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Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum

Who wants elephants and candy? Inspired by the post on the troll museum... if you're ever driving Route 30 in Pennsylvania, heading towards Gettysburg, you may pass by Mister Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon on Jul 24, 2014 - 4 comments

Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned by Judge

Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday. [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom on May 20, 2014 - 188 comments

There's no place like [home].

Hello, [insert tv market name]!! A collection of the ‘Hello News’ package produced by Gari Communications, sold to various TV networks, nationwide (and Australia.) Hello Bonus 1: Florence Warner sings “Hello Nashville” live, accompanied by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Hello Bonus 2: The Osmonds record a “Hello Utah” promo.
posted by Room 641-A on May 11, 2014 - 15 comments

Lincoln Highway, the first (attempt at a) transcontinental US highway

On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges," and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Highway efforts started about three years before the first federal road act would provide funding to states to improve the broad network of roads. Never officially finished, the first transcontinental highway eventually became renumbered as various interstate and US routes. To celebrate its centennial, there was a cross-country tour in June. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2013 - 33 comments

Fracking After the Boom

Chesapeake, the largest natural gas producer in Pennsylvania, is losing money. The current low price of gas will leave the company around $4 Billion in the red this year. Part of their response is to use a recent state Supreme Court ruling to justify charging landowners for the drilling and transportation expenses involved in extraction, reducing or eliminating all royalties. What was once a windfall to Pennsylvania communities is now becoming a burden, with Chesapeake now retroactively billing landowners for previous expenses. StateImpact Pennsylvania has written and recorded a thorough report on the issue.
posted by Toekneesan on Jun 29, 2013 - 79 comments

It'll surely come... here it comes again.

The ballad of Red Buckets. "Richard Mason was a high school kid in Boston when he formed his band Insteps and recorded his first songs sounding much like the early Cure. ... Red Buckets began at University of Pennsylvania around 1982, and eventually brought Richard and the band into the context of Crazy Rhythms-era Feelies, the Hoboken music scene at Maxwell’s, Dream Syndicate passing through, and the proto-Yo La Tengo record machine."
posted by mykescipark on Jan 20, 2013 - 2 comments

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. National Collegiate Athletic Association

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett filed a federal anti-trust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association today. Announcing the suit at a press conference this morning, Corbett claimed that the NCAA "seized upon the opportunity for publicity on the backs of the citizens of the Commonwealth". The suit seeks vacation of all of the sanctions levied against Penn State University by the NCAA (previously) after the release of the Freeh Report (previously) on the University's improper handling of allegations of sexual abuse against Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky (previously). Responding to the lawsuit, the NCAA called the lawsuit "an affront to all of the victims in this tragedy". Corbett, who has faced criticism for his slow-moving but ultimately successful investigation of the abuse and his close ties to Sandusky's Second Mile charity, is pursuing the case on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth rather than the University, which has stated that it is "committed to full compliance" with the sanctions, and is not a party to the lawsuit.
posted by tonycpsu on Jan 2, 2013 - 40 comments

It's time to meet the Mummers

New Year's Eve comes with many widespread traditions. But for those who live in and around Philadelphia, New Year's Day has a tradition all its own: The annual Mummers Parade. Started in 1901, making it possibly the oldest folk festival in the United States, the all day parade features string bands, floats, elaborate dance routines, and fancy brigades - plus about a gazillion feathers. Want to see more? You can watch a live stream of this year's parade here
posted by Mchelly on Jan 1, 2013 - 24 comments

Vice President Biden on 9/11

Joe Biden commemorates 9/11 - tear-inducing
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 11, 2012 - 55 comments

Lucky Act 13

Pennsylvania has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients. This American Life on fracking in Pennsylvania. Fracking: Anatomy of a Free Market Failure. Previously in Pennsylvania. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Mar 14, 2012 - 88 comments

May no act of ours bring shame...

Paterno, Joseph Vincent (Joe Pa)
Born: December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York.
Died: January, 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Vocation: Football Coach
Employer: Penn State, Retired.*
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 22, 2012 - 172 comments

Ying-Ling? I thought that was Chinese?

Everyone knows America's Oldest Brewery is D.G. Yuengling & Son (and daughters) of Pottsville, PA (and Tampa, FL) This family owned brewery was established as the "Eagle Brewery" in 1829 by a German immigrant named David Gottlob Jüngling. After the original brewery burned down in 1831 it was relocated to its current location. It was built into a mountain with caves dug into the side, a common practice to preserve beer and to achieve the cool temperatures required to make lager before refrigeration. Yuengling spent most of its history as a small regional brewery and only began to attract national attention years after the launch of Yuengling Traditional Lager in 1987, which went on to become the flagship product of the company and now accounts for 80% of Yuengling's production. On the strength of that growth, and with other brewers being bought out by or outsourcing production to foreign companies, Yuengling has now passed The Boston Beer Company to claim the title of America's largest brewing company as well. In this globalized beer era where giants war for market share, products from America's new largest brewer are only available in 14 states.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jan 17, 2012 - 113 comments

Troubled Waters ahead - Bridge Out - 500FT

Thieves steal entire bridge in New Castle [PA]. Motivated by the high premuim for recycled metal, and perhaps an entrepreneurial spirit, brothers Alexander and Benjamin Jones were arrested on charges of deconstructing and selling an entire bridge in rural Pennsylvania for scrap. "This is a national problem," says Trooper Joseph Vascetti, an investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police. "Every police agency in the country is having a problem with it."
posted by obscurator on Oct 18, 2011 - 84 comments

Every child had a pretty good shot To get at least as far as their old man got.

"I never felt like passing out in a warehouse and I never felt treated like a piece of crap in any other warehouse but this one," Goris said. "They can do that because there aren't any jobs in the area."
The Allentown newspaper The Morning Call investigates life inside of one of Amazon's newest warehouses. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 20, 2011 - 271 comments

in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct

"Change Proposed for State's Electoral Vote Process." Gov. Tom Corbett and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi are proposing that Pennsylvania divide up its Electoral College votes according to which candidates carried each Congressional district, plus two votes for the statewide winner. Talking Points Memo says that under the proposed plan Obama would have received only 11 of the state's 20 electors in 2008; Dave Weigel and Nick Baumann say gerrymandering could mean that in 2012 Obama could actually wind up with a minority of the state's electors even if he carries the state. GOP-led legislatures in other states, such as Wisconsin and Michigan, could make similar moves. But could this be a bridge too far for some members of the state's GOP caucus? [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Sep 14, 2011 - 128 comments

Is this unidentified man Ray Gricar?

On April 15, 2005, Centre County Pennsylvania District Attorney Ray Gricar disappeared under mysterious circumstances. A little over six years later, he was declared legally dead. In early July, 2011, a mysterious man was arrested in Provo City, Utah and refused to give his name, baffling police. One day after he was declared dead, people are asking could Utah's John Doe prisoner be Ray Gricar?
posted by MegoSteve on Jul 26, 2011 - 65 comments

Tragic birthers

Pennsylvania Outlaws Shackling of Prisoners Giving Birth. Amnesty International has tried to raise awareness of this issue in the past. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on Aug 30, 2010 - 42 comments

Retroblogging

Retroblog - the web version of one American student's year abroad, 1988-89
posted by mippy on Aug 14, 2010 - 8 comments

Short urban exploration documentaries

Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 7, 2010 - 7 comments

Colonel John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. (D) June 17, 1932 – February 8, 2010

Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died. John Murtha (as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown, and which for most of his service included Shanksville. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive of his blue collar district—Pro-gun, anti-abortion, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but eventually one of its greatest critics. But that criticism came at a price. John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 8, 2010 - 35 comments

Great Lakes to be filter-fed to carp

Asian Carp update: since 2003(previously), the inexorable advance of Asian Carp up the Mississippi delta has brought them to within 6 miles of Lake Michigan. These invasive "100-pound Zebra Mussels" suck rivers clean and starve native fish. Asian Carp are now 97% of the fish biomass in the Mississippi delta. The "electric fence" across the canal didn't stop them. The poisoning of the canal won't stop them. Closing the Chicago sewage canal locks is the only way to be sure. But the Army Corps of Engineers have the jurisdiction. Feel safe? [more inside]
posted by anthill on Dec 3, 2009 - 66 comments

Nitroglycerin in the Pennsylvania oil fields

From The Titusville Morning Herald of June 17, 1866, "Our attention has been called to a series of experiments that have been made in the wells of various localities by Col. Roberts, with his newly patented torpedo. ... The torpedo... is lowered into the well, down to the spot, as near as can be ascertained, where it is necessary to explode it. ... The object of the torpedo is to clean out all the deposits at the bottom of the well."
In the western Pennsylvania oilfields of the second half of the 1800s, "shooters" were men who set off nitroglycerin charges in wells to get the oil flowing again. Tales of Destruction relates stories and legends of this absurdly hazardous job. Additional notes here, in Samuel Pees's Oil History. (Previously)
posted by tss on Nov 5, 2009 - 4 comments

The Town That Won't Stop Burning

The small, unassuming town of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, has suffered 50 fires in 15 months, making it the site of the country's worst arson epidemic in decades, and providing a frightening case study in how the crime of fire-setting can turn self-perpetuating. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 27, 2009 - 26 comments

Here Come 'Da Judge.

On January 26th. two Pennsylvania judges were charged with taking $2.6 million in kickbacks to send teenagers to youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care. The judges are scheduled to plead guilty to fraud tomorrow in federal court."Youngsters were brought before judges without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent off to juvenile prison for months for minor offenses." The judges are also accussed of helping the two firms "attain nearly $30 million in county contracts." A preliminary audit [PDF] of the companies has also turned up questionable expenses billed to the state. College basketball tickets, fishing trips and a $3,500 suit are among $1.26 million in expenses under scrutiny. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Feb 11, 2009 - 56 comments

15104

Braddock, Pennsylvania has been classified as a "distressed municipality." This may be an understatement: From a high of around 20,000, its population has dwindled to below 3000, many of those people unemployed. Braddock's is a landscape so grim ("a mix of boarded-up storefronts, houses in advanced stages of collapse and vacant lots") that it was selected to serve as a backdrop for the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel, The Road. Its mayor, John Fetterman, considers Braddock “a laboratory for solutions to all these maladies starting to knock on the door of every community.” [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Feb 8, 2009 - 88 comments

Black Gold

When the modern oil industry began 150 years ago, many speculators moved into Northwestern Pennsylvania. Among them was John Wilkes Booth, who walked off the stage and onto the oil fields in an attempt to increase his fortunes with the Dramatic Oil Company. [more inside]
posted by hoppytoad on Jan 10, 2009 - 4 comments

The Lackawanna Cut-Off

A glance will show / Why Phoebe Snow / Prefers this route / To Buffalo.
And Phoebe's right / No route is quite / As short as Road / of Anthracite.


In 1908 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began work on the New Jersey Cut-Off to make its New York to Buffalo mainline (the Road of Anthracite so liked by Phoebe Snow) even shorter and faster. It was to have no grade crossings, and was to be as straight and level as possible — through hilly terrain. The 28-mile Lackawanna Cut-Off, as it is now known, was built over three years, cost $11 million, and was an engineering marvel of massive reinforced concrete bridges, enormous cuts, and the largest railroad embankment in the world. All of this has been abandoned for years, though there are plans afoot to restore the Cut-Off for commuter rail. [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 24, 2008 - 17 comments

"I feel very fortunate to have it eat my flowers..."

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the Fluorescent Pink Katydid [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 30, 2008 - 36 comments

Wharton felony trifecta in play

Penn econ professor pleads guilty to killing wife. With last year's child porn and now murder, it looks like the Wharton professor felony hat trick is two-thirds complete. (It's there if we expand it to the whole University.)
posted by supercres on Nov 27, 2007 - 27 comments

Go G-Hog, Go G-Hog, Go Go G-Hog.

You know what will help young people in Pennsylvania embrace a career in health care? A video featuring a rapping groundhog that cost $4157 in taxpayer money.
posted by beaucoupkevin on Nov 13, 2007 - 50 comments

Y U R 2 C No rBGH in PA

The Pennsylvania government is worried that consumers will be “confused” by labels such as “pesticide free”, “antibiotic free”, and “contains no artificial hormones”. After all, doing so might seem to imply that products without such labels might be unsafe! PA Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff is very concerned about that sort of “confusion”, which surely has nothing to do with the fact that he owns a 600-acre dairy farm. Oddly, while Mr. Wolff said his office had received many calls from confused consumers, his office was unable to come up with the name of even one consumer who had complained.
posted by kyrademon on Nov 11, 2007 - 27 comments

Voters get Santorumed

Pennsylvania polling places regarding September 08 elections to have everything but voters.
posted by duende on Oct 26, 2007 - 31 comments

Trespassed Against: Nickel Mines, One Year Later

"My first day on the job was the Amish school shooting at Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, Pa. in October of 2006. Here is some video of what I saw that day." Raw footage from that terrible day, recently posted to YouTube. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 7, 2007 - 28 comments

Foley was a Republican, but those Dems are TELEMARKETERS!

Abu Gharib? Feh. The newest Dark Side: telemarketing abuse. The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a $2.1 million campaign calling individuals, including those on the Federal Do-Not-Call Registry, with automated telephone messages scripted to sound as if they are coming from the Democratic candidate up for election, in the hopes of driving away support come Tuesday's elections. "Hello. I'm calling with information about [Democratic candidate]," the recording begins, and then pauses for the traditional hang-up. If the recipient does indeed hang up, they then receive repeated phone calls back. This manner of scripting violates 47 CFR 64.1200(b)(1), which requires that "the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call" be "state[d] clearly" "at the beginning of the message." The New Hampshire Attorney General got them to stop calling those on the Do-Not-Call Registry, at least. (In their best interests, perhaps, due to the $5,000 fine per call potentially racking up hefty fines.) This is going on at the very least in the Pennsylvania 6th, the Connecticut 4th, the North Carolina 11th,, the New Hampshire 2nd, and nationwide.
posted by WCityMike on Nov 5, 2006 - 142 comments

Recent history repeats itself in Pennsylvania

Stop me if you've heard this one before - Republican congressman blames democrats for legal troubles. The house ethics committee didn't see anything wrong with Weldon's activities, but one can't help but wonder how Weldon is helping his constituency by traveling to Belgrade on behalf of one of Slobodan Milosevic's pals, who is, incidentally, a client of Weldon's daughter's consulting firm. At least no one is accusing Weldon of trying to choke his mistress.
posted by Mister_A on Oct 20, 2006 - 30 comments

Rick Santorum Hates Gorillas

Santorum on Gorilla Action Friday Fun - A giant gorilla is chasing around Rick Santorum
posted by cjoh on Aug 25, 2006 - 11 comments

Denial: A river in Pennsylvania?

Santorum, a lying sack of Senator: Seems Pennsylvania's junior senator, who as recently as November told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that "K Street Project" was merely a "good government thing" is now saying: What K Street project? And Grover Norquist? Who he? Oh right, the guy who appeared at the Santorum fund-raiser just last June...
posted by kgasmart on Jan 26, 2006 - 39 comments

Stephen Foster Digitized Song Book

In the pantheon of American popular music, Pennsylvanian Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864) is a muse to all followers. He penned: "Oh, Susanna"; "My Old Kentucky Home"; "Old Folks at Home" ('Way Down Upon the Swanee River') and "Camptown Races" among a legacy of over 200 songs. Foster contributed greatly to the rise in popularity of the minstrel shows, displaying a humanitarian attitude towards blacks in his 'plantation songs', despite only visiting the south once briefly on his honeymoon. Copyright being what it was in those days, he made not much more than $9000 in his lifetime from publishing royalties. He died a pauper in New York following a head injury and was found with just 38c and a scrap of paper in his pocket book that read: "Dear friends and gentle hearts". His sketch book of songs was recently digitized and is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh. via
posted by peacay on Jul 29, 2005 - 25 comments

Pepsi Bloodhound?

The Bloodhound Gang is attempting to change the state song of Pennsylvania (right in time to support their new album, of course). Is this the Bloodhound Gang's actual attempt at being clever/helpful to the peeps of PA to change this song or is it the band's shameless buzz marketing campaign? (Ooooh... Hooray for Viral! (flash)) Well, it's working for this guy at least... Listen to the song here (only mildly annoying pop up) or download it here ... /me feels dirty. Who has a Pepsi Blue? Or Green?
posted by AspectRatio on Jul 29, 2005 - 30 comments

Drinking Will Crack You Up

Hello to you, my name is Liquor Control Bee (wav). Meet L.C. Bee -- his songs are sure to keep your kids uncrunked. Part of an elite cabal of juvenile moralizers, L.C. Bee is currently collaborating on an album with Daren the D.A.R.E lion (WAV). These kids today, you know.
posted by yonation on Jan 29, 2005 - 28 comments

Chastity Belts

In vogue during the Middle Ages, chastity belts are making a come back in Pennsylvania. Get yours today from the Pennsylvania State Legislature in time to celebrate their annual Chastity Awareness Week. But of course, what's good for the goose is good for the gander (NSFW) so I expect all (unmarried) Pennsylvanian legislators to be similarly outfitted. Your tax dollars at work to the tune of a quarter billion dollars.
posted by trii on Jan 26, 2005 - 25 comments

If SEPTA is still around in six months...

"Like New York City's MTA, SEPTA has a tourist-friendly pass that for $5.50 allows for 24 hours of riding across the entire system. On Saturday, the 4th of December 2004, I tried to fit as much into one day as I could. . . get your pass ready, we're boarding."
posted by deafmute on Jan 9, 2005 - 26 comments

Lucky Number 666

The number 666 has been drawn by the Pennsylvania Lottery 12 times. Well, legally that is. On April 24, 1980, Pittsburgh personality Nick Perry, host of local TV shows and the live lottery drawing, fixed the lottery drawings. Perry has since passed away, but the story lived on in a (badly made) film adaptation. [more inside]
posted by ALongDecember on Aug 5, 2004 - 8 comments

Buggate?

A third-rate bugging? Did Pennsylvania Republicans plant listening devices to gain an advantage in the next Philadelphia mayoral election? I think they did and in his words, that's the truth!
posted by Bag Man on Oct 8, 2003 - 16 comments

Darwin 1, Bikers 0

PA helmets repealed from heads. At midnight tonight, Pennsylvania will become the sixth state since 1997 to repeal its mandatory motorcycle helmet law. Actually, there are a few qualifications. The guys who put this together are probably keen on PA's state store new Sunday hours, too.
posted by ringmaster on Sep 3, 2003 - 52 comments

The

22 year old schizophrenic Farrah Russell was rebuilding her life. But when the plug was pulled on the state program that allowed her to subsist, she took her life. Her heartbreaking story is a cautionary tale of the dark consequences of state budget cuts. While politicians argue over tax stimulus proposals that benefit the wealthy, while wild numbers are applied to war budgets, the States have been forced to cut social programs in order to survive. Whether it's California teachers, Connecticut and New York residents dreading tax hikes, Pennsylvania public transportation, or Texas prescription drug coverage for the poor, the States, supposedly United, have been left out to dry. While the States have been forced to cut their programs, groping for survival, Washington remains silent in its mission. It does not remember history. Why do we turn a blind eye to the hidden costs? What can be done about this? And how do we make it stop?
posted by ed on May 5, 2003 - 53 comments

Regular Joes 1, Ned Flanders 0

Today marks the first time in 84 years that citizens of Pennsylvania are allowed to buy alcohol on a Sunday. Of course, it's only at state-approved stores, and only in selected suburbs.
posted by mathowie on Feb 9, 2003 - 74 comments

Karl Frank Kleinpaste

Karl Frank Kleinpaste is on trial defending himself for tax evasion claiming that he lives in the 'Democratic Republic of Pennsylvania' and is therefore not duty bound to pay federal income tax. Some think that this will not go very well for him while others encourage the masses to do the same.
posted by Raichle on Nov 21, 2002 - 28 comments

Mullet Talk,

Mullet Talk, FM morning radio show comedy at it its finest. Of course, in Pittsburgh we appreciate the finer things in life. Sadly, this is the only episode I could find on the web.
posted by Recockulous on Sep 25, 2002 - 10 comments

City as Loser?

City as Loser? Iron City was ranked last out of 40 cities in this year's "Best Cities for Singles" in Forbes magazine. Not that Forbes is the ultimate arbiter of the single life (don't they specialize in male readers over 35 with money?), but your best defense of Pittsburgh or your own medium- or small-sized town would be appreciated.
posted by engelr on Jun 11, 2002 - 26 comments

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