Monthly Archives: June 2011

Fear and love on a shaky bridge.

“Imagine being in the jungle, thousands of miles from civilization…”

Thus opens the promo for Love In The Wild, the “extreme dating experiment” premiering on NBC this week which promises that its contestants will go on first dates that are jam packed with shaky bridges, crocodile attacks, and bungee jumping.

Either NBC has recently replaced their writing staff with former academics, or their writers missed a true calling as social psychologists. This trick has been done before — and, in case you were wondering, it works.
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New York and same-sex marriage: When politics, personalities, and persuasion tricks collide.

This has been a big weekend for marriage.

In a 33-29 vote, the New York State Senate voted to legalize gay marriage on Friday, June 24th, making it the sixth state to do so — and the most populous.

In the wake of this vote, many people are wondering what this means for the future of gay marriage in the United States. Why exactly is this such a contentious issue, and why do Americans’ opinions seem to differ so greatly? When it comes to marriage equality, why can’t we all just get along?

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Weiner’s wiener? Too perfect to be a coincidence.

By now, you’ve probably heard about Congressman Anthony Weiner – and his infamous wiener.Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images found at The Daily Beast

Everyone’s had fun ragging on Representative Weiner for his online gaffe, where he accidentally exposed a meant-to-be-privately-sent picture of his privates to the entire Twitter community. There’s certainly been no shortage of news references to the funny coincidence of his last name. But is it necessarily such a coincidence? Continue reading

Envying evolution: What can the X-Men teach us about stereotypes?

This weekend marked the opening of X-Men: First Class, prequel to (and assumed reboot of) the wildly successful X-Men movie franchise.

For those who are unfamiliar with the X-Men series, the stories revolve around groups of ‘mutants,’ super-powered beings who supposedly represent the next stage in human evolution and whose powers run the gamut from telepathy to cellular regeneration. Apart from stunning visual effects and fun action sequences, one of the most compelling aspects of the X-Men movies is how easy it is to understand and relate to the prejudice faced by the X-Men and other mutants at the hands of the frightened, non-mutated humans. In fact, there’s quite a lot that the X-Men movies can help us understand about the nature of stereotypes, how we form them, and what makes us activate them in our everyday lives.
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