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Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011
Here’s a look at gifts from the previous decade.

Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. The 2000’s recently ended, but there are still a lot of trends and changes to look back on.


Neopets or Webkins: Neopets sold millions of toys and themed merchandise by offering kids realistic counterparts to their free online pets. Towards the end of the decade, Webkins emerged as a younger-child’s version of Neopets, with stuffed-animals whose codes lead to their online alter egos.


 

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Friday, Jan 7, 2011

Despite claiming that “lists are silly,” Kill Screen magazine has brought together a number of video game critics (including former PopMatters blogger L.B. Jeffries) to score the best “Big Games” and “Small Games” (read: indie titles) of 2010.


Describing their methodology as an effort to avoid a “boring consensus candidate,” the list aims to provide “a measure of truth, passion, and controversy.”


All in all, there’s some pretty good games on both lists, which you can find at Kill Screen’s online home:


Kill Screen magazine


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Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011
Here’s a look at gifts from more than a decade ago.

Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. During the 1990s, technology created all sorts of new gifts, but the most sought after toys were often refreshingly simple.


Tickle Me Elmo: It was the hot toy of the 1996 Christmas season. Squeeze Elmo’s stomach and he would vibrate and laugh. “Tickle Me Elmo Xtreme”, which also lies down and rolls around all on its own, was released ten years later.


 

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Thursday, Dec 30, 2010
Here’s a look at gifts from over 30 years ago.

Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. The 1970s saw a boom in electronic technology, but many presents were still pretty old school.


Atari Pong: Before Xbox, Nintendo 64, or Sega Genesis: there was Pong. While you can probably play it on your cellphone today, it was a huge gift in the 1970s. In 1976, they sold for about $55.


 

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Thursday, Nov 11, 2010
The exhilarating world of podcasting opens up new opportunities for pop culture analysis in the relatively young medium. Here is a list of ten particularly rewarding podcasts covering the worlds of film, television, music, and literature.

The Internet offers a plethora of options for those interested in reading insightful and relevant content about popular culture. But, sometimes you need to get your cultural fix while working out, cooking dinner, or sitting in traffic. The exhilarating world of podcasting opens up new opportunities for pop culture analysis in the relatively young medium. However, as is the case with the written word, it can often be difficult to separate the podcasting wheat from the chaff. For every intelligent and well-produced episode, there are hundreds of rambling, amateurish productions available for download on a daily basis. Here is a list of ten particularly rewarding podcasts covering the worlds of film, television, music, and literature. I always look forward to seeing new episodes of the following pop up on my iPhone:


#10: Film Junk
Although it took me a while to get into this podcast initially, it is now prominent in my regular rotation. Three movie fans from St. Catherines, Ontario talk weekly for a couple of hours about all aspects of the cinema, from movie news, to trailer trash, to reviews of new releases. While this podcast leans dangerously towards irrelevant rambling on occasion, the hosts are amusing enough that they are entertaining to listen to even when they talk about hockey or their collections of Star Wars memorabilia. The insights of documentary filmmaker and co-host Jay Cheel are of particular interest.


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