May 8, 2015
"ORPHAN" is a very empty word, starting with the initial "O" that reminds me of a big, alphabetic hole. It conjures up images of loss, of being rootless, of unwanted and untenable liberty. When I think of "orphan," I think of something flying around in the great human universe, searching for its home. Today, I'm an orphan. That sounds silly, given the fact that I've been able to vote for more than 35 years, which means I'm a very big girl. I pay taxes, own (33 1/3 percent of) a house, take the El by myself and even know how to defrost things.
April 25, 2015 |
Naturepalooza! Family Earth Day Festival at Schuylkill Center The Schuylkill Center offers up some Earth Day fun, with live music and animal shows, sustainable technology demos, crafts, and more. Guests can go on walks and also be a citizen scientist for the day. The event is part of the Philadelphia Science Festival's Discovery Day. Naturepalooza! Family Earth Day Festival, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagys Mill Rd. Center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
April 23, 2015 |
CANDY WRAPPERS, pregnancy tests, Halloween decorations and more beer cans than you can imagine - Bradley Maule has collected it all over the course of a year during his weekly hikes through Wissahickon Valley Park. And now, he's ready to display his findings. All 3,768 of them. Maule's "One Man's Trash" project launched in January 2014 in hopes of bringing attention to litter in Wissahickon Valley Park. The PhillySkyline.com founder and Hidden City co-editor started the project because he was appalled by the amount of trash he saw in the Northwest Philly arm of Fairmount Park along Wissahickon Creek.
April 22, 2015 |
Bradley Maule will not be exhibiting the banana peels and dog poop bags, the tissues and condoms, the huge wooden pallet, the old tires, the sofa bed, the pile of broken Adirondack chairs, or the "two gigantic plastic PVC pipes. " Organics and big, big stuff are out, he said. But never fear, there's plenty of weirdness. When Maule unveils his Wissahickon Valley Park booty - collected over the course of a year's worth of weekly woodland rambles - for exhibition Wednesday, Earth Day, devotees of the strange will not be disappointed.
April 22, 2015 |
ON EARTH DAY, there are those who get into celebrating the planet and tweaking our lifestyle for the common good, and there are those who don't. Those who don't sometimes make good points about home recycling bins as mere spit in the ocean of vast industrial pollution, and other times indulge in stubborn ear-plugging accompanied by magical and/or wishful thinking. To all of us who recognize a scientifically credible threat, the head-in-sand position can be frustrating, and we might roll our eyes at its ridiculousness.
March 22, 2015 |
The astronaut Scott Kelly is about to take off for the International Space Station, and if he is like some space travelers, he may temporarily feel a bit foggy or disoriented once in orbit. Scientists have not had much luck measuring this subtle effect with standard cognitive tests, but now, a group of University of Pennsylvania researchers is trying a new tack. While Kelly is in space, they will compare his mental performance with that of a uniquely qualified individual who stays behind on Earth.
March 1, 2015 |
Will Forte had me at the Cheez Whiz. Six minutes into his terrific Fox sitcom, The Last Man on Earth - in which he plays, um, the last man left alive on Earth - Forte samples a $10,000 bottle of red wine with his bowl of SpaghettiOs. Then he has a brainstorm (or a meltdown) and squirts a dollop of processed canned cheese into the glass and takes a nice long sip. He deliberates for a while, then declares, "Not as good. " The Last Man on Earth premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday with a double episode.
February 10, 2015 |
BY DAY, rhythm guitarist Mike Ellis and drummer Nikki Shannon, friends for 24 of their 48 years, rehab homes they've bought in Ellis' native West Philadelphia, then sell them and rehab some more. By night, they morph into Crown of Earth, playing wall-shaking anthems with bandmates Chris Graziola (lead guitar), Danny Knight (vocals) and Marky Z (bass), including "Born Again Warrior," their tribute to veterans that comes straight from their heavy-metal hearts. Ellis said that as a kid, he spent two weeks every summer with a great-uncle who'd survived the 1942 Bataan Death March and three years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp before being liberated on V-J Day in 1945.
October 2, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The ever-optimistic coach James Franklin offered something new last weekend, and it wasn't a positive adjective. In fact, it was a different tone entirely. "I promise you and guarantee you it will be fixed," Franklin said of Penn State's performance after an unexpected 23-point loss to Northwestern on Saturday. Franklin's previously unbeaten Nittany Lions appeared primed to enter their first bye week with a full head of steam. News of the sanctions being rescinded led to an increased buzz around a program that had its bowl ban lifted less than three weeks ago. The removed sanctions offered the potential for a return to an 85-scholarship roster as soon as next season.
July 18, 2014
I HATE "urban music," whether it's rap, hip-hop, gangsta or whatever else they're calling it these days. The brutal assault on my ears and my dignity (Beyonce, honey: Jay Z and your gynecologist should be the only ones gazing at . . . that) makes me wonder what Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Zora Neale Hurston would think of the trashy mess. When I wrote something similar a few years ago, I got called a lot of things that would fit right in with an urban melody. I also, predictably, was labeled a racist because, as everyone knows, you cannot malign rap, etc., without also wanting to repeal the 13th Amendment.