Rolling Stone magazine has a piece up called "The Decade of the Dude," which examines the impact of the film The Big Lebowski since its release 10 years ago. While it's not the first media outlet to tackle this story, Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene did tackle aspects of the story I'd never heard of.
For one, the unforgettable character of Walter Sobchak was based (somewhat) on Apocalypse Now screenwriter John Milius. The resemblance is pretty amazing:
There's also a great picture of Jeff Bridges dressed up as a ten-years-older Dude: