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International Students Share Their Favorite American Stereotypes

From food to fitness, people explain how they can tell someone’s from the United States.

Image via Youtube/Solfa.

For better or worse, stereotypes are one of the filters through which most of us see the world. They simplify our complex surroundings, and help our brains compartmentalize and process new information.

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A Trailblazing Arts Festival Changing Global Perceptions of Turkey

How Alphan Eseli and his wife Demet are shifting the paradigm with the Istanbul Arts & Culture Festival.

Courtesy of Istanbul '74

For centuries, Istanbul, Turkey has been a cosmopolitan port attracting global citizens from all walks of life, and an incubator for thought-provoking discourse, inspiring everyone from Rumi to Rimbaud. Despite this legacy of sophistication, many evening-news watchers tend to lump Istanbul, and, for that matter, all of Turkey, under the misleading title of “conflict area” due to its proximity to several embattled neighbor-nations. Situated perfectly between Europe and Asia, with Syria to the South and Iran to the East, many in the West, particularly those unfamiliar with the region, are worried that the country will be next in line to fall prey to ISIS, which in the last year has grown from fringe movement to formidable force.

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Is Russophobia a Thing?

Yes, it sounds like paranoid, Putin-backed propaganda, but the term also sheds light on the West’s history of Russian stereotypes.

Screenshot from Eastern Promises

Earlier this month, the World Russian People’s Council, an international organization whose goal is to promote a positive future for the motherland, announced its intention to create a new Center for the Study of Russophobia. Members of the organization, founded and nominally led by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Moscow, believe that Russia, Russian people, and Russian language speakers are often unfairly portrayed in the international media, much to their detriment. So as a service to Russia and an academic exercise, the WRPC now believes it must stand up to identify, explain, and correct the rough and cartoonish caricatures of its people—which it believes have become more common since the Ukraine conflict began in 2014.

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Why Can't Hollywood Get Education Right?

The real problems in America's schools are hard to dramatize, so the entertainment industry gives us Cameron Diaz's breasts instead.

If the slate of upcoming movies and TV shows is any indication, the education drama may be the new cop drama. Several new films and series about teachers and schools are set to be unleashed on the masses. Unfortunately, the entertainment industry isn't exactly known for its accurate portrayals of American schools.

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"La-La Land" Enters the Oxford English Dictionary

Another update to the Oxford English Dictionary designates L.A. as "a state of being out of touch with reality."



Last week OMG and LOL, among other initialisms and symbols, were added to the Oxford English Dictionary. But there's another curious addition to the dictionary of record's latest update. "La-la land" is now an official term for Los Angeles:

la-la land n. can refer either to Los Angeles (in which case its etymology is influenced by the common initialism for that city), or to a state of being out of touch with reality—and sometimes to both simultaneously.

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