Pennsylvania Unveils 70-MPH Zones

Welcome to the future: Pennsylvania has unveiled its first 70-mph highway zones, finally letting drivers enjoy late 20th century car-travel standards. The down side? Only a few stretches are getting the new, higher speed limit — so that officials can pull back if too much fun death ensues.

Read more »

I’m HIV-Positive, and I Have No Interest in News About HIV Cures

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Philadelphia is all atwitter currently with news out of Temple University that researchers there have gotten a step closer to a so-called cure for HIV. Basically, medical researchers are doing their jobs. Being medical researchers, though, they need to gin up some interest and rationale for more funding, so they’ve decided to recklessly issue a statement so slippery you can’t exactly disagree with it: “This is one important step,” says Temple’s Dr. Kamel Khalili, “on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS.”

Thanks to those four little letters — “cure” — many journalists who have no experience or strong understanding about HIV/AIDS are writing about HIV/AIDS and society is yet again unfurling the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner. HIV/AIDS is about to be over! Will the last the person out please shut off the lights? Thanks.

Most people are zooming by the fact that this Temple discovery has no relevance to people living today or even in the near future; the discovery is simply a “proof of concept” with a completely uncertain future use, particularly if it’s anything like past “steps on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS.” More on that later.

Read more »

Columbus Mayor Tries Political Blackmail to Lure DNC

Since Philly is still making a bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, we’re checking in now and again to see how our competing cities are doing. For example, Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael Coleman this week tried, well, a little political blackmail to lure the convention to his town.

Read more »

Hey Philly, You’ll Never Guess Who Made the “Unhappiest Cities” List

500px-Seal_of_Pennsylvania.svg

This is the symbol of deep discontent.

God as our witness, we have no idea whether this is good news or bad news. So let’s try it:

Philly, you’re on a new list of America’s unhappiest cities. 

But you only rank No. 10.

Apparently Buffalo is sadder. Saint Louis more filled with ennui. Louisville has no reason to live apart from the once-a-year Kentucky Derby. We’re not surprised to see Detroit on the list. But Pittsburgh is No. 2. Pittsburgh?

Read more »

We’re Not Criminalizing Parents. We’re Criminalizing Poverty.

Where are the adults?

Where are the adults?

On Sunday morning, I stopped into a Center City fast-food joint; I’ll not name it for reasons that may soon become clear. I took my breakfast sandwich to a table, not far from where a little girl, probably around 5 or 6, was playing with her dolls.

She was alone.

A group of middle-aged men sitting nearby noticed her as well. “Sweetie, are you here by yourself?” one of them asked. She gave them a wide-eyed blank look, but said nothing. He looked around, stymied for a second. Then: “Where’s your mommy? Is she working here?”

The little girl paused, then nodded slowly. “Okay,” the man said, ready to let the matter go and apparently pleased to not to have started his day with a report to child protective services.

It was a fraught, awkward moment — none of us wants to be the SEPTA passengers who let the “heroin nod” mother walk, but neither do most of us like to interfere in another person’s parenting. Finding the right balance can be tricky.

Read more »

Chris Christie Isn’t Campaigning for All GOP Candidates

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie — who heads the Republican Governors Association — has come under fire from a New York Republican challenging Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo there. Rob Astorino said Christie should step down from the RGA since Christie isn’t supporting Astorino’s candidacy.

Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »