Remember When

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    As long as there are cars and families, there will be family road trips. And just like in the olden days of our childhoods, there are still those classic road trip moments today that simply have to be captured on camera (and cameraphone and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and ...). Things may look a little different now than in the days of 35mm film, but the need to capture those irresistible pit stops and roadside views from the family vacation remains the same.

    Let's take a look at some of those classic snapshots from then and their modern, must-have versions.

    Happy travels!

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    Acting icon Mickey Rooney has died after a long illness at age 93. At one time, the 5'2" powerhouse was easily the most famous and highest-paid star in the world. Rooney got his start working as a baby with his vaudevillian parents and went on to anchor the immensely popular Andy Hardy film series and co-star with just-starting-out legends like Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Clark Gable, and Jean Harlow. He's also starred in many films that are synonymous with "childhood" and is an important part of many childhood pop culture memories. He may be gone, but he will live on forever. Here are six of Rooney's most cherished moments in film.

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    Not too long ago, I turned 40...

    I was telling a friend that I'd be willing to trade in my Gen X status for that of a 30-year-old hipster who wears black-rimmed glasses (for statement, not vision, purposes). Then, I'd never have to admit that I spent the Saturday nights of my childhood hoping beyond hope that Charo would be the surprise guest on The Love Boat or that somehow, Shari and Lambchop would find themselves in an eerie episode of Fantasy Island where Shari was the puppet. (What, I'm the only one who wished for that story line? I think not.)

    No, I wouldn't know a lot of things like, the pain of seeing Chachi marry Joanie or the name of my first Cabbage Patch Kid or the "awesome" effects of Sun-In, had I not been a poster child for Generation X. Things like this:

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    Happy birthday, World Wide Web! Remember when we still called it that? The Internet turns 25 years young today, and whether you think it's the greatest invention since the light bulb or the entire reason our society is falling apart, you must admit it's difficult to imagine our lives without it. Think about it: many of us wouldn't have met our soul mates if not for the Internet. We'd still be faxing thousands of pages of paper a day at our jobs instead of sending email attachments. Lots of us wouldn't even have jobs, or would have very different jobs, if not for the Internet.

    Still, as someone who celebrated all of my single-digit birthdays before the Internet was born, I'd be lying if I said life is so much better now. Here are 4 things the Internet totally destroyed and 4 ways it made life even better.

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    Drama, drama, drama. You'd think (given that it's what they do for a living) most celebrities would be sick of it. But year after year of salacious Hollywood feuding had proved that it isn't the case. From reality stars to A-Listers and everyone in between, no one is immune from getting their feud on from time to time.  

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    Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind...until the next Real Housewives reunion, that is. As the year 2013 sinks with the setting sun and 2014 rises up before us all shiny and new, we have so many memories to revel in. In the Real Housewives world, most those memories are tinged with vitriol and drama -- which is just the way we like it! 

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    Nothing’s more magical than kids at Christmas, right? Well, that may depend on what stage of parenting you find yourself in on any given year. There’s a huge difference between having toddlers during the holiday season and having teenagers.

    Little kids are mesmerized by everything about Christmas -- the lights, the tree, the sparkles, the elves, The Santa … teens just wonder if they’re getting gift cards or cash this year. They roll their eyes a lot too.

    Here are 10 ways Christmas has changed from then, when they were toddlers, to now that they are teens.

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    Got a former '80s girl on your holiday shopping list? You know the one. She used to eat, sleep, and breathe for mix tapes. She danced around (and maybe still does) to Madonna, Prince, and Culture Club music on a huge boom box? She dreamed of owning Andie's Pretty in Pink Karmann Ghia and fantasized about landing a guy with Sodapop’s looks and Steff's money? Well, we've got you covered in the gift ideas department.

    Over on The Prowl, we put together a totally rad, must-have list of gifts for former '80s girls! Remember, the '80s didn’t end with the era. They’re an attitude and a feeling (what a feeling!) that stay with us, like, forever.

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    The movie Home Alone recently turned 23, which, in addition to making us '90s kids feel old, got some people thinking about how the plotline wouldn’t exist with today’s technology. Twitter user John Ekdahl tweeted, “Home Alone 2013: via social media Kevin says parents left him at home. Becomes national story. Parents arrested. Kevin placed in foster care.”

    Ha! True story though. It got me thinking about how many of the plotlines from our favorite childhood movies would be ruined if they were set in 2013? Technology is great and all, but have we lost some kid-story magic?

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    When my dad got the family's (technically his) first ever computer, it came with a few demo CDs meant to indicate to you just how fun the wacky world of computing could be. Many were the hours I spent tooling around the Encarta Encyclopedia disks and playing a revamped version of The Oregon Trail where many a poor pioneer suffered under my brutal ministrations (I was forever rubbing salt into wounds).

    But nothing enraptured me to the degree that the Mariah Carey CD inexplicably included did. All it featured was the music video for her hit song, "All I Want for Christmas Is You." I watched it roughly 80 million times, and as a result, Mimi will forever hold a sacred place in my heart.

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