The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Philly Moved Away From “Racial Math”

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No More Iniquity Inequity!

woman stealing


Last month’s “Equal Pay Day”—the day that’s set aside to demonstrate how much extra work women must do to earn what men earn—touched off a tsunami of back-and-forth over the causes of inequality in the workplace. Do women make less money than men do because they take time off to have kids? Choose careers with less stress and responsibility (and easier college majors)? Are battered down by the male patriarchy?

These questions are way too thorny for me to answer. And anyway, I’m much more outraged by a new report that highlights a differential just as disturbing when it comes to gender relations. It provides incontrovertible proof that women lag far, far behind men when it comes to employee theft. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week

Buckius Street, which turned into a hub of helpful activity after the trains derailed, is blocked off now. | Photo by Liz Spikol

Buckius Street, which turned into a hub of helpful activity after the trains derailed, is blocked off now. | Photo by Liz Spikol

They were just passing through. They didn’t intend to stop — the CEO of the start-up, the AP tech guy, the Navy midshipman, the dad. Why would they? These were the River Wards, the squeezed-dry neighborhoods beneath the El where America used to get made: munitions, iron, textiles, ships. Solid stuff. Now they’re residential, run through with the old King’s Highway, middle-class, racially diverse. America in microcosm: a little tired, a bit run-down, hardworking, holding on tight. Read more »

I Was in No Hurry to Open My New iPhone

About four years ago, my husband started telling me I could get a free iPhone whenever I wanted to. A couple of weeks ago, I finally did.

You can probably tell I’m no early adopter. It took me a really long time to get used to my flip phone. It’s partly because I didn’t use it much. I don’t like to talk on the phone, so I mostly used it for texting my kids and my husband. I did like to take photos of my garden and occasionally post them to Twitter, which is what made me finally break down and get the iPhone. The camera on my flip phone stopped working. I didn’t mind so much in winter. But when the full panoply of my tulips came out this spring and I couldn’t share it, I was bummed.

By then, I had an iPhone. When my son was home for spring break, he took the bull by the horns and, over my protests, ordered me one. He went back to school, and my iPhone arrived at the house a few days later. I didn’t bother to open the box. I knew that learning how to use it was going to be a huge pain in the ass, and except for the camera that didn’t work, my flip phone suited me fine. I didn’t need any apps to help me figure out what restaurant to eat at or what wine to pair with lamb chops or what dress would match my nice new apricot-colored sweater. Fifty-eight years of life experience was taking care of all that just fine.

So the phone just sat in its unopened box on the dining room table. Meantime, one day I was using the flip phone and noticed a piece of fuzz stuck in the camera lens. I extracted it with an X-acto knife, and suddenly the camera was working again. That made me even more unhappy that my son had ordered the iPhone, which I now didn’t need for anything. Read more »

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