Engineering Perfect Americans
Were your immigrant ancestors considered genetically predisposed to become criminals? Were your mixed-ethnic ancestors thought to be polluting the nation's 'germ-plasm'? The Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement presents a well-put-together online exhibit/walkthrough of this disturbing vein in American history.
posted by Miko
on Jan 31, 2006 -
How far will an online company go to make sure you're a good American? Some companies
will test you
like in a cheesy WWII movie drama. (screenshotted for posterity, but you can get there by clicking on "Unregistered?" on their website)
posted by Kickstart70
on Dec 17, 2005 -
Americans, German win nobel prize for physics.
They won for for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique, which among other thing allows them to measure the speed of light to such accuracy that it is now used as the definition for the meter
, see if the laws of physics were the same at the beginning of time, and make gps satellites
work much better.
posted by stilgar
on Oct 4, 2005 -
Vote For The Worst American Idol
contestant and be a foot solider against cornball programming. In the battle between an Internet movement and television producers, so far the rouge site
has the lead. But as we get closer to the show's finale, can the contrarians keep the worst contestants
in the mix?
posted by herc
on May 7, 2005 -
The argument I make in my book is that what I describe as the new American militarism arises as an unintended consequence of the reaction to the Vietnam War and more broadly, to the sixties... If some people think that the sixties constituted a revolution, that revolution produced a counterrevolution, launched by a variety of groups that had one thing in common: they saw revival of American military power, institutions, and values as the antidote to everything that in their minds had gone wrong. None of these groups — the neoconservatives, large numbers of Protestant evangelicals, politicians like Ronald Reagan, the so-called defense intellectuals, and the officer corps — set out saying, “Militarism is a good idea.” But I argue that this is what we’ve ended up with: a sense of what military power can do, a sort of deference to the military, and an attribution of virtue to the men and women who serve in uniform. Together this constitutes such a pernicious and distorted attitude toward military affairs that it qualifies as militarism. An interview with Andrew Bacevich
, international relations professor and former Army colonel, and author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War
--and here is a review
. Recently by Bacevich: We Aren't Fighting to Win Anymore - U.S. troops in Iraq are only trying to buy time
posted by y2karl
on Feb 21, 2005 -
What is the current state of American poetry?
Hank Lazer: Perhaps, contrary to the laments, we are now living through a particularly rich time in American poetry—an era of radically democratized poetry...In its anarchic democratic disorganized decentralization, poetry culture has developed in a manner parallel to the computer: the decentralized PC has beaten the main-frame. No one can pretend to know what is out there, or what is next. Who are some of the most notable American poets active in the beginning of the 21st century?
posted by rushmc
on May 27, 2004 -
Diaries of the Lewis and Clark Journey. American Journeys
has a collection or primary source documents about the Lewis and Clark Journey across America, including the diary of Sergeant Charles Floyd (the only member of the expedition to die en route), Jefferson's letter to Clark where he suggests the expedition, and 63 engravings of Places and People. If you're into history, you might also want to vote on Wisconsin Turning Points
, a ballot to determine the most interesting topics in Wisconsin History.
posted by rev-
on May 21, 2004 -
Bush calls for same-sex marriage-ban amendment Pres. Bush
called for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage today, blaming "activist judges", the Massachusettes Supreme Court, and the mayor of San Francisco, among others, for attempting "to change the most fundamental institution of civilization."
How this call for an amendment plays out remains to be seen
, but Bush is taking a strong stance on this issue, in what some see as another 'big headline' proposal during the election season. What will this mean for the civil rights of homosexuals in this country? And how will voters react in November?
posted by nyukid
on Feb 24, 2004 -
Stress epidemic strikes American forces in Iraq
Up to one in five of the American military personnel in Iraq will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, say senior forces' medical staff dealing with the psychiatric fallout of the war.
This revelation follows the disclosure last month that more than 600 US servicemen and women have been evacuated from the country for psychiatric reasons since the conflict started last March.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 25, 2004 -
ass-hat: noun, a thoughtless or stupid person.
cliterati: collective noun, feminist or woman-oriented writers or opinion-leaders.
flexitarian: noun, a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat.
freegan: noun, person who eats only what they can get for free.
Some winners from the American Dialect Society's 2003 Words of the Year
posted by y2karl
on Jan 16, 2004 -
Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the circus, Love and war, Foxy Grandpa and Polly in a little hilarity, Roosevelt, Friend of the Birds, Refrigerator-Man, Mabel and Fatty viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco, Visitin' 'round at Coolidge Corners, Ranch Rodeo and Barbecue (1951), Panorama of Eiffel Tower , Colored troops disembarking, The mob outside the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Theodore Roosevelt's arrival in Africa, Trapeze Disrobing Act, Tourists going round Yellowstone Park, Skyscrapers of New York City, from the North River, Girls winding armatures, Bird's-eye view of San Francisco, from a balloon , Walking hot dog, hamburgers, and disappearing Coca-Cola,
um, and The phable of the phat woman.
Selections from American Memory Online Films (More Inside)
posted by y2karl
on Apr 26, 2003 -
Do Most Of You Yanks Really Understand What The Brits Here Are On About?
Although the cultural mistranslations are probably more a question of tone and habits of irony and understatement, Jeremy Smith's online American·British
, to be published next September, might be of some assistance. Although I still prefer Terry Gliedt's older but pithier United Kingdom English For The American Novice
and even Scotsman Chris Rae's English-to-American Dictionary
. Here's a little BBC quiz
to test your skills. It seems that Canadians
and [another cute quiz coming up!
] New Zealanders
are the only Metafilterians to completely capture all the varieties of English usage here. Perhaps it all comes down to the fact that non-U.S. users know much, much less about England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand et caetera than vice-versa? Does anyone else get the occasional feeling we're not exactly speaking the same language here?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Apr 5, 2003 -
gives tips for those of you who are worried that the war will hinder your ability to "hook up with foreign hotties."
posted by Juicylicious
on Mar 29, 2003 -
Get your I AM NOT AMERICAN™ shirt here.
From shirt creator Trevor Wilson: "This is not an anti-American web site, nor am I anti-American... These shirts are merely designed for folks from around the world - especially Canadians - to point out that they are not, from the United States. Though there's nothing wrong with coming from the good ol' U.S. of A, in the current political climate this shirt may come in extra handy."
posted by tranquileye
on Mar 9, 2003 -
As American As
Apple Pie What Exactly?
What food is truly American? Professor Louis Grivetti, of the University of California at Davis, provides a set of excellent, discussion-settling answers, packed with reliable and curious facts. (Be sure to click on the fascinating "Did You Know?
" links at the bottom of each of the 10 classic American food groups.) How many Europeans know, for instance, that tomatoes, potatoes, corn
, peppers, artichokes and lima beans all came from America? Not much supposedly ancestral Mediterranean cooking could get by without tomatoes, potatoes and peppers...
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 28, 2003 -
The Index of American Design
The National Gallery of Art is showing some amazing watercolors commissioned by the Works Progress Administration between 1935 and 1942 to document a uniquely American cultural heritage of primarily traditional folk art (and employ out-of-work artists). I thought the textile reproductions
were particularly stunning in their detailed exactitude (rendering the thread count!) and really put to shame the so-called trompe l'oeil paintings
in the east gallery :D
posted by kliuless
on Dec 4, 2002 -
Special Operations Soldiers return from Afghanistan and kill wives.
With all the talk about going to war with Iraq, is it time to take a serious look at what the effects of modern combat have on the soldiers who we send to fight? In the past six weeks four soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg (all recently returned from Afghanistan) killed their wives by shootings (2), strangulation (1) or stabbing (50 times) and burning the body (note - not a special opps soldier for this one). Are these killings just the tip of the iceberg for a future trend, and what can the US military do to make sure that the training they give to soldiers not turn them into domestic terrorists upon their return?
posted by DragonBoy
on Jul 31, 2002 -
is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. [more inside]
posted by acridrabbit
on Jul 20, 2002 -
John Fahey - American Primitive Guitar.
I got an e-mail from a listener about a John Fahey song I played on my show today and it prompted me to revisit his website. I've been listening to him ever since '67 or so. He died last year due to complications during a coronary bypass operation--I realized again today how I miss him. (more inside)
posted by y2karl
on Mar 22, 2002 -
Was John Wayne A ... Welshman?
In that case, I nominate Johnny Cash
as the No.1 American icon. Unless it turns out he's English or something.
[Inspired by jpoulos's, Kafkaesque's, Optamystic's and others' recent celebrations - elsewhere on MetaFilter - of the great man.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 27, 2002 -