• CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 14:  Blake Lively attends 'The BFG (Le Bon Gros Geant - Le BGG)' premiere during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals  on May 14, 2016 in Cannes, .  (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)

    Tue. May 24

    Blake Lively Isn’t Racist. She’s Vain.

    Chelsea Samelson

    You know a country’s lost its mind when people wail about a wrong that was not committed and ignore entirely a wrong that was. That’s exactly what happened last week when actress Blake Lively was mercilessly skewered on social media.

    The always lovely Lively took to Instagram to post a split shot of herself posing like red carpet royalty in a gold Versace gown at the Cannes Film Festival. She looked stunning, with an added healthy and happy glow thanks to her recently-announced pregnancy.

    But when she attached the following caption to the photo—“L.A. face with an Oakland booty”—she went from ravishing to racist within a matter of minutes. Twitter was instantly ablaze with angry comments, and the blogosphere lit up with lengthy explanations of how insensitive and racist it is for a white girl to say anything about having a black girl booty. Lively became the poster…

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    Celebrities

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    Tue. May 24

    Raising the Dead

    Acculturated Editor

    Recently, when footage of a Whitney Houston hologram rocking out with Christina Aguilera on The Voice leaked online, the response was almost universally negative. “It’s not right and it’s not OK,” was the nearly-unanimous reaction.

    For those of you who innocently believed that Houston’s performing days were over (given that she died in 2012), let us enlighten you about the latest Lazarus-like efforts by the entertainment industry (and dead celebrities’ families) to profit off of dead people: The Hologram!

     

    The company Hologram USA, which produced the subpar pixelated Whitney Houston, lists dozens of dead celebrities as available “Talent” on its website. Singers such as Judy Garland, Roy Orbison, and Patsy Cline and comedians like Bernie Mac and Andy Kaufman are all available for performances and commercial endorsements—because nothing says love and respect for a person’s artistic legacy like selling their image to hawk Dirt Devil vacuums (RIP Fred…

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    Celebrities, Music

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    Mon. May 23

    Seek Your Purpose Before Your Paycheck

    Christine B. Whelan

    In a new national survey, 18-24-year-olds report that having a clear purpose in life is a big part of being a “real” adult. The problem is, most young people don’t feel like they’ve found that sense of purpose.

    If you’re graduating from college this month, congratulations. After you toss your cap in the air and before you jump into your life’s next chapter, spend a few minutes pondering the three biggest questions of your emerging adult years: What matters to me? Why does my answer matter? And how can I make it happen?

    What matters to me?

    More than 86% of young adults say that making decisions in line with their purpose makes them an adult, according to a national survey I conducted recently. But only 43% say they have a clear picture of what they want in life… and only 30% know why they are here.

    This…

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    Culture

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    Mon. May 23

    Do We Really Need to Hear about Dax Shepard’s Vasectomy?

    R. J. Moeller

    Few things in this life are more personal than the details and circumstances surrounding a husband’s and wife’s decision to have children. Far be it from me to tell another man—especially one who makes his living in the public spotlight—how he should handle information regarding his choice to get a vasectomy (without consulting with his wife and the mother of his two kids), but something tells me that comedian Dax Shepard’s “reveal” on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week was not the most tasteful of options.

    From US Magazine:

    Two kids are enough for Dax Shepard. The actor revealed during his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, May 18, that he got a vasectomy last year after his wife, Kristen Bell, had a pregnancy scare.

    Kimmel asked the 41-year-old comedian whether more kids are in the cards for the couple, who are already parents of daughters…

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    Celebrities

  • Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (Alec Guinness), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the Millennium Falcon. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

    Mon. May 23

    Chewbacca is My Co-Pilot

    Acculturated Editor

    As you read this, teams of overpaid marketing employees are feverishly trying to figure out how to convince consumers to buy products. Sometimes they strike viral gold. Other times? Not so much.

    But just when marketers think they have us quirky humans figured out, there emerges something so bizarre, yet so popular, that it defies everything those eager marketing majors learned about how to reach people.

    Behold Candace, this week’s viral sensation, and her glee over the purchase of a Chewbacca mask:

    The video has already been watched over 130 million times. What explains its popularity (besides the obvious warm feelings generated by anything Chewbacca-related)?

    Candace is a kind of authentic online everywoman who decided that the world needed to share in the joy of her recent purchase; this makes her just like millions of other people online shilling products or promoting things in hopes of becoming Internet famous.

    But…

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    Culture

  • Marvel's Captain America: Civil War..L to R: Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Agent 13/Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..© Marvel 2016

    Mon. May 23

    Vanity Fair Saddened by Captain America’s Heterosexuality

    Mark Tapson

    Having earned a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 90% and just under a billion dollars worldwide since its May 6 release, the latest Marvel superhero movie Captain America: Civil War has rightfully won over critics and audiences alike. Joanna Robinson at Vanity Fair was one of those impressed critics, calling CA:CV great; but she is oddly disappointed by what she considers one nagging flaw: the filmmakers did not make the relationship between the movie’s titular hero—real name Steve Rogers—and his close pal Bucky Barnes explicitly gay.

    Robinson seems to be part of what she calls “the intensely devoted section of the Captain America fan base who consider Bucky, not Peggy Carter, to be the true object of Steve Rogers’ affection.” I’m not enough of a Marvel fan boy to know the full history of Cap and Bucky’s relationship, but I suspect it’s fair to say that from its comic…

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    Culture, Movies

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    Fri. May 20

    Think Before You Livestream

    Acculturated Editor

    Do you ever wonder what strangers around the world are doing right now? Well, thanks to Facebook’s new “Live Video” feature, you can find out. And trust us, you will find out a lot more than you might want to know about your fellow human beings. Take, for example, the guy who live streamed the birth of his child:

    Evidently he thought he was streaming the 45-minute labor and birth to just his family and friends; in fact he was broadcasting it live to anyone on Facebook who wanted to see—which proved to be quite a few people. Within hours more than 120,000 people had watched his son enter the world (making him, in effect, a kind of real-life star of his own version of The Truman Show). The father was unfazed; in fact, as he told a Canadian news outlet, “My baby’s a star!”

    Facebook is entering…

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    Culture

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    Fri. May 20

    Is Instagram Romance Possible?

    Samantha M. Schroeder

    One year ago this month, I wrote a long letter to a person I’ve never met who I happened to discover on Instagram. I don’t recall when or how I first encountered his profile, or what post initially prompted me to follow him. What I do remember is scrolling through his digital album of photographs and being impressed. His Instagram is a montage of beauty: architecture from Brazil, Portugal and Rome; statues, paintings, and books—each paired with an inspiring quote or prayer and hashtag.

    After a few months of a mutual Insta-flirtation with this Brazilian mathematician convert, I desired to make the bold move. I left a comment on one of his photos: “I would love to hear your conversion story someday.” “Certainly,” he replied. “I would love to talk about it and to hear about yours. :)” “We should exchange letters,” I replied. And on May…

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    Culture

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    Fri. May 20

    Top 5 Things to Say (and NOT to Say) to a New College Graduate

    Christine B. Whelan

    According to new national survey data, the #1 advice that older adults would share with their twenty-year-old self is this: make sure you know your purpose before making big decisions. This commencement season, here’s a primer on how to talk purpose with your graduate:

    Top 5 Things to Say to the New Graduate

    Ask open-ended questions, and be ready to answer them yourself, too. Think of this as an opportunity to explore ideas, encourage introspection, and validate your grad’s interests. “If you could design your ideal day, what would it look like?”

    As you discuss this, you could ask questions like: Would you spend most of the time with a lot of people, or by yourself? Would you be dressed up, or in casual clothes? Would you be doing more physical, emotional, or intellectual work? What skill would you be using most often? What would you…

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    Culture

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    Thu. May 19

    You Don’t Need a “Passion Project,” You Need a Purpose

    Stephanie Cohen

    Not long ago, I listened to a thirty-year-old man tell his much older and newly-retired parent, “You need to find your passion.” Really? “Maybe he just wants to enjoy the scenery a while, hang out with his grandkids, and read some books on the beach,” I thought.

    But evidently I’m in the minority these days. It seems like everybody has a passion project: Macaulay Culkin’s participation in a strange retelling of Arabian Nights is his new “passion project;” Prince Harry’s passion project is the Invictus Games; even educators are asking middle and high school students to develop passion projects.

    The phrase “passion project” has popped up occasionally in the media. A 1992 article in The Hollywood Reporter, for example, mentioned people in the film industry who were “willing to cut their salaries to work on lower- budget fare if the material is a personal passion project.” But in…

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    Culture