ELSEWHERE: iPads Are Proving Beneficial for Special Education Students

It's easy to dismiss iPads as luxury gadgets for checking Facebook, watching Netflix, and playing Candy Crush. But as one Los Angeles educator has discovered, iPads are a huge help when teaching special education students with mental and physical disabilities. As a geek, I love this story because it's a perfect example of technology making a positive impact in the lives of previously disadvantaged individuals. … [Read more...]

Doctor Who’s Doctrine, Part 3: Exterminating Evil

Before “Doctor Who” officially turns 50 this November, Christ and Pop Culture will spend 12 weeks delving deep into the science-fiction series phenomenon. Read Part 1. Then read Part 2. Whenever I talk about Doctor Who with others, the conversation often turns to the show’s cheesiness. As a fan, I don’t mean that disparagingly, but fellow fans, let’s be honest, shall we? From the special effects to the set designs, from the alien costumes to the overwrought acting (e.g., Matt Smith’s twirling … [Read more...]

Meet the Internet’s Most Hated Typist

If you've spent any time on Reddit, or any of those meme sites out there, then you might've seen a picture of a guy pecking away at his typewriter on a sunny day whilst sitting on a park bench. Seems like a rather innocuous photo, if a little odd, but surprisingly, it elicited a huge amount of negative comments on Reddit, such as:"I see this as pathetic. If this was some sort of performance art, it would be one thing, but it'd be the worst piece ever. This is just some ***hole trying to … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Are Online Comments Still Worthwhile?

YouTube and Popular Science recently announced new policies that either add greater restrictions on comments or remove comments altogether. In this social age, it seems like a given that people can comment on, well, just about anything on the Web; when sites take such actions, it may seem odd, perhaps even insulting. But as more sites take drastic measures regarding comments to combat spam, trolling, etc., perhaps we need to rethink the necessity of comments to begin with. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: What Is the Purpose of Shocking Television Content These Days?

There are plenty of television shows that push the envelope with sex and violence (e.g., Game of Thrones, True Blood, Spartacus). Some might see this as a sign of the medium's maturation. However, PopMatters' Cary O'Dell wonders if the increasing amount of "mature" content is "cliched way of proving that you are 'edgy' and 'adult'"—less about crafting compelling stories and more about simply pushing boundaries for the sake of pushing boundaries. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Should Churches Alter Their Worship Texts?

In addition to theological issues, the PCUSA's decision to not include "In Christ Alone" in their new hymnal relates to another issue, that of how churches should handle copyrighted worship materials. Or so claims Steve Thorngate, who performed an informal survey of church and worship leaders and found that a significant number will use songs for which they don't have the proper licenses, or will regularly change the words to suit their purposes. Though a seemingly trivial issue, Thorngate's a … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Damon Lindelof is Bringing the Rapture to HBO

Wired reports that Damon Lindelof (Star Trek into Darkness, Prometheus, Lost) is working on a new series for HBO titled The Leftovers. Based on Tom Perrotta's novel, the series takes place several years after the world has experienced a Rapture-like event that isn't quite like some Christians were expecting. The show boasts a solid cast, including Christopher Eccleston and Liv Tyler, and Peter Berg directed the pilot. No word on an air date yet, but HBO has ordered 10 episodes. … [Read more...]

Why I Won’t Encourage My Kids to Play Football

On August 29, 2013, the N.F.L. announced that it had agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit brought by thousands of players and their families. The lawsuit claimed the N.F.L. had actively concealed information about the dangers of repeated hits to the head, which have been discovered to include increased risk for dementia, depression, and degenerative brain disease. More: The money would be used for medical exams, concussion-related compensation and a program of medical research for r … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Richard Dawkins Stirs More Controversy with ‘Mild Pedophilia’ Statements

Richard Dawkins is no stranger to controversy: the outspoken atheist's criticism of religion has ruffled many a theist's feathers. However, his latest controversial statements don't concern religion, but rather, the "mild pedophilia" he experienced as a schoolchild. Dawkins claims he experienced no "lasting harm" from the experience. Also, he can't condemn the abuse because "you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours." Dawkins has since been criticized by various a … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: The “Netflix for Books” Has Arrived

Netflix has changed the way that we consume movies and TV. No longer do we purchase DVDs; instead, we can stream everything we watch for one low price. And now, thanks to the newly announced Oyster service, we can do the same thing with books. For $9.95/month, you have access to 100,000 titles, with many more to come. Forbes' Steven Bertoni has more info. … [Read more...]