Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Philly’s Quirk Books and Zombies take Internet by Storm

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


Are you a zombie fan? Are you a Jane Austen fan? If you can answer “yes” to either of these questions, there’s a treat in store for you! Philly publisher Quirk Books has a new take on a classic read, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yes, you heard me correctly. Author Seth Grahame-Smith (see also Big Book of Porn, Pardon My President, and How to Survive a Horror Movie) has injected zombie mayhem into the original work, a totally legal maneuver allowed by public domain law.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a blurb hit the internet a few weeks ago, and spread like wildfire through Austen blogs and zombie blogs to places like Entertainment Weekly‘s Pop Watch and the London Sunday Times. Rumors of movie deals abound. Ah, the power of the internet. Isn’t it perfect for film?

Quirk featured the title last week at NYC’s Comic Con, besieged equally by Austen and zombie fans, and quickly ran out of promotional postcards. All this, and the book is not even available yet. The publication date of April 1 approaches, as do those brain-thirsty zombies. Some say Jane Austen would be rolling in her grave, while others say she would approve of the parody, and is just trying to get out! (Perhaps she would like to read it!)

Why Is The Line For Tater Tots Backed Up To The Parking Lot?

From my peeps at Fox News….

An elementary school cafeteria worker and playground monitor, who had an extensive career in the adult entertainment industry, is becoming a New Jersey school district’s legal nightmare.

Some parents in Vineland, N.J., as well as the board of education president, want Louisa C. Tuck fired, but district officials were advised by their lawyers and those from the New Jersey School Board Association they have no legal grounds to terminate the 32-year-old from her $5,772-a-year part-time job as an aide in the lunchroom and playground, The Daily Journal reported.

“We have no real legal stance or legal right to do anything for two reasons — one, it’s not illegal, and two, it’s not on school time,” Superintendent Charles Ottinger told the newspaper.

Really? People are angry about this? Now people have to worry that their outside-of-work-and-previous-to-work-non-illegal-activities will catch up with them?!

“Hey, Joe, we heard that you were a huge drug addict when you were a teenager. Even though you’re 35 years old and have got a college degree and cleaned up your life, we’re gonna have to let you go.”

I call shenangians. The one guy who was interviewed on the Fox 29 Ten O’ Clock News last night sounded like he was waiting to pick up his kids at 4:20 and not 3:00, if you catch my drift.

The chick’s obviously trying to better her life – although I’m certain she could make far more money in the previous trade she plied instead of working for any public school.

Man, calm down South Jersey. Yeah, like half the parents who are upset don’t work for “legitimiate” “tow truck” or “concrete” businesses.

At least she was on Jenny Jones….


I didn’t even have to use one beef stroganoff joke.

Be seeing you,

– AP

Two Philadelphia Universities Top Ten in Country

U.S. News and World Report listed the top universities and colleges for 2008. Here is how our area schools ranked.

Princeton University is the #1 national school school in the country. The University of Pennsylvania is #5. Also ranked are Lehigh at #31, Penn State #48, Rutgers #59 tied with University of Pittsburgh #59, University of Delaware #71, Drexel at #108.

In the category of best Liberal Arts School, Swathmore College placed 3rd and Haverford College 10th.

To see the entire list click on above link

Are you 13 to 21 Let your voice be heard.

June is Aids education month. Fight .org is holding its first Youth (13 to 21) summit at the Arch Street Meeting House, located at 4th and Arch. 8am to 5pm. Wednesday, June 5th. As our founding fathers declared independence from King George in 1776 it is time to declare independence from ignorance about aids. Come and let your voice be heard.

Welcome to the first AIDS Education Month youth summit! This summit will explore HIV testing, transmission, prevention, and treatment issues relevant to reaching and to empowering youth. Leaders from the youth and HIV/AIDS communities will discuss current challenges in providing community-appropriate outreach, education, advocacy, and HIV care to a population facing rising HIV rates. This summit is youth-friendly and includes a youth fashion show and artistic performances. Come check it out! Let your voice be heard.
Yo! breakfast and lunch will be served. Register online in confidence.

Do You Like Music

Here is a different way to help. The Intercultural Family Services, Inc. organization has a music and mentorship program that intoduces and teaches children about music and how to play an instrument.
A benefit concert and instrument drive will be held at THE FIRE, located at 4th and Girard Ave. on Wednesday, May 2nd, 7 P.M. to 2 A.M.

Performing at the concert will be Tanya Limosnero, Dan Collins, Wayne Hsu, Oud Blues, Naeemah,
John Swana and friends.

Donate an instrument, a violin, guitar, keyboard, conga, music stand or microphone and you get in FREE.
Cover Charge is just $10 .

Arrividerci, Paul

Paul Vallas is quitting. The Philadelphia School District CEO said claims he made a five year commitment, and now his time is up. Rumor has it he may be headed to New Orleans to rebuild their school system, as he spent four days touring the schools and offering free advice.

Before coming to Philadelphia, Vallas was the superintendent of Chicago Schools which were widely considered the worst in the nation before his six years there. His accomplishments, according to Education Next:

The budget was quickly put in order. Vallas rehabbed old schools and built attractive new ones. Test scores reported to the public rose nearly every year, two union contracts were negotiated without any strikes, and a host of new programs–summer school, afterschool programs, alternative schools, new magnet programs–were all created, Most important, for perhaps the first time in Chicago’s history, low-performing schools were pressured to do better, and students and their parents encountered a system that did not just pass everyone through regardless of what they learned.


The Constitution…and all that jazz

Monday afternoon was the closing luncheon for the Peter Jenning’s Project for Journalists and the Constitution at the National Constitution Center. “The Constitution in Our Midst” was the overall theme of the three day event.

An informal buffet and a sit where you want format seemed to have everyone in a relaxed mood. Up on a small stage was a trio lead by Philly born pianist, Eric Reed, along with David Wong on bass and Obed Calvaire on drums.

I took a seat off to the side at an empty table where I could see the band and not be in anyone’s way, as I was the guest of a friend.

CCP Strike

As you may have heard, the faculty and staff at Community College of Philadelphia are on strike. College President Stephen Curtis posted a statement on their web site explaining the administrative position. After reading a few articles about the union conflicts, I’m inclined to agree with him.

To be completely honest, we are at a little bit of a loss to understand why the union leadership has authorized a strike this evening. The facts are that our final and best offer, which we put forward earlier today and which was rejected a short while ago, continues to provide free health care for all of our employees and their families (that is, it requires no employee contributions toward premiums) and a salary increase that averages 3.62 percent annually for the life of the five-year contract.

A guaranteed annual 3.62% raise over five years and free healthcare? Free?! That’s unheard of in most industries, as are pensions. CCP employees contribute 5% and the employer 10% to their pension plan. This all sounds quite cushy to me.

No matter how much reading I do I can’t seem to find a clear statement from the union about what they want aside from a contract. Can anyone shed some light on this?

That’s LibRAry

I encountered a tour group yesterday on my way to work, a clump of parents and awkward teens gathered around a tour guide at the giant split button. As I passed I heard the tour guide tell them “This is the main undergraduate liberry.” I thought perhaps I’d misheard, then she continued “There are other smaller liberries around campus, the medical liberry…” She must have said “liberry” at least four times! Has this chick been taking elocution lessons from George W. Bush? I wonder how she pronounces “nuclear.” This, at an ivy league university. The admissions committee must be slipping.

Get Smart

Each semester I look forward to receiving the Non-Credit course guide from Temple University Center City, 1515 Market Street. I pour over the catalog circling all of the things I wish to learn more about. Is there ever enough time? The Spring of 07 offers many opportunities. A course about King Tut that would be a great compliment to the Tut Exhibit at the Franklin Institute as well as the new Egyptian exhibit at University Museum looks interesting. Or how about a behind the scenes look at the city by signing up for, ‘Center City Savvy’ or ‘Great Architecture of Philadelphia’. This is a great way to meet other people while learning, just for fun. Check it out. Courses run from $45 to about $295. Call to get your catalog at 215-204-6946.

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