"Daniel Denvir, reporter for the Philadelphia City Paper, takes a look at the huge problems rocking the Philadelphia school system, including the cancellation of the city’s contract with thousands of teachers."

loveethiscity:

Philadelphia Skyline

loveethiscity:

Philadelphia Skyline

(via lettersfromtitan)

nicolesoul:

gwydionmisha:

"Rachel Maddow salutes Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old Little League pitcher capable of 70-mile-per-hour fastballs, for pitching a shut out to send her Philadelphia team to the Little League World Series."

This is such an amazing story that I am obsessed with.
Fuck yes little girls playing baseball and wanting to break gender barriers in professional sports

It just made me so damned happy after a week of personal stress and extremely dark news, and to have her be from my home city….

"Rachel Maddow salutes Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old Little League pitcher capable of 70-mile-per-hour fastballs, for pitching a shut out to send her Philadelphia team to the Little League World Series."

This isn’t quite right.  There isn’t just one Philly accent any more than there is one New york accent.  My accent isn’t the same as the South Philly accent they are talking about, thought we share the extra vowels I once spent a fascinating few minutes teaching my linguistic professor.  (Me: “No, that’s New york.  There’s a subtle, but crucial difference.”  He picked it up surprisingly quickly.  A lot of people out here can’t really hear the difference).  The accents of Philly aren’t just geographical, but class based, and to a certain extent tied to race and ethnicity.  People from different countries tended to settle in neighborhoods with other people from there.  That was breaking down by the time I was born, but as with places like New York and New Orleans, with similar histories, certain neighborhoods developed accent variations that reflected the immigrant’s accents, and while the lines shift and blur as people move around, an educated ear can tell that a person grew up in an area with a lot of yiddish, or Italian, or Irish, or southerners who came North after slavery, etc. even if the person is not from the group or groups that influenced the particular flavor of Philly speak. Still, this article is interesting.

A real hero has died.

londoninquisitor:

thehystericalsociety:

(Via)

Link is to an eBay auction of the photograph—I can’t find any identifying information on this, except that it’s Civil War-era and from Philadelphia.

londoninquisitor:

thehystericalsociety:

(Via)

Link is to an eBay auction of the photograph—I can’t find any identifying information on this, except that it’s Civil War-era and from Philadelphia.

neil-gaiman:

odditiesoflife:

Unknowingly Making History —  The First Ever “Selfie” (1839)

On November 19, 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries announced their word of the year for 2013 to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” 

Although it’s current rampant incarnation is quite recent, the “selfie” is far from being a strictly modern phenomenon. Indeed, the photographic self-portrait is surprisingly common in the very early days of photography exploration and invention, when it was often more convenient for the experimenting photographer to act as model as well.

 In fact, the picture shown above is considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”

I really like his hair.

neil-gaiman:

odditiesoflife:

Unknowingly Making History — The First Ever “Selfie” (1839)
On November 19, 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries announced their word of the year for 2013 to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
Although it’s current rampant incarnation is quite recent, the “selfie” is far from being a strictly modern phenomenon. Indeed, the photographic self-portrait is surprisingly common in the very early days of photography exploration and invention, when it was often more convenient for the experimenting photographer to act as model as well.
In fact, the picture shown above is considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”

I really like his hair.

(Source: publicdomainreview.org, via londoninquisitor)

lettersfromtitan:

If you could see my face right now.  This is everything.

(Source: triflesandparsnips)

After cutting the education budget, the Governor [Tom Corbett] commissioned Boston Consulting Group, a major global-business consulting and school “right-sizing” firm, to a $1.5 million contract to fix the Philadelphia problem. Boston Consulting Group has a worldwide reputation for crushing teachers’ unions and putting most public schools under charter control. Corbett followed the firm’s advice and the infusion of charter schools is starting to overrun Philadelphia.

According to The Philadelphia Citypaper, the School District of Philadelphia will spend $729 million on charter schools in the coming fiscal year. Nearly a third of Philadelphia’s students will attend 84 charter schools this year and it will cost the district an estimated $7000 per student to attend a charter school. Parents are starting to move their children away from the nearly extinct public schools by enrolling them in charter schools and virtual charter schools. The problem with this equation is academics and money. A Stanford study found students at 100 percent of Pennsylvania’s cyber charters performed significantly lower than the peers at traditional schools. Five Pennsylvania cyber charters receive $200 million in tax money each year to produce unacceptable results. The Agora Cyber Charter, which is run by the for-profit company K12, made $31.6 million last year from state taxpayers. It’s interesting to note that billionaire Michael Milken is an owner of K12 and that Mr. Milken was convicted of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989.

Adding more fuel to the charter fire is the state’s law that keeps the school district powerless. Daniel Denvir says, “For reasons that aren’t clear, millions of dollars have moved between the network of charter schools, their parent nonprofit, and two property-management entities. The School District is charged with overseeing city charters but ‘does not have the power or access to the financial records of the parent organization.’” This is how companies like Aspira Inc. are draining the life out of Philadelphia schools. Denvir reports that Aspira Inc. of Pennsylvania operates four Philadelphia charter schools and owes large sums of money to the district. As of last June, that total had climbed to $3.3 million. The Philadelphia charter school scandal, however, has become common the past five years. Since 2008, 18 Philadelphia charter schools have been under federal investigations. A 2010 City Controller investigation stated that the district is “extremely vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse.” Superintendent Hite even went on record to say, “Unmanaged, self-directed, charter-school growth could force the district into a perpetual deficit.”

(Source: , via rather-facile-deactivated201407)

They are closing nearly 10% of Philadelphia schools, causing massive over crowding for next year because Republicans chose to build a $400 million prison.  The schools they are closing would cost a fraction of that.  81% of the students losing their schools are black and 93% are poor.  They are specifically targeting schools with high graduation rates in black neighborhoods.  After all, if you dismantle public schools to build prisons, the school to prison pipeline is that much easier as is the Republican plan to take the right to vote away from black and poor citizens.  They are also massively firing teachers in the hopes of breaking the teacher’s union and further dismantling the middle class, which is also an important ideological goal.  As with Chicago, this is clearly a choice to use a manufactured crisis to destroy the public school system because rich Republicans have a vested interest in maintaining a permanent underclass.

An impaired crane operator in Philly collapsed a building killing six a few days ago.  He’s under arrest.