What Everyone Is Avoiding Saying About Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal

Like everybody else, I’ve been reading way too much about Hillary Clinton’s emails. I’ve read that her use of a private in-house server violated federal law. I’ve read that her use of the server didn’t violate federal law. I’ve read that her using that server is a big-ass scandal. I’ve read that it wasn’t a big-ass scandal. I’ve read that she had information in those emails that was classified, and that she didn’t have information in those emails that was classified — at the time. Frankly, the whole mess makes my head spin.

Why does it make my head spin? Because I’m a Technically Challenged Person (TCP), and technology perplexes me.

I’m the person you don’t want to ask to take a picture of your family with your iPhone, because I’m the person who keeps seeing pictures of my own face on the screen of my iPhone when I’m trying to take pictures of my son’s football game. And I’m not alone. There’s a substantial subset of Americans who get very, very flustered when they can’t get the remote control to make the TV set come on. It’s been my experience that the children and spouses of people with this condition will rush to their aid and perform the necessary technical operations themselves, rather than patiently walking the TCP through it, because a) it stops the screaming so much sooner; and b) trying to walk a TCP through it is a waste of time. Read more »

How Did I Go This Long Without UberX in My Life?


As is the case with most things that involve my phone, I was late to the UberX game.

It’s not that I didn’t have a use for the popular ride-share service. Since moving to Queen Village, I’ve taken to calling a cab for everything that doesn’t warrant giving up my parking space — which is to say, well, everything. And although I’ve always found Philly’s cab drivers to be somewhere between pleasant-enough and unlikely-to-wear-my-face, I don’t necessarily have an attachment to them, either.

It’s just that when you’re working with a rusty iPhone 4 that has bravely decided to stay by your side, you think twice before downloading new apps. Or running risky updates. Or removing the duct tape.

But last Thursday, Uber was delivering adoptable puppies as a fundraiser for the PSPCA. The time to hesitate was through.  Read more »

Here’s What’s Missing From the #BlackLivesMatter Discussion

NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 23 2014: Thousands rallied in Staten Island demanding justice & accountability in the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown & other victims of alleged police brutality a katz / Shutterstock.com

NEW YORK CITY – AUGUST 23 2014: Thousands rallied in Staten Island demanding justice & accountability in the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown & other victims of alleged police brutality a katz / Shutterstock.com

There are missing pieces in the coverage of Black Lives Matter.

Yes, putting an end to abuse of force by the police is a primary goal. But there are other systemic things that impede the quality of black life: Bad schools. Poor nutrition. Bad health. These things matter, too, but they’re not getting the attention of tragedy-porn dashcam video and police confrontations with protesters.

It’s time that we broaden our understanding of Black Lives Matter to include how the movement affects black lives that are still being lived, to address the issues that impact quality of life for blacks living in America.

The deaths of black youths have galvanized protesters and the children have become the barometer of the movement and how much work is left to be done. The legacy of redlining and its uneven distribution of resources impacts their access to basic needs, ranging from quality public education to quality produce.

So let’s talk about the rest of the agenda: Read more »

How Did Dîner en Blanc Become Philadelphia’s Most Polarizing Event?

It’s not that I hate Diner en Blanc.

It’s more that I really, really hate Diner en Blanc.

That is, if Diner en Blanc actually exists. My working theory is that it doesn’t, that the organizers of Thursday night’s dinner party accessed my subconscious and designed an elaborate hoax based on my wildest nightmares and most visceral fears. Think Freddie Krueger, but with more seersucker and entitlement, less clawed gloves and face melt.

Far-fetched? Perhaps. But the alternative is believing that thousands of my fellow Philadelphians entered a lottery for a chance to buy $39 tickets to a dinner party that doesn’t serve dinner. That they’re seriously going to dress in head-to-toe white and drag their own tables, chairs, dishware and food into Center City during a heat wave. That — per the world’s most eye-stabby slide show — “once all the guests are settled in, [they’ll] spontaneously lift their white linen napkins to indicate the beginning of the dinner.” Read more »

The 10 Worst Tourist Traps in Philadelphia, Ranked

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer.

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer. Liberty Bell | Jeff Fusco, Visit Philly. Sugar House | G. Widman, Visit Philly, Tourists and Ride the Ducks, shutterstock.com

So, you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia to see the pope, or for a convention, or for the Dalai Lama, or to attend the DNC, or, you know, just to take a trip. There’s a lot to see and do here, but there are also plenty of tourist traps. And since we want you to have the best possible experience while you’re visiting our city, we thought it important to warn you about them as well — and offer some alternatives worth writing home, or at least posting on Facebook, about. Without further ado, here are the worst tourist attractions in Philadelphia — ranked. Read more »

Is Stripper Registry Bill a Trojan Horse Meant to Shut Down Nudie Bars?



I don’t like strip clubs.

The first time I went to a nudie bar, I felt like I was watching pornography with a room full of people I would never even want to hug, let alone fire up RedTube.com next to. I decided pretty quickly that my first time would be my last time.

So I can understand why state Rep. Matt Baker might have the impulse to shut down strip clubs. The Tioga County Republican has introduced a bill that would require strippers to provide tons of information — their name, stage name, address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color, criminal background information, trafficking status and photo ID — to a government registry. He says the legislation is singularly aimed at fighting the horrors of sex trafficking, but truth be told, it also appears to be designed to wreak havoc on the strip club industry.

And the thing is, you can’t just put a place out of business simply because you find it distasteful. I don’t personally like strip clubs (or casinos or pet boutiques) either, but I think they should be allowed to exist. Read more »

Why Are You Walking Barefoot Around Center City?

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

It was 11 a.m. on a Friday at 15th and Locust when I saw it: a man, in nice khakis and a polo, holding his shoes and socks in one hand and his cell phone in the other. No, there wasn’t a fire, and, yes, he was totally barefoot and walking down the street like it was no big deal, chilling and chatting on his phone.

I had to stop and wonder if I wasn’t in some sort of Alice in Wonderland-type dream (more on those later), but, nope: This was real life and this dude was barefoot walking down a dirty Philly street. I’d say this was a strange, isolated incident, but it isn’t. I keep seeing people casually walking down the sidewalk with absolutely no footwear. And I don’t understand. Read more »

Why You Won’t Find Me in a Yoga Class



I’m no stranger to doing things that make me uncomfortable. When I first began dabbling in CrossFit last year, I worried about walking into a new kind of workout, with new people speaking a fitness language all their own, and finding that I wouldn’t fit in. But I took the first step — then the second, and the third — and I haven’t looked back since.

Which is why it continues to puzzle me that I just can’t get into yoga — that is, yoga classes at yoga studios with other yoga students. I’m happy as a clam doing yoga in the privacy of my own living room with the help of a video. But a class? It’s just not for me, and I don’t think I’m alone in this.  Read more »

Expert Opinion: The Most Important Ingredients for Lasting Weight Loss



In my work as a weight-loss expert, people often ask me which diet plan is the best. They’re usually surprised when I don’t have an answer. I think there are merits to most diet plans on the market today, and chances are, if you can adhere to any well-researched diet, you will lose weight.

The real challenge of weight loss, however, is not finding a good diet plan. Walk into any bookstore and you can thumb through hundreds of diet books; there’s no absence of advice in this area. The real challenge of weight loss, as any yo-yo dieter will tell you, is keeping the weight off for good.

Read more »

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