February 25, 2015 |
Emergency crews remain at the highway ramp where an oil tanker overturned and burst into flames in Pennsauken Monday morning, authorities said. The accident occurred on Route 130 northbound at the ramp to Route 90. Some news outlets reported that the driver of the tanker was accounted for, and there did not appear to be any other vehicles involved. The fire sent thick black smoke billowing into the sky that could be seen for miles around, including in Northeast Philadelphia. Authorities said a crash team would try to determine the cause of the accident and whether ice or snow was a contributing factor.
December 22, 2014 |
It makes sense that the consumerist boom that followed World War II would produce some great retail architecture. If you travel Center City's shopping streets, you can still see a few of the exuberant storefronts that emerged in the '50s and '60s, before shopping migrated to the suburban malls. One of the best examples is a shimmering black-and-white facade at 12th and Chestnut that stands out from its traditional neighbors. The building itself dates from 1909, but in 1962, Colonial Federal Savings Bank commissioned a makeover from architect Lee Casaccio.
March 30, 2013 |
So much to see and hear. So little time. Or maybe a surfeit of time. That's the promise of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, which begins its second monthlong citywide splash this week - two years after a rousing debut of more than 135 performances and events wrapping up with a street fair on the Avenue of the Arts that drew more than 200,000. This time, the festival, though smaller, returns with a bang, as in the Big Bang of almost 14 billion years ago, although this weekend the oldest moment being evoked is only between three and four billion, when life emerged from the primordial soup.
March 29, 2013
Penn Dixie Productions Animal Animal Mammal Mine . This dance-theater piece - inspired by the changes wrought by the Pill, enriched by interviews with 50 childless women, and involving an installation by sculptor Martha Posner - creates a vision of female fertility and ecological collapse. (Underground Arts, April 10 to 20.) Taller Puertorriqueño Sounds of Rhythm and Resistance . With a nod to the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico in 1873 and a stomp to Afro-Puerto Rican bomba, Pleneros de la 21's music foments Kulu Mele African Dance and Drum Ensemble and Familia Rojas' multigenerational ensemble to dance the drums.
January 6, 2013 |
GENEVA, Switzerland - The world's largest and most powerful atom smasher goes into a two-year hibernation in March, as engineers carry out a revamp to help it reach maximum energy levels that could lead to more stunning discoveries after the detection of the so-called God particle. With the reopening of its $10 billion proton collider in early 2015, the stage will be set for observing more rare phenomena - and unlocking more mysteries, said James Gillies, chief spokesman for the European particle physics laboratory known as CERN.
January 9, 2012 |
Several astute readers have e-mailed me to point out that even if scientists find an explanation for the origin of life from nonliving matter, they haven't explained where the inanimate matter came from. Our universe has a lot of it. Who created all that? "If there are 500 million Earth-like planets, where did any of them come from? Something cannot come from absolute nothing without the concept of a Divine Designer," wrote one reader. Others reminded me of the principle of conservation of energy: "What happened to the First Law of Thermodynamics?
September 23, 2011 |
In the beginning there was the Big Bang, and then free food and frontal nudity, also called the Garden of Eden. Or that's how it goes in a zany 70-minute show called The Big Bang , at the Kimmel Center for an October run. Any show whose lyrics rhyme Caesar and geezer has me as its sucker, but Jed Feuer's music and Boyd Graham's lyrics and script hooked me with more than slick wordplay - the whole concept is a hoot. We're all supposed to be sitting in the Park Avenue living room of a wealthy couple while two characters - named Jed and Boyd, like the authors - and their pianist hold what's called a "backers' audition.
September 5, 2011
One of the many fascinating things about evolution is that it generates disputes that can help us all better understand what science is and how it differs from religion or other areas of human endeavor. Just such an enlightening dispute cropped up recently between two readers who were kind enough to let me share some of their correspondence. It all started when Elisa Winterstein wrote a letter to The Inquirer, stating that scientists rely on faith just as religious people do by accepting the idea of abiogenesis - the notion that life arose from non-living matter.
July 6, 2011 |
Ray Criblear loved to set off big fireworks. "People actually looked forward to it," said Tyler Ellis, 20, a neighbor on Umber Road in Levittown. This July Fourth took a tragic turn, however, when a mortar-style firework malfunctioned and Criblear, 51, suffered a fatal head injury. Criblear had returned with his longtime girlfriend, Ann Ford, 59, from a fireworks show, Ellis said. Criblear had a few fireworks of his own and set them off. Then he lit the last one. "There wasn't a big bang or anything," Ellis said, recalling instead a hissing sound.