Pop Culture’s Best Surrogate Father/Daughter Relationships

Why are surrogate parent-child relationships so pervasive in pop culture? Is it the hope that even if your parents die or hate us or don’t know how to solve our problems, someone else will pick up the slack and help us out? Or do we just enjoy watching strong, independent people be all vaguely touchy-feely and stuff, to kids that don’t happen to be their own? Either way, the surrogate father-daughter relationship has become a particularly popular one recently. For this Father’s Day, we thought we’d celebrate all the pop-culture heroes who aren’t necessarily dads but who act like them anyway sometimes, as well as the badass girls who benefit from their paternal instincts. Let us know your favorites in the comments. … Read More

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10 of History’s Most Egregious Typos

We’re hoping you’ve seen the screenshots of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s new smartphone app, but if you haven’t, then let us break the news to you: there’s a

The Wicked Bible

Throughout history the Bible’s been the most transcribed – and as a result, most misspelled – book of all time, and there are… Read More

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A Selection of Brands’ Responses to Their Products’ Depiction on TV and Film

Placing brand named products on either the big or small screen can be a tricky feat. Even if a movie or TV show is actually being sponsored by a particular company and is contractually bound to include them in the script, the company isn’t always happy with the way it’s represented. But the stakes can… Read More

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Science Fiction’s 10 Worst Planets to Live On

Everyone loves the idea of traveling to faraway planets and hanging out with aliens, right? Science fiction is such a cool genre — there’s spaceships and jet packs and lightsabers and sexy green women and a guy who travels through time in a phone booth! It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, though, when you start to actually think about the type of planets you see in sci-fi stories. Some of them are utopias, sure, but those places usually get blown up, like Krypton and Alderaan and the planet Vulcan from the new Star Trek movie. For every lush world full of hyperintelligent civilizations, there’s a crappy slime-planet that everybody hates living on (and some of the lush planets are pretty crappy too, actually). Don’t believe us? We’ve rounded up some of the worst places we could think of to build a summer home in the science fiction world, ranked from least to most awful. Check out our list after the jump, and tell us about your least favorite planet in the comments. … Read More

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Selected Strange and Unintended Consequences of Pop Culture Trends

As writers of television, films, and books tend to find out, you can’t control what people do with the stories you create. Once you release them to the general public, fans tend to grab hold of aspects of your work that you least expected, cruising right past the message to embrace, say, the cool gadgets or fashion, or even something that has literally nothing to do with the stories themselves. We imagine, for example, that with Brave, The Hunger Games, and The Avengers all premiering within a few months of each other, there are going to be a whole lot of kids signing up for archery lessons at summer camp this year, and we can bet Suzanne Collins wasn’t thinking about that at all while writing a series of novels about kids murdering each other. We’ve compiled a few weird unintended — and often fairly disastrous — real-life fads inspired by hit pop culture franchises. Let us know if you can think of any more (although, honestly, maybe we don’t want to know). … Read More

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9 Weird Subcultural Holidays You Didn’t Know Existed

Friday is May 25th, which the geeks of the world know as Geek Pride Day! They aren’t the only subculture to have their own yearly celebration, however — and no, we don’t mean the infamous Talk Like A Pirate Day (who does that?). There’s a lot of cool festivities to be had for those in the know, and a lot of them involve dressing up all fancy and walking around in public wearing petticoats and the like. Awesome, right? OK, maybe not, but we know you’re intrigued. Get your calendars ready and check out all the unofficial holidays we have to tell you about after the jump. … Read More

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The Most Intense Battle Sequences on Television

Heads up, violence fans! The next episode of Game of Thrones is (mild spoiler alert) supposed to be a doozy, and fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire series know why – The Battle of Blackwater is one of the most extreme sequences in the books, complete with swordfighting, giant ships exploding, lots of fire getting thrown around everywhere, and a couple of choice kills by an unexpected assassin. Because of the show’s overall budget, Blackwater’s supposedly been scaled down a bit compared to the over-the-top text, but it still has the largest number of visual effects of any GoT episode to date.

Budgets aside, it’s incredibly tough to get an effective fight sequence on television, even if you’ve got plenty of money. If you’re on a network, there’s the censors to worry about, and on most shows that aren’t written by George R.R. Martin, you have to worry about keeping most of your major characters intact in a believable way. And let’s face it, not every show is ready for “battle” — we’re never going to see Castle and Beckett throw down to save Manhattan from a bunch of aliens, Avengers style (though wouldn’t Stana Katic look amazing in the Black Widow jumpsuit?). Still, there’s been some great action to be seen on the small screen over the years. Check out our list of favorites, and add your own in the comments. … Read More

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Celebrity Reality Talent Show Judges Ranked from Least to Most Absurd

As much as the general public is fascinated by televised talent competitions, nobody wants to watch a bunch of people they’ve never heard of offer advice to a bunch of contestants they’ve never heard of. That’s why celebrities make the perfect judges – at least, in theory they do. Sometimes the producers of these shows don’t know quite what they’re getting into, as evidenced by some of the personalities on this list. We rank the celebrity judges of American Idol, The X Factor, and more from least to most absurd, after the jump. … Read More

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Famous Songs as Reinterpreted by Tech Nerds

If there’s one thing nerds on the Internet are really, really amazing at — you know, other than science and inventing and math and learning useless facts about science fiction franchises — it’s using technology and creativity to reinterpret their favorite things. Ever wonder who was the first guy to figure out how to play music using the tones on a Touch-Tone phone? It was probably a nerd! And technology buffs all over the globe have only expanded their efforts in synchronizing music and machines since then. Have a listen to some of these incredibly done covers and let us know what you think! … Read More

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A Selection of Pop Culture-Inspired Hair Tutorials

YouTube is a huge and diverse place, but over the years, certain types of video content have proved more popular and widespread than others. There’s the cat videos, the dudes-playing-bass-guitar videos, the teenage vloggers — and then there are the hair and makeup tutorials, which may just be the best things to ever come out YouTube that don’t feature adorable animals. In fact, for the pop culture-obsessed among us who’ve always wanted to look like our favorite characters without having to spend money on wigs, hair tutorials are a must. We’ve rounded up the coolest hairstyles we could find, and surprise! Most of them are pretty easy to do, provided you have a lot of hair and a lot of time. … Read More

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