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the nether

In the future, the Internet becomes The Nether, a fully immersive virtual reality and the setting for a play by Jennifer Haley. The play alternates scenes between a real space interrogation room and flashbacks to events in the nether. A detective demands that the proprietor of a particular realm, one that specializes in adult-child relationships, reveal the location of the hosting server.


Posted 13 Apr 2016 01:58 by tedu Updated: 13 Apr 2016 01:58
Tagged: event moviereview philly

the popepocalypse is nigh

The Pope is coming. And so, unlike the earthquake and two hurricanes Philadelphia has recently weathered, everything must be shut down. And what’s not shut down must be locked down.

Center City looks quite different without any cars parked on the streets. Or Big Belly trash cans on street corners. Or mailboxes. But sidewalks are lined with portapotties as far as the eye can see. It’s more than a little ridiculous.

The Pope is holding mass on the Franklin Parkway, so it makes some sense to prepare the immediately surrounding area. But this same area, earlier this month, hosted the Made in America concert without such extreme measures. The Beatles may be bigger than Jesus, but the Pope is still bigger than Beyoncé.

There’s some question of separation of church and state, though it’s not too big a deal for me. The Pope is a foreign dignitary. There were some special arrangements made when, e.g. Nelson Mandela gave a speech here. And arrangements might also be made if Richard Dawkins were popular enough to draw such crowds. What’s unprecedented is the scope of the restrictions.

A line has been crossed where the inconveniences of this visit are being imposed on everyone in the city, not just the people living immediately adjacent to the planned events. Subway and bus service is all carved up. (And originally with doubled fares, although they seem to have backed down from that.) Personal vehicles will be forbidden from entering the Center City area for the entire weekend. This isn’t a matter of higher than usual traffic slowing things down. This is the city simply shutting down. Giving up.

Here’s a page of maps showing the ever expanding no fun zone.

The city has promised they aren’t paying for any of this. I remain deeply suspicious that the IOC accountant was hired to reach that conclusion.

Posted 23 Sep 2015 15:12 by tedu Updated: 23 Sep 2015 15:12
Tagged: philly politics

Indego - Philly bike share review

Joining the ranks of bike share programs in other cities, Indego is Philadelphia’s version. The basic concept is the same and pretty simple. You check out a bicycle from one of many kiosks located about the city, ride around, then return it to an empty dock when done. The program is manufactured by B-cycle but owned by Philadelphia; it’s similar but not identical to programs in other cities, such as Austin or Denver.


Posted 09 Jul 2015 14:56 by tedu Updated: 09 Jul 2015 14:56
Tagged: business philly review


On the wall at Sketch.


Posted 17 Aug 2014 21:19 by tedu Updated: 17 Aug 2014 21:19
Tagged: business food philly quote

are you the one who's watching me?

Walked by an old man on the street who repeatedly asked me, “Are you the one who’s watching me?” I tried to deny it, but he didn’t believe my lies! Was briefly tempted to tell him, “We’re all watching you,” but he was clearly operating marble free and already seemed to have that impression. A strange encounter.

Posted 30 Jul 2014 01:02 by tedu Updated: 30 Jul 2014 01:02
Tagged: philly quote

the wrong way to beg for money

Because it’s summer and therefore nice and warm (or terribly, impossibly warm) out, I go outside and walk around the city. Because it’s a city, that means people ask me for money. Sometimes it’s grizzled old men sitting on a stoop. Sometimes it’s chipper young people who jump in front of me. Guess which group this post is about.

It’s one thing (an annoying thing, but borderline acceptable) to stand in the middle of the sidewalk so that I have to go around instead of walking in a straight line. Watching me course correct, then side stepping to block my path and accost me is never acceptable. I deal with this by making a mental note of the responsible organization and then blacklisting them for one month. Penalties accrue. This summer’s front runner appears to be Planned Parenthood, though it will be some time before they overtake the all time record holder. Two summers ago the ACLU accosted me more than once per day on average, earning them an effective lifetime ban.

The stupid part is I’m generally in agreement with these organizations, disagreeing more in degree than kind. The problem seems to be that unlike the local neighborhood homeless beggars, the political beggars are shipped in from elsewhere. I imagine the college job fair pitch goes something like “travel the country and harass strangers with like minded hotties”. The result is that it’s a new beggar every day with no recollection of the previous dozen encounters. Even the duck tour people learn to recognize me as a resident and leave me alone. (Presumably the political beggars set up shop all summer long to get in on the tourist trade, but since the duck tour peddlers have claimed all the good corners, they get pushed out to areas that are in fact mostly locals.)

Posted 20 Jun 2014 19:34 by tedu Updated: 20 Jun 2014 19:34
Tagged: business philly politics rants

catastrophic weather movie alert

Went to a movie this afternoon because it was raining. Because it was raining, the government issued a puddles of unusual depth alert, causing everybody’s phone to blow up mid movie, within the space of a few minutes. The weather catastrophe alert tone could have been a credible sound effect, coupled with some great positional surround sound, but all the lit up screens gave the trick away. Then it kept happening as the less important people were notified and started interrupting the movie. There’s always a few idiots who can’t turn their phone off, but the number of alerts received made it seem likely the alerts can override vibrate or even silent settings.

The good news is the alerts can be turned off (somewhere in phone settings) to avoid disturbance at the movies or elsewhere. I did so last summer after noticing alerts happen whenever it rains.

The movie was Edge of Tomorrow. I liked it. Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers.

Amber Alert update: Amber Alert worked well. Apparently, their definition of success was waking people up at 4am, since there’s no mention of how the alert influenced the outcome of the children, which is how I would determine if it worked well or not.

Posted 10 Jun 2014 23:08 by tedu Updated: 08 Aug 2014 19:21
Tagged: gadget philly politics rant

home is where you want to be

Much has been written about the awfulness of Apple Maps, but sometimes it’s just awesome. I’m in California; I search for a Philz (because that’s what you do in the Bay Area), and I get... Philadelphia. iPhone knows me better than I thought.


Posted 07 Jun 2014 00:39 by tedu Updated: 07 Jun 2014 00:39
Tagged: bugs philly

ten year reunions

The only thing better than remembering the past is reliving it.


Posted 17 Apr 2014 04:59 by tedu Updated: 20 Apr 2014 02:46
Tagged: games moviereview music philly

forgers and scammers

Finished reading the rest of the Dec 16 New Yorker, beyond the State of Deception article.


Posted 26 Dec 2013 22:10 by tedu Updated: 23 Jan 2014 20:56
Tagged: magreview moviereview philly