An Idea Whose Time Has Come

One reason why people haven’t bothered to write “The Art of Peace,” at least in recent decades, might be because, well, who needs it? Why attack the problem of peace intellectually when we’ve already—very successfully—achieved peace by simply muddling through? By “peace” I don’t mean “the total absence of armed conflict”—good luck with that. I …

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CEOs Back a Sustainable Post-COVID Economy

As the pandemic rages on, a group of Pittsburgh business leaders is considering how to contribute to a more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable region in the post-COVID world. “Now is the time for businesses from all sectors to make public their actions toward an economic recovery that benefits everyone,” said Steve Malnight, president and …

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Empty and Ailing, Pittsburgh Stadiums Seek Money

With the pandemic keeping fans at home, Pittsburgh’s major sports teams are facing significant revenue declines for the year. However, to varying degrees, merchandise and media revenues are softening the blow. Their landlord—The Sport and Exhibition Authority (SEA)—is not as fortunate. The SEA is the city-county authority that owns PPG Paints Arena, PNC Park and …

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Pittsburgh Jobs Creep Back in October

Employers in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area added 11,900 jobs from September to October, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the gains are encouraging, it remains a bruising year in terms of local payrolls. The Pittsburgh region lost about 86,000 jobs between October 2019 and October 2020—a 7.1 percent …

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Re-Imagining Pittsburgh, Disney Style

Donald Bonk interviews Brian Gaudio, co-founder and CEO of Module, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. This interview was conducted before COVID-19. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. View Brian Gaudio’s profile here. “We have AI and robotics here, and that’s a big component of our …

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Pandemic Tests Resiliency of State’s Small Businesses

Most small businesses in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the state have found ways to adapt to COVID-related sales losses, social restrictions and other bruising conditions. But the lingering pandemic has darkened their outlook. Nearly one third of business leaders doubt conditions will return to pre-pandemic levels even after the virus is tamed, according to a …

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First Grill

Overused, grates still crusted with trimmings, it wasn’t much but a dented Weber picked up at a yard sale north of Jackson, a yard I remember because there were children’s books scattered in the weeds and dolls missing their legs but no one around my age, and though for fifteen cents you could take home …

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Petey and I

I am a Pittsburgh native, born in the mid-1950s. I went to grade school, high school, college and medical school in Oakland. I didn’t buy a car until the fourth year of medical school as I walked or biked to most of my destinations. If I was going someplace where I needed to drive, I …

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The Art of Peace

More than 25 centuries ago, a fellow known as Sun Tzu (an honorific rather than a name—it means something like “Master Sun”) wrote a long treatise on military strategy and tactics that has come to be called “The Art of War.” “The Art of War” is only one of the Seven Military Classics assembled during the Sung …

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RFPing Pittsburgh to the World

Donald Bonk interviews Tom Link, director of innovation and entrepreneurship of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. This interview was conducted before COVID-19. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. View Tom Link’s profile here. “I think Pittsburgh should RFP itself …

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Taming Your Investment Committee

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” —Hippocrates, writing almost 2,500 years ago About a million years ago—in 2003, to be exact—I wrote a long white paper called “Reinvigorating the Investment Committee” (available nowhere). In that paper I discussed the origin of the family investment committee and described a long and discouraging list of problems with …

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Bajeux-Besnainou, Mohebbi, Kim, Kahn, Davies, Meyers, Campbell-Golden

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou will become the 10th dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business on Oct. 15. She will also hold a faculty appointment as a professor of finance. She is currently dean of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. During her tenure, she focused on interdisciplinary collaborations, experiential learning and entrepreneurship. This included …

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Roy Engelbrecht: City Life

“Pull out a camera and all of a sudden, strange things happen,” laughs Roy Engelbrecht. For more than 50 years, Engelbrecht has specialized in architectural and landscape photography and every picture, as they say, tells a story. Engelbrecht remembers them all, starting with the day his best friend gave him a box camera for his …

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Moving Through Pittsburgh

Donald Bonk interviews Chris Watts, vice president of mobility of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. This interview was conducted before COVID-19. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. View Chris Watts’ profile here. “Working closer as a unit can help us propel forward. …

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Proust’s Longest Sentence

Gilbert de Botton died in the late summer of 2000, only 65 years old. At the end of his life, he was pursuing yet another of his passions. In addition to investing money for rich people and collecting modern art, Gilbert was, amazingly, attempting to recreate Montaigne’s private library, which had been broken up and …

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Improving Muscular Fitness: The Basics

Question: “I am a 40-plus-year-old who has never lifted weights, but I want to get stronger and more toned. Can you provide some guidance?” When we speak of getting stronger and more toned, we are really talking about improving muscular fitness, which comprises three primary components: strength, endurance and power. Strength is the maximum force …

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The Gray Catbird—a Natural Mimic

“It seems like there’s a cat in the bushes, but I think it’s a new species.” That’s the report from our daughter, who is learning her birds. She knows chickadee and blue jay, cardinal and crow. She’s seen an eastern screech owl and two short-eared owls. And a merlin. Nice birds. But the phantom cat …

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A Colorful Life

The Shadyside home interior designer Colleen Simonds created for her family seems to radiate with vibrancy and joy. A riot of color, light, pattern and design envelops the residence, which was formerly a traditional, 1911 Colonial. At once youthful and sophisticated, the home is unabashedly personal. “It’s kind of a family joke. When we bought …

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The CMU Tech Recipe That Feeds Pittsburgh’s Future

Donald Bonk interviews Reed McManigle, mentor in residence at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation, as part of the Pittsburgh Tomorrow podcast series. This interview was conducted before COVID-19. The transcript is abridged and edited for clarity. View the episode archive here. View Reed McManigle’s profile here. “We need lead investors …

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Local COVID Cases Are Second-Lowest Among Benchmark Regions

COVID-19 cases rose 29 percent in Allegheny County during the first two weeks of the month. Still, the county’s infection rate is only half the national average—an indication of how cities and towns across the United States are struggling to blunt the most aggressive surge of the coronavirus since the pandemic began nine months ago. …

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Regional Unemployment Falls to 8.2 Percent

Unemployment in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area dipped to 8.2 percent in September—a drop of 2.4 percentage points from August, according to data from Pennsylvania Department of Labor Center for Workforce Information & Analysis program. Despite the improvement, unemployment in the region remained well above pre-pandemic levels. In September 2019, the unemployment rate was …

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Combating the Middle Age Spread

Question: “I am experiencing the ‘middle age spread’ and want to flatten, tone and tighten up my stomach. What machine or exercises would you suggest?” Popular infomercials would have you believe that using a single abdominal machine for a few minutes a day can provide you with washboard abs, but it is not that simple. …

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