• You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

    Entertainment & Pop Culture

    Entertainment and leisure activities have been a part of all cultures in one form or another since the ancient times, whether the activity in question involved participating in a dance performance, attending a Broadway show, going to a music festival, or watching a movie.
    Browse Subcategories

    Featured content, November 24, 2020

    Behind the Scenes: 12 Films You Didn’t Know Were Based on Short Fiction
    You’ve seen the films, but have you read the sources?
    List / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    Sir Alfred Hitchcock. Circa 1963 publicity photo of Alfred Hitchcock director of The Birds (1963).
    10 Incredible Uses for Eggs
    Eggs are for more than omelettes.
    #WTFact / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    A broken egg shows its contents, an egg yolk and egg white.
    Why Do Onions Make You Cry?
    Onions are such tearjerkers.
    Demystified / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    Women cutting and onion, cooking, vegetables
    Did the Beatles Really Say They Were More Popular than Jesus?
    In the 1960s, Beatlemania was a religion. But did it really have more followers than Christianity?
    Companion / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    British rock group The Beatles, waving to screaming fans en route to Boston, Massachusetts airport (from l to r) George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, on August 12, 1966.
    Rock, form of popular music that emerged in the 1950s. It is certainly arguable that by the end of the 20th century rock...
    Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    the Rolling Stones
    Western dance
    Western dance, history of Western dance from ancient times to the present and including the development of ballet, the waltz,...
    Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    Egyptian dancing
    Acting, the performing art in which movement, gesture, and intonation are used to realize a fictional character for the stage,...
    Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    Latin American dance
    Latin American dance, dance traditions of Mexico, Central America, and the portions of South America and the Caribbean colonized...
    Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
    Aztec round dance

    Entertainment & Pop Culture Quizzes

    Flower. Sunflower. Helianthus annuus. Seeds. Petals. Close-up of the center of a sunflower.
    Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes: Fact or Fiction?
    Is it true that all legumes grow close to the ground? Is a cola a kind of nut? Sort through the facts about legumes and seeds...
    Garlic. Allium sativum. Garlic cloves. Bulbs. Spice. Four heads of garlic. Two heads of garlic and peeled and unpeeled cloves.
    Garlic and Vinegar: Fact or Fiction?
    Is vinegar about half acetic acid? Does garlic battle methane? Sort fact from fiction and find out the bitter truth in this...
    Flower. Sunflower. Helianthus annuus. Petals. Field of sunflowers against a blue sky.
    General Food Knowledge: Fact or Fiction?
    From coffee to hops, turn up the heat in this study of food.
    Traditional yellow dijon mustard in a glass jar. spice, mustard seed, condiment, French gourmet food
    Pass the Mustard: Fact or Fiction?
    Is mustard an ingredient in traditional medicine? Is brown mustard hotter than white mustard? Put the squeeze on your knowledge...
    Legume. Pea. Pisum sativum. Peapod. Pod. Open peapod showing peas.
    This or That? Fruit vs. Vegetable
    Where is the line between fruit and vegetable really drawn? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    the Beatles. Paul McCartney. Publicity still from Let It Be (1970) directed by Michael Lindsay Hogg starring The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) a British musical quartet. film documentary rock music movie
    This or That? Lead Vocals: Lennon vs. McCartney
    Have an acute case of Beatlemania? Try to remember whether John or Paul took lead vocals on these Beatles hits.
    The Shining (1980) directed by Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) Actor Jack Nicholson, left, with actress Shelley Duvall in a scene from the horror film. Motion picture director movie screenwriter
    This or That? Book First vs. Movie First
    Movie buff, bookworm, or both? Some of these famous titles were books first, and some were films first. Try to guess which...
    Fruit. Grapes. Grapes on the vine. White grape. Riesling. Wine. Wine grape. White wine. Vineyard. Cluster of Riesling grapes on the vine.
    Scientific Names of Edible Plants
    All of these plants are fairly common, but do you know their scientific names?
    Andy Griffith (left) and Ron Howard in the television series "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968). (comedy)
    Griffin or Griffith?
    Are you good with names? Try to remember whether these famous folks are named Griffin or Griffith.
    Take the Money and Run (1969) Comedian and actor Woody Allen as Virgil Starkwell in a prison scene from the comedy mockumentary film directed and cowritten by Woody Allen. Allen's first leading role in a movie
    The World of Woody Allen
    What was Woody Allen’s first film? What instrument does the famous director play? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    Never Miss a Day in History
    Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers delivered right to your inbox.

    Entertainment & Pop Culture Subcategories

    Grace Kelly. Actors
    Acting is a performing art that involves much more than just being able to cry on command. It requires the ability to react to imaginary stimuli and situations, to put oneself into another character, to create through performance a nonexistent event, and to repeat this performance at specified times and places. Actors exercise supreme control over their voice and their body and facial movements so as to effectively and believably convey the emotional experience of the characters they represent. Although theatrical productions, television, and movies each carry unique technical demands for the actor, skilled actors can move from one medium to another without a diminution of talent; celebrated actors such as Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Viola Davis have been outstanding in both film and theatre.
    King, Frank: Gasoline Alley Comic Strips & Superheroes
    Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man: in the early 21st century, these superheroes rose to staggering global prominence. Movies featuring characters from Marvel Comics or DC Comics regularly drew in high global box office earnings, and the likenesses of these characters could easily be spotted adorning clothing, toys, backpacks, and more. Prior to the rise of the modern comic books from which these characters sprung, their precursor, the comic strip, held court. Early comic strips were produced in Europe before the form began appearing in American magazines in the late 19th century. In 1933 the first true comic books were released, marketed as giveaway advertising premiums. Five years later, DC Comics introduced Superman, the character who truly launched the superhero genre.
    Egyptian dancing Dance
    Do you prefer tap dancing or ballet? Modern dance or line dances? The world of dance is expansive and covers a wide variety of styles and forms, ranging from simple spontaneous activity to formalized art or from a social gathering where everyone participates to a theatrical event with dancers performing before an audience. Dance is typically governed by the principles of aesthetic pleasure, self-expression, and entertainment, though these principles are not universally agreed upon by all dance groups. Regardless of ongoing debates about how to best define the art of dance, it remains true that dance is a universal language that can communicate emotions directly and sometimes more powerfully than words.
    Becker, Walter; Fagen, Donald; Steely Dan Entertainment Awards & Festivals
    There may be no business like show business, but that doesn't mean that the people of show biz wouldn't like to be recognized with an award every once in a while. Honors like the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, and Tonys recognize outstanding work in film, television, and theater, whereas honors such as the Grammy Awards and the Juno Awards celebrate excellence in music. Additionally, annual film festivals around the world honor exceptional works and performances with awards such as the Cannes film festival's Palme d'Or and the Berlin International Film Festival's Golden Bear. Music festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival (in Switzerland) and Lollapalooza (in Chicago) feature performances by a variety of artists and groups.
    fish on a conveyor belt Food
    The necessity of food for survival is something that all humans have in common, but the trends of diet and food consumption can vary considerably from region to region. Find out more about the ingredients, dishes, and drinks that fuel people around the world.
    Brees, Drew Leisure & Nightlife
    When it comes to free time, everyone has his or her own activity of choice. While some may like to repose with a nice game of bridge, poker, or chess, others may find bungee jumping or bullfighting to be more engaging, and still others would rather opt for hiking or archery. Luckily, there's no shortage of leisure activities available for those who have the time, resources, and inclination to pursue them.
    Doctor Zhivago Movies
    There's always been a certain sense of magic surrounding the movies. Even though movies are technically just a series of still photographs on film, projected in rapid succession onto a screen to create the illusion of actual continuous movement, good movies are remarkably effective at conveying drama and evoking emotion, and they allow spectators to immerse themselves in the world of the film. Emerging at the end of the 19th century, this art form became one of the most popular and influential media and was perhaps the first truly mass form of entertainment. Without movies, we wouldn't have such iconic movie quotes as "We'll always have Paris" (Casablanca, 1942), "Here's Johnny!" (The Shining, 1980), and "Why so serious?" (The Dark Knight, 2008).
    Woody Allen Movie, TV & Stage Directors
    Although directors are often "invisible" to the audience in plays, shows, and movies (Alfred Hitchcock and his film cameos being one notable exception), they play an important role by controlling the evolution of the theatrical or dramatic performance. When there are actors involved, the director often oversees and shapes their performances as well. Although the auteur theory holds that the director is the major creative force in a performance, the role of the director actually varies a great deal, not only according to the medium in question but also according to the extent to which he works with actors.
    subcategory placeholder Music, Classical
    Rosin up your bows and get to work on those sonatas! Classical music utilizes a wealth of different musical forms, including the symphony, concerto, and fugue, among many others. It can be written for musical instruments (such as an orchestra or a string quartet) or for vocal groups (as in choral music). Most of the best-known composers of classical music worked during the last 600 years in the Western tradition; even people disinclined to seek out classical music may recognize passages from some of these composers' standout works, such as Ludwig van Beethoven's "Für Elise," Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," and Georges Bizet's "Haba?era" (from the opera "Carmen").
    Art Tatum, c. 1947. Music, Contemporary Genres
    Hey, what's that sound? Music pervades many aspects of contemporary everyday life; it appears in commercials, blares from speakers in stores and restaurants, accompanies commuters on the way to work, and energizes gym-goers when their motivation is flagging. Music festivals such as Lollapalooza (in Chicago) and the Sziget Festival (in Budapest) attract enormous crowds by featuring an extensive lineup of musicians over several days. Today's music can be divided into any number of categories and subcategories, encompassing genres such as pop, jazz, rock, alternative, country, electronic, rap, and much more.
    time signature Music Theory
    Why do the opening notes of Beethoven's famous "Symphony No. 5" sound strong and driving rather than leisurely and soothing? The answer can be found by turning to music theory, the study of the concepts and compositional methods involved in the creation of music. Music theory examines musical qualities such as timbre, tone, pitch, and texture, as well as compositional elements such as rhythm, dynamics, tempo, and much more. And do you have perfect pitch like Mozart? If you do you can usually hear a melody, then sit at the piano and tickle the ivories or strum the strings of a guitar and play it by ear. A song—or any piece of music—is made up of two or more parts, or sections, which together create the whole of the composition. A ritornello, for instance, is a melodic sequence that “returns” multiple times throughout the composition. Harmony, the musical scale, how chords are formed, and the musical notation necessary to allow other musicians to play a piece of music are all parts of the musical education you’ll need to be a pro in the field.
    African log amadinda xylophone; property of the Uganda Museum, Kampala Musical Instruments
    Not everyone is gifted with an exceptional singing voice. That's where instruments come in! The principal types of musical instruments are percussion, stringed, keyboard, wind, and electronic instruments. Musical instruments have been used since the earliest times, and modern technology has in many cases simplified or improved the construction of instruments, while mechanization has made possible the mass production of instruments of all kinds. It remains true, however, that the production of an instrument of the highest quality still demands the highest degree of individual skill.
    • Organ
      musical instrument
    • Oboe
      musical instrument
    • Drum
      musical instrument
    Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor in All in the Family Television & Radio
    Is it true that video killed the radio star? When broadcast radio came into prominence early in the 20th century, it delighted the public by providing news and entertainment with an immediacy that had been unimaginable beforehand. Radio developed into the first electronic mass medium, but broadcast radio's popularity was eclipsed by television, which appeared about 1945. Television, which was originally conceived as a potential medium for education and interpersonal communication, ultimately evolved into a vibrant broadcast medium that offered a diverse slate of news and entertainment to people all over the world. By the early 21st century, the Internet made it possible to watch TV anywhere, anytime, on small portable devices.
    subcategory placeholder Movie, TV & Stage Development & Production
    Even before the director can first call “Action!,” there’s a lot that must be done to get a movie, television show, or theatrical production ready for production or rehearsal. Screenwriters, producers, and distributors all come into play before a project moves on to the process of hiring the cast and crew, designing and building sets and costumes, creating storyboards, and more. Cinematographers, animators, and special-effects artists are among those who may be called upon to shape the look and feel of a production, ensuring its maximal success when it hits theaters or screens.
    bugaku performance Theater
    There's no business like show business! Nothing quite matches the immediacy and electricity of a live dramatic performance, a fact which may help explain why the art form has persevered from its ancient origins up through the present day. During the 20th century, live theater demonstrated an unexpected tenacity in the face of tough competition from film, television, video, the Internet, and other media. Some works can be given full expression only by stage representation; this is why, despite economic challenges, limited technical resources and funding, and the logistical problems of touring, live theater is likely to continue captivating audiences, as it has done for centuries.
    NOW 50% OFF! Britannia Kids Holiday Bundle!
    Learn More!