Midnight In The Desert — culture

Don't forget UFOlogy: The Influence of UFO Lore in Pop Culture

Posted by K R on

Don't forget UFOlogy: The Influence of UFO Lore in Pop Culture

Earlier this month, Vox featured a video essay on its website examining “Why we imagine aliens the way we do.” Vox tells us: “We often imagine extraterrestrials to look a certain way because we’ve encountered them in books, films, or TV shows, which means that when we’re thinking about aliens, we’re usually thinking about the product of someone else’s imagination.” Vox is suggesting that we conceptualize aliens as we do almost entirely because of science fiction, in the form of books, movies, TV shows, etc. As I’ve shown in my own work, it’s not quite as simple as that. Vox’s...

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What Pop Culture Can Teach You About Science

Posted by K R on

What Pop Culture Can Teach You About Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, approaches space with a mix of pop culture, science, and humor. When the Cosmos television series was being rebooted, he was a natural fit to fill Carl Sagan’s shoes. Now he hosts StarTalk, a science talk show on the National Geographic Channel. In his new, richly illustrated book, StarTalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond, the ebullient astrophysicist takes us on a new journey through the cosmos, during which he expounds on subjects as diverse as...

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How Paranormal Reality Entertainment Is Changing Culture and Beliefs

Posted by K R on

How Paranormal Reality Entertainment Is Changing Culture and Beliefs

No matter where you turn, it seems like reality entertainment based on the paranormal is everywhere. From long-running television shows like SyFy’s Ghost Hunters to Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures andDead Files and YouTube channels run by investigation groups, the options for the paranormal enthusiast are everywhere. And while a segment of the population is strongly skeptical, a Harris Interactive poll indicates that 51% of the public, including 58% of women, and 65% of those aged 25 to 29 but only 27% of those aged 65 and over, believe in ghosts, while a Live Science article from 2011 indicates that 71%...

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Apologist's Warning to Christians: 'Once You Open a Door to the Demonic, It's Hard to Close'

Posted by K R on

Apologist's Warning to Christians: 'Once You Open a Door to the Demonic, It's Hard to Close'

Pop culture has a growing fascination with the occult. From zombies and vampires, to Hogwarts and horoscopes, and even witches and Ouija boards — the mystical, unknown and undead seem to dominate TV and movie screens. While many celebrate this phenomenon, is it appropriate for Christians to get caught up in the zombie zeitgeist? Apologist and New Testament scholar Jeremiah Johnston discusses paranormal entertainment, conjuring the dead, and "ordained" mediums in a section of his new book Unanswered, a volume intended to shed light on several hot-button topics that loom large within the Church. By and large, a majority of...

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Pictures: Taking It With You—Ancient Provisions for the Afterlife

Posted by K R on

Pictures: Taking It With You—Ancient Provisions for the Afterlife

It's the ultimate mystery: What happens when the heart stops beating, the brain ceases to send and receive signals, and a person who was once full of life is said to have passed away? Cultures around the world offer a variety of answers, many based on the idea of an eternal life—a passage through the pearly gates, a tortured future of endless fire and anguish, a continuing cycle of rebirths, or a merging with the creator. But beliefs about the next life arose long before today's faiths took root. Throughout human history people have hoped there was something after their...

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