Pop Culture Feed

Allegiant Stadium will be filled with 49ers and Chiefs fans Sunday as they vie for the NFL championship in Super Bowl LVIII. (Photo: Allegiant Stadium) This Sunday, millions will watch the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers face off in Las Vegas to determine the National Football League's championship. With the Sin City location, it's fitting that a record 67.8 million American adults are expected to bet on Super Bowl LVIII. That's a 35 percent increase from 2023, according to a new American Gaming Association (AGA) survey. The dollar amount also is up this year. Bettors plan to wager... Read more →


Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images College football fans are in heaven. The 2023 NCAA bowl season is underway. The first of the 42 games kicked off this morning in with Georgia Southern meeting Ohio in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. The event's sponsoring name notwithstanding, the event is actually more inland, at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina. There are six more games today, all as appetizers to the main menu meal, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. The one downside this year is the number of notable players —... Read more →


Shopping with your true love can be fun, but you'll probably have to make a separate, solo trip so you can surprise your partner. And if you want to buy any or all of the true love gifts in "The 12 Days of Christmas" carol, you also will want to make sure you have lots of cash or a large credit card limit. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) Even though inflation has slowed this year, Americans are still grumbling about prices. But it hasn't slowed holiday shopping. More than 200 million people went in search of perfect... Read more →


A rare annular, or ring of fire, solar eclipse is tomorrow, Oct. 14. NASA has more on the event. And if it's cloudy where you live or you're not in a prime viewing region, you can livestream the eclipse. October already is the spookiest month of the year, but things ramp up this weekend. Today, in case you haven't looked at a calendar, is Friday the 13th. Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 14, millions in the Americas will experience, at least in part, a rare annular solar eclipse. In the United States, the event will begin in Oregon around 9:13 a.m. Pacific... Read more →


Actor Bob Odenkirk in the season 4 finale of "Better Call Saul," where his titular character, after getting his law license reinstated, legally becomes Saul Goodman. (Screen shot from that episode's final scene) It's all good, man, for AMC Networks and Sony Pictures in their legal fight with Liberty Tax In August 2022, Liberty Tax Service sued Sony Pictures, the producer of "Better Call Saul," and AMC Networks, which broadcast the "Breaking Bad" prequel, for trade dress and trademark infringement. But apparently, attorneys for Sony and AMC were up to (OK, probably better than) Saul Goodman standards. They persuaded the... Read more →


Beyoncé on the Renaissance World Tour at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on June 1, 2023, (Photo by Raph_PH - BeyonceSpurs010623) I love music. I just ordered two CDs last week. That last retail admission should tip you off that my prime concert-going days are behind me. In one way, I'm glad. The cost to see my favorite musicians perform back in my day was reasonable, even then. Today's more youthful fans, however, are shelling out big bucks to attend concerts. Marketplace economics are part of the calculation. And emotion is part of the market. So scalpers, whose targets are... Read more →


Margot Robbie as the title character in the Barbie movie based on the iconic doll. (Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment) I haven't seen the Barbie movie yet, but as fan of filmmaking and owner as a child of a couple of Barbie dolls, I have been following the stories about the script, production, costumes, sets, and stars. But what really caught my attention were the tax remarks by the character portraying Barbie's creator. Barbie arrived in American stores in 1959 thanks to Ruth Handler, who along with her husband had founded the doll's corporate manufacturer Mattel a decade earlier. Many... Read more →


Real Madrid Carlo Ancelotti on the pitch sidelines (Photo: @MadridXtra Twitter screen capture) Spanish tax officials are not letting anything slide, especially when it comes to global celebrities. The tax evasion trial of pop star Shakira is scheduled to start this November. Now Carlo Ancelotti, coach of Real Madrid futbol club (for casual fans like me, that's a popular, and very valuable, soccer team), will stand trial for tax fraud for allegedly failing to declare image rights earnings in 2014 to the Spanish tax office. A Spanish judge said Ancelotti had "acknowledged" the actions which deprived the country's treasury of... Read more →


Great American Park vendor selling frozen treats and beer at a Cincinnati Reds game. (Photo by Chris Metcalf via Flickr CC) Happy MLB Opening Day! No, it's not an official holiday, but it should be. I've been to several Major League Baseball opening days in person over the years. It's great fun. It's also expensive. A ticket to a major league ballpark these days can blow a full grocery budget to bits. And speaking of food, the cost of concessions is outrageous. But since you no longer can bring in food — yes, I'm old enough to remember when we... Read more →


UPDATE, March 12, 2023: Congratulations to all those who won Academy Awards tonight, especially the big winner, "Everything Everywhere All at Once." The movie, known on social media as #EEAAO (or #EEAO if you don't want to include the preposition) proved that this year's major Hollywood event definitely wasn't your grandparents' Oscars. The wildly imaginative film, which featured a tax audit, won best picture. Three EEAO stars, Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis, won acting Academy Awards. And original screenplay and directing Oscars went to The Daniels, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Jamie Lee Curtis, far left,... Read more →


It's National Margarita Day! Each Feb. 22, the focus is on appreciating this popular tequila-based cocktail. Or as we call it here in Texas, every day. FX/FXX TV's spy-turned-private detective Sterling Archer offers his margarita recipe. If, however, you're looking for a drink that's a bit more elaborate that the basic one preferred by the animated (in so, so many ways!) and self-absorbed bon vivant, check out the Cooking Channel's top 28 margarita recipes. Personally, I prefer beer. But if a margarita is your drink, here's to an enjoyable happy hour with your fellow fans of this azul agave beverage.... Read more →


U.S. President Joe Biden with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meeting after Biden's secret trip to Kyiv on Feb. 20, 2023. (Photo via Zelenskyy Telegram account) We woke up this morning (some later than others…) to news that while we were sleeping, President Joe Biden was in Ukraine. The overnight trip from Washington, D.C., to an active war zone was under a cloak of secrecy for obvious security reasons. Only a handful of White House, Pentagon, Secret Service, and intelligence community personnel were in the know. It, of course, included a 10-hour train ride by the Amtrak-loving 46th president. The momentousness,... Read more →


… and yes, there is a tax connection beyond winning wagers being taxable income. Photo by Scott Webb As is usual each Super Bowl Sunday, bets are getting a lot of attention. There are the big-dollar wagers on the game. Two seven-figure bets were placed last week on the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in today's Super Bowl LVII championship game. Then there are the prop bets, many of which have nothing to do with National Football League plays on the field. For any of those bets that pay off, the winners will owe taxes to the... Read more →


Image courtesy NFL The 57th Super Bowl is Sunday. Millions will watch the National Football League championship game to root for their Kansas City Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles. For most, the attention will be because of pure fandom. But millions also will pay attention to the events at State Farm Field in Glendale, Arizona, because they've got money riding on the game. Growth of sports betting: Gambling on sporting events is no longer taboo. After the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 ruling allowed states to decide whether to legalize sports betting within their borders, most states and Washington, D.C., have done... Read more →


via GIPHY Seven days from now, many of us will be opening Christmas presents. Hanukkah is underway. Regardless of what or how you celebrate December holidays, your purchases probably increase this month. And this year, inflation, even though it's abated a bit recently, means you have or will pay more for all those gifts, food, and other festive trimmings of the season. Every year, PNC financial services issues its Christmas Price Index, or CPI. It measures, using a methodology similar to Uncle Sam's official CPI, or consumer price index, the current costs of the gifts given in the classic holiday... Read more →


Vegas, baby! Nevada's Sin City is still the place to wager on sporting events. More states, however, are taking sports bets, but World Cup wagers are minimal compared to bets placed globally. The hubby has been planted in front of the upstairs television since the World Cup began. I've been watching the MLB Network, wondering when the GM-less Houston Astros will make a move beyond the José Abreu signing. We'll weather this sports breach in our marriage. He's a big baseball fan, too, and the World Cup rolls around just every four years. And at least he's not a gambler.... Read more →


One of my favorite yard displays in my neighborhood. I love the multicolor wig on the swinging skeleton. (Photo by Kay Bell) Happy Halloween! Most of my neighborhood goes all out with outdoor decoration for this traditionally spooky night. All Hallows' Eve isn't my favorite holiday. I do, however, get a kick out of seeing what the youngsters dress as to trick or treat. Some of their parents get into the spirit, too. If you're still trying to decide what you'll wear tonight, an internet search will provide lots of last-minute suggestions. Social media also is full of a create-your-own... Read more →


Welcome to the first Sunday of the 2022 National Football League season. It's the best day of the week for U.S. professional football fans. Yeah, I know the first game was last Thursday night and the Buffalo Bills sent a message to the defending Super Bowl champs, in L.A., no less, and everyone else. But today is full of America's most popular sport. There are 14 match-ups, starting at noon Central Time. That's where I am, so that's that flyover clock reading that my search (shown below) gave me. Adjust accordingly for your team and time zone. Then the first... Read more →


Photo by Ben Vardi (Ben Vardi, Public Domain) It's the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend marking the end of summer. It's also three straight days of college football games. So, of course, folks are enjoying cookouts and/or tailgating. Both those events typically involve adult beverages, surreptitiously in the case of college football games, depending on where you're holding your "Go Team!" pre-game celebration. Today's multiple Saturday Shout Outs welcome this convergence of the United States' most popular sport and Labor Day weekend. First, there's the legal aspect of booze and parking lot football parties. Intoxalock looks at 5 Alcohol Laws... Read more →


UPDATE, Nov. 21, 2023: Sorry tax paparazzi. Shakira won't be going to trial on tax evasion charges. The international pop star reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors to settle a multimillion-euro tax evasion case just before the trial was set to begin in Barcelona. Under the deal, Shakira received a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of €7 million (nearly $7.7 million in U.S. dollars) UPDATE, Sept. 27, 2022: A Spanish judge on today approved a trial for Colombian pop singer Shakira on charges of tax fraud. The date for the trial has yet to be set. Shakira and Spanish... Read more →