Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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October 18

Backup Birthday Buddy Blues

My child just received a birthday party "invite" with about five hours notice to what seems like a party that was set up some time ago. In theory this family are some of our closest friends. But this feel like our child is being used as a seat filler because more important people canceled. It feels less like he is someone they wanted along and more like they need headcount. Am I being paranoid?
posted by Comrade Doll at 11:19 AM - 24 answers

October 16

Does tired of London mean tired of life?

I came to London ten years ago and it’s time to move on but I'm scared. Did you leave a big city that you once loved? How did it work out? [more inside]
posted by socksister at 8:51 AM - 22 answers

October 15

Is there a word for the need to have a connection to the outside world?

For years I've been unable to sleep without having some sort of music / TV on in the background at a "low murmur". It can't just be an MP3 playlist - it has to be a radio feed, NPR or BBC stream, or even The Weather Channel on TV. It has to be semi-live, something that would be interrupted or updated if there were a disaster or national emergency, etc. Something that lets me know the "outside world" is still there. Is there a name or formal description of this condition? [more inside]
posted by mrbill at 2:02 PM - 15 answers

Looking for info about the "Kamloops (Tk'emlúps?) Eight"

My family vacationed in the Canadian Rockies back in May, and we took part of the trip via train. On the way into Kamloops, British Columbia one of the guides talked about First Nations people's involvement in one of the World Wars. She told a story where soldiers from Kamloops would sneak into enemy camps at night to count soldiers and get intel. I think she referred to them as the "Kamloops Eight" (Tk'emlúps eight?) Assuming I'm not completely mis-remembering the details, does anyone know where I can read more about this story? [more inside]
posted by braveterry at 9:53 AM - 4 answers

How should New Yorkers counter recent white nationalism and fascism?

We have had recent public displays of white nationalism/fascism-lite in New York City. What are good ways to respond to and counter this, from the small to the big? [more inside]
posted by davidstandaford at 7:55 AM - 19 answers

October 11

What if I don't want something that applies to me?

I had a gender-questioning phase. Now I have an answer. And I don't like it. How to stop being childish about that? [more inside]
posted by cage and aquarium at 6:08 PM - 108 answers

SF short story about people forming ubermind to repel invaders?

I read this story in an anthology in the 70s/80s about how a group of alien/robotic invaders have easily taken over the Earth, and are ignoring the remaining population while they extract the resources they came for. (Not the prequel to Half-Life 2.) At some point, the outraged humans form a giant telepathic consciousness and give themselves up for the greater good. The consciousness uses human bodies as swarming weapons to immobilize the alien vehicles and stop their advance, finally chasing them off the planet. Any thoughts on what that story is?
posted by sneebler at 10:33 AM - 6 answers

October 10

Queen's Birthday: George III edition

Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was born in May, but celebrated her official birthday on January 18 as Queen of GB/the UK. Simple question: Was this date picked for a particular reason? And if so, cite please?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:37 PM - 5 answers

Range maps for crypozoological creatures

I'm in the woods in Ohio right now. It's dark, and I realized I would very much enjoy knowing if I am in the range of a Chupacabra or Jersey Devil or Michigan Dogman or similar. Does anywhere know where I can obtain range information for such creatures? It strikes me that this could be a really fun GIS mapping project.
posted by simonw at 5:18 PM - 6 answers

October 9

When do you call a celebrity by their real name?

With celebrities that use a "stage name" or a pseudonym, who is expected / culturally allowed to use their real name with them? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis at 1:56 PM - 36 answers

October 3

Help me name some city streets! :D

I am designing a housing development and I might get to name the streets! I need 3-7 street names (it will depend on if the city wants one street to be considered a loop or different streets). I am looking for some additional ideas for street names! In particular, if anyone knows names from Hispanic mythology that would be cool/appropriate to use, that would be awesome. [more inside]
posted by miss so and so at 2:37 PM - 26 answers

October 2

People who never use the internet: why/how?

Do you personally know anyone who never uses the internet? Can you tell us why they don't, and how they manage without it? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:14 PM - 56 answers

September 30

please return to your Primehouse, valued Primecitizen

When did the word "citizen" as a term of address acquire Orwellian overtones? Was there a specific piece of media that did it? [more inside]
posted by dmd at 5:30 PM - 13 answers

September 27

Books/articles on the obsession with true crime

Asking for a friend: Are there any long form articles or books written about *the obsession with* true crime? Not the crimes or things like ethical abuses (*cough Serial cough*) but the actual current popularity and theories about it? [more inside]
posted by daisyk at 4:11 AM - 13 answers

September 25

What can we do to honor gender pronouns as event planners?

I want to offer simple ways for staff and guests to share gender pronouns at events. [more inside]
posted by rockyraccoon at 8:58 AM - 27 answers

Hotel-slash-child-care? Is this a thing?

Is there anything like a hotel with 24hr child care, or child care services that can temporarily accommodate overnight stays? I think I need help sifting through the search results I'm finding relative to some specific details I'll provide below the fold, and perhaps suggestions from parents who have used this sort of service or child care workers who have provided it. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 6:38 AM - 5 answers

September 23

Trump just like Left Behind villain

I saw a meme the other day which compared Trump point-by-point to the villain of the Evangelical pot-boilers from the '90s, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkin's Left Behind series. My Google-fu is failing me now, though, and I can't find it again. I think there was stuff about a television star becoming president, and cooperating with Russia, and most of the American church following him instead of Jesus, etc. Has anyone else seen this? Or able to find it? Thanks!
posted by clawsoon at 5:11 PM - 13 answers

Union Blues

I'm looking for voices on the left that are critical of unions in general, or certain aspects of the union movement. Any recommendations, MeFites? [more inside]
posted by The Toad at 1:26 PM - 6 answers

September 20

What's a friendly greeting I can suggest to conference attendees?

Last February, I attended a conference where a rabbi opened the event with a Shabbat service and suggested that we say "Shabbat shalom" to each other during the length of sabbath. This was to a large group of folks, most I assume were not Jewish. It worked well to get folks interacting — a small and easy invitation to engage with each other. In a few weeks, I'll be helping with a conference (about 200 academics that study contemplative practice/mindfulness) and would like to create a similar sort of invitation. I'm looking for something that invites that same friendly and kind interactions, while preferably being secular and not culturally appropriated. Suggestions?
posted by 10ch at 12:44 PM - 17 answers

September 18

Hand Me a Logo?

Isn't there a famous logo with two hands cupping a ball of some sort? I can't seem to place it. It looks vaguely like this or this.
posted by Spiderwoman at 9:19 PM - 11 answers

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