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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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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wise Words From a Local Grandfather 

Wise words deserve to speak for themselves. Truth needs no biography, no bibliography, just the the test of whether the ideas resonate in the soul. So let's quote:

"Emotional wounds are the same. Sometimes the wounds do not heal because the mind gets all involved and says things like, 'I should do this and I'll feel better," or ... 'I am hurting because of what another person did, and once they fix it, I will feel better.' ... Most of all, you need time."

"I know it is human nature to fight for personal justice. ... But even more I hope you can turn your anger into the energy to fight for justice for others."

"Most of us have more longing for love and closeness than can ever be fulfilled. So the question is not how we fill that void. The question is: how do we live with that longing?"

"After about thirty years of studying the human mind, I've come to the conclusion that it's like a malfunctioning kidney. ... Our minds should probably filter out about 90 percent of our thoughts!"

"Take with you the wisdom you have acquired from your parents, your grandparents and your teacher. But remember, this wisdom is not necessarily your truth. Like Abraham, you must go forward in faith, and you must be attentive to the quiet voice of your heart."

"I told them the longer the list of people they love fully, the happier they will be."

"The hunger to be known is greater than the hunger to be loved."

"Death is not your enemy. Knowing your life has an endpoint will help you appreciate every moment you're alive."

"Very often, people who step outside of themselves and begin helping others wind up getting better more quickly. They become part of the larger world. Their own problems no longer fill it up."

Quoted from: Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lesson on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life, by Dr. Dan Gottlieb, who has been sharing his gentle wit and kind consideration in his Inquirer column and WHYY-FM radio show for years.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Weekly Reader of Weird Web Stuff 

As discussed at 5 a.m. every Wednesday morning on WIP's Big Daddy Graham show! (At least when I haven't overslept.)

How to Open a Beer Bottle With a Piece of Paper

The necessity of beer is the mother of invention.

More beer news: Lenny Bruce honored with a brewski by Shmaltz Brewing, only semi-irreverent makers of He'Brew. (Probably not what Mel Gibson was drinking.)

Jesus sighting: Now his image is seen on a shrimp! Yipes, this story, also has, like, the World's Most Complete List of Miraculous Jesus Image Appearances, including on sheet metal, a nacho pan, and a truck tailgate. All that's missing is a picture of Jesus in the Bible so we can be sure what he looked like.

Suddenly, a hunch, or divine inspiration: Could it be? Let's check. Sure enough, Jesus has his own MySpace page. No resemblance to "fish bone" Jesus.

APB! APB! : Cops quickly find stolen doughnut truck. "Still intact was the entire load of glazed, sugar and cream doughnuts, as well as apple fritters, bear claws." Wait a minute, get us some coffee, while we prepare this "evidence" for tasting, I mean testing. Also: Gotta check to see any looks like Jesus.

Newest stuporhero? Hot-off-the-presses, there's a comic book about a vigilante sex therapist called Bra-Man?! Yeah, there's a superhero you can trust, a bottle-lugging guy with a pink bra on his head. Why? Just guessing: Because his IQ is 38 Double-D. Next issue: Bra-Man winds up in a padded cell!

In related news: New Zealand OKs topless porn-star parade. Maybe Auckland should change its name to Gawkland.

Long harm of the law: Having sex with her husband could cost Minnesota massage therapist her license. Seems he was a customer, and statute puts limitations on relations with ex-clients.

Weirder than a Jesus sighting: Finally, here's an amazing picture, from a series of supposedly real photographs of what caterpillars did to a bike:

Monday, August 07, 2006

NBC's 'Treasure Hunters' Hits Philadelphia! 

I'm blogging during Monday night's Treasure Hunters on NBC, because the first stop is Philadelphia! And the first-place team, which goes by the name The Geniuses (all three have double majors at SMU), has a player who's a hometown guy!

Boy, does long-sideburned Francis Goldshmid (right) think his team has the edge. And literally it soon does, because blond Genius Charles is first one crawling out on a ledge 22 stories up, outside the historic Land Title Building at 100 S. Broad St. The fair-haired fellow seems scared, but, hey, he's attached to one of those reality-show-save-your-bacon tethers. Inching along, past window after window, soon he's leaning down to read a plaque on the ledge. It reads: "Founders Hall, Girard."

Philly Genius Goldschmid proclaims: "I know Philadelphia so well, that as soon as I hear the name Girard, I know it's Girard Avenue!"

Oh yeah, smarty-pants? Sure it's not Girard College?

The other teams are soon following to the ledge, leaning over, reading the clue. Wait, Team Air Force team doesn't even notice the word Girard!

As the Geniuses keep driving and driving down Broad Street hoping they didn't already pass Girard, big driving Genius Sam grouses: "Tell me when to stop Francis, Mr. I Love Philadelphia."

Team Three, the Southie Boys, gets the full clue, including Girard.

Wait, the Air Force's "Net monkey" searches and up comes Girard College!

Mr. Philly Genius, you could be blowing it! (Helpful fact: Girard College is indeed off Girard Avenue, but it's at 22d Street, not Broad.)

Team Four, ex-CIA, has its ledge hedger getting closing in on the clue.

Soon Air Force is at Girard College, and next the hyper-combative ("I'll kill you" ... "Shut up! Shut the f--- up!" ... "I'm going to off you!") the Southie Boys have figured it out, too.

Ex-CIA and the Geniuses arrive at the same time at the private boarding school, which serves kids from needy single-parent homes.

"For one team, the hunt will end here," Mr. Narrator Man calmly intones. Suspense!

Next clue has something to do with ships.

Mr. Philly Genius stops to check out a model ship in a case, but then leaves.

Team Air Force checks a record book, and finds a clue, "Liberty," whose letters help open a DaVinci Code-like cylinder puzzle called a cryptex. They've made the Final Three.

Southie Boys just guess: Let's try L-I-B-E-R-T-Y! Woo-Hoo!!! No death threats now!

Down to just two: Geniuses Vs. Ex-CIA.

Geniuses find a hidden doorway behind a painting, but Ex-CIA walks right by! Geniuses find a storage room, full of maps and documents and more model ships. They look for the name of a ship with 7 letters. Wait, Ex-CIA finds an old map. Suddenly both teams are simultaneously (at least on TV) trying to put the word L-I-B-E-R-T-Y into the cryptex! They both get it open!!!!! A phone rings. "Congratulations," Mr. Hockey Haircut Announcer says to ... the Geniuses! Our Mr. Sideburns made it by a whisker!!!

Ex-CIA, see ya!

Holy smokes, the Philly Genius is in the running for "the richest prize in television history"!

If you'd like to read more about Francis' exploits on the show, check out the SMU Genius Quest blog where his mother, Gale, writes up lots of episodes.

Seems like there's one more show next Monday at 9, with a live finale the following week. But I'll have to call NBC to be sure.

10 Philly Sports Analogy Polls 

And now for something completely different ... well, not THAT different ... just pick the answer that you think words best.
Free polls from
Watching an NFL preseason game is like ...

Enjoying some juicy prime rib with a pitcher of beer.

Having a low-salt veggie burger with no-fat cheese and near-beer.

Free polls from
Trading Bobby Abreu for minor-league prospects is like ...

Turning an I.O.U. into a U.O.Me.

Trading Allen Iverson for a seventh-grade traveling team.

Free polls from
The decision NOT to trade Iverson right now is like ...

Swerving to avoid a car wreck without getting a scratch.

Having a lemon but knowing you can still make lemonade.

Free polls from
The Eagles off-season pickups were like ...

Asking out Jessica Simpson but still getting a date with Ashley.

Asking out Jessica Simpson and winding up with Marge.

Free polls from
Without T.O., the Eagles receiving corps appears to be ...

As elusive as the ghost of the greyhouse.

As shaky as a hula doll in a hurricane.

Free polls from
Bringing Charlie Manuel back next year would be like ...

Finding out your favorite old car doesn't need a new engine after all.

Putting a chipmunk in charge of a nut farm.

Free polls from
Billy King's predicament as Sixers GM is like ...

A guy in a Chevy having four flat tires in quicksand.

The chauffeur of a Rolls worried he might have to drive a taxi.

Free polls from
The Flyers are as close to a championship as ...

Johnny Depp is to winning an Oscar one of these years.

Capt. Jack Sparrow is to clean and sober.

Free polls from
Growing up a Philadelphia sports fans is like ...

Reading a great thriller you know will have a happy ending.

Being a kid whose parents don't believe in birthday parties.

Free polls from
These analogy polls are like ...

A modestly refreshing snack, if not a candy bar.

A rool canal during the SATs.

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

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