Category Archives: The Howl

My Encounter with a Steamer in the Gene Pool

SunsetSunday evening I jumped off the subway at 8th and Market amid a crush of people. As the crowd hurried and hummed like a swarm toward the exit, I noticed there was an escalator offering a direct route straight up to the street. It was out of commission, which is why I supposed no one was climbing its tall metal steps. But I wasn’t afraid of working harder to get there faster so I swung a left and lumbered upward. No sooner had I cleared the first couple of steps when some rogue odor punched my nose. It was… Continue Reading

Understanding Philly in Signs and Blood

blood1Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs, it’s true. Like most cities, Philly is awash in advertisements and public service announcements. You can discern a lot about a place by what’s advertised to its residents. Sometimes an entire city can be summed up in a few measly words. “We’re getting better,” reads a message from the transit authority posted in the trolleys. I can’t imagine the level of dysfunction that prompted the transit authority to decide “We getting better” was their best they had to offer riders.  “We’re getting better,”  is still displayed just as it was when I moved here… Continue Reading

The Night Before…er…Change?

Sestak SupportersWest Philadelphia, PA – The night before what’s being hailed as one of the most important midterm elections in recent memory, volunteers for Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak work the phones in an 11th hour effort to get voters to the polls. With Republicans expected to make sizable gains in the Senate and potentially taking control of the House, Democrats have in recent weeks aimed to minimize those losses by trying to build enthusiasm among Democratic voters. Prior to Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary earlier this year, former president Bill Clinton tried getting Sestak to drop out of the race,… Continue Reading

From Around the Travelsphere: Bad Trips, Dark Tourism and More

OntheStepsDownbytheRiverBad Trips After saving for nearly five years, British backpacker Rebecca Callaghan, 21, was two weeks into a three-month adventure when a rogue wave on a Thai beach swept her from the arms of her boyfriend and out to sea last June. The Daily Mail reports, “The sea was initially calm, but a massive wave came suddenly and separated the couple, dragging them under the water.” The tragedy occurred on Thailand’s popular Koran Beach, where at least 20 people have died so far this year after being carried off in unusually strong rip tides. At an inquest held… Continue Reading

Putting the Brakes on Highway Killings

This map shows the more than 500 cases in our Highway Serial Killings Initiative database the red dots mark where bodies or remains have been found along highways over the past 30 years.Last week, USA Today ran a fascinating story on the FBI’s Highway Serial Killer Initiative, shedding light on a disturbing subculture of long-haul truck drivers who kill. Turns out they kill a lot. Or maybe there’s just a lot of them. No one really knows. Regardless, the body count is rising. Over the last 30 years, more than 500 people, mostly prostitutes, hitchhikers and, to a lesser extent, travelers, have been found dead along highways in 48 states. Since the initiative launched in 2004, the FBI has drawn up a list of more than 200 suspects, most of whom… Continue Reading

From Around the Travelsphere: Car Camping Edition

VanDwellingIf you’re like me, traveling, living and sleeping in your vehicle, odds are you’ve woken up to a cop tapping on your window, shouting at you to exit the ride. Moments like these are fraught with anxiety, especially if you aren’t familiar with the ordinances of the city you’re in. Worse case scenario is you’ll be booked for trespassing, your vehicle towed and your bank account set back a few hundred bucks. If the cop has a heart, he’ll simply run your name then tell you to scram, as happened with a car camper in Steamboat Springs, CO, on… Continue Reading

From Around the Travelsphere

BluePipeTravel news and notes for the week ending Sept. 25, 2010. Visiting the Vatican? Better Cover Up Call Dan Brown because there’s a new cover up going on in Vatican City. The religious authorities are refusing entry to tourists wearing what it claims is inappropriate attire. China Discourages Travel to Japan In the wake of an escalating diplomatic row involving a Chinese fishing boat that Japanese officials say entered its waters, China has now discontinued promoting tourism in Japan. Documentary Explores Drug Cartel Travel Methods The latest installment of a documentary series exploring the U.S.-Mexican border highlights drug smuggling… Continue Reading

From Around the Travelsphere

CornRowGypsies on the Move The New York Times takes us this week to Romania, where the historically reviled and largely uneducated Gypsy population is taking advantage of Europe’s porous borders and decamping the motherland for wealthier places. But some countries are taking controversial steps to keep them out. Boeing’s Space Tourism Plans Have Lift-Off Entering into a partnership with Space Adventures, Boeing aims to ferry astronauts and tourists to the space station by 2015. But will Congress let NASA be privatized? Start saving now just in case, because that window seat will set you back a few bucks. TheContinue Reading

General Happenings at The Feral Scribe

TrainIVToday is Labor Day, which for many of us spells the end of summer. School begins, vacations end and we begin prepping ourselves for the trappings of winter. I’m spending the day in Madison, WI, waiting for repairs to be made on Purple Thunder, my trusty van that appears to have a rogue wire grounding out somewhere. In the last three weeks I’ve had to replace a battery that was less than a year old, as well as a fuel pump that fizzled out. I was on my way back to Philadelphia when my brake lights, blinkers and speedometer puttered… Continue Reading

Hooping for Happies: A Man Discovers His Passion

Hooping2Madison, WI – One of the best things in life is the arousal of passions so ardent that whether we’ll throw our lives to their full pursuit is never in doubt. Meet Andrew Barthel, who, two months ago, had such a passion set ablaze when “I was at a rave in the Wisconsin Dells and I saw the most beautiful woman hooping.” Hula-hooping that is. “I fell in love with it,” he says. A short while later, Barthel, 41, went on sabbatical from his job and began designing, decorating and selling custom hoops. He spends his days hooping outside… Continue Reading
Page 5 of 9« First...34567...Last »