Category Archives: Uncategorized

“While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping…”

Also in last Sunday’s Inquirer, my piece on Edgar Allan Poe (a necessity for October). Upon re-reading a bunch of his short stories for the piece, I found there was more to criticize than I recalled from my teenage perusing. … Continue reading

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Rhee vs. Ravitch

This week Michelle Rhee and Diane Ravitch both spoke in Philadelphia, on Monday and Tuesday (respectively), and I went to both events to see what these two women, had to say about the future of public education in a city … Continue reading

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You should go see The World’s End…

…I did, twice. And really, really liked it (clearly), possibly even better than Shaun of the Dead and definitely more than Hot Fuzz. My review. And the trailer:

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Making Bets on Kentucky Derby Day

I’m headed up to Boston tomorrow to attend my dear friend’s (and Kentuckian expat) Derby party. Convenient timing too, in that I just finished Common Ground. In honor of this esteemed occasion, and the expected libations, I have a P.G. … Continue reading

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Kingsley Amis in Philadelphia

From Kingsley Amis’ Memoirs, on his only trip to the City of Brotherly Love: “Philadelphia, where my most vivid memories are of the squalor of its approaches and, to make up for that…catching a glimpse of the prettiest girl I … Continue reading

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Should You Get the HPV Vaccine?

My latest health piece for Slate on the efficacy of the HPV vaccine for older people who have, in all likelihood, already been having sex for a while. There a lot of expert interviews and technicalities, but here’s the takeaway: … Continue reading

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Consider the Bee (Or, Actually, Don’t)

I recently stumbled across this wonderful letter to the New York Times, written in the October of 1865, taking a strong line against anti-loitering laws. It’s quite funny and, I think, the correct inclination. Arresting people for hanging out is … Continue reading

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Killing Them Softly Makes Criminality Look Awful

My review of Killing Them Softly, a movie I don’t necessarily recommend you see because its so grim), can be found here. A significant portion of the review got clipped, including all of the below. (Also, read the book it … Continue reading

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Philadelphia Loves Dickens (He Didn’t Return the Favor)

Last Sunday I had a front page piece in the Philly Inquirer’s Currents section on Philly’s one-sided love affair with Charles Dickens. (We were considered “more provincial than Boston or New York,” by the great man in question.) The wonderful … Continue reading

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