Are You an Infomaniac?

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My kids have probably heard me say this sentence hundreds of times: “I just need to check one more thing.” I’m talking, of course, about the semi-compulsive (or, maybe if I’m being really honest, flat-out compulsive) urge to engage with information almost constantly. I just need to check one more thing, I frequently tell them […]

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American Idol’s Faithful (and Flirty) Legacy

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American Idol wrapped up its awe-inspiring 15-season run on Fox last night, crowing a final Idol, Trent Harmon, in an emotional two-hour finale that featured just about everyone who’s ever been anyone on the show. Watching performances from a litany of former Idols who’ve legitimately become pop culture idols reinforced just how successful the show […]

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Just Movies? Not According to the Oscars, They’re Not.

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About midway through Sunday’s Oscar telecast on ABC, host Chris Rock brought out his daughters’ Girl Scout troop and had them sell cookies to Hollywood’s A-listers. “Leo, you made $30 million—come on!” Rock hollered in the direction of Leonardo DiCaprio. By the time he tallied the troop’s earnings for the evening—somewhere north of $65,000—I was […]

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Beyoncé Sparks Unlikely Red Lobster Stampede

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How much real-world influence does a popular entertainer really exercise? Normally, that’s an incredibly tricky question to try to answer. Why? Because there are just so many variables in play that it makes proving air-tight causal links between pop culture and real-world behavior virtually impossible. Besides that, artists and entertainment creators often try to downplay […]

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Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Phone

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IKEA, those clever Swedish furniture makers who have convinced us all to make our own furniture, are getting creative again. Their latest invention: A table that somehow cooks soup via your smartphone. Well, not your smartphone. Not unless you live in Taiwan and frequent the IKEA store there. And, of course, you’ve got to be […]

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The Pesky Power of Words

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I’m on assignment in Miami right now (I know, I know, tough work), and in the midst of flights and flight delays, I’ve been reading Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way. It’s all very interesting, and I’ve learned something new with practically each paragraph. (Did you know, for instance, […]

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The Hunger Games a Game No More

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The grand, bloody finale of The Hunger Games series—The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2—will plant its flag in theaters next week. Some have wondered how the movie will stay within the PG-13 rating, given how wrenching the book is, and I’m anticipating that it’ll be difficult for me to sit through. Which, I think, […]

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