Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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May 15

What does this Japanese woman have in her mouth?

In this period illustration, what is the woman doing? [more inside]
posted by Quillcards at 10:25 AM - 7 answers

Contribution of a woman to Post Its? Or not?

This is just for my own sanity. The maker of Post It Note adhesive recently died. In ALL the obituary links I cannot find the story I KNOW I read as a kid in the 80's: that he was trying to make super glue and the glue he had just created was disappointing. His wife found the repositionable glue useful as what we know as sticky notes, and the Post It was born. But now. No mention of this. Does anyone else remember this story? I can't tell if it was a "Try to give women credit" thing or was made up and is now abandoned.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:53 AM - 14 answers

May 14

I feel like letting my vax flag fly

As of today, I am fully vaccinated. I want to be able to take off my mask when I'm walking around town, but I don't want to upset or scare the people I walk past. I want to continue to be part of Team Public Health. How can I signal my vaccination status in a way that is as prominent as a mask would be? [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:12 AM - 49 answers

May 13

Trying to remember a book. Historical? Japanese? A list of things?

I'm desperately trying to remember the name of a book. Not contemporary; it's the kind of book a historian or literary scholar might read. I think it's Japanese; I think the title is something along the lines of Ten Thousand Beautiful Useless Things, because I remember that it sounded like a list, and it had an evocative adjective (or two) that suggested it was about listing sublime, useless, luxurious, connoisseurial kinds of pleasures. Written by a man? Didn't really sound like a novel? It was not The Pillow Book; I think it might have been published a few centuries later. [more inside]
posted by w-w-w at 1:44 PM - 7 answers

May 11

Help me interpret this school seal.

The seal and logo for the school where I work has been in place for almost 100 years. Unfortunately, no historical narrative remains about its creation. [more inside]
posted by yet.another.boston.question at 11:10 AM - 10 answers

May 10

What examples exist of intentional word formation?

Has anyone tried to generate words intentionally, and written about it? E.g., someone determines that a word *should* be created for society's benefit, aims to create it, and succeeds in getting a community to use the word. [more inside]
posted by shrimpetouffee at 10:47 PM - 36 answers

How did you logically convince yourself not to worry?

I would like to eliminate some existential dread from my life, where it is sensible to do so. [more inside]
posted by commander_fancypants at 3:20 PM - 18 answers

Flutists: Should I capitulate to E6?

I'm thinking about getting a new flute which poses two questions: Will it be better than my present flute and how do you try out flutes in the age of Covid-19? Details below. [more inside]
posted by SemiSalt at 10:44 AM - 3 answers

Have impromptu Covid memorials sprung up in other cities beside London?

Last weekend I walked down to the Thames to have a look at London's Covid Memorial Wall. It's a third-of-a-mile stretch running alongside the river opposite the House of Commons, which volunteers have decorated with 150,000 hand-drawn hearts: one for each of the UK's official Covid deaths so far. Many are dedicated to a specific individual. Does your city have a "people's memorial" doing the same job? If so, what form does it take and where can I find pics? Thanks.
posted by Paul Slade at 10:27 AM - 4 answers

May 9

Seeking modern Russian cultural context for Cheburashka

I have recently discovered and love the original Cheburashka cartoons (thank you, vast cultural swamp that is Youtube). I am amusing myself by learning Gena's songs on ukulele. If I go a step further and, say, put a Cheburashka sticker on something public facing like a water bottle, what would a Russian person the appropriate age to have that as a childhood icon think? [more inside]
posted by HaveYouTriedRebooting at 4:16 PM - 7 answers

May 8

Trying to find a quote about happy stories

There's an excerpt from a speech/article/essay that floats around on tumblr that I'm trying to track down. I think it was by a female author, but I'm not sure. It's about how all these grimdark stories are presented as "mature" and "realistic" option, and that happy stories are seen as immature and joy is devalued, which is not a good thing. I'm trying to find it again. Does that ring any bells to anyone?
posted by platypus of the universe at 9:28 AM - 2 answers

May 7

Going deeper with Portland's problems

KOIN 6, a CBS affiliate in Portland, will present a series all next week called, "Is Portland Over?" It looks at how, as they say, "The city of Roses has become the city of trash." I'm esp. curious about the perpetrators. Whenever the arrested are shown on TV, they always seem to be young, white men and women. Very rarely are they represented by any other group. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 11:35 PM - 29 answers

May 6

Quotes from interviews, books and pop culture?

A while ago, there was a site called Quotenik (that has since stopped updating) that featured short thoughtful quotes from interviews, books, articles. It was great! Help me find something like that... [more inside]
posted by biscuits at 9:58 PM - 2 answers

May 2

Seeking content from nonbinary elders

I want to follow nonbinary writers/bloggers/tweeters/grammers/podcasters/TikTokers over 40/50/60. Any suggestions?
posted by matildaben at 12:59 PM - 8 answers

April 30

Is there an index or timeline of decolonial iconoclasm?

The Misak have just toppled a statue of colonizer Sebasti√°n de Belalc√°zar in Cali; this seems to be the sort of thing that's happening ever more frequently. That got me wondering, is there a place that compiles all instances of decolonial statue toppling? Like an index, or timeline. Confederate scum included.
posted by Tom-B at 11:48 AM - 5 answers

April 29

Chicago for a cerebral, single, middle-aged black woman?

I've always wanted to live in Chicago. Two concerns: violence and taxes. How much should I be concerned about those? And if not Chicago, where? [more inside]
posted by simonelikenina at 5:37 PM - 18 answers

How to best deal with politicization in decentralized charity group.

How do you cut through the (inevitable) political issues of community based charity and get back to work without alienating volunteers. [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah at 12:32 PM - 10 answers

April 28

Is Responding Worth It?

I started a non profit that changes burnt out lights in cars. My first event was this past Saturday. Lots and lots of positive comments. And, already, negative comments are trickling in. But I wonder what these people in the second group are really saying. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 9:01 AM - 26 answers

April 27

Chinese Antiques Filter, Grant me some Knowledge

Hi AskMe, I've had previous success with obscure questions, and admired the amount of knowledge the hive mind has on all kinds of subjects. My mom would like to learn more about these antiques. Dad made a habit of collecting Chinese art, but we don't really know much about the historical context, how valuable it might be, and so forth. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 5:45 PM - 3 answers

April 22

*Books* that touch on discrimination, microaggressions and intent

Books only! I am seeking book recommendations that deal at least in part with the assumptions that people have about intent, microaggressions and others' experience of discrimination. [more inside]
posted by Frowner at 6:59 AM - 6 answers

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