The 10 Stupid Internet News Stories I Keep Reading

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, 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 »

’Murrican as Apple Pie

You'll find about a million of these on the Internet. Internet, please shut up.

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:

The Internet.

Read more »

Awesome Philly Blog: Say Hello to “Oh, Hello Window Cat”

Queen Village
Jackie Palmer would like it to be stated, for the record, that she has only one cat — one lone, singular, solitary, individual cat, a female rescue named Ellie. Just one.

You’d probably be sensitive about being perceived as a psycho feline hoarder, too, if you ran a blog populated by pictures of other people’s pusses. But that’s what Palmer’s got on her paws hands with Oh, Hello Window Cat, a Tumblr dedicated to the Internet’s preferred domestic species in sun-bathed repose, in Philadelphia and beyond. Read more »

Dear Inky: I Got It Wrong

This about sums it up.

I get it wrong sometimes.

I was wrong back in January 2013. At the time, new ownership had taken over at the Inquirer and Daily News — is the ever not the case —and immediately demanded millions  of dollars in wage and benefit cuts from the salaries of  journalists employed by the paper.

It seemed another example of a newspaper trying and failing to cut its way to profiitability, a plan that hadn’t worked at any of the other million or so papers that had been trying it recent years. So I offered a potential way out of the never-ending death spiral:

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SCOTUS Rules Against Aereo Streaming TV, Handing Comcast a Win

“In a decision with implications for the television industry, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Aereo, a start-up streaming service, violated copyright laws by capturing broadcast signals on miniature antennas and delivering them to subscribers for a fee,” the New York Times reports. “The 6-3 decision was a victory for the major television networks, which had argued that Aereo’s business model amounted to a theft of their programming.”

Read more »

10 Emojis Philadelphia Needs Right Now

Illustration by Nick Massarelli

Illustrations by Nick Massarelli

Sometimes, words just aren’t enough. Other times, words are just too much.

That’s where emojis — little cartoon icons that can be used in text messages and other digital communication — come in. Emojis have transformed the way we  communicate digitally. They’re such a pervasive part of our linguistic culture that Yelp recently announced that users can search their mobile app using the icons. (No word on what happens if you search using the smiling pile of poop emoji.)

The cartoon language is about to become even more robust. Last week, Emoji announced that a whopping 250 new icons will be added to their library. The new emojis are a mixed bag of weird items including: a one-button mouse, a two-button mouse, a three-button mouse, an oil drum, a spider, a stock chart and a diesel locomotive. See the complete list of additions here.

What it doesn’t include is a hot dog, which is a disappointment to Laura Ustick, the general manager of Superdawg Drive-In in Illinois and the creator of a campaign to get hot dogs included in this round of emoji updates. “While a sad or crying face would have been appropriate, we thought not using an emoji sent a louder message of our disappointment with the announcement,” she told the New Yorker.

We feel ya, Laura.

Sometimes we, as Philadelphians, have unique communication needs. (See: “Jeet yet?” and “youse” and “hoagie.”) When those needs arise, emoji cannot always contain all the things we, as citizens of this big, loud, brash, weird city, need to say. Here, a list of 10 emojis Philadelphians need right now.


What Philly emojis do you wish were on your iPhone? Tell @errrica on Twitter.

“No Body Talk” Summer Camps: Is This a Good Thing?

Last week the New York Times ran an article on a couple of summer camps that enforce a “no body talk” rule. As one such camp’s founder, Vivian Stadlin, explains it, this means that while at camp, kids and counselors “take a break from mentioning physical appearance, including clothing. And it’s about myself or others, be it negative, neutral or even positive.”

My first reaction to the article was, “What a great idea!” At Stadlin’s camp, Eden Village, campers are taught to give compliments like “Your soul shines” or “I feel so happy to be with you.” Signs on bathroom mirrors read, “Don’t check your appearance, check your soul.” Another chain of camps, Rosie’s Girls, takes this a step further and covers mirrors completely, so that campers won’t even be tempted to judge themselves. Read more »

Lenfest Appoints Interim Editor

Any print devotee who hoped against hope the new ownership of Interstate General Media might let whither and die — or at least fade into the background — had better rethink their goals. New owner Gerry Lenfest today appointed an interim executive editor to the website: Mike Topel.

Read more »

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