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Resegregation in the American South

The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide series is "Segregation Now," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2014 - 88 comments

 

Kerouac, Cobain and the photos that define ‘American Cool’

In the face of racism, the great African-American jazz saxophonist Lester Young was “cool.” Credited with bringing the word into the modern American vernacular, “I’m cool” wasn’t Young’s reference to the sunglasses he wore day and night on stage, or the saxophone slung across his shoulder. It was his response to a divided society, a way of saying that he was still in control...
posted by jim in austin on Mar 21, 2014 - 69 comments

The Snows Of Sbarro's

In 2011, the upscale White Flint Shopping mall was closed and planned for demolition, but not before someone went in and photographed the interior and food court in all its pastel-neon-plastic 80s glory.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 16, 2014 - 106 comments

OK, in our defense, Europe is really complicated.

Americans Try To Place European Countries On A Map, Brits have similar results attempting to place US States on a map.
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 14, 2014 - 157 comments

Every government is a liar. That's a prima facie assumption.

I.F. Stone's Weekly, a 1973 documentary about one of the greatest American journalists of the 20th century (Part 1). Part 2 of 6 here (incomplete). Isidor Feinstein "Izzy" Stone discusses how he exposed widely-accepted fictions about the Vietnam War and the escalation of the Cold War—merely by reading what the government published. He was blacklisted in 1950 and began his own newsletter, which railed against McCarthyism, racial discrimination, and the complacent establishment media. [more inside]
posted by zbsachs on Feb 11, 2014 - 7 comments

An Ad You Won't See During the Super Bowl.

Native Americans call themselves many things. (YouTube). An ad you won't see during the big game, "Proud to Be." From changethemascot.org.
posted by spitbull on Feb 1, 2014 - 97 comments

Hygienic and Scientific Cooking

"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 17, 2014 - 12 comments

Rain, An Occupational Hazard

I wallow on my knees in thick mud, hoedag in hand slogging up a near vertical hillside, napalmed bare... rain whistling sideways so hard it bores through my hermetic, vulcanized head-to-toe rainsuit. I look like an astronaut traversing across an eerie, silent moon crater rhythmically bending over to scrape the ground every 6-9 steps... That was 1978 when I was a migrant treeplanter; a job the Oregon State Employment Service lists as the hardest physical work known to this office.., one person in fifty succeeds the three week training period. Like thousands of other college grads that year, I was the product of a liberal education promising an exciting, good job as reward for four years of costly training. So what the hell was I doing planting trees and eating mud for a living? Well I'll tell ya, being a rowdy forest worker in a self-managed collective of modern gypsies traveling the beautiful hinterlands of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and northern California made career pursuits or regular employment look awfully dull. Hoedad's Stories and Poems - the rise and fall of an American reforestation cooperative. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Jan 10, 2014 - 9 comments

This post courtesy of the little green guys and the red jammies

♪ "Believe it or not, I'm walkin on air.
I never thought I could feel so free....
Flying away on a wing and a prayer,
Who could it be?
Believe it or not, it's just me."
[more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 7, 2014 - 88 comments

A Little Museum in Each Blog

Each of Historian Barbara Wells Sarudy's six blogs contains a wealth of esoteric treasures: "President John Adams declared, “History is not the Province of the Ladies.” Oh well, I'll give it a try." [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on Jan 5, 2014 - 6 comments

Lake Monsters of North America

American myths and mystery allisonmeier "You'll see a good share of serpent-like animals of the Loch Ness Monsters variety, such as Isabella of Bear Lake in Idaho who was spotted by a Mormon pioneer in the 19th century and even had Brigham Young himself send a hunting party after the possible plesiosaur. There's also the famed Champ of Lake Champlain, possibly the most famous of American lake monsters, and the Lake Dillon monster in Wyoming that some think is being suppressed by a secret society."
posted by naight on Dec 26, 2013 - 28 comments

Wanda Coleman RIP

The African-American poet died yesterday, at 67, after a long illness. [more inside]
posted by PinkMoose on Nov 23, 2013 - 16 comments

Americans will eat garbage so long as you cover it with ketchup

The Fed Up project has collected over 7000 student-submitted photos of school lunches from across the US. They'll be used to create a map and report to make a case for better school lunches. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 22, 2013 - 87 comments

"...research that is scientifically valuable but morally disturbing."

The Nazi Anatomists. "How the corpses of Hitler's victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics."
posted by zarq on Nov 6, 2013 - 28 comments

It's already extensive.

Encyclopedia of American Loons
posted by josher71 on Nov 5, 2013 - 29 comments

WWI in Color

World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 31, 2013 - 60 comments

Faces of the American Revolution

Actual photographs of people who fought in the Revolutionary War.
posted by empath on Oct 12, 2013 - 25 comments

The thrillsville of it all...

Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold" appeared in Esquire Magazine in April 1966. Sinatra had turned down interview requests from Esquire for years and refused to be interviewed for the profile. Rather than give up, Talese spent the three months following and observing the man and interviewing any members of his entourage who were willing to speak -- and the final story was published without Sinatra's cooperation or blessing. In 2003, editors pronounced it the best article the magazine had ever published. Nieman Storyboard interviewed Talese last month about the piece and has annotated it with his comments. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 8, 2013 - 46 comments

"Stopping bad things is a significant public service."

"Ted Cruz: The Distinguished Wacko Bird from Texas"
posted by zarq on Sep 23, 2013 - 348 comments

Remarkable 19th century photographs by Timothy O'Sullivan

How the Wild West really looked: Gorgeous pictures show the landscape as it was charted for the very first time 150 years ago. Previously. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Nighthawks in the round

In conjunction with the Whitney Museum of American Art's exhibit Hopper Drawing [NYT review], which the museum calls "the first major museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper," the museum has constructed a temporary life-size window installation recreating Nighthawks in the Flatiron Building's Sprint-sponsored Prow Artspace. The Flatiron is believed to be one of the real-life inspirations for the iconic diner by Carter Foster, curator of drawing for the Whitney and organizer of the Hopper exhibition. [previously]
posted by orthicon halo on Aug 16, 2013 - 21 comments

Native American dogs

"Pre-Columbian origins of Native American dog breeds, with only limited replacement by European dogs, confirmed by mtDNA analysis." [more inside]
posted by ChuckRamone on Jul 12, 2013 - 11 comments

Five Feet of Books

"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2013 - 89 comments

American Rhetoric

Perhaps slightly obscurred by its charmingly primitive web design, my new favorite website is a fantastic reference resource for delving into American speeches that have changed history as well as discovering new amazing ones. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jun 17, 2013 - 5 comments

But where are you REALLY from?

Where are you from? Or, how I became a Pakistani? [more inside]
posted by threeants on May 25, 2013 - 95 comments

America's 10 Worst Prisons

"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 14, 2013 - 88 comments

Tiger moms, you are doing it wrong.

Amy Chua's anecdotal "tiger mom" manifesto meets some peer-reviewed data-driven research. Oh snap! [more inside]
posted by kanuck on May 8, 2013 - 90 comments

"You can't have a fight because you don't have two sides."

In his retirement speech, Donald Kagan, eminent historian of Ancient Greece, sounds the alarm about the decline of American democracy and Western Civilization. The Academy is fragmented, overrun by political correctness, and lacks focus. American society is plagued with similar problems, and Americans are no longer self-sufficient enough. Is his lament simply an echo of declinism?
posted by ChuckRamone on May 6, 2013 - 50 comments

Crazy Horse Was A Mystic.

Crazy Horse’s actual quote translates into English follows: “To day is a good day to die for all the things of my life are present." [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher on May 6, 2013 - 19 comments

Forgot to Celebrate D-Day, Sister Woman.

What Does D-Day, MLK JR and Tennessee Williams have in common? NO, not that D-Day. The other D-Day. [more inside]
posted by QueerAngel28 on May 4, 2013 - 4 comments

Good photos of cool rich midcentury Americans on yachts in New England.

Good photos of cool rich midcentury Americans on yachts in New England.
posted by maiamaia on Mar 26, 2013 - 95 comments

"There was no return from apostasy."

Leaving the Witness. "In one of the most restrictive, totalitarian countries in the world, for the first time in my life, I had the freedom to think." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2013 - 26 comments

The American Mind

The Historian Garry Wills Has Written Better Than Anybody Else About Modern America
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 18, 2013 - 10 comments

Murica

My fellow Mefites, I implore you. Don't even think about clicking the more inside if you have anything pressing to do. [previously] [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Mar 17, 2013 - 11 comments

He's just a tramp-sama abroad.

Submitted for your enjoyment: The misadventures of Guy Jean, an American in Japan.
posted by TheNewWazoo on Feb 9, 2013 - 28 comments

That's All Folks

folkinfo.org is a database of English-language folk songs. Each song is listed with its respective lyrics, sheet music, Roud Index number, midi file, and historical information. The database also provides song information in abc notation. Placed into an abc converter, one can generate sheet music in a variety of forms and scales.
posted by lemuring on Feb 5, 2013 - 17 comments

Its mission was to explain America to itself

The First Rough Draft of History: A Behind-the-Scenes History of Newsweek Magazine
posted by zarq on Dec 24, 2012 - 2 comments

Grief, Pie and Healing

Beth Howard travelled 1,100 miles to Newtown, CT in her 24-foot-long camper, loaded with 240 apple pies, and she dished out pie to kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School, and grieving parents [more inside]
posted by j810c on Dec 20, 2012 - 76 comments

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

Via io9: "The first nine Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios from 1941 to 1942 are a wonder of animated retrofuturism, giving us a peek into a world that not only had a flying superstrong protector, but also filled viewers' heads with dreams of autonomous robots, comet-controlling telescopes, and machines that could shake the Earth. These films are in the public domain and have been available on the Internet Archive," but now Warner Bros. is releasing them (remastered) on YouTube. The first short, "Superman" (also known as "The Mad Scientist,") was nominated for an Academy Award. Also see: The Super Guide to the Fleischer Superman Cartoons. Find links to all nine episodes and more inside. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 25, 2012 - 28 comments

Harold Lash

Harold Lash is an abstract painter whose works are wild and startlingly vivid. There are repeated themes of flowers and cities and ships and are often obsessively patriotic. I particularly enjoy his painting of Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, where he lives and works, and the colors of Girls Night Out strikes me as well. [WARNING: HUGE IMAGES]
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 18, 2012 - 9 comments

Going, Going...

Auctioneers as hypnotists? (Hurry up, you could lose the bid...)
posted by Dr. Fetish on Nov 14, 2012 - 10 comments

A brief history of Bulletball

In 2006, aspiring inventor Marc Griffin appeared on the show American Inventor with a table game he had invented called Bulletball. Convinced he had created the next Olympic sport, he had spent 26 years of his life on the idea. He'd quit his job, sold all his possessions including his wife's wedding ring, and was sleeping in his car. The judges hated the idea – and his gut-wrenching experience on the show went viral. [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Nov 14, 2012 - 59 comments

"When the lights go out for good, my people will still be here. We have our ancient ways. We will remain."

In the Shadow of Wounded Knee. Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 25, 2012 - 32 comments

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee

Russell Means, a leader of the American Indian Movement, has died. [more inside]
posted by By The Grace of God on Oct 22, 2012 - 47 comments

Wet your whistle on these

What ho, dearest cousins in the Western Colonies. You appear to be increasingly using the vernacular of the mother country. Splendid! [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 17, 2012 - 180 comments

New world vs old world cooking

Sara White, Canadian blogger who recently moved to Rome, shares some thoughts about old world food cultures versus the American approach to cooking. One of the most interesting things to me about her post is the discussion about how having no limitations (many Americans can just waltz into a large supermarket and get almost anything from almost anywhere) can negatively impact culinary creativity.
posted by hansbrough on Oct 16, 2012 - 107 comments

De Palm's incineration

In May 1876, Baron Joseph Henry Louis Charles De Palm died, leaving his worldy goods to Theosophical Society president H.S. Olcott with the request that his body be disposed of “in a fashion that would illustrate the Eastern notions of death and immortality." And so, after what the press called a "Pagan Funeral" in New York and with the help of Pennsylvania doctor Francis LeMoyne, his became the first modern cremation in the United States. The New York Times of 1876 covered both funeral and cremation. (That is, if you can stand to read grainy pdf scans of old newsprint.) In Winter 2009, a theosophist telling of events was published in the American society's quarterly, Quest magazine. Olcott himself devoted several chapters to De Palm's story in his Old Diary Leaves.
posted by Lorin on Oct 4, 2012 - 10 comments

Makers

In February, PBS and AOL launched Makers, a video archive containing personal stories and anecdotes told in the first person by women, many of whom have sparked groundbreaking changes in American culture. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 4, 2012 - 3 comments

Medicine Wheel / Wagon Wheel

In 2005, Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks produced a 6 episode miniseries that spanned the period of expansion of the United States into the American West, from 1825 to 1890. Through fictional and historical characters, the series used two primary symbols--the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel -- to join the story of two families: one Native American, one White settlers, as they witnessed many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones. The award-winning Into The West can now be seen in its entirety on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 20, 2012 - 12 comments

American Airlines Pilots Stage Alleged "Sickout"

American Airlines has been forced to cancel 300 flights this week as pilots, upset over a discouraging deal with their union (including pay and benefits cuts), have begun calling in sick in high numbers.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo on Sep 20, 2012 - 105 comments

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