The Trojan Happy Meal

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So I’m in the checkout line at Safeway the other day with my almost 4-year-old son, Henry. This is always a touchy moment, because he’s usually ready to be anywhere else by the time we get done grocery shopping. This particular day, however, something caught his attention. “Daddy, it’s Jake!” he chirped. Looking around, I […]

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Flush With Invention

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Yeah, the app store is overwhelming. Love that touch screen. It’s an all-in-one picture album, GPS, media archive, game platform and know-it-all gadget that’s assuaged the boredom of technophiles everywhere. I hear rumors you can even make calls on it. But iPhone users, tell me: Is America’s too-cool-for-school smartphone really better than the flushing toilet? […]

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The Squishy Temptations of Facebook

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Ever heard of the “Marshmallow Test?” No, it’s not a s’mores-eating competition (though that might be nice). It’s an experiment that researcher Walter Mischel conducted in the late 1960’s. He gave marshmallows to 4-year-olds, promising them more marshmallows if they could resist eating the first one for 15 minutes. In a nutshell, he found that […]

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Movie Monday: Shrek Forever After

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If I made more than $70 million over a weekend, I’d probably be pretty happy about it. When a big, green, 3-D ogre makes that much coin, he’s kinda bummed. Not that you’d know it immediately. The folks at DreamWorks are surely putting a brave face on Shrek Forever After‘s $71.3 million box-office triumph this […]

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Good-Bye Jack, and Jack, and Jack

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So long, Jack. See ya, Jack. Sayonara … um, Jack. On Sunday and Monday, broadcast television will bid adieu to three landmark television shows, all of which feature characters named Jack: NBC’s Law & Order (featuring DA Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston), Fox’s 24 (featuring Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland); and ABC’s Lost […]

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The Human Nature of iHobo

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Hobo. This now politically incorrect term—once commonly used to refer to the homeless—hasn’t seen much daylight since back when my grandfather was dropping coins into some guy’s tin cup. But as the saying goes, everything old is new again. And that renewal sometimes raises interesting, and in some ways unintentional, questions. A new iPhone app […]

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Movie Monday: Iron Hood

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Did you really think that a handful of arrows would be enough to puncture the greatest suit of armor ever? Robin Hood opened this weekend boasting two Oscar-winning stars, a $225 million budget and an enviable Hollywood pedigree. But its $37.1 million weekend take wasn’t nearly enough to poke holes in the high-flying Iron Man […]

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The Ultimate Rescue Mission

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Acknowledging that a popular song, movie or TV show contains an element of “big-T” Truth is not the same as endorsing the entire product. Makes sense, right? Even so, I have to be careful how I talk about those little pop-culture epiphanies, and with whom. For example, the last thing I want is for someone […]

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Miss USA Gone Wild

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Once upon a time, the “only” skin  beauty pageant contestants had to show was during the swimsuit competition. I put “only” in quotes, of course, because these days, those bikinis have gotten pretty teeny and there’s plenty of flesh on display. But apparently that’s not enough sex appeal for the average pageant watcher. Just a […]

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Where’s That Horn to Toot?

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Somewhere between the release of Miley Cyrus’ racy new video and Iron Man 2′s $128 million weekend, Plugged In learned it won the Evangelical Press Association’s Award of Excellence for best online publication. Paul Asay, one of our associate editors, also earned recognition for his Not Just a Movie series we published last year. It […]

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Movie Monday: Iron Man 2

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Don’t mess with a guy in a metal suit. Iron Man 2 clanked to the top of the box office this weekend, blasting its way to a $133.6 million take and humiliating arch-villains and opposing moviemakers alike. Iron Man‘s closest competition was Freddy from the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. But the burned-and-bladed […]

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Friends, Family and Facebook

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Something curious has been happening with my Facebook profile lately: I’ve been getting friend requests from lots of relatives. Some are cousins who are younger than I am. But, interestingly, several have come from my parents’ siblings. I’m now “friends” with a couple of my aunts who are in their ’70s (and if you’re reading […]

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