What’s The Best Place in Philly to Play Google Maps Pac-Man?

Forget quarters or dusting off that old Atari system. In what may be the coolest thing ever, you can now play Pac-Man on Google Maps. Read more »

Trying to Make Sense of Senseless Sheridan and Germanwings Tragedies


He was 72 years old, a collector of antiques, the well-respected Cooper University Health System CEO, the father of four sons, married 47 years to the same woman. He was “mild-mannered.” He “made a living with his head, not his hands.” He had “a really strong relationship” with his family. That John Sheridan would kill his wife and then himself in their suburban New Jersey bedroom was so unthinkable that those sons hired their own forensic pathologist and staved off a declaration of their father’s cause of death for six long months, sure there had to be another explanation. An antiques dealer who knew Sheridan called the notion that he’d killed himself “ridiculous.” “If you’re going to tell me John did it, it was murder-suicide, then tell me why,” the wife’s brother challenged the Inquirer, in a story published hours before the Somerset County prosecutor’s office finally ruled the tragedy just that.

He was 27 and lived in a middle-class third-floor apartment in Düsseldorf, Germany. A neighbor said he was “very shy.” People who saw him recently “said he didn’t appear to be burdened.” Those who knew him said he was “quiet, pleasant and responsible,” according to the Wall Street Journal — right up until Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit of the Germanwings plane they were flying and plowed it into a mountainside.

Last week was a helluva week for the meek and mild. Read more »

These Are the 20 Worst People You Will Find on Philly Sidewalks, Ranked

Illustration | Nick Massarelli

Illustration | Nick Massarelli

Ah, spring. It’s finally here. So you take to the streets for a walk, happy to end your long winter hibernation. The sun is shining, you feel the warmth on your skin, your vitamin D levels begin to surge, and the stress begins to roll out of your mind and body … but then, you realize you’re not alone. There are OTHER people on the sidewalks, too. And so many of them are just terrible. These are those people. Read more »

Why Frat Scandals at Penn State and Elsewhere Actually Matter


It was awful when we discovered that a Penn State fraternity had allegedly been posting pictures of nude, unconscious college women on a secret Facebook page. It became worse when one member offered up an in-all-seriousness “boys will be boys” defense of the monstrous act. But you know what really sucks about the “Facebook frat” scandal?

It’s this: The men of Kappa Delta Rho are, in all likelihood, our future leaders. Read more »

Mo’ne Davis Just Wrote the Book on Twitter Trolls

Mo'ne Davis attends the 2015 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Mo’ne Davis attends the 2015 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

By now, I’m used to Mo’ne Davis making me feel bad about myself.

At 13, she throws a 70 miles-per-hour fastball, has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated,” wrote a memoir and designed a line of sneakers, the proceeds of which benefit impoverished girls. (At 13, my only goal was for Brian McKenna to like my hair. It went unrealized.) Read more »

How a Bagless Bissell Vacuum Cleaner Changed My Life


Not all vacuums are created equal. Photos | Shutterstock.com

I have a long and checkered relationship with vacuum cleaners. Such simple appliances, yet they can cause such angst. You plug one in, you run it over your rug, that’s it. Only it’s really not. Most vacuums don’t do a good job at the one job they’re supposed to do.

You know this. You’ve been in this same situation: There’s a speck of something on the carpet. You run over it with the vacuum. Nothing happens. You run over it again. Nada. Zip. You repeat your actions, with increasing annoyance. The speck remains immobile. Finally, defeated, you bend down and scrape the speck up off the rug with your fingernail.

A machine whose sole raison d’être is to remove specks from the carpet ought to be capable of that. Read more »

Confession: I Hate Spring in Philadelphia

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Photos | background, M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia; Peep, PhotosJC / Shutterstock.com, person in jacket, leedsn/ Shutterstock.com

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Photos | background, M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia; Peep, PhotosJC / Shutterstock.com, person in jacket, leedsn/ Shutterstock.com

I woke up on Friday morning with a distinct, creeping sense of dread. The kind of dread that makes you afraid to open your eyes, that brings you to the bargaining table with gods long forgotten.

Some of this could be attributed to the dog sleeping on my head. It was the smelly dog, and I had to decide whether to wash my hair or Febreze it like a dodgy futon before heading into work. I knew what I would choose, and it wasn’t a choice that inspired much hope for the day or the decade.

But, smelly dogs aside, it was also the first day of spring.

I know how I’m supposed to feel about spring.  Read more »

Should We Ban Fraternities? Or Just Watch Them Destroy Themselves?


At this point, we probably shouldn’t bother pretending that we’re shocked by the news coming out of Penn State. (Which is unfortunate, as shock makes great fuel for Internet opinion pieces. Outrage, thankfully, is still on the table.)

It’s not as if fraternities have much of a reputation to uphold lately. Just two weeks ago, we got a peek behind the scenes of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma, which apparently has absurdly racist and violent sing-alongs when they think no one is looking. Now, police are investigating Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho for allegedly operating two private Facebook accounts that included nude pictures of unconscious women.

And yet, there is a part of me that’s surprised, if not shocked. Read more »

In Defense of the Erin Express

2009 Erin Express at West Tavern. Photo by Kevin Burkett, used under a creative commons license.

2009 Erin Express at West Tavern. Photo by Kevin Burkett, cropped and used under a Creative Commons license.

Last year, the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day was absolutely gorgeous. Unseasonably warm and impossibly sunny, it was the kind of day that Philadelphia occasionally hands over just when you threaten to pack your bags — right around the time you start counting the number of Februarys you’ve barely survived here. Read more »

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