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Pop Culture Tag Archive


September 9, 2012 • Music Diary, News

Believe it or Not, MTV STILL Has the VMAs, but Nobody Is Watching Anymore

The other night we stumbled across the VMAs while flipping channels, and while we barely slowed before continuing to change channels, we got to talking about it for a while that night and the next day. The basic conversation went like this: – I love the VMA’s. – Why? – Like to see who won …

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September 7, 2012 • Gear Bits

Please Make it STOP! Trailer for the ‘Official Sequel’ to ‘A Christmas Story’

For ages now, a tradition in our family has been watching our DVD (and VHS before that) of ‘A Christmas Story’, the beloved 1983 story of Ralphie Parker based on semi-fictional recollections from Jean Shepard of his youth. It is one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ movies that was not much of a hit …

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September 5, 2012 • Gear Bits

Can You Name All 9 Supreme Court Justices? Welcome to the 1%!

Looking at the image above is a rather depressing statement of the reality of our lack of knowledge of our own political systems. Every day on Facebook, Twitter and more you see people all fired up about ‘ObamaCare’, ‘legitimate rape’, or whatever the hot buzzword of the day happens to be. Yet how many of …

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September 5, 2012 • Gear Bits

Despite Mega-Blockbusters, 2012 is Worst Movie Summer in Two Decades!

If you think in numbers like I do, you might have looked at the movies of this summer, including the record-smashing ‘The Avengers’ and mega-blockbuster ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and assumed that the high numbers from those and other popular movies such as ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ and ‘Brave’ would be enough to produce a highly …

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September 4, 2012 • Gear Bits

Get Your Marathon Time Estimated by Paul Ryan!

Every election cycle contains mis-statements and gaffes and other things that would be trivial for most folks … but in a campaign become serious fodder for one side and spin-control for the other. Recently we had one from Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan, who mis-spoke about his marathon time. Here is a bit from RunnersWorld: …

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August 31, 2012 • Editorials

The Most Important Lesson This Election Year

I worked for Borders in 2004 during the Bush vs Kerry presidential election. While most of our customers were polite, some took the election extremely seriously. We were sold out of a particularly incendiary title, and I had a customer get in my face to tell me he did not believe we were sold out, …

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August 28, 2012 • Gear Bits

Are You Ready for ‘Morning After’ Wedding Photos?

I am probably going to come off very out of touch and old-fashioned here, but at least I have a good reason: I have been married for over 20 years, and when we were married having a videographer wasn’t all that common. Cell phones were still uncommon, and those bricks were only used for … …

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August 27, 2012 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

These Guys Are NOT ‘Heroes’ … and Maybe We Are to Blame

Let me get a couple of things out of the way – I am not equating the potential actions of these two men, nor declaring guilt on them. There are many things we do not know and will never know. But the reality is that these two men – Lance Armstrong and Joe Paterno – …

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August 27, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

George Lucas and Seth Green Debut New “Star Wars” Cartoon

Through the Star Wars movies and Clone Wars cartoons, we got to know the main and side characters through their major exploits across the galaxy. But what about “what the daily life is like in a galaxy far, far away”? Well, now producers George Lucas and Seth Green are going to let us see that, …

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August 25, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

‘Hands Off Crazy’ Is a Tribute to This Week’s Political Wingnuts

Image courtesy CoochWatch There are plenty of crazies on both sides of the political aisle, but as a scientist what REALLY bugs me is total misinformation and the perpetuation of blatantly incorrect information. Again, there are plenty of examples on both sides, but the amazing thing recently is the extent to which anti-abortion legislators will …

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August 20, 2012 • Gear Bits

Fifty Shades Generator Gives You Filthy Smutty Filler Text (NSFW Obviously)

Aside from being a massively successful entry into the romance sub-genre some refer to as ‘mommy porn’, the book has also spawned a large number of memes and parodies. For example, I love the video of Gilbert Gottfried reading excerpts (video below), and now we have a new one – the 50 Shades Generator. Here …

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August 11, 2012 • Gaming, Gear Bits

You Should REALLY Be Watching Wil Wheaton’s ‘TableTop’ Series!

Yesterday afternoon I had some time before taking Chris to his piano lesson, and I fired up the latest edition of Wil Wheaton’s TableTop, this week featuring the game ‘Say Anything’ (Amazon link). Soon I had both boys pulling up chairs and thoroughly enjoying watch someone else play a board game. Here is the basis …

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August 10, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

xkcd Puts Names to What Our Cultural Memory Will Forget Each Year

Today’s comic from xkcd really struck me – even more than their normally awesome work – because it looks at something I deal with on a seemingly daily basis: cultural memory. My wife and I were born in the mid-60s, so I remember watching Watergate, seeing Jaws and Star Wars in theaters, gas lines, and …

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August 2, 2012 • Music Diary, News

Is Dubstep Actually Avant Garde Genius?

Here is an interesting thought – Dubstep represents a culmination of a century of development in avant garde music mixed with already familiar movements in dance, punk and jazz. That is the tack taken by PBSIdeas that explains the historical context around the development of non-harmonic electronic music over the last century. Here is the …

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July 31, 2012 • Editorials, Outdoors

Amazingly, 6% of Drivers Would Swerve to Kill an Animal

Imagine that you are driving down the road and see a turtle on the shoulder … what do you do? Well, if you are Blake Shelton or one of his small-minded ilk, you swerve to crush him (or not as he later denied it), then tweet about it and get abusive to anyone who questions …

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July 30, 2012 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

Non-News of the Day – Pop Music Getting Louder and Harmonically Bland

There has been loads of talk in recent years about the loss in dynamic range of music – the so-called ‘loudness wars’. Basically, to make the quick impression required by the short-attention span internet age listener, a song needs to ‘pop’ and has about 10-15 seconds to do it. The quick cure for that is …

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July 24, 2012 • Gear Bits

GoodBye Shake-Weight, Hello Ace Power!

In terms of ideas that must have seemed great on paper but in reality is so totally sexually suggestive that it can never be taken seriously, it seemed difficult to replace the Shake Weight – which has a great prank video here, but really is perfectly hilarious in the actual TV ad. Well… apparently some …

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June 29, 2012 • Gear Bits

The Irony of Idiotic Idiots and the Rush to Be FIRST!

I hadn’t planned a direct reaction to the Supreme Court upholding all aspects of the Affordable Care Act (calling it ‘Obamacare’ is a pejorative term that shows clear bias), as it isn’t the focus of the site and there wasn’t a direct ‘hook’ that made sense. Well, there wasn’t until the announcement and the hour …

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June 28, 2012 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

What Do You Think of Muse’s Olympic Anthem?

Muse was announced as providing the ‘Official Olympic Anthem’ for the summer games in London, and today they have released the song video officially, with the full album coming in September. The song is called ‘Survival’ and Muse singer Matthew Bellamy said: “It’s a huge honor to have the track chosen as such a major …

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June 28, 2012 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

Tay Zonday Brings a Fitting End to the ‘Call Me Maybe’ Meme

If you haven’t experienced SOMETHING of the ‘Call Me Maybe’ meme, which takes the first line of the ultra-popular Carly Rae Jepson song and twists it around … you might need to come out from the bunker and tune into this whole ‘internet’ thing. The actual line is “Hey, I just met you … and …

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June 27, 2012 • Music Diary, News

10 Video Clips for the 10th Anniversary of John Entwistle’s Death

Back in early 2002 The Who looked to make a comeback, regrouping and heading out on tour with renewed energy. But before the tour could quite start, legendary bassist John Entwistle collapsed and died of a heart attack … certainly not helped by years of cocaine use. In various interviews he lamented somewhat at how …

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