These Are Philly’s 10 Worst Catcalls, Ranked

AP-NO-CATCALLING-bebeto-matthews-940x540

A sign declaring “No Catcalling Anytime” in Brooklyn’s Grand Plaza area, Thursday, April 16. A nonprofit company called Feminist Apparel says it hopes to have at least one sign up in every borough by week’s end.

I hate to say it, but sometimes, I don’t mind a catcall.

Ideally, yes, women would be able to walk down the street without eliciting any unwanted comments, rendering Fishtown’s fantastic new “No Catcall Zone” signs obsolete. In reality, well, sometimes “Looking good, honey” is the nicest thing I’ll hear all week. (Ever since resolving to meet this city halfway, I sleep better and drink less. Join me.)

The following, however, have no place in civilized society, or even Philadelphia. From drive-bys to bike bys, from the Northeast to Washington Avenue, these are Philly’s worst catcalls. Read more »

TV’s Dr. Oz Defends Against Calls for Dismissal

Dr. Oz, seen here with Today show anchor Matt Lauer, is under attack for promoting questionable medical treatments.

Dr. Oz, seen here with Today show anchor Matt Lauer, is under attack for promoting questionable medical treatments.

Dr. Mehmet Oz — better known as “Dr. Oz” to his television audience — is coming under increasing attack for promoting what critics say are questionable medical treatments. There’s a movement afoot to boot him from the faculty of Columbia University, where he serves in the medical school. Read more »

Selfie Sex-Ed: Should High Schools Teach Sexting Risks?

Sexting

According to a long-term study by researchers at the University of Texas, sexting may actually be a normal part of sexual development among teens.

As provocative as that sounds, I think it’s probably true. And — as exaggerated and semi-Puritan as this sounds — it’s also true that sexting can completely ruin a teenager’s life.

A girl who shares an intimate photo with her boyfriend can be charged with a summary offense in Pennsylvania. He can face charges for having the images, too.  Read more »

The Argument for “Free-Range Kids”

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

It’s been a couple of years now, but the shock still feels fresh: I took my young son to Fitler Square for some morning playtime, and there we found another young child.

Playing by herself.

No adults in sight.

Had she been abandoned? Had she wandered off on her own? Why wasn’t anybody around?

God help me, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I resolved to stay close, keep an eye on her — and if too much time passed, I’d call the police. Luckily, it never came to that: Her father rushed up a few minutes later — he’d brought his daughter to the park, then left her there for a few minutes to grab something from his house nearby. He’d never thought her in danger. I kind of thought he was a giant jerk.

But this probably has some bearing on the story: The father was European — for the sake of neighborly relations, I’ll not identify him more specifically than that — and, possibly, not wise to the panicky “stranger danger” alarmism we American parents are marinated in. Read more »

Apple’s New Emoji Have Created Brand New Ways to Be Culturally Insensitive Online

emoji-940x540

More than half of Americans are in possession of a smartphone, with many using emoticons. It is fair to say that while all races are not represented by emoticons, all races use emojis. As Black-Emoji.com explains, “Emoji & Emoticons are the alphabet of the social media generation.”

Last week, Apple unveiled new diverse emoticons, including a set of emojis with an adjustable range of emoji skin tones to pick from, including yellow, brown and black. It’s been a long time coming — the Black Twitterverse and scores of others online denizens have complained for years that Apple’s emoji set was woefully lacking. As Vice reported in 2014, “emojis include the middle finger, the Vulcan hand salute, an optical disc icon, a chipmunk, and a black droplet. But no black people.” Up until last Thursday, Apple emoticon users could only use yellow Lego-people-colored graphics as representation of themselves. Read more »

Buy This App and Never Talk to Your Child Again!

When I wrote a few years back about the precipitous drop-off in the number of young men getting driver’s licenses, Uber was just beginning to get off the ground. I didn’t know enough about it to even consider that it might be a factor in the decline of the American male love affair with cars. Time flies; this week the New York Times reported that nowadays, instead of nagging their parents to take them for their driver’s tests and buy them Mustangs when they reach majority, kids are asking for their own Uber accounts.

As a parent, I’m of two minds about this. Considering how dangerous teen driving was even before the invention of cell phones and selfies, having anyone else but my kid behind the wheel when he heads out to a party or concert seems like a great idea. On the other hand, what’s next? Start-ups that come to your house and get you dressed? Hold your fork to your mouth? Read more »

FLOWCHART: A Handy Guide to the Wide World of Philly Crowdfunding

When the first couple crowd-funding requests popped up in my Facebook feed, I was a fan. It was hard not to be.

Out of the bleakness of the Internet came something intrinsically human — a call for help — and it, in turn, was answered with something even more human: support from a community willing to sacrifice a little bit to contribute to a greater good. Hidden among the selfies and Candy Crush invitations, perhaps we were a species worth saving.

But nothing gold — or even a little bit shiny in the right light — can stay. Read more »

Trevor Noah and the Never-Ending Cycle of Twitter Shame

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 2.04.29 PM

The thing about people is that they’re fallible; they do bad things, both intentionally and unintentionally. As we were all taught as children, people make mistakes.

The Internet, as we know, is less forgiving. And it makes discerning the offender’s intent a bit more of a dubious undertaking. Who knows if anyone’s lapse of judgement is really that or indicative of something more sinister in their character. Mistakes? Well, they become more than that. They become moments, and then they live beyond.

The latest example of this phenomenon, of course, is Trevor Noah, the comedian tapped by Comedy Central to replace long-standing host Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Read more »

« Older Posts