Culture Clips: Soaring ‘Reputation,’ Sinking Reputations

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Taylor Swift

This just in: Taylor Swift is kind of a big deal. For months, the pop star has been stirring the pop culture stew with a steady drip-drip-drip of singles, the lyrics of which have been parsed and dissected as if they were ancient Sanskrit texts. Now she’s given her fans a whole album, and it […]

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Culture Clips: The Most Hated Man in Nerd-dom?

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Luke almost didn’t come back. Mark Hamill portrayed Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, launching him into the kind of superstardom few ever actors ever achieve. No wonder he was a bit tentative about reprising his iconic role. “I was just really scared,” he told the New York Times recently. “I thought, why […]

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Culture Clips: Distracted to Death?

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Today’s vehicles are packed with more safety and collision-avoidance technology than ever before. But traffic-related deaths in the United States have nevertheless risen sharply over the last two years, up 14.4% after decades of generally trending downward. Curiously, certain kinds of folks are increasingly prone to be involved in fatal car accidents than others: pedestrians, […]

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Culture Clips: Fall of a Hollywood Kingpin

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Harvey Weinstein

The bigger you are, the harder you fall goes the old cliché. But in Harvey Weinstein’s case, that seems to be true. Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most successful kingmakers, was summarily ousted from his namesake movie distribution company after The New York Times revealed that the producer had been the subject of several sexual harassment […]

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Culture Clips: How True Are ‘Based on a True Story’ Movies?

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We’ve seen it many times at the outset of a movie: “Based on a True Story.” And if you’re taking a careful look at what’s in multiplexes this week, you might notice that many films being screened right now deliver a version of that statement. Stronger, which opened last week and rolls wider this week, […]

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Culture Clips: Hey, Siri! Can You Tell Me How to Pay for You?

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new iphone

Apple unveiled its nifty new iPhone yesterday—one that weighs in at a delicate 6.14 ounces and costs a hefty $999. What do you get for that kind of moola? A phone with a wall-to-wall screen (sans home button), better cameras, a wireless charging system, and … well, some other cool stuff, apparently. And while some […]

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Culture Clips: Clowns Taking It On the Red, Squeaky Nose

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Pennywise the Dancing Clown

It’s not even October yet, but already our Culture Clips blog is taking on a rather frightening hue. First up: clowns. The World Clown Association is bracing for the release of IT, a horror flick featuring a diabolical clown. The association, still reeling from last year’s spate of scary clown sightings, has put together a […]

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Culture Clips: The Dragon and the Swift edition

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Game of Thrones dragon

On Sunday night, two television titans squared off against each other in a clash of old and new, awards-show glitz against prestige-TV glam. It wasn’t even close. Despite going head-to-head against MTV’s once-vaunted Video Music Awards show, HBO’s salacious sensation Game of Thrones set yet another high-water ratings mark, drawing 12.1 million viewers for its […]

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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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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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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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