Beyoncé Sparks Unlikely Red Lobster Stampede

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 […]

Continue Reading

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Phone

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Pesky Power of Words

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, […]

Continue Reading

The Hunger Games a Game No More

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, […]

Continue Reading

Journey of a Pop Culture Prodigal

If you’re here, you’re probably somewhat familiar with pop culture. Odds are good that you’ve also heard the story of the Prodigal Son. You may have even wondered what that story might look like if revamped by pop culture. Jeff Bridges would be the Father, of course, and Chris Hemsworth would do quite nicely as the […]

Continue Reading

Are Christian Films the New Roman Road? Woodlawn’s Jon Erwin Thinks So.

The Plugged In team has literally screened thousands of movies—and sometimes a moviemaker brings a film right to our very own campus. But when filmmaker Jon Erwin (October Baby, Mom’s Night Out) came to Focus on the Family back in July to screen his new film, Woodlawn, he made the decision to not show it—even […]

Continue Reading

The Clock Ticks, The Tech Pile Grows

One pleasant advantage of having a few years under my belt, is the ability to drone on endlessly about my phenomenal, life-changing adventures in the ’70s and ’80s. And as I pontificate about my collected memories, I can watch happily as Millennial listeners sigh and consider their own meager experiences. They may have youth and […]

Continue Reading

Dealing With Death in the Digital Age

When I was growing up back in the 1980s, the whispering buzz among my peers would amp up when something particularly transgressive began to infiltrate our collective adolescent consciousness. Often it involved stories of friends who somehow managed to see R-rated movies that, theoretically, they shouldn’t have been seeing. But there was one franchise of […]

Continue Reading

P!nk Unleashed

P!nk got in touch with her inner Tipper Gore—the woman most responsible for getting parental advisory stickers slapped on music albums—after this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Even though the singer (real name: Alecia Beth Moore) is hardly a stranger to racy, enveloping-pushing songs and videos herself, P!nk didn’t think much at all of this […]

Continue Reading