Culture Clips: Total Eclipse of the Charts

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Bonnie Tyler

Where were you during the eclipse? We all know where singer Bonnie Tyler was: aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, singing her 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in that raspy way of hers. Let me guess what she’s doing today, too: Counting all the new moola she’s earned from this relatively ancient […]

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So You Wanna Buy a Direwolf …

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Dire wolf

Plugged In has tracked plenty of correlations between entertainment and its influence on our real-world values. We’ve regularly looked at what scientists have to say about the potential links between our media habits and our choices in areas such as sex, smoking and alcohol usage. But sometimes those links show up in ways that are […]

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Culture Clips: Taylor’s Trial’s Inspiring Influence

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Taylor Swift

If you follow pop culture happenings, you likely saw the story this week about singer Taylor Swift testifying at a trial in Denver. The case involved a 2013 meet-‘n’-greet in which then DJ David Mueller allegedly groped the singer’s backside. Mueller lost his job over the incident, and actually sued Swift for $3 million. (Swift […]

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Culture Clips: An Expert Asks, ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?’

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Culture clips and smartphones

How are the combined influences of smartphones and social media shaping the lives of children growing up today? In her new article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” in The Atlantic, author and psychologist Jean M. Twenge (Generation Me, iGen) argues that these technological advancements are having a revolutionary—and mostly negative—impact on young people today. Twenge’s […]

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Culture Clips: Is 13 Reasons Why Really Dangerous? Science Says …

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13 Reasons Why

Oh, Netflix. How did we manage to fill this blog without thee? Last week, we wrote about your newest controversial show, To the Bone. This week, you’re back in the news again for 13 Reasons Why—and for a rather unfortunate reason. When 13 Reasons Why was released earlier this spring, many viewers and health experts […]

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The Dangerously Mixed Messages of To the Bone

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A confession: I don’t understand eating disorders. I get the desire to be thin. But I don’t get the compulsion to starve oneself, or to binge and then purge, or to do any of the many, many things that those with eating disorders do to become so very, very skinny. So when I watched Netflix’s […]

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Culture Clips: If You Can’t Beat a Shark, Jump It

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Each summer, Discovery Channel faces a unique programming challenge: making its “Shark Week” programming feel fresh. That’s no small challenge, given the fact that this annual ode to dorsal fins and sharp teeth has been airing since 1988. This year, the cable network began teasing one of its sharkiest gambits yet: pitting Olympic swimming legend […]

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Culture Clips: Thrones and Zombies and Doctors, Oh My!

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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones just roared back for its seventh season. And any way you want to slice it, HBO’s graphic fantasy series (based on George R.R. Martin’s books) is bigger than ever. For starters, this season’s Thrones debut racked up the most viewers ever for the series, a whopping 16.1 million according to HBO (a […]

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Parents Blame Children’s Deaths on 13 Reasons Why

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13 Reasons Why

The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has been out for more than three months now, but it’s still in the news for all the wrong reasons. Two California teens committed suicide in April, and their grieving parents are speaking out now, blaming 13 Reasons Why for their children’s deaths. Bella Herndon hanged herself in her […]

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Pokémon Go’s Influence a Year Later

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Pokemon Go

Plugged In’s coverage of video games typically leans in a cautionary direction. (As does, frankly, our coverage of other entertainment media as well.) For years, our weekly Culture Clips feature has documented what social scientists have observed about the influence of video games. Though we’ve commented on both positive and negative impacts of games on […]

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Culture Clips: Game of Thrones Conquers Millions, Facebook Billions

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Game of Thrones

Winter is coming. In, like, about five and a half months or something. In the meantime, HBO’s Game of Thrones is coming, too. Its seventh season begins July 16. The show has become about the closest thing to “must-see TV” in today’s fragmented television landscape: Time tossed it on its cover this week and called […]

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