"When you're a prosecutor and you have to pick a jury, we now ask pretty routinely: 'How many of you out there watch that show CSI?' Well, they all raise their hand and they all think that's how it is. But living in the real world, we don't have those instruments and equipment and machines. It does not exist [in most cases, especially local ones]. You have to combat that, and it's very frustrating. It makes me crazy when people say, 'Oh, you've just got a circumstantial case.' I'm like, 'What?! Circumstantial evidence is a good thing!' Because the thing that solves cases isn't fancy technology. It isn't forensics or DNA coming back that shows who the killer is. Please. That doesn't happen. It's old-fashioned hard work, done one piece at a time."
—criminal prosecutor Kelly Siegler, who appears in TNT's reality-crime series Cold Justice [parade.com, 10/19/13]
Facebook has announced it will begin giving teens the option to make their posts public for the first time—a move that some say is potentially problematic, given the number of unwise posts teens post already. In an article titled, "Facebook Now Lets Teens Live Out Their Awkward Years in Public," Time's Doug Aamoth writes, "The Internet: It's like permanent marker, except way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way more permanent. And smelling it doesn't make you dizzy." [time.com, 10/16/13]
According to the Internet Watch Foundation, some of teens' self-generated sexts wind up on pedophilic websites after being passed around virally among peers. The organization, in fact, recently conducted a 40-hour research project and found 12,224 sexy, self-generated photos of teens on these sites. And the number of sexting pictures circulating among pedophiles on the Web is likely much, much higher, they said. [dailymail.co.uk, 10/13/13 stats]
"Stars may want you to think that beauty is all just a matter of hair and makeup and lighting. They don't want you to know that there are people out there like Deep Pixel who essentially make them look skinnier and smoother on film and video, in the same way that magazines touch up still photos."
—Leslie Gornstein, writing for omg.yahoo.com, on the practice of slimming, altering and retouching actors and musicians in movies, TV shows and music videos [omg.yahoo.com, 10/14/13]
Fourteen-year-old Shimali De Silva, an Australian singing hopeful who made her way to the finals of the international singing contest K-Pop Star Hunt, was offered a "surprise" before entering the final phase of the competition: a consultation with a plastic surgeon. "The doctor brought out this terrible mug shot and said to me, 'You're 14, but you look 30,'" Shimali reported. "He pointed out the curvature of my forehead, the ratio of my nose to my chin, all this stuff that I hadn't even thought about. I was trying not to be effected by it, but as a 14-year-old, people tell you that the way you look is important if you want to break into this industry; that sunk in and I started tearing up." (After Shimali called home to tell her tale, her mother flew to Seoul to take her out of the contest.) [inquisitr.com, 10/7/13]
There's more evidence that people who play video games tend to identify with the avatars they play as. "Researchers have demonstrated that embodying characters in virtual worlds has a stronger effect on gamers than just passively watching a character," writes Time's Eliana Dockterman; "Game play can influence off-line beliefs, attitudes and action thanks to a phenomenon called the Proteus effect in which an individual's behavior conforms to their digital identity. And if your avatar resembles you (i.e., you're playing with a doppelgänger), the game can make an even greater impression. Previous studies have shown playing with a doppelgänger can lead the user to replicate the doppelgänger's eating patterns, experience physiological arousal or prefer a brand of product endorsed by the doppelgänger."
Now a new study from Stanford University indicates a link between the attitudes of female gamers and how suggestively dressed their female avatars are. Researchers brought in 86 women and had them play video games—half playing as sexily dressed avatars and the other half as more conservatively dressed characters. Those who played with the sexy avatars were more likely to buy into what is called the "rape myth" (that most rape victims were in some way to blame for the deed). And when asked to write an essay after their gaming experience, those with sexy avatars were more likely to self-objectify than cohorts who had played games with more conservatively clad avatars. [time.com, 10/14/13 c&e]
Charlotte Church, the 27-year-old Welsh singer/songwriter: "To my mind, what this [music] industry seems to want of its women increasingly is sex objects that appear childlike. Take your clothes off, show you're an adult. … [They're] encouraged to present themselves as hypersexualized, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win. … The culture of demeaning women in pop music is so ingrained as to become routine, from the way we are dealt with by management and labels, to the way we are presented to the public."
Lorde, the 16-year-old New Zealand singer/songwriter: "I love pop music on a sonic level. But I'm a feminist, and the theme of [Selena Gomez's] song ['Come & Get It'] is, 'When you're ready, come and get it from me,' I'm sick of women being portrayed that way." [theguardian.com, 10/14/13; Rolling Stone, 10/1013; huffingtonpost.com, 10/18/13; mtv.com, 10/7/13]
"Fame and ego and money can do terrible things. I know it's a cliché, but you still see people going through it. Look at Justin Bieber—it's like he's in free fall. I just hope he survives it because a lot of people don't."
—singer Sting, a week or so before the stream of negative publicity about Justin Bieber continued with fresh photos showing him hanging out shirtless and with his pants pulled down to the bottom of his boxers in a Texas strip club. A dancer is reporting that he also "groped" her backside. [theguardian.com, 9/12/13; starpulse.com, 10/19/13]
DC Comics completely rebooted Batwoman in 2010, and since then the character's alter ego, Kate Kane, has come out as a lesbian. But when DC balked at having Kane marry her partner, co-writers J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman resigned in protest. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "The news comes after February's groundbreaking 17th issue of the Batwoman, in which Kate proposed to her girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer. It marked the first lesbian wedding proposal in the history of mainstream comics." And the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awarded Batwoman its outstanding comic book award in 2012. [hollywoodreporter.com, 9/5/13; jhwilliams3.com, 9/4/13]