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

Shutterstock.com

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?

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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 »

Pope Gets Official Milkshake Flavor in Sham of a Vote

Official milkshake | Matt Rourke, AP. Pope Francis, Shutterstock.com

Official milkshake | Matt Rourke, AP. Pope Francis, Shutterstock.com

Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia is just under 200 days away, and the important decisions are starting to be made: The official milkshake of the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia has been chosen. Alleluia!

The milkshake bringing all the altar boys to the yard is a combination of vanilla ice cream and shortbread butter cookies and is named #PopeinPhilly. The $3.90 shake will be available at Philly’s Potbelly locations from April 1st to to September 30th. Fifty cents of each sale will go to the World Meeting of Families.

The #PopeinPhilly shake was chosen yesterday by students from St. Peter the Apostle School at an event at the Potbelly in Center City. It defeated a crumbled Oreo shake (called World Meeting Mashup) and a banana, chocolate and peanut butter shake (PHL Liberty Bell) for the win. Or did it? Read on and you’ll see this vote was no vote at all! Read more »

The Strange Connection Between Harrison Ford and Snowy Owls

If you’re going to crash an airplane, you damned sure want to crash it on a golf course, as Harrison Ford did on Thursday. Why? Because there’s sure to be any number of doctors out on that golf course, doing that thing doctors do on golf courses and have done, there, down through history. In Ford’s case, he was lucky enough to have an attending spinal surgeon, Sanjay Khurana, on the links, and Khurana led a team of doctors in stabilizing Ford’s spine and neck. Good thinking, Indy! Who else would manage to crash a plane straight into a thicket of medical professionals?

Read more »

WATCH: Philadelphians Sled Down Art Museum Steps on Folding Table

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Philly photographer Adam Wallacavage (the guy who lives in this amazing house) posted a couple of videos of people sledding down the Art Museum steps to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tonight. No, there’s not quite enough snow on the steps for what you’d call smooth sliding, but that didn’t stop the nuts in the below video from trying it while riding, of all things, a folding table: Read more »

Are Women Being Overmedicated?

Psychiatrist Julie Holland wrote in the New York Times this weekend about adjudicating the female mood, which ever since the publication of the feminist classic The Yellow Wallpaper, a book chronicling the imprisonment of a “hysterical” woman, has been the subject of peculiar debate. When a woman is moody, does it mean she’s crazy?  Or is she simply experiencing hormonal or emotional differences that serve her evolutionary purpose?

Thankfully, as of 2015, we’ve come to a consensus closer to the latter point of view, at least scientifically. This is chronicled in Holland’s cheekily titled book, Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy.

But colloquially and in everyday life, the “psycho” bitch who won’t stop calling after a breakup, the crazy girlfriend who’s super jealous, the chick who’s a nightmare when she’s PMS-ing — these tropes are all too common. Read more »

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