Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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Obviously things vary by location and organization: YANMLFBA (you are not my local food bank administrator). But it's mid-December, and here in the US I'm probably not the only person thinking about donations, volunteering etc. I figure there are probably MeFites who know things that will help people who want to be helpful. [more inside]
I can't remember the title of a book - please can you help me identify it? I think it's by a male author (American?) and he identifies by name the billionaires (or oligarchs, or powerful...) who run the world. I think the Kochs and Richard Branson get a mention. [more inside]
Are there any examples of famous artists, scientists, leaders in history who weren't also dicks?
Recently read a quotation but didn't record it, but wish I had. It was something like, "The past seems preferable because fear has been removed." Maybe Carlyle? Have spent way too much time trying to find it again.
If you were a North Indian somewhere in the middle of the social hierarchy in the sixth century, what would your life be like? What would be a reasonable profession for you? What kind of stuff would you eat? Would you be hungry? Beset by disease? Or more or less happy? What would your social life consist of? Looking for information both general and specific.
Most of my experiences and interactions are fine and just okay, as they statistically should be. Yet I frequently find myself feeling pressured to deliver positive, if not superlative feedback, with a huge grin on my face. Even when people ask me, "how are you?" I feel like they're expecting this effusive response, when in reality my life is humdrum, with all its usual rough bits, just like everybody else's. Relatedly, I find myself pressured to mirror and affirm whomever I'm speaking with. I don't feel like this is a productive use of my energy... [more inside]
My job is preparing for an international particle physics facility that will (most likely) be built near the city I work for, but the timescale is so long. What books should I read/what should I study to prepare? [more inside]
I'm looking for a specific Christmas song I remember hearing last year that was about not wanting to go home for the holidays and argue with your awful relatives. [more inside]
Think tanks are notoriously dependent on financial support that comes with strings attached: after the Open Markets debacle last year, New America doesn't look so good. So my question: are there any think tanks that truly protect the independence of their staff/fellows' work? Think tanks that have publicly said they support independent thinking, rather than thinking that enhances their financial overlords' corporate or political missions?
My fiancé was upset by an off-hand comment I made about "DIY" sometimes being silly / my personal choices to outsource, and I'm looking for articles/content to best explain what I meant. Read on for Ron Swanson, Portlandia, and other such excitement. [more inside]
Which charity should I donate to? [more inside]
I read somewhere that sometime in the past couple hundred years there was an idea in western culture that a person's civilized nature was a thin and fragile veneer overlying an uncontrollable and animalistic inner self. Is there a name for this? [more inside]
So, long story short, I'm considering getting a tattoo on my hip or butt cheek. Is there some etiquette I should be aware of with regards to talking to an artist about this? Maybe I'm overthinking this but I can imagine some artists would prefer to avoid being face down in some guy's rear for an hour or two (or more) and I'd like to avoid offending anybody.
The title says it all - we're a community of about 300,000 with a massive influx of homeless from surrounding communities. We want to make things better for as many people as possible. [more inside]
I want to mail news outlets like NYT, CBS, Fox (i.e., written and broadcast news), and express my opinion about topics they do or don't cover. Is there a list of email addresses or fax addresses for different news outlets? [more inside]
There are so many choices when it comes to selecting a version of Dicken's A Christmas Carol to watch. I have a 9 year old son I'd like to watch this with this year. I love the classic old ones. Bill Murray's Scrooged was funny but I think you need to see the original first. What is the best version of Dicken's A Christmas Carol in movie form?
What is some great, nuanced, insightful English-language writing you've read about Japan, particularly about culture and day-to-day life? Writing specifically addressing women's issues and LGBT issues is a huge bonus. [more inside]
What is the Planet Money of Current Affairs? The podcast 'Planet Money' feels like it's aimed at intelligent people, who just so happen to have no economics background: there's plenty of explanation from first principles, explanation of consequences, etc. There's also a fair amount of personality to the tone of the podcast, as opposed to purely dry and factual. Is there anything similar for Current Affairs? And for the history that would help us understand current affairs? A podcast would be nice, but if there's another way, that would be good too. Thank you.
I'm wondering about the acceptability and frequency of hand-kissing by strangers. I was recently at a friend's casual gathering and was introduced to several persons, and kissed on the hand by one of them, as a farewell. Is this a popular or trendy thing to do these days, or was just a strange episode? The kisser in question is Western European, so perhaps it is more common there? (Although he didn't kiss anyone else, which is why it struck me as a bit odd). [more inside]
Thanks to Google Books Magazines and OpenLibrary, I've been enjoying a number of vintage magazines. But is there a place online to get whole issues (not the odd scanned page) of 1980s/1990s women's/teen magazines to read? [more inside]