Journalist, cultural critic, R.E.M. fan for life.

The Shorty Awards call for (brief) nominations — It's time for the third annual Shorty Awards, which honor the most outstanding contributors to Twitter and social media. This week the site went live, inviting folks to nominate their favorite Twitter users in dozens of categories. (Nominations are made via tweets, of course.)

Pod City: ‘Invisibilia,’ ‘Secret Skin,’ and More of the Week’s Best Podcasts — The history of women in comics is so dense that Stuff Mom Never Told You delivers it in two sizable chunks this week. The first encompasses early figures like Ormes, who penned a long-running and groundbreaking newspaper strip in the '40s and '50s.

Pod City: ‘Mom on Pop,’ ‘Song Exploder,’ and More of the Week's Best Podcasts — In this pop-culture podcast, A.V. Club senior editor John Teti discusses entertainment with his mother, Bonney Teti. The latest episode focuses on things Bonney is looking forward to in 2015 (like Better Call Saul), but I was particularly intrigued by her vast knowledge of Pez dispensers.

FLASHBACK: Scream Real Loud for Pee-wee Herman's 1988 Christmas Special! — Don't get me wrong: I adore Charlie Brown, Rudolph and the Grinch as much as anyone. But ask me to name my all-time favorite holiday special, and I gotta go with Pee-wee Herman. Broadcast in 1988--in prime time!-- Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special had everything we can possibly want in seasonal entertainment: music, merriment, snow ...

How Marc Maron, Dave Holmes, and other podcasters treat mental illness. — Several years ago I found myself trapped beneath a lead blanket of depression. While most of that time passed in a slow, black blur, I still can recall what I'd tell myself each day in an effort to keep going: Your feelings are real. Today I'm healthy and happy, but...

Pod City: ‘Bullseye,’ ‘Patcast’ and More of This Week's Standout Podcasts — The comedian is full of surprises, including the fact that he and his wife share a fondness for stuffed animals, which he'd like to donate to the Smithsonian after he dies. Also in this ep, Thorn gets Chris Rock to list the five greatest rappers of all time.

The Playboy Library: Big Star’s '#1 Record/Radio City' — For most music fans, there comes a point when simply liking a band isn't enough. Suddenly, we need answers: What do these songs mean? Where do its members come from? Who are their influences? When I was in high school, I realized many roads led back to Big Star.

Pod City: Ira Glass, Patton Oswalt and More on This Week's Most Interesting Podcasts — Alec Baldwin's podcast has returned, and in this episode he chats with the host of This American Life about his career in public radio. Glass admits he spends most of his time working and says if he had more hours to spare, he'd consume more culture.

Stream Baby Stream: ‘Faerie Tale Theatre’ And More Stream-Worthy Stories — Last week I relocated from New York to Tennessee, which is a pretty major move - though, if you ask me, my decision to "cut the cord" when we arrived is just as dramatic. So far I don't miss cable TV too much; if anything, our family's viewing habits have improved.

The Playboy Library: Robert Altman's 'Short Cuts' — Here's a game: Pick a movie from the 21st century. Any movie works, though I'd prefer a good one. Chances are, the flick you chose is within six degrees of Short Cuts. That's right: The 1993 Robert Altman-directed drama is the Kevin Bacon of movies - and while Bacon himself doesn't appear, virtually everyone else in Hollywood does.
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Jan 21, 2015

Eager to read Vol 2 - the first was outstanding. RT @WIRED: The Civil Rights legend who’s inspiring with comic books

Jan 19, 2015

RT @squintables: I love this picture of MLK taken by my dad. Happy Martin Luther King Day

Jan 16, 2015

@PopLunchBox Not this semester, but perhaps in the future - glad you're interested!

Jan 16, 2015

RT @mental_floss: ‘Invisibilia,’ ‘Secret Skin,’ and More of the Week’s Best Podcasts — (via @whitneymatheson)

Jan 15, 2015

Printing the syllabus for my Reporting on Pop Culture @mtsu course, which starts next week! Teacher friends: Any advice for a first-timer?

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