Student Found Dead at Chestnut Hill College

CBS Philly reports a 22-year-old student was found dead at Chestnut Hill College. “Police were called out to the school, at 9601 Germantown Avenue, shortly after 8:30 a.m. for an unresponsive male found on a couch.”

Philly Mag intern Megan Welch passes along a statement from Sister Carol Jean Vale, the college president: “The Chestnut Hill College community is greatly saddened to announce the death of senior business major Bradley David Amerman on Wednesday, April 16. Our sincere prayers and heartfelt sympathy are extended to the family and friends of Bradley David Amerman and to the Class of 2014. Staff members will be available in the Counseling Center, Student Activities, McCaffery Lounge and Campus Ministry to all members of the College community who wish to discuss and share their thoughts.”

Week in Review: Guns, Kittens, and Baseball

It’s the weekend, which means it’s time to catch up on all the stuff you missed at Here were some of our favorite pieces from the week gone by:


Commencement Speaker Smackdown!

The first round of announcements regarding May college commencement speakers has wound down, and if you think college admissions are competitive, you should see the commencement-speaker arms race. Is our school’s smarter than yours? More famous? Better looking? We took the trouble to arrange the first 20 announcees according to overall desirability as we see it from here.

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Stabbing Spree Reported at Western PA High School

Update: CBS Pittsburgh reports: “Dan Stevens with Westmoreland Emergency Management says 20-students have been injured, four of those are serious. Police say the male suspect is in custody, and is reportedly a student at the school. Sources say that the student is a sophomore at the high school.”


Fox29 reports: “Emergency crews were sent to Franklin Regional High School located in Murrysville, PA after multiple people were stabbed. Several police cars and ambulances are at the school.”

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Science Finds a “Stupid” Gene. What Should We Do With That Information?


Linguist/philosopher and Philly native son Noam Chomsky once postulated that the current era of human history might “provide an answer to the question of whether it is better to be smart than stupid.” We got closer to that answer last week, when researchers from Cardiff University in Wales announced an intriguing new find: a gene for stupidity. Specifically, they showed that kids born with two copies of the common gene known as Thr92Ala who also have low levels of thyroid hormone are four times more likely to have a low IQ than children with only one copy of the gene, or with two copies but normal hormone levels.

How low an IQ? Between 70 and 85, the researchers say. Anything below 70 is classified as an intellectual disability; the 70-to-85 range is considered “mild intellectual disability.”

So, let’s all rush out to have tests on our unborn babies, right? Read more »

After Ukraine, Good Luck Getting Iran to Give Up Nukes

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Hardliners in Iran are using America’s impotence in dealing with the crisis in the Ukraine as an example of what happens when you give up your nuclear strength.

Twenty years ago, no one would have messed with the Ukraine. Russia certainly would not have dared to move forces to its doorstep.

In 1994 Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power. That same year Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal with the promise from the United States and Russia that neither country would use force or threaten action against the newly independent nation.

Ironically, Ukraine gave all of its nuclear warheads — 1,900 long range and 2,500 short range – to Russia.

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