Why do people like to be scared?

Dr. Margee Kerr is a “scare specialist.”  In addition to college teaching, she is the staff sociologist at ScareHouse, a “haunted house” in Pittsburgh, which apparently consults her scientific expertise in designing effects that scare people.  The Atlantic interviews her on the question of why some people like to get scared. [Read more...]

Stay-at-Home entertainment vs. live theater

What with Netflix, on-demand TV, Hulu on the iPad, and videos on the smart phone, more and more people are staying at home for their entertainment, cocooning unto themselves.  Even going to the movies is too communal and too much trouble for a lot of us, who prefer to wait until we can watch a new film when it comes out on Netflix, rather than getting out of the house.  But this tendency is wreaking worse havoc on live theater.

Thanks to Bruce Gee for putting me onto this column from Terry Teachout, drama critic at the Wall Street Journal. [Read more...]

Zero TVers

The television industry is worried about a growing new category called “Zero TVers.”  Not to be confused with people who don’t watch TV at all, these viewers will watch programming.  But not what’s broadcast or cabled onto a TV set.  They watch on their computers or, instead of on huge HDTV screens, on their cellphones.  Or they might have an HDTV monitor, but are content to watch old programming they rent via Netflix.  Does this describe you? [Read more...]


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