Amy Reed, Penn Physician and Patient Advocate, Dies at 44

Amy, Hooman and their kids. Photograph by Jennifer Capozzola.

Amy, Hooman and their kids. Photograph by Jennifer Capozzola.

In the March 2016 issue of Philadelphia magazine, I told the story of Amy Reed, a young Penn-trained physician and mother of six who in 2013 went into Boston’s prominent Brigham and Women’s Hospital for the routine removal of a fibroid. Because her surgeon, without alerting her, used a device known as a power morcellator to chop up the fibroid for easy extraction, a deadly, undetected cancer spread throughout Reed’s abdominal cavity. Yesterday, three and a half years after that operation, Amy Reed died of uterine cancer. She was at home, surrounded by her family. She was 44 years old. Read more »

Remember When People Told the Truth?

Photos by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Sport (Irving); Pool/Getty Images News (Trump); Associated Press (Williams); Chris Goodney/Bloomberg/Getty Images (Conway)

Daniel Langleben has a terrible sense of timing.

The Penn neuroscientist and psychiatrist was the proud lead author on a scholarly treatise published last November in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showing that MRIs are superior to traditional polygraphs at detecting when people are lying. Five days later, Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States, and lying didn’t matter anymore.

Trump’s election, and the litany of claptrap he and his administration keep spouting, is what spurred Time magazine to ask on a recent cover: IS TRUTH DEAD? But the President is only the most prominent prevaricator in our midst. Last year, Volkswagen became the best-selling automaker in the world — hot on the heels of a scandal in which the German company lied for years about its diesel emissions. Kevin Deutsch, a veteran reporter whose work has appeared in publications as august as the New York Times, Newsday and Newsweek, is the most recent writer pegged for lying about sources, in the grand tradition of Stephen Glass, Jonah Lehrer and Janet Cooke. Syria swore six ways to Sunday it got rid of all its chemical weapons. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: The End to a Seaside Heights Catfight

On one side, in sleepy Seaside Heights, New Jersey, you have the cat lovers, the locals who’d fed and cared for and cleaned up after the town’s colony of felines who’d made their home under the boardwalk.

On the other side, you had the, well, not cat lovers, who were sick and tired of the howling and mewling and the smell of cat feces and urine baking in the hot summer sun. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: The Awakening of Aaron Altherr

Philadelphia Phillies’ Aaron Altherr in action during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Some weeks are so full of hope and wonder that we have a hard time choosing amongst all the Best Things That Happen. Then there are weeks like the one we just had. While the Republic crumbled around us, we stood in the rubble and said to ourselves, “Oh, yeah, right, Best Thing … ” And it’s not as if we could turn to our sports teams to save us (though the Union did win their second straight game). The Phillies got spanked, 10-9 and 11-6, in their abbreviated midweek stand against the Mariners (in the midst of six straight games against the Nats; who makes up these schedules?). They also got beat on Saturday night in the bottom of the ninth by a walk-off homer by—wait for it—Bryce f’ing Harper.

On the other hand — and, yeah, we’re digging deep here — left fielder Aaron Altherr is tearing it up these days. In Wednesday’s game he smacked two home runs and became just the third Phil since 1929 to hit three-run home runs in three straight games. (His company? Mike Schmidt, in 1981, and Whiz Kid catcher Andy Seminick in 1949.) Through Wednesday, he’d had nine extra-base hits in eight games, prompting coach Pete Mackanin to marvel, “He’s turned into a monster.”

Oh, and we got to see Carlos Ruiz again. You see? There’s always something, if you dig deep enough.

Follow @SandyHingston on Twitter.

Six Great Children’s Gardens to Visit for Mother’s Day

childrens gardens header

There are so very many different ways to fete the mom of your kiddies on Mother’s Day: breakfast in bed, a fancy brunch, takeout Chinese. Or you could make the whole fam happy with a visit to a children’s garden. It just so happens Temple landscape architecture professor Lolly Tai has a pretty new book out, The Magic of Children’s Gardens, and among the 19 American gardens it highlights are six — six! — within day-trip distance where your offspring can get up close and personal with the natural world instead of with an iPhone. Here they are, with a brief overview of the wonders they hold. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Philly Did Philly

Fans and media gather on the red carpet before the first round of the 2017 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Fans and media gather on the red carpet before the first round of the 2017 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Philadelphia. AP | Julio Cortez

Some cities might have been thrown for a loop by all that went on here this week, between the NFL draft, the Penn Relays, and the first really summer-ish weather. Not Philly. We smiled at the wide-eyed strangers in our midst, waited indulgently in traffic for packs of roving bruhs, made way for the odd feminista uprising, waved at all the cops. We booed Roger Goodell with lusty pleasure. We booed first-round Eagles pick Derek Barnett. (Welcome to Philly, kid!) We gave hometown hero Haasan Reddick, the Temple walk-on who went to the Cardinals just ahead of the Birds’ pick, the biggest cheers of opening night.  Read more »

Puppies Just Might Make All the NFL Draft Hoopla Worth It

Prefer Puppy Bowl to the Super Bowl? Pissed that you haven’t been able to drive to your house in Fairmount for a week? Or maybe you just need a friend.

Consider heading to Morris Animal Refuge today between 2 and 5 p.m. for some canny canine counter-programming to the NFL Draft jawnboree: the Road to Puppy Bowl Draft Adoption Event. Real-life Eagles (and great sports) Mychal Kendricks, Ron Brooks, Najee Goode and Terrell Watson will join Temple U. draft hopeful Dion Dawkins in evaluating this season’s crop of Puppy Bowl contenders from Morris and sorting them into Team Ruff and Team Fluff. (Last year, Morris sent Rottweiler Leah to the Puppy Bowl.)  Read more »

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