What a Rock Star’s Tragic Death Has to Do With Us

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When celebrities die tragic, premature deaths due to addiction and excess, popular culture has a way of lionizing them as something akin to martyred heroes. From Marilyn Monroe to Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley to Kurt Cobain, Corey Monteith to Heath Ledger to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the sad story is so sadly similar: a blazing life […]

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Game Goods 2015: Bob Hoose’s Year-End Picks

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2015 was an interesting year for video game trends. There were more and more gamemakers deciding that the digital download was a far better way to sell their wares than that old-school game-disk-in-a-box routine. Crowdfunded games were popping up like popcorn on the stovetop. Virtual reality started making some serious steps toward being something people […]

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A Nice Commercial Christmas

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We here at Plugged In like to bring you thoughtful or entertaining online tidbits from time to time. We’ve shared some compelling family focused commercials on occasion, too. And, well, it turns out that IKEA offers up all-of-the-above in two different Christmas commercials it produced for its various markets around the world. Now, the first […]

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A Playmate’s Second Thoughts

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Holly Madison rose to fame first as a model for Playboy and later as one of the main stars of the E! reality series The Girls Next Door (which focused on several Playmates’ relationships with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner). Now the 35-year-old mother is talking about her hopes for her daughter, 2-year-old Rainbow. When asked […]

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Television’s New Crop of Shows Doesn’t Look Too Great So Far

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Autumn is when everything outside just seems to … well, die. Crops are harvested. Leaves fall from the trees. Grass turns a bit brown. Cold sets in. It’s a depressing time of year for many (obviously not football fans). Hey, even the sun doesn’t seem to want to stick around as long anymore. So there’s […]

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

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The smartphone’s ascent from novelty to convenience to necessity has been swift. And as these handy little Dick Tracy-like devices have graduated to the latter category for so many of us, culture and commerce have evolved to accommodate our perceived need never to be far from our beloved phones. Even so, I was still caught […]

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Getting Real (Fictionally, of Course)

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Comedian Jim Gaffigan recently launched his very own sitcom titled, perhaps a bit uncreatively, The Jim Gaffigan Show. It’s on TV Land, and the show’s gotten all sorts of attention. I reviewed it earlier this week, and while it has its share of problems, I have to say I enjoyed parts of it. Not just […]

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The Screen-Time Battle Begins With You

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How do we set and keep reasonable and appropriate screen-time limits for our children? With the proliferation of screens everywhere—largely due to the explosion of smartphone and tablet usage in the last few years—this is a pressing question for many parents. But what if the answer begins not with our kids, but with us, not […]

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Mom’s ‘Extreme’ Movie Advice to Son is Right On

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What would you do if your teen wanted to see the recent movie Pitch Perfect 2? Author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton said yes to her son Chase’s request to see the movie. But she didn’t want her son to be just a passive viewer, so her yes was a conditional one. And the conditions […]

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