Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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April 24

Help Me Understand the Economic Effect of Increasing Lifespan

It would be silly to blame decreasing employment opportunities and increasing income inequality on the older generation sticking around (and working) longer. But it would be silly to see no connection at all. Why is this something no one seems to discuss? [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover at 10:50 AM - 4 answers

April 20

The Guillotine(s)

From 1788 to present day, how many european countries used the Guillotine for execution. [more inside]
posted by clavdivs at 7:07 PM - 2 answers

April 19

Should I quit my job to travel?

Yes, I have read a lot about this (i.e. googled it) and considered the various angles and I realize there is probably no objectively correct answer. Unfortunately or not I also don't think I'm much of a special snowflake, so in the interests of succinctness relevant details are laid out as pros and cons in the read more. I'm really looking for some sanity checking and any obvious things I haven't considered. [more inside]
posted by scribbler at 8:56 PM - 23 answers

April 18

Is this the first instance of the flashcard trope?

Is this music video of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues the first instance of this flashcard trope? I realize there's going to be some ambiguity in answering this; just hit me with whatever observations you've got.
posted by HotToddy at 5:33 PM - 4 answers

When the John Smith of India meets the Jane Doe of China

For work reasons I need to come up with a list of about 20-30 fake names. They need to be immediately visibly fake, and yet easily and clearly distinguished from one another. Names that would not instantly be associated to any real or fictional person but instead feel as generic as John Smith does in English. [more inside]
posted by buildmyworld at 2:06 PM - 20 answers

Massive media spectacles like Hands Across America in 1986?

In 1986, 6.5 million people formed a chain by holding hands across America: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hands_Across_America I can't imagine the feeling of love and unity from participating in that. Where can I find other examples, like Hands Across America, of life affirming media spectacles? [more inside]
posted by daniel.poynter at 8:48 AM - 26 answers

April 17

Source for this quote on nuclear deterrents and the value of the arts?

I have a half-remembered anecdote that I read somewhere that goes something like this: At a congressional hearing on nuclear deterrence, someone says this to a prominent nuclear weapons scientist: "We all see the value of nuclear weapons for protecting our country. But why should we be supporting the arts?" The scientist responds: "They make our country worth protecting." The details are probably all wrong, but I'm fairly certain that it involved Americans in some kind of government hearing. Can anyone help me find a source for this half-memory?
posted by mariokrat at 7:34 PM - 3 answers

April 16

How best to complain about a racist caricature?

A bar/restaurant I pass every day on my way to work has a very prominent racist caricature outside. It's positioned on the sidewalk right by the front door. I want to complain. What's the best way for me to do so? [more inside]
posted by meese at 10:00 AM - 22 answers

April 15

How does an adult with high-functioning autism make friends?

I'm an adult who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as a child. I have virtually no friends. [more inside]
posted by 8LeggedFriend at 2:33 PM - 20 answers

April 12

Anyone have experience living in Los Angeles and want to share?

We are thinking of moving back to LA after five years in the East coast and would love to know what the opinions are from folks. We know the real estate is crazy but what else do people want to say about it?
posted by privatechef at 10:58 AM - 17 answers

April 11

Feminists before the term feminism was coined

What were feminists called before the term feminism was coined? And what did they call themselves? In particular, what about Olympe de Gouges who was active around the French Revolution? Most sources (that I can find quickly) call them feminists or proto-feminists, but the term was apparently not invented until 1837.
posted by Harald74 at 11:00 AM - 19 answers

April 10

Data driven books about parenting and diet

I like listening to science-based books about parenting and diet/health. What are the latest books on these topics? [more inside]
posted by bq at 8:42 PM - 4 answers

April 9

Books about Florida

I just got back from my first Florida vacation, and I'd like to prolong the magic with some reading material. [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 6:13 PM - 18 answers

Dr. Which?

My 11yo daughter likes Star Wars, and loves math and Harry Potter. But she wants to burnish her nerd cred by also becoming a Dr. Who fan, and asked if we could watch it together. Where should we start?? [more inside]
posted by ericbop at 6:33 AM - 19 answers

April 8

Help! I'm confused by a sentence in a book about football!

I'm reading David Goldblatt's history of football The Ball is Round and in the chapter about Italian football in the 1980s he writes: "It was in an atmosphere of growing regional renaissance and self-assertiveness that Hellas Verona pulled off the miracle of 1985 – the last team outside the charmed circle of Milan, Rome, and Turin to win the scudetto," but a few pages later he writes about Napoli winning the title in 1987. [more inside]
posted by Chenko at 12:48 PM - 4 answers

April 6

Rise and fall of small communities?

I belong to a community (buddhist) in my city that has been struggling for the past year or two with regard to attendance at our programs and regular meetings. We are at a point now where this is clearly a trend and needs to be looked at and changes made in order for the group to move forward. [more inside]
posted by nanook at 10:47 AM - 11 answers

April 3

What does the mail carrier think about my mail

I'd like to know what the mail carrier and sorters think about my mail and the other mail they handle. Do you know of any first-person accounts of postal worker experiences, extra-credit for gossipy about postcards?
posted by bq at 11:07 AM - 16 answers

If you prick me do I not leak?

I have heard that only Australian's pronounce 'data' as dahta. Is this true?
posted by h00py at 2:39 AM - 43 answers

April 2

Meets or exceeds our lowered expectations

Looking for a semi-serious parent performance review form (a la Calvin and Hobbes) to slip under the door of precocious spawn.
posted by TigerMoth at 3:32 PM - 2 answers

Please recommend a website to preserve private family memories.

My children are scattered. But we all love each other and want to stay in touch. I would like to find a good private family social website, preferably free, where we can all post photos, videos, recipes, thoughts, quotes, jokes, calendar items, share a youtube link, etc. Accessible via computer and android phone or tablet. To be clear, I don't want a photo (only) sharing website. But one where we can share all kinds of media among family member only. [more inside]
posted by luvmywife at 1:12 PM - 16 answers

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