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Culture Clips

Number One

August 2-4
2 Guns
$27.1 million
July 22-28
2nd week at #1
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Selena Gomez, Stars Dance

97,000 units
Robin Thicke, "Blurred Lines"
8th week at #1
Under the Dome
8.2 million homes
5th consecutive week at #1

The Big Bang Theory
6.0 million homes (rerun)
9th consecutive week at #1
America's Got Talent

7.3 million homes
5th consecutive week at #1

Rizzoli & Isles
4.2 million homes

NCAA Football 14
53,470 units for the Xbox 360
3rd week at #1

Sources for #1s: Box Office Mojo, Billboard, SoundScan, Nielsen Media Research, Rentrak Corporation, Home Media Magazine, VGChartz

CULTURE CLIPS is researched and written by Adam R. Holz with assistance from Paul Asay and Bob Hoose. It is edited by Steven Isaac.
August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Facebook, Twitter and other social media users can spend hours scrolling through newsfeeds or flipping through friends' pictures. And some experts believe that these users may fall into a mental state similar to those who play slot machines. It's called the machine zone, where the very repetition of the spinning disks soothes gamblers. "When we get wrapped up in a repetitive task on our computers, I think we can enter some softer version of the machine zone," writes Alexis C. Madrigal for The Atlantic. "The machine zone is anti-social, and it's characterized by a lack of human connection. You might be looking at people when you look through photos, but your interactions with their digital presences are mechanical, repetitive, and reinforced by computerized feedback." [, 7/13]

Among young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, there's a growing unease about their social media posting. Of the thousand Americans surveyed, 29% said they posted a photo, comment or other personal info they fear could compromise their current or future job prospects. And 74% reported they have already removed something from an online post to avoid an employer's "negative reaction." [, 7/30/13 stats]

According to the analytics tracking firm Deepfield, about 62% of all electronic Internet-connected devices―be they smartphones, gaming consoles or desktop computers―use Google at some point every day. And 25% of all Internet traffic goes through the media search giant daily. In 2010, the last time a traffic survey of this scope was run, Google represented just 6% of total Internet traffic. [, 7/23/13 stats]

World of Warcraft has lost 600,000 gamers in three months. And since the beginning of 2013, 2 million people have dropped out. At the height of its popularity in late 2010, WoW boasted about 12 million subscribers. That's now down to about 7.7 million (which still, for the record, easily maintains its hold on the status of being the most popular massively multiplayer online game). [, 7/29/13 stats]

Katy Perry has blasted past Lady Gaga as the most followed woman on Twitter. The pop singer now has 39.8 million followers, compared to Lady Gaga's 39.2 million. Justin Bieber remains in the overall lead, with 42.2 million followers. [, 7/26/13 stats]

George Clooney, who's not typically known for shilling, has become the face of Nespresso, a capsule coffee company owned by Nestlé. But Clooney says, "Most of the money I make on the commercials I spend keeping a satellite over the border of North and South Sudan to keep an eye on Omar al-Bashir [the Sudanese dictator currently charged with war crimes at The Hague]. Then he puts out a statement saying that I'm spying on him and how would I like it if a camera was following me everywhere, and I go, 'Well, welcome to my life, Mr. War Criminal.' I want the war criminal to have the same amount of attention that I get. I think that's fair." [, 7/17/13]

The family that owns the house made famous in the horror movie The Conjuring has begun to experience some strange new disturbances—not from ghosts or demons, but from fans of the movie who show up and wander around the property, sometimes in the middle of the night. The home, owned for 25 years by Norma Sutcliffe and her husband, is the house the film was based on, though not used in the movie. Norma says she's also seen online posts from people who say it would be fun to break into her home. [AP, 7/26/13]

The Wolverine director James Mangold says of having to make edits to his latest X-Men flick in order to secure its more marketable MPAA rating, "I was amazed that the trims we made to get a PG-13 were not devastating to the movie." He credits "old-fashioned sword warfare" as opposed to gun violence for helping him not have to make any more edits than he did. He says an "unrated" version of the film will be coming to video. [, 7/29/13]

Two weeks ago, Rolling Stone's Aug. 1 issue hit newsstands, stirring up controversy because it featured accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a flattering picture on the cover. Celebrities called for boycotts. Major retailers said they wouldn't be carrying the issue. So all that combined civic outrage naturally resulted in plummeting newsstand sales for the issue, right? Actually, the Magazine Information Network reports that after tallying the data from 1,420 retailers across the country, it was found that newsstand sales of the issue were up 102%, once again proving the old publicity axiom, "There's no such thing as bad press." [, 8/1/13]

"Listen, walk to your boy and I approached him/12 midnight on his traphouse porch/And everybody saw when I [expletive] smoked him, roped him/Sharpened up the shank then I poked him/357 Smith & Wesson [unintelligible] scoped him." ―Antwain Steward, who goes by the moniker Twain Gotti, on his song "Ride Out," a tune that recently led police in Newport News, Va., to arrest him on suspicion of committing a double homicide in 2007. "Who puts something in a song that they did like that," one of the victim's sister, Tai Horton said. "It's crazy. That's what I think. Why would he do that?" [, 8/1/13]

Who would you guess works the hardest to lobby lawmakers in Washington, D.C.? Perhaps the NRA? Exxon? Chevy? The American Medical Association? According to Politico, the organization that spent the most on such pursuits last year was the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, dropping nearly $5 million to press its agenda in Congress. The American Petroleum Institute came in at No. 2 (with a relatively meager $2.1 million), followed by the Independent Community Bankers of America ($1.7 million). The Parents Television Council noted in its article about this story, "The next time political pundits complain about the vast influence of bankers and oil companies, they should remember who is #1 at pumping money into swaying Congress: the entertainment industry." [, 8/2/13 stats]

Actress Leah Remini, best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan on CBS' King of Queens, announced on July 11 that she was leaving the Church of Scientology. Since then, she's grown increasingly outspoken in her criticism of her former faith, and she's planning to publish a memoir about her time in the church. "It will include my experiences, everything that's taboo to talk about," she told US Weekly. Former Village Voice editor and longtime Scientology investigative reporter Tony Ortega responded by telling Fox News, "This has a huge impact on the church. Not only because such a high profile member is leaving and getting so much publicity for it, but also because she is raising issues that are already tearing the membership apart—disconnection, interrogations, fundraising and the whereabouts of [Scientology head David Miscavige's wife] Shelly Miscavige. Scientology is headed for a reckoning, and the celebrities are going to be forced at some point to account for all the abuse done in Scientology's name." [, 8/2/13;, 8/4/13]