February 20, 2014

This Has Nothing To Do With You, But The Sugar Ray Dude Is In Sharknado 2

Maybe Sheena was right all along.

Do we need a Sharknado 2? No. Do we even really want a Sharknado 2? No. But are we getting one that is starring the dude from Sugar Ray? Count on it.

Dept. Of Maps: Boyz II Men Are The Best-Selling PA Artist Ever, So Take That Trent Reznor

b2m map

Unlike Buzzfeed’s shit attempt at making a similar — though much more aesthetically pleasing — map of a state’s best artists, this one has some hard numbers behind it. While BF’s “most critically acclaimed artists” map crowned Trent Reznor the king of Pennsylvania, that map above, based on the RIAA’s top 250 selling artists of all time, tells a different story … a Philadelphia story (sorry).

According to Fast Company (and an infomap compiled by a user on Reddit), Bruce Springsteen reigns supreme in New Jersey, Billy Joel takes New York, George Thorogood has got Delaware, and Pennsylvania belongs to Boyz II Men. When reached for comment, knowing full-well that they’ve been PA’s best-selling artist for years now, Boyz II Men said this.

If A Fracking Well Blows Up Near Your House, Congrats, You Might Get One Free Pizza


Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, fracking wells are all over the place. But it’s good to know, that if one of them explodes — killing one worker and injuring another and “sparking a fire that burned for four days” — you just might get one single free pizza out of it, as long as the good guys of Chevron are around. According to the Verge, 100 residents around that explosion in Greene County, Pennsylvania received “letters from Chevron, along with a gift certificate for one large pizza and one two-liter drink from Bobtown Pizza.” We can’t zoom in enough on the picture above, but we assume the letter from Chevron said something along the lines of “You can’t stop what we’re doing, so just shove this pizza in your face. Maniacal laugh.” Yeah, that’s probably it.


Your Semi-Local Olympian Update: Hey, There’s Some Gold In There

usotBefore the Winter Olympics in Sochi began, we ran down a list of semi-local athletes you should be rooting for. And now that the games are nearly at an end, with only a few days left, lets check-in with our local athletes and see how they did:

>>> Nathan Bartholomay (Newtown PA) — Figure Skating
Placed 12th in pairs figure skating (with Zhang).

>>> Summer Britcher (Glen Rock, PA) — Luge
Placed 15th.

>>> Chris Creveling (Kintnersville, PA) — Speedskating
Eliminated from 1000m. Won Gold in 5000-meter relay.

>>> Jayson Terdiman (Berwick, PA) — Luge
11th in doubles luge. 6th in luge relay.

>>> Lauryn Williams (Rochester, PA) — Bobsled
Won silver, and became 5th person to medal at both Summer and Winter games.

>>> Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, NJ) — Bobsled
Finished 11th in pair with Lolo Jones.

>>> Kyle Tress (Ewing, NJ) — Skeleton
Did not qualify for medal round.

>>> James van Riemsdyk (Former Flyer from Middletown, NJ) — Ice Hockey
Will play semifinal game vs. Canada tomorrow.

>>> Felicia Zhang (Plainsboro, NJ) — Figure Skating
Placed 12th in pairs figure skating (with Batholomay).

>>> Jamie Greubel (Newtown, PA) — Bobsled
Won bronze.

The big draw in all of that is obviously the US v. Canada hockey game tomorrow, but let’s take a moment to clap for those who medaled and finished and even just made it to Sochi in those other sports. Good job, you survived the hilarious nightmare Olympics.

Petition Demands The Right To Ride The El At Four In The Morning

Conrad Benner, better known to most as the dude behind Streets Dept., wants to now be the dude who made it possible for you to ride the El in the middle of the night. Benner has put a petition up on Change.org asking SEPTA — during their GOLDEN JUBILEE no less — to make the Broad Street Line and the Market-Frankford Line round-the-clock trains, running 24/7. While it would be nice to be able to take a train around after last call, and we wouldn’t wish a Night Owl bus on our worst enemy, we just don’t see it happening. After all, SEPTA is too busy not having SmartCards yet and running all of their Regional Rail trains late when it gets a little bit cold to deal with this. They can only run the trains overnight when the roads are too slushy for buses. And if things keep going the way they’re going, that’ll probably be once a week anyway.


Planning Commission Says Comcast May Build Its Giant Tower, And You Can Park Your Fixie There

[Image via Comcast]

If they can just up and buy Time Warner all willy nilly, did you think a City Planning Commission would give them problems?: On Tuesday, members of the aforementioned planning commission voted unanimously to “recommend five bills aimed at smoothing the course for what will be Philadelphia’s tallest building, the new Comcast tower.” According to Plan Philly, the bills will be heard in back-to-back hearings next week and can make zoning changes to allow the tower to be built with less red tape. One bill will rezone the property to a CMX-5, and another removes a height limit.

John Gusto of Liberty Property Trust said the new Comcast Tower will have a big upgrade that the last Comcast Tower didn’t have: Space to park 175 bikes. Those spaces will be needed, because the type of people riding slides at work, won’t likely be driving Cadilliacs to work.

February 19, 2014

New Wind-Up Tom Corbett Talking Doll Apparently Test-Marketing In Parking Lots All Around PA

Oh wait, that’s not what this is? Wait, what? This is his ad? For re-election? Hahaha, really? Naw! Really? Oh.

This Evening: Contempt! Or: SCIENCE!

>>> The YouTube account we pulled the above from claimed that this trailer — for Jean-Luc Godard‘s Contempt — was quite possibly one of the best in cinema history. They may be right. But the full-length version also has its merits, not least among them the way, way out-there performance given by Jack Palance here. It screens at L’Etage as part of their free foreign film night. Doors at 7:30, film starts at 8, full bar and menu available.

>>> Meanwhile, SCIENCE! Data Garden launches Greg Fox’s newest record “Mitral Transmission” — based on the sounds of human biorhythms — at ICA. It’s free to attend, and you’ll leave with a plant.

Philadelphia Code Amended To Refer To “Intellectual Disability” Which Frankly May Be Casting Too Wide A Net

Just in over the transom:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Philadelphia, February 19, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, joined by Councilman Dennis O’Brien and Dr. Arthur Evans, Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, signed Bill No. 130723, which officially amended language in The Philadelphia Code by replacing the “mental retardation” with the term “intellectual disability.”

“Every Philadelphian deserves to feel that they are of value and that they are capable of contributing to our community,” said Mayor Nutter. “The stigma and public perception of the term “mental retardation” is derogatory and demeaning. By using the term intellectual disability, we are focusing on opportunities and possibilities for these individuals. I want to thank Councilman O’Brien and City Council for their leadership on this important issue.”

Here at Philebrity, we’d also like to thank City Council; “intellectually disabled” is the phrase for which we’ve been looking for years now. Just… not for that.

Rejoice All Ye Who Travel Here, For It Is SEPTA’s Golden Jubilee

golden septaAnd if they wanna use our golden SEPTA logo we made in MSPaint, we will accept a check: Hear ye, hear ye, commuters on ye regal Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. For fifty years (and a day, since the first planning meeting) SEPTA has taken you where you need to go. And a half-century into it, they’re almost really good at it. So it is on the grand occasion that a yearlong celebration shall begin, featuring … well … mostly old pictures.

According to a press release, this most honorable of occasions shall be marked with:

>>> An advertising campaign that will feature the SEPTA logos used during the past 50 years

>>> Encouraging riders to share their “first ride on SEPTA stories” through the ISEPTAPHILLY campaign. With ads now running in local media featuring a tagline about this historical milestone that says: “We’re celebrating the future of SEPTA with great stories from the past. SEPTA is the vehicle, but the journey is yours.”

>>> Special contests with prizes will also be hosted throughout the year on ISEPTAPHILLY.com

>>> Hosting “Throwback Thursdays” and “Flashback Fridays” on the SEPTA Website, and on social media, featuring SEPTA retirees, and classic stories about the agency’s development & past.

>>> The establishment of a “storyteller station” at the Transit Museum Store at 1234 Market Street for the public to share their stories about SEPTA, donate photos, and other memorabilia.”

Fifty years of SEPTA: Celebrated with all of the gusto of a tween’s Instagram account.

And Now, Let’s Check In With Jaden Smith’s Twitter Account

We get why he would want to help Shia LaBeouf — kinda, in his own weird mind — but we can’t really imagine what his super secret, super special artist-to-artist message could have been. Maybe something about eyes and mirrors? When it comes to that second tweet though, we bet all of those other hatters are just … mad. Applause break.

Don Tollefson’s Former Employer Gleefully Reports On His Arrest

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Don Tollefson, the disgraced “former local TV icon” — in the words of his former employer — surrendered to police this week on charges of charity fraud. If it comes out that these charges are accurate, and it certainly seems like they are, Tolly will have fallen pretty far from fairly-liked local TV guy to charity-thieving dick. There are many losers here, but no one seems to be enjoying it more than Fox 29, Tolly’s former employer. As that piece above, which ran on last night’s newscast, said, “Don Tollefson has spent most of his adult life talking into microphones for a large and adoring audience. But on this day, shackled and looking haggard, Tollefson had nothing to say to his former media colleagues now covering his arraignment,” in lines read with the back-straight, shoulders-back heartiness of someone stopping just short of saying “Good, we got him.”

If these accusations are true, and as we said before they seem to be, Tolly will go away for a while. His victims will likely received no joy from this, but it looks like Fox 29 will.

Because You Will Find Endless Uses For It, Here Is A GIF Of @SheenaParveen‎ Saying “COUNT ON IT”

Although she may be saying “cownnahnitt,” but we don’t know what that means.

Like you, we have spent entirely too much time this winter watching television. And also like you, we have now seen this NBC10 promo spot at least a hundred times on the Olympics alone. And each time, we’ve had the same reaction: “OOOOOOH SHEENA PARVEEN! SO HISSY! SO NOT TAKING YOUR NONSENSE!” Whereas her NBC10 colleagues all deliver the station’s new (awful, by the way) catchphrase with some admixture of confidence and authority, it’s Sheena’s take that really goes next level, seeming to translate the very meaning of “Count on it” to “I DID NOT COME HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS, BITCH!” So bearing that in mind, here you go, Philly. Enjoy. We’d say that you’re welcome, but really, this is Sheena’s gift to all of us, so thank her.

Player Info For Sands Bethlehem Was Stolen Because The CEO Wants To Nuke Iran

sands bethlehemIf you’re the CEO of a multi-billion dollar casino property, like Sands’ Sheldon Adelson, maybe refrain in the future from making comments “about dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran, saying strength was the only thing the country understands.” People who can do fancy things to you with computers are listening.

Supposedly in reaction to those comments, the Sands websites and internal systems were so wholly hacked that the perpetrators gained access to employees’ Social Security numbers, “dozens of administrator passwords, including passwords for slot machine systems and player information at Sands’ Bethlehem, Pa. casino … employee files and a diagram of the company’s internal networks.” Ya know, real Oceans 11 shit. And on top of all that, it looks like the cyber-attack came through the Sands Bethlehem website, and moved on to other places from there. Either that, or there’s an elaborate, hi-jinks laden heist coming to Bethlehem.

Noontime Nuggetz: Moon Bounce, “Shake”

Moon Bounce is the nom du synth for Philly’s own Corey Regensburg, who makes a sort of cold-lovey pop that makes us want to thank our parents, in case we never did before, for keeping Remain In Light and Fear Of Music around the house. It’s a sweet vibe, and it’s echoed not in just “Shake,” the lead cut off Moon Bounce’s Dress Rehearsal EP (out February 25th on Grind Select), but also it’s accompanying handmade video, directed by the equally sublime Andrea Youth.

In Case You Are Wondering If There Are Ever Lists Too Stupid To Put Into Our Regular “Dept. Of Meaningless Lists” Feature

There are.

Read more Dept. Of Meaningless Lists here.

If This Old-Ass Dot Matrix Printer Somehow Playing “Eye Of The Tiger” Doesn’t Get You PUMPED, You Are Dead Inside

[h/t Laughing Squid]

Use This Handy Map So You Can Continue Arguing About Gentrification With One Another


Think of it: One day in the not-too-distant future, a bulk of the city grid will be (seemingly) irrevocably, undeniably gentrified. A good part of it already undeniably is — and it is up to you (no it’s not) to decide whether this is a good thing or not (it’s not). However, there is still the illusion among us that this is something to argue about, something that, if we as a people willed it, there would still be time to change. (There is not.) So until that day comes, when your Quaker-educated children are completing their MFAs in Authenticity Studies and they walk these streets in search of something, anything of this town that you and I know today, we argue. We argue about which neighborhoods are gentrifying the fastest, we argue about how much this one is part of The Problem and how that one is part of The Solution, and we argue even within our own selves, because deep down, so many of you motherfuckers just want a cronut, you only want a cronut, and it is a conflict so searing that you cannot even discuss it.

Well, here is a tool for our present-day citywide parlor game: The Gentrifying Philly Map. Using the city’s permit data to measure new construction projects across the various neighborhoods, coder Jim Smiley has built the resulting map, which can indicate rises and falls in activity over the last few years. Smiley cautions that this may not be the absolute best yardstick, but for the futile point you are trying to make with your friends as you sip IPAs and download free Uber coupons, it’ll do fine, you bougie fucks.

Right Now In The Peoples Republic Of Comcast: Your Wi-Fi Is For Everyone, Comrade

USSRCASTWe’re living in an age of great technology. Wi-Fi itself, the internet in the air, is so great you probably just want to share it with everyone, right? Well, it’s a good thing Comcast automatically makes you do that then.

According to Ars Technica, a Minnesota man was surprised to find that the new modem he got after his old one malfunctioned was broadcasting “a public Wi-Fi network that anyone with a Comcast account could connect to.” Comcast began adding this feature to its modems mid-2013, and “customers can turn the second signal off if they choose, but it’s definitely an opt-out program rather than opt-in.” And really, you don’t want to share the internet you’re paying for with anyone who walks by your house? What are you, an asshole?

And just as a jerk tax — because you are depriving your neighborhood of free internet like a monster — you’ll have to call Comcast to turn that feature off, as there are no instructions offered on their website. Ars Technica quoted someone at Comcast as saying, “we encourage all subscribers to keep this feature enabled as it allows more people to enjoy the benefits of XFINITY Wi-Fi around the neighborhood.” And how dare you not share what you have with everyone who happens to live near you, comrade.

February 18, 2014

Local Firm’s Commercial For The A-10 Hypes Up March Madness, Which Is Good Because The NBA Barely Exists

A-10 | We. Make. Believe. from Atlantic 10 on Vimeo.

We’re not huge college basketball fans here, but doesn’t that ad above — by semi-local firm 160over90 – get you all kinds of hyped up for some tournament basketball? We’re unsure if this year’s March Madness can bring us anything as beautiful and magnificent as the Southwest Philly Floater, but we are looking at a pretty high seeding for Villanova (in the three to five range), a possible tourney spot for St. Joe’s, and a likely conference title/auto-bid for the University of Delaware. We’re still just under a month away from selection Sunday, but the weeks after that are there to remind you why college basketball is just so much more exciting and enjoyable than the pros: There are stakes, people play defense, and anyone can win.