The Sixers’ Ben Simmons Won’t Play This Season

Ben Simmons

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Another big man will miss the entire season for the Sixers.

Ben Simmons, the overall number-one pick last summer who broke his foot in the preseason, will not play this season. Sixers president Bryan Colangelo announced the news at a press conference this morning. Read more »

Talia Schlanger Named New Host of WXPN’s “World Cafe”

Talia Schlanger

Photo by David Spowart, courtesy WXPN

Talia Schlanger will take over for David Dye as host of “World Cafe,” WXPN announced today. The news was broken this morning by the Inquirer.

Schlanger, a 31-year-old native of Toronto, came to WXPN from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She hosted a variety of shows on both radio and TV, and has also performed on stage in various shows, including the touring production of the Green Day rock opera American Idiot.

“Like our listeners, I’m here as a music fan first,” Schlanger said in a release from WXPN. “Discovering, sharing and connecting over artists is our collective passion, and it’s my mission to serve that as best I can on World Cafe. David Dye is so beloved and respected because for 25 years, audiences have been able to feel the genuine curiosity, excitement and care he has for the music he plays and for the artists who make it. I know this is a big change, but I hope our devoted World Cafe crowd will feel the same degree of passion and care coming from me as we charge forward with amps blaring.” Read more »

Philly Courts to Start Having Visitors Lock Cell Phones in Bags

Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center. Photo | Dan McQuade

Photo | Dan McQuade

Visitors to the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice will soon have to do more than just go through a metal detector — they’ll have to lock up their cell phones, too.

But it won’t be similar to the old system at the CJC, where you’d have to “check in” your cell phone with an employee. Instead, you’ll have to put your phone in a small pouch that will render it essentially inoperable. No texts. No internet. No phone calls.

The CJC is partnering with Yondr, a company that makes the pouches to create what it calls “phone-free events and spaces.” The devices have been used by people like Dave Chappelle, Guns n’ Roses, and Childish Gambino to prevent recording at their shows.

Hannibal Buress has also partnered with Yondr to prevent people from recording his shows, but we can’t understand why. (Sorry.) Read more »

This Lego Model of Liberty Place Has More Than 17,000 Bricks

Lego Liberty Place

Photo | Dan McQuade

Growing up outside Princeton, Mike Nieves was a Lego enthusiast by the time he was two years old. Now he’s turned that passion into a career.

The Legoland Discovery Center opens at the Plymouth Meeting Mall on April 6th. Last year, Lego held a contest for job applicants who wanted to be a master model builder — yes, almost like in The Lego Movie — at the Center.

About 100 people were scheduled to show up at the contest. Nieves and the other contestants had to make several Lego models over a two-day competition. “It was pretty tough,” Nieves tells Philadelphia magazine. “We had about a half hour for each round. The first was an animal, second round was fantasy, third round was something that represents yourself.”

Nieves did well enough in the contest that he’s now the master model builder for Lego’s Plymouth Meeting Mall location. Today he was on hand at City Hall where Legoland Philly GM Michael Taylor and Mayor Jim Kenney unveiled a nine-foot-tall model of Liberty Place made entirely out of Lego bricks — more than 17,000 of them. Read more »

Sixers Trade Nerlens Noel to Mavericks

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Nerlens Noel, the first player drafted in the Sixers’ rebuild nearly four years ago, is leaving Philadelphia.

According to a report from NBA trade-master Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers are sending Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round pick, center Andrew Bogut, and guard Justin Anderson.

The Mavericks are currently tied for the sixth-worst record in the NBA. The pick, per ESPN’s Marc Stein, is protected 1-though-18. That means the pick will not convey this year; it’s not yet known if the pick could convey in later years or what protections are on it in 2018 and beyond.

Per TNT’s David Aldridge, the Sixers are likely to trade Andrew Bogut — possibly to Boston. ESPN’s Marc Spears reported the Sixers were still unsure what to do with him; they may buy him out if they can’t find a trade partner. Bogut, the first overall pick in the 2005 draft, was traded from Golden State to Dallas this offseason after the Warriors signed Kevin Durant. Read more »

Chris Christie’s Next Job Could Be Sports Talk Radio Host


Chris Christie’s term as New Jersey governor ends in January. Since he’s been frozen out of the White House — despite being the first major endorser of Donald Trump — he has to start looking for a new gig.

His next job may be on sports talk radio.

WFAN, New York’s primary sports talk station, is considering him for a prime hosting gig on the station after Mike Francesca, who has hosted afternoons on WFAN since 1989,retires at the end of the year. Read more »

Philly Charter School Had 9,190 Applicants for 96 Spots

MaST Charter

MaST Charter School (via Google Street View)

By all accounts, MaST Community Charter School is a success.

The Philadelphia school opened in 1999, and eventually consolidated all its grades into an old steel factory on Byberry Road in the Far Northeast. The “MaST” in the school’s name stands for Math, Science and Technology, and it has been recognized as an excellent school on numerous occasions.

The school serves students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and even opened up a second school in September on Rising Sun Avenue in the old St. William’s school building in Lawncrest.

As such, people want to send their kids to MaST. And so there were almost 9,200 applications for the 2017–18 school year. MaST has room for just 96 kids. Read more »

Pharrell, Lil Wayne, Solange to Headline 2017 Roots Picnic

Roots Picnic

Pharrell will join The Roots on stage for the 10th-annual Roots Picnic this spring. Live Nation announced the lineup on Monday.

The concert will be held once again at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. As usual, The Roots will join an artist on stage as the headlining act. This year that’s Pharrell, whom you probably know from “Happy,” from his production duo The Neptunes, and from his giant hat. Read more »

WATCH: That Time Randall Cunningham Interviewed Donald Trump

“Donald Trump: Businessman. Billionaire. Ladies’ man. Celebrity. And, believe it or not, big sports fan!”

The year was 1992. Despite having one of the greatest defenses of all time, the Eagles had still missed the playoffs the previous year. But this season was looking up: The Eagles would get back QB Randall Cunningham, lost for the season in the opener the previous year. And Randall was ready: He spent the offseason endorsing a candy bar (all proceeds went to charity), working on a game show pilot (Scramble), and, most importantly, hosting an interview special on Channel 10 called Randall Cunningham’s Celebrity Rap.

In the special, Cunningham interviewed a number of celebrities, including one who’d later go on to be president of these United States: Donald Trump! It opens with the quote above from Randall Cunningham, as well as footage of Trump showing off to Cunningham by handing him some trophy Trump got from Jim Kelly. Sure, why not? Read more »

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