The other day on my way home from work, when I was a block away from my house, I pulled over and called my son Jake, who’s back from college for the summer. I asked him to come out to the front porch and check if my left-hand turn signal light was out. He emerged onto the porch as I pulled up, and turned two big thumbs up as I tested first my left-hand signal and then the right one. “Both working,” he assured me when I got out. “What’s up?”
“Some jerk pulled right out in front of me at the four-way stop at Wilson and Franklin,” I told him. “I absolutely had the right-of-way, and I had my left-hand turn signal on. And he still nearly plowed into me. I figured the light must be out.” Because, really, why else would somebody almost drive into my car like that?
Jake shrugged. “I don’t know what to tell you. He was an idiot, I guess.” Read more »
Arctic Splash isn’t made in Fishtown. It isn’t made in Philadelphia, or even Pennsylvania. But that hasn’t stopped the budget-priced iced tea — basically water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid and something called “tea solids” — from becoming synonymous with River Wards culture.
Drunk from the school-lunch fold-top cartons that bear that kitschy frost-capped logo, Splash — “the Faygo of Fishtown,” according to one fishtown.us poster — has long been an iconic beverage north of Girard. (No one’s really sure why.) Manufactured by Massachusetts-based Dean Foods and distributed regionally by its subsidiary, Lehigh Valley Dairy, it’s peddled at shops and delis throughout the area, and residents have capitalized on that ubiquity to turn it into a point of pride. The so-sweet tea’s responsible for inspiring band names, T-shirt designs and boozy variations at local bars.
It’s also inspired a tremendous amount of litter, a reality not lost on seventh-generation Fishtowner Jake Sauer. For every person he comes across sipping one — “I literally see babies in strollers drinking Arctic Splash out of a straw,” he says — he’s able to spot multiple cartons, in varying states of decomposition, trashing up his Fishtown streets.
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If it were up to me, we’d just call it a failed experiment, like New Coke or Lindsay Lohan’s music career. We tried it. It went off the rails. And now we’re done.
But alas, with every day that passes, the comment sections of news websites persist. The argument in their defense is that they increase engagement and give readers an opportunity to have their voices be heard. Not for nothing, they also keep people coming back to the website, which is great for pageviews and thus, great for advertising which the journalism industry desperately needs to survive as the economics of the news business evolve.
So what’s the problem?
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Via Reddit comes one of the more addicting games we’ve played in awhile: GeoGuessr drops you (digitally) in a random spot in Philly and asks you to pin, on a map, your precise location — the closer you are to correct, the more points you earn. A game consists of just five guesses, and some clues are easier than others: Center City locations are easy enough to figure, but some rowhouse neighborhoods are fiendishly difficult to place.
Post your high scores in the comments.
A few years ago, after receiving some bad directions from a man with a cool accent, I found myself embarrassingly lost in New Orleans’ French Quarter, en route to a destination whose name I can no longer recall. (I blame the Sazeracs.) So I decided to pull out my iPhone and punch the place into Google Maps to determine how not-even-close I was.
This, I learned, was a sight so troubling that strangers felt the need to inform me I was squandering what little time I had left here on earth.
An older man, who did not have a cool accent but did wear a hat with a feather in it (these guys always have hats with feathers in them), stopped abruptly on the sidewalk in front of me and placed his right hand on my left shoulder, like an uncle about to deliver bad news to a young nephew with a behavioral disorder.
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That recording of a frothing, relentless Comcast “customer retention” specialist we told you was a “sure-to-mushroom PR disaster”? Well, it sure mushroomed.
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UPDATE, 7/15, 8 p.m.: The rep has been placed on administrative leave while the company investigates the incident.
ORIGINAL: If you’ve been thinking about changing or canceling your Comcast service, now may be the time — because the company is going to have to be extra nice to everyone to quell a sure-to-mushroom PR disaster resulting from the release of audio of one of its “customer retention” specialists scorching a San Francisco couple for attempting to disconnect their Internet account.
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The news of the world as brought to me via the Internet tends to be a roundup of humans doing seriously stupid things. And you know what? As I read through the stories that such forums as Gawker, Jezebel, Philly.com and the Huffington Post see fit to dish up to me, I’m beginning to feel an inescapable sense of been there, read that.
Didn’t I just see this same story a few days ago, in some other publication? Isn’t this the third time this month I read that same damn thing? I mean, how many times are you people going to drop shit off subway platforms and then jump down onto the tracks to get them? When another one of you does that, it isn’t news. It’s just déjà vu all over again.
And for this, I’m paying $460 a month to keep every member of my nuclear family tied to the Internet at every waking moment? Think of all the fun stuff I could do with $460 a month if I weren’t giving it to Comcast and Verizon.
Which gave me an idea.
The following is a brief list of Stupid Stuff You People Keep On Doing. If you stop doing these stupid things, there won’t be any news, and the Internet will close down, and I can use my $460 a month to go to Tahiti. So hey, what do you say?
1. Stop punishing women for breastfeeding in public. Oh, no, you didn’t actually do this again, did you? At a country music concert? Oh yes you did. Read more »
You’ll find about a million of these on the Internet. Internet, please shut up.
’Merica. ’Murrica. ’Mericuh.
Our most recent Independence Day weekend brought them out, in intentionally butchered droves — cheekily edited versions of our great country’s name, accompanied by photos of eagles, flags or domestic beer cans with eagles and flags on them. I’m not sure when, where or why lopping the lead “A” off “America” and mush-mouthing the rest began, but it’s very clear where this odd act of ass-backwards Insta-patriotism has taken up permanent residence:
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So this went viral in Pennsylvania late on Thursday:
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