Brace Yourself: ‘Tis the Season for Year-end Lists

It's that time of the year again, where every blogger and their mother trots out their year-end lists of best or favorite music, movies, books, graphic novels, viral videos, greeting cards, dog toys, and whatnot. (And, of course, we here at CaPC are not immune.)Indeed, there are so many year-end lists that sometimes, it can be rather daunting to figure out which lists to look at, or where to even begin looking. Well, fear no more. Here are year-end lists (and lists of lists) that will give … [Read more...]

What Would You Do If You Saw a Man about to Be Crushed by a Subway?

Newspapers have been hit hard in recent years. Even such venerable and influential papers as The New York Times have had to make sacrifices to stay afloat as revenue shrinks and as digital and online sources for news grow in popularity. So, from that perspective, perhaps it's not too surprising that the editors of The New York Post would choose to publish a photo of a man about to be crushed by an oncoming subway on the front page of their December 4, 2012, edition. Such a shocking and … [Read more...]

Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Purpose of the Universe

In recent years, Neil deGrasse Tyson has become one of science's most popular evangelists and communicators, and for good reason. The astrophysicist is funny, witty, and quite affable, and his media savvy -- consider his various appearances on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report -- handily undermines the popular (mis)conception of scientists as bumbling, anti-social dweebs. And if that weren't enough, he's pinpointed Superman's birth planet of Krypton for DC Comics and he's even been the the in … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: I Want to Dream Like Jiro

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Note: This week, I'm very pleased to have my CaPC colleague, Jason Morehead, contribute a column for The Moviegoer. In addition to his excellent work here at CaPC, Jason writes for Filmwell. -NickJiro Ono is the world’s most celebrated sushi chef, and has received a three-star rating from the Michelin Guide. His restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is so popular that you must reserve your spot at least a month in ad … [Read more...]

Does Technology Prevent Us From Being More Thoughtful About Technology?

You've probably noticed that one of the recurring themes in my articles here on CAPC concerns the ever-increasing presence of technology in our lives, and its potential ramifications. (If you have any doubt that this is occurring, consider this recent Pew Internet poll concerning mobile phone users which found that 44% of mobile phone users sleep next to their phones at night, and 29% described their phones as "something they can’t imagine living without.")This ubiquity is aided greatly by te … [Read more...]

Video Games Embrace the Permanence of Death

"Just remember that death is not the end," or so goes the Bob Dylan song. This has been the sentiment for video games as well. You can be mowed down by a horde of alien invaders, send your race car flying off the tracks in a mass of flaming metal, or even get your spine ripped out, and with the press of a button, it's like nothing ever happened. However, if you know that your character can be reborn after even the nastiest and most gruesome of demises -- if there's no sense of danger or loss -- … [Read more...]

Good Ok Bad presents “Great Graphic Novels for Kids”

By now, you've probably noticed the awesome illustrations that accompany our features, such as this one or this one. They're the work of one Seth T. Hahne, a master illustrator who also happens to run his own excellent site, Good Ok Bad, where he regularly reviews comics, graphic novels, and manga. He's recently published "Great Graphic Novels for Kids", which, as the title implies, contains recommendations from pre-kindergarden all the way through junior high: More than any other request, I ha … [Read more...]

Bringing My Four-Year-Old to “Wreck-It Ralph” Was a Total Parenting Fail

For a moment on Thanksgiving Day, my wife and I were those parents. You know the kind that I'm talking about. The kind of parents that you hear about on the news, or read about on your friend's blog, and make you shake your head and wonder "What in the world were they thinking?" The kind of parents who... bring their child to a movie that he was too young for.That's right: On Thanksgiving Day, my wife and I took our four-year-old to see Wreck-It Ralph, Disney's acclaimed animated movie about … [Read more...]

Science Explains Why We Love to Suffer on Black Friday

I've only gone out on Black Friday -- the massive shopping "holiday" that takes place on the day after Thanksgiving -- once. It was shortly after I got married. My wife and I went to the local Kohl's, found some items we liked with reduced prices. We never purchased those items, because we decided we had better things to do with our Friday than wait in a line that wrapped all the way around the store's interior. We put the items back and left.However, there are plenty of people who are … [Read more...]

Hipster Bashing, Ironic Living, and Seeing the World Through the Eyes of A Child

It's tempting to read Christy Wampole's recent New York Times piece, "How To Live Without Irony", as little more than an attack on hipsters, especially when it begins with this bit: The hipster haunts every city street and university town. Manifesting a nostalgia for times he never lived himself, this contemporary urban harlequin appropriates outmoded fashions (the mustache, the tiny shorts), mechanisms (fixed-gear bicycles, portable record players) and hobbies (home brewing, playing trombone). … [Read more...]