Can Someone Help James Dupree?
And Let’s Fix Eminent Domain
While We’re at It.


Would someone please help James Dupree already?

For weeks I’ve been following his story.  Hopefully you know it by now.  In case you don’t, he’s the artist who owns a building in West Philly and he’s being forced out, under the city’s “eminent domain” rules in order to make way for a grocery store.  Apparently, the neighborhood really needs a grocery store.  So much so that the city is compelled to make him an offer he can’t refuse:  Sell his property at a much-lower-than-market price or watch his building be bulldozed.  Nice.  Dupree is fighting the city.  He’s enlisted some major people in the art world to back him up too.

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Are Charity Balls Really, Y’Know, Necessary?


For most, winter in Philadelphia means cold weather, snow, bad basketball and hot turkey bowls at Wawa, which are delicious. For many others, winter is all about balls. I’m talking about charity balls, parties and other fund raising events. There’s certainly no shortage of them this time of year.

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Why Are Interns Sleeping In Toilets? Three Questions About Intern Abuse


Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in The Internship.

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times… for the lowly intern.

As the economy improves, there are certainly more internship opportunities. And many of those opportunities are now paid positions, particularly in light of a ruling last year in favor of interns who accused Fox Pictures of violating minimum wage laws. But unfortunately, interns continue to suffer abuse. Recently, Bank of America promised to improve working conditions for its junior bankers after one of its summer interns died, allegedly from working 72 hours straight. And just this past week it was revealed that exhausted interns at Barclay’s Bank were forced to take naps on toilets, prompting another financial services executive to offer his valuable words of wisdom: “If you love what you do, it’s not work.”

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No One Should Feel Bad for Michael Bay After He Lost His Cool in Vegas

Photo | Isaac Brekken, AP

Director Michael Bay leaves the stage during a Samsung news conference at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Las Vegas. Photo | Isaac Brekken, AP

Am I the only one annoyed with Michael Bay?

Bay is a Hollywood producer and director, known mostly for his work on films like Armageddon and the Transformers series. By now you’ve likely heard about his meltdown at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. Bay was there promoting Samsung’s new 105-inch curved HDTV. He was brought on stage to discuss the product with a moderator. There was a problem with the tele-prompter. He freaked out. He left the stage. He never completed the job. Here’s the video. Here’s his apology.

“I guess live shows aren’t my thing,” he later said. What?

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5 Reasons You Have No Business at the Eagles-Saints Game

Eagles fans endured the weather to witness a comeback for the ages

These are true Eagles fans.

Did I watch the Eagles-Bears game last weekend? Yeah, some of it but not the entire game. I have my reasons. There was a good movie on HBO and a very insightful interview with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson going on at the same time so I’m sure you can understand why I was a little distracted. Of course I wanted the Eagles to win. Of course I want the home team to win the Eagles-Saints game this weekend and go to the Super Bowl and blah blah blah.

But I’m not truly an Eagles fan.

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13 Ways to Avoid Being Broke at Christmas

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Not enough money for Christmas presents? Yeah, I thought so. That’s because you spent too much money in 2013 on frivolous things. Well, that ship has sailed. But you don’t have to make the same mistake again. Here are a few tips for saving a few bucks in 2014 so you’ve got enough left over to actually buy your friends a few decent gifts next year.

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Baby Boomers: Five Reasons They Are Our Worst Generation

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Wow, so it looks like we have a budget deal in Washington. A debt ceiling and spending crisis has been averted. It’s good news. But let’s all calm down. It’s only temporary. The agreement does not address the long-term fiscal problems we have. Problems that were mostly created by none other than the “baby boomer” generation. Yeah, you know who you are.

You’re tanned and healthy and living way past average life expectancy. You’ve got a defined benefit pension plan from a large company or government that was created years ago when people didn’t understand how horribly these plans can go wrong and now can’t afford to meet its liabilities, but you don’t care as long as you get your check which you don’t really need anyway. And your social security check. And your Medicare reimbursement check. You once hated the government. You smoked pot and protested against Vietnam and President Nixon. That was a long, long time ago.

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7 Reasons Amazon Drones Are The Dumbest Idea I’ve Ever Heard

Amazon Drone

You’ve heard about Amazon drones, the Seattle-based e-tail giant’s new idea to use drones to deliver packages on the same day to customers, particularly those in “densely populated” urban areas? The way it works is like this: you order something from Amazon. You want it the same day. Your order is placed in a tupperware container which then gets sent to something resembling the checkout line at Acme where a model “octocopter”(the kind your 5th grader got for Christmas last year) swoops it into the air and seamlessly delivers it to your door.

Really, this is how it will work. And in only a few years. Assuming FAA approval of course. And assuming that we’re all insane.

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8 Reasons I’m Happy It’s Not 1963

shutterstock_IRS-internal-revenue-service-400Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, you’re probably aware that tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. Documentaries on PBS are re-telling the day, historical and media figures who I thought were long dead are being wheeled out of their nursing homes to share their stories, old conspiracy tales are re-hashed and, thanks to YouTube, I’ve watched the Zapruder film dozens of times (and Miley’s new video, too, which is so a-w-e-s-o-m-e).

From all of this I’ve come to two conclusions: A 48-year-old man should not be watching Miley Cyrus videos because it’s kind of creepy. And, as a small business owner, I am damned glad I didn’t live in 1963, let alone run a business back then. And here are eight good reasons why.

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3 Things That Might Have Kept Steve Wynn in Philadelphia


Many people were surprised earlier this week when casino-mogul Steve Wynn announced he was backing out of his plans to build a gambling resort in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section. It’s really not that surprising. Wynn thinks big. He’s building a $4 billion resort on the tiny island of Macau. His casino in Vegas makes the word “opulent” seem understated. He’s after big money, big fame, big publicity. And Philadelphia is not the place for this. It’s not that big a market. There’s already a lot of competition. And most importantly, it’s not New York.

New York is the place for Wynn. So when New York’s voters last week approved a resolution that could potentially allow gambling in the city, I’m sure Wynn’s mouth watered. I mean, c’mon, if you’re a big-thinking, big-playing kind of guy like Steve Wynn, why in the world would you waste your money investing in Philly when you can make a splash in New York City, just 90 miles up the road. It’s New York. It’s not Philly.

Could our city have done anything to save the deal and keep him here?

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