From left: Admiral Michelle J. Howard, Freeman A. Hrabowski, Wilma Rudolph
March 3, 2016 | Tribble Nation

Let's remember more than pain next Black History Month

So much of Black History Month focuses on the negative. It is also especially important to remember the positive contributions as well.

Still image from 'A Christmas Story'
December 8, 2015 | Tribble Nation

Four movie marathon contenders beyond 'A Christmas Story'

This is 15th year that TNT and TBS will marathon "A Christmas Story" from 8 p.m. Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. Perhaps it is time that we look for another Christmas-themed movie to entertain us for the day.

December 2, 2015 | Tribble Nation

2015 Black Tribbles gift list for geeks

It's the holiday season with the whoop-de-do and hickory dock. And don’t forget to hang up your sock, 'cause just exactly at 12 o'clock, the Tribbles will be coming down your chimney with the perfect gifts for that special geek in your life.

October 22, 2015 | Tribble Nation

15 years of haunts for South Philly's Fright Factory

An abandoned warehouse, relic of a city's former industrial prowess, stands awash in shadows brooding against the 21st century skyline. A throng of citizens numbering in the hundreds lines its gates. The history of the edifice is likely an interesting story — an old cotton mill? a steel manufacturer? — but that's not what brings the people to 2200 Swanson Street.

October 20, 2015 | Tribble Nation

While you were sleeping: blood-suckers, 'ultimate' heroes, and a real-life lightsaber

The Black Tribbles invite you to check out some interesting news items, intriguing tidbits, divergent points of view and just plain ol' funtastic geekirific thingies that you may have missed while you were sleeping.

Detail from the cover image of 'Updraft.
September 30, 2015 | Tribble Nation

Fran Wilde learns to fly with debut novel 'Updraft'

The cable television fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" features one of the most awe-inspiring opening sequences on television today. The map of Westeros comes alive as castles, towers, bridges and trees grind and unfold and spiral upward to take shape before your eyes. The incredible sequence comes to mind when I read Fran Wilde's imaginative tale, "Updraft" (Tor Books).

September 28, 2015 | Tribble Nation

Who will be the next Wes Craven? Here are 4 candidates.

The world of horror cinema lost one of its masters on Aug. 30, when director Wes Craven succumbed to cancer at the age of 76. His work lives on — but what of his legacy? Who will be the "scream king" of the early 21st century?

Lonnie Franklin Jr., charged with 10 counts of murder in what have been dubbed the
September 24, 2015 | Tribble Nation

While you were sleeping: 'Grim Sleeper,' a wormhole prototype, Penn's 'Experiment,' anime convention

The Black Tribbles invite you to check out some interesting news items, intriguing tidbits, divergent points of view and just plain ol' funtastic geekirific thingies that you may have missed while you were sleeping.

Left: Cover art for
August 26, 2015 | Tribble Nation

'Artists against Police Brutality' draws on humanity of victims

The horrific tales of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland have been seared into the public consciousness by social media and fueled a seething outrage in the African-American community. It was this madness that caused Bill Campbell to make a statement against this injustice with APB: Artists against Police Brutality, a comic book anthology focusing on civil rights and inequality within the justice system.

June 4, 2015 | Tribble Nation

A love letter to @WizardWorld and @ECBACC

Geek-centric and geek-approverd though they may be, Wizard world and the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention are becoming shopping malls. But fear not! I can fix this problem that plagues our foremost geek gatherings for I've thought longer and harder about this issue than I imagined I would. So here are a few directives that will add needed energy and spontaneity to the conventions.

Detail from the book cover for
April 30, 2015 | Tribble Nation

Social justice movements are 'engaged in a science fiction activity'

The Black Tribbles speak with writer Adrienne Maree Brown about recognizing the science fiction aspect of the many social justice movements of the last few years.

April 28, 2015 | Tribble Nation

Casting the Octavia Butler movie of our speculative, afrofuturist, sci-fi dreams

The Black Tribbles set aside April 2015 to honor the life and legacy of noted science fiction author Octavia Butler. Beginning in 1976 with "Patternmaster," the first of the "Patternist" series, and concluding in 2005 with the stand-alone vampire study "Fledgling," Ms. Butler blazed a trail through the genre rarely seen by any author, male or female. She won several Hugo and Nebula awards while using the lens of speculative fiction to magnify issues of race, gender and social concerns. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz says that Octavia Butler, in his eyes, wrote "nine perfect novels," including literary classics "Parable of the Sower" and "Kindred."

February 25, 2015 | Tribble Nation

While you were sleeping: How to watch 'Puss in Boots,' plus Philly's Andorra and Lydia René

Nertflix has a must-watch "Puss in Boots" series — even better on a 75-inch screen. We can't stop listening to Philly musicians Andorra and Lydia René. And Storm Tribble is digging on the Independence Seaport Museum.

February 18, 2015 | Tribble Nation

LeVar Burton, Mae Jemison and 5 more geeks launch Black Tribbles Hall of Fame

With February's distinction as Black History Month, the Black Tribbles have created the Tribbles Hall of Fame, a virtual shrine to those luminaries of science, history and special achievement who have proudly worn their geek as a badge of honor.

From left: Erik Mack (Master Tribble), Jasmine Mack (Phoenix Tribble), Jason Richardson (Spider-Tribble), Kennedy Allen (Strom Tribble), Len Webb (BatTribble), Danae Richardson (Scully Tribble), and Randy Green (Super Tribble). (Jeanette Woods/WHYY)
February 13, 2015 | Tribble Nation

How to love a geek: A very special Black Tribbles report

Peter Parker lives the dream of every nerd, winning the affections of his teen-crush-turned-supermodel Mary Jane Watson. Only in the comic books? Not so fast, my friend! It can happen to you, if you're a geek.

Dr. Derrick Pitts, left, henceforth known to Tribble Nation as UniversalTribble, stands with Storm Tribble (Kennedy Allen), Super Tribble (Randy Green), Spider-Tribble (Jason Richardson), and BatTribble (Len Webb) in WHYY's Studio 2. (Jeanette Woods/WHYY)
February 3, 2015 | Tribble Nation

Derrick Pitts on diversity in space exploration, multiple universes, and what the U.S. defense budget should be spent on

This month, your favorite Tribbles kick off 2015 with the conclusion of SPACEHEADS, a December-long , extensive celebration of astronomy and the planetary sciences with a dazzling interview with local astronomer Dr. Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute.

January 30, 2015 | Tribble Nation

While you were sleeping: CW preps 'Vixen' debut, NASA nears Pluto, and hip hop lives!

The Academy of Natural Sciences preps women for science careers, The CW develops "Vixen," hip hop gives us hope, New Horizons nears Pluto, and we're reading on the john.

Leon: Protector of the Playground (Image courtesy of Jamar Nicholas)
December 16, 2014 | Tribble Nation

Jamar Nicholas on 'Leon: Protector of the Playground,' 'Benson' and a fat Wonder Woman

Philadelphia artist Jamar Nicholas returns to the bookshelves in 2015 with "Leon: Protector of the Playground," a graphic novel featuring a hip kid hero following in the footsteps of his superhero mother. Nicholas joins the Black Tribbles at WHYY Studios

December 23, 2014 | Tribble Nation

While you were sleeping: New Bryan Lee O'Malley project, Star Wars VII, a '20s metal band,' NextFab, Mike Nichols

While you were sleeping: "Scott Pilgrim" creator Bryan Lee O'Malley has a new graphic novel; why "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" is gonna be great; a banjo-pickin', washboard-scratchin' band you need to listen to right now; a 'Fab' workshop in Philadelphia; and the resurrection of Mike Nichols.

December 11, 2014 | Tribble Nation

The Black Tribbles' guide to Christmas shopping for geeks

'Tis the season to show that special geek in your life just how much he or she means to you. Go the extra mile and bring home one of the geek-centric holiday gift items the Black Tribbles have discovered in 2014.

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