Temple to Make SAT Scores Optional for Admission

“In an effort to cultivate talented students who don’t test well, Temple University says it will become the first national public research university in the Northeast to make standardized test scores optional for admission,” the Inquirer reports. “Students who opt not to submit test scores will have to answer written questions designed to assess attributes such as leadership, self-awareness, goal-setting, determination, and ‘grit,’ Temple officials said.”

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Interview: David Boardman and the Future of Philly Newspapers

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Meet David Boardman. It’s possible you’ve not heard of him, but he may have a lot of influence over how you get your news in Philadelphia in coming years. He’s the dean of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, and it’s from that perch — he’s been at Temple about a year — that he informally advised the late Lewis Katz as Katz prepared his final bid for the city’s major daily newspapers earlier this summer.

But that’s not been Boardman’s only move. He pulled the plug on the little-seen Axis Philly website in June and instead announced that Temple would help fund journalism startups in the city. First up: Brother.ly, a forthcoming website from former WashingtonPost.com editor Jim Brady and a crew of about six local journalists.

One thing to understand about Boardman: He’s not some ivory tower egghead. He spent three decades at the Seattle Times, rising from reporter to top editor and helping that paper win several Pulitzer Prizes along the way. He’s gone through the pain of every news industry veteran, laying off trusted friends and colleagues, but he’s also given a lot of thought to what newspapers should look like in the future. Hint: There’s not quite as much paper involved.

He talked to Philly Mag last week about that future:

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Temple Physics Professor: Stop Tornadoes by Building Giant Walls

Rendering courtesy of Temple University's Dr. Rongjia Tao

Rendering courtesy of Temple University’s Dr. Rongjia Tao

Tornadoes cause untold damage, but they’re considered an unavoidable natural disaster. Well, maybe. Temple physics professor and department chair Rongjia Tao says in a new paper that giant walls could block tornadoes.

In case you didn’t see it in the latest issue of the International Journal of Modern Physics B, Tao argues that giant walls would not just prevent tornadoes in the United States’ tornado alley, it would be cost-effective, too. This is despite the fact that such walls — four of them, he says — would have to be 984 feet high by 164 feet wide. A release about his paper makes a local comparison.

In Philadelphia, there is one skyscraper building, Comcast Center, about 300 meter high. From the cost of Comcast Center, we estimate that to build one mile [of] such wall, we need about $160 million. On the other hand, the damages caused by single tornado attack in Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013 alone were multi billion dollars. Therefore, it seems that the cost for building such a wall is affordable.

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Bill Cosby to Temple Grads: Algebra Easier Than Cotton Picking

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Last Thursday, Temple University held its 127th Commencement Exercises at the Liacouras Center on North Broad Street. Inquirer co-owner (well, at least for now) Lewis Katz gave a pretty good speech after receiving his honorary doctorate, and singer Jill Scott said a few inspiring words after getting hers.

And then, as the nearly two-hour ceremony came to a close, Temple President Neil D. Theobald asked Temple trustee and alleged sex assaulter Bill Cosby if he wanted to say a few words. Has Cosby ever declined such an invitation? Read more »

Temple: Eagles Want Big Rent Increase for Linc

The NCAA has been in the news a lot recently: Players want to unionize, the basketball tournament’s Most Outstanding Player sometimes went to bed hungry and the NCAA takes in a ton of money.

I guess the Eagles saw a lot of stories about that money, because the Inquirer’ John Mitchell reports the Eagles want a lot more money from Temple for the right to play at Lincoln Financial Field.

Temple says the Eagles currently want double what they’re getting from the University in rent for the handful of dates the school plays at the Linc each season. The school says the team has not given a reason for the increase. Temple is so upset they’re talking again about building an on-campus stadium! So perhaps this whole thing is just a way to get a government-built stadium in North Philly, who knows.

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Gil Scott-Heron, Godfather of Hip-Hop, Would Have Been 65

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A version of this article ran on phillymag.com in March 2012.

When he first told America in 1970 that “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” after writing it in 1968 at age 19, Gil Scott-Heron set the stage for what would become part of the musical and poetic soundtrack for black, white and brown progressives and revolutionaries. And he didn’t stop until 40 years later. Gil was the “musical grandson” of insurrectionist Nat Turner and liberator Harriet Tubman, and the “poetic son” of fiery author David Walker and anti-lynching editor Ida B. Wells.

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