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Mike Rugnetta

  1. Tech

    What Are Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, and Do They Exist?

    Critics love making this distinction between digital natives -- those born after 1980 who grew up with the Internet and are supposedly fluent in its use -- and digital immigrants -- those born before 1980 and who have to manually learn how to use these technologies, but is that distinction useful or accurate? PBS Idea Channel investigates.

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  2. Entertainment

    PBS Idea Channel Looks Inward to Answer Viewer Questions with Double Episodes

    The latest episode of PBS Idea Channel is a two-part behind-the-scenes look at the show, how it's made, and how it came to be. They put the word out that they wanted to answer questions, and viewers responded in a big way. Watch host Mike Rugnetta explain some of the inner workings of one of the best shows on the Internet.

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  3. Entertainment

    PBS Idea Channel Explores The Symbolic Significance of Doctor Who For Its 50th Anniversary [Video]

    Doctor Who is all anyone's been talking about for the past two weeks, and PBS Idea Channel is no exception. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary this weekend, Mike Rugnetta takes a look at the history of the Doctor over the years, and how he might be less of an individual character and more of a series of symbols.

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  4. Entertainment

    Could Seeing Ender’s Game Be Considered a Political Action? [Video]

    Ender's Game has been out for about a week now, and whether or not audiences should go see it if they're opposed to Orson Scott Card's politics has been a hotly contested issue over the past few months. Mike Rugnetta and PBS Idea Channel decided to take a look at whether money should be wielded as a political "upvote."

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  5. Entertainment

    Is Slender Man The Internet’s First Crowdsourced Folk Tale? [Video]

    Slender Man might have been invented on a Something Awful forum in 2009, but as Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel explains, since then he's taken on a life of his own. Protip: Do not watch this new video with the lights off while you're working from home alone in your apartment early in the morning. Just... um, just don't. Trust us on this one.

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  6. Gaming

    What’s the Difference Between “Being” and “Controlling” Your Video Game Avatar? PBS Idea Channel Explains

    When playing a video game are you simply controlling an avatar, or are you being that avatar? It's a complicated distinction without a true binary, but that's not going to stop PBS Idea Channel from tackling it. When does a game's avatar cross from being controlled into simply being? Watch and learn.

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  7. Tech

    Is Spam The Native Art Form Of The Internet? [Video]

    Like us, Mike Rugnetta was pretty bummed to find out that Horse_eBooks hasn't been a real spambot for the past two years. However, it got him and the rest of the crew at PBS Idea Channel thinking about the true nature of spam and whether it might, when done well, even be considered artistic. Huh. Well, that's an odd twist.

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  8. Entertainment

    Can You Really Enjoy Breaking Bad?

    A we all know, up until about two weeks ago Breaking Bad had been ripping the hearts out of us on a constant basis and stomping all over them, and we loved every second. Or did we really? In the latest episode of PBS IDea Channel, Mike Rugnetta suggests that our enjoyment doesn't necessarily come from the show, but from the relief we feel when it's over.

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  9. Entertainment

    How does Welcome To Night Vale Confront Us With The Unknown?

    Part News from Lake Wobegon, part Lovecraftian horror, Welcome To Night Vale has been getting a lot of attention lately -- it's now the most popular podcast on iTunes, even moreso than This American Life. Why are we so fascinated with this quiet radio drama? Mike Rugnetta and PBS Idea Channel have some thoughts.

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  10. Entertainment

    Are the Titans in Attack On Titan Really All That Evil? [Video]

    Full disclosure: none of us have seen the new anime Attack on Titan yet. We know, We're sorry. We've all heard really good stuff about it, if that makes it any better. Mike Rugnetta of PBS: Idea Channel has seen it, however, and he has a lot of real interesting... well, ideas! That's kind of his thing, and he sure is great at it.

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  11. Science

    Do We Over-Aggrandize Nikola Tesla? PBS Idea Channel Explains the Two Nikolas Tesla

    Nikola Tesla was a brilliant innovator, and the world owes him a lot, but he's far from the superhero many people make him out to be. In the latest episode of PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta looks at the idea of the real Tesla vs. the myth of Tesla, which is also real. It's complicated.

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  12. Weird

    As We Always Suspected, The Internet Is Made of Cats [Video]

    Say what you want about cats, but they pretty much run the Internet. Actually, according to the latest video by PBS Idea Channel, they might even... be the internet. No, seriously, It takes an in-depth explanation of toxoplasmosis, metonymy and the transitive property of congruence, but Mike Rugnetta gets there somehow.

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  13. Entertainment

    The Many Ways Jurassic Park is a Commentary on Capitalism [Video]

    One of the greatest films of the past two decades (yeah, two. We are all getting older, let's move on), Jurassic Park has been analyzed through every critical lens there is, most notably Marxist. For the folks at PBS Idea Channel, it's not just the film's text that's involved in capitalist discourse... it's the existence of the film itself. Trippy.

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  14. Tech

    On Intentionally Using Glitches in Art and the Nature of Beauty [Video]

    Most people don't think the weird pixelated mess you get from a faulty SNES game can be art -- but then again, most people don't think an upside-down urinal is art either, and that didn't stop Duchamp. If you're interested in the artistic capabilities of "grain on fuzz on noise on grain," as Mike Rugnetta puts it, then you need to check out the latest PBS Idea Channel video.

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  15. Entertainment

    Bow to Your Sensei: BMO of Adventure Time Might Be a Modern Feminist Icon [Video]

    It's no secret that Mike Rugnetta and the crew of PBS Idea Channel love them some Adventure Time. After all, it's a ridiculously amazing show -- partially due to its totally mathematical aesthetic and cool cast of characters, but also for the way that it calmly handles such mature themes as death, self-esteem, and the dismantling of the gender binary. Yeah, you read that last part right: In the latest episode, Mike argues that because BMO identifies as both male and female at different points in the show, our favorite sentient computer is helping to introduce some really cool aspects of third wave feminism into the mainstream. You go, little guy. Girl. Whatever you'd like.

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