9 Other (Bipartisan) Times When U.S. Presidents Told Big Whoppers

Official White House photographs via Wikimedia Commons

Official White House photographs via Wikimedia Commons

Okay, okay: It’s disconcerting when the president of the United States lies, even if, like Donald Trump with his yuge inauguration crowds, he may just be delusional. Hey, the guy is used to looking at things and thinking they’re bigger than they are. But in these fraught times, it’s more important than ever to, um, keep a sense of perspective. Here are nine other (bipartisan) occasions on which presidents lied to the American people, all without ending the Republic as we know it. Which isn’t to say the truth doesn’t matter — or that history doesn’t have a way of seeing it come out. Read more »

10 Things You Might Not Know About Inaugurations

Photo by carterdayne/iStock

Photo by carterdayne/iStock

We were pondering the implications of today’s inauguration of the Twitter King when our curiosity got the best of us: What, exactly, is an “inauguration,” and why do only presidents get inaugurated? We looked the word up in the Oxford Dictionary, which basically opened a bizarre-world Pandora’s box full of dancing chickens and thunderstorms and gigantic grapes. The whole trip, in fact, was so wild and weird that we just had to share the highlights with you. Here, 10 things about inauguration to help you ready yourself — or steady yourself — for January 20th. Read more »

12 Weird Things That Get Dropped in Pennsylvania on New Year’s Eve

Photo elements via iStock

Photo elements via iStock

As a lifelong resident of this great commonwealth of ours, I have to admit I wasn’t much surprised to discover that Pennsylvania leads the nation — and, so far as I have any reason to believe, the universe — in Weird Stuff That Gets Dropped From the Sky on New Year’s Eve. Nobody parties like partisans of the ruffed grouse, amirite?

Just in case this year you get a hankering to get up off the couch and watch something other than that boring ol’ ball in Times Square, you can dress up and watch the first-ever drop of a Liberty Bell at the Glitter City Gala at the Hyatt. Then again, should you yearn to celebrate in less thronged environs, here’s the lowdown on some of our state’s, uh, really unique New Year’s Eve spectacles. Read more »

You Wanna Make America Great Again? Save the Bank Tellers, Not the Coal Miners

Illustration by Francesco Bongiorni

Illustration by Francesco Bongiorni

A couple of decades ago, my sister confided to me that she tried to buy only clothes and household goods that are made in America. She wants to support American manufacturing and preserve American jobs. I thought at the time that this was cool, but also impractical for me to emulate. Nan was married to a big-shot lawyer; I was married to a musician. It’s easy to order your sheets from Holy Lamb Organics when you don’t have to worry about the price.

What she said got me thinking, though. I thought about it a lot during this last election cycle, as I listened to Donald Trump tell Americans he was going to bring back the jobs of coal miners and steelworkers.

He’s not. Nothing is; experts are agreed on that. These industries that once sent workers home sweaty and covered with grime now employ robots to do the hard labor; the jobs that still exist are for skilled technicians and require specialized training rather than a strong back.  Read more »

11 Things You Might Not Know About Drexel University

Drexel's Bossone Research Enterprise Center. Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

In case you somehow missed the cake and balloons, Drexel University turned 125 this year. To celebrate, two Drexel profs, Richardson Dilworth (grandson of the two-time Philly mayor) and Scott Gabriel Knowles, have put together a comprehensive history of the school, with chapters on everything from its architecture to its sports teams, its Greek life to its role in the civil rights movement and relations with adjacent neighborhoods. Building Drexel: The University and Its City, 1891-2016 is published by Temple University Press. Here are 11 things you might not know about Drexel, recently named by U.S. News & World Report one of the top 500 universities in the world. Read more »

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