What Does the Truth Feel Like?

Every now and then when I’m reviewing music for Plugged In, I’ll come across a lyric from an artist that succinctly encapsulates some aspect of our culture. That happened recently when I reviewed Gwen Stefani’s first new solo album in 10 years, This Is What the Truth Feels Like. Before I talk about the lyric […]

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American Idol’s Faithful (and Flirty) Legacy

American Idol wrapped up its awe-inspiring 15-season run on Fox last night, crowing a final Idol, Trent Harmon, in an emotional two-hour finale that featured just about everyone who’s ever been anyone on the show. Watching performances from a litany of former Idols who’ve legitimately become pop culture idols reinforced just how successful the show […]

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A Former Adult Film Star’s Difficult Lessons

Former pornography star Bree Olson—who’s also known for her stint as one of actor Charlie Sheen’s former “goddesses”—left the adult film world behind in 2011. But five years later, the now 29-year-old still struggles profoundly with the stigma of the onscreen work she pursued beginning at age 19. In fact, she’s not sure if she’ll […]

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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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Tap Dancing Around What Jesus Might Do at Sundance

When I speak to youth groups and churches on the subject of media discernment, I encourage audiences to consider asking themselves this question when making entertainment decisions: If Jesus and His 12 disciples were walking the face of this planet today—not 2,000 years ago—and one of His disciples, let’s say Matthew or Peter, came up […]

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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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You May Never Run Out of Toner Again

We’ve all been there. You need to wash clothes for work the next day, but you discover all too late that you’re all out of detergent. Or you need to print out an important document, and—wouldn’t you know it?—the toner’s gone! Drat! Admittedly, these are first-world problems, not honest-to-goodness existential crises. Still, these are the […]

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The Joy of CES 2016’s Gadgets and Gizmos

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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