2012 Winter

Faces of the Marcellus Shale

In the past several years, ancient organic matter trapped more than a mile beneath the surface of the earth has changed life in Greater Pittsburgh. The vast deposits of natural gas deep in rock are known collectively as the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus has softened the Great Recession and brought a cash infusion to previously …

Faces of the Marcellus Shale Read More »

Healthful Discoveries

We brush to stave off cavities and bad breath. But it may even help us avoid major diseases. Research shows that the plaque build-up in our mouths may contribute to plaque build-up in our brains and heart arteries. In a study published in BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal), British researchers found that …

Healthful Discoveries Read More »

Salty Debate

Salt is essential to life. The sodium found in salt regulates the heartbeat and the body’s balance of fluids. Once known as “white gold,” salt helped establish civilization with the discovery of its food-preserving ability. Roman soldiers were paid in salt (from which the expression “worth one’s salt” is thought to derive). A few centuries ago, …

Salty Debate Read More »

The Genius of Pitt

Kevin Guskiewicz has been called a genius for discovering the link between on-field head hits to football players and damage to their brains; findings that once put him at odds with the mighty National Football League. But here’s the thing about the Latrobe native, who recently won a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly called a “genius” …

The Genius of Pitt Read More »

Forged in November

On Nov. 6th, 1959, the day before the fate of the largest strike in the nation’s history was decided by a Supreme Court decision, the Braddock High Tigers played the Purple Raiders of Scott High School in North Braddock for a chance to set the national high school football record for consecutive games without a …

Forged in November Read More »

The Utica Shale

A century and a half ago, a desperate, down-on-his-luck former railroad man named Edwin Drake wandered into a remote hollow in northwestern Pennsylvania and stuck a drill a few dozen yards down into the rocky soil. After a few false starts, Drake and his men struck a cache of crude oil that, while small by …

The Utica Shale Read More »

Changing the Venerable

Almost no building remains fit for its purpose forever, except perhaps a mausoleum. However great a museum or a gallery may be, there is always the lure of a new wing or a re-fit. Nothing remains the same, even in western Pennsylvania. Let’s look at how some of our institutions have faced, and continue to …

Changing the Venerable Read More »

How we live

This column is the first public glimpse of a project that will yield a great deal of information and understanding of who we are as residents of this region, what we do and how we view our region. This major new survey was conducted by Pittsburgh Today and our colleagues at Pitt’s University Center for …

How we live Read More »

The Nuance of Nonprofits

Michael Clements looked at a vacant downtown building, with its chipped paint, outdated awning and weathered bricks. It was an eyesore, but one he knew he had to have. Three years later, the building thrives, housing the second location of the Penn Avenue Fish Company restaurant and two spacious loft apartments upstairs. “I picked the …

The Nuance of Nonprofits Read More »

Labor Management

Against a backdrop of high national unemployment and concern about U.S. dependence on foreign energy, Richard Trumka, former president of the United Mine Workers and current president of the AFL-CIO, and Nicholas DeIuliis, president of Consol Energy, met in the second of a series of labor-management discussions sponsored by the Community College of Allegheny County. …

Labor Management Read More »

Giving Footnotes the Boot

While I was reading an essay written half a century ago by the distinguished historian and long-ago colleague, Peter Gay, I got to thinking about footnotes. His illuminating piece turned out to be somewhat annoying to read because of all those footnotes! You get to the end of a sentence and that little superscript numeral …

Giving Footnotes the Boot Read More »

Husser, Giosi, Matthews, Martinez, Sterne, Szabolcs, Mongrain, Drappatz

D. Jermaine Husser is CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. A Charleston, S.C. native, he is an Army veteran and was employed at the Lowcountry Food Bank in Charleston, S.C. for the last seven years as executive director.He earned an associate degree in general business from Trident Technical College, with additional coursework in …

Husser, Giosi, Matthews, Martinez, Sterne, Szabolcs, Mongrain, Drappatz Read More »

Brody, Puskar, Dietrich, Michaels, Bell, Fielder, Toeplitz

Thomas P. Brody, 91 Brody was a multi-talented man who qualified for the Olympics as a swimmer and later had more than 60 patents to his name. His most famous invention—the active matrix—is used in a variety of technological devices, including cell phones and televisions. A native of Hungary, his times in the 100-meter freestyle …

Brody, Puskar, Dietrich, Michaels, Bell, Fielder, Toeplitz Read More »

For the holiday table

What do you do when someone arrives on your doorstep with a slab of homemade duck pastrami? At my house, we shout thanks and reach for a corkscrew. It’s a holiday tradition. Each winter, we set aside one evening at home when my foodie friends gather with us, bringing their special dishes to add to …

For the holiday table Read More »

Hough’s

You can’t go home again, Thomas Wolfe’s 1940 novel about moving on in life, would have you believe that once you leave the nurturing familiarity of the old neighborhood, you can never return or recapture the magic of your youth. Wolfe should have spent a little time in Greenfield or checked with Barb and Johnny …

Hough’s Read More »

The New Retirement

After 17 years as editorial assistant at the weekly Valley Mirror newspaper in Munhall, Marilyn Schiavoni’s boss informed her last year that he planned to retire and sell the newspaper. Marilyn was 62, and the prospect worried her. Would the new owner let her keep her job? If yes, would she get along with the …

The New Retirement Read More »

Painting with Light

What price beauty? When one lives in a house designed by Richard Meier, the costs are as monumental as the Pritzker-Prize-winning architect’s international reputation. They aren’t measured in terms of dollars, but rather in a commitment to the ideals and vision that have driven Meier to create stark, modern structures of every size for more …

Painting with Light Read More »

Retail Report: Holiday 2011

The holidays traditionally represent a key time for retail businesses. However, in Pittsburgh and across the country, retailers face an increasingly challenging atmosphere as shopping habits continue to change and a sputtering economy persists. In this context, we asked leading local retailers a handful of questions: What percent of sales occur during the holidays? What …

Retail Report: Holiday 2011 Read More »

Shopping in WashPa

With the holidays’ approach, a visit to The Shoppes at Quail Acres in Washington, Pa. will help you get presents, hostess gifts and decorations under control. Half a mile from The Meadows Casino & Racetrack and the Tanger Outlets, The Shoppes are on the grounds of the former Quail Acres estate, featuring the beautifully restored …

Shopping in WashPa Read More »

Return of the Falcon

A pigeon flaps lazily above the University of Pittsburgh campus. Suddenly, a streaking peregrine falcon dives toward its unaware prey at 100 to 150 miles an hour. Weighing two pounds and just 15 to 20 inches long, the raptor tucks its wings—usually 3Q feet across—close to its body for maximum speed. The capture is quick, …

Return of the Falcon Read More »

Sideling Hill

One of the wonderful qualities of western Pennsylvania is that it offers out-of-the-way locations with varied landscape and terrain. The unique characteristics of each place are often the result of geology. One of these places is Sideling Hill Creek in southern Bedford County. The pristine waters of Sideling Hill Creek flow through narrow valleys with …

Sideling Hill Read More »

Black Humor

“See you in the funny papers” is a phrase one seldom hears these days. Indeed, with the possible exception of “Daddy-O” or “23 Skidoo,” few expressions seem more obscure.But once upon a time, when newspapers were the Internet of their day, conversational reference to the funnies was the equivalent of an emoticon.
Top