World Meeting of Families Official Hymn Not a People Pleaser

The news that there’s an Official Hymn of this fall’s World Meeting of Families got us all excited — until we listened to it online, that is. Talk about your sleeper hits. “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom” has lyrics by South Philly native Andrew Ciferni, a member of the Norbertine community at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, set to music by Normand Gouin, the former music director at Old St. Joseph’s National Shrine in Society Hill — the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country. Commenters online haven’t exactly been kind.

There are the full-scale critics:

Seems a pity the words are lost in a melody that drags, very repetitive, makes you think of a funeral, and is very dated.

[T]his Hymm is not what I associate with a Papal event.

 There are those who beseech Gouin to pick up the beat:

The melody is lethargic.

I would take it up tempo just a hair.

I would speed it up a little …

There are those who hate the lyrics: Read more »

Millennials More Likely to Look for Yoga Porn Than Prior Generations

Millennials are into this. No kidding. | Screenshot of "hot yoga" scenario from Pornhub.

Millennials are into this. No kidding. | Screenshot of “hot yoga” scenario from Pornhub.

Pornhub Insights, the research and analysis branch of the adult video purveyor Pornhub, teamed up with Mic and published an analysis of the habits of Pornhub’s millennial users — those between the ages 18 and 34. With 18.35 billion total visits and 78.9 billion videos viewed in 2014, Pornhub certainly has plenty of data to mine, and some of the generational differences are frankly shocking. (NSFW, obviously.)

Read more »

The 7 Worst People at the Farmers’ Market

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer   Diet Coke  woman  and produce  images via  Shutterstock.com

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer
Diet Coke , woman and produce images via Shutterstock.com

In theory, the farmers’ market sounds like a lovely place to spend your Sunday morning.

And it should be. It could be. Sometimes it is. It’s a great opportunity to meet the hard-working people who grow your food, and if you have a lot of thoughts about tomatoes, there’s nowhere else you should be. Read more »

Why Are You Walking Barefoot Around Center City?

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

It was 11 a.m. on a Friday at 15th and Locust when I saw it: a man, in nice khakis and a polo, holding his shoes and socks in one hand and his cell phone in the other. No, there wasn’t a fire, and, yes, he was totally barefoot and walking down the street like it was no big deal, chilling and chatting on his phone.

I had to stop and wonder if I wasn’t in some sort of Alice in Wonderland-type dream (more on those later), but, nope: This was real life and this dude was barefoot walking down a dirty Philly street. I’d say this was a strange, isolated incident, but it isn’t. I keep seeing people casually walking down the sidewalk with absolutely no footwear. And I don’t understand. Read more »

Which Shark Week Star Is Your Favorite Jersey Shore Point’s Spirit Shark?

shark-week-940x540

Shark Week is upon us, friends.

The Discovery Channel’s annual celebration of scary fish and worse puns kicked off Sunday, and it looks to be another banner year. Maybe not quite as good as 2014 now that the network has promised more science and less Megalodon, but still — pretty damn good. (People whining about the factual accuracy of Shark Week: Why do you hate America? It’s the freedom, isn’t it? May your boardwalks be paved with splinters.)

This year’s marquee villains include ninja sharks, alien sharks, serial killer sharks and — we owe you one, Jesus — “The Bride of Jaws.” Most of these bad boys are trolling the waters of Florida, Australia and South Africa, but just in case they ever decided to drop by the Jersey Shore, we wanted to figure out where they would feel most at home.

Why would anyone waste their time doing such a thing? Because Shark Week. If you start bringing logic and good taste into this, you’ll ruin Shark Week. Stop that right now. Read more »

Philadelphia, We Needed the Cheesecake Factory

Photo | Brian Howard

Photo | Brian Howard

Everyone has their safe space.

Maybe you like to take a time-out at Rittenhouse Square when the office feels like it’s closing in. Or perhaps you find peace in your garden at the end of a long day. Yoga studios are popular, as are churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other buildings where vampires aren’t welcome (or aren’t usually welcome — it all depends which season of Supernatural you’re watching).

My personal sanctuary — that little nook of the world where time seems to stop and breathing comes easy — is The Cheesecake Factory. Read more »

Why Do I Find Taylor Swift So Annoying?

It was hard not to cheer for Taylor Swift over the past couple days.

Less than 24 hours after she penned a blog post criticizing Apple’s new music streaming service, the company backtracked and confirmed that it would, indeed, pay artists full royalties during the trial period. After a few polite, eloquent paragraphs outlining her argument and the importance of compensating both struggling artists and established talent, Swift signed off with this succinct little mic drop to let them know she meant business:

 “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

Seemingly all corners of the Internet came together in support and admiration of the 25-year-old Berks County native. As for myself, I decided it was finally time to figure out why I absolutely can’t stand the woman. Read more »

These Are the 10 Worst Drivers on the Schuylkill Expressway

Illustration | Hawk Krall

Illustrations | Hawk Krall

This wasn’t the best day for my editor to ask if I wanted to write about driving on the Schuylkill Expressway. Today it took me an hour and 39 minutes to get from my front door to the parking garage across the street from our office building — a total distance of 37 of the most heavily traveled highway miles in the United States. That’s not bad. It’s about average, in fact, for my morning ride. Along the way, I encountered four pothole crews, three miscellaneous lane restrictions, two disabled vehicles, eight dead deer, countless rotting raccoons, and the same sweet company I have every single morning and night on this road.

Then again, this morning, for the first time in the 20-plus years I’ve made this commute, I found myself forming my hand into the shape of a gun and firing it at another driver. So yeah, maybe this is the right day to introduce you to my favorite traveling companions. In ascending order of assholedom, here are the 10 Worst Drivers on the Schuylkill Expressway. Read more »

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