1316 posts tagged with culture.
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Aptitude Schmaptitude!: innumeracy in America

Aptitude Schmaptitude! While the state of mathematical incompetence in this country has been much lamented, most famously in Paulos's brilliant 1988 book Innumeracy, it is still tacitly accepted . . . Being incompetent in math has become not only acceptable in this widely innumerate culture, it has almost become a matter of pride. No one goes around showing off that he is illiterate, or has no athletic ability, but declarations of innumeracy are constantly made without any embarrassment or shame.
posted by jason's_planet on May 3, 2007 - 140 comments

Cap'n Crunch - Man of the (Breakfast) Hour

Cap'n Crunch may call up a few memories of mornings in front of the TV (or phone phreaking, for some of you). Now you can find out the rest of his story (or at least the first installment of it) - and, for the first time ever, his first name.
posted by ziz on May 1, 2007 - 20 comments

With nature and a camera

Being the adventures and observations of a field naturalist and an animal photographer - An utterly charming picture of life in Scotland's Outer Hebrides in 1896.
St Kilda - "Many theories have been advanced as to the origin of the inhabitants of this lonely rock, and a curious tradition exists as to its acquisition by members of the outside world. The inhabitants of Harris and Uist agreed to make it the prize for a boat race, and accordingly set out to row across the intervening waste of waters. So equally matched were the crews in regard to pluck and endurance that they arrived at St Kilda almost at the same moment. The Uist men, however, led by a few strokes, and hopes of winning ran high amongst them when Colla MacLeod, the chief of the Harris gang, chopped his left hand off and flung it ashore over the heads of his competitors, and secured St Kilda and its satellites to himself and his descendants for all time."
posted by tellurian on Apr 29, 2007 - 7 comments

Make Internet TV

MITV: A how to for internet video production, from the friendly people at the Participatory Culture Foundation (makers of the Democracy Player).
posted by signal on Apr 16, 2007 - 6 comments

Shuntee.

The Hostile New Age Takeover of Yoga [print version]. Standard "omg commoditization" rant, but has a delectable anecdote wherein someone mistakes clingy navel-gazing for reflection. ("What part of no don't you understand?" his note said. "I never want to hear from you again.")
posted by Firas on Apr 6, 2007 - 103 comments

live from the custody suite!

Got Playdar? Have you been seagulled lately? Find some great new words to insert into your work, family and friendly conversation. Have you seen that new bitcom?
posted by parmanparman on Apr 4, 2007 - 23 comments

Charlie Foxtrot.

Embrace the Suck. Intensive military activity creates an incubator for slang. By bringing together people from geographically diverse backgrounds, putting them into stressful circumstances, and teaching them a new language of jargon and acronym, the armed forces create fertile ground for new idioms - many of which return home in civvies when the conflicts are over. In the Civil War, World War I and World War II, in Korea and in Viet Nam, servicepeople created or popularized now-familiar terms like shoddy, hotshot, cooties, tailspin, fleabag, face time, joystick, SNAFU, FUBAR, flaky, gung ho, no sweat, flame-out, and many, many others. Now, the GWOT brings us a new generation of 'milspeak'. Military columnist Austin Bay has published an early collection of neologisms from Gulf War II. On NPR, Bay explains what The Suck is, how to identify a fobbit, and why Marines look down on the attitude of Semper I.
posted by Miko on Mar 31, 2007 - 66 comments

Tha Japanese Tradition

Comedy duo, Ramenz (ラーメンズ), aka Kobayashi Kentaro and Katagiri Jin, also known as the Japanese versions of Mac and PC, have recently done a number of shorts collectively called "The Japanese Tradition." Apparently, these tongue-in-cheek pseudo-instructional vids about famous aspects of Japanese culture (Tea, Chopsticks, Sushi, Origami, Apology, Onigiri, and Relationships) have been fooling a lot of non-natives into thinking they are actual guides. (YouTube, each approx 4-6 min).
posted by ikahime on Mar 29, 2007 - 35 comments

How I (wish I) spent my summer vacation

Eyes on the Nations is a web site by a young man from North Carolina named Jordan Hill. He's working in various corners of the world to help with community development as a part of a soft christian missionary approach for the University of the Nations and Youth With a Mission. He's also a talented and curious photographer with an eye for people, places and critters. (Warnings: NSFW if you haven't ever seen old issues of the National Geographic. Worse, some of this is Xanga)
posted by mmahaffie on Mar 20, 2007 - 5 comments

The Big Question

"We asked 100 writers and thinkers to answer the following question: Left and right defined the 20th century. What's next? The pessimism of their responses is striking: almost nobody expects the world to get better in the coming decades, and many think it will get worse." From Prospect Magazine.
posted by limon on Mar 4, 2007 - 35 comments

Running The Numbers

Running The Numbers. This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks on Feb 28, 2007 - 20 comments

A tippy-tappy-toe

The Karbis of Assam, and their sprightly dance.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 24, 2007 - 6 comments

fact checkers out there in the factosphere

"Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears?" At Conservapedia, a "conservative encyclopedia you can trust," you can learn that "faith" is a concept "exclusive to Christianity," and about how Wikipedia is biased in matters such as its description of the Bell Trade Act of 1946, its gossipy treatment of the private life of NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, and its seeming acceptance of evolution. The Wikipedia bias entry also complains of a "rant" against the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group for which Conservapedia founder (and son of conservative gadfly Phyllis Schafly) Andrew Schlafly has worked. Signups are here; its take on evolution is criticized here.
posted by ibmcginty on Feb 23, 2007 - 153 comments

Theme Magazine

Theme Magazine I'm not even going to try and flesh this out with my favorite sub-links. Just dive in.
posted by The Deej on Feb 16, 2007 - 3 comments

Perverted Justice & Dateline NBC: Repsonsbile for Conradt's death? Yea/Nay/Otherwise.

The Shame Game. Perverted Justice (prev.) and Dateline NBC's series of To Catch A Predator specials are of questionable-at-best morality and have received much flak, particularly on the part of the former party. At the Columbia Journalism review, Douglas McCollum shares the case of Louis Conradt Jr., who killed himself upon being pounced upon by police and Dateline's cameras. McCollum also takes issue with NBC's paying of Perverted Justice for their services. And, for the other side, PJ's rebuttal.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Feb 10, 2007 - 163 comments

"The crazy notion that design not only was important but could also change the world"

Clip/Stamp/Fold. The current show at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City explores an era when architecture was actually interesting. We go from "an elephant attacking the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan to a skyscraper made of Swiss cheese." On the way, we visit astronauts, bunkers, walking cities, and robots fucking – and it's all waiting for you inside these little magazines.
posted by BLDGBLOG on Feb 7, 2007 - 5 comments

all dolled up

Surreal Barbie and Ken jewelry art by Margaux Lange. Previously (but her work and site have evolved since then). While in China, voodoo dolls have been banned and immediately became a jewelry/accessory craze.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 6, 2007 - 20 comments

The problem with music, redux.

While Courtney pulled an Albini, Jeff handed out the bread. Are the peasants acting like emperors, or do they still want something shiny, aluminum, plastic, and digital? Debacle or cage, something's got to give (pdf). Alternatively, you can just roll your own.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 4, 2007 - 32 comments

Mexican wrestlers

Striking photographs of the masked wrestlers of Mexico, Lucha Loco by Malcolm Venville. [via the amazing everlasting blort] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Feb 3, 2007 - 14 comments

John Smith's Ephemera

"John Smith, Youngest, of Crutherland, was given the honorary degree of LL.D in 1840. In 1842 he announced the bequest to the University [of Glasgow] of his runs of publications from learned societies, and his volumes of ephemeral items. These came to the library on Smith’s death in 1849." Some examples: Playbill, Theatre Royal, York Street. Broadsheet account of an attempted prison break. Radical Party election ballad. See also: Glasgow Broadside Ballads: cheap print and popular song culture in nineteenth-century Scotland and Glasgow Broadside Ballads: The Murray Collection
posted by Len on Feb 3, 2007 - 7 comments

Get it while it's hot!

Everyone’s got one. From the boys and girls who go to school, to the working women and men of India, who depend on the Dabba Wallahs to bring them their meals. The margin of error for these tiffin carriers has been clocked at an astonishing 99.9999999%, which has earned them the Sigma 6 rating, and has made them popular in other parts of the world.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 2, 2007 - 67 comments

The Salton Sea

Jonson takes pictures of The Salton Sea, which is a strange place, like some kind of huge, perpetual, Burning Man, but by a huge, salty, polluted, manmade lake with distant shores, dying fish, has-been resort towns, Salvation Mountain, fundie dinos, fountains of youth, and nice churches. [via mefi projects] [previously] [howdy]
posted by brownpau on Jan 30, 2007 - 36 comments

Blipster?!

The New York Times on Being Black and Indie You're an African American, but you prefer Bloc Party to 50 Cent. Fear not, young "blipster," you're no longer the only black guy at the indie rock show! [via]
posted by dhammond on Jan 28, 2007 - 73 comments

Too Racist? Or Too Stupid?

The grinning mugs of students at Tarleton State University in Texas and the University of Connecticut School of Law are gracing the pages of The Smoking Gun, where they stand accused of racial insensitivity. Is this passive-aggressive racial stereotyping? Simple stupidity? Or can we call this parody and laugh it off?
posted by krippledkonscious on Jan 25, 2007 - 106 comments

And now--a quick word from our sponsors!

Advertising in India (thanks to this post by NickySkye) More ads here and here
posted by hadjiboy on Jan 24, 2007 - 12 comments

Rung--Oh--Lee

The art of Rangoli:
posted by hadjiboy on Jan 20, 2007 - 25 comments

Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

"No spreck-a de Irish, no." When the EU added Irish to its list of 'working languages', most press reports cited the 2002 census in which a third of the population claimed 'an ability' to speak the first official language. Manchán Magan, a broadcaster for Irish-language TG4, decided to put those claims to the test, by travelling across the island speaking nothing but its ancestral tongue -- to shop assistants, tourist information staff, and even phone sex operators.
posted by holgate on Jan 5, 2007 - 72 comments

Marlowe? Marlowe who?

Fairfax County Public Library system ditches the classics. If titles remain untouched for two years, they may be discarded--permanently. "We're being very ruthless," boasts library director Sam Clay.... Books by Charlotte Brontë, William Faulkner, Thomas Hardy, Marcel Proust and Alexander Solzhenitsyn have recently been pulled.
posted by caddis on Jan 4, 2007 - 99 comments

You better watch out...

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, but do you know Stekkjarstaur, Giljagaur, Stufur, Thvorusleikir, Pottaskefill, Askasleikir, Hurdarskellir, Skyrgamur, Bjugnakraekir, Gluggagaegir, Gattathefur, Ketkrokur and Kertasnikir? They're the Jolasveinar, the impish "Yuletide Lads" of Iceland, and those are only some of their many names. During the thirteen days before Christmas, legend says that they do their best to monkeywrench the celebrations with hijinks like stealing sausages, milk, and candles, and peeping into windows and up skirts. The children of gruesome child-eating trolls Gryla and Leppaludi, who were known for snatching naughty children, the elves got their start in the 17th century. In the years since, their image has apparently mellowed, and now they leave children presents in their shoes and limit themselves to mild pranks.
posted by Miko on Dec 22, 2006 - 21 comments

Amamanta Family Dolls

Amamanta Family Dolls offers you a variety of multicultural and educational doll sets that are anatomically correct.
posted by Arcaz Ino on Dec 13, 2006 - 18 comments

War Were Declared.

It will always be known as the "date which will live in infamy," but this year - the 65th Anniversary - may mark the last time survivors can/will come together at the site to pay their respects to the fallen and to shake hands with their former adversaries. Hawaii affiliate KHNL News 8 has already started its 5-day long coverage of the ceremonies, which culminate on the morning of the 7th and will feature a live web feed and a keynote adress given by Tom Brokaw (@ 7:30am HST).

Some consequences of the attack inside...
posted by krippledkonscious on Dec 4, 2006 - 27 comments

Pass the Dutchie

How We Eat A photo gallery of families around the world, and what they eat over the course of one week. Text in French.
posted by Miko on Dec 4, 2006 - 31 comments

Just when you thought it was safe to order the appetizer

OK, I’ve been a good American. I’ve done the turkey and stuffing routine for more than three decades now. But next year is gonna be different. Next year I shall celebrate Thanksgiving by flying out to Iceland, where I intend to harpoon a big ugly shark. My friends and I will then bury the bugger in a gravel pit. After several weeks, it’ll be good and rotten. Then we’ll hang the strips of meat up to dry. When it’s ready, we’ll slam down some shots of the local liquor and consume dainty little cubes of fermented shark flesh. We’ll finish the feast with pumpkin pie.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 2, 2006 - 53 comments

and she wouldn't give it to me

All I wanted was a pepsi.
posted by RTQP on Nov 18, 2006 - 101 comments

Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz

Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, Witkacy for short. Artist, photographer, absurdist playwright, surrealist novelist, philosopher, witness to the Russian revolution, art theoretician and critic, the Great Malinowski's closest friend, drug fiend, and by most accounts a raving maniac and self-involved pain in the ass. His greatest novel was sadly prophetic: fleeing east to escape the invading Nazis, and then hearing the news that the Communists were also on the way, he slit his wrists on September 18, 1939 in the village of Jeziory, a martyr and victim to his obstinate belief in the freedom and independence of man against the bankruptcy of ideology and the coming wave of totalitarianism.
Previously here, but this guy's work is just too bizarrely compelling, and his legacy too obscure, to not get a little bit more attention.
posted by Meatbomb on Nov 18, 2006 - 16 comments

Forever-Flying-Bird

When Everybody Called Me Gah-bay-bi-nayss - an ethnographic biography of Paul Peter Buffalo, son of Ojibwa medicine woman and grandson of the great chief Pezeke. Buffalo died in 1977, but spent his last dozen years chronicling his heritage and the things the elders told him. Be sure to check out the entry on John Smith, a wonderful character more popularly known as Wrinkle Meat.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 16, 2006 - 8 comments

Skin

"In a close-knit Chesapeake Bay community, the world’s fastest muskrat skinners face off in a truly cutthroat competition at the National Outdoor Show. One lucky young lady gets to be their queen." [Warning: Fiddle tunes!] Muskrat Lovely, a documentary about the conflation of the world muskrat-skinning championships with the Miss Outdoors beauty competition. The film will air soon on the PBS program Independent Lens. Catch some of the brackish flavor of the Chesapeake Bay's traditional regional culture, including some muskrat recipes and skinning tips.. And don't miss the link to Everything Muskrat.
posted by Miko on Oct 26, 2006 - 21 comments

History of pets in America

Kitty litter was invented in 1946. Birds were the first pets to have their own full lines of products. Canned dog food first appeared in the 1910s. Lots of interesting stuff [wav] at the University of South Carolina's Pets in America site.
posted by mediareport on Oct 9, 2006 - 18 comments

the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon; the moon is beautiful

What Good Are the Arts? asks John Carey’s recent book of the same name. The New Criterion think Carey’s thesis is informed by cynical political motives rather than earnest convictions, and accuses Carey of dabbling in the risky art of aesthetic relativism: Obviously, art is ultimately about “the search for truth” (a lesson we’d do well to remember before society falls apart). But as Carey and others point out to the contrary, the Third Reich was all about art—and yet, art under the Third Reich had precious little to do with “searching for truth.” So just what good are the arts? Here’s what a few others have to say on the subject.
posted by saulgoodman on Oct 4, 2006 - 45 comments

exquisite living works of art

Geiko of Kyoto is a stunning photo gallery of Kyotos's Geisha - both the mature Geiko and the apprentice Maiko. Melissa Chasse annotates many photos with fascinating details and offers an account of her tea party with Mamechika, a lovely Maiko. For more, this lovely Geisha site offers a brief history from the era of the floating world, more photos, Ukiyo-e art, and links. Also see y2karls' prior definitive post on ukiyo-e.
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 23, 2006 - 17 comments

"There has never really been any modernity, never any real progress, never any assured liberation."

Meditations on: the poetic and profane; on silence; death; catastrophe; Cage — and yet more strangeness and beauty from David Ralph Lichtensteiger's travels within the world of 20th C. avant garde music and postmodernism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 17, 2006 - 2 comments

War's afterglow:Vogue Picture Records

Vogue Picture Records, 1946-1947 These images reflect post-World War II attitudes and optimism. via
posted by hortense on Sep 16, 2006 - 13 comments

"Distance Learning"

Distance Learning by Eric Morin. Background on the short film. (QT instead of IFilm)
posted by MarkO on Sep 14, 2006 - 3 comments

Becoming Mary Poppins

Becoming Mary Poppins - A look at the original author P. L. Travers, Walt Disney, and the differences therein. Via the New Yorker.
posted by loquacious on Sep 2, 2006 - 27 comments

That riff is so gay

Rainbow in the dark: Gays in Metal From the best metal magazine around, Decibel.
posted by klangklangston on Aug 16, 2006 - 52 comments

OutsideIn Korea

OutsideIn Korea - brought to the world by our own stavrosthewonderchicken. He asked what you would like to see on the site here. Now sit back while he brings it to you. Or not. Probably not, now I think about it. In any case, the man writes like a demon on crack (except twice as interesting) and, whether or not you have the slightest interest in Korea, you will be entertained by the stories. If you follow his personal site, you know what to expect. If you have never read his writings before, strap in, you're in for a bumpy ride.
posted by dg on Aug 14, 2006 - 19 comments

Best places to get coupled up.

Forbes' Best Cities for Singles 2006. Apparently you have better chances of meeting your mate at Sox game than at a Yankees' game. But as a New Yorker I still find it hard to believe my chances would be better were I a Rockies fan. Although, I might meet a good Christian woman.
posted by allkindsoftime on Aug 9, 2006 - 27 comments

Toxoculture

Can pathogens effect culture? Possibly.
posted by delmoi on Aug 2, 2006 - 35 comments

Writing "the girl"

Eight rules for writing a female comics character worth reading Karen Healey lays a cursory path for avoiding the major pitfalls of women in comics. Part of the larger Girl Wonder site (previously). Also good is Designated Sidekick's takedown of IGN.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 21, 2006 - 59 comments

Inner City Youth, London

Inner City Youth, London "In 2002, Simon Wheatley began photographing London's publich housing developments...and was able to obtain a level of intimacy with his subjects that provides a true picture of the daunting project of growing up in the intimate confines of drug use, societal neglect, and poverty." This (Flash-based) narrated slideshow features Wheatley's work, and is a look at the culture...and also the music (grime) "as an artistic response to the place and circumstance, an expression of the violence, bleakness, and neglect..." (via Future Feeder)
posted by tpl1212 on Jul 20, 2006 - 38 comments

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