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Taking a look under Pittsburgh's green and clean hood

While maintaining its small-city charm, Pittsburgh has achieved large-city greatness via many sustainability initiatives, reports Organic Gardening.
 
The civic move to sustainability is best seen at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which is centered on a Victorian glasshouse built in 1893 on 21⁄2 acres. The welcome center, completed in 2005, includes a café that sources organic and local whenever possible. The production greenhouses became the first greenhouses to achieve LEED certification and were certified at the platinum level in 2012. (LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification process for green construction.)
 
Original source: Organic Gardening
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Gettysburg's 150th creates peace from battle's historic chaos

From Abraham Lincoln's bedroom to the empty battlefields, Gettysburg has done a masterful job of preparing to honor the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle there, reports the Chicago Tribune.
 
One-hundred-fifty years after the Civil War's most famous battle, history endures in handsome, charming Gettysburg with unlikely size and scope. The town of 7,500 has done a masterful job of preserving its famous battle in many forms: sites, food, shopping and even lodging.
 
The town's June 28-July 7 celebration of the 150th anniversary precedes its honoring of Lincoln's address from Nov. 16 to 19. But the town has outfitted itself as an essential stop for history fans all year long.

Original source: Chicago Tribune
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Lancaster's HAAN Corporation had unlikely, courageous beginning

The founder of the global, $100 million company with U.S. headquarters in Lancaster, HAAN Corporation, and her incredible rise is profiled by Forbes.
 
The moment Romi Haan knew her business had become a success came on a sweltering evening in 2004 when a shady business partner opened his briefcase and threatened her life.
 
“It was a hatchet this big,” Haan says, spreading her hands roughly a foot apart as she recalls the evening. For months the man had been a loyal customer, buying the steam-powered floor cleaners Haan spent five years developing for resale online. But when she discovered he was taking advantage of a corporate discount and cutting her out of the profits, Haan called a meeting to settle a $300,000 debt at a café in downtown Seoul. Only instead of bringing a check, the swindler bought a weapon.
 
Original source: Forbes
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How Penn State is reaching out to Kenyan farmers

The Daily Nation digs into the work of Penn State University's Khanjan Mehta, the director of the school's Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship who is helping Kenyan farmers achieve their goals via new greenhouse models.
 
And due to lack of greenhouses, he says, there has either been scarcity or oversupply of farm products in the market. If the weather pattern favours the growth of a certain crop, many of the small-scale farmers will plant that crop, thus leading to overproduction. And as a result of this, farmers end up with very little in their pockets with others even going at a loss, he says.
 
At the moment, the country is facing a shortage of tomatoes, with a kilogramme going for between Sh120 and Sh200. With the mini-greenhouses, Prof Mehta says a good number of small-scale farmers willing to use them can ably grow a variety of crops at different times of the year, thus stabilising supply.
 
Original source: Daily Nation
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Pittsburgh designers sketch social media success

The Pittsburgh Design Center talks with the Association of Architecture Organizations about their Facebook prowess.
 
Because the Design Center is the only nonprofit in Pittsburgh that advocates specifically for good design and planning, we have the opportunity to be seen as a central resource and a leader. Facebook is a good tool for creating a constant, but not invasive relationship with users. We use it to educate and inform, but also to provide calls to action when possible. At the local level, we use it to inform people about public hearings such as planning commissions, art commissions, city council meetings, and other decision-making moments where the communities’ voice has the opportunity to affect project outcomes. 
 
Original source: Association of Architecture Organizations
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Bizarre Foods host falls in love with Pittsburgh

In an interview with Eater, Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern spends time talking about why he thinks Pittsburgh is so amazing.
 
You talk about an island in the Darwinian sense. Here's a major American city stuck at the end of a series of river valleys, cut off from the rest of country. It is a Eastern European immigrant city — working class, blue collar — that has reinvented itself over the last 10-20 years with this craftsman approach to life that reminds me of cities like Austin, Portland, OR and Portland, ME. I hate to be one of those people who's like 'Pittsburgh is the next big thing,' but I get around more than most people and I'm telling you, Pittsburgh is like the next big thing.
 
Original source: Eater
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How Pittsburgh-bred ModCloth is making good on last year's venture funding

Forbes reports on how Pittsburgh-rooted ModCloth is growing a year since receiving $25 million in investment.
 
What started as an idea by high school juniors Susan Gregg Koger, 28, and her (now husband) Eric, 29, now brags more than 400 employees in three cities and is hell-bent on the expansion of both an in-house private label and a re-commitment to serving the plus-sized market. The site currently features just shy of 1,000 of its usual vintage-inspired styles in sizes north of the standard small, medium and large. On Friday in New York they’ll be hosting a pop-up shop in celebration.
 
Original source: Forbes
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Philadelphia photographer documents urban decay

Philadelphia-based photographer Matthew Christopher's work on urban decay is featured in The Daily Mail.
 
"My favourite part of exploring ruins is that to me, it is peaceful. I can focus on what I am seeing and experiencing rather than being wrapped up in my thoughts all the time.
 
"Discovering new or intriguing places, finding something you know not many people have seen, or managing to get permission to somewhere you'd really like to see are also a lot of fun."
 
Original source: The Daily Mail
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The mega-rubber ducky to make U.S. debut in Pittsburgh

An enormous, inflatable rubber duck that was built by a Dutch artist and has "healing properties" will make its way to Pittsburgh in September, reports The Atlantic Cities.
 
Since it launched in 2007, the ducky has graced humans with its benevolence in Amsterdam, Osaka, Sydney, Hong Kong and other ports of call. The creature's arrival in Pittsburgh this September for the art-and-culture International Festival of Firsts marks its first U.S. appearance.
 
Expectations are already running high. "The Rubber Duck has captured the imaginations and the hearts everywhere it deployed. How can you not be drawn to a four-story Rubber Duck?" says Marc Fleming, a spokesman for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "It is going to be HUGE."
 
Origina source: The Atlantic Cities
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Golf world's eyes on Ardmore, Mother Nature for U.S. Open

Heavy rains threatened the layout and play at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, reports USA Today.
 
The two most flood-prone holes are Nos. 11 and No. 12. Last week tropical storm Andrea dropped about 3½ inches of rain on the course. Rain continued Monday, and the Weather Channel forecast more rain for today and a 70% chance of thunderstorms Thursday.
 
Original source: USA Today
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How great design transformed a Pittsburgh rowhome

A Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh couple's customized row home is examined by Houzz.
 
How else could something like a dilapidated and abandoned Pittsburgh row house be shockingly transformed into an arty and eclectic home that perfectly embodies the couple who inhabits it? 
 
That was the case for Alissa Martin, the owner of a local clothing and shoe company, and Jeb Jungwirth, a psychologist. The creative couple spent a year working with mossArchitects and Botero Development in the initial stages to customize their run-down, two-bedroom space to seamlessly marry Martin’s modern-edged Moroccan design with Jungwirth’s penchant for reading and collecting. In the end, color and texture dominate by way of exposed brick and ceiling beams, a vibrant wall mural and casual-cool patterned wallpaper and bedding. 
 
Original source: Houzz
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Pittsburgh a happy place for job-hunting college grads

Pittsburgh ranked No. 4 on the list of 10 Happiest Cities for Job-Seeking College Grads compiled by Career Bliss and Forbes.
 
To determine overall happiness scores, CareerBliss analyzed 76,000 data points from 7,856 reviews submitted by young professionals. Employees all over the country were asked to evaluate 10 factors that affect workplace happiness, including: one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work done does on a daily basis. They evaluated each factor on a five-point scale and also indicated how important it was to their overall happiness. The numbers were combined to find an average rating of employee happiness for each respondent, and then they were sorted by location to find the happiest U.S. cities for college grads.
 
Original source: Forbes
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In a very unscientific survey, Philadelphia is the capital of bacon

With its restaurants serving taco shells made of bacon and deep-fried oysters with bacon aioli, Philadelphia, also the hometown of actor Kevin Bacon, earned the title of No. 1 city for bacon lovers according to the Estately blog.
 
- Philly is the sixth largest bacon market in America.
- Three area restaurants have been featured on United States of Bacon.
- Local burger chain PYT made a taco shell out of bacon because this is Philadelphia and anything bacon is possible in Philadelphia.
- Dip your deep-fried oysters in bacon aioli at Cochon (French for “pig”).
- The father of modern Philadelphia was famed city planner Edmund Bacon, father of Kevin Bacon.
- Jake’s Sandwich Board is famed for its Turbacon, a sandwich version of a Turducken, but with smoked pork in place of duck.
 
Original source: Estately
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LGBT senior housing rises in Philadelphia's Center City

The Advocate reports on Philadelphia's first LGBT senior housing development, located in Philadelphia's Gayborhood section in Center City.
 
The six-story, 56-unit John C. Anderson Apartments is now rising in the heart of Philly’s gay village, with hopes of opening at the end of the year. Mayor Michael Nutter, along with Mark Segal — the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and founder of Gay Youth, one of the nation’s first organizations for LGBT teens — championed the $19.5 million project.
 
Original source: The Advocate
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Origami as a drug delivery device? UPenn researchers are working on it

A research team from the University of Pennsylvania received a grant recently to investigate origami as a tool for drug delivery, reports R&D Magazine.

Collaborating with researchers at Cornell Univ., the Penn team will share in a $2-million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s Div. of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation. The grant is through a program called ODISSEI, or Origami Design For The Integration Of Self-assembling Systems For Engineering Innovation.
 
The program draws inspiration from the Japanese art of paper folding, but the Penn team suggested adding a variant of the technique, known as kirigami, in which the paper can be cut as well as folded. Allowing for cuts and holes in the material makes it easier to fold rigid, three-dimensional structures.
 
Original source: R&D Magazine
Read the full story here.
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