Las Vegas: How it got the Nickname as Sin City

Introduction In the early 1700s, a 60-man party of Spanish traders was travelling along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles. One of them, Rafael Rivera, was the first to notice a valley floor with grassy meadows on this trip. He called the valley “Las Vegas”, which is a Spanish term that translates roughly into “the[…]

How To Mod-Up Your Online Gaming Experience

Gaming is among the most-engaging industries in the modern world. Fast internet speed and better gaming devices have made everyone get the urge to join the industry. Those who were already doing it are also happy because they now have access to better gaming accessories that make it easy to experiment with different games. However,[…]

Dangerous U.S. Holidays, and Tips For Making Them Safer

Holidays are meant to be celebrated with friends and family. Whether the holiday requires you to exchange gifts, eat delicious food, dance, or swim, holidays in the U.S. can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, they can be dangerous too. It’s normal to let your hair down and relax when you’re celebrating a holiday, but[…]

Do You Want To Become A Better Golfer? Here Are The Things You Need To Get First

Ah, the wonderful game of golf. It is a beloved sport and pastime around the world, and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re observing a game, hitting some putts with friends, or on track to your first PGA tournament, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. However, even if you’re picking up a[…]

How Mobile Gaming Has Changed Over Time

Mobile gaming is an enormously popular sector of the video games industry, making up almost half of the industry’s total worldwide revenue, which is on course to exceed $200 billion in the next few years! Mobile gaming has brought gaming to a whole new audience, with millions of people worldwide playing games such as Candy[…]

Exposure to Science is Growing in Popular Culture

Science is one thread of culture – and entertainment, including graphic books, can reflect that. ‘The Dialogues,’ by Clifford V. Johnson (MIT Press 2017), CC BY-ND By Dr. Clifford Johnson / 01.18.2018 Professor of Physics and Astronomy Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California How often do you, outside the requirements of an[…]

From Smell-O-Vision to Astrocolor, the Film Industry’s Biggest Innovation Flops

Moviegoers familiarize themselves with the joystick that will allow them to interact with the film ‘I’m Your Man’ during its premiere on Dec. 16, 1992. AP Photo/Richard Harbus        By (left-to-right) Dr. Leo Braudy, Dr. Scott Higgins, Dr. Stephen Groening, and Dr. Thomas Delapa / 02.28.2018 Braudy: Leo S. Bing chair in English and American Literature, University of[…]

The History of the Hollywood Sign: Public Nuisance to Symbol of Stardom

George Brich/AP Photo By Dr. Leo Braudy / 03.01.2018 Leo S. Bing chair in English and American Literature Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California Every year at the Oscars, the cameras pan to the famed Hollywood sign and its bold white letters. Ask someone today what the sign symbolizes, and the same[…]

Are Movies a Good Way to Learn History?

Daniel Day-Lewis won the 2012 Academy Award for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Is Spielberg’s historical drama a good way to learn about the 16th U.S. president? Touchstone Pictures By Dr. Scott Alan Metzger / 05.16.2017 Assistant Professor of Education Pennsylvania State University Hollywood loves history. At last year’s Academy Awards, three nominees for Best Picture (“Fences,”[…]

The Cinematic After-Life of an Unidentified Skeleton

Halloween skeleton from By Dolly Stolze / 10.20.2017 I recently read an article by John Squires, published in 2014, over at Halloween Love about how Dawn of the Dead unintentionally featured a real dead person.  Some of the movie crew rented what they probably thought was a fake skeleton from a costume shop when they filmed in Pittsburgh in 1978.  But[…]

When do Moviegoers Become Pilgrims?

Pilgrims at Lourdes. Nick Thompson By Dr. S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate / 07.31.2017 Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies Hamilton College Among the millions of travelers heading out for the summer holidays, some are choosing an unlikely destination: a rusted bus on the edge of the Alaskan wilderness. Fairbanks Bus 142 (aka the “magic bus”) is where the 24-year[…]

The Story of Anna May Wong, Internationally Acclaimed Actress

Anna May Wong was the first Chinese-American movie star and the first Asian-American actress to gain international fame. She used her fame and influence to talk about and protest the racist practices in Hollywood, protesting against racist depictions of Chinese characters, and opening up more significant and starring roles for herself and many actors of[…]

The Superbowl’s Evolution from Football Game to Entertainment Extravaganza

Fireworks go off before Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. Andrew Kelly/Reuters   By Dr. Peter M. Hopsickler and Dr. Mark Dyreson / 02.02.2017 Hopsickler: Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University Dyreson: Professor of Kinesiology, Affiliate Professor of History, Pennsylvania State University In just 50 years, the Super Bowl[…]

How ‘Star Trek’ Almost Failed to Launch

The Starship Enterprise, the famed setting of the original ‘Star Trek’ series, was almost lost to the graveyard of failed pilots. / By Dr. Stephen Benedict Tyson / 09.06.2016 Associate Professor of Political Science University of Connecticut Fifty years ago – on Sept. 8, 1966 – TV viewers were transfixed by the appearance on[…]