eras, or because the city was a magnet for talent. But often it's not: many of the insanely gifted artists from these periods grew up in the same town or province. How is it that Florence in the 1300s, a town with the equivalent of one rural high school, produced world-shaking figures like Dante, Boccaccio, Giotto, Petrarch, Brunelleschi, Masaccio? It seems unthinkable today. [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry at 9:40 PM - 24 answers

Pride playlist I can blast from my bike please!

I'm riding my motorcycle for the first time in the Pride Parade this year! I'm super stoked and plan on strapping a camping speaker to my handlebars so I can have some jams going while I ride. Since this is for Pride I'd love to feature queer artists/songs, but am totally open to non-queer artists/songs if they have a special meaning to you. The more upbeat the better! Thanks all!
posted by carnivoregiraffe at 7:48 PM - 14 answers

June 15

What is this giant white tent(?) thing with towers sticking out?

Me and the SO were watching Money for Nothing on Netflix, a make-junk-into-cool-stuff-(maybe. sometimes.) show, when an image from a small city in England showed a raised highway and behind it, a possibly HUGE white tent(?) thing with some kind of electrical or other metal towers sticking out at angles around in a circle. [more inside]
posted by Glinn at 8:48 AM - 4 answers

June 14

Reimagining recovery

I'm going to be starting a new recovery group, so far I'm just planning a pilot group in Portland, Oregon. The format will be different than most recovery groups, and the emphasis is that everyone is in recovery from something. Help me brainstorm! [more inside]
posted by mingo_clambake at 10:17 PM - 16 answers

June 12

give me more awesome reaction videos

I love watching people react to awesome stuff. Help me find more videos and video series to push this button. [more inside]
posted by spindrifter at 10:25 AM - 14 answers

June 11

Volunteer Projects for Adults with Disabilities

I’m part of a student organization that’s trying to help create volunteer projects for adults at an adult day care. These adults have limited transportation - there is a superstore nearby that they could possibly set up a booth at for a donation drive. I’m also trying to connect with a hospice that might take donations of crafts and cards. I want to create projects that encourage self efficacy and integrate them into the community. Any ideas for projects that could be done largely home based?
posted by Sotha Sil at 6:13 PM - 7 answers

June 10

Is there such a thing as socially acceptable drinking and driving?

As someone inexperienced in alcohol-related matters, I'm trying to figure out if I spoke too soon and proposed something that I shouldn't have. [more inside]
posted by thornhill at 2:36 PM - 38 answers

June 9

No admittance except on party business

My uncle has repeatedly expressed the desire "to live like hobbits" when we come to visit. The family is gathering this Christmas, so it would be the perfect time to do so. Hobbit-ish lifestyle ideas, menus, parlor games, etc. would be welcome, especially if they require little in the way of labor or cash to implement. [more inside]
posted by Soliloquy at 8:14 PM - 19 answers

Hype up moving to the Bay Area/SF

So following this question it looks like I will be moving to SF and taking a job in the South Bay in a couple months. While this is obviously exciting, I am feeling a little down about leaving my hometown, my family and friends, my cute apartment, etc. Add in all of the logistical chores involved in moving (especially since I'll be coming from Canada and I have never lived in the US before) and the lifestyle changes I will likely have to make (shitty commute, longer hours etc).. If I keep going like this I will arrive determined to hate everything and be miserable - please help me turn my attitude around! [more inside]
posted by btfreek at 2:05 PM - 10 answers

June 6

Why might it be selfish to not have children?

This question reminded me. My SO was working with a client who asked them if we have children. After replying no and adding that we won't be, the client stated emphatically, "Oh, that is so selfish." Rudeness aside, I've heard this before, and I just can't get my mind around why that could possibly be selfish. In fact, it seems like the opposite is true, or at least could be true in some circumstance, where wanting a child could be for selfish reasons. [more inside]
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 10:50 AM - 55 answers

June 5

Is it just me?

I've been seeing this J-B Weld ad on TV recently, and every time, it bothers me. It feels like there's a really Trumpish racist message to it. Am I reading too much into it?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:26 PM - 57 answers

June 4

Developing a social life in downtown Detroit?

I've got a close friend from college that, due to job circumstances, has relocated to Detroit about a year ago (from previous stints in Eugene and Chicago), and is having some difficulty establishing a social life. Any pointers to social activities happening in Downtown, midtown, or New Center? [more inside]
posted by kaszeta at 5:51 AM - 10 answers

June 3

Serious documentaries on magick?

I'm looking for good, objective, journalistically respectable documentaries about modern and historical esotericism, occultism, magical societies, hermeticism, ritual and ceremonial magic, folk magic and "witchcraft" (e.g., Stregheria), etc. (Organizations which lack the magic, but share the preoccupation with ritual and mystical aesthetics – e.g., Freemasonry – are fair game too.) [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:16 AM - 5 answers

June 1

Why would people be interested in the number 3203 right now?

A friend has owned the domain for many years. While he occasionally gets offers to buy the domain, the number of offers has risen sharply in the past few weeks. The amount of money being offered has also increased significantly. He has asked what people want the domain for without success. Does anybody know why "3203" would interest people right now?
posted by thinman at 11:11 AM - 12 answers

May 29

Boys to Men - Rites of passage from scratch?

I’ve read a lot of anthropological and historical theory and fieldwork on rites of passage for boys/men, but I’d like to get some real-world, contemporary ideas about the kinds of things you—as a boy/man—did, or were done to you, that... [more inside]
posted by cocoagirl at 1:15 PM - 34 answers

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