1355 posts tagged with culture.
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Whatever makes you happy, you put in your world.

"Painting is beside the point: the paintings in The Joy of Painting don’t matter." The joy of writing about The Joy Of Painting. In Which Bob Ross is Compared to God, Creator of Worlds. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Dec 16, 2015 - 19 comments

A brief history of sending letters to Santa

Children have been sending letters to Santa for well over a century now, and for much of that time those letters don't look very different from today's. Children want toys, and they want to convince Santa that they ought to get them. But where did that tradition come from, and how did it develop into its modern form? How did we come to believe that Santa lives at the North Pole and that the postal service can carry letters to Santa? What kinds of things have changed in the things children ask for over time? The Smithsonian's trying to deliver some answers for the holidays. (Previously: 1, 2).
posted by sciatrix on Dec 16, 2015 - 7 comments

RailFolk: The human side of railroading

North Bank Fred, described in the New York Times as "[p]erhaps the most well-known recreational hobo," runs a website that's packed with fascinating photographs and stories of the life on the rails. Want to know more about nomadic rail ways? Then let's visit the The Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture, "preserves and promotes railroad culture by documenting and furthering the art, music, literature, community, and work of those who, historically and in modern times, travel or work on the railroads of North America." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Dec 16, 2015 - 24 comments

Yes, Vogue, Coloring Books Are a Thing. A Zen Thing

I’ve never once felt moved to pick up a coloring book and go to town. Nor did I imagine that people in my social sphere were doing so. Were those Instagram-famous coloring parties a total anomaly? Or were my other friends also secretly brandishing markers in their spare time? Vogue writer Julia Felsenthal wonders if coloring books are actually a thing after reading Julie Beck's piece in The Atlantic. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna on Dec 12, 2015 - 72 comments

Funnybones

Comics and the Anthropological Imagination, from the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography. Solidarity: a graphic ethnography. At the food bank: a graphic commentary. Sketching the Melee. Trachyte - Mumbai. Drawing in Time. Tale of the Sarnia Nose .
posted by Rumple on Dec 12, 2015 - 2 comments

What began as theory persists as style

When Nothing Is Cool is an insider critique of English academia's culture of critique. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Dec 8, 2015 - 38 comments

גם זו לטובה

Judaism's core texts grew out of millennia-long conversations and arguments across generations, with interconnected dialogues, source citing and (re)interpretation. Now, it's all going digital: Sefaria is creating a massive public domain, interactive "living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and translations." Their goal is to build a reference resource and community that "gives a better learning experience than anything that comes before it," from ancient to modern texts and "all the volumes of commentary in between." Read texts, browse submitted public source sheets on dozens of topics or visualize associations between texts.
posted by zarq on Dec 7, 2015 - 22 comments

These are my surprised wings.

The beverages are consumed regularly by thirty-one per cent of kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and by thirty-four per cent of those aged eighteen to twenty-four. U.S. sales for energy drinks and shots now total more than twelve and a half billion dollars—a number that the market-research firm Packaged Facts predicts will grow by another nine billion dollars by 2017. A new study [note: behind paywall] , published in the November issue of Health Psychology, suggests that appeals by energy-drink companies to the thrill-thirsty male id are coming at a psychological and physical cost, however. -- Rachel Giese, How Energy-Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 3, 2015 - 42 comments

Style Out There

Asha Leo of Refinery29 travels around the world to learn about international fashion subcultures and the way fashion affects society worldwide. So far she's met Gothic (and other) Lolitas in Amsterdam, Moroccan expat culture, hijra in India, Hasidic designers in Brooklyn, Korean matchy-matchy fashion for couples, and the highly colorful world of Japanese decora.
posted by divabat on Nov 30, 2015 - 6 comments

Only a terrifying effort to get from one side of a match box to another.

One longtime resident of Williamsburg posted on Facebook that she now felt uneasy in a neighborhood where she had always felt so safe.
If, as in Paris, extremists were going to concentrate on harming the young and urbane, out enjoying stylish consumer pleasures, Williamsburg seemed to possess horrific potential as a focus of interest.

Anxiety Returns to the Surface in New York.
posted by four panels on Nov 19, 2015 - 62 comments

The one who gives birth to herself.

The revolutionary potential of your own face, in seven chapters. "Nothing destabilizes power more than an individual that knows his or her own worth, and the campaign against selfies is ultimately a crusade against widespread self-esteem. What selfie-haters fear, deep down, is a growing army of faces they cannot monitor, an army who does not need their approval to march ahead."
posted by Phire on Nov 19, 2015 - 40 comments

Gaming tribunals and online community management

In an attempt to curb in-game harassment, online gaming communities have tried to develop a variety of workable solutions. One of the most prominent of these communities has been League of Legends (previously, previously), an extremely popular game that uses a virtual judiciary of gamers' peers, among other tactics, to identify problem players and mete out consequences. Two years ago, the tribunal drew public attention when it chose to expel a professional player from the game for a year (potentially ending his gaming career) for harassing other players. But is it working? Preliminary data indicates that the system is helping.
posted by sciatrix on Nov 12, 2015 - 46 comments

Salt and sugar not included

What Are the Defining Ingredients of a Culture’s Cuisine? Priceonomics examines a dataset of Epicurious recipes to pull out the most common ingredient and the most distinctive ingredient by cuisine, plus a "Meat-o-Meter" that looks at commonly used meats in various cuisines. [more inside]
posted by taz on Nov 11, 2015 - 73 comments

A place where our language lives

A short film: The winter stories of the Ojibwe are vital narratives that offer a historical and moral guide for understanding the environment and our people’s place within it. One of these stories tells of the first maple sugar gathering. A tree offered its life-force (sap) for use by the people to help keep them alive through a difficult winter when many were starving to death. This tree asked to be cared for in return and to be thanked properly for this gift. Each spring the students at Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion School open the school sugar bush with a retelling of this story and an opening feast of thanks.
posted by rtha on Nov 9, 2015 - 6 comments

Who do you mean by we?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - "The book delivers on its madly ambitious subtitle by in fact managing to cover key moments in the developmental history of humankind from the emergence of Homo Sapiens to today's developments in genetic engineering." Also btw, check out Harari on the myths we need to survive, re: fact/value distinctions and their interrelationships.
posted by kliuless on Nov 8, 2015 - 7 comments

On the instant when we come to realize that tragedy is second-hand

A white pseudo-aristocracy maintains genteel airs and graces amid crumbling towns and black rural poverty reminiscent of Haiti. It’s all stirred up with whiskey, denial and fire-breathing religion.

The Delta is arguably the most racist, or racially obsessed, place in America, and yet you see more ease and conviviality between blacks and whites than in the rest of America.
After nearly three years here, it still feels like we’re scratching the surface.

posted by four panels on Nov 7, 2015 - 81 comments

"We failed you."

"In a closed-door meeting Thursday night, Yale University’s apologized to a large group of minority students for the school’s failure to make them feel safe on campus." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 6, 2015 - 137 comments

a corporation's influence can persist long after the corporation itself

Empire tells of the legacy of the Dutch East India Company, and its cultural legacy, through online experience blending image, text, video, and audio.
posted by Miko on Nov 5, 2015 - 6 comments

“Houellebecq’s name is so rich with associations —”

Karl Ove Knausgaard reads Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission. [The New York Times] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Nov 5, 2015 - 27 comments

Discover something new

"It isn’t easy to discover new podcasts. There are just SO many out there. Sometimes the best approach is to simply turn to a friend and say, 'Hey, what are you listening to these days?'" So, NPR has created earbud.fm, a "friendly guide to great podcasts."
posted by zarq on Nov 3, 2015 - 82 comments

Oh fuck this spring forward/fall back crap

Daylight Saving Time Is Terrible: Here's a Simple Plan to Fix It
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 2, 2015 - 174 comments

The Chanel of Africa

As the main supplier of fashion prints to nearly half a continent, the textile company has continued to dominate that fashion scene there for almost 170 years. How’d that happen? Rooted in European colonialism and a testament to African ingenuity, creativity, and cultural pride; it’s a surprising story
posted by infini on Oct 30, 2015 - 28 comments

“I tell my son: be safe, don’t be just sleeping around with girls.”

26-year-old radio producer Ana Adlerstein was walking in Oakland when she was catcalled by 51-year-old Jerome. She pulled a microphone and her, Jerome, and Jerome’s son’s mother had a short conversation.
After some wrangling, Ana got Jerome into the studio and the conversation continued. Love + Radio presents: “An Old Lion, or a Lover’s Lute”
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 26, 2015 - 17 comments

One of the greatest nautical painters in history

Ivan Aivazovsky (18171900) - "In 1840, Aivazovsky traveled to Rome, where he became friendly with Nikolai Gogol. He also received high praise from the Roman critics, newspapers, and even Pope Gregory XVI. The pope purchased Aivazovsky's 'Chaos' and hung it in the Vatican... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 24, 2015 - 10 comments

First, Let's Get Rid Of All The Bosses

Six months after we first discussed Zappo's planned move to a Holocracy, how is it going? When the deadline arrived on the last day of April, 14 percent of the company, 210 people, took the [severance] offer. Twenty of them were managers, I was told, out of a total of 246. It was a difficult day. Tear-stained faces replaced the typical smiles on the Zappos campus. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Oct 20, 2015 - 185 comments

He likes big butts and he cannot lie

Robert Crumb talks to The Observer about misogyny, sex, fame, cartooning and getting older in a sprawling interview.
posted by Artw on Oct 19, 2015 - 70 comments

Passengers 'rush to be in my bus'

Vankadarath Saritha, Delhi's first female bus driver - "Women have been to space so why can't we drive a bus?"
posted by kliuless on Oct 6, 2015 - 9 comments

The latest battleground in language shaping culture

His daughter died as a result of a car "accident". He and others argue that they should be called "crashes". An academic exercise, or the latest battle in changing the way people think about car culture?
posted by Automocar on Oct 4, 2015 - 232 comments

Unlockdown Nation

Why are little kids in Japan so independent? - 'If we had a nonviolent society, kids could walk around on their own, unafraid, like they do in Japan'. (via)
posted by kliuless on Oct 3, 2015 - 83 comments

Swiss suffragettes were still fighting for the right to vote in 1971

It was not until 1971, 65 years after Finland became the first European country to grant women the vote, that Switzerland became the last, not only in Europe but in much of the world.
posted by infini on Oct 3, 2015 - 14 comments

“I’d rather that everyone… could just stay obscure”

[T]here are immediate practical benefits to trolling. The way we’ve designed the Internet has made the old cliché “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” actually come true. It’s now possible to monetize any kind of attention, good or bad—and if your gift happens to be generating the bad kind of attention, then it’s well within reach to make trolling into a full-time career.
Arthur Chu writes about “The Big Business of Internet Bigotry” for The Daily Beast.
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 2, 2015 - 81 comments

Priyanka Chopra’s Accent Is Helping Me Solve My Biggest Identity Crisis

"What’s hardest to explain, especially to those who’ve grown up within one unshakeable cultural universe, is that none of us are faking it."
posted by stoneweaver on Sep 30, 2015 - 36 comments

Common Peeple

Everyone you know will be able to rate you on the terrifying ‘Yelp for people’ — whether you want them to or not
posted by Artw on Sep 30, 2015 - 623 comments

"I don’t want to be left alone inside myself."

What will I hear when my ears stop working? by Ysabelle Cheung [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 28, 2015 - 30 comments

The Rise of Rape Culture

We demand that women live in fear and behave impeccably to avoid 'asking for it.' "In an extract from her book, Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture — and What We Can Do About It, author Kate Harding explains how women order their lives around the fear of rape – and of being blamed for not preventing it." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Sep 26, 2015 - 61 comments

Hair is at once of “me” and an alien “it.”

Notes Towards a Theory of Hair: Novelist Siri Hustvedt Reflects on the Cultural Meaning of Coiffure [New Republic]
“Even this simple act of plaiting my child’s hair gives rise to questions about meaning. Why do more girl children wear their hair long in our culture than boy children? Why is hairstyle a sign of sexual difference? I have to admit that unless a boy child of mine had begged me for braids, I probably would have followed convention and kept his hair short, even though I think such rules are arbitrary and constricting. And finally, why would I have been mortified to send Sophie off to school with her tresses in high-flying, ratted knots?”
posted by Fizz on Sep 25, 2015 - 10 comments

That 60s Show

Not one of these hippies looks dirty, or stoned, or tuned out; and they all apparently were a lot happier then I was led to believe. Or maybe this is not representative. Neat pictures though.
posted by COD on Sep 17, 2015 - 101 comments

"We Own You"

Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer
posted by Artw on Sep 17, 2015 - 48 comments

American Experience

Walt Disney - "An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers -- Walt Disney."
posted by kliuless on Sep 16, 2015 - 17 comments

Why Americans dress so casually

The modern market allows us to personalize that style. Casual is the sweet spot between looking like every middle class American and being an individual in the massive wash of options. This idea of the freedom to dress in a way that is meaningful to us as people, and to express various types of identity.
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 14, 2015 - 314 comments

Bring your own kannebullar

Sweden Simulator; a browser-based virtual-reality simulation of many of the common experiences of Swedish life. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 11, 2015 - 24 comments

“I defer to no one in my love for America and for Christianity.”

Fear by Marilynne Robinson [New York Review of Books]
“There is something I have felt the need to say, that I have spoken about in various settings, extemporaneously, because my thoughts on the subject have not been entirely formed, and because it is painful to me to have to express them. However, my thesis is always the same, and it is very simply stated, though it has two parts: first, contemporary America is full of fear. And second, fear is not a Christian habit of mind. As children we learn to say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” We learn that, after his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples, “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Christ is a gracious, abiding presence in all reality, and in him history will finally be resolved.”
posted by Fizz on Sep 9, 2015 - 23 comments

“Am I Islamophobic? Probably, yes.”

A profile on Michel Houellebecq. [The Guardian] [Books]
“It’s not my role to be responsible. I don’t feel responsible,” he says. “The role of a novel is to entertain readers, and fear is one of the most entertaining things there is.” To him, the fear in Submission comes in the dark violence at the novel’s start, before the moderate Islamist party comes to power. Was he deliberately playing on a mood of fear in France? “Yes, I plead guilty,” he says. For Houellebecq, the job of a novelist is foremost to hold a mirror up to contemporary society.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Sep 7, 2015 - 66 comments

Going back to summer in Igboland

“Before the trip, Nigeria was a dim set of associations in my mind: my parent’s stories of their childhood, highlife cassette tapes, dated images from Google searches, negative news headlines, the taste of rice and stew. Going back gave me vivid experiences to call part of my life, to draw from when I talk about the country, my identity, what kinds of people I come from, and the roots of why I do what I do.”
posted by ChuraChura on Sep 2, 2015 - 2 comments

Eyes on the Ladyprize

The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. - Tropes vs Women: Women as Reward. Tropes versus Women creator Anita Sarkeesian on the backlash to the series (Warning: GamerGate), Previously, previously.
posted by Artw on Aug 31, 2015 - 35 comments

The quiet death of the Human Terrain System

The Quiet Demise of the Army’s Plan to Understand Afghanistan and Iraq. "In the heyday of counterinsurgency, the United States military’s Human Terrain Teams were a bold idea. In the drone-war era, they became an anachronism." [Previously 1, 2] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 22, 2015 - 30 comments

That's intelligent design, not Intelligent Design.

Daniel Dennett, known for having previously explained thinking, religion, and consciousness, recently spoke at the Royal Institution where he did a most excellent job of explaining memes [1-hour video].
posted by sfenders on Aug 17, 2015 - 22 comments

"If someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, don’t have sex with them"

In the United States, only 22 states require that sex education should be taught in their schools. Of those, only 13 insist upon medical accuracy. There is no federal standard. As a result, classroom lessons that teach purity culture – the idea that virginity is a state of moral accomplishment – are pervasive. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight covers Sex Education in America. (NSFW) The end of the segment features a modern sex education video created by LWT, narrated by several celebrities (including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2015 - 45 comments

"A Piece of Meat and a Bun with Something On It."

First We Feast: An Illustrated History of Hamburgers in America. "The rise, fall, and resurgence of America's greatest cultural export." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 14, 2015 - 34 comments

The End of the Sixties

You Must Remember This: Charles Manson's Hollywood - Karina Longworth's podcast on the hidden history of Hollywood (previously, previously) takes an an in depth look at the darker side of the 60s. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Aug 12, 2015 - 53 comments

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