Forget Ghosts and Goblins and Things that Go Bump in the Night. What’s Really Scary? Technology.

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scared of technology

E-mail inboxes are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes it’s recipes from your grandma. Sometimes it’s ads from furniture outlets begging you to buy a coffee table. Sometimes it’s notifications from Nigerian princes, telling you you’re wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. And every once in a while, you […]

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Culture Clips: Happy Birthday, World Wide Web! Time To Grow Up!

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happy birthday, internet

Yes, it’s time to trot out the cake, light the candles and sing happy birthday to something we all know and, sometimes, love. That’s right, the World Wide Web turns 30 this month! But its father, while proud of his techno-progeny, thinks his creation has a little growing up to do. Tim Berners-Lee, who proposed […]

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Culture Clips: How Dirty Is Your Phone? Dirty. REALLY Dirty.

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So much to cover this week. So let’s dive in with some nasty news about the device many of you are probably using to read these words right now: your phone. If you’ve ever wondered how dirty it is—as in, how much bacteria calls your precious smartphone home—the answer is really dirty. In fact, experts […]

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Culture Clips: Justin & Hailey Talk Abstinence & Marriage

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Justin Bieber has headlined Culture Clips (and other Plugged In blogs and articles) many times in the last decade. His wildly zigzagging trajectory has often ricocheted between affirmations of faith and reckless behavior. The 24-year-old singer married model and TV presenter Hailey Baldwin last July. And the couple recently sat down for an interview with […]

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Super Bowl Ads Reveal a Brave, New, Digital World

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Super Bowl ads

“I watch the Super Bowl for the ads,” some say. And this year, those folks might’ve been some of the few who actually enjoyed it. (Why yes, I was rooting for the Rams. Why do you ask?) While football fans were treated to a 13-3 victory by the New England Patriots, commercial fans were treated […]

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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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