SPLC: Hate Groups Rise in Pa., Wane in N.J.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's map of hate groups in Pennsylvania.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s map of hate groups in Pennsylvania.

The number of hate groups in Pennsylvania rose slightly in 2015, a new report says, while dropping greatly in New Jersey.

The Southern Poverty Law Center last week issued its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism Report, a project that also includes the center’s interactive “hate map” showing which groups are active in each state.

The map shows that Pennsylvania has 40 documented hate groups, up from 38 in last year’s report. New Jersey, meanwhile, saw a radical change — from 40 groups in the 2014 report to in 2015. (Delaware had just five named groups.) Read more »

Just How Buzzed Are Pa. College Students?

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Pennsylvania ranks among the nation’s Top 10 states in the rate of both drug and alcohol arrests of college students.

The numbers, from a new report by Project Know, were first reported by U.S. News & World Report. But the report’s authors said didn’t know if the numbers reflected the relative level of enforcement in each state, or the relative level of drug and alcohol use.

“The answer is that it could be either,” they wrote, and later added: “Whether high rates of arrests and referrals actually indicate high levels of crime, or just high rates of catching offenders, is a much harder problem.” Read more »

Wharton Says America’s the (Fourth) Best Country in the World

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America, left. Wharton’s David Reibstein, right.

The United States is the world’s most powerful and most influential country. But is it the best country? Nope, a new report says: The honor belongs to Germany.

Or at least that’s how U.S. News & World Report sees things in its new “Best Countries” rankings, released Wednesday. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania joined the magazine and WPP in determining the rankings. Sixty countries were included in the rankings; Canada and the U.K. were also ahead of the U.S. in the overall rankings.

“Countries need to be concerned about their brands, because it has an impact on the economy of the country just the same as it does firms,” David Reibstein, a Wharton marketing professor, said in a video released with the rankings. “That economic value comes by tourism, foreign direct investment, willingness to buy goods through trade. There’s an economic return to a nation’s brand.” Read more »

Philly No Longer America’s Top Bedbug City

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Good news: Philly is no longer America’s top bedbug city. Detroit claims the honors in the latest rankings from Terminix, the pest-extermination company.

The bad news: We didn’t slip very far: After four years on top, Philly only dropped to No. 2 this year.

But don’t feel too bad, Philly: There are lots of bedbugs everywhere these days.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in bed bugs since the 1990s,” Paul Curtis, Terminix’s manager of technical services, said in a statement accompanying the rankings. Read more »

America’s Best School District Is in Chester County

Conestoga High School in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District | Google Street View

Conestoga High School in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District | Google Street View

Chester County’s Tredyffrin-Easttown School District is the top school district in the country, according to a new ranking from Niche.com.

The ranking was based on district info obtained from the U.S. Department of Education, along with parents and student reviews, as well as other factors.

Here’s Niche’s rundown on the district:

“Tredyffrin-Easttown School District is centered in Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania. It has 6,537 students attending 8 schools in grades K-12. According to state standards, 90% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $104,474,000, spending an average of $16,180 per student. There have been 215 reviews written and they have been mostly positive.” Read more »

8 Most Beautiful Women in Philadelphia History

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A bevy of beauties. | Images via Wiki Commons and Flickr. 

Today would have been the 86th birthday of the remarkably beautiful Princess Grace of Monaco, born, of course, Grace Kelly, right here in our town. Philly may not be Paris or New York City, but by gum, it’s done all right by itself in the looks department. South Philly in particular has been a hotbed of hotness, producing several world-class beauties. Here, from Colonial times to the Roaring ’20s to the decadent ’70s to now, are some of the loveliest women ever to call this city home.  Read more »

Penn Makes Highly Dubious List of 20 Prettiest Colleges on Earth

The “BuzzFeed community” has ranked the Most Beautiful College Campuses in the World, and the good news is that Penn is on the list, at number 13, represented by photos of a snow-covered Quad and the LOVE statue. The bad news is that the Most Beautiful College in the World is someplace called Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia, where 2,000 lucky students get to wallow in glory that surpasses that of every other college campus on earth. (Berry’s photos show a grandiose quad with a reflecting pool and very bad grass, as well as a Teutonic-looking farm.) Read more »

America’s Top 10 Fears Are Really Scary

Scream-Ghostface

There is something seriously wrong with me.

I was just perusing this year’s report on Chapman University’s annual survey of the things Americans fear most, and I am totally out of step with the rest of you. Do you want to know what America is most afraid of now, right now, at this moment in 2015? The terror that most torments you, that keeps you up at night tossing and turning? Is it the existential question of what happens after we die? Losing a child? Trump winning? Public speaking?

Nah. According to the crack research team at Chapman University, the number one fear in the nation is corrupt public officials.

Ooooooh, I’m quaking in my shoes. Read more »

U.S. News: Penn 14th Among “Global” Universities

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Penn ranks among the world’s very best universities, according to the latest ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

The magazine ranked Penn 14th on its list of “Best Global Universities,” tied with Ivy League neighbor Yale, and one spot behind Princeton. The best university overall was Harvard; the best non-U.S. university was Oxford, in the United Kingdom.
Read more »

Atlantic City Is The Drunkest City in New Jersey (Well, Tied For 1st)

Tony's Baltimore Grill bar sign

A sign in the window at Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City. (Photo | Dan McQuade)

It’s no surprise that a city where the booze flows freely at all hours is the drunkest in New Jersey. What might be surprising is Atlantic City is not alone at the No. 1 drunkest place in New Jersey: It’s tied with Belmar, Monmouth County.

The new rankings, compiled by RoadSnacks, rank New Jersey cities based on the number of bars/pubs/liquor stores/wineries per capita, plus the number of recent drunk tweets and the divorce rate. (Okay, that’s pretty clever.) And A.C. and Belmar — not to be confused with Camden County’s Bellmawr — came out tied for the No. 1 spot. Read more »

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