Txt 4 Help

When a crisis occurs, it can be hard to know where to turn; as a young adult, this situation can be even more puzzling. With American teens running away by the thousands year after year, often escaping problems only to meet with new ones, the need for a solution is apparent. This is where National Safe Placesteps in.

Created in 1988 in Louisville, KY, National Safe Place is comprised of a network of buildings, ranging from fast food joints to local banks, where youths can safely go for help. With over 16,000 sites across the country, NSP has been effectively aiding youths in finding mentors and assistance in hundreds of American communities.

NSP’s latest program, Txt 4 Help, hopes to make seeking help even easier. Launched on Oct. 15, this initiative allows teens in crisis to text the word “safe” along with their current location to 69866. Within seconds they will receive the address of the closest Safe Place as well as either the local youth shelter’s contact number or the number for a national-hotline number.

With Txt 4 Help, NSP expects to reach more youths than ever before. With so many teens preferring text messaging over all other modes of communication, this program should increase NSP’s overall effectiveness by encouraging those in crisis to seek help rather than running away.

As Linda Rutherford, chair of the National Safe Place board of directors, points out “by communicating to youth in a way that they’re comfortable with, we will reach thousands more youth needing help than we have in the past.”

If you would like to become a part of this important resource volunteer opportunities in Philadelphia are available through Youth Service Incorporated.

Whether you would like to become involved in the Youth Emergency Shelter, organize a food and clothing drive for the families YSI serves or lead a Group Service Project at one of YSI’s Crisis Nurseries, any level of participation is welcome and appreciated.

Contact Erin Kane (ekane@ysiphila.org or at 215-222-3262 x 19) for more information.

You can contact Samantha Ronan at artsculture@campusphilly.org

WGMG: Eagles Fans Flying the Coop

As I was debating on what issue irked me the most this week, my mind wandered to browsing the Internet. As I accessed my Facebook account, I saw that I had one event invitation. Because of this invitation, I chose my topic: Michael Vick.

My invitation read:

Philadelphia: protest against the Eagles and the NFL from 11 am – 1:30 pm at Lincoln Financial Field. Because I wanted to see what the host had to say on this topic, I read on. Please join us for a peaceful, non-sponsored protest against the Eagles and the NFL. This will be another game in which Vick will be eligible to play. Please bring posters and a tough skin. We are trying to help animals in our region get rescued, fostered and adopted and we want our voices to be heard that we are angered by the actions of the NFL and the Eagles. If you can not join us, please boycott and write letters of protest to the Eagles and their sponsors.

Many, many parts of this invite got me angered. No. 1: Join us for a peaceful protest? Are you serious? Is there ever a peaceful protest when there are two sides to every story?

There are many fans on national television that burned every piece of Eagles memorabilia now that Vick was brought to the team for one year. If you want my honest opinion, you probably weren’t as die-hard a fan as you say you were.

This event was just a reason to get the Facebook world stirring and to bring attention to one’s profile. Isn’t there enough drama inside this social network? Why bring more into it with a subject that many people do not fully educate themselves on? Most of the people who hate the Eagles and Vick only listened to what they wanted to hear from the beginning.

I am not going to lie. When this took place and Vick went to trial, I couldn’t stomach the sight of his face. I thought of all of those helpless dogs and these trashy people betting on them for fun. But, just like any other person found guilty, he served his time and I believed learned his lesson. It takes a lot of guts to get in front of the public eye, admit that you were wrong and hope that fans and all of the television viewers will believe you.

Think about it. How many celebrities and athletes are taking part in illegal things that we DON’T know about? Vick, if not for being caught, would most likely still be doing this and we would still be in the dark. I’d bet his poster would still be hanging on many children’s walls and fans would be wearing his jersey.

Hey Phillies fans, Brett Myers was taken to court for allegedly beating his wife. Fans, better yet women, you better burn your season tickets and cut up your jerseys.

We need to look in the mirror at ourselves. We ALL have made mistakes. When you make a mistake, what do you do? You apologize and hope all is forgiven and learn from it. Vick made a mistake, apologized and is now hoping on our forgiveness.

If you were ever a fan of the Eagles, you should understand that they are doing the right thing and giving him a second chance at doing something he is amazingly talented at. I just can’t wait until he gets more than five passes in a game and the haters can’t help but cheer him on.

So, for all you perfect people out there, take a glance in the mirror, realize you have an eraser on your pencil and stop grinding my gears.

You can contact Kasey Minnick at kasey.minnick@gmail.com

TV Casualty Covers Misfits for Charity

Who doesn’t love The Misfits? I mean really, they’re one of the staples of punk rock in the 1980s, along with being a band that sounds fresh even to this day.

Unfortunately, it’s looking like these “horror-punk” icons aren’t going to reform to hit up Philadelphia for Halloween (a day the band was seemingly made for), but instead at Kung Fu Necktieyou can (and should!) see some of Philadelphia and New Jersey’s more prominent musicians coming together for a Halloween Misfits cover show.

The proceeds from the show will benefit The People’s Emergency Center, a group that supports homeless women and children in the Philadelphia area.

The band itself, dubbed TV Casualty after a famed Misfits song, will consist of Ted Leo and Chris Wilson of Ted Leo & The Pharmacists fame, Adam Goren (who, according to Andy Nelson has supported the PEC in the past) from Atom and His Package, Nelson of Paint it Black, and Brian Sokel from AMFM.

Nelson has said that this show has been in the works for a few months now, with the original idea being a Black Flag cover show. The band switched to The Misfits when the realization hit that Halloween was fast approaching. He also added that depending on the success of this show, more benefit/cover shows may be possible in the future.

So check it out, The People’s Emergency Center is a fantastic group that is definitely worth aiding, and what better way to do it than celebrating Halloween with some great Misfits tunes?

Go to Kung Fu Necktie’s websitefor more info.

You can contact Chris Banks at entertainment@campusphilly.org

Travelling Diana Exhibit in Philly

It has been over a decade since her tragic death and yet throngs of Philadelphians have been lining up at the National Constitution Center (Independence Mall, 525 Arch St.), remembering the People’s Princess with the same reverence and affection they felt during her lifetime.

The exhibition Diana: A Celebration has been circling the globe and has finally arrived in Philadelphia.

Within its nine galleries, museum patrons are offered a strikingly intimate portrait of Diana Spencer’s life. With photographs and videos from her childhood, footage from her fairytale wedding and a display of 28 stunning outfits, including her breathtaking bridal gown, visitors are given a peek into the private life of a woman so tortured by the media’s unwanted attention.

Judging from the reactions of people exploring the exhibit, Diana’s life is one whose impact is still felt today. As guests peered at her Victorian-style gown, complete with 25-foot train, one man bitterly muttered “They were never that happy. Don’t kid yourself.”

Indeed, though the exhibit gives minimal attention to the downsides of her joining the Royal Family, patrons seem to embrace the Princess and reject the man she married. She was adored because, unlike her in-laws, she was relatable—a point emphasized repeatedly throughout the exhibit.

Beyond her physical beauty captured in photographs throughout the galleries, her vulnerability and her tireless commitment to “difficult” or “unfashionable” causes, like AIDS and leprosy, is given due attention, reflecting her qualities that won praise worldwide.

It is heartbreaking when, after peering over her personal childhood diary and admiring her exquisite gowns, the galleries lead to a room displaying stacks of condolences books—a small sampling from the thousands that arrived at Buckingham Palace after her 1997 death. What follows is a dark room with projected footage from Diana’s funeral and display cases holding the handwritten drafts of her brother’s tribute and Elton John’s remake of “Candle in the Wind.”

The exhibit intends to celebrate the life of Princess Diana, but it is difficult to emerge from the final gallery without a sense of sorrow. Considering she was only 20 when she married Prince Charles in 1981, even those of us who were too young to understand the gravity of her death can see, through this exhibit, what a remarkable, admirable young woman Diana Spencer truly was.

Diana: A Celebration will be on view at the National Constitution Center until Dec 31.

Tickets cost $23 and include museum and Freedom Rising admission.

For more information on the exhibit visit its website.

You can contact Samantha Ronan at artsculture@campusphilly.org

Iraq’s Ancient Past Exhibit

Today, Iraq has certain connotations and implications attached to it. Foreign images, belief systems and mindsets that all seem to clash with our own ideals are the frequent focus of headlines and news reports resulting in an ever widening rift between our two societies.

However, in an effort to bridge this gap, the Penn Museum has created an extraordinary new exhibit, Iraq’s Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur’s Royal Cemetery.

Starting Oct. 25, this exhibition invites the public to come explore the findings unearthed during British archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley’s 1922 expedition to southern Iraq, the site of Ur.

Though he was seeking biblical evidence, what Woolley uncovered was a 4,500 year old burial ground, a veritable moment in Mesopotamian history with over 2,000 burials in this royal cemetery.

What you will find in this exhibit are the ancient artifacts Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Thomas Hoving has called “the finest, most resplendent and magical works of art in all America.”

Headdresses, carvings, a drinking tumbler and a gold ostrich egg are among the items on display, carefully conserved and used in this exhibit as a means of shedding light on Iraq’s ancient history and the precariousness of its preservation.

While much focus is given to Ur’s history and the solving of certain mysteries therein—for instance, how the attendants buried in the cemetery met their fate—Iraq’s Ancient Pastalso addresses the more recent looting in the Iraq National Museum and the country’s archaeological sites.

As Exhibition Curator Richard Zettler remarked in the exhibit’s press preview, “We can make these objects speak again.” Indeed, the Penn Museum is determined to bring life to the artifacts and to place their significance within the context of Iraq’s continued history and identity. The collection should, if anything, make the fact of the recent lootings all the more tragic.

The Penn Museum is particularly interested in welcoming Philadelphia’s student population to come explore this exhibit. As the museum’s Public Information director Pam Kosty points out, “This exhibit gives a rare opportunity to experience a country’s heritage…and it’s gorgeous!”

Student involvement has played a significant role in the assembling of this exhibit, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, which, Kosty attests, highlights the fact that there is still plenty for us to learn from our world’s ancient civilizations. Whether reading the results of CT scans performed on the attendants’ skulls or pouring over history books, these Penn students found fresh inspiration in pieces many would consider closed cases.

Iraq’s Ancient Pastwill be on display for an extended period. The Penn Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

You can contact Samantha Ronan at artsculture@campusphilly.org

Flyers Update

In an Olympic year, the NHL schedule is usually condensed with a lot more games in a lot less days. The NHL loses about two weeks with the Olympic break. Somehow, that missed the Flyers.

After a shootout loss on Oct. 10, the Flyers were off until the following Friday. In between the team did some bonding as they usually do near the season’s beginning. They were in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for some fishing and sailing. They had some competitions involving players, coaches and staff.

The Flyers played the Florida Panthers that Friday and did not look impressive. They scored early in the game and had a 1-0 and 2-1 lead but blew both of them. Florida scored a shorthanded goal in the third and won 4-2. Arron Asham and Claude Giroux each scored their first. Ray Emery made 24 saves. Ryan Parent was injured and has missed the last three games.

After that game, they again had a long break. They were off until this past Thursday when they hosted the Boston Bruins. Somehow after one game in 12 days, the Flyers had three games in four nights this weekend.

They looked better against Boston. Chris Pronger scored his second of the season in the first period. Boston scored late in the first and midway through the second for a 2-1 lead. About a minute after the Bruins scored, Darroll Powe scored his second of the season. Asham scored five minutes after that and that lead was short lived as Boston tied it before intermission.

The game went into overtime and eventually a shootout when Claude Giroux, the Flyers third shooter, scored and gave the Flyers a chance to win. Boston’s last shooter beat Ray Emery, but not the post and the Flyers won 4-3.

Saturday night was a much better game against Florida again, and a complete team effort that was marred by an ugly hit. At home this time, the game was knotted at one after one. Danny Briere scored his fourth.

After Arron Asham and Simon Gagne (first goal) made it 3-1, Mike Richards was tossed from the game. Richards leveled Panthers winger and lone goal-scorer of the night, David Booth. Booth made a pass and was not looking when Richards came across the blue line and hit him with a shoulder check. Booth went down and was not moving. He was taken off on a stretcher and spent the night in an area hospital. He has a concussion, but was released Sunday and flew back to Florida.

Richards was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. The Flyers killed off the entire power play.

Briere scored his second of the game early in the third. This game turned into a memorable one for rookie James van Riemsdyk. He picked up his sixth assist of the season on Briere’s first goal. Then, late in the third, Briere sprung him for a breakaway and he made a beautiful backhand move for his first of what hopes to be many NHL goals.

Ray Emery was outstanding, making 17 saves for his fifth win of the year. Jeff Carter had 11 shots in the game of the Flyers’ 38 as a team.

Richards was not suspended for the hit, although many thought he would be and played Sunday against the San Jose Sharks.

The Flyers were flat-footed and were not in the game at all. A couple of bad bounces did not help Brian Boucher, who made his first start of the season against his former team.

The Flyers did even it at one with a goal from Powe, but that was hit. The Sharks took the lead for good in the second with two goals from Manny Malholtra. One of which went off the stick of Braydon Coburn and in the net. That is the second time a goal has gone off of Coburn and into the net this season. The final was 4-1.

The Flyers will played yesterday in Washington and will return home Saturday for an afternoon Halloween game against Carolina. On Monday, Nov. 2, the Flyers will host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Because of a possible Game 5 in the World Series, the game will start at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

You can contact Colin Fry at colin.fry@temple.edu

Thai Food in Philadelphia

Thai food is an often overlooked culinary style in Philadelphia.

With the prevalence of Chinese and Indian food here, many could ask how it differs from those regional styles. Typically, Thai cuisine is quite spicy, containing curries and chilies to create a distinct flavor. A typical Thai meal, however, has several distinct flavors, ranging from spicy to somewhat sweet.

One of the better places in Philadelphia to get Thai food is the Lemon GrassThai Restaurant (3626 Lancaster Ave.), near Market Street and Drexel University. They have a fairly common menu that still manages to be friendly to newcomers. Don’t let names of dishes such as “Evil Jungle Princess” fool you, it’s all worth trying, and they have a fairly large vegetarian menu as well.

Another good customary choice is the Pad ThaiRestaurant (604 South Street). Their menu offers a similar grouping of traditional Thai dishes, although without ridiculous names. Along with Lemon Grass, Pad Thai would be a great opportunity for someone to try Thai food for the first time.

For the slightly more adventurous, Nan(4000 Chestnut St.) offers a blend of French and Thai cuisine that creates something both unique and great. The menu is pretty basic, offering standards of both regions, and, like the others, allows for virtually risk free ordering.

There of course are quite a few more places to find great Thai food in Philadelphia, but these are perhaps the best places to start out.

You can contact Chris Banks at entertainment@campusphilly.org

Portugal. The Man Concert Review

For Fans Of:Minus the Bear, The Dear Hunter, The Mars Volta

Download This Now:People Say, The Sun

Alaskan band Portugal. The Manplayed a sold out show at Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday, Oct. 24 as one of the final stops on their North American tour. The classic rock inspired indie band, originally from Wasilla, AK is now touring in Europe and won’t be back in the states until December.

Opening for Portugal. The Man was Drug Rug, a Boston based indie-blues band. They played a fun set full of soulful sing-a-longs that reminded me of some of Fleetwood Mac’s more upbeat tunes.

They were promoting their recent album Paint the Fence Invisible, and despite being relatively unknown to the crowd at Brenda’s, they got a great reception to songs like “Never Tell” and “Coffee.”

Portugal. The Man played an energetic hour and a half set that never lulled or lost direction. I found it interesting that frontman John Gourley stood almost sideways on stage while drummer Jason Sechrist and keyboardist Ryan Neighbors almost hid behind their instruments.

Despite appearing a tiny bit shy onstage, the band had a very enthusiastic presence about them and really looked like they were having fun, as did the crowd that was packed into the close quarters of Johnny Brenda’s.

The band opened with a crowd pleasing version of “And I” from 2008’s Censored Colorsthen went straight into “People Say,” the first track off their newest album The Satanic Satanist. Both songs really fired the crowd up, which wasn’t surprising since they seemed designed to have gang vocals.

Other tracks from The Satanic Satanist like “The Sun,” “Work All Day,” “Do You” and “Everyone Is Golden” were really well received. Again, not surprising since Satanisthas been making waves in the indie community since being leaked in June and released in July.

Perhaps one of the most interesting portions of the show was a medley of covers that the band broke into about halfway through their set. Starting with David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” they proceeded to play parts of Three Dog Night’s “One (Is the Loneliest Number)” along with the chorus of “How the Leopard Got Its Spots.” The medley ended with a fantastic cover of MGMT’s “Weekend Wars.”

I don’t mean to trash such a popular band as MGMT, but Portugal’s take on it completely blew the recorded version out of the water. This is clearly a band that has a propensity for doing interesting live covers, and I’ll definitely be paying attention to see what they have up their sleeves next time around.

After building up to a climactic finish with the complex layered counterpoint of “My Mind” from 2007’s Church Mouth, the crowd immediately began pounding on the stage and stomping their feet, demanding an encore. After a couple minutes the band returned for a few final songs, including an intense version of “Chicago” from their 2006 album Waiter: “You Vultures!”

Overall, Portugal. The Man’s set was one of the most energetic and well put together that I have seen in quite a while.

Before leaving, Gourley noted that it had been a while since they’d been in Philly. There’s no word yet on when they’ll be back, but if you missed them this time around they are a band that needs to be experienced live.

Don’t be surprised if they start playing larger venues or charging more for tickets though. This is a band that is clearly moving their way up on the totem pole, so catch them while they’re playing reasonably priced intimate shows.

You can contact Andy Smith at andysmith@temple.edu

Philadelphia Terror Film Festival

The end of October is nearing fast and Halloween is on Philadelphia’s mind.

As the holiday approaches, cheesy themed costumes, suggestive outfits and wearable puns are entertaining, but Halloween seems to have lost its edge. That’s where the Terror Film Festivalcomes in.

This year, the festival ran from Oct. 20 to 24 and boasted selections from around the world.

The Terror Film Festival is held every October at the Ethical Society Building of Philadelphiain Rittenhouse Square and this year is the event’s fourth anniversary.

True to its title, TFF strives to present the best in independent genre films including thriller, thrasher, horror, dark drama and sci-fi. Princess Horror, the undead royalty of the night and “genre fashionista” hosts the screenings: collections of shorts throughout the day and a feature film finale at the end of each night.

My first trip to TFF was on Wednesday, Oct. 21, for the feature film entitled Murder Loves Killers, Too. Attendance suffered because of the Phillies game, leaving many empty seats. When movie time arrived, Princess Horror went up on stage, introduced the film and cried, “Let the terror begin!”

The film’s title gives the ending away but the fun is in getting there. It is a story of a group of co-eds who are murdered by the anonymous owner of a mountain vacation home they rent for the weekend. As cliché as it seems, the movie was a unique tribute to the classic horror films of the 70s with plot twists and comedic relief intermingled with scenes of suspense and spine-tingling gore. There was some shoddy acting and poor dialogue, but that is to be expected in horror films with smaller budgets. It seemed like the director actually envisioned those unconvincing moments to reference other similar genre films.

The murderer proved to be the most interesting character in the film. Every chase scene and subsequent murder is suspenseful then hilarious or vice-versa. Who doesn’t enjoy a sexually frustrated serial killer articulating his discontent and intentions to his bound and gagged victim? Despite the small crowd in the theatre, Murder Loves Killers, Toowas received with vivacious applause.

That Friday, I had the opportunity to check out two sessions of shorts and the night’s feature film. Some of the shorts were fantastic while others were mediocre in scripting, acting or both. Luckily, none of them were downright awful and all had something to offer the audience.

The Curse of Micah Rood, for example, was an educated interpretation of a long-standing Connecticut folk legend. Two other mentionable shorts, Blackout and Take-Out, used gruesome murder as a tool for humor and had the audience laughing continuously throughout the performances.

Plots included cannibalistic couples (Take-Out), star-crossed vampire love (The Union), a zombie-fighting insect exterminator (Wade) and a murderous imaginary friend (Sarah’s Friend).

A lively Q&A session proceeded each block of shorts. The audience was mostly made up of filmmakers, which helped keep the forum discussion interesting and entertaining.

Scare Zone was Friday’s feature film. It was one of the higher budgeted projects. It is the story of a Halloween horror house, run by a man named Oliver. A rather diverse group of characters make up the staff. Unfortunately, the relationships made while rehearsing and advertising for Scare Zone IIIdon’t last long as someone in the maze attraction begins picking off the staff members one-by-one.

The film does not lack cringe-worthy kill scenes and the focus is on suspense and mystery. It is guaranteed to keep you guessing until the conclusion. I found the practicality of the narrative to be refreshing; so few horror films bother to make sense.

For any avid horror film and sub-genre fans, I suggest looking out for TFF next October. They don’t advertise, relying on word of mouth, but media outlets listing Philly events (like Campus Philly) are good places to check.

The Terror Film Festival renewed my interest in the darker side of Halloween. Next year perhaps it will do the same for you.

You can contact Ben Cantlupe at tua48171@temple.edu

Phillies Update: World Series Bound

After two more wins, the Phillies are headed back to the World Series.

The Phillies were able to close out the Los Angeles Dodgers at home last week. And now, it’s time to face the New York Yankees in the World Series.

Last Monday, the Phillies played Game 4 at home looking to take a three games to one lead. The Phillies sent Joe Blanton to the hill, while the Dodgers countered with former Phillie Randy Wolf.

The Phillies didn’t waste much time getting on the board, when Ryan Howard hit a two-run blast in the first inning. Blanton cruised through the first three innings, allowing no hits. He ran into trouble when he gave up the lead. The Dodgers scored in the fourth, fifth and sixth to take a 4-2 lead. Blanton was finished after six.

Chase Utley singled home a run in the sixth before Raul Ibanez was robbed of a game-tying hit. The bullpen pitched three shutout innings, yielding two hits. It was Madson, Park, Eyre and Brad Lidge.

In the ninth, it looked as if the series was bound to be tied when the Dodgers handed the ball to their flame-throwing closer, Jonathon Broxton. Ibanez lead off the inning with a ground out. Matt Stairs pinch-hit and walked. Stairs hit that mammoth homer off Broxton last year. Carlos Ruiz came up and was hit. Next batter Greg Dobbs lined out and the Phils were down to one out. Then, Jimmy Rollins came up and lined a fastball in to right-center field and it scored two runs for a walk-off 5-4 win.

Wednesday night came and it was a chance to eliminate the Dodgers for the second straight year to advance to the World Series. The ball was in Cole Hamels’ hand. He started the clinching game last year against L.A. Another former Phillie countered in Vicente Padilla.

This was a game of homers for both sides all throughout. Hamels’ third batter, Andre Eithier took him deep. The former Dodger, Jayson Werth, got that run back and then some when he put one into the right field seats for a 3-1 lead. Dodgers’ leadoff batter in the second, James Loney, homered as well. Pedro Feliz came right back with one of his own to lead off the second. In the fourth, a run was scored that was not on a long ball when Raul Ibanez doubled home Werth. That ended Padilla’s night.

The Dodgers got a pinch-hit homer in the fifth to cut the lead to 6-3 and Cole Hamels was yanked by Charlie Manuel.

The game was pretty much in hand when Shane Victorino clobbered a two-run homer in the sixth and Werth homered to deep center in the seventh to make it 9-3. Jimmy Rollins tacked on another in the eighth with an RBI.

The Dodgers had a threat in the eighth. They scored one run and had the bases loaded with nobody out when Ryan Madson got the next three batters out. In the ninth, it was Brad Lidge who seems to be very close to what he was last year. He got the first two outs easily when Ronnie Belliard stepped to the plate. Belliard flied out to Victorino and the celebrating was on as the Phillies captured their second straight National League Pennant.

World Series, Game 1, will be tomorrow night in Yankee Stadium. Cliff Lee will take the hill. Game 2 will be Thursday in New York with Pedro Martinez starting. Games 3-5 will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Philly.

Let’s Go Phils!

You can contact Colin Fry at colin.fry@temple.edu