Exposed: Philly’s Big Banana Peel Problem

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“When I’m walking with friends, they tell me it’s a little awkward for them,” says Frank Danay. “They’re the ones standing next to the guy who’s in the gutter taking pictures.”

Danay’s buddies know better than to compromise the process. He’s simply chronicling another day of potassium-rich existence on the streets of Philadelphia, an apparent national leader in the field of wayward banana peels.

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Brian Sims Teaming With Facebook for “Open Dialogue” Series

1008428_600926903328758_984610268_oOn Friday, Philly State Representative Brian Sims will be a guest at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Cali., where he will take part in the social media company’s “Open Dialogue” series.

The initiative is a way to “connect elected officials and policymakers with their constituents in real-time, two-way discussions about the most pressing issues facing our nation.”

Here’s how it works: On Friday, at 5 p.m. (EST), Sims will take to his official Facebook page to take part in a conversation about some of the issues most important to him — namely the legal value of House Bill 300, the measure that would make it illegal in Pennsylvania to discriminate against LGBT people in the workplace and places of business.

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Facebook Becomes More Trans-Inclusive By Letting Users Customize Gender and Pronouns

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 1.49.39 PM

One of the myriad new options in your “About Me” section on Facebook.

The Facebook Diversity program just announced that Facebook will now allow users to enter a custom gender for their profiles, and it even goes a step further by letting you choose the pronoun you want Facebook to use when referring to you. Here’s the announcement:

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The Scariest Storm Prediction Images on Facebook

Storm Snow arrival times via  accuweather.com

Storm Snow arrival times via accuweather.com

For many of you planning to turn President’s Day weekend into a quick get-away from this winter o’ cold ’n’ doom ’n’ horrors, the impending nor’easter has likely thrown a big clunky wrench into your travel plans. 

While on hold last night trying to swap a Thursday morning flight for a Friday departure, a scroll through my Facebook feed filled me with abject dread. We’ve all had our share of terrifying (and vaguely/not-vaguely phallic) storm front imagery this winter, but there’s something about this latest batch of storm prediction shots that’s especially terrifying (and not-vaguely phallic).

The Scariest Storm Prediction Images after the jump »

This is What People Dislike About Facebook

In honor of Facebook’s 10th anniversary tomorrow, Pew Research just released an interesting study revealing how people use the social-media monster. Here are some fun infographics showing some of its results. You can read the rest of the study here.

This is what people dislike most about the site.

facebook user dislikes

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How I Resolved to Quit Facebook and Rediscovered the World

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Shutterstock.com

One of my resolutions for 2014 (besides the annual “This year, I will quit smoking, drink tons of water and actually attend the spinning classes I spend $150 a month for”) was to quit Facebook. My intent was not to break up with the social media site to assert some “I’m too cool to even be on the grid” hipster mentality; I’ve just realized how much Facebook has been messing with my mind.

There comes a certain point in a woman’s life (i.e. when you turn 30) when all of your social media platforms are filled with pictures and status updates of baby bumps, marathon races and vegan pot-roast recipes. And then it suddenly hits you: Facebook is boring because you’ve become boring.

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Meet the Part-Time Philadelphian Who Used Facebook to Make America Pay Attention to the Minimum Wage

Rafael Rivera

Rafael Rivero. Photo | Sandy Smith

The minimum wage was last raised in 2009, when it reached its current level of $6.25 an hour under legislation approved in 2007.* Had it been steadily raised to keep pace with inflation, the 1969 minimum wage of $1.60 an hour — which was sufficient to keep a family of three above the poverty line — would be $10.56 an hour today.

That hadn’t caused much concern over the intervening years.

This year, that’s not been the case. A bill that would have raised the minimum wage to $9 an hour is now one that would raise it to $10.10. And stories about the plight of low-wage workers now fill the airwaves, the print media and cyberspace.

It all seems to have come out of nowhere. But that’s not the case. Someone put the issue on the public radar.

That someone is a fellow named Rafael Rivero. A Washingtonian who divides his time between there and South Philly, Rivero shifted the public conversation using only a laptop computer, image editing software and Facebook.

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The Upper Darby Police Facebook Page Has Won the Internet

upper darby police

Over the weekend, Philadelphia comic great Chip Chantry sent me a link for the Upper Darby Police Facebook page. Being that the link was coming from a master of parody (as demonstrated by Chantry’s genius Hall & Oates Christmas video) and that the content didn’t seem to be what you’d expect coming out through official police channels, I thought it was a joke. But it’s not. It’s real. And it’s gold. Read more »

No, the Cops Aren’t Banning Protesters From Facebook

Photo by Kenneth Lipp.

Photo by Kenneth Lipp.

It should come as no surprise that police departments monitor social media. After all, as a speaker revealed during a panel at last week’s International Association of Chiefs of Police conference, roughly 96 percent of law enforcement agencies utilize social media, and more than 86 percent for “investigative purposes.”

At least, that’s according to Kenneth Lipp, the Philadelphia-based investigative journalist at the center of what Chicago Police Department Lt. Steven Sesso calls a “headache.”

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UPDATE: City Paper Is Out of Twitter Jail

CP

UPDATE: After more than 24 hours on some sort of Twitter spam list, the City Paper‘s Twitter operations are now back to normal.

ORIGINAL: Like almost all news organizations these days, Philadelphia’s City Paper relies heavily on its social media presence to get eyes on its stories, which, in many cases, expose societal ills and evils. The alt-weekly has over 26,500 followers on Twitter. But since Wednesday morning, the newspaper has had problems sharing stories there. Read more »

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