Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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November 25

What is the Planet Money of Current Affairs? And History?

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.
posted by surenoproblem at 2:56 PM - 13 answers

November 22

Hand-kissing etiquette

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]
posted by stillmoving at 11:56 AM - 38 answers

November 20

Where to find old magazine issues online?

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]
posted by mippy at 1:26 PM - 6 answers

other names of the rose

I recently finished Umberto Eco's The Name Of The Rose and think it is a wonderful, wondrous book. I loved the interplay of language, theology, philosophy and mystery, the images, the characters, the narrative style. What else can I read? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:19 AM - 32 answers

November 18

Books/Articles on tattoos in Mexican culture

[ResearchFilter] I am trying to find information about tattoos in Mexican culture for a class project, and am coming up blank. I'm looking for recommendations on both the info itself, and tips on how I can find resources better on my own. [more inside]
posted by motioncityshakespeare at 1:50 PM - 7 answers

'Good stories' for my Mum this Christmas

My Mum has asked for some books (novels) for Christmas. She does not want me to just buy her a Amazon or Waterstone's voucher (I checked). What a nightmare. [more inside]
posted by churlishmeg at 3:50 AM - 53 answers

November 17

Are these school show costumes cultural appropriation?

My kid's school regularly requests costumes for short shows throughout the year. Usually it's stuff like animals or a snowman. This year my kid's class have been assigned various "national costumes" for their winter term show, and I'm unsure of their appropriateness and am concerned they could be classed as cultural appropriation. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:51 PM - 5 answers

Exactly how politicized is the high and tight hairstyle right now?

So, I just got a haircut literally yesterday. I'm not from the USA and am not really aware of style trends there. The haircut I got looks very much like this. It looks good on me and it's not going to raise any eyebrows where I live, but it just came to my attention that this haircut, or ones like it, are now being associated with neonazis in the USA. I am going to the USA in one week to attend a wedding. A Jewish wedding. Is my hair a real problem, or is it just an overblown internet thing? Do I need an emergency head shave?
posted by Vodka Martini on the Socks at 3:17 PM - 46 answers

Where to get facsimile maps?

I am interested in building a collection of historic facsimile maps, ideally full-scale and in color. Do you have any suggestions about where to buy these? I have heard that sometimes a facsimile map will be included along with a book about the map. Do you know what publishers do this regularly? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
posted by mortaddams at 1:08 PM - 3 answers

Hold both my hands and look into my eyes

I'm trying to work out the cultural/ethnic origin of the classic greeting of my mum's aunts. They do a single (sometimes double) kiss, followed by holding hands (one in each) while greeting you and brief conversation. Cultural details inside. [more inside]
posted by cholly at 12:03 AM - 4 answers

November 16

Hero/Villain Switcheroos!

Looking for movies or other stories where the antagonist becomes the villain, the antagonist becomes the hero, but in the end work work together to save the world or help each other out in some other way? [more inside]
posted by Unsomnambulist at 4:50 PM - 21 answers

Looking for REALLY GOOD speeches/lectures/talks

I've noticed I enjoy listening to talks online. I want to find more good ones. [more inside]
posted by monologish at 2:56 PM - 13 answers

November 15

Coffins in the film 'Passchendaele'

When the credits run at the end of the 2008 film Passchendaele there are newsreel clips from the period. One of these shows soldiers carrying coffins - see screen grab here [more inside]
posted by Quillcards at 3:32 PM - 2 answers

November 14

Same Tweet, Different Interactions?

Several hours ago, I tweeted this quote from a radio interview on OPB, attributing it to the speaker; "Portland is a city that pushes black people out of neighborhoods and replaces them with 'Black Lives Matter' signs." I tweeted it using the speaker's handle. But I didn't combine both handles in the same tweet because I wanted to see if it would be treated differently if I tweeted them separately. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 3:04 PM - 8 answers

November 10

Personal Information and Political Organizations. And Emails.

I got an email from, one of the many Democratic organizations I find myself unable to unsubscribe from. They are offering a free sticker in support of Dreamers - maybe you've seen it! Anyway, I would be most happy to show support for Dreamers and I would like to see the sticker so I clicked knowing full well that donation requests would accompany the free sticker. But am I agreeing to something more than just a free sticker? [more inside]
posted by Glinn at 4:21 PM - 7 answers

How do you respond to emails that you've taken too long to respond to?

I have several emails in my inbox from the beginning of October. They're mainly from people introducing me to other people, or for wanting to collaborate on work. And I haven't responded, partially because it was a slog of a work month, and partially because it feels too late to respond. As each day passes, it feels harder and harder. I'm curious what language you've used in these situations where your response is late. I have much more time on my plate now and would like to rekindle these potential work relationships.
posted by anonymous at 8:33 AM - 20 answers

How to handle politically-driven self-doubt/anxiety?

I have rumination spirals that feel unhealthy/unproductive, but simultaneously totally correct with respect to my personal progressivism. [more inside]
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:56 AM - 22 answers

November 7

When is spam, not spam?

As someone with a Virginia area code on her cell phone, I've been getting a lot of calls and texts from other VA numbers in the last several days reminding me to vote. Ordinarily I'd think they are just typical spam robocalls/robotexts, except... [more inside]
posted by basalganglia at 12:46 PM - 10 answers

One way friends

Kinda embarrased by this question: As an extrovert who is slightly awkward: I'm having a little trouble dealing with the fact that 75% of my social hangouts are instigated by me. Logically, it should be ok-- when I reach out, more times than not, people want to hang out. Folks seem to have fun and repeat. But I feel like maybe I need to 'slow my roll?' I don't want to be awkward and overbearing. Am I thinking this way too much? Snowflakey details inside: [more inside]
posted by sandmanwv at 8:09 AM - 15 answers

Best history of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings & moment?

What is the best cultural, historical, and legal book on the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings? Or maybe there is an exceptional essay or two?
posted by OmieWise at 4:19 AM - 3 answers

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