Take Me Out to the Movies

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With the Major League Baseball playoffs in full swing, I thought I’d share my Top 5 most-recommended baseball movies for family viewing. It’s not your typical “favorites” list. To make it to first base, films needed to be entertaining and uplifting. Promoting solid family ties was a plus, too. And while very few films are […]

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Having a Cow

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Marge Simpson, matriarch of the long-running animated show The Simpsons on Fox, apparently posed in various stages of undress for the November issue of Playboy magazine. The magazine will hit newsstands Oct. 16. Say what you want about The Simpsons: It can be crass. It can be infantile. It can be incredibly inappropriate. It has […]

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Are We Happy Yet?

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Facebook, the mammoth social networking site that seems to have its massive hands in–well, everything–is now tracking the “happiness” of its U.S. users. They call it “The United States Gross National Happiness” index, and it measures the words users stick in their updates: Using words like “happy” or “excited” push the index higher. Words like […]

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Blowing Kisses to Polanski

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It’s complicated. He’s a genius. C’mon, it was 30 years ago. She’s forgiven him! He’s 76, for crying out loud!! You’ve probably heard, somewhere in the news, that director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland this past weekend when he showed up to accept a Lifetime Achievement award at the Zurich Film festival. Why? Well, […]

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3, 2, 1, Launch!

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In the dark ages of 1990 when Focus on the Family launched what would soon become Plugged In, Edison’s light bulb was the light bulb, maps were made of paper, MySpace was what you violated in a crowded elevator, and even websites were, for most of us, those hard-to-reach, spider-infested corners of your basement. Just […]

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The Power of Film

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Just ran across an interesting Q&A-style interview with Ken Burns, one of the United States’ best-known documentary filmmakers. He opened himself up to questions from Time magazine readers, and one of them asked what drew him to filmmaking. This is what he said: My mother died when I was 11. Several years afterward, my father […]

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Way Out West

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Rapper Kanye West made a fool of himself at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards by jumping onstage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, grabbing the mic and telling everyone that he thought Beyonce’s video was better. Swift was dumbstruck. The crowd’s boos hammered West like an icy rain, obviously surprising him while leaving no doubt […]

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I Want to Be a Pip

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I’ve always liked Gladys Knight. I don’t know why, exactly. Maybe it’s because her voice is just so cool. Maybe it’s because “Midnight Train to Georgia” is so catchy. Maybe it’s because she, for some reason, has always reminded me of one of my best friends’ moms–the one who always gave me a hug when […]

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