Here's a New Year's roundup of links:
The Straight Dope message board has a very long and quite interesting thread explaining US popular culture and everyday life questions to foreigners, such as: What's the difference between "college" and "university"? What are those organizations with Greek letter names? Why do sports clubs move around from city to city? Is high school football really that important? What do the numbers 101, 411, and 911 refer to? Check it out.
Articles from recent issues of American Heritage that anyone interested in knowing more about the US might want to read:
A rather softball but interesting history of beer in America (June 2002)
A non-worshipful history of the FBI (August 2002)
A very disturbing history of eugenics in the US (February 2003)
US relations with France (by Richard Brookhiser of National Review--August 2003)
Presidential debates (August 2004)
An argument that slavery was much more economically important than often thought (February 2005)
This little bit, from Fametracker, is the funniest thing I've seen in months:
"Hi, I'm Tom Cruise. Good for you, Madonna. Adoption is great. I adopted my first two kids, but then when I met Kate, I just felt the time was right to try out biological procreation with a human female, and the feeling...I just can't put into words what it was like for me. And I've read lots of books about the sensations and mechanics of it, but even so, I still just find it indescribable. You know how, when you get into bed with a woman, and she's naked, and it's like...she has kind of an extra butt, but it's in the front?"
Expat Yank deals Agence France-Presse a good fisking.
Guirilandia comments on the Health Ministry, Burger King, and the Spanish diet.
Fausta opines on the Spanish surgeon who treated Fidel, among other things; as you know, she's prolific and wide-ranging.
Notes from Spain explains the concept of the chapuza, photo included.
Pave France looks back on the Chiraq administration.
The Euroserf is cynical about the EU's achievements in 2006.
Davids Medienkritik takes another well-deserved whack at Stern.