STUDY: Kids Who Read Harry Potter Books More Tolerant of Minorities

harry potter

A nifty new study says that you may be casting a spell on your kids by letting them read Harry Potter series—one that vamooses prejudice. Research just published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology finds that young people who J.K. Rowling’s book wildly popular book series are more likely to have improved attitudes toward stigmatized groups—especially when identifying with the protagonist. More from The Week:

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It’s Always Sunny Gang Publishing Self-Help Book

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia characters Mac, Charlie, Sweet Dee, Dennis, and Frank have concocted a get-rich-quick scheme: a self-help book, and it’s getting published in real life. According to the Amazon page‚ The 7 Secrets of Awakening the Highly Effective Four-Hour Giant, Today finds “The Gang” sharing advice on everything from relationships, career, fashion, and financial success. Here’s a description explaining the background.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.36.46 AMLeft alone to close down Paddy’s Pub one night, Charlie Kelly inadvertently scored himself, and his friends, the opportunity of a lifetime—a book deal with a real publishing company, real advance money, and a real(ly confused) editor. While his actual ability to read and write remains unclear, Charlie sealed the deal with some off-the-cuff commentary on bird law and the nuances of killing rats (and maybe with the help of some glue fumes in the basement with an unstable editor on a bender). While The Gang is stunned by the news, and the legally binding, irrevocable contract left on the bar, they are also ready to rise to the task and become millionaires—and of course, help Charlie actually write the book.

In their own inimitable voices, Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Sweet Dee, and Frank weigh in on important topics like Relationships, Financial Success and Career, Fashion and Personal Grooming, Health and Diet, and Survival Skills, providing insane advice, tips, tricks, and recipes (Rum Ham anyone?) as only they can.

It’s not due to hit shelves till January 6th, but you can pre-order it on Amazon here.

The Be Well Philly Summer Reading List

books

The dog days of summer are a time to relax and recharge. And what better way to do exactly that than laying out (sunscreen on, please) with a good book? We asked Philly fitness experts for their healthy summer reading lists, so you can find a few books to add to yours. Read more »

Joan Rivers Can Say Whatever the @$%* She Wants!

Joan Rivers

In 1967, Joan Rivers performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Her act, although amazingly mild to today’s standards, was groundbreaking for a female comic in the ’60s: Women just didn’t talk about this sort of stuff:

Fast-forward to 2014: Joan Rivers is 81 years old and she keeps talking about things that most people wouldn’t dare think, never mind say.  She hosts Fashion Police weekly on E! and has her own reality show, Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? on WEtv.  She has her own line of clothing and jewelry on QVC.  She’s won Emmys and has been nominated for Tonys.  In other words, girlfriend has put in her damn time.  She’s literally the reason why Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, and a host of  other gay-loved comediennes, have careers. Read more »

Gay Philly Picks Some of Their Favorite Summer Reads

Guy Reading

Summer is here, and it’s a great time to pick up a book to enjoy while lounging at Rittenhouse Park or while soaking up the sun at Rehoboth.  We surveyed several gay Philadelphians on their favorite reading suggestions to form our big gay book list.  Trust me: it’s a lot better than all of that required summer reading from high school!



Local Architect Publishes Adorable Children’s eBook Series

Winthrop Little, star of Wayne, New Jersey's Jeffrey Martin's children's eBook series, "The Memoirs of Winthrop Little."

Winthrop Little, star of Wayne, Pennsylvania’s Jeffrey Martin’s children’s eBook series, “The Memoirs of Winthrop Little.”

The Memoirs of Winthrop Little is an interactive children’ book series app dreamt up by Wayne resident and architect Jeffrey Martin.

The story is written by an adorable teddy bear named Winthrop Little, and it just so happens to serve as a valuable learning tool for tots. It teaches young readers common life values (sharing, kindness, teamwork) while showing them a good time with a slew of interactive features, like moving photos, sidebars with additional facts about Winthrop’s life and personality and more.

“I love to read and I noticed over the past several years how the whole demeanor of books has changed,” Martin says. “I thought, ‘gee, if the future of books is going to be electronic, we’re really missing out on something.’”

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Philly Writer Wins IPPY Award for Gay Romance Novel Unbroken

lgbt black history month spotlight author larry benjaminA while back I told you about Philly writer Larry Benjamin, whose 2013 novel Unbroken is nominated for one of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards in the Gay Romance category. Well, he’ll be going into the early-June awards ceremony a winner, because last week it was announced that the book scored gold in the LGBT fiction category at the 2014 Independent Publisher Book awards. The awards — known as IPPYs — “are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers.”

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Michael Smerconish Writes Novel, Has Pillows with His Own Silhouette On Them

The Washington Post returns to the main line in Friday’s paper with a profile of Michael Smerconish.

Smerconish was once seen as a rising star in conservative radio; George W. Bush even called in to Smerconish’s show on election night in 2000. But as Bush’s popularity plummeted in his second term and right-wing talk radio lurched rightward in the mid-2000s, Smerconish’s more-nuanced takes fell a bit out of favor. He says he was pressured to get more right-wing — but wanted to continue to be a conservative moderate. Smerconish also, notably, says refused to take ads for gold-selling businesses, a recent staple of conservative radio.

Now he’s on satellite radio, and says he has “put [his] livelihood on the line” to show that moderate punditry does have an audience and … why am I bothering to recap these things, let’s talk about his pillows:

“I’m the referendum, aren’t I?” he says on the patio of his spacious home in swanky Villanova, Pa., his arm draped across a pillow bearing the outline of his signature bald head.

Do you think the Smerconish bald head logo was originally created by doing a silhouette cutout using a flashlight and his shadow? I hope so.

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Philly Author Examines
LGBT Representation in Media in
Pop Culture Freaks

dustin kidd pop culture freaks

Dustin Kidd, Temple sociology professor and author of “Pop Culture Freaks.”

Dr. Dustin Kidd and I met at the Starbucks at 12th and Walnut to discuss his latest book, Pop Culture Freaks. I asked him here to learn more about the work, which, while examining pop culture from an all-inclusive angle, includes a chapter specifically dedicated to LGBT representation in the media.

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