A farm life

From photographs I sent to expert tracker Linda Spielman, she was able to tell me wonderful little stories about what animals on our farm were doing last winter. At the top of our hill, a mouse bounded across deep snow, its hind feet sinking into holes made by its front feet. “Lots of animals do …

Front Page Read More »

Are We All Actually Immortal?

“There is a realm the laws of physics prevent us from accessing.” — Ryan Mandelbaum  Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part VII: Entering Unitarity “Death, be not proud.” — John Donne We are discussing the phenomenon of unitarity, a core feature of quantum physics. Last week we noted that, in the mid-1970s, Stephen Hawking argued that unitarity …

Front Page Read More »

A Refuge for Wildlife-Watching

About an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh, Interstate 79 is the 120-acre Cussewago Bottom Conservation Area in Crawford County. The preserve provides an opportunity to explore forests, wetlands and wildlife near a tributary of French Creek. Cussewago originates from the Seneca Indian word meaning “big belly.” Cussewago Creek flows south from Erie County for 35 …

Front Page Read More »

After A Pitcher of Beer at Antlers Pub, I Believed I Was Brave

After A Pitcher of Beer at Antlers Pub, I Believed I Was Brave And walked with my friend Mike to the State Street Pier. Mike was funny, a good drinking buddy, and fearless.  He pissed from the edge of the pier, then pole vaulted over the railing and landed hard with both feet,  right on the lake below. …

Front Page Read More »

An Urban Farmhouse

Like many couples, the owners of this Shadyside residence decided to sell the sprawling home they had lived in since 1972 when their children were grown and gone. That was 20 years ago. “We were early with the downsizing,” the wife says with a laugh. But they retained an acre of prime property next to …

Front Page Read More »

Entering Unitarity

“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” — Socrates Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part V: Is It All Predictable? “I’m not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens. –Woody Allen The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) states, simply, that “An individual who has sustained either (1) …

Front Page Read More »

Keep Warm and Watch for Flickers

Forty below zero isn’t cold if you dress for it. I learned that in the Wyoming backcountry when I spent three weeks winter camping one February. We ate high-calorie diets, slicing butter into hot cocoa for the extra fat, and built thick snow shelters to pass the frigid nights. When it dropped below zero, we …

Front Page Read More »

What the New Mayor Faces

Sophie Masloff became mayor as the city of Pittsburgh was mourning the death of her popular predecessor, Richard Caliguiri. Tom Murphy was elected to the office in 1994, when the city teetered on the brink of financial calamity as the region scrambled to reinvent itself after the collapse of its steel industry. The mayors who …

Front Page Read More »

Uh-oh! Free Will Pulls Vanishing Act

“I do not believe in free will.” — Einstein Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part V: Is It All Predictable? “There is no absolute or free will.” — Spinoza We are investigating my claim that free will is an illusion that grows out of our ignorance of the factors – the prior interactions – that engender …

Front Page Read More »

Ilkin, Stabile, Weizenbaum, Harper, Wholey

Tunch Ilkin, 63 The Steelers two-time Pro Bowl tackle, team captain and longtime broadcaster on the Steelers Radio Network died of ALS. He played 13 seasons with the Steelers and one with the Green Bay Packers before retiring in 1993. Ilkin was also vice president of the NFL Players Association from 1989 to 1994. He …

Front Page Read More »

Hanna, Haley, Fu, Smyrnes-Williams, Brendel

Howard Hanna Sr., 101With an initial investment of $40, which may have included the plywood for his desk, Hanna started a real estate company in 1957 that now has more than 13,500 employees and more than 400 branch offices in 11 states. Today Howard Hanna Real Estate Services is the largest independently owned real estate …

Front Page Read More »

Stepping into the Breach Pt. III

JANE WERNER, executive director, Children’s Museum of PittsburghWe have been amazed to see the commitment of our visitors and community in keeping kids safe while they explore joy, curiosity, creativity, and kindness at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. As challenging as this year and a half has been, and while we were waiting for younger children …

Front Page Read More »

What’s in a Name?

It’s only been a couple of decades since we kept our contacts (names, addresses, phone numbers) in leather-bound address books. Old-school, right, but that’s what we did before we were tethered to technology: Outlook on our computers, Contacts on our iPhones or Androids. My mother sent Christmas cards to dozens of people each year, and …

Front Page Read More »

The Fall 2021 issue:

An Exemplary Life – Sunil Wadhwani Tells His Story

I grew up in India and have lived in Pittsburgh for more than 40 years. I came here to study at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and then decided to stay. I started my first company here, which failed. My second company did better. It’s been an exhilarating ride — but the story starts a few …

Fall 2021 Read More »

Into the Woods

June 15th was crisp and cloudless. carrying a chainsaw, orange surveyor’s tape and a compass, I started walking in a straight line into the pathless woods. Trailing me was my Airedale, Hawkins, and behind both of us was the little cabin that a group of friends and I built the previous summer on an island …

Fall 2021 Read More »

The Spirits of the Season

Pittsburgh has become known for some outstanding, big-production distilleries over the past few years, but some interesting smaller ones have been opening their doors as well. The holidays are the perfect reason to try them — whether you want to enhance your home bar or are looking for a distinctive gift. Each distillery has a …

Fall 2021 Read More »

A Festive Sidekick

Hearty, comforting dishes might be the backbone of winter home cooking, but every stew or roast needs a trusty sidekick to balance and complete the menu. This salad fits the bill perfectly. Full of color, crunch and zing, it’s a breath of fresh air and flavor on even the coldest winter night. Brussels sprouts make …

Fall 2021 Read More »

Continuing to Evolve

Whatever contributions Isaac Morley and J.B. Stilley made as mid-19th century municipal engineers have been lost in the mists of time. But we do know they made history. In April 1846, the pair received the first two engineering degrees from the Western University of Pennsylvania, later the University of Pittsburgh. In 2021, the Swanson School …

Fall 2021 Read More »

The Spirits of the Season

Pittsburgh has become known for some outstanding, big-production distilleries over the past few years, but some interesting smaller ones have been opening their doors as well. The holidays are the perfect reason to try them — whether you want to enhance your home bar or are looking for a distinctive gift. Each distillery has a …

Fall 2021 Read More »

What Do We Know About Time?

“There is no coming into being nor passing away, there is neither genesis nor decay; the elements out of which everything is composed assemble or disassemble while themselves remaining unchanged.”  Parmenides, c. 475 BC” “Time does not flow … it just is.” Leofranc Holford-Strevens, The History of Time” Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part II: …

Fall 2021 Read More »

Even So

Even So My friend wants to be  a tree that’s blazing out its autumn so when it’s done,  its reds and golds, oranges and browns –lie sudden all around. Outside, chill wind. Trees beyond the strip-mall – bare and thin.  I pass a huge, unbalanced ginkgo,leftward branches absent from a winter storm,   then grasp the frost-tinged handrailof my front …

Fall 2021 Read More »

Holiday Temptations

As the festive spirit creeps slowly back into our lives, there’s a new appreciation for the simple pleasures of dining out. Take out was great during the pandemic, or at least it offered some variety and relief to homebound cooks. But not all foods travel well and some of Pittsburgh’s better restaurants chose not to …

Fall 2021 Read More »

Continuing to Evolve

Whatever contributions Isaac Morley and J.B. Stilley made as mid-19th century municipal engineers have been lost in the mists of time. But we do know they made history. In April 1846, the pair received the first two engineering degrees from the Western University of Pennsylvania, later the University of Pittsburgh. In 2021, the Swanson School …

Fall 2021 Read More »

Recent Issues

Explore The Archives ››