How Free do We Want Our Nipples?

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My hot yoga class gets hot. As in, really hot. When I ring out my mat out after class, best-case scenario is that all of the sweat belongs to me, not Mr. Natural Deodorant in the back row.

I wear as little clothing as possible and do, admittedly, get a bit jealous when the men in class pop their shirts off. But I had never actually considered joining them — unlike the woman in my class this past weekend.

About halfway through the opening sequences she peeled off her tank top off and finished the class bare-chested. Read more »

Where to Send Your Kid to College If He Does Drugs

Photo | DEA

Ecstasy or MDMA/Molly. Photo | DEA

So let’s say your son is a good kid, a nice kid, smart, nailed his SATs, but he does have this troublesome … habit. He likes to get high.

Nothing serious — you don’t think — but you’ve definitely found rolling papers in the pockets of his jeans, not to mention the bong in the back of his bedroom closet, behind his old ice-hockey gear.

Hey, no big deal; you used to get high, and probably will again if — when — it gets legalized. But considering Junior’s fondness for the Disco Biscuits, you wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done some molly, and didn’t four students at Wesleyan just get arrested for that? You’d hate to see your kid’s whole future derailed over some silly party drug. And he’s going to be applying to college this fall, so … Read more »

No Small Talk: Inside the Mind of a Philadelphian Abroad

Photo illustration | Alex Rehoric; Photo | Shutterstock

Photo illustration | Alex Rehoric; Photo | Shutterstock

I should start by saying that, by Philadelphia standards, I am perfectly nice.

When in my natural habitat, out there in the wild among you people, I’m somewhere between inconspicuous and pleasant. I have been known to save spots in grocery store lines, hold doors on the El and even, on occasion, nod good morning to the new couple in my apartment building.

Considering I grew up in the Great(est) Northeast, this makes me a downright snuggly Miss Congeniality. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week




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Whom Does Patricia Arquette Want Equality For?

Patricia Arquette accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Boyhood at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Patricia Arquette accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Boyhood at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

It was tempting to cheer Patricia Arquette on during her now-infamous Oscar acceptance speech on Sunday night.

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” said the actress, who won for her role in Boyhood. “It is our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Meryl stood up. JLo stood up. These are women I very much want to stand up with.

But even as it still hung fresh in the air, even before we had time to parse the language, something was strange about that statement. Arquette seemed to leave out an awful lot of women who perhaps need more help asserting their rights than millionaire movie stars.

And if there was any doubt about the inclusivity — or lack thereof — of Arquette’s statement, she sealed the deal backstage. Read more »

Watch This Live HD Stream of a Bald Eagle Nest in Pennsylvania

Earlier today on the Hanover, Pennsylvania, Eagle Cam.

Earlier today on the Hanover, Pennsylvania, Eagle Cam.

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission once again set up a camera focused on a bald eagle’s nest near Codorus State Park in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Now, there appear to be a pair of eggs in the nest on the adorable HD bald eagle cam, which is done in partnership with a company called HDontap, Comcast Business Services, Friends of Codorus State Park and other partners. Read more »

The Strange Link Between Raggedy Ann and the Anti-Vaxxers

Over the weekend I was reading a story in the Wall Street Journal about the history of the anti-vaccination movement when I came across a familiar name: Raggedy Ann. Here’s what the author, NYU historian David Oshinsky, had to say:

Historians generally trace the anti-vaccine movement to a number of 19th-century groups, including religious activists, radical libertarians and health faddists, who insisted that [Edward] Jenner’s vaccine actually caused smallpox. Like some current movement activists, these early leaders had a personal story to tell, claiming that a vaccine had harmed or even killed someone close to them, most often a child. Indeed, their most visible symbol was the smiling but entirely limp Raggedy Ann doll created by a popular cartoonist for his daughter, who had fallen ill and would later die, he believed, from a smallpox shot she received without his permission.

I didn’t have a Raggedy Ann doll when I was little, but I had Raggedy Ann books, written and illustrated by one Johnny Gruelle. The one I especially remember was called Raggedy Ann’s Lucky Pennies. What I mostly remember about it was that it was dark and deeply weird. I looked it up on Amazon and found this synopsis: Read more »

Are Zoos Inhumane?

Last month the Philadelphia Zoo announced plans to build a “Gorilla Treeway” for its primates, to allow them to swing from branch to branch to branch inside caged walkways outside their “enclosure,” a.k.a. cage. The Gorilla Treeway joins the Big Cat Crossing as the zoo’s latest attempts to stave off general public recognition that zoos, well, suck.

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The Three Questions I’m Never Asking Anybody Ever Again

Okay, so the first question you should never ask anyone is pretty obvious, because almost all of us have done it anyway. The question is, “When are you due?” And the reason you should never ask it of anyone is in case they’re not.

Theoretically you could safely ask this of men, but given the increasingly tenuous boundaries of gender, better to play it safe and just zip your lip. Because, really, if you’re a woman and you’ve ever been asked this when you weren’t, you remember. The moment burns in your memory even if (as in my case) it was decades ago. Pregnancy is a joyous occasion. Having a gut is not. Being reminded that you have a gut really is not. So, don’t ask this question. Even if you’re pretty damned sure she’s due any minute and she’s carrying twins.

The second question you should never ask anyone is, perhaps, less obvious, because sociologically, it’s a more recent development. Read more »

Is Watching Fifty Shades of Grey With Your Friends … Weird?

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I won’t be standing in line to see the premiere of the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey on Friday. Nor will I be queuing up to see it with a bunch of my best girlfriends on Saturday, Valentine’s Day. My husband isn’t taking me to a screening for a date night. But apparently a lot of other people are doing all of these things, since advance ticket sales for the movie have surpassed those for any other R-rated feature ever.

In New York City, Lyss Stern is going to the movie with 50 of her friends. This is about 10 times as many friends as I have, let alone friends I could corral into seeing Fifty Shades with me. I blush if I watch sex scenes in movies when I’m sitting in my own living room with my husband. I can’t fathom sitting in a darkened movie theater surrounded by besties while a woman willingly gets tied up and whipped on-screen.
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