• George RR Martin hands out his own "Alphie" awards at the Hugo Losers Party, August 23, 2015.

    Thu. August 27

    Political Correctness Puts Science Fiction on Trial

    Mark Judge

    John C. Wright did not win a Hugo Award this year. He lost to “No Award.”

    Wright was up for five Hugos in three categories. The Hugo is one of the major awards given to science fiction literature, and Wright is the author of several well-reviewed science fiction novels, novellas, and short stories. Many of Wright’s works are published by Tor, the leading science fiction and fantasy publisher in America.

    I consider Wright’s Golden Age trilogy some of the finest science fiction writing of the last half-century, up there with Robert Heinlein and Philip K. Dick.

    John C. Wright lost to “No Award” because of political correctness. In a story that was widely, and often inaccurately, reported, Wright was part of a group of sci-fi writers calling themselves the “Sad Puppies.” The Puppies, a diverse group that includes writers of different genders and races, argue that a focus…

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    Culture

  • Tips

    Thu. August 27

    Why We Should Abolish Tipping

    Katrina Trinko

    Finally, the tide may be turning against tipping. “Prompted by a spurt of new minimum wage proposals in major cities, an expanding number of restaurateurs are experimenting with no-tipping policies as a way to manage rising labor costs,” the New York Times reported last week.

    The Times cited the example of a seafood restaurant, Ivar, in Seattle, where the owners are hiking prices and stopping tipping in order to pay everyone Seattle’s $11 an hour minimum wage (which will eventually rise to $15 an hour). Other restaurants are simply making a service charge mandatory.

    While I’m no fan of minimum wage hikes—which make it harder for young workers to get their first job and gain experience, as well as encourage businesses to consider automating or eliminating labor—it would be fantastic if the hikes could kill tipping.

    No, I’m not trying to stop waiters and servers from doing their…

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    Culture

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    Thu. August 27

    The Bitter, Frustrated Whiner Otherwise Known as Ethan Frome

    Michael Warren

    As we get ready to head back to school, Acculturated is reevaluating some of the “classic” books routinely assigned to children to read during the school year.  Do they still deserve to be granted the label of “classics”?  Are there better books kids could be reading?  And what ideological and cultural messages are these books really sending our children?

    There was a memorable collective groan from my classmates every day as we trudged into 10th-grade English to discuss the latest chapter of Ethan Frome. “Froooooome!” went the refrain, the title character lending itself well to our expressions of despair. Everyone hated it.

    There was no obvious reason why we should despise Edith Wharton’s 1911 novel about a sad-sack Yankee farmer. After all, high-school reading lists are full of grimness: Dostoevsky, Camus, Kafka. For some reason, the modern English curriculum can be kind of a downer.

    But…

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    Books

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    Wed. August 26

    Why Snoop Dogg’s Son Gave Up on Football – and Why He’ll Regret It

    R. J. Moeller

    I am all for the “following your heart” ethos, but sometimes even the pampered offspring of a perpetually-stoned rap artist can make a poor life decision when going with their gut instinct.

    From ESPN.com:

    UCLA freshman Cordell Broadus, the son of rapper Snoop Dogg, has elected to give up football.

    Broadus, a four-star wide receiver recruit out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, had offers from several other national powers, including Florida State and Notre Dame, but he never reported to the Bruins’ preseason camp.

    So what did Young Broadus’ almost-coaches – who likely spent a lot of time and university cash pursuing the talented progeny of Snoop Lion – have to say about the matter?

    “Cordell informed me yesterday that he has decided to pursue other passions in his life — in particular his love of film through his company Film School Productions,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said…

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    Sports

  • War-on-Women-Poll-Question-960x590

    Wed. August 26

    Why the “War on Women” Rhetoric Never Ends

    Carrie Lukas

    Just as nothing can replace the sounds of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole at Christmastime, for Democrats, it just isn’t campaign season without the familiar chorus charging Republicans with threatening to destroy Social Security. The 2016 cover of this classic has a slight twist: Republican calls to reform Social Security aren’t just being cast as an attack on the elderly, they’re also a part of the “War on Women.” As Helaine Olen put it in Slate:

    In national politics, the war on women isn’t always about denying women the right to choose to end a pregnancy or to have health insurance pay for contraception. It’s also about denying women their financial dignity.

    Such shameless demagoguery needs to be rejected by Americans of all political stripes. If we want a serious discussion about the issues, we need people to talk about them without being labelled sexist.…

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    Culture

  • Shot of a young father reading a book with his daughter

    Wed. August 26

    We Shouldn’t Need Experts to Remind Us to Read to Our Kids

    Jessica Jacobs

    Recently, the New York Times published a story about a bunch of studies just released that pertain to the benefits of reading to children. The article was written by Perri Klass, a pediatrician who co-authored a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The news? “All primary care should include literacy promotion, starting at birth.”

    In short, read to your kids. I’m thrilled this kind of science is getting the best coverage possible, but I’m equally depressed that, as the tone of the article would have it, parents need this kind of heavy-handed prodding just to crack open a book with their kid. That doctors have to instruct parents to read to their kids is frightening because reading to them should be as obvious as feeding them.

    Meghan Cox Gurdon said it best in a Wall Street Journal essay about the merits of parent-child story time.…

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    Books

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    Tue. August 25

    The Book that Taught Me the Virtue of Sitting Still

    Ashley May

    As we get ready to head back to school, Acculturated is reevaluating some of the “classic” books routinely assigned to children to read during the school year.  Do they still deserve to be granted the label of “classics”?  Are there better books kids could be reading?  And what ideological and cultural messages are these books really sending our children?

    You could always tell an honors English student at my high school by a particular strain of anxiety at the end of summer. Instead of sitting outside eating watermelon, chasing the opposite gender at the community pool, we were bunkered in our homes, feverishly trying to read the countless books assigned to us over summer break. Our conversations followed the same predictable pattern. “Hey Liz, how far are you in ‘1984′?”  “67.”  “Man, you’re in trouble.”  “Where are you?”  “I haven’t started.”

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    Books

  • Roh Habibi - Million Dollar Listing SF

    Tue. August 25

    Bravo’s Most Unlikely—and Appealing—Reality TV Star

    Asma Uddin

    In a recent episode of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing San Francisco, one of the show’s stars, Roh Habibi, is shown making copies and stapling packets in his office. The viewer, seeing only Roh’s back, with the collars of his hipster coat turned up, is marveling at Roh’s impeccable style when Roh suddenly turns around to reveal his adorable baby girl, Zahra, strapped on in an Ergo!

    Roh’s voiceover explains that his wife has just gone back to work after maternity leave and the couple has decided that Roh would pick up the slack as needed. Which means Zahra gets to come to the office with Roh and watch him close million dollar real estate deals, one after the other.

    She probably also joins him as he completes his five daily Muslim prayers, prays the tasbih (the Muslim equivalent of a rosary), and grooms his long beard (another…

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    Culture, Television

  • megan-kelly-gq-02-wm

    Tue. August 25

    Enough with the Sex Talk, Megyn Kelly

    Chelsea Samelson

    I have always been in love with Megyn Kelly. Take or leave her politics, the Fox News anchor has it all—she’s law-school educated, smart as a whip, classy as it comes, tough as hell, and stunningly beautiful to boot. She has three adorable kids with her husband and her primetime show The Kelly File is one of the most watched on television.

    Seriously, this woman is practically perfect.

    At least that’s what I’ve always thought, having long seen her as one of the few women I can think of who actually deserves the title of role model.

    But that was before.

    During the recent Republican presidential candidates’ debate, Kelly’s question to Donald Trump caused a surprising firestorm that lost them both a lot of fans. She was criticized for appearing to ambush Trump in the first moments of the debate with questions about his sexist remarks…

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    Celebrities, Culture

  • Retired grandparents sitting happily with their grandchildren on a jetty while on summer vacation

    Mon. August 24

    The Summer of the Grandparents

    Stephanie Cohen

    Every summer, parents all over America pack up their children and send them to grandma and grandpa’s house for days and sometimes weeks. It is a tradition, a childcare solution, a time for generations to commune, and a time for moms and dads to get coveted alone time or fix the house the kids have spent the past year destroying.

    My own brother and I ran around the streets of Peekskill, N.Y. for a week in the summer and spent hours digging through the colossal kingdom that was the attic of our grandmother’s pre-war house. My son heads off each summer to live in my childhood bedroom in New Jersey to attend hockey camp in a nearby town.

    These inter-generational stopovers are practical but they are also providential; they launch our children into independent relationships with another generation, and we are the bridge. Yet we often have…

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    Culture