Sometimes Free Costs Too Much

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eighth grade

I get a lot of emails that make me scratch my head. I’m guessing you can relate. For instance, I regularly get one from a female gynecologist wanting me to interview her. I also get frequent emails from some “cannabis-something-or-other” business excited about their various products infused with THC. (I’m not sure what the official […]

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Culture Clips: Heroes, Heels and Hacks

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captain america

It’s not easy to find heroes these days. So it was nice to see Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and apparently all-around good guy, break the National Football League’s all-time passing mark this Monday night. Even better, though? His post-game interview. When the ESPN interviewer Lisa Salters asked Brees what he told […]

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Culture Clips: Is Everything Contagious?

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contagion

Independence is hardwired into the American consciousness. We rugged individualists like to think that we, alone, determine what we like and dislike, do and don’t do, value and shun. We want to believe we’re not influenced by others’ opinions and choices. Not by media or pop culture. Certainly not by trends or peer pressure. Nope. […]

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Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

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Jeremiah Thomas

I wrote about Jeremiah Thomas a few weeks back in a blog that highlighted high-tech bullying. When he took a strong pro-life stance even as he was dying from cancer, he was bullied mercilessly online—but he responded with kindness and love. I’m sad to say Jeremiah passed away this past Sunday. Personally, I’m looking forward […]

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‘Eighth Grade,’ Like Eighth Graders, Needs Parents

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Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade, the movie, is rated R, and for some pretty obvious reasons. Our intrepid reviewer Kristin Smith noted lots of profanity (including about 10 f-words) and saw plenty of references to various types of sexual activity when she screened the film. “It left me wondering why so much of it had to be there,” […]

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Culture Clips: State of the Teens, Summer 2018 Edition

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Are the kids alright? It’s a question that many in our culture return to again and again. Rightly so: Today’s children represent the future of our society. But while the question itself seems a simple one, answers almost never are. And so it is today. The news about what’s happening with young people—mostly teens, but […]

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Vodcast: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World

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vodcast with Dr. Kathy Koch

For a long time—longer than maybe I want to admit, even—my professional life has revolved around helping families navigate this bewildering world of entertainment and technology we live in. Those twin influences are only getting stronger as time goes on: Kids and teens have so many shows to watch, music to listen to, games to […]

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Culture Clips: Yeah, Being a Couch Potato is Bad For You

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cat couch potato

We’ve always known, deep down, that sittin’ on the couch to do nothin’ but watch TV probably isn’t the best way to spend one’s day. Or month. Or year. But now, thanks to Scientific American, we have some indication of how bad the sin of sloth can be for us. It’s not just that couch […]

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Culture Clips: Show Dogs Comes to Heel

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cutting film

For a movie that’s made all of $7 million, Show Dogs has certainly sparked its fair share of controversy, including (obviously, if you’ve been following the blog lately) here in Plugged In land. I imagine more stories have been written about the flick than people have actually seen it. Well, the makers of the talking […]

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13 Reasons Provides a Teachable Moment (for Netflix)

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13 reasons

When Netflix unveiled the first season of 13 Reasons Why last spring, the streaming service knew the show would be buzzy. It might not have understood the show’s sting. Based on the book by Jay Asher and produced in part by singer/actress Selena Gomez, the show’s first season revolved around the suicide of a young […]

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Culture Clips: Are You Getting up for the Royal Wedding?

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royal wedding

I pride myself on knowing what’s happening in the world and culture. But I had a funny exchange with my wife last week. We were watching TV when an add came on for an upcoming special titled something like, Meghan Markle: An American Princess. “She’s American?!” I asked, somewhat startled. I’d missed that little factoid. […]

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The Clanging Cringiness of Musical.ly

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Musical.ly

We’ve all heard about Facebook and Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Certain apps and social media platforms are as ubiquitous as, well, the smartphone you’re probably clutching in your hand right now. But kids flock to some apps that we parents are sometimes woefully unaware of. The Musical.ly app may be one of those. On the […]

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Facebook Upside Your Head

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Teens and Facebook

In spite of all the bad press Facebook has gotten lately over leaking-like-a-sieve privacy concerns, it seems that the youthful set is still flocking regularly to that social media stopover and other venues like it. The latest compiled numbers from sources such as the Associated Press and the Pew Research Center suggest that: Nearly 90% […]

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