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fused space

Fused space. Exploring the impact mediascapes - the mobile phone and wireless networks - will have on the ways we inhabit localities.
posted by yoga on Sep 15, 2004 - 0 comments

Comparison of life in Piscataway, New Jersey; Kochi, Japan; and Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China

Comparison of life in Piscataway, New Jersey; Kochi, Japan; and Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China by Ernie French.
posted by tranquileye on Sep 8, 2004 - 11 comments

Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival begins Thursday. The 2004 program is one of the best they've had in years (certainly the best since the 90s). Planning on attending? If so, you may appreciate TIFF Reviews - "the online meeting place for fans of TIFF 2004". Since TIFF is the the largest film festival in the world, most attendees (myself included) find it very difficult to pick their films. Once the fest starts, members of the TIFF Reviews forum are encouraged to leave reviews of what they've been watching in the hopes that it'll help other people plan their 10 days in the dark.
posted by dobbs on Sep 4, 2004 - 9 comments

"Looking for an Arab for serious purposes only."

Personal ads in the Arab world "Resident of the UAE, 28 years old, high-school diploma, looking for a veiled wife, a citizen of UAE or any other Gulf county. Will be allowed to continue working after marriage." ~ "Syrian, 36 years old, holds a government position, is interested to meet a tall, fair-skinned and green-eyed virgin, Lebanese or Moroccan."
posted by onlyconnect on Aug 29, 2004 - 21 comments

A Kind of Innocence We'd Never Seen Before

A Kind of Innocence We'd Never Seen Before: Thoughts on the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, and Collective Consciousness
posted by moonbird on Aug 29, 2004 - 17 comments

Don't Hold Back Folks, Let Us Know How You Feel

An Ugly Buildings Hit List seems to be developing in Scotland. The president of the Royal Institute of British Architects is calling for the demolition of the ugliest buildings in Scotland. The Architects have their list, and the press is asking the public to chime in as well (with pictures).
posted by mmahaffie on Aug 23, 2004 - 10 comments

one-ish, two-ish, lots

Sapir/Whorf raises its head again in study of the Piraha tribe. I can't stop thinking about this article which appeared in the Globe and Mail Friday.

A study appearing today in the journal Science reports that the hunter-gatherers seem to be the only group of humans known to have no concept of numbering and counting. Not only that, but adult Piraha apparently can't learn to count or understand the concept of numbers or numerals, even when they asked anthropologists to teach them and have been given basic math lessons for months at a time ... the Piraha are the only people known to have no distinct words for colours.
They have no written language, and no collective memory going back more than two generations. They don't sleep for more than two hours at a time during the night or day. Even when food is available, they frequently starve themselves and their children, Prof. Everett reports.
They communicate almost as much by singing, whistling and humming as by normal speech.
They frequently change their names, because they believe spirits regularly take them over and intrinsically change who they are.
They have no creation myths, tell no fictional stories and have no art.

Can any of our anthropologists or linguists comment? I had thought that narrative was the common link in all human cultures....
posted by jokeefe on Aug 21, 2004 - 61 comments

work

Corporate culture is nothing more than the "crystallization of the stupidity of a group of people at a given moment", says Corinne Maier, the author of the slacker manifesto, "Bonjour Paresse". Better read this before clocking in Monday. (NYT)
posted by semmi on Aug 15, 2004 - 25 comments

Native American criticism

What's an Indian, Anyway? Just one of the essays exploring real vs. fake in Native American culture posted At Wanderer's Well. Lots of opinionated reviews of the work of Louise Erdrich, N. Scott Momaday, Tony Hillerman, Ursula K. Le Guin and many others. The surprisingly rich personal site from a former academic (who now calls his departure from scholarly publishing "felicitous") offers hours of reading with detailed side-trips and fascinating links.
posted by mediareport on Aug 9, 2004 - 31 comments

McWorld?......McDeath. McLife not served today.

Wade Davis, on "Death and life in the Ethnosphere - The Naked Geography Of Hope" : "In Haiti, a Vodoun priestess responds to the rhythm of drums and, taken by the spirit, handles burning embers with impunity. In the Amazon, a Waorani hunter detects the scent of animal urine at forty paces and identifies the species that deposited it....On an escarpment in the high Arctic, Inuit elders fuse myth with landscape, interpreting the past in the shadow of clouds cast upon ice.....Just to know that such cultures exist is to remember that the human imagination is vast, fluid, infinite in its capacity for social and spiritual invention." The death of the Ethnosphere was Margaret Meade's great concern up to her death, says Harvard ethnobotanist Wade Davis of Serpent and the Rainbow fame and student of Richard Evans Schultes, founder of Ethnobotany : "The surprising results obtained from treating psychoactive plants allowed their users to communicate more directly with the unseen world which they believed to exist." Davis coined the concept of the "Ethnosphere" and has worked for it's preservation through Cultural Survival
posted by troutfishing on Aug 5, 2004 - 16 comments

Ethnomathematics Digital Library

The Ethnomathematics Digital Library, a collection of links and papers covering the interaction of mathematics and culture. (More Inside)
posted by thatwhichfalls on Jul 31, 2004 - 4 comments

Her face is very beautiful but small boob.

Syashin Mania is a collection of photos of pop culture Japan. In this case it is fan car art of Ayumi Hamasaki, a popular singer. (Some other pages on the site are NSFW.)
posted by gen on Jul 25, 2004 - 12 comments

Discover the Russia

Discover the Russia you never knew.
posted by adzuki on Jul 22, 2004 - 4 comments

ReadSeed

Seed Magazine. Seed is a popular science magazine for our times aimed at smart, young, and curious men and women who are passionate about science and its fast-changing place in our culture.
posted by srboisvert on Jul 20, 2004 - 9 comments

Wal-Mart Locator 2004

Wal-Mart Locator 2004 - For years Wal-Mart has allowed RV owners to camp for free in their parking lots (sometimes to the dismay of campground owners). But the Bay Area wants to pull the plug on the practice for fear of the stores becoming impromptu homeless encampments.
posted by falconred on Jul 19, 2004 - 29 comments

Human Development Report 2004

Human Development Report 2004 Cultural Liberty in Today’s Diverse World
posted by mr.marx on Jul 15, 2004 - 1 comment

braaaaiiiinnnns

Weird Food from Around the World
posted by anastasiav on Jun 26, 2004 - 35 comments

A View from the Eye of the Storm

A View from the Eye of the Storm. An Arab intellectual in Europe ponders on the Muslim world and comes to some interesting conclusions. Israel is a sideshow. Iran is the most dangerous country in the world.. in the long run the only way for us (the West) to win the war of terror is to force the problem nations to reform both politically and culturally.via Steven Den Beste weblog
posted by stbalbach on Jun 25, 2004 - 45 comments

Pavitr Prabhakar. Say it out loud.

Forget translations. Spiderman gets remade, bottom-to-top, for the subcontinent.
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 21, 2004 - 17 comments

Mutilation losing favor in Africa

Female genital mutilation is a blight on women's lives in many parts of Africa. Today's NY Times has a story, "Genital Cutting Shows Signs of Losing Favor in Africa" by Mark Lacey, that gives grounds for optimism:
Slowly, genital cutting is losing favor. Parliaments are passing laws forbidding the practice, which causes widespread death and disfigurement. Girls are fleeing their homes to keep their vaginas intact. And the women who have been carrying out the cutting, and who have been revered by their communities for doing so, are beginning to lay down their knives.
(If you don't want to register with the NYT, here's the Mathaba.net copy.)
posted by languagehat on Jun 8, 2004 - 52 comments

Hornby on pop music

Nick Hornby discusses pop music in this NY Times essay: "Maybe this split is inevitable in any medium where there is real money to be made: it has certainly happened in film, for example, and even literature was a form of pop culture, once upon a time. It takes big business a couple of decades to work out how best to exploit a cultural form; once that has happened, 'that high-low fork in the road' is unavoidable, and the middle way begins to look impossibly daunting. It now requires more bravery than one would ever have thought necessary to try and march straight on, to choose neither the high road nor the low. Who has the nerve to pick up where Dickens or John Ford left off? In other words, who wants to make art that is committed and authentic and intelligent, but that sets out to include, rather than exclude? To do so would run the risk of seeming not only sincere and uncool - a stranger to all notions of postmodernism - but arrogant and vaultingly ambitious as well."
posted by grumblebee on May 26, 2004 - 28 comments

Anatomy of a Refugee Camp

Anatomy of a Refugee Camp. A Flash presentation of how refugee camps are set up, and very educational for those of us in the world lucky enough to have never seen one. [via airgid.com, the designer's website]
posted by jb on May 23, 2004 - 4 comments

Know Music?

From Abba to Zappa
posted by davehat on May 21, 2004 - 16 comments

'I hope Fox News viewers will understand the computer has to be on.'

Blah Blah Blogging :: "The following is a meticulously detailed recap of a news segment that appeared on the Chicago FOX news affiliate on Wednesday, May 5th, 2004." -- Intelligent blogger agrees to appear in puff piece about blogging for FOX news. These are the results.
posted by anastasiav on May 12, 2004 - 43 comments

And one for yourself?

Passport to the Pub Initiate yourself in the strange and subtle rules and customs of the British pub. (via The Old New Thing, strangely enough)
posted by Capn on May 11, 2004 - 17 comments

Conversations with America

Studs Terkel: Conversations with America (in Real audio).
posted by nthdegx on May 9, 2004 - 1 comment

Faux-etry?

Foetry: American Poetry Watchdog "Exposing the fraudulent contests. Tracking the sycophants. Naming names." But they, er, remain anonymous themselves. The site went active a few weeks ago, complete with forum, and has caused a bit of a stir [find "foetry"] in the poet blogger world.
posted by mediareport on Apr 29, 2004 - 6 comments

Belgium View

Belgiumview.
posted by hama7 on Apr 23, 2004 - 8 comments

Netsuke

Netsuke: ornate artifacts of the Edo period. Via neonepiphany.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 17, 2004 - 3 comments

"I am of Ireland, and the Holy Land of Ireland..."

CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts, "brings the wealth of Irish literary and historical culture to the Internet, for the use and benefit of everyone worldwide. It has a searchable online database consisting of contemporary and historical texts from many areas, including literature and the other arts." It has texts in Irish, Latin, Anglo-Norman French, and English, ranging from the annals of the fifth century to the Agreement reached in the Multi-Party Negotiations in Northern Ireland of 1998. "Great my glory/ I that bore Cuchulainn the valiant..."
posted by languagehat on Apr 11, 2004 - 5 comments

Toothpaste World

Toothpaste World.
posted by hama7 on Apr 11, 2004 - 4 comments

Grass Greener, People Meaner?

While the world has been “getting greener” during the past 25 yrs, human courtesy and civility have been “changing for the worse.”
posted by mcgraw on Mar 30, 2004 - 8 comments

The Grace Of Wrath

"The people of Dogville are proud, hypocritical and never more dangerous than when they are convinced of the righteousness of their actions" (NYT link) "The movie is, of course, an attack on America—its innocence, its conformity, its savagery—though von Trier is interested not in the life of this country (he’s never been here) but in the ways he can exploit European disdain for it." (The New Yorker). Lars Von Trier's new movie, Dogville, is under attack from critics who consider it anti-American. Von Trier, of course, has never been to the US but he counters that he knows more about U.S. culture through modern media than, say, the makers of "Casablanca' knew about Morocco. Kafka hadn't been to Amerika either. Should non US-ian artists leave America alone if they've never been there? Von Trier says that "in my own country, I'm considered anti-Danish - again, that's more about politics than issues of nationality." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Mar 22, 2004 - 42 comments

filtering the filters

reBlog -- A web site republishing the best blog posts on art, technology and culture from around the web. Brought to you by Eyebeam, a multimedia atelier here in NYC, and run by a rotating cast of reBloggers.
posted by amberglow on Feb 29, 2004 - 6 comments

Country Studies

Country Studies: a comprehensive description and analysis of the country or region's historical setting, geography, society, economy, political system, and foreign policy.
posted by hama7 on Feb 8, 2004 - 11 comments

coming to a city near you!

Killing the Buddha: a heretic's bible is on a "Tent Revival" book tour and I suspect it would be worth checking out. Did anyone catch the readings in Austin or Phoenix USA?
posted by sudama on Feb 7, 2004 - 7 comments

Art in Ruins

Art In Ruins chronicles the economic and cultural transformation of Providence, Rhode Island through the eyes of artists, architects, and urban planners.
posted by PrinceValium on Feb 7, 2004 - 3 comments

A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization

A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization.
posted by hama7 on Jan 31, 2004 - 8 comments

Ex-women in Albania.

Sworn virgins. "A sworn virgin is called such because she swears—takes a vow under the law of the Kanun—to become a man. From the day she takes this vow (which is sometimes at a very early age), she becomes a man: she dresses like one, acts like one, walks like one, works like one, talks like one, and her family and community treat her as one. She is referred to as he. He will never marry and will remain celibate all of his life." If you find this stuff intriguing, by all means read Alice Munro's great short story "The Albanian Virgin" (from Open Secrets, 1994); you might also want to check out A Dictionary of Albanian Religion, Mythology, and Folk Culture, where there's much more cultural weirdness, and Edith Durham's classic High Albania (online here), from which I first learned of these mannish gals. Oh, and there's a movie!
posted by languagehat on Jan 30, 2004 - 15 comments

Disney Vs. Plato: Is There Really A Contest?

Just How Influential Is America? Mark Rice-Oxley, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, argues that, 2000 years from now, Disney will probably be more remembered than Plato. Really? [More inside. Via Arts & Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jan 16, 2004 - 33 comments

A Comedy of Justice

James Branch Cabell's Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice. One of the many treasures at Documenting the American South. Mike Keith's James Branch Cabell Page (Mike Keith has also performed and recorded an obscure symphony based on Jurgen). Owlcroft's overview of Cabell's work.
posted by wobh on Jan 4, 2004 - 4 comments

Moving Archives

The Sorcerer's Scissors; Air Raid Practice, Knoll School Hove; and An Eye to the Future [wmv's all, I'm afraid]. These and other examples nonpareil available at the University of Brighton's Moving History: "A guide to UK film and television archives in the public sector".
posted by nthdegx on Dec 30, 2003 - 2 comments

Haimovitz plays Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix's National Anthem, on acoustic cello. Plus Bach at CBGB (to mixed reviews), and a national club tour, and an album.
posted by Tlogmer on Dec 27, 2003 - 11 comments

The U.K. Honours System

Take This Honour And Shove It Up Your Arse: Some, like JG Ballard and Benjamin Zephaniah, want the UK Honours System abolished; others want it reformed; diehards want it left as it is. The recent leaking of a distinguished list of refuseniks, coming just after Sir Mick Jagger got his ya-yas out in Buckingham Palace, reminds us of Groucho Marx's famous comment that he'd never join a club that would take members like him. It's certainly an archaic and complicated system but, it seems to me, no more open to abuse than other countries' systems. And, arguably, no less ridiculous or hypocritical either. But is it (symbolically, culturally, whatever) useful enough nowadays, simple political expediency apart, to be worth hanging on to?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 22, 2003 - 17 comments

What's American About American Poetry?

What's American about American poetry?
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2003 - 69 comments

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn an nwyl i mi, John

The BBC is asking visitors of its news site to vote from a shortlist of the ten most embarrassing political moments. Visitors can watch a short film [real media] which shows all ten nominated moments (forgive the home-video moments style background muzak). There's some variety here: Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock in moments exhibiting a baffling degree of misguidedness, George W Bush and Kenneth Clarke in tight spots (figuratively and literally), while Charles Kennedy and John Prescott probably coming out of their situations looking better than they did beforehand. For me the most cringe-inducing clip is that of John Redwood, the then newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales, attempting to mime the Welsh national anthem. Genuinely difficult to watch.
posted by nthdegx on Dec 5, 2003 - 31 comments

What are those Tentacles for?

The Japanese SAQ provides some much-needed and often fascinating answers for seldom-asked questions about Japanese culture like, "Why do those porcelain Tanuki statues outside of restaurants have such outrageously large testicles?"
posted by MrBaliHai on Dec 5, 2003 - 23 comments

Jorn Barger missing

Robot Wisdom weblogger and prolific online writer Jorn Barger has been missing since early October, according to friend Eric Wagoner.
posted by rcade on Dec 2, 2003 - 51 comments

No Food Says Fun Like 'Happy Crak' Popcorn!

Rude Food - from that old English classic spotted dick to more unusual offerings like bum bum bananas, Erektus energy drink, and Prick potato crisps, here's a wonderful collection of worldwide food items that bring out the giggling 12-year-old boy in all of us.
posted by anastasiav on Nov 26, 2003 - 9 comments

Cell Phones And The Sense Of Place

Where Are You? Are You Sure? Are cell phones robbing us of our sense of place? (More inside.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 17, 2003 - 48 comments

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