Popular Culture

One-Hit Wonders

One-hit wonders. You know them well—the artists whose catchy lyrics and infectious tunes earn them a fleeting moment of mega fame before they plunge back into obscurity. Even so, songs like “Come on Eileen” and “Ice Ice Baby” will live on forever, immortalized in VH1 countdowns and karaoke archives.

Elizabeth II Is Such a Doll!

In the past months, I have noticed the steady buzz of fanfare for Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.  A year’s worth of royal parades, pageants, parties, and pomp celebrates the six decades Queen Elizabeth has served as monarch. The people of the British realm certainly adore her. And to be honest, many Americans also follow news of Britain’s royal family, finding the whole notion of queens, kings, princes, and princesses fascinating despite fighting a war to stop British royals from ruling our shores.

The OTHER Video Games: Board Games Based on 70s and 80s Television Shows

When you live in a Little House on the Prairie, every day offers a fresh challenge. Who knows what challenges you’ll be confronted with next? Will Pa need to race against time to extinguish a blazing fire? Will Mary and Laura come face-to-face with a pack of wolves? Will Ma and Carrie find a good crop to harvest? Yes, I’m referring to the Ingalls family, who lived on the banks of Plum Creek near the small town of Walnut Grove, but I’m not talking about situations from the Little House books or the television series that aired between 1974 and 1983.

Playing with Advertising

A beautiful collie stands in a meadow of blue and yellow flowers. His brown and white fur blows in the wind. He looks well tempered and loyal. I affectionately call him Sammy, but when I roll him over to rub his belly, I am confronted with an advertisement for Butter-Krust Bread. What gives? Sammy’s more than just a dog; he’s an advertising toy, just one of hundreds of similar toys distributed by businesses as advertisements between 1895 and 1920.

Remembering Oz

Is The Wizard of Oz imprinted on your memory? I had a fresh realization of all the ways the classic 1939 movie is ingrained in my own mind when I recently explored The Wizard of Oz exhibit at The Strong's National Museum of Play.

Musick Has Charms to Sooth a Savage Breast

Music is one of the first forms of play we engage in as infants, noted The Strong’s Vice President for Play Studies, Scott G. Eberle, in his American Journal of Play article, "Playing with the Multiple Intelligences: How Play Helps Them Grow." Music plays a critical role in our development. Our subsequent education practically depends upon it.  And, in my experience, so does our health and happiness.