The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Haason Reddick’s Meteoric Rise

Haason Reddick at the NFL combine in Indianapolis on March 5th. Photo by Michael Conroy/AP

Haason Reddick at the NFL combine in Indianapolis on March 5th. Photo by Michael Conroy/AP

He was unrecruited out of Haddon Heights High, without a single scholarship offer thanks to injuries in his junior and senior years. When he tried walking on at Temple, then-coach Steve Addazio basically said, “Beat it, kid.” He made it onto the team, though, under Addazio’s successor, Matt Rhule — then nearly quit to get a job, to spare his folks the cost of his tuition. (His mom took out an extra loan to pay for his meal plan.) So what were the chances defensive lineman Haason Reddick would turn out to be the star of this year’s NFL Combine? Read more »

12 Things You Might Not Know About Tulip Mania

“The Tulip Folly” (1882), by Jean-Léon Gérôme, depicts a nobleman guarding a plot of blooms while soldiers trample other beds to cut down on the supply of bulbs. | Image: Walters Art Museum, public domain

“The Tulip Folly” (1882), by Jean-Léon Gérôme, depicts a nobleman guarding a plot of blooms while soldiers trample other beds to cut down on the supply of bulbs. | Image: Walters Art Museum, public domain

The Philadelphia Flower Show opens tomorrow at the Convention Center, with a theme of “Holland: Flowering the World.” When you think Holland and flowers, you no doubt think tulips, because that’s where tulips come from, right? Well, now they do. But back in the 16th century, tulips were a newfangled introduction in Europe — one the Dutch took so to heart that they wound up snapping their economy like a broken stem. Here, a few things you might not know about the Great Tulip Mania. Read more »

The Best Thing This Week: Marriage Equality Helps Lower the Teen Suicide Rate

Photo by nito100/iStock

Photo by nito100/iStock

Nothing is as heartbreaking as a young person’s suicide, which has become the second-leading cause of death for teens in the United States (after accidents). And yet a new study published this week in JAMA Pediatrics offers hope. It traces recent downturns in teen suicide attempts in states that passed laws allowing gays to marry. In the 32 states that passed such legislation, teen suicide attempts overall fell by 7 percent — and by twice that rate, 14 percent, among gay kids. Rates were unchanged in states in which no such legislation was passed. Read more »

Can Baseball Be Saved?

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wil Nieves calls for an intentional walk at Citi Field on Jul 30, 2014. Photo by Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wil Nieves calls for an intentional walk at Citi Field on Jul 30, 2014. Photo by Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports

Just as the Phils kick off spring training comes the earth-shattering news that Major League Baseball is tinkering with the very foundations of America’s Pastime. That’s right: They’re killing the spectacle of the intentional walk. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: T.J. McConnell’s Stirring Sixers Speech

Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It would be hard to say which is more chaotic at the moment: the Trump administration or the Sixers’ front office. Between Joel Embiid’s striptease, Jahlil Okafor’s in-and-out, Ben Simmons’s healed/not-healed foot and Bryan Colangelo’s — hell, who knows what Colangelo is doing? — these guys are managing to make Team Trump look organized. Which is why it warmed our hearts to hear T.J. McConnell stand tall after the Sixers spanked Charlotte on Monday — in a game in which Hornets guard Nicolas Batum had guaranteed victory — and announce to the world: “We don’t mean any disrespect, but you’re not gonna overlook us. We’re not a guaranteed victory for the other team, and you know, if you guarantee something, you better back it up. So we’re a damn good team, and we just gotta keep fighting.” And then he got a haircut. Mic-drop. Done.

11 Things You Might Not Know About Nylon

Photo by Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

When I was a kid, I had an elderly widowed uncle who every Christmas bought each female in the family — and there were a lot of females in our family — three pairs of nylon stockings, nestled into pretty hosiery boxes from Wanamaker’s. We never really talked about how peculiar this was. (I mean, stockings are pretty much underwear.) But the invention of nylon by a DuPont scientist — it was patented 80 years ago today — changed the world, and clearly had a big impact on Uncle John, for whatever reason. (One theory was that he had a crush on a hot clerk in the hosiery department.) Here, in recognition of that 80th anniversary, are 11 things you might not know about nylon. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Our Favorite Kind of Snow Day

Photo by baona/iStock

Photo by baona/iStock

You’re right, you’re right; it’s annoying to rearrange your whole schedule because the weather people warn of an impending Snowmageddon. And yeah, it’s totally aggravating to wake up in the morning and find — wait. What? Where the f@#$’s the snow? But think about it: hardly any shoveling! Ten minutes to dig out the car! No kitchen filled with soppy discarded boots and mittens! You could drive to the store to buy soup fixings (or, you know, wine)! And you got to feel that frisson of delectable guilt that comes from knowing you could have made it in to work but didn’t — just as enjoyable now as when you were 10 and staying home from school. Not to mention how pissed we’d all be if said weather people told us an inch of snow was coming and we wound up with a foot and a half.

Bucks Couple Vindicated by Report on Dangerous Medical Device

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

Amy Reed, Hooman Noorchashm, and their children. Photograph by Jennifer Capozzola.

It’s been more than three years since Amy Reed went into a hospital in Boston for a simple operation to remove her uterine fibroid. But there was nothing simple about what happened to her next: Her surgeon used a medical device that spread an undiagnosed cancer throughout Reed’s body. The Bucks County mother of six — a physician married to a physician — has been battling ever since to discredit the FDA process used to approve that medical device, known as a laparoscopic power morcellator. On Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office issued a report that agreed: The FDA system failed. Read more »

Car Commercials Have Swerved Right off the Road

car-commercials-hingston-940x540

I’m glad the Sixers are almost respectable now, and I’m loving following Villanova’s men’s basketball team, except for one thing: the car commercials. I guess because the audiences for sporting events are largely male, auto manufacturers don’t seem to have me in their sights when they brainstorm creative concepts.

I can remember clearly when shopping for a car was just a matter of being able to withstand that simpering, simpleminded Toyotathon Jan. She’s still going strong, but she has competition now from Matthew McConaughey, who’s having deep, cryptic thoughts while sitting in the backseat of his Lincoln in a one-minute commercial directed by the cinematographer for The Dark Knight (oooh!) and filmed on a glacial plain in Iceland (ahhhh!). Oh, sure, he’s cool now, but remember when he was just a stoner playing naked bongos? Also, he says we should all “embrace” Donald Trump, which even some Republicans would balk at. Guess that’s what happens once you start driving really expensive cars. Read more »

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