What Lady Gaga Got Right—and Wrong—at the Oscars

Lady Gaga is one of Hollywood’s most enigmatic entertainers. One minute she’s wowing us with a heartfelt salute to legend Julie Andrews, the next she’s shocking us by wearing a meat dress or, in American Horror Story, wearing hardly anything at all. Her latest splash in the Hollywood spotlight came at last week’s Oscars, where […]

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How Selfies Feed Narcissism

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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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 […]

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Rediscovering the Old Fashioned Joy of Reading … Out Loud … Together

There’s very, very little that I’ve done in more than nine years of parenting that I would absolutely, unequivocally say that I’ve gotten right as a father. I’m not always consistent. I can get talked into things by my kids if they pester me long enough. I’m more likely to say yes to dessert than […]

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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, […]

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Resolving to Change Our Media Habits

Editor’s Note: It’s nearly the dawn of a new year, and with the turn of the calendar many of us take stock of our lives and decide to make a change or two. Sometimes that can take the form of the standard New Year’s resolution. Sometimes we simply want to improve on what we’re already […]

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a Plugged In sort of holiday. Not only is it a pretty special and sacred time for Christians, but it’s completely awash in its very own entertainment. Most of us have our favorite Christmas movies, Christmas television specials, Christmas albums, Christmas carols. I’m not aware of very many Christmas-themed video games yet, but give ’em time. Moreover, […]

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What a Rock Star’s Tragic Death Has to Do With Us

When celebrities die tragic, premature deaths due to addiction and excess, popular culture has a way of lionizing them as something akin to martyred heroes. From Marilyn Monroe to Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley to Kurt Cobain, Corey Monteith to Heath Ledger to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the sad story is so sadly similar: a blazing life […]

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