How Did Wawa Become One of the Top Spots for Missed Connections?

Love and Wawa. Photos | Wawa Instagram

Love and Wawa. Photos | Wawa Instagram

Looking for a summer love? Don’t bother with dimly-lit bars serving $6 Coors Lights. Skip the club scene and the electronic beats. Even your corner coffee shop with the expensive — but admittedly delightful — light roast may not be the right spot. The real place you should plop down is in your local Wawa. At least that’s what the data from Craigslist’s Missed Connections suggests.

For a February 2013 issue of Psychology Today, Dorothy Gambrell created an infographic mapping the most popular spots for missed connections across the nation. For the majority of states, the prime destinations were the supermarket, the gym, public transit and Walmart (in 15 states, yikes). Aside from Illinois, which oddly has its top location as “at home,” and Rhode Island where apparently you’re bound to meet in a parking lot, Pennsylvania takes the snack cake for the oddest spot with convenience stores — a.k.a. Wawa (and, okay, Sheetz).

If you’re unfamiliar with Missed Connections, it’s the section on Craigslist where Internet sentimentalists write short posts about a person they saw somewhere — or someone they had a brief conversation with — who they can’t get out of their head. A lot of it is romantically oriented. Occasionally they can get a bit weird.

As I write this, 30 Wawa-related missed connections are currently listed on the Philadelphia site, dating back to March 24th (the posts disappear after 45-day limit), out of 1,003 missed connections. Open it up nearby locations like Central Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware, that number grows to 86 Wawa-romantics out of 2,367 posts. That adds up to about 4 percent of the Missed Connection community. While that may on first glance may seem small, a large chunk of the other messages aren’t actually missed connections. Artist, writer and researcher Ingrid Burrington found during a study of Missed Connections data that almost half of the posts on the site fall into a “Grey Area” that includes, replies to other posts, tirades about former relationships, and saucy poems or song lyrics. The rest of the posts for Philadelphia are scattered about the city or don’t include a specific location.

But either way, there are a lot of hopeless — or misguided — romantics out there, crossing their fingers that a few Internet clicks may connect them with the love of their life. And a lot them appear to be frequenting your local Wawa; buying sandwiches, filing up on gas, and hoping not to miss another opportunity.

So why would a place that specializes in made-to-order hoagies be a top spot for almost-lovers? Read more »

65 Years Ago Today, Philadelphia Helped Birth the Commercial Computing Revolution

UNIVAC I control station on display at the Computer History Museum. | ArnoldReinhold, shared under a Creative Commons license.

UNIVAC I control station on display at the Computer History Museum. | ArnoldReinhold, shared under a Creative Commons license.

Today is the anniversary of a major development in computing history — and it happened right here in Philadelphia.

On this date in 1951, the U.S. Census Bureau signed a contract for the first commercial computer in the U.S. with J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly, who had designed the ENIAC computer at the University of Pennsylvania for the U.S. War Department toward the end of World War II. The two formed their own company after the war, which became the Philadelphia-based subsidiary of Remington Rand Inc., where the computer was developed and manufactured. Read more »

Warning: Don’t Use This Website to Renew a Pennsylvania Driver’s License

A screenshot of the website that you'd probably think you can use to renew your Pennsylvania driver's license. Looks like the real thing, doesn't it?

A screenshot of the website that you’d probably think you can use to renew your PA driver’s license. Looks like the real thing, doesn’t it?

Last week, a very bright and tech-savvy colleague of mine had to renew his Pennsylvania driver’s license. So what did he do? Like most of us would, he went on the Internet and Googled “renew Pennsylvania driver’s license.” And this is where his troubles began. Read more »

Signs of the Apocalypse: The Peeple App Launches

peeple-app-940x540

I’m approaching that age where it’s time to decide if I want to bring children into this world.

Most days, the answer is yes. I love kids, and for whatever reason — blind optimism, naïveté, Ambien — I believe that the human race is a good one and that we’ll eventually wake up from this fever dream we call election season.

But on other days, the Peeple app launches. Read more »

Comcast Creates VP for Privacy

comcast noopur davis

Noopur Davis

Just as the tech world is embroiled in a debate over the privacy customers can expect from its products, Comcast has created a new position devoted specifically to security and privacy.

The company announced Monday that it’s hiring Noopur Davis to be its new senior vice president, product security and privacy at Comcast Cable. In her previous job, she led Intel’s efforts to develop secure hardware and software products.

“Noopur brings tremendous experience and unique perspective to this vital role,” said Tony Werner, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Comcast Cable. “Her longstanding leadership in the areas of both product quality and product security make her the ideal person to lead a team that will keep security at the forefront of our design and development processes.” Read more »

10 of the Best Chris Christie “Silent Scream” Memes

Have you seen this picture of Chris Christie at a Super Tuesday news conference with Donald Trump? Take a good look at Christie’s face. It’s the face that is launching a thousand memes:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Let’s start with the Washington Post, where the column on this picture is currently the most-read article on the paper’s website. It’s titled “Chris Christie’s wordless screaming,” and it’s a doozy:

Someone just told Chris Christie that there is no God. Or Chris Christie has just discovered that God does exist but She is an enormous snake who hates or is indifferent to mankind. Or Chris Christie has just discovered that there is no God but that Hell is real.

“When are they coming to airlift me out?” Chris Christie’s eyes are pleading. “Please tell me that they are coming and that it is soon.” But then his expression hardens. Chris Christie knows that they are not coming back for him.

There’s more of that. But our favorite laugh-out-loud re-mixing of this moment adds a little bit of music: Read more »

Doctor Says Viral Facebook Post About Hit-and-Run Accident Ruined His Life

Child psychiatrist Neftali Ortiz at the scene of the accident.

Child psychiatrist Neftali Ortiz at the scene of the accident. Photo via Facebook.

Where would we be without Facebook? You’d have to remember your dad’s birthday on your own. You’d have to actually watch the Grammys if you wanted to know what the heck Lady Gaga wore. And when you had a dispute with someone, you’d probably wind up letting the judicial system sort it out.

But in this day and age of The Supreme Court of Social Media, it seems that not a day goes by without a once-private type of dispute being aired and judged online. And one local doctor says that he’s been unfairly tried and convicted without ever stepping foot inside an actual courtroom. Read more »

Voorhees Police “Arrest” PuppyMonkeyBaby

Depending on your point of view, PuppyMonkeyBaby — the Mountain Dew mascot introduced during Super Bowl 50 commercials on Sunday — is either fall-down hilarious or a crime against good taste. The Voorhees Police Department in Camden County, N.J.? They apparently fall closer to the “crime” determination.

Behold: Read more »

WATCH: Northeast High Girl Turns Video of Her Beating Into Anti-Bullying Crusade

Images from Mia DeJesus' video.

Images from Mia DeJesus’ anti-bullying video.

Mia DeJesus says she was beaten unconscious in a Northeast High School bathroom last week — and to make things worse, her attackers posted video of the incident online to see.

Now the video is going viral — promoted by 16-year-old DeJesus herself, as a statement against bullying.

“I refuse to be held hostage by this video and my fear,” she says in a voiceover. “I will not be a victim.”

Watch: Read more »

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