Saturday, January 31, 2015

Remember Patricia Murphy's Restaurants?

This was once the original Patricia Murphy's in Brooklyn Heights.

I try not to turn back the clock too much. It can get to be maudlin, if not downright depressing.
But sometimes, it's hard to resist.
Especially when we're turning it back to the 1960s -- an era that (what with Mad Men, etc.) has generated renewed interest.
Well. there was a restaurant (a chain of restaurants, really) that become the epitome of '60s pop chic.
Do you remember Patricia Murphy's Candlelight Restaurants?
These restaurants were legendary -- and famous for their incredibly luscious popovers. They featured fresh linen, flocked wallpaper, sparkling chandeliers, lots of crystal and china, the glow of candlelight and plenty of hot, tasty American food.
Some of the Patricia Murphy's suburban locations (such as on Long Island, in Yonkers and later in Ft. Lauderdale) also featured beautiful gardens.
New York magazine describes Patricia Murphy's as a place "where waitresses in gingham walked around with baskets of popovers." And yes, you were welcomed to take all the popovers you could eat -- but usually just one at a time, please.
Patricia Murphy opened her first restaurant in Brooklyn Heights in the 1940s and things just took off from there. Or, to put it another way -- those popovers really popped.
What you see above is the site of the original Patricia Murphy's as it looked a few years ago.
In Manhattan Patricia Murphy's was at 38th & Madison and also on 49th St. Those two locations were very popular and often attracted crowds that ranged from busy professionals to tourists, theater-goers, ladies who lunch and even some starry-eyed diners out for a romantic, low-lit dinner for two.
They came for the popovers and they stayed for everything else. And in the larger, out-of-the-city locations the everything else even included a gift shop where you could purchase Patricia Murphy's own story, entitled "The Glow of Candlelight."
Yes, there really was a Patricia Murphy. She started the first restaurant with just a few dollars and a dream. Word is she didn't even know how to cook. But she had a good head for business and a magic touch. And she certainly must have worked hard.
The restaurants reportedly slipped when the chain grew too large and Patricia Murphy removed herself from the day-to-day operation. Eventually, Patricia Murphy's went bankrupt.
Times-- and eating habits -- changed as well.
But just for nostalgia's sake, here's the recipe for those famous popovers. Not that they'll really taste exactly like the one at Patricia Murphy's, but why not give it a try?

Patricia Murphy Popovers:
Put 1/3 tsp butter or Crisco in each muffin pan (or custard cup). Heat in oven 5 minutes while you are mixing batter.
1/4 tsp salt 1 cup sifted flour 1 cup milk 2 eggs 1 tbsn butter, melted
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Beat eggs with rotary beater, add milk, butter and sift in flout, beating only enough to make a smooth batter. Fill hot muffin pans one-third full of the mixture. Bake in hot (450) oven 30 minutes, then at 350 for 15 minutes or until firm, brown and popped. Keep oven door closed while baking. Makes 6 large or 9 small.

Bieber Video: 'I Was Arrogant And Conceited'

Justin Bieber Apologizes To Fans For Being 'Arrogant' & 'Conceited.' BTW: There's nothing wrong with the screen. The video is deliberately dark. Apparently, that's the way Justin likes it -- at least this time around.

Sideshow: The Democrats In Philadelphia

So, let's get this straight:
The Democrats came to Philadelphia's posh Society Hill to contemplate their navels and bloviate about how they are committed to helping the beleaguered middle class.
They ate and drank plentifully amidst cushy surroundings and decided that it's not their message or policies that are wrong (surprise!) but rather, it's all in the cosmetics -- the way they communicate the message.
The stupefyingly egotistical and shockingly immature "leader" of the party (and sadly, the nation as well) whined and complained and blamed his allies for the party's problems, declaring: "If you had stood by me, none of this would have happened."
And then Uncle Joe appeared to deliver the grand finale, finding that the past six years had been "really, really hard for the country" because the Dems made decisions "that were hard to explain." Amidst it all, the media were shown the door and locked out of the confab as Dem staffers escorted them to the nearest restrooms.
Yes, America -- just a few blocks from where the party's "founder," Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, this phony band of imperious dilettantes made a mockery of everything the Founders stood for.

Penn Staters Tag 'Responsible' Board Candidate

Here is a very special message for Penn State alumni from Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship:

The board of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship is pleased to announce the endorsement of Robert J. Tribeck (1991) for 2015 alumni elected trustee, rounding out a PS4RS-endorsed slate which includes sitting trustees Anthony Lubrano (1982) and Ryan McCombie (1970).

Notably, Mr. Tribeck is the principal author of the PS4RS Freeh Report Analysis and has served as co-chair of the PS4RS Legal Task Force. His letter of intent, biography and position statement are attached for additional information. We sincerely thank all 13 candidates who submitted letters of intent. Every one expressed unique experience, informed recommendations and incredible passion for Penn State, making the decision a difficult one.

We applaud their interest in wanting to serve Penn State at the trustee level and encourage their involvement with all aspects of Penn State far into the future.

We kindly ask that you take the 2015 PS4RS slate into consideration when completing and submitting your nomination ballots which are due to the University by February 25, 2015.

Please look for more details in the coming days as to how you can help us quickly activate a campaign strategy that will spread the PS4RS message and provide Penn Staters with ample opportunities to meet our endorsed candidates. For the Glory!

US, China, Poland, Germany Lead Blog Visits

Dan Cirucci Blog - Pageviews by Countries 

Week of 1/25:

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States

Dan Cirucci Blog - Week's Top Five Stories

For the week of 1/25:

Jan 15, 2015, 2 comments

Friday, January 30, 2015

And Now, A Message From Our Founders

Pope Localizes Formal Designation Of Archbishops

In a letter sent to all the apostolic nunciatures and dated 12 January, 2015, the Master of Papal Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, made public the Pope's decision to modify the method of imposing the pallium on the new metropolitan archbishops. The strip of white wool, symbolising the sheep on the shoulders of Jesus the Good Shepherd, will be delivered and no longer “imposed” by the Holy Father, according to tradition on 29 June, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Instead the imposition of the pallium upon the new archbishops will take place in their dioceses, by the hand of the local apostolic nuncios.

Yesterday, in an interview for Vatican Radio, Msgr. Marini explained the meaning of the Pontiff's decision, indicating that from next 29 June the archbishops, “as is customary, will be present in Rome, will concelebrate with the Holy Father and will participate in the blessing of the pallia, but the imposition will not take place. Each archbishop will receive his pallium from the Holy Father in a simple and private way. The imposition will occur in the diocese of origin, and therefore in a second moment, in the presence of the local Church and in particular the bishops of the suffragan dioceses, accompanied by their faithful”.

This is intended, continued the Master of Papal Ceremonies, to “emphasise the relationship between the newly appointed metropolitan archbishops and their local Church, therefore enabling more faithful to be present and this rite that is so important for them, and especially for the bishops of the suffragan dioceses, which in this way will be able to participate in the moment of the imposition. This maintains the significance of the celebration on 29 June, which underlines the relationship of communion, including the hierarchical communion between the Holy Father and the new archbishops, but at the same time adds, with a meaningful gesture, the bond with the local Church. … It is a beautiful gesture which accompanies the other [the imposition of the pallium, Ed.], which remains with all its entirety and depth”.

Tax Credit For Stars Performing Live In NJ?

New Jersey State Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senate Democrat James Whelan introduced legislation to bring world-class entertainment to venues in Atlantic City and across New Jersey and, in turn, boost the state’s economy and job market.

“This initiative costs taxpayers nothing and offers so much to gain for working- and middle-class residents,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “Right now, world tours and widely popular entertainment aren’t repeatedly coming to New Jersey’s venues and consistently drawing tourists to our state. There is tremendous value in the ability to consistently draw world-class entertainment here, especially considering widely successful A-Lister residencies in Las Vegas, where there’s no state income tax.”

“We continue to declare the importance of diversifying the types of entertainment available to attract tourists to Atlantic City, transitioning the community into a resort city rather than just a gambling destination,” said Whelan (D-Atlantic), chairman of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee. “Attracting big-named performers and artists is a step in the right direction.  Las Vegas has had great success with performers in residence from Celine Dion to Britney Spears. I am excited about the possibility of attracting stars to the Garden State, providing our residents with the opportunity to see some great acts, all while boosting our economy.”

This legislation, announced by Senator Kean on Jan. 15, will regularly attract A-List performers to the Garden State. Qualifying entertainers who perform at least four dates in Atlantic City’s tourism district would get a state tax credit on all income they earn performing at any New Jersey venue, including in Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Newark and Holmdel, in the same calendar year. The Secretary of State will set the qualifying criteria, including record sales, ticket sales, awards, etc., and a transparent application process will be administered by the Director of the Division of Taxation.

“The extraordinary net benefits of this legislation will open up economic growth and job opportunities at and around venues across New Jersey, as popular talent attracts fans from all over to fill seats and help support existing and open new neighboring restaurants, hotels and businesses,” Kean said. “It will naturally improve New Jersey’s and Atlantic City’s image to be more attractive, widely accessible and entertainment-based, without a costly campaign. I am confident that Senator Whelan’s leadership and commitment to improving tourism and the economy in Atlantic City and across the state will play a big part in advancing this legislation to Gov. Christie’s desk as soon as possible.”

'Get Outta Here You Low Life Scum!' - Video

Code Pink protesters interrupt the start of the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, and George Shultz. Senator John McCain, Chair of the Committee, has the protesters removed. Watch the complete hearing here:

'Instant Gratification' 0.0 Run Hits Philly, 2/6

Hundreds of runners and non-runners will participate in the city’s shortest road race during the Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run on Friday, February 6 beginning at 5:30p.m. at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia.

The Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run, created by New Era Events, is a road race that runners and non-runners can enjoy what is considered the best part of road races, the post-race festivities. The race will begin and end in the same location as the runners will cross the start and finish line to complete the 0.0 mile long race.

Participants can register at for only $35. Every participant will receive a t-shirt, number bib, and access to post-race activities. A portion of the proceeds from the race will go to Children’s Country Week Association.

Post-race festivities include live music provided by Bangarang and Bryen O’Boyle of the former local cover band Mr. Greengenes.

For more information about Philly0.0 Instant Gratification Run visit or

XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is a dining and entertainment district centered in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The one-of-a-kind venue features over a dozen restaurant and entertainment choices, including six main venues: Broad Street Bullies Pub, PBR Bar & Grill (Professional Bull Riders), Philly MarketPlace, Spectrum Grill, Victory Beer Hall and the first-ever NBC Sports Arena. XFINITY Live! is a joint partnership between Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor and Baltimore-based The Cordish Companies.

New Jersey Republicans Advance Jobs Package

The New Jersey State Senate Economic Growth Committee passed legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to create the “New Jersey Business Advisory Council” to recommend job-creating ideas to the state Economic Development Authority, the legislature and the governor.

S-2709 is part of the Senate Republican’s fourth phase of a new six-phase jobs bill package, which will not cost taxpayers extra money and should quickly garner bipartisan support and passage. Senator Beck unveiled today five other bills in the fourth phase: “Improving New Jersey’s Economic Development Policies & Programs.”

“The diverse Business Advisory Council will provide unique insights about New Jersey’s business climate and what employers need to locate, grow and expand here,” Beck said. “This legislation along with other bills in our new jobs package will provide state leaders with a complete picture and the answers necessary to correct the actual root causes of job loss and, in turn, make New Jersey more attractive to job creators who will hire more people in our top-notch workforce. This package also helps spotlight New Jersey’s businesses in the global economy by promoting their products and giving them more opportunities to grow and expand.”

Senate Bill 2709 stipulates that the Business Advisory Council is to be comprised of 12 volunteer business representatives from various economic sectors, company sizes, geographic locations and northern, central and southern regions of the state. They will meet at least four times a year and offer solutions to help improve New Jersey’s competitiveness and job climate. Recently, Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo, a Democrat, signed on as co-prime sponsor of S-2709.

Here is a briefing of the five other “Improving New Jersey’s Economic Development Policies & Programs” bills announced today by Senator Beck:

Provides state leaders with the answers necessary to correct the actual root causes of job loss here and, in turn, make New Jersey more attractive to job creators. Requires the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development to execute a comprehensive survey to explain why businesses leave or downsize. Results from the written survey, which would be created with input from the state Economic Development Agency, would be compiled into an annual report by the labor commissioner. That report must be promptly published on the department’s website and submitted to the governor and legislature. (S-2710, sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco, Sarlo, Beck);

Improves data collection, analysis and employment information within the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) to better New Jersey’s economic development strategies. This bill will consolidate research in one place to improve our economic development decisions throughout state government. (To be introduced immediately);

Permits local governments to enter into regional partnerships for the purpose of coordinating economic development initiatives. This will make it easier for local governments to accomplish job-creating projects that cross government boundaries. (To be introduced immediately).

Creates a singular online database of products that are manufactured in New Jersey to promote locally made products and to connect New Jersey businesses with New Jersey-based suppliers. This will also set up teams of EDA officials and business experts to travel the state and implement this local supply network. (To be introduced immediately).

Improves the EDA’s ability to market New Jersey-made products to growing markets across the world. This will help lead to new businesses and job creation. (To be introduced immediately).

In the coming weeks, the media will be advised as Senate Republicans continue to tour the state to help grow the economy and create opportunities for people, by unveiling more new legislation in these two remaining categories of the new jobs bill package:

·        Reducing Burdensome Regulations
Enhancing Tourism & Agriculture

Here are links to information about the four phases of the new jobs bill package that have already been unveiled:

·        Fostering Innovation
·        Developing New Jersey’s Workforce
·        Lowering Excessive Costs
Improving New Jersey’s Economic Development Policies & Programs (this release)

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans continue to push other cost-cutting solutions to lower nation-high property taxes; simplify and reduce this state’s income tax structure; and make government more efficient and less burdensome.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

'Brady Bunch' Super Bowl Ad Sneak Peek

The Disgraceful Facts About Obamacare

'With You' Celebrates Stars' Dual Milestones

You Can’t Take It With You is proud to celebrate a very special day – January 30th, which marks the date of James Earl Jones’ Broadway debut fifty seven years ago.  On January 30th 1958, James Earl Jones, currently starring as Martin Vanderhof in You Can’t Take It With You, made his Broadway debut in Sunrise at Campobello at The Cort Theatre. Emmy Award-winning screen and stage star Richard Thomas (“The Waltons”, “The Americans”, Race) who is currently starring as Paul Sycamore, also made his Broadway debut – at the age of seven – in Sunrise at Campobello.

The play marks the first time Thomas has performed on stage with James Earl Jones in more than 50 years.  They reunite after last appearing on stage together in their Broadway debuts in 1958’s Sunrise at Campobello.  And while this is their first time working together since that time, they have appeared combined in nearly 100 productions in the theatre.

You Can’t Take It With You began previews on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014, opened on Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street) and extended its initial limited run to Sunday, February 22nd 2015.   Tickets are sold on or by calling 212-239-6200.

The production is directed by six-time Tony Award nominee Scott Ellis (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains, 1776). The cast includes:  Tony Award and Outer Critics’ Circle winner James Earl Jones (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Fences, The Great White Hope) as Martin Vanderhof, Emmy Award-nominated TV and film star Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”, My Girl) as Alice Sycamore, Tony Award winner Elizabeth Ashley (Take Her, She’s Mine, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man) as The Grand Duchess Olga, Tony Award nominee Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots, Wicked, “Masters of Sex”) as Essie Carmichael, Tony Award nominee Johanna Day (Proof, August: Osage County) as Mrs. Kirby, three-time Drama Desk nominee Julie Halston (Anything Goes, The Divine Sister) as Gay Wellington, Byron Jennings (The Merchant of Venice, Inherit the Wind) as Mr. Kirby, Patrick Kerr (Stage Kiss, The Ritz) as Mr. De Pinna, Fran Kranz (Death of a Salesman) as Tony Kirby, Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as Penelope Sycamore, Tony Award nominee Reg Rogers (Holiday, The Royal Family) as Boris Kolenkhov, Will Brill (Act One) as Ed Carmichael, Nick Corley (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as a G-Man,  Theatre World Award winner Crystal A. Dickinson (Clybourne Park) as Rheba, Austin Durant (War Horse) as a G-Man, Marc Damon Johnson (Lucky Guy) as Donald, Karl Kenzler (Mary Poppins) as Henderson, and Joe Tapper (Witnessed By The World) as a G-Man.

The design team includes: scenic design by Tony Award nominee David Rockwell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray), costume design by 2014 special Tony Award recipient Jane Greenwood (Act One, Waiting for Godot), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Donald Holder (South Pacific, The Lion King), sound design by Jon Weston (The Bridges of Madison County), and hair and wig design by Tom Watson (Act One, Waiting for Godot). Three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County, The Last Five Years, Parade) composed original music for the production.

You Can’t Take It With You is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jam Theatricals, Dominion Pictures, Gutterman & Winkler, Daryl Roth, Terry Schnuck, Jane Bergère, Caiola Productions, Rebecca Gold, LaRuffa & Hinderliter, Larry Magid, Gabrielle Palitz, Spisto & Kierstead, SunnySpot Productions, VenuWorks Theatricals, Jessica Genick and Will Trice.

Penn Staters Praise Barron's Rejection Of Freeh

A statement from Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship:

"Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship applauds Penn State President Eric Barron's criticism of the Freeh Report. Our Legal Review of the Freeh Report, which we published in September 2012 (more than two years ago), listed many of the same defects identified today by President Barron, as well as several others.

"Since then, we have pleaded with the Board of Trustees, the administration, the press, and the general public to read our review to gain an understanding of the report's insurmountable shortcomings. We completely debunked the notion that there was anything "independent" or fair about the report. Our examination conclusively showed that the $8.1 million "investigation" was not conducted properly, was not complete, and is of very little value (even its recommendations were cribbed from other sources that the university could have accessed at no expense).

"We are extremely happy that President Barron understands the shortcomings of this defective document. Nevertheless we are disappointed that the leaders of the Board of Trustees still refuse to acknowledge the incredible damage that it inflicted on the University and its students, faculty, employees, alumni and supporters. Finally, we thank President Barron for recognizing the passion of all those associated with Penn State, whose relentless fight for the truth was the catalyst for his review. We hope that his stance will lead to a complete repudiation of the report by the Board of Trustees and other subsequent actions to restore the University’s reputation."

Maribeth Roman Schmidt
Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, with a membership of more than 40,000 Penn State alumni and supporters, will endorse three candidates for the upcoming 2015 Board of Trustees election. For further information onPS4RS, please visit, email, or go to Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.

With One Click, You Can Help Lynne Abraham!

Following is a very special message from Lynne Abraham:


Our city faces many difficult challenges and in order to overcome these obstacles, we don’t just need new leadership – we need a mayor that will have the guts to fight and get things done. That is why I am running for mayor and need your support to continue to push our campaign forward.

While the political insiders want to continue down the road we are on, I believe that we can and must do better. Working together, we can meet these challenges and strive to make Philadelphia the Next Great American City.

Click here to donate in support of my campaign:

Today, our city government is only working for the special interests and political insiders. Almost 30% of our population is at or below the poverty line. It is time that we focus on tackling the problems that affect everyone. We owe it to our future generations to tackle these problems today. Every child deserves to grow up with a quality education, on safe streets and they shouldn’t have to worry about where they’ll get their next meal.

The road to do this will not be easy, and it will take a lot of work. But with your help we can win this election and transform our city. Please donate what you can in support of my campaign at

With gratitude,

Philadelphia Museum Of Art Presents FRAKTUR

Drawn with Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection
February 1- April 26, 2015
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Special Exhibitions Gallery, first floor

This winter the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Drawn with Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection, an exhibition featuring bold, bright, and captivating drawings and manuscripts that celebrated important life events among the first European immigrants to settle in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

The exhibition represents the most comprehensive study of the last fifty years to be devoted to fraktur, one of the most iconic forms of American folk art. It celebrates the promised gift to the Museum of more than 230 works from this important collection, and will be accompanied by a landmark publication. The Johnson Collection of rare and exquisite works on paper will more than double the Museum’s distinguished holdings of fraktur, making it among the finest collections of its kind in the United States. Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, stated: “The Johnson collection has been assembled with great care and is widely admired by those who appreciate the rich artistic legacy of the Pennsylvania Germans. We are deeply grateful for this promised gift and are delighted to be able to share it for the first time with our visitors. It brilliantly complements the Museum’s rich collection of Pennsylvania decorative arts, and we are thankful to Joan and Victor Johnson for their exceptional generosity.”

The exhibition encompasses the period from 1750 to around 1850 and includes works by many of the finest and best known fraktur artists: Johann Adam Eyer, Samuel Gottschall, Andreas Kolb, Friedrich Krebs, Henrich Otto, Durs Rudy, Johannes Ernst Spangenberg, and the anonymous scribe nicknamed the Sussel-Washington Artist. On view will be works that originated from southeastern Pennsylvania counties including Adams, Berks, Bucks, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and York.  

Drawn with Spirit explores the inspiration folk artists took from each other and how designs were transferred to new locations. In addition to its focus upon Pennsylvania, the Johnson Collection includes works made in New Jersey, New York, and Ohio, as well as Ontario, Canada.

Among the earliest works in the exhibition is a hand-drawn sheet of music from a manuscript hymnal made in Lancaster County at the Ephrata Cloister, a pietist community founded in the 1730s that produced some of the first printed fraktur in America. It will be shown near works from the 1780s which were made at the Cloister and then decorated and completed by artists such as Henrich Otto and Friederich Speyer.

Another exceptional piece is a watercolor of Adam and Eve, dating to 1834-35, attributed to Samuel Gottschall, a Mennonite schoolmaster from Montgomery County, whose works are often characterized by brilliantly colored images. Also on view will be a delightful birth and baptismal certificate with lively borders of flowers and figures made by Johannes Ernst Spangenberg for Anna Maria Oberle, who was born in 1798 in Northampton County. Joan and Victor started collecting fraktur over sixty years ago, attending small country auctions and shops across Pennsylvania where they acquired exquisite pieces that had just come out of family ownership.

As Joan Johnson notes: “The Philadelphia Museum of Art had a group of fraktur long before anybody else did and one of the reasons we decided to give our “treasures” to the Museum is its superb collection of Pennsylvania German art. It’s an illuminating combination, and I think the public will see what a creative group of people the Pennsylvania Germans were.” The Johnson Collection complements the Museum’s renowned collection of Pennsylvania German redware pottery, textiles, ironwork, and paint-decorated furniture. Joan Johnson commented: “The same decorative motifs that you find on fraktur are also seen on the [Museum’s] redware and furniture, so these pieces mesh beautifully.”

Hot 1994-2015 Super Bowl TV Spot!

Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric were stumped by the internet, and they are stumped by BMW's new electric car, in this Super Bowl ad.

PA. State Treasurer McCord Resigns

Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord has resigned.
McCord submitted his resignation to Governor Tom Wolf. It takes effect February 12.
Chief Counsel Christopher Craig will replace McCord.
“Please accept this letter as formal notification that I will resign from the Office of State Treasurer, effective 5 p.m. on February 12, 2015,” McCord told the governor. 
“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth as their elected State Treasurer for the past six years. But with my goals at Treasury now achieved – and with a new Governor now in office to appoint my successor – it is time for me to return to the private sector, where most of my life’s work has been.”
McCord never had a good relationship with Tom Wolf. He opposed Wolf in the Democratic primary for governor and even after Wolf won the primary and general election, McCord apparently never really warmed up to him.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Super Bowl Commercial 2015 - Newest Sensation!

Free Admission All Month At Jewish History Museum

The National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall in Philadelphia is pleased to announce that it will be offering free admission to all visitors throughout the month of February.

Due to the support of an anonymous donor, the Museum is able to offer this benefit in celebration of a seven-year loan extension for the iconic 1790 letter from George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island. In the letter, to which NMAJH has been home for the past three years, the nation’s first president proclaims “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” underscoring the new nation’s commitment to religious liberty and equality for people of all faiths.

“We are happy to further the noble work of your worthy institution and our most fruitful partnership,” says Richard Morgenstern, lender, of extending the loan to the Museum.

Ivy Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director of NMAJH, says “We were so proud to be chosen as the custodians and interpreters of this historic document and we are thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to share it with the public for seven more years. In making the month of February free to all visitors, we celebrate the right to religious freedom while making this historic, rarely displayed letter accessible to a wider audience.”

In addition to being able to see the George Washington letter, Free February at NMAJH will offer visitors complimentary access to the Museum’s core exhibition highlighting more than 360-years of Jewish life in America, themed tours, and two special installations, Liat Segal: Scattered Light and ‘Twas the Night Before Hanukkah.

In Scattered Light, Israeli artist Liat Segal gives new life to Washington’s celebrated 1790 letter. The high-tech work, which was commissioned by the Museum and represents Segal’s US debut, weaves together key phrases from Washington’s  letter with the reflections of Museum visitors collected from the Museum’s It’s Your Story recording booths. Both Washington’s words and the contemporary commentary speak to the significance of religious freedom and to the continuing role all citizens play in its preservation.
Generous support provided by Shirley and Albert H. Small, Jane and Stuart Weitzman, and the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region.

’Twas the Night Before Hanukkah explores the history of Hanukkah and Christmas music and the musicians, artists, and songwriters who wrote and performed them. The installation features well-known artists such as Irving Berlin, Benny Goodman, Bob Dylan, the Ramones, and Lou Reed. 
’Twas the Night Before Hanukkah is a collaboration between the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation.

As in prior years, the Museum will also be open and free on Presidents Day, Monday, February 16. Visitors on this special day will be treated to greetings from an actor portraying George Washington, interactive tours highlighting the theme of religious freedom (to be offered in English, Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew), and family activities. They will also have the opportunity to write their own letters about freedom with a quill pen.

The Museum Café will help ward off the cold with hot chocolate and grilled cheese throughout the month.

The National Museum of American Jewish History is located at 101 South Independence Mall East at the corner of Fifth and Market Streets in Philadelphia. Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am - 5:30 pm. NMAJH is closed most Mondays, including federal holidays and some Jewish holidays. Museum admission is $12.00 for adults, $11.00 for senior citizens and youth, free for children 12 and under, Museum Members, and active military with ID. For more information, visit or call 215.923.3811.

Don't Miss Vanya, Sonia, Masha, Spike!

Paper Mill Playhouse presents its winter comedy, Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

This touching and wickedly hysterical Tony Award-winning best play features Broadway, television and film veterans: Philippe Bowgen (Spike), Gina Daniels (Cassandra), Carolyn McCormick (Masha), Mark Nelson (Vanya), Michele Pawk (Sonia) and Jamie Ann Romero (Nina). Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will be directed by Don Stephenson.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike runs eight times a week at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from January 21 through February 15, 2015. The official press opening night is Sunday, January 25, at 7:00pm. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2014-2015 Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

The master of comedy, Christopher Durang, mixes six distinct characters and dishes up a hilarious stew in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up, but their peace is disturbed when their movie star sister Masha returns unannounced with her twenty-something boy-toy, Spike.

A weekend of rivalry, regret, and raucousness begins. "Will Vanya and Sonia ever find happiness? Will Masha sell the Bucks County farmhouse out from under them? And will Spike ever put his pants on?" writes USA Today.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now and range from $28 to $99. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at
Music"La Gioconda - Dance Of The Hours (Act III)" by Amilcare Ponchielli (Google PlayeMusic) 
Category Education  
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Hollywood's Race Problem? Here's The Solution . . .

The controversy over the movie Selma and its failure to garner a significant number of Oscar nominations continues. There weren't any Oscar nominations for director Ava DuVernay or lead actor David Oyelow. And, all of this year's nominees for best actor and best supporting actor are white.
To be sure, last year's Oscar winner was 12 Years A Slave and its African-American director, Steve McQueen was also nominated. Lupita Nyong'o also won the Best Supporting Actress award last year for 12 Years A Slave and Chitwetel Ejiofor was also nominated for the same film. So, it's not like blacks have been routinely ignored in Hollywood.
Black Oscar nominees have included Sidney Portier (won), James Earl Jones, Paul Winfield, Dexter Gordon, Denzel Washington (won), Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx (won), Don Cheadle, Terrance Howard, Forest Whitaker (won), Chitwetel Ejiofor, Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry (won), Gabourey Sidbe, Viola Davis and Quvenzhané Wallis. And, these are just the African-American best actor nominees. There are many more who have been nominated for best supporting actor over the years and several have won, including: Denzel Washington, Louis Gosset, Jr., Cuba Godding, Jr., Morgan Freeman, Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, Mo'Nique, Octavia Spencer and Lupita Nyong'o. In fact, black women won the supporting Oscar three years out of five recent years: 2009, 2011 and 2013. Bravo!
But you'd never know all this from the recent news reports which have painted Hollywood as racist.
So, let's grant what seems to be a predominant liberal argument: Hollywood has been unfair to African-Americans. The Oscars are racist.
What can we do about it?
Well, last we checked that well-known liberal Meryl Streep had four Oscars. Surely, she'd be happy to turn one over to an African-American. She'd hardly miss an Oscar.And everyone would love her all the more. She could start a trend.
And Jack Nicholson has three Oscars. He's a likeable, go-to sorta guy. We're sure he wouldn't mind giving back one of his Oscars for the cause.
Jane Fonda has two Oscars and she's about as far left as they get. She should make one of those Oscars available for a worthy African-American.
Ditto Sean Penn and Dustin Hoffman who each have two. They could spare one each. Likewise, Robert DeNiro and Kevin Spacey, each of whom have two Oscars.
And, with three Oscars, Daniel Day-Lewis may be British but why wouldn't he want to show an act of gratitude to the former colonies?
That gives us eight extra Oscars - a great bounty of appreciation from uber-liberal Hollywood.
That should do the trick, huh?

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