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The joie de vivre of Will Stokes' painted world in Philadelphia

Artist Will Stokes is a fixture at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, and with good reason.
 
Others have written (notably in the catalogue for his 2007 solo show) about how Willie has retained a remarkable singularity of vision, despite decades of exposure and interaction with the numerous artist-in-residence alumni from FWM. His early work from the 1970s is of-a-piece with what he continues to do today. Throughout, Willie has starred in his own pictures, becoming a kind of self-made celebrity denizen of his painted world. Looking at photographs of Willie through the years, you can track his sartorial evolution, which carries over into the paintings. “The Kid,” his alter ego, is Willie at his most dapper and daring. The moniker elevates him to the status of the single-name musicians he depicts—Prince, Madonna, Beyoncé—while evoking a slew of popular references reaching as far back as the Charlie Chaplin film of the same name, up through songs like War’s “The Cisco Kid.” It also connotes a character with a bit of playful rakishness, which peeks from beneath Willie’s even-keeled exterior now and again.
 
Original source: Title Magazine
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Shire scoops up Exton-based ViroPharma for $4.2B

Ireland-based Shire Pharmaceuticals, with U.S. headquarters in suburban Philadelphia, is purchasing Pennsylvania-based biopharma company ViroPharma for $4.2 billion, reports The New York Times.
 
ViroPharma’s products include Cinryze, a treatment for hereditary angioedema, a rare blood disorder. The firm had $428 million in net revenue last year, the bulk of it from Cinryze.
 
Original source: The New York Times
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Smart innovation policies mean clean energy rebirth for Pittsburgh

Smart innovation policies lead to Pittsburgh's clean energy rebirth, reports The Energy Collective.
 
The result of Innovation Works’ focus – and the focus of the city of Pittsburgh in general – on energy innovation is its status as an emerging clean tech hub. According to the Brookings Metropolitan Policy program, as of 2010, Pittsburgh was ranked in the top 25 in the United States for its clean economy growth. Its fastest growing industry segments included solar PV, pollution reduction technologies, and green buildings.
 
Original source: The Energy Colective
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How Philadelphia sustainability pioneer Judy Wicks mixes food, fun and social activism

Christian Science Monitor profiles pioneering, sustainability-focused entrepreneur and restaurauter Judy Wicks.
 
In the early days of the White Dog Cafe, located in the downstairs of Wicks’ Victorian brownstone, she couldn’t afford to build a commercial kitchen or hire a chef. She cooked the restaurant’s meals in her own kitchen while she watched her young son and daughter, and customers tromped upstairs to use the family’s bathroom. Eventually the restaurant filled three row houses, a companion retail store filled two more, and her businesses were grossing $5 million annually.
 
Original source: Christian Science Monitor
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Philly's Greensgrow model for CSA's financial success

GreenSource profiles the highly successful Philadelphia-based nonprofit CSA Greensgrow.
 
Mary Seton Corboy didn't expect much help when in 1998 she found an acre of toxic brownfield in Kensington, a dodgy neighborhood in Philadelphia, to start her business. Yet she was able to acquire a $47,000 loan, and Greensgrow Farm was launched. Before the farm even opened, Corboy secured a handful of chef friends at Philadelphia restaurants as clients to buy her hydroponically grown lettuce and tomatoes. First year, the farm grossed $5,000; the next year, $50,000. Today, Greensgrow—a nonprofit organization—brings in receipts totaling over $1 million annually. 
 
Original source: Greensource
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Ante up for Auntie Anne's: Preztel empire auctions Houston Run property in Lancaster County

Some of the area's most coveted buildings and undeveloped land are being auctioned near Gap in Lancaster County, reports The New York Times.
 
The undeveloped part of the property — farmland and grassland — lies along Route 30, a busy corridor through Lancaster County. Sixty acres is zoned for industrial use while the remainder is zoned commercial. The land overlooks a distribution center operated by the apparel company Urban Outfitters, next to which the company is building a $105 million order-fulfillment center. The new building, which is expected to create some 500 jobs, is also expected to raise interest in the auctions.
 
Ahead of the auctions, there has been “continuous interest” from industrial, commercial and residential developers, and others interested in leasing offices in the professional building, Ms. Reavis said.
 
Original source: The New York Times
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Philadelphia among top 10 U.S. locations to land a biotech job

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News culled data from five employment websites to identify the top 10 U.s. regions in which to land a biotech job.
 
Greater Philadelphia enjoys proximity to the heritage pharma giants that arose in the region and Pennsylvania’s neighbors to the south (Delaware) and north (New Jersey). But the region has also jumpstarted numerous biotechs over the past generation, both through the University City Science Center and, more recently, as spinouts from its universities, research institutes, and research hospitals. Among priorities for the region is attracting and retaining top talent; executive search firm Klein Hersh International held its latest Philly BioBreak invitation-only event for life sciences executives on October 15. “Our goal is to bring together the key players in the industry, many of which are locally based, and develop partnerships and strategies that will keep these great minds in the area,” says Martin Lehr, co-host of Philly BioBreak, which says it has 1,300 members.
 
Original source: Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News
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Domestic oil production keeps Philadelphia shipbuilding afloat

Philadelphia shipbuilding is alive and well thanks in large part to domestic oil production and century-old laws keeping U.S.-built vessels carrying goods between U.S. ports, reports CNBC.
 
When it launches, the Liberty Bay will be able to deliver 33 million gallons of oil from Alaska's North Slope to refineries on the West Coast in a single trip. SeaRiver Maritime, Exxon Mobil's marine affiliate, has commissioned the two ships. At a cost of $200 million each, the tankers represent a significant investment that will help boost Philadelphia's economy.
 
According to the Department of Transportation, 15 tankers are on order or under construction at shipyards across the country, with options for many more. It's the biggest boom the industry has seen in 20 years.
 
Original source: CNBC
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Consol sells coal mines, shifts focus to natural gas

Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy sold five of its coal mines to focus more on natural gas and coal exports, reports The New York Times.
 
Nicholas J. DeIuliis, president of the company, which is based in Pittsburgh, said in a conference call with reporters that the five mines being sold to the privately held Murray Energy in the transaction, worth $3.5 billion to $4.4 billion, were “a very profitable business, a very stable business.”
 
But although they historically represent the center of the 150-year-old company’s business, they have limited growth potential, he said. 
 
Original source: The New York Times
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Ben Franklin's new 'home' brings icon's history into 21st century

The Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia gets a major update that offers a modern learning experience, reports The New York Times.
 
Dr. Talbott and Cynthia MacLeod, the superintendent of Independence National Historical Park, of which the museum is a part, say they believe Franklin would love modern Philadelphia and its residents as well. He would no doubt be rooting for the bedraggled Phillies and Eagles and holding court at its many sidewalk cafes.
 
“He is a man worth having a museum for. He was unusual in so many ways,” said Ms. MacLeod. 
 
Original source: The New York Times
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A road trip to Randyland, North Side Pittsburgh's bright spot

Roadside America checks in at Randyland, an offbeat North Side Pittsburgh attraction.

The neighborhood's revival is due, in some significant part, to Randy, who began planting guerrilla mini-gardens in the community in the early 1980s (They now number in the hundreds). His job as a part-time waiter gave him some free time, so in 1996 he purchased the abandoned buildings and yards that now comprise the Mr. Rogers-on-hyperdrive Randyland.
 
"I bought it for 10,000 bucks on a credit card," Randy says. "People said, 'You're a waiter; you don't have any money; what are you gonna do with it?'"
 
Original source: Roadside America
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Pennsylvania Rx: What the Founding Fathers might say about Obamacare

The Atlantic relates early American healthcare modeling, much of which happened in Pennsylvania, to the current state of Obamacare.
 
Still, it’s hard to say whether this Founding Father would have advocated for publicly-funded healthcare at a scale beyond that of a single local hospital. Rather than providing a solid indicator as to what Franklin would have thought about Obamacare, the story of the Pennsylvania Hospital’s founding actually shows why it’s so difficult to guess what any of these men would have thought about modern health policy.
 
Original source: The Atlantic
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NYT reviews 'Modern Art and the Metropolis' at Philadelphia Museum of Art

The New York Times reviews French painter Fernand Leger's exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, "Leger: Modern Artand the Metropolis."
 
Organized by Anna Vallye, a postdoctoral curatorial fellow in the museum’s department of modern and contemporary art, this show takes a memorably broad approach to a narrow slice of Léger’s art. It concentrates on the decade after 1918, when Léger, returning to Paris after World War I, was most enamored of and energized by the city’s modernity — manifest in everything from street life to architecture to advertising, and most of all machines.
 
Original source: The New York Times
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Only 4 in 10 Wharton undergrads want kids

Forbes writes about Wharton management professor Stewart D. Friedman's book Baby Bust that examines undergrads' shrinking desire to have children.
 
In 1992, 78% of departing members of the 1992 undergraduate class at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania expressed plans to have children, according to his research. By 2012, only 42% did. Interestingly, the percentages for men and women were similar. “Millennial men and women are opting out of parenthood in equal proportions,” he notes.
 
Original source: Forbes
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CEO swap: Philly's SEER and Seattle's Moz trade bosses

Two friends on opposite coasts traded their CEO posts and learned more than they thought they would, reports Wired.

The leadership forces behind SEER Interactive and Moz broke records on the spectrum of innovation and collaboration for a week when they swapped work lives. That’s right, they assumed each other’s professional identities, emails, and lived in each other’s homes. They did not, however, swap wives or their Twitter accounts. Rand Fishkin is the CEO of Moz, a nine year-old venture-backed software startup headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices in Portland, Oregon. Wil Reynolds is the CEO of SEER Interactive, an eleven year-old bootstrapped search marketing agency headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with offices in San Diego. Each day, Reynolds walked from Fishkin’s apartment on Capitol Hill to Moz’s offices in downtown Seattle. Likewise, Fishkin walked from Reynolds’ home to SEER’s offices in a refurbished church in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia.
 
Original source: Wired
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