ELSEWHERE: A Missed Connection for the Ages

It's interesting to think about literary genres "coming of age." Often it has to do with the arrival of a work that realizes the potential of the genre like nothing that came before it. That day has come for the genre known as Craigslist Missed Connections, where a recent post ostensibly aimed at finding the woman in the "vintage white skirt and smart red blouse" goes off the functional rails and lands in downright literary territory. Read the text over at Gawker, and then tell your loved ones … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: The First Cat Video Ever Made Dates Back to the Dawn of Film

Grumpy Cat. The Stalking Cat. Maru. Each one is a cat that has achieved celebrity status around the world for a quirk their owners were able to capture on film. Have you ever wondered when this trend began? Well, it turns out that the originator of the cat video worked for Thomas Edison. Here is his short film, entitled "The Boxing Cats." Timestamp: 1894—a year when nothing much happened because everyone was too busy watching and rewatching "The Boxing Cats." … [Read more...]

The Day the Pastor Went Berserk

“Son, don’t go to sleep while I’m talking. Hey! Hey! … Don’t you lay your head back. I’m important. I’m somebody.” With those words on Sunday, May 19, Pastor Jim Standridge of Immanuel Baptist Church in Oklahoma became an unwitting internet star.And he wasn’t finished.On a roll, Standbridge blasted the male half of a couple whom the pastor said wanted him to marry them, then chastised others’ supposed personal sins — including a church video staff member. “He’s a grown man,” Standridg … [Read more...]

In Defense of Hipsters

A few years ago, I needed a new pair of eyeglasses. I had heard about this company that makes designer lenses at an affordable price, and I decided to check them out. I loved what I found and ordered the Coltons. Customers at the coffeehouse where I work regularly ask me if my glasses are "real" because apparently they're hipster. Yes, they are real, and no, I'm not offended. I'd like to tell you why I take no offense but before I do, let's review what it is about the hipster image that evokes … [Read more...]

Mo Farah Responds with Grace to Awkward Interview

Distance-running phenom Mo Farah—the Brit who just won double Gold (5,000M / 10,000M) at the 2012 London Games—has likely run countless races and been interviewed countless times over the course of his career. I’m guessing that eventually the post-race interview gets to be rather typical. Even routine.But the interview he experienced this past weekend after winning the half marathon in the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series was anything but typical or routine.After clocking a new c … [Read more...]

Notes from the Margins: Because of Christ, It Gets Better

Each week in Notes From the Margins, D.L. Mayfield writes about the kingdom of God, marginalized people groups, and popular culture.In a study published last Wednesday, the effects both of being bullied or being a bully were found to last well into adulthood (including, but not limited to, a severe increase of anxiety disorder, depression, suicide, and panic attacks). According to the New York Times, “bullying is not a harmless rite of passage, but inflicts lasting psychiatric damage on a … [Read more...]

Hello Kitty Goes into Space

Seventh-grader Lauren Rojas from Antioch, California wanted to test the effects of altitude on air pressure and temperature for her school science project.Her plan was to launch a weather balloon into space and record the findings using borrowed flight gear from High Altitude Science and video cameras from GoPro Hero2. But then she gave her project a little zip.She sent Hello Kitty along for the ride in the most adorable silver space rocket. Check it … [Read more...]

YOLO! SNL Turns the Phrase On Its Head And Demonstrates Another Kind of Faithlessness

Most of us have heard the phrase "you only live once," now commonly shortened to that maddeningly moronic acronym YOLO. Rappers Drake and Rick Ross blessed us with this gift in pop culture, and it's now common to hashtag #yolo in tweets and instagrams depicting recklessly stupid behavior. The main point is you only live once, so why not? It's the mantra of mindless kids and the punch line to many jokes about youthful foolhardiness. As someone somewhere once put it, "YOLO is carpe diem for … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Why Memes Are Important (Part 2)

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.The term meme was coined by biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976 to posit how evolutionary principles might apply to culture at large. In Dawkins’s definition, a meme (he was intentionally trying to coin a word that sounded like gene) is an idea, habit, or phrase we pass from person to person within culture. Dawkins proposed that this worked according to a … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Why Memes Are Important (Part 1)

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Commenting on pop culture is an interesting task. Making sure you’re viewing something from the right angle, interpreting it in the correct fashion, and saying things in a way that is interesting can be daunting. Sometimes the biggest issue doesn’t seem to be the commentary itself, but simply deciding what to comment on.We are constantly barraged by p … [Read more...]