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What's so funny?

 Comedy goes under the microscope at URI
When guests arrive at URI’s first-ever humor symposium, “Open Mic, Open Minds: An Exploration of Social Issues Through Stand-up,” on Saturday, March 22, they will receive “gag bags” that contain a whoopee cushion or rubber chicken or electric hand buzzer in addition to the usual conference swag (folder, pen, water bottle).
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 20, 2014


Bert Crenca talks nooses, nuclear meltdowns, and 'Building AS220'

Our initial plan for interviewing AS220 co-founder and artistic director Bert Crenca involved a third participant: longtime Providence Journal arts writer Channing Gray.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 24, 2014


Farewell, pot bust photos

Local Media
It’s time to retire the marijuana bust photograph.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 20, 2014


Let's work together

Coworking spaces are on the rise in Rhode Island
We’re talking about those 21st-century gathering zones where people pay for access to shelter, a desk, climate control, coffee, wifi, and the general feeling they’re participating in a profound shift in the way we think about work.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 12, 2014


Brown at 250

The university by the numbers: stats, trivia, and fun facts
Brown University is not celebrating its 250th birthday quietly.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 06, 2014


Discussing fatal overdoses with RI's top doc

Public Health
Dr. Michael Fine gave Rhode Island a “B-” in his first-ever “State of the State’s Health” address at the State House on February 26.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 05, 2014


3 contests you should know about

"And The Winner Is . . ." Dept.
The bad news is that you’ve already missed your chance to submit an entry to the Providence Community Library’s “Dear Diorama” contest.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 05, 2014


Our home sweet home

Richard and Sharon Jenkins on Trinity Rep, living in Rhode Island, and teaming up on 'Oliver!'
Richard Jenkins has an absurdly impressive resume.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 26, 2014


Katy Perry, tighty-whities, and fine art from Ocean State Job Lot

Grants & Galleries
Our conversation ranged from Jesus to Photoshop to student debt to social media to her fascination with beards
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 26, 2014


Clay Pell's Winter Olympics

Can the neophyte pol surpass Taveras and Raimondo in the Dems' primary race?
Clay Pell is just a regular 32-year-old Rhode Island guy.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 23, 2014


9 Yards: An experimental approach to prison reform

Incarceration Nation
There are 15 participants in the first-ever 9 Yards program. Eight of them have a history of addiction involving cocaine, crack, heroin, or alcohol. Zero of them have high school diplomas, though 11 have obtained a GED.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 20, 2014


Real talk, 'radical love,' and plugged-in black consciousness

Black History Month
It took an extraordinary amount of time at the beginning of our recent interview with Reza C. Clifton to catalogue everything that she’s doing.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 12, 2014


Words of love

(a journalistic box of chocolates)
It would be tough to find a single company responsible for everything wrong with modern-day American Valentine’s Day. But your neighborhood CVS is a good place to start.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 06, 2014


A radical take on Black History Month

Activist Education
“Perhaps some of you will recall the Kenyan proverb that says, ‘Until the lion writes his or her own history, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.’ ”
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 06, 2014


Save these buildings!

The Providence Preservation Society fights for the soul of the city
This story is about mold. It’s about rotting floorboards and leaking roofs, vacant skyscrapers, vandalized homes, and churches where sinks and toilets are strewn across dusty basement floors.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  January 31, 2014


Student Survival Guide: 'I'm different now'

When "life-changing" isn't an exaggeration
In the summer of 2007, I purchased a used copy of William Zinsser’s On Writing Well at the Brown University Bookstore.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  January 22, 2014


Boycott breakers: 2014 election edition

The Political Scene
Regardless of how you feel about the recent return of Rhody “shock jock” John DePetro to the 9-to-noon slot on News Talk WPRO 630, you have to marvel at the situation it’s created.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  January 22, 2014


At RISD, a glimpse at kids behind bars

Incarceration Nation
Richard Ross spends a lot of time trying to get into prison.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  January 22, 2014


The banks are broken. Let's fix them — ourselves

Money Matters
In the second sentence of his new book, Checking the Banks: The Nuts and Bolts of Banking for People Who Want to Fix It , Tom Sgouros calls financial activists “almost by definition, dilettantes.”
By: PHILIP EIL  |  January 16, 2014


The RIEDC gets a makeover

The Economic Development Corporation is now the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (aka Commerce RI). But do the changes offer hope for the state's future?
Or are they just new attempts to exorcise the ghosts of the EDC board’s infamous $75 million vote on July 26, 2010?
By: PHILIP EIL  |  January 09, 2014


The Journal publishes climate deniers (and other opinion-page blunders)

As The ProJo Turns
In recent months, the opinion pages have made a conspicuous habit of publishing op-eds that a) blatantly oppose plugged-in, non-newspaper forms of communication, and b) don’t acknowledge the Journal ’s obvious financial interest in publishing such articles.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  December 31, 2013

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