Q&A: With Online Privacy Expert Lori Andrews

The take away from I Know Who You Are And Saw What You Did is this: As an Internet user your rights are exactly none. Actually, that’s not true, you do have the right not to use it. But assuming you have waived that right, know that you are being watched, probed and profiled, your footprints are being tracked from your front door to the furthest reaches of the digital ether and back. They know who you are and what you did. Somewhere there is a file being kept on you. They know a thousand things about you. Preferences, locations, […]

REAL ESTATE: So You Want To Buy A Home Pt. 3

BY AARON STELLA I’m still not in the house I purchased last April. It was, livable when I bought it, albeit in need of some serious face lifting, which always has its snags and surprises. Like, throwing up some dry wall should be a relatively painless process—unless there’s three layers of petrified wallpaper covering what were once beautiful plaster walls which means you have to frame out the whole house before dry walling; or, tearing out water damaged dry wall in the kitchen only to find a larger-than-life brick Jenga puzzle teetering precariously overhead because some brain trust didn’t use […]

REAL ESTATE: So You Want To Buy A Home Pt. 2

BY AARON STELLA Never buy your first home for love; buy it for money. Embracing this maxim will maximize the considerable benefits of first-time home ownership. As I mentioned in our last edition, people don’t typically buy a home until they’re ready to settle down, and it’s this mindset that prevents many people from home owning and securing wealth until later in life. Your dream home doesn’t have to be your first; make it your fourth, and by that point you should be able to buy it in cash. After I got serious about buying my first home, I had […]

REAL ESTATE: So You Want To Buy A Home

BY AARON STELLA “Oh Osh magosh me? A house? Mortgages and mahogany? Brunches and backsplashes? Go pick on someone your own size!” Was what I told my broker/boss at CITYSPACE, a real estate agency, when she asked me if I was considering buying a house anytime soon. That was November 2009. I was 24-years-old and in my sixth month employed at CITYSPACE as their Web Content Associate. I possessed relatively little knowledge about real estate and home owning, and to me, people just didn’t purchase homes until they’re ready to settle down. A few weeks after my broker poked me […]

TECH: 7 Things To Consider Before Buying An iPhone

BY MARIA GODY OF NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO Apple’s iPhone isn’t even for sale yet, but already, consumers are lining up to purchase the gadget. But do you really need the iPhone? Here are seven factors to consider before you buy: 1. The Cool Factor: As is true for many other Apple products, the iPhone’s biggest “I want that” factor is its sleek styling. “If you love Apple, you love their gadgets, you have an iPod, you’ll be one of the first in line,” says Kent German, senior editor for cell phones at CNET.com, a technology news and reviews site. The […]

ADVICE: ASK MOTHER PHAWKER

DEAR MOTHER PHAWKER, Ok, here’s the setup: Back in 1989, I was in a band and playing a show in Nuremberg, Germany, with three other bands. I was the only woman, hanging out in the dressing room, which was in a basement down a LONG hall, far away from anything. A dude from one of the other bands held forth with a long, rambling, liquor- and heroin-induced diatribe about how women didn’t belong in rock. OK, whatever, asshole. But then he threatened to rape me. There were eight other people in that room, all men, and not one of them […]

ASK MOTHER PHAWKER: Open Letter To Britney

Dear Britney, I see you’re back in rehab, and I say congratulations. OK, I hear it only happened after your mom threatened to take away your kids, but if she had to tough-love you for the sake of her grandkids, too bad. Those boys deserve better than what you’re giving them right now. Look, honey, you had two babies in two years, saw your marriage fall apart and went a little batshit for a while there. It’s cool, and it happens to every one of us in some way — you just had enough money, enablers and access to publicity […]

ASK MOTHER PHAWKER: I Am NOT Italian, But I Am Willing To Learn

Yo-Yo Ma, I recently started dating this way hot Italian goddess from around the way, who just invited me over to her families’ Eagles-watching gathering this coming Saturday. Being as white as the driven snow, and perhaps not up to passing muster as the manliest of men (sorry, no blue collar callouses on these hands), I’m stressing the whole first impression thing. What do you suggest in regards to making that perfect first impression to Mamma Italiano and the boys? P.S. I also know nothing about football. Help! Signed, Whitey Dear ‘medigan, Kudos to you for thinking about this beforehand […]

ASK MOTHER PHAWKER: A Can Of Worms Marked DO NOT OPEN AT CHRISTMAS

Dear Mother Phawker, I know this time of year brings out the fun in family dysfunction for everyone, but this one’s a doozy. See, in my extended family there are three homosexuals. That’s not the problem, though. The thing is, they’re all very barely closeted and it drives me nuts. Each one of them has a partner, who is brought to family functions and introduced as “so-and-so’s friend,” despite the fact that these couples live, own houses and in one case, are raising a child together. Ma, I don’t begrudge anyone happiness and I’m glad my loved ones have found […]

ASK MOTHER PHAWKER: The Importance of Wearing Clean Underwear To EVERY Book Club Meeting, Not Just Some

Dear Mother Phawker: My wife is a member of a book club whose members meet once a month, rotating from one house to the next. Two weeks ago, my wife was the host, and I watched as our living room filled with about 10 women. I played a support role in the proceedings, keeping the refreshments flowing and the food bowls filled. Everything was fine until I bumped into one of the club members in the hall. We’ve been friends for several years, and she’s always been welcome in our home — maybe too welcome. She smiled at me and […]

Junk Science: YOUR HOSTILE PROJECTILES ARE NO MATCH FOR MY INVISIBLE FORCE FIELD, or, Surviving Thanksgiving “Back Up Off Me”-Style

ELIZABETH FIEND REPORTS: This is my Thanksgiving column. As a vegetarian, you probably expect me to write an article on the horrors of eating turkey — antibiotics, hormones, inhumane factory farming. As an anarchist you may think I’m going to rail against the hypocrisy behind the meaning of the day — the slaughter of Native Americans by the white man, the taking over of someone else’s land. Or perhaps you’re hoping for some vegetarian recipes. In that case, you shoulda tuned into my NPR Vegetarian Thanksgiving interview last year. Instead, I’m going to talk about how to use the science […]

ASK MOTHER PHAWKER: What’s Yer Name? Who’s Yer Daddy? Is He Rich? Is He Rich Like Me?

Dear Mother Phawker, I’m an old busy lady who has lived in Philadelphia for about a 100 years. I’ve booked bands, written about them, and worked a billion other jobs, all of which put me in direct contact with the general public and a host of new faces on a daily basis. Because my look is unique, they remember me, and I sadly, do not remember them. (All dudes in Philly indie bands tend to look alike, and since there are not as many women in the scene, we tend to stand out more). The years of memorizing names, faces, […]

ASK MOTHER PHAWKER: I Was So Much Older Then, I’m Younger Than That Now

Dear Mother Phawker: Is it strange that at age 22 I feel like an old fuckin’ hag who’s too loose to hang? I know all you really old people tell me that I’m still young and whatever, but being in college for four years only to come out directionless and uninspired really makes a person feel used up and pointless. Not to mention, VH1 is already running an “I Love the ’90s” series, recent parties have been annoyingly pervaded by ditzy, younger girls with higher metabolisms, and I get tired if I don’t get a full seven hours’ sleep. All […]