Engaging Wisely With Real-World Violence


I had been planning on writing this blog even before the horrific events in Dallas, Texas, last night. As people gathered there to protest the shootings of two black men by police officers earlier this week, snipers opened fire on Dallas police working the event, killing five and wounding seven others. What I want to […]

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Is It Possible to Unplug Anymore? Even on Vacation?


Ah, vacations. A time to unplug, unwind and get away from our frazzled, workaday, always online world. Only apparently, we don’t. According to a survey conducted by Intel Security, most of us still check emails, post funny videos on Facebook and do, well, pretty much everything we do online when we’re at home or work. […]

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The Surprising Unintended Consequences of Fandom


Movies can make people do strange things. And, no, I’m not talking about some of the usual suspects here. You know, teens taking up smoking (a correlation many studies have indicated) or imitating risky behavior. Nope, I’m talking about buying tropical fish and visiting a tiny island off the southwest coast of Ireland. Why? Because […]

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Vodcast: How Porn and Pop Culture Intertwine


Here’s a surprisingly controversial statement for you: pornography is a problem. There it is. We said it. We mean it. Not only has pornography been linked to what many are beginning to call a public health crisis, it is—in and of itself—a problem. And a big one at that. Pornography and the use of it […]

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What Does the Truth Feel Like?


Every now and then when I’m reviewing music for Plugged In, I’ll come across a lyric from an artist that succinctly encapsulates some aspect of our culture. That happened recently when I reviewed Gwen Stefani’s first new solo album in 10 years, This Is What the Truth Feels Like. Before I talk about the lyric […]

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Are You an Infomaniac?


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


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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