A Gunman’s Facebook Status

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In one of the more bizarre examples of social networking give and take, an armed 36-year-old guy named Jason Valdez recently held a woman hostage at a Utah motel in a 16-hour standoff with police … while regularly updating his Facebook status. “I’m currently in a standoff … kinda ugly, but ready for whatever,” Valdez […]

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Yosemite Slam

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Plugged In recently published a story of mine called “Around the World in 80 Clicks,” which examined the amazing (and kinda scary) ability we have to go practically anywhere we want to via the Internet. I started by telling readers I was taking a “naycation” this year: A holiday via YouTube, where the only literal […]

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Movie Monday: Green Lantern

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Green Lantern’s mighty ring of power can do many wondrous things. But it couldn’t generate much excitement at the ol’ movieplex this weekend. Oh sure, Ryan Reynolds’ alter-ego Hal Jordan flew to the top of the box office, zapping his way to a very green $52.7 million. But considering that Warner Brothers spent an estimated […]

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A Father’s Close Encounter

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You’ve gotta love it when one of the most powerful men in Hollywood is humble enough to second-guess a decades-old creative decision and, in doing so, affirm the value of intact families. That’s what Steven Spielberg did during an Entertainment Weekly interview that hit newsstands this week. Talking with EW and his Super 8 collaborator […]

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The Difference a Teen Mom Makes

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Recently, a new report called “The Millennials, Religion, and Abortion Survey” was released by the Public Religion Research Institute. It’s being characterized as one of the largest surveys ever to measure the relationships between people’s moral and spiritual values and their views on abortion. In addition to correlating young people’s views on abortion with demographic […]

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The Finals and Me, Me, Me

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Generally speaking, Plugged In doesn’t wade into the happenings of the sports world. Occasionally, though, something happens in that realm that’s worthy of our scrutiny. And a story that played out earlier this week offers a fascinating example of a trend that’s increasingly prevalent in our culture, the trend toward narcissism. Like millions of others […]

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Family Media Surprise

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For generations, parents have told their kids, “Shut off the TV and go outside!” And in the last decade or so, we can add iPods, the Internet, cell phones and video games to the “Turn it off!” list as well. But a recent study from The Barna Group (a Christian research and polling firm) suggests […]

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Movie Monday: Super Bummer Weekend

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It was a middling weekend at the box office—both in terms of the offerings moviegoers might hope to find there and the returns those films generated. Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams’ much-hyped sci-fi thriller Super 8 generated a modest $37 million in its weekend debut, a number that Hollywood pundits are labeling neither super nor […]

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A Zettabyte Is Big. Really Big.

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A colleague and I sometimes laugh about weird headlines. My favorites from the past week or so include “Fearsome Lawn Ornament Shot Dead by Cops,” “Proven: Sharks Love AC/DC” and “Roads to Close for Zombie Mayhem in Atlanta Suburb.” But this headline got me not for its humor, but for being totally and completely unfathomable: […]

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Marveling at a One-Rating World

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“Is the PG-13 rating helping or hurting families?” That’s the question I posed in an article published in Plugged In magazine in the summer of 2001. The answer seemed pretty obvious even then. But after watching two recent movies featuring heroes from the Marvel Comics universe, I’m more convinced than ever that this baffling rating […]

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World of Divorcecraft

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Can video games instigate a divorce? According to a study by the website Divorce Online, the answer—in a small but growing number of marriages—is apparently yes. The study found that 15% of women filing for divorce cite their husband’s compulsive video game habits as a reason for dissolving their union, a number that’s up from […]

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Movie Monday: X-Men First

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Just because X-Men was the fittest of the flock and more than just survived the weekend box office race does not mean that Darwin was right. Let’s just get that out in the open right away. But mutations made lots of money nonetheless as X-Men: First Class snagged an estimated $56 million. Not that it […]

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Scary News, Scared Kids?

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We all know about the power of media to influence our perspective on reality. Even so, sometimes I see that lesson illustrated in ways that catch me off guard and remind me just how important our vigilance really is—especially when it comes to the youngest among us. A couple of nights ago, I was praying […]

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