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Penn State introduces online masters program in renrewable energy

Clean Energy Authority reports on Penn State's announcement that it has introduced an online masters program in renewable energy.

Penn State opted to offer the masters degree as part of its growing World Campus, a collection of 90 online degrees provided through the school and aimed at attracting working students and students who live far from the physical campus in Pennsylvania. The online catalogue of courses gives students flexibility.

Original source: Clean Energy Authority
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Dickinson ranked No. 2 coolest school for sustainability

Dickinson College in Carlisle is no stranger to lists recognizing green initiatives among the nation's campuses, and the Sierra Club's most recent magazine ranked the school No. 2 on its top ten cool schools for sustainability.

Since 2008, Dickinson has bought enough wind power to offset all of its electrical needs. And since 2006, students have been collecting grease from local restaurants and turning it into biodiesel for the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, campus's vehicle fleet. If all goes according to plan, the school will achieve zero net emissions by 2020. Meanwhile, cafeterias serve student-grown produce, construction crews build to LEED Gold standards, and paper use has dropped by 60% over the past four years. Above, students install solar panels to power an irrigation pump at Dickinson's certified-organic College Farm.

Original source: Sierra Magazine
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Obama to visit Lackawanna College in Scranton on Friday to talk about college costs

President Barack Obama will be in Scranton Friday at Lackawanna College as part of a two-day road trip to New York and then Pennsylvania.

On Friday, he will participate in a town hall event at Binghamton University and at the State University of New York. He’ll also give a speech at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa.

The level of student debt has grown past $1 trillion during Obama’s tenure, partly because the federal government has increased its effort to offer low-interest education loans to young people, including many who do not graduate.

Original source: Daily Caller
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Wilmerding and its 90 year-old mayor protect their castle

Tiny Wilmerding in Allegheny County is home to a historic, five-story standstone castle that needs saving by a Pittsburgh entrepreneur.

Like the castle, Wilmerding has seen better days. Most of its factory jobs are gone. Median household income, at about $20,800, is 60% below the national level. Even so, John Graf, a Pittsburgh entrepreneur, has proposed to buy the castle and turn it into a luxury hotel. That plan hinges on whether he can raise $11 million to buy and renovate the leaky, creaky structure.

Original source: Wall Street Journal
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Lego lessons: How the company became (and remained) a toy giant

Entrepreneur takes a look at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School professor David Robertson's new book "Brick by Brick," which tells the story of Lego and the company's many twists of fate.
Innovation doesn't just happen at the product level. Too often companies focus all of their innovation efforts on their products. As was the case with Lego, this can result in looking too far afield. When Lego reversed all the damage it did in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was by looking for areas of improvement across the entire company. "Most people talk about innovation on the product side," says Robertson. "If you accept that innovation isn't just in product development -- it can be in sales, finance, marketing -- now you have lots of different opportunities."
Original source: Entrepreneur
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Watching Warhol: Webcam fixed on artist's grave near Pittsburgh

The New Yorker writes about the Andy Warhol Museum's round-the-clock webcam feed of the Pittsburgh-bred artist's grave in Western Pennsylvania.
I have angled for reasons to snoot the webcam stunt. I can’t think of any. Along with more or less everybody else, I find it Warholian to the, well, life: watching the present habitation of a man who liked to watch. Warhol pioneered motion pictures of motionless subjects; and we have him to thank, or not, for prophesying reality television. His strictly beholding bent became, as it remains, a default setting of artistic and popular culture absolutely everywhere.
Original source: The New Yorker
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Philadelphia's Mt. Airy among best big-city neighborhoods

CNN Money includes diverse Mt. Airy in Philadelphia among its list of best big-city neighborhoods.
Mount Airy pairs a racially and religiously diverse population with a neighborhood packed with historic homes and leafy streets.
Germantown Avenue, which divides East and West Mount Airy, is the backbone of the nabe and home to shops, art centers, and restaurants. Houses here start at about $200,000, roughly 30% lower than in neighboring Chestnut Hill (though you can easily pay $500,000 in the tonier parts of West Mount Airy).
Original source: CNN Money
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Inside Fishtown, Philadelphia's Rust Belt neighborhood

The Atlantic Cities spends time getting to know Fishtown, Philadelphia, and its post-industrial revival.
Fishtown, Philadelphia, got its name during the early 19th century, when neighborhood families dominated the booming shad runs of the Delaware River estuary. The fishery collapsed under the pressures of overfishing and pollution, and the area turned to other modes of making and manufacturing: shipyards, lumber, textiles. Eventually Fishtown fell into blight, its industrial buildings vacated and boarded up. But recently a new generation of industrious residents is has turned to urban farming of a sort, growing everything from community gardens to local writers, the latter by way of a modern-day farmers' almanac.
Original source: The Atlantic Cities
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Pittsburgh's YinzCam among VentureBeat's 20 fastest-growing mobile startups

Carnegie Mellon spin-off YinzCam was included in a VentureBeat list of the 20 fastest-growing mobile startups.
In-stadium mobile video/replay for sports events
Average Weekly Growth Rate – Mobile Downloads: ? 19% Last Week: ? 12%
Funding: No known funding, Carnegie Mellon spin-off
Original source: VentureBeat
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CSA's leap from ag to art evident in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia

The New York Times catches on to the community supported art movement in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
“It’s kind of like Christmas in the middle of July,” said Ms. Johnstone, who had just gone through her bag to see what her $350 share had bought. The answer was a Surrealistic aluminum sculpture (of a pig’s jawbone, by William Kofmehl III), a print (a deadpan image appropriated from a lawn-care book, by Kim Beck) and a ceramic piece (partly about slavery, by Alexi Morrissey).
Original source: The New York Times
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Drexel and UPenn researchers make important brain discoveries

Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania led a groundbreaking study that identifies grid cells in human brains that map movement, reports The New York Times.
Joshua Jacobs of Drexel University in Philadelphia and a team of scientists including Michael J. Kahana at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Itzhak Fried at U.C.L.A. and Tel-Aviv University, reported in Nature Neuroscience on Sunday that signals from electrodes implanted in human patients with severe epilepsy proved the presence of grid cells that function in the same way as those found in other mammals.
“It completes the picture,” said Edvard I. Moser of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, one of the discoverers of grid cells. “It’s a significant contribution.”

Original source: The New York Times
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Carnegie Mellon report aids Pennsylvania in deciding to ice massive IBM contract

Business Insider reports on Pennsylvania killing a contract that was $60 million over budget and three and a half years behind schedule, thanks in part to a study by Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute.
It was, by any measure, a huge and complex project. It was to give the state a new computer system to track employee wages, employer taxes and handle unemployment claims, appeals, payments.
The report blamed the state for poor project management. But it also slammed IBM pretty thoroughly. It said the computer system built so far was unreliable and full of bugs (had "a higher number of software defects than industry norms.")
Original source: Business Insider
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Schuylkill River Trail among country's best for urban bike paths

USA Today's list of 12 best urban bike paths includes Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Trail.
Called the best bike path in Philly by Philadelphia Weekly, the 23-mile Schuylkill River Trail is a boon to commuters entering the city from Montgomery County, residents looking for a scenic shortcut through parts of downtown, and recreational cyclists making a weekend escape. The path winds unbroken, except for two short segments, all the way to Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Original source: USA Today
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Penn doctors examine the black-white divide in breast cancer outcomes

For years, scientists and doctors have puzzled over the disparity in outcomes between white and black breast cancer sufferers. A team at the University of Pennsylvania recently published a report on the subject.

The findings were striking. Over all, white women with breast cancer lived three years longer than black women. Of the women studied, nearly 70 percent of white women lived at least five years after diagnosis, while 56 percent of black women were still alive five years later. The difference is not explained by more aggressive cancers among black women. Instead, the researchers found a troubling pattern in which black women were less likely to receive a diagnosis when their cancer was at an early stage and most curable. In addition, a significant number of black women also receive lower-quality cancer care after diagnosis, although those differences do not explain the survival gap.

Original source: The New York Times
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Pittsburgh's lessons for Detroit

Time magazine looks at the challenges facing Detroit through the lens of Pittsburgh's comeback.

Detroit needs to diversify its economy, increase its density and figure out how to attract more people to live there. And it can be done. Just look at Pittsburgh. In the mid-1980s that city was home to 15 Fortune 500 companies. Then the steel industry collapsed in the first industrial meltdown as Japanese and Korean companies flooded the market with cheap metal. Pittsburgh’s legendary companies such as U.S. Steel, National Steel, Jones and Laughlin couldn’t withstand that heat. Like Detroit’s implosion, it was brutal and thousands of people got thrown out of work at once. You can’t close part of a blast furnace.

Original source: Time
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