Opinion

On a Pedestal: Clarion River, Innovation in Education

by PQ Staff
Western Pennsylvania is blessed with an abundance of water at a time when many places in the world find it increasingly scarce. But having ample water isn’t enough if it is tainted with pollutants. And the region long has been guilty of negligence when it comes to keeping its waterways…

Batting Her Eyelashes

As never happens, I was invited to a black-​tie charity event. Already possessing a fetching black ball gown, I thought I was sufficiently prepared. A close friend, however, said I just MUST get eyelash extensions for that “little extra pizzazz.” Maybe I would finally make the P-​G “Seen” column!

Why China Is Ready to Fall Apart

In the 1980s, almost four decades into Cold War I, President Reagan dramatically ratcheted up the pressure on the Soviet Union by expanding and modernizing the U.S. military and launching his famous “Star Wars” (Strategic Defense) Initiative.

Fairy Tale or Future: The Choice Is Ours

by Douglas Heuck
The Amazon HQ2 spectacle was a grand 21st Century fairy tale. It had everything: the world’s richest company promising happily-​ever-​after status to the city that would win its second headquarters, $5 billion in investment and 50,000 jobs.

On a Pedestal: Pittsburgh Playhouse, Literacy Pittsburgh

by PQ Staff
The Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University made its debut Oct. 11, opening its doors to a new era for the school, its students, theatergoers and the city. It’s built to impress. From its three-​story-​wide lobby bathed in natural light to a 550-​seat theater designed to give passersby outside a…

The Dangerous Necessity of Beauty

by Samuel Hazo
At one time I took for granted the traditional definition of beauty — id quod visum placet — that which when seen pleases. Eventually I came to see that this was much too narrow a definition. It did not include what could be called beautiful when heard, touched, tasted, felt or otherwise experienced. That…

A Turning Point for Troubled Times

by Douglas Heuck
By almost any objective measure, life in America has never been better. We’re not at war. Poverty is low, unemployment’s even lower, and stocks are sky high. Homicide rates are about where they were in 1950 and half of what they were in 1980. And medical care is better than…

Redemption, Wilford Brimley and Walmart

The shopping cart wasn’t going that fast. For once, I wasn’t careening through Walmart like a contestant on Guy Fieri’s “Grocery Games,” simply because my cart was weighted down with two large cases of water, two big containers of clothes detergent (so much cheaper in the 255 ounce unliftable bottles),…

The Really Horrible Versus the Ordinarily Horrible

By “PVCs” I don’t mean the stuff they make pipes out of. I mean “premature ventricular contractions.” When people have heart attacks, especially serious ones, heart muscle dies and turns into useless, deadweight scar tissue. To make matters worse, hearts that are pocked by scar tissue conduct electrical waves very…

A Day of Reflection

It was a warm, clear, sunny, wonderful day with a deep blue sky, so untypical for Pittsburgh. I remember it like it was yesterday, although some three-​plus decades have since passed. The city is noted for being one of the cloudiest in the US, ranking up there with Seattle and…

What’s Right, What’s Left?

by Samuel Hazo
So much of modern culture seems bent on eliminating humanity from life itself. In many instances, this is identified as progress. But is it?

I’d Find You Again

There’s this line in a Lukas Nelson song that goes, “If I started over I’d find you again.” I have no sense of direction, so I hope this is possible for me, but salmon do it all the time.

The Brush Hog: Thoughts on a Fall Field Cutting

by David Macpherson
Twice a year, in June and October, I cut the long grass and other species of plants, named derisively as weeds, in my fields. It’s a bit like cutting grass with a huge lawnmower.

Spinning Out of Control

Working from home for the past year has provided me with a one-​minute commute to my home office and easy access to my favorite meal replacement — potato chips and dip. One of these perks resulted in my favorite jeans shrinking considerably and the realization that it was time to again try…

Who Says There’s Really “Prediabetes”?

I want to launch this post with a disclaimer — don’t do what I did. On the other hand, the usual advice — consult with your physician — might be even worse, for the reasons I’ll get to.
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