Roundups

Morning Shots: Mall Cops, 'Nutcracker' Resentment, And Culture Shame

cup of coffee.
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• TLC has decided to soothe the homesickness of Minnesotans everywhere with Mall Cops: Mall Of America, a new show about security at the sprawling Bloomington, Minnesota complex. Having once lived about a quarter-mile from the MOA, I look forward to the episode where response to an emergency is delayed because the mall cops go to the wrong one of the two Sunglass Huts.

• An interesting question: Can you commit libel in a work of fiction? The answer seems to be "maybe," at least according to one jury.

• It takes a certain kind of bravery to come out as anti-Nutcracker at the end of November, but somebody has to do the journalistic heavy lifting.

Microsoft pays good money to weaken Google, spray-tanners find their big moment, and Sandra Bullock outperforms expectations again, after the jump.

Shame, search, and Sandra Bullock, after the jump.

• In the mood for something a little lighter? Perhaps you'll be entertained by this close examination of spray-tanning as practiced on shows like Dancing With The Stars.

• Microsoft has a new idea: paying content providers to pull their stuff from Google so you can only find it on Bing. You know what sounds not at all good to me? Splintering of search engines so you have to use multiple searches to find everything.

• Harlequin — yes, the romance publisher — has gotten itself in hot water by creating a self-publishing imprint that could be a way for the undiscovered to get their work out — or a way for aspiring writers to be brutally exploited, depending on whom you ask.

This article begins by declaring that it is not another article about Twilight mania, then spends many, many paragraphs discussing Twilight mania. I find the idea that anyone has actually been motivated to feel shame because they read books that other people don't like to be deeply bizarre. If it sent me into crisis mode every time I indulged in something other people have no respect for, how would I survive a single episode of My Fair Wedding With David Tutera?

• Speaking of Twilight, we'll get to the enormous box-office returns for New Moon in a bit, but there was also a large audience for Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side. Perhaps now that, between this and The Proposal, Bullock has now had two movies this year that performed significantly better than many expected, it will begin to sink in that she (at 45) can be a pretty powerful name to attach to your movie, even though that rather defies the theory that the "Hollywood ancient" Julia Roberts is (at 41) simply too old for anyone to care about. (Yes, All About Steve, which got some of the worst reviews I have ever seen, was a flop. Nobody's perfect.)

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