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NEWS
December 8, 2014 | By Scott Sturgis, For The Inquirer
2015 Honda Fit EX-L Navi vs. the 2015 Nissan Versa SV Sedan: Battle of the stocking stuffers. This week: 2015 Honda Fit. Price: $21,590 as tested; no options. (A basic LX with the six-speed manual starts at $15,525.) Marketer's pitch: "There's so much to Fit. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked the "unmatched small-car versatility thanks to unique rear seat design; quick acceleration; high fuel economy . . .," but not that a "sedan version isn't offered; touchscreen interface can be frustrating to use. " Reality: Yes, there is. New Fit on the block: If last week we looked at the $265,000 McLaren 650S as a holiday treat, then the Fit and Versa are toys, by comparison, stocking stuffers, things you buy yourself on the 26th.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
The Subaru BRZ - for those of you who have been trapped in a cave in British Columbia since before the car's debut as a 2013 model - is a small sports coupe as affordable as it is handsome and athletic. It sprang from a joint venture with Toyota, which offers a fraternal twin called the Scion FR-S. With the BRZ now in its third model year, Subaru decided that some tweaks were in order, notably a suspension revision designed to make that sports car's undercarriage handle the bumps a little better.
REAL_ESTATE
December 7, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
When I first became interested in rehabbing older houses, I stumbled on the private, nonprofit Philadelphia Architectural Salvage Ltd., which had a warehouse a couple blocks from Girard College. On occasion, I would accompany the employees on salvaging missions, typically houses that had been condemned by the city, which authorized the expeditions. By the time the salvagers arrived, the houses were in sorry shape and stripped of anything valuable. One house we went into back in 1991 had a tree growing through the kitchen roof, and the living room ceiling was sagging deeply.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
For decades, researchers have been seeking a blood test that could diagnose a concussion and tell whether it is severe enough to cause lasting brain damage. In a big step toward that holy grail, University of Pennsylvania scientists have found that a blood protein called SNTF surged and stayed elevated in professional hockey players with persistent concussion symptoms, but not in players who recovered within a few days. "These results show that SNTF has promise as a blood biomarker for sports-related concussion," said Robert Siman, a research professor of neurosurgery at Penn and lead author of the study in last month's Journal of Neurotrauma.
NEWS
December 3, 2014
T HE PRESSURE is on this holiday season. Cashiers will be pushing store-issued credit. And for many of you, the pushiness isn't pleasant. Yet you cave. Credit.com found that 31 percent of shoppers felt store clerks "bullied" them into opening store-branded credit accounts. During the holiday shopping season, 28 percent of consumers said they succumbed and signed up. But it turns out the discounts dangled to get people to give in aren't enough to overcome the regrets they have later.
SPORTS
December 3, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies invited Yasmany Tomas to their Dominican Republic complex in September for a private session one day after the Cuban slugger showcased his talent in front of nearly 200 scouts. The Phils were the first team to make such an overture. Their attraction to Tomas was a logical one, given the team's plans to rebuild. Industry pundits labeled the Phillies as a favorite for the 24-year-old outfielder's services. But Tomas agreed last week to a deal with Arizona for $68.5 million without ever receiving an offer from the Phillies, his agent said.
SPORTS
November 26, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
The first time Donnie Jones stepped onto the field for warm-ups at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, he did the same thing as every other NFL punter. He kicked the ball at the gigantic video board that hangs over the middle of the field. "I wanted to see if I could hit it," Jones said. The thing cost $40 million, which might be petty cash compared to the $1.15 billion construction cost for the entire stadium, but it's still a $40 million set of TV screens, and every time the Dallas Cowboys have a home game the opposing punter takes a few whacks at it. Just to see. "James Casey actually threw a ball and hit it," Jones said.
NEWS
November 26, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Next year's World Meeting of Families here, capped by Pope Francis' visit to the city, could mean "a rebirth of the archdiocese," Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Monday. Chaput told a news conference that he could not shake off the gloom even when Pope Benedict XVI informed him last year that his battered archdiocese would host the 2015 World Meeting. Dogged by clergy sex abuse scandals for more than a decade, the 1.4 million-member archdiocese has also been obliged to close dozens of parishes and schools in recent years because of financial stresses.
BUSINESS
November 25, 2014 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Columnist
Turns out the idea of prerecorded video job interviews needs more time to gain acceptance. Nearly five years after forming a Fort Washington company specializing in providing businesses with that high-tech hiring option, the founders of Async Interview won't disclose revenue or even whether the company is profitable. "For the industry as a whole, it's been a longer adoption," said Ehud Israel, chief technology officer at Async. "It's a kind of new concept. " But so, at one time, was the idea of interviewing job candidates over the phone, a concept offering greater efficiencies and cost saving over in-person interviews that took about 10 years to catch on, Israel said.
NEWS
November 19, 2014 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
POPE FRANCIS should bring his "breastplate of righteousness" and his "belt of truth" when he travels next year to "satan's playground," also known as Philadelphia. That's according to the most recognizable man in a long, white robe currently within city limits, Philly Jesus. Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant, has been dressing as Jesus Christ and hanging out at LOVE Park for the past seven months, posing for pictures with tourists and "spreading seeds" for God, as he likes to put it. Pope Francis should know that being a visible religious figure in the City of Brotherly Love isn't always easy.
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