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Cynthia Fernald's List: pop culture

    • the performances that meant the most to me -- like that of Sally Hawkins in Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" or Robert Downey Jr.'s in Jon Favreau's "Iron Man"

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  • Jan 08, 09

    “There’s probably no God,” the advertisements say. “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

    • “There’s probably no God,” the advertisements say. “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
    • the British effort has been striking in the lack of outrage it has generated.
  • Jan 27, 09

    Why we ought to listen more to scientists ... and worry less.

    • While some young people are clearly engaging in risky sexual behavior, a vast majority are not. The reality is that in many ways, today’s teenagers are more conservative about sex than previous generations.
    • rates also went down among younger teenagers. In 1995, about 20 percent said they had had sex before age 15, but by 2002 those numbers had dropped to 13 percent of girls and 15 percent of boys.

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    • When it comes to listening to music on iPods, blogging, downloading podcasts, joining Facebook, and using Twitter, the over-35 crowd is adopting everything from social media to consumer electronics at a faster rate than their Generation Y (ages 18 to 24) counterparts.
    • "Baby boomers are embracing

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      popular consumer technology applications nearly 20 times faster than the younger generation."

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    • More than ever, America’s atheists are linking up and speaking out
    • Polls show that the ranks of atheists are growing. The American Religious Identification Survey, a major study released last month, found that those who claimed “no religion” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years.

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    • one person has carefully compiled a list of the 99 videos he thinks you need for a basic education (as he puts it, "unless you're a loser or old or something"):
    • the Internet Meme Timeline, which puts the world of viral Web stuff into a historical perspective.
    • Thus persuasion may be most effective when built on human interactions. Gay rights were probably advanced largely by the public’s growing awareness of friends and family members who were gay.
    • So how do we discipline our brains to be more open-minded, more honest, more empirical? A start is to reach out to moderates on the other side — ideally eating meals with them, for that breaks down “us vs. them” battle lines that seem embedded in us.

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  • Jan 11, 10

    Why do so many faiths help perpetuate something that most of us regard as profoundly unethical: the oppression of women?

    • why do so many faiths help perpetuate something that most of us regard as profoundly unethical: the oppression of women?
  • Feb 02, 10

    Some movies here that I'd like to see.

  • Feb 04, 10

    "From 9/11 to the moon landing, how conspiracy theories have changed history -- and why we must fight back "

    • "The Protocols" was the first in a line of outlandish theories that have gained popularity over the past century. From faked moon landings to Holy Grail coverups and missing Hawaii birth certificates, a great many people have been willing to believe some very farfetched ideas. In this fascinating and thoroughly researched book, Aaronovitch dissects not only how many of these theories were invented, but also how they prey on our personal fears and, in some cases, metastasize into our popular culture.
    • We live a global period, and there’s a huge temptation among people to believe there is a master plan, because otherwise the suggestion is we’re interdependent and the world is chaotic — and that’s a mindfuck.

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  • Mar 02, 10

    So ... timing really is everything! \n\n"Hollywood filmmakers, whether they know it or not, have become steadily more adroit at shaping basic movie structure to match the pulsatile, half-smooth, half-raggedy way we attend to the world around us."

    • best fit between a movie’s tempo and the natural rhythms of the brain.
    • As he sees it, complex systems are characterized by something called self-organized criticality. “They tend to migrate to the point where they are partially ordered, partially disordered,” he said. “They’re at the melting point between order and disorder.”

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  • Apr 15, 10

    The truth comes out: Tea Party backers are a bunch of well-to-do whiny white guys.

    • The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
    • while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.”

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    • Banksy offers a heady and hilarious voyage through the underworld of contemporary art that poses all kinds of puzzlers about the role, meaning and context of allegedly subversive art in a consumer society.
    • it's a rueful, comic exploration of what happens when artists like Banksy and Fairey, who have set themselves up as subversive opponents of the pretentious, big-money art establishment, see their own weapons used against them.
  • Mar 08, 11

    Do our policy failures stem from a too simplistic view of human nature?

    • Every artist gets asked the question, “Where do you get your ideas?”


      The honest artist answers, “I steal them.”

  • Sep 12, 12

    "Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid."
    Why being adaptable (and being a woman) is good.

    • Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid.
    • This theory has less to do with innate traits and more to do with social position. When there’s big social change, the people who were on the top of the old order are bound to cling to the old ways. The people who were on the bottom are bound to experience a burst of energy. They’re going to explore their new surroundings more enthusiastically.

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