Hurrah! Hurrah! The day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. Our visionary, revolutionary, God-replacing founder turns a dashing 306. Let’s raise a glass to the man whose wisdom lies beneath our feet and adorns the end of every “Why Penn?” essay. Let’s thank the guy who loved freedom almost as much as he loved the ladies.
To all of you out there who live their lives by What Would Ben Do?, or have his likeness tattooed in an unmentionable place, honor this great man today. Don’t be shy to pay your respect on Locust. Happy Birthday Ben!
For five brief, beautiful years between 1908 and 1913, the Freshmen and Sophomore classes would face off every October and prove their manliness by grabbing onto a giant inflatable ball. The rules and scoring of the Penn Push Ball Fight (clever) varied every year, but the basic gist remained the same: Form a crowd and push a ball on top of each other. Shockingly, general boredom and the fact the we had to import our balls from Penn State resulted in the Push Ball Fight being replaced by the fan favorite, Flour Rush. We just can’t make these things up…
Remember that last remaining vestige of the early 2000s, the dusty old CampusLink corner in Houston Market? The one with Gateway computer ads and echoes of Napster? It’s gone. Yup, covered in caution tape and filled with stacked chairs and tables. It’s like a crime scene from “CSI,” but filled with the memories of the dot-com bubble instead of bodies. What do you think should go in the space? Tell us in the comments.
So what if Will Ferrell went to USC and the University of Iowa had Ashton Kutcher? Penn has our own fair share of celebs– and best of all, they’re vintage. That’s right folks: this week’s People Who Went To Penn are none other than several signers of the Declaration of Independence. You’ll recognize some names from campus buildings and/or Nipples.
For added educational benefit, feel free to read up on these homies’ Penn involvements (spoiler alert: not all of them were actually undergrads) in the archives. Dear nation: you’re welcome.
…Bobby’s Burger Palace?
Clearly the folks at Bobby’s didn’t get the memo about Childers only taking a single semester off. Thanks for the Snapple fact, but we’re not looking for a new history professor at the mo’. Keep on tweetin’ on!
FALSE ALARM: Childers Is Just Taking A Semester Off - To those of you bemoaning the fact that you'd never get to take a class with beloved History department powerhouse Thomas Childers: weep no more! Rumors that he was to retire at the end of this semester have been declared false by the man himself. He debunked these claims while talking with a few students after his final lecture, and plans to just take next semester off. Worry not: he'll be back in action at Penn for the Spring 2012 semester.
[Disclaimer: This article was part of our "Joke Day" series... if you couldn't tell by the usage of Comic Sans.] As the University Archives reported back in the Fall of 1987, things took a turn for the worse one day for our beloved Button. Steve Curtains, President of the newly-formed Dr. Seuss Fan Club (standing, far right), led dramatic readings of “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” along with other members to raise awareness of Seuss’s literature. After three-quarters of the group piled onto the Button, a loud snap was heard, and, well, the rest is history. Member Mary-Kate Sutton is reported to have felt little remorse about breaking the art installation in front of Van Pelt. “I do not like it here or there,” she said. “I would not like it anywhere.”
Today marks Wawa’s 45th anniversary, the Inquirer reports. Imagine that, 45 years of hoagies and ice cream pints and Sour Patch Kids. Dearest Wawa, whether it’s the fratty one on 37th and Spruce or the Van Pelt-convenient one on 36th and Chestnut, you’re always there for us, and no matter how many 7-11′s and CVS’s come to campus, we’ll always choose you. And now for some fun Wawa facts from the article! Consider them conversation fodder for the next time you’re waiting for your sandwich:
- Wawa started out as “a modest Delaware County milk-delivery business,” but has since “become the region’s third-largest food merchant, behind Acme and ShopRite.”
- The company traces its beginnings to a 19th-century New Jersey iron foundry owned by George Wood, who moved to Wawa, Pa. and took up dairy farming, which led to the home-delivery business.
- Wawa “employs 16,000 people and sells 195 million cups of coffee a year at its 570 stores in five states, and is among the top 10 coffee sellers in the country.”
- The goose logo “dates from a time when a Canada goose was a welcome site.” (Whatever that means.)
- “Today it is a major player in the gas market. Wawa has about 200 sites with service stations, and all new Wawas will sell gas.”
Cheers to 45 more years!
Today, the New York Times Book Review assesses Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, the new book by History department mainstay Richard Beeman. (Earlier this year, they reviewed Mary Frances Berry’s book — hey History department, who do you know at the Times?) So how does Beeman fare? The Times praises his “gently judicious tone,” and later calls him “almost too judicious,” before noting that Beeman’s “judiciousness … usually serves him well.” NYT, might we suggest investing in a thesaurus? We think it would be a judicious, wise, prudent and rational thing to do.
Would that Berry had been more discerning, sez NYT
Penn had a good weekend if we’re measuring in terms of NYT namedrops. After weeks of drought, Penn finally showed up in the Times‘s wedding section, thanks to this undergrad-M.B.A. one-two punch. Elsewhere in the Sunday paper, Penn professor Mary Frances Berry scored a nicely sized review for her new book, And Justice For All. Frances teaches in the history department, occasionally moonlights as a cable news commentator, and her fancy new book focuses on the United States Commission on Civil Rights, which she served on from 1980 to 2004.
Unfortunately, the Times found the book only passable. According to reviewer Samuel G. Freedman, the book suffers from an “awkwardly divided personality.” The horror! Read the rest of this entry »