2010 Summer

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Jennifer Bails

Jennifer Bails

Jennifer is a freelance writer specializing in science, medicine and the environment. She is a marine biologist-​turned-​scribe who now pens prose instead of counting cells. Jennifer loves digging into new research and figuring out why we should care. She lives in Squirrel Hill with her husband, Michael, and their daughters, Ilyssa and Sylvie.

Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

We, robot

A decade ago, the Wall Street Journal gave Pittsburgh the moniker “Roboburgh” when compiling its list of the nation’s 13 hottest high-​tech regions. The Steel City is living up to its 21st-​century nickname, making new its rich history of engineering complex things.

Planetary Hollywood

First the lights dim. In the darkness, you feel the intense drumbeat and techno-​pop rhythms of the synthesizer pounding deep in your gut. Next a fiery, red globe materializes above you like a cosmic disco ball of galactic proportions. Look left and a futuristic spacecraft emerges from the solar system beyond. It begins…

Found in Translation

Come on, Ima, vamanos! That was the exhortation from my 3-​year-​old recently when she wanted me to hurry up and get out the play dough. Like now, Mommy — before I scream…

Thomas Hales: The Proof of the Proof

The message went out without fanfare on a quiet summer morning. Thomas Hales finally was done — or so it seemed.

Considering the Alternatives

In 1926, much of Pittsburgh was still bathed in gaslight, and in that warm, industrial glow, Jim Ferry saw a future for himself, his family, and the city.
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