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What Is Early Word?
The Philadelphia Inquirer's experimental online "morning show", which began in Sept. 2005, went on hiatus in the summer of 2006, after a gradual shift to putting more of its content directly on

About the Host
Peter Mucha, husband and father of two, grew up in Cherry Hill and is a lifelong Philly sports fan. He's been writing and editing for The Inquirer for 18 years. His motto (at least for today): "If I'm not brief, give me grief."

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The Inquirer's ever-evolving way to start your day. Email. Phone: 215-854-2388.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Open Ended Question: What Do You Wish You'd Find Online? 

Outside of better porn, free money, free beer, a better job, and cheap dates, of course. Got an idea? Post it here.

What Should Stay, or Be Brought Back? 

Free polls from
What Early Word features would you like to see continue? (Vote for as many answers as you like)

Idiot / Knucklehead of the Week poll
Weekly rundown of wacky stories from the Web
Sports or other mega-polls (like this one)
Quizzes, as long as they're not too easy.
Short thoughtful essays on important topics
Profiles of successful people with local ties
Those "Lighter Side" attempted-humor bits
5 Stories Fast: Snappy summaries of surprising Inquirer stories
Hot Topics: Briefs about what people are talking about.
Sports rumors roundups
Links to news on
News, sports and people stories the papers miss
Traffic charts
First-person screw-up stories
Online Info: Links to stories with useful information.
Pretzel Nuggets quote list, if you'd keep the darn thing updated!
Truth or Goof: A true-false trivia quiz.
That other thing you forgot to list. (Please mention in a comment.)
Don't know / Don't care / Can't believe I read this far.
It's all good!!!!

What Do You Think of These Ideas? 

Free polls from
Which of the following do you agree with? (Vote for as many as you like.)

Aim for freewheeling fun, like a "morning zoo" type radio show.
No, stick to telling us what's new, whether its rumor or hard fact.
You need some kind of live chatroom-type software.
Inviting fans to have live one-on-one sports debates is a good idea.
Give it up, dude. World has too many blogs.
I'd like too see more zany videos, cartoons, Photoshopped photos. should have a blog where the public can post pictures.
I'd like to see discussion boards of TV shows, like Lost.
I visit at work, so save wacky stuff for weekends!
Answer cool questions, like Kids' Talk did, but for adults.
I'd like to see more about romantic restaurants, fashion and martinis.
You guys really overdo the crime reporting online.
Don't know / Don't care / I have to go catch a bus
You're missing the point. I'm leaving a comment.

And Another Nosy Inquisition 

This time, just one answer is allowed.
Free polls from
What do you look for most when you go online?

Local news besides sports.
Local sports news.
National and world news.
Multimedia offerings, like photography, podcasts and video.
Opinions and comments by other people.
Humor and/or entertainment.
Practical information.
Traffic and/or weather.
Any or all of the above, if it's well-done and interesting.
Other. (Please specify in a comment.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wacky WEBnesday 

Nude man beats car with pigeon. A pet pigeon.

Loud Barry Manilow and Doris Day music drives rowdies from Australian park, but the neighbors are going nuts. So what are officials considering? Switching to ABBA and Celine Dion. The sadists!

More news from "Down Under": Guy smuggles rare bird eggs in his underwear, says he was only trying to impress his girlfriend. Sure, she was going to peek, see a beak poking through a shell, and say, "Look at the little pecker!" Great plan.

Remember the Donovan McNabb bobblehead that looked like Luther Vandross? Well, that pales in comparison to the Great Bobblehead Boo-Boo in Baltimore. It was supposed to be a likeness of second baseman Brian Roberts, who's a white guy. But you couldn't be sure from the 20,000 bobbleheads the Orioles decided to return. Talk about lousy marketing departments. They should have given them out anyway, with coupons good at a tanning salons! The dolls, of course, are now selling on eBay.

Every year, at the Illinois Championship Cow Chip Throw, so much dung gets flung, people get "pooped"! Sounds like a Phillies press conference.

Kitten born with two faces is missing. Someone may have stolen it, story says. Why?

Two amazing mysteries: How come English couple, after winning the lottery, wants to keep working at McDonald's? And what the frenchfry does this English headline mean: "FLIPPING CHUFFED"? (As near I can tell it means "Flipping blissful.")

In Jesus news: (1) Hawaii man gets tossed in the clink for shouting "Thank you, Jesus!" after being exonerated of child abuse. (2) There's a statue of Jesus in Hoboken that its discoverer swears opened one eye! Photo suggests cutline: "Here's looking at you, kid."

Eagles Rankings Roundup 

Some prognosticators can't wait. They have to predict NFL team's fortune even before training camp. Of course, these premature evaluators are about as accurate as a golfer wearing oven mitts. But, hey, if it's football it still fascinates. So here's who's predicted what so far. Bottom line: Everybody thinks the Eagles will be better, but nobody's predicting a return to playoff-shoe-in status. By the way, if you know of an overlooked respectable source, name-drop it in a comment.

Eagles in Rankings
9th. Tied with other 3 teams in NFC East, in odds of winning next Super Bowl,
9th. Tied with 5 other teams, at 20-1 odds against winning Super Bowl,
12th. Just below the Cowboys, says Paul Domowitch, today's Philadelphia Daily News.
Not in Top 10. But Cowboys and Redskins are, says Trent Modglin of Pro Football Weekly. He puts Eagles "on the cusp."
Not lower than 17th. Profootballtalk is doing a countdown. No NFC East team's in the bottom half.
14th. Tied with Miami Dolphins in odds to win Super Bowl at 18-1 against.
17th. Behind Cowboys, Giants and Redskins in Super Bowl odds. MGM Mirage Race & Sports Book.
17th. Online Gambling Insider.
17th. A Sporting News blogger.

A view on the NFC East
"Too close to call." Vic Carrucci,
Where would you rank the Eagles in the NFL?
Free polls from

Go to: Early Word = Philadelphia Inquirer = = Lighter Side

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