Trying to Make Sense of Senseless Sheridan and Germanwings Tragedies


He was 72 years old, a collector of antiques, the well-respected Cooper University Health System CEO, the father of four sons, married 47 years to the same woman. He was “mild-mannered.” He “made a living with his head, not his hands.” He had “a really strong relationship” with his family. That John Sheridan would kill his wife and then himself in their suburban New Jersey bedroom was so unthinkable that those sons hired their own forensic pathologist and staved off a declaration of their father’s cause of death for six long months, sure there had to be another explanation. An antiques dealer who knew Sheridan called the notion that he’d killed himself “ridiculous.” “If you’re going to tell me John did it, it was murder-suicide, then tell me why,” the wife’s brother challenged the Inquirer, in a story published hours before the Somerset County prosecutor’s office finally ruled the tragedy just that.

He was 27 and lived in a middle-class third-floor apartment in Düsseldorf, Germany. A neighbor said he was “very shy.” People who saw him recently “said he didn’t appear to be burdened.” Those who knew him said he was “quiet, pleasant and responsible,” according to the Wall Street Journal — right up until Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit of the Germanwings plane they were flying and plowed it into a mountainside.

Last week was a helluva week for the meek and mild. Read more »

Doc Bresler’s Cavity Busters: A Tribute


Last weekend, a famous Philadelphian died. He was a dentist. But David Bresler — of Doc Bresler’s Cavity Busters fame — was definitely famous locally. Those ads are everywhere. Even at the Phillies game, you run into ads for his pediatric dentistry chain. And look how cool it seems!

I guess this is the part of my article where I publicly shame my parents for not taking me to Doc Bresler’s. I went to some dentist with a Ms. Pac-Man machine in the waiting room, but that was about it. But Bresler’s place is bumpin’.

Bresler, 61, died of complications from surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center. (Per the Inquirer obit, he also “had an extensive collection of beer memorabilia, ‘which is ironic since he never had a beer in his life,’ his family said.”) And I knew Doc Bresler despite never seeing him, and that’s because of his infomercial. I don’t remember where it aired — Channel 48, probably — but his ad is up there in the great pantheon of awesome Philly infomercials along with TNT Amusements and Club Risqué. Read more »

Body Pulled from SUV That Plunged Into Schuylkill

The body of an unidentified woman has been pulled from an SUV that plunged into the Schuylkill around noon today.

Fox 29 reports: “Witnesses say they saw the SUV heading toward the river down Hunting Park Avenue at a high rate of speed. They said the vehicle crossed Kelly Drive and smashed through a wall before hitting the water and eventually submerging.”

It took rescue units an hour to recover the vehicle after it entered the river.

Hero Teen Pulls Officer From Burning Car

FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

17-year-old Joe Chambers is being praised as a hero this week after pulling a Philadelphia police officer from a burning car.

The incident happened Saturday evening at 28th and Tasker, in Grays Ferry. Chambers was watching TV at a nearby location when he heard Officer Mark Kimsey’s car collide with a black pickup.
Read more »

On Lena Dunham Sexual Abuse Controversy, Truth Revolt Has a Point


A discussion about Lena Dunham has a way of sending everyone to their respective, petty corners.

Feminists over here. Those who are offended by imperfect nakedness, over there with Mr. Stern. Jealous writers who didn’t get a sweet advance on the book they haven’t written, right this way please (it’s getting crowded over here — watch the elbows). Casual fans who just want to relax and watch Girls? You’re a little well-adjusted for this group, but sure, there’s one corner left.

In fact, “discussion” is a generous word. Peruse the comments section of any article about the writer, director and Girls creator, and you’re in for a nasty blend of misogyny and body shaming that, frankly, we don’t hurl at Seth Rogen every time he bares his flabby ass in an unnecessary movie about rich white kids.

And so when the (extremely) right-leaning website Truth Revolt published an article last week accusing Dunham of sexual abuse, I have to admit I was all but programmed at this point to take her side. But the thing is, they make a pretty good case — after you get through the pop-up ads reading “How Leftism Violates All 10 Commandments.” Read more »

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