11 Things You Might Not Know About Drexel University

Drexel's Bossone Research Enterprise Center. Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

In case you somehow missed the cake and balloons, Drexel University turned 125 this year. To celebrate, two Drexel profs, Richardson Dilworth (grandson of the two-time Philly mayor) and Scott Gabriel Knowles, have put together a comprehensive history of the school, with chapters on everything from its architecture to its sports teams, its Greek life to its role in the civil rights movement and relations with adjacent neighborhoods. Building Drexel: The University and Its City, 1891-2016 is published by Temple University Press. Here are 11 things you might not know about Drexel, recently named by U.S. News & World Report one of the top 500 universities in the world. Read more »

How We Became Me

Illustration by Vahram Muradyan

Illustration by Vahram Muradyan

When I was in grade school, I was a Girl Scout. To be in the Girl Scouts, you had to buy a uniform. You went to Sears and you bought your uniform and you wore it to meetings, even though it was bunchy and uncomfortable and weird (what was with that necktie?), because that’s what all the other girls in your Girl Scout troop did, and you wanted to fit in. You wanted to belong. As I recall my adolescence, in fact, it was all one mighty heaving haul toward belonging, toward deliquescing into the melting pot, slipping sideways into the streaming mass of humanity without standing out or sticking forth or even particularly being noticed. The goal was assimilation — being subsumed completely, without causing a ripple. Read more »

How the USDA Screwed Up the American Diet — and Deprived Me of So Much Delicious Butter

Illustration by Matt Harrison Clough

Illustration by Matt Harrison Clough

Back in the late 1800s, Emperor Napoleon III of France offered a prize to anyone who could come up with a substitute for butter that would be cheap enough to be used by the lower classes. The winning spread, invented by a chemist named Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès and composed of rendered beef fat and skim milk, became known as margarine. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Springsteen Signed a Fifth-Grader’s School Absence Note

So back on September 7th, Mike Fenerty took his son Michael to Bruce Springsteen’s show at Citizens Bank Park. You remember that show — the one that went on for four hours and four minutes? Springsteen’s longest-ever U.S. show? That was also Michael’s first day of fifth grade at Masterman. Despite all that excitement, Michael enjoyed grooving to “Spirit in the Night and “Born to Run” so much that when he heard The Boss would be signing his new memoir at the Free Library, he begged Mike to take him. Only problem? That would mean missing school. “Why don’t we just get Bruce Springsteen to sign my excuse note?” Michael asked his dad.

Right.  Read more »

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