Adventures in Huntingdon County

This past weekend I went off in search of some authentic Pennsylvania history with a very good friend.  During my years of research on the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, I learned of a second rail tunnel through Sideling Hill.  Although the Abandoned Turnpike / South Penn RR history is fascinating in its own right, what we sought had nothing to do with either.  And thanks to a recent surge in interest in the Abandoned Turnpike (which I hope I’ve been at least a small part of), fewer Pennsylvanians have probably heard of our destination:  The East Broad Top Railroad.

Remember that with the exception of the Allegheny Mountain & Lehigh Valley tunnels, all of the PA Turnpike tunnels were once railroad tunnels for the never-finished South Penn.  The concrete shell you see today was built sometime between the late 1930s and early 1960s, depending on whether you’re travelling through the newer twinned tubes (mostly eastbound) or the original tunnels (mostly westbound).  All of the original tunnels date back to shortly after the Civil War.  I point this out only because in today’s Interstate-highway- and jet-based world, it’s easy to forget that railroads were once the dominant force in our economy.

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On Content Moderation

(Important note:  I am not a lawyer.  Nothing on this site, including this post, constitutes legal advice.  Everything in this post may be completely inaccurate; in fact, you should assume that it is.  Always consult a qualified attorney for legal guidance.)

There is a long-standing (and incorrect) Internet Urban Legend that has spent well over a decade misleading people who should know better.  The legend in question pertains to sites that contain user-submitted content, such as — for example — PennLive.  The legend goes something like this:

“If you edit, delete, or otherwise modify user-submitted content, you become responsible for said content and any legal ramifications it brings.”

This wildly-inaccurate assumption is regularly dispensed by Armchair Internet Lawyers and dime-a-dozen consultants.  And it needs to die.

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$850 Million in the Hole

The last two weeks have seen a lot of cheering* and celebration* over the passing* of the 2010 Pennsylvania Budget.  This is good* news because unlike last year’s disaster, not a single state agency was forced to alter operations and not a single state employee was forced to work without pay.  Now that the budget is finally* in place*, we can go on with our lives* and enjoy things as they are for the next 11.5 months.

* – There’s a catch.

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Tweetup: Choice of Venue?

January’s Central PA Tweetup is scheduled, as always, for the third Wednesday of the month.  That means we’ll be getting together on 1/20/10 around 7pm to hang out, drink beer, and — if you’ve never been to one before — meet your fellow area Tweeps face-to-face.

We’ve been doing these things for a while now.  What’s it been … two years?  Normally we do this at the Abbey Bar, upstairs at Appalachian Brewing Company.  Over the last few tweetups, several people have suggested rotating through different venues for a change of scenery.  Between the clamor of wrapping up 2009, selling my house, and preparing everything for Moving Day ™, I completely forgot to post about the matter.  So, with a week and a half to spare, here’s your chance to sound off on how the Tweetups go.

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