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    Fri. January 30

    Celebrities Behaving Well Award

    Acculturated Editor

    It’s time for the second annual Acculturated Celebrities Behaving Well Award!

    While we all can remember Kanye West’s hissy fit over two wheelchair-bound fans refusing to stand at one of his concerts, Stephanie Seymour’s questionable Harper’s Bazaar spread, and all of the Ray Rice drama, we sometimes overlook all the admirable things that our beloved pop-culture icons have done in the past year. Perhaps not as attention getting or headline-worthy as whatever happened in that elevator with Jay-Z and Solange, our nominees for this year have quietly earned our respect, and we think they deserve some recognition.

    Please take some time to review our list of nominees, their good deeds, and their preferred charities and cast your vote at the bottom of the page. The winner of our contest will be announced on Monday, February 23, and we will award their charity with a $2,500 donation.

    Drumroll please…and…

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    Culture

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    Fri. January 30

    The Bluster Over Cumberbatch’s Blunder

    Mark Tapson

    Thanks to the internet and a 24/7 news cycle which feeds our fascination with celebrities, hardly a week goes by without a celeb feeling obligated to offer a mea culpa for misbehavior that somehow personally offended masses of strangers. The most recent case in point: actor Benedict Cumberbatch and his casual reference in a TV interview to an antiquated term for blacks.

    Cumberbatch was responding to a question from PBS host Tavis Smiley about the lack of diversity in the British film industry when he said, “I think as far as colored actors go, it gets really difficult in the UK, and I think a lot of my friends have had more opportunities here [in the U.S.] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change.” This was in the context of praising black British comedian Lenny Henry, who launched a campaign to ensure greater diversity in UK media.…

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    Culture

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  • "The Wedding Ringer" World Premiere

    Thu. January 29

    Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting Is My Hero

    R. J. Moeller

    For the women who make their living in the media or entertainment industry, one quickly learns that the first rule about feminism is that you do not talk about feminism with anything less than a crusader’s bravado. There is no neutral in the land of progress and tolerance when it comes to public statements about chauvinism, sexism, and a woman’s (supposedly) on-going fight to be taken seriously.

    General Patton’s only standing order in World War II was “Take ground!” It would appear that the gatekeepers of modern feminism in America share a similar battlefield strategy to Old Blood and Guts.

    Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting—the attractive female lead in the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory—learned this the hard way after some of her recent comments in an interview sent the Fembots of Feminism into a knee-jerk tizzy.

    When asked in an interview with Redbook magazine if she…

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  • Junk Food Curated By Kristin Cavallari - After Party  - STYLE360 Spring/Summer 2014 Collections

    Thu. January 29

    Kristin Cavallari’s Daddy Problems are Our Daddy Problems

    Ashley E. McGuire

    This showed up a lot on my newsfeed yesterday. It is an Instagram picture that Kristin Cavallari, former Laguna Beach and The Hills reality T.V. star, took of a text from her husband, Jay Cutler, the quarterback for the Chicago Bears. She landed after a flight and got these texts:

    Cavallari claims she posted the text to prove they don’t use nannies 24/7. You’ll forgive ordinary Americans, even those of us with nannies, for not being impressed by their enormous feat of playing a part in raising their own children. But that aside, all I can think is: her poor husband! Less because of her obnoxious reply, which is blurred out in the picture because she uses the f-word, more because she just embarrassed him on a global social media platform.

    Sure, we’ve all gotten some variation of the S.O.S. message from our husbands. But why is it okay…

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    Culture

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    Wed. January 28

    The Rise of the Hollywood Nice Guy

    Mark Tapson

    Nice guys finish last, as Leo Durocher’s aphorism goes, and that may seem especially true in Hollywood, where the ruthlessly ambitious jockey for fame and fortune. But Jason Kennedy is proving that success in that world doesn’t necessarily require compromising one’s values.

    Kennedy, the 33-year-old cohost of E! News and E! News Weekend, may be heralding the rise of the nice guy in Hollywood. As a Glamour profile notes, he is so clean-cut that he drinks in moderation, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t frequent strip clubs. His dad is his hero. He apparently even told his E! producers that he refused to say “tit” on the air. “That’s just disrespectful to women,” he explained. “And my mom’s going to be watching!”

    Hollywood isn’t known for having a Christian-friendly atmosphere, but that doesn’t faze Kennedy, who leads a weekly Bible study group—that’s right, a Bible…

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    Culture, Television

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  • The Biggest Loser - Season 16

    Wed. January 28

    “The Biggest Loser”: A Modern-Day Exorcism?

    Erin Vargo

    “I have 400-pound people who can do jumping jacks, and if they can do it, you can do it!” (“The Biggest Loser” Trainer Jillian Michaels, 30-Day Shred)

    Last weekend, the New York Post exposed “The brutal secrets behind ‘The Biggest Loser’” in an interview with former contestant, Kai Hibbard. If you’re a skeptic, it’s worth reading the article in its entirety. If Hibbard is to be believed, the show’s producers and trainers are guilty of brainwashing and belittling contestants through intimidation (“We’ve picked out your fat-person coffin.”) and Schadenfreude (“It’s because you’re fat. Look at all the fat you have on you.”). They’re also guilty of promoting “Franken-foods” and advising contestants to ignore medically prescribed guidelines. (“At one point, Hibbard says, production did bloodwork on all the contestants, and the show’s doctor prescribed electrolyte drinks. ‘And the trainer said, Don’t drink that — it’ll put weight…

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    Television

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  • Young couple in love walking in the autumn park holding hands lo

    Tue. January 27

    Falling in Love the Scientific Way

    Ryan Duffy

    A recent column in the New York Times by Mandy Len Catron discussed a novel approach to an age-old mystery: how do two people fall in love? Catron discusses research by the preeminent psychologist Author Aron, who brought heterosexual male and female participants into his lab and had them ask each other 36 increasingly intimate questions. Then at the end of the conversation they stared into each other’s eyes silently for four minutes. Catron decided to try out this exercise herself with a colleague, and over a period of time they too (like several of Aron’s participants) fell in love.

    When we think about falling in love what probably comes to mind is a process revolving around interaction. Two people meet at school, work, or common friend group, get to know each other over a period of time, come to realize their commonalities and connection, start formally dating, and…

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    Culture

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  • Friday Night Lights

    Tue. January 27

    What Does Hollywood Have Against Marriage?

    Matthew Schmitz

    Mindy Kaling, creator of The Mindy Project sent a tweet this weekend saying she was fed up with negative portrayals of marriage in television and film. “Does everyone in LA hate being married?” she asked. “It’s sure how you make it look in TV and film!”

    Does everyone in LA hate being married? It’s sure how you make it look in TV and film!

    — Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 25, 2015

    We are a long way from the Motion Picture Production code, which dictated that “The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld.” But even when such standards governed filmmaking, it was difficult to know how to depict a happy marriage in a dramatically compelling way. The rush of romance has a dramatic force familiar to any reader of Austen. But how to portray marital bliss?

    In her exhaustive study, I Do and I Don’t: A…

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    Culture

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    Mon. January 26

    The Boy Who Didn’t Go To Heaven

    Mark Tapson

    Last April I wrote a review of the bestselling book Heaven is for Real for Acculturated, in which I kept an open mind about young Colton Burpo’s tale of visiting heaven during a life-threatening medical emergency. After all, though we should always be skeptical, his story was one in a thousand-year tradition of remarkably similar near-death experiences (and not only in the Christian tradition). And just as there is no physical proof that heaven exists, neither is there proof that it doesn’t. But another boy who claimed to have made a similar journey announced recently that the book based on his experience was spun out of lies.

    The 6-year-old Alex Malarkey—incredibly, that’s his real name—and his father Kevin were in a terrible car crash in 2004. Alex wasn’t expected to survive, but after two months in a coma he woke to share a vision of the angels who…

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    Culture

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  • Bride with bike

    Mon. January 26

    Please Don’t Marry Yourself

    R. J. Moeller

    The main reason that I did not care for the experience of screening Spike Jonze’s popular 2013 film Her had little to do with the technical or story-telling aspects of the well-crafted movie. What put a sour taste in my mouth was how depressingly realistic the film’s premise was. The notion that we are not far off from a world in which people choose to date and “marry” artificial intelligence programs on their smart phones instead of finding human companionship is, in my opinion, tragic. Worse still, Her did its best to venerate and romanticize this “relationship” between man and his computer.

    Humans had let Joaquin Phoenix down. Humanity had let him down. And his iPhone broke his heart by becoming “more than human.”

    For those of us still preoccupied with the beauty and tragedy of intra-species relationships among our fellow man, this story out of Japan is yet…

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    Culture

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