Yearly Archives: 2011

Warning: Political Ads Make You Stupid

This is the disclaimer that Britain’s Public Interest Research Centre recently proposed for inclusion on billboards: “This advertisement may influence you in ways of which you are not consciously aware. Buying consumer goods is unlikely to improve your wellbeing, and borrowing to buy consumer goods may be unwise; debt can… More

Fashion in Rio de Janeiro (Part 1)

Just in case you haven’t noticed, Brazil is really hot right now. With its incandescent economy and its reputation for sensuality and Mardi Gras decadence, Rio de Janeiro, in particular, has attracted an unprecedented amount of global attention. As the sprawling city prepares for the 2014 World Cup and the… More

Mash-Ups in Fashion, Music & Literature

Mashup Compilation from Eduard Minobis on Vimeo. When I think about mash-ups, I can’t help but think about Julia Kristeva and her notion of intertextuality. The term has been used in many, many different ways since she first coined it, but, quite generally, she was using it to talk about… More

Haute Couture & Haute Cuisine

I’m certainly not the first to point out the similarities between haute couture – rarefied apparel that no normal person would have an occasion to wear – and haute cuisine – exquisitely prepared food that costs a fortune and simply disappears by evening’s end. This last July, the French Ministry… More

Grand & Grander

Scott McGibbon is a Project Specialist at The Norman Lear Center. The Lear Center’s Grand Intervention project – begun as an effort to open up the design process and involve the public in LA’s Grand Avenue Civic Park — just passed its sixth birthday, which seems like a fine time… More

Keeping the War on Terror Terrifying

After the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I wondered whether people would remain interested in the War on Terror, or whether we’d see some flagging interest register in the polls that, just last year, placed terrorism in the number three slot of national priorities, right after the economy and jobs. A… More


Veronica Jauriqui is Special Projects Manager at the Norman Lear Center.  The White House called it a historic day if for no other reason than it was the first time we saw a live tweet from a sitting American president. Barack Obama himself tapped out a 140-character message to launch… More

American Idol or Dancing With the Stars

If you watched the CNN Republican presidential primary debate, you saw moderator John King ask the candidates what he called “this or that” questions. Conan or Leno? Rick Santorum said he didn’t watch either, but when pressed picked Leno. Elvis or Johnny Cash? Michele Bachmann said both, but noted that… More