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August 2010

July 2010

Barber Frank cutting hair for 70 of his 88 years

Frank Salemno, who turned 88 this week, shown here giving a haircut to long time customer Charlie Gallagher, received a citation from Philadelphia's Mayor for barbering at his shop in Chestnut Hill for seventy years! Frank Salemno (FS) “I’ve been in business here in Chestnut Hill – here’s an article they did in the Philadelphia Inquirer, it was out Tuesday – seventy years! HOW’D YOU GET YOUR START? FS: I was cleaning up the barber shop. I used to get a dollar a week. Charlie Gallagher, customer (CG):This shop here or somewhere else? FS: Same shop. And then when I was old enough I went to barber school. WHOSE SHOP WAS IT WHEN YOU WERE CLEANING IT UP? FS: The guy’s name was Domenic Rosetti. CG: Like Rosetta stone. FS: Yup. CG: The mayor was here this week. Tell him about the Mayor, Frank. FS: The Mayor came here yesterday and I got this from the Mayor, “City of Philadelphia- Citation” and that’s his signature. WHAT ARE YOU BEING CITED FOR? FS: Being a dummy, I don’t know. CG: Longevity, hangin’ in there, ever hear that expression? FS: Right, my birthday was Thursday the 22nd - I was 88. CG: He’s the best barber in the whole world. FS: That’s right. CG: Know how I know that? He told me this morning. YOU STILL USE THE STRAP TO SHARPEN YOUR RAZOR? FS: There’s a strap over there. I beat my customers when they get out of line… Frank Salemno, barber and long-time customer Charlie Gallagher,Frank’s Barber Shop, Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA. Watch video interview here.

Richard Morais' Hundred Foot Journey


WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT READING YOUR BOOK ALOUD? “As you can see I’m a bit of a ham and authors love talking about themselves. Nothing gives them more pleasure. I actually always wanted to be an actor so I realized early enough on that I wasn’t a stable enough person to be an actor because it’s a very unstable life and the ragged edges of my personality would be magnified in that situation so I decided to be a writer… The next time I went down to Bombay, there was an actor who introduced me and I was sort of inspired by his presence to put on an Indian accent and so I went home and I called my wife up and I said, “Yeah I think it went pretty well. I read in an Indian accent” And she said, “Tell me you didn’t.” [Audience laughter] And the reason I say this is that the way I’m reading it now is the way I hear it. One of the great things about fiction writing is for a little while you can pretend you’re not who you are. You can pretend you’re someone else in the world. And that is the great joy and liberation of fiction writing.” Richard Morais, author, The Hundred Foot Journey. Watch video and Morais reading aloud from book in Indian accent here.

Time between screams down black hole


This is an illustration from a kids’ course on black holes. I’m teaching black holes in elementary school now and some kid did an illustration of a guy falling in. What happens when you fall into a black hole is that you slow down or you seem to slow down. This is your first scream, second scream, third, fourth, fifth, and it’s taking more and more time between each scream . . .So we think we understand something about time . We think we know something about quantum mechanics and we have no idea how to fit the two together. John Ashmead, “Time and Quantum Mechanics.” From his blog entry of July 11, 2010:"Spoke at noon yesterday (July 10th, 2010) at the Chestnut Hill Book Festival; in spite of heavy rain a nice crowd. This was my Balticon Time & Quantum Mechanics talk, adjusted for a general (rather than a science fictional) audience. I covered over a hundred years of physics in less than an hour — a lot — but the audience survived & even seemed to prosper, asking some good questions!"Click here to see video excerpt from talk and 9 second interview.


A Jew and Jehovah's Witnesses engage


THE PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THE BIBLE IS THE HEAVEN AND HELL STUFF THAT IF I DON’T BELIEVE A CERTAIN WAY I’M GOING TO GO TO HELL? DO YOU BELIEVE I’M GOING TO GO TO HELL? Carol Peopples: “No, well…” Alice Tillman “You have to understand what hell is” CP: Yes, in getting with the doctrine… AT: …the Bible has its own definition of these things. What people believe hell is and what people believe heaven is you’d be surprised. The Bible gives you a reasonable and appropriate answer for it. Carol Peopples, left, and Alice Tillman, right, Jehovah Witnesses on Mrs. Peopples second or third impromptu visit to our house. Watch video interview here

Poetry slamming to the nationals in Philly

MS Wise, Poet YOU CAME BUT YOU’RE NOT SURE YOU WANT TO READ ALOUD? “Yeah, I’m not sure because I do poetry a whole lot and sometimes I want to sit back and listen. BUT YOU HAVE SOME STUFF JUST IN CASE? I do, definitely. I have stuff. [Later that evening] “If you don’t believe in the second coming of Christ I can guarantee you’re going to feel him through these rhymes of mine. I’ve been criticized. They say she thinks she a prophet, maybe because I’m looking for profit like these televised preachers pocketing paper…” Alyesha Wise of West Philadelphia, a champion poet, goes by “Ms. Wise.” With friend Jenica Jones at “the Fuze” open mic and poetry slam, InFusion Coffee and Tea Gallery, Mount Airy. See Watch video interview and poetry segment here


"Open mic is anybody can go up for probably 3 to 4 minutes and they can read a poem or a short story or do anything- they can sing. Then the slam is a poetry competition. People have a time limit of 3 minutes and there will be judging and at the end there will be a cumulative score. People will be ranked. And this specific slam is to be qualified for iWPS which is a national individual poetry slam that will be in Philly this year in October." Hannah Adams of South Philly, before she went on to take top prize at theFUZE poetry slam, InFusion Coffee and Tea Gallery, Mount Airy. Watch video interview and slam segments here

Takes just herself to movies for first time


YOU’RE TAKING YOURSELF TO THE MOVIES TODAY? “Yes I am.” AND YOU CONFESSED THAT IT’S THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU’RE TAKING JUST YOURSELF? “First time taking myself to the movies.” WHAT’S THE OCCASION? “I just said, you know what, why not? If there’s something that you want to do, life’s too short to wait for other people. Just pick up yourself and go. WHAT ARE YOU SEEING TODAY? Karate Kid. I heard it was really exciting. I’ve been promoting it with people. So I’m telling people to go for it. Go and see it. I’m a supporter, love Will Smith, love Jaden.” Leslie Burnley of Overbrook at United Artists Movie Theater, Manayunk. Watch video interview here.