The Invasion of the Christmas Carols

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Christmas music

Many of us mark our seasons by firsts: the first robin of spring, the first sunburn of summer, the first interception by our terrible quarterback of the fall. The Christmas season is no different—or, at least, so mall music supervisors tell us: It begins with the first Christmas carol playing in the vicinity of cash […]

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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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Taking the Red Pill

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An interesting new viral movement has been gathering momentum lately: A lot of young people are proudly reporting via YouTube and other sites that they’ve “taken the Red Pill.” No, that’s not another new drug. Nor does it have anything to do with a similarly named “pick-up culture/anti-feminism” discussion on Reddit that some people are […]

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Bronies: What’s this Dog and Pony Show All About?

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Brony

Some things in life we know with certainty: The sun will come up tomorrow. Fish will swim in the sea. Kevin Sorbo will star in yet another Christian movie. And when the My Little Pony movie comes to theaters this weekend, standing in the ticket (and popcorn) line will be tens of thousands of adult […]

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Culture Clips: Emmys Put on a Red Shawl

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The Handmaid's Tale

Back in the day, television was considered something of a cultural unifier—the very definition of mass entertainment that would serve as a focal point for familial, communal, and even intergenerational gatherings. Yeah, about that. The Emmy awards—from the tone of the show to the awards themselves—illustrated a certain cultural divide. “In an age of hyper-polarization, […]

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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: 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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