The Surprising Unintended Consequences of Fandom

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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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The Idol Boogie of Tussauds

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Sometimes I think that we Americans have the impression that our fascination with celebrities is a relatively new thing. Some youngsters out there may believe that Kim Kardashian herself invented the concept of seeing celebrities as simultaneously human and botoxed demigod. But, nope, the fact is we humans have been idol-prone for a very, very […]

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The Robot Secret Is Out

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Robots, robots, robots. I’ve got to admit that ever since I was a kid, I’ve been really interested in robots. I’ve devoured robot short stories and novels, picked up random robot comics and watched tons of the-bots-are-among-us movies and TV shows. And even really weak cinematic automaton rampages with terrible animatronics haven’t kept me from […]

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How Selfies Feed Narcissism

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Once upon a time, we used to take pictures of other people. But with the arrival of a front-facing camera on Apple’s iPhone 4 in 2010, we began taking pictures of ourselves en masse. Selfies, they were called—a fluffy, innocuous-sounding descriptor. Six years later, we’re taking more pictures of ourselves than ever. And the younger […]

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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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The Joy of CES 2016’s Gadgets and Gizmos

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There was a time when the yearly Consumer Electronics Show was all about computers and TVs. You know, the big dogs that used to sit on top of the electronics heap and casually glimmer at us with brushed stainless steel or piano-black perfection. But that was yesterday. Today, the power-player pecking order seems 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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Naked and Assimilated

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Back in October, singer and actress Selena Gomez gave an in-depth interview with the website refinery29.com. She talked at length about transitioning from what the magazine describes as her “safely PG” Disney days to a young adult artist who’s now shedding the restrictions and prohibitions that come along with the Mouse House mantle. Selena’s latest […]

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The State of Teens, Tweens and Screens

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice how screen and media time continues to grow for so many of us, young and old, these days. Televisions, computers, e-readers, tablets and smartphones offer unprecedented opportunities to engage in all manner of entertainment media. But just how much of this entertainment do our teens and tweens […]

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The Costs of Marijuana Legalization: A Colorado Snapshot

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My children will grow up in a city with marijuana stores on what sometimes seems like every corner. Since Colorado legalized medical marijuana dispensaries back in 2006, a blooming industry in legal pot has blossomed—an industry that’s only continued to expand with the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014. Even though Colorado Springs has said […]

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