Culture Clips: Kylie Gets Egged

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Move over Kylie Jenner. You’ve been egged. On Instagram. No, the social media star isn’t wearing slimy yellow protein on her face. Instead, an image of a lovely brown egg has become Instagram’s most-liked image ever. As of this writing, it has secured a whopping 46,113,472 likes (and counting) since being posted on January 4. […]

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Culture Clips: “Alexa, What’s a First Down Anyway?”

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football

It’s that time of year. The time when some of us build our weekend schedules around football games, both college and pro. Bowl games. Championships. Wild Card showdowns and Divisional Rounds. And soon … the Super Bowl. For some of us, we can’t remember a time when we didn’t know what a fist down was, […]

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Silence is Golden—Especially If It’s a Silent Phone

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silenced phones

If you’re willing to dress up like a cow on Chick-Fil-A’s “Cow Appreciation Day,” you can be assured you’ll be dining on a free entrée. On 7-Eleven’s “Free Slurpee Day,” you’ll quench your thirst without dipping into your wallet. If you traipse into any number of restaurants on your birthday, you’re almost certain to get a […]

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“Bandersnatch”: The Possibility—and Peril—of Story

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bandersnatch

Stories are never one-way streets. It’s not just what the story’s creator pours into them; we, the consumer, bring elements to the party as well—our experiences, our ideals, our moods. These elements inherently shape a given story we’re reading or viewing or playing. So even while watching the same movie, two people can have two […]

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Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2018 Edition)

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movers and shakers

See ya, 2018. Wouldn’t want to be ya. Who would? The year was so crazy that even Vincent Van Gogh would have suggested it get a hold of itself. Terrible fires in California. Terrible cold out east. A Tesla Roadster is driving around in space. Certain eels are compulsively swimming into the noses of certain […]

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Of Turkeys, Technology and Accidental Texts

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thanksgiving

Many of us likely spent our Thanksgivings with family and friends, passing the mashed potatoes and side-stepping politics as much as humanly possible. But Thanksgiving at Wanda Dench’s house looks a little different. In 2016, 59-year-old Wanda invited her teen grandson and his girlfriend over for Thanksgiving dinner via text. Or, at least, that’s who […]

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Culture Clips: How Often Do You Check Your Phone?

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checking phone

If you’ve ever wondered whether you check your phone more, less or about the same amount as “normal” people, well, here’s your baseline: 52 times a day. That’s how often a new survey from Deloitte Consulting says the average American adult looks at his or her phone every 24 hours. Deloitte managing director Mic Locker […]

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Culture Clips: Are Conservative Stars Keeping Quiet?

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Many celebrities these days adopt political views that tend to align with liberal positions and politicians. But what about those who don’t? What price might a conservative actor, actress or entertainer pay for voicing a right-leaning opinion? The Hollywood Reporter notes that conservative celebrities are “skittish” about being politically vocal in our “toxic” times. “There […]

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Generation Alpha’s Revolutionary World … And Parenting in It

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gen alpha

If you’ve been lying awake at night wondering what we’re going to name the kids born after Generation Z (those who arrived between 1996 and 2009), the solution is simple: Go back to the beginning. Savvy marketers, who always pay more attention to stuff like this that you and I do, are one step ahead […]

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Overcoming Your Biggest Fears with Gaming Technology

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What are you most scared of? Snakes? Spiders? Heights? If your phobias are the run-of-the-mill variety, there’s a very good chance you’re in luck. Why? Therapists are treating these sorts of fears now in the safety of their own offices—courtesy virtual reality gaming technology. Take the case of a man named Dick Tracey (not be […]

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Culture Clips: The Facebook Trauma Edition

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Culture clips facebook

Perhaps it’s not exactly news anymore when Facebook announces a data breach. The ubiquitous social network has been as leaky as a perforated garden hose lately, so what’s another 50 million users? Still, it made the virtual front pages of a lot of virtual newspapers, and what might’ve gotten lost in the week’s Facebook headlines […]

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Speaking of Speaking …

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speaking of speaking

In my 2011 book, Plugged-In Parenting, I included a chapter titled, “Ten Things You Can Do to End Fights Over Family Entertainment.” One of those suggestions was to get your pastors involved. Here’s what I said: When your kids hear other people—pastors, parents, teachers—echoing your advice on media, they may be more willing to listen. […]

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When Social Media Bullying Turns Uglier

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cyberbullying word cloud

When I was in elementary school, I was frightened terribly by a boy named Winfred. Winfred was a huge (I thought) fifth-grade bully. Somehow I had crossed him and as a result, he had threatened several times to beat me up. I worked hard to take different routes home from school (hiding a lot along […]

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