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Maddie from 'Dance Moms' attracts national attention in music video

Maddie Ziegler, a dancing sensation on Lifetime’s, Pittsburgh-based reality show Dance Moms, recently appeared on Ellen and captured the attention of Vulture Magazine for a Q&A.

Ziegler answered questions about her role as a miniature Australian pop star in Sia’s new music video ‘Chandelier’ that has received 11 million views. 

She participated in the video after Sia tweeted her asking her if she’d like the part. Ziegler said that her mother and her dance instructor Abby Lee Miller were proud of her for landing the part, but Miller still had corrections to offer.

“She thinks now I’m pretty much considered a professional dancer, because I always put myself out there now, and I’ve gotten a lot of hits on it, so I’m just super excited about it,” Ziegler told Vulture. 

"In Pittsburgh, a visiting sports fan can't fail to hit a home run"

According to the Washington Post’s travel section, Pittsburgh is a haven for roaming sports fans. 

It’s no secret that the Steel City is rich in sports history with moments like Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off homerun in the 1960 World Series and Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” in 1972. In fact, Pittsburghers won’t let you forget them. 

Remnants of sports history in the form of memorabilia and monuments are scattered across the city. Visiting fans can see segments of the outfield wall that Mazeroski’s home run flew over, visit the Roberto Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville, or tour the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center

What sets Pittsburgh apart is the way in which its sports history is preserved and displayed, woven into the overarching story of Pittsburgh’s past. 

“I don’t think there’s another city in the United States that uses sport as much as Pittsburgh to tell its story to the world,” says Rob Ruck, a sports history professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Luke Bryan's stop in Pittsburgh made waves

People Magazinethe Tennessean and Deadspin all took notice of Luke Bryan’s appearance in Pittsburgh last weekend. 

News of the country music fiasco that occurred in Pittsburgh when Bryan’s fans left the North Shore littered with waste spread quickly after the concert on Saturday. 

People Magazine focused on the positive and reported that Luke Bryan’s show set the all-time record for ticket sales at Heinz Field while the Tennessean emphasized the chaos created by those 50,000 fans. 

Mayor Bill Peduto issued a statement denouncing the fans’ behavior and promising to bill promoters and private parties for the damage as opposed to paying for the damage with taxpayer dollars. 

"The continued trashing of our city has to stop. There is no reason ... (for taxpayers) to bear the burden for outsized amounts of garbage removal and public safety response," Peduto says.  

During the event, there were 150 calls to 911, 34 people transported to hospitals, and 15 fights that required public safety intervention. 

Deadspin compiled video clips from WPXI’s footage of tailgating concert goers and focused on one especially intoxicated man stumbling around on the sidewalk.  

The Last Billboard makes Buzzfeed

The Last Billboard, a Pittsburgh project curated by Jon Rubin, caught the eye of Buzzfeed last week. 

The project allows people to submit captions to be displayed on the billboard at the corner of Highland and Baum for an entire month. According to the project’s site, Rubin generally invites people to compose captions, but occasionally considers unsolicited submissions. 

Designed by Rubin and Pablo Garcia, the billboard can hold five lines with up to 28 characters each. It has featured messages as simple as a phone number and as complex as a lengthy quote. The board is made up of a rail system and wooden letters that are changed by hand each month. 

One board submitted by visual artist Packard Jennings read “These words hold no power over you.”

Native rappers stick together

MTV reported this week that Pittsburgh rappers stood by Hardo, a rapper from Wilkinsburg, through social media after he was found not guilty for drug charges.
 
Mac Miller asked fans to tweet their support with the hashtag #welcomehomehardo while Wiz Khalifa pledged his allegiance to the black and yellow and tweeted “free Hardo.”
 
Hardo was arrested and charged with drug possession and intent to deliver last August when officers found 250 individual stamp bags of heroin in a bag in his vehicle.
 
Since returning home, Hardo has already recorded and released a new single entitled “Thug Motivation.”

Pittsburgh rich and New York poor

According to the Pacific Standard, Pittsburgh’s relative cheapness is drawing a crowd of young, creative people who haven’t settled on a career yet because New York poor is Pittsburgh rich. Young people can afford to slack off for a few years in Pittsburgh.
 
The Pittsburgh Quarterly reported that  the region’s population of 20- to 34-year-olds grew by 7 percent over the past five years and is expected to grow an additional 8 percent by 2020.
 
"It is cheap to live here. It's the only city I know of where you can have a part-time job at a coffee shop, still afford a mortgage payment and be able to go out once a week. ... How would that not be appealing to any young person who isn't ready to settle down?” Elliott Sussman, a ukulele instructor, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Enter the warp zone: Super Mario Bros. style map of the T.

Pittsburgh transportation recently gained the attention of Dorkly, a publication dedicated to fandoms, when designer Dave Delisle created a pixeleated, Mario themed Map of Pittsburgh’s light rail system.
 
Delisle maintains a website, Dave's Geeky Ideas, filled with nerd inspired designs, but he warns his followers that the products he dreams up do not exist yet.
 
He has also posted ideas like a Mario Kart themed pendulum clockSuper Mario furniture and a toy fire truck USB hub

Pittsburgh woman sells correspondance with JD Salinger

Americana Exchange took notice of a rare collection of correspondence between J.D. Salinger and a young fan, Christine Smith, who currently resides in Pittsburgh.
 
Salinger, most known for his 1951 tale, Catcher in the Rye, seldom communicated with fans. Smith’s collection offers insight into literary, biographical and psychological details of Salinger’s life. The uncommon collection of letters is estimated to be worth between $180,000 and $240,000 and will be offered as part of a Christie’s New York auction on Thurs., June 19.
 
According to Fine Books Magazine, the archive includes 41 typed manuscripts totaling 66 pages and more than 200,000 words. Salinger and Smith corresponded over a span of ten years from 1966 to 1976 beginning when Smith was 19 years old. 

Local charities to benefit from Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS championship

Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins players will tee off for a cause June 24-29 at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Market Watch reported that Constellation, a family of retail electricity and gass suppliers, will sponsor the event and the winning team will make a grant to its chosen charity. 

Charities such as YMCA of Greater Pittsburghthe Pittsburgh Promise, and First Tee of Pittsburgh will receive grants as a result of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS championship. Since 1992, the SENIOR PLAYERS championship, has raised more than $9 million for charity and this year marks its third appearance in a row at Fox Chapel Golf Club. 

“Giving back to the communities we serve is a key part of Constellation’s culture, so we’ve also made it an important part of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship,” chief marketing officer for Constellation, Bruce Stewart, says.

Pittsburgh has the third most swimming pools per capita

There’s no need to bust the budget with an expensive vacation this summer because Pittsburgh recently ranked as the fourth best city for a staycation. 

WalletHub evaluated cities based on 20 factors like the number of museums, swimming pools, and tennis courts per capita to inform frugal consumers as to whether or not their cities will make for a suitable staycation. 

Pittsburgh has the third most swimming pools per capita, ranked fourth in the food and entertainment category, and came in sixth in terms of rest and relaxation.

Duquesne grad and August WIlson protege contributes to Broadway musical about Tupac Shakur

The New York Times reported last week that  “Holler if Ya Hear Me”, a new Broadway musical revolving around Tupac Shakur’s music and messages, was originally the brainchild of beloved playwright August Wilson who saw honor, duty, betrayal, and love in Shakur’s music.
 
When Wilson died in 2005, the idea lapsed until Western Pennsylvania native, Duquesne graduate and former Pittsburgh Public Theater staff member Todd Kreidler collaborated with director Kenny Leon and they took on the project of weaving 21 of Shakur’s songs and poems into a narrative.
 
The musical will open directly onto Broadway on June 19, after the Tony awards deadline, at the Palace Theater. The piece asserts the idea that Tupac Shakur is universal and that everybody can relate to his music.
 
“This is the greatest stage for storytelling in our country and I think Tupac Shakur belongs there,” Leon tells the New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal takes on Pittsburgh's public steps debate

The Wall Street Journal took notice this week of the public stair debate taking place in Pittsburgh.

In 2004, Bob Regan, a retired geophysics professor, counted and reported that Pittsburgh houses 45,454 public steps in his book entitled “The Steps of Pittsburgh”


Residents stand divided on the issue of repairing or removing staircases that have fallen into disrepair. Some argue the steps create a haven for suspicious activities such as drug deals, but others view the steps as part of their everyday lives. 

"The steps fit right into the hills," Brian Oswald, president of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, tells the Wall Street Journal. The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association has raised money in the past to illuminate a staircase that leads down to the bars and restaurants of the South Side. 

A woman who wished to remain anonymous instead pointed to the dangers of the stairs. 

"People are doing drugs, making out, it's like an orgy out there," she says.

"Suspended animation human trials to begin for wounded patients"

According to PBS, patients at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital will be the first to undergo trials for suspended animation as a treatment for knife and gunshot wounds. 

The process, referred to as emergency preservation and resuscitation, involves replacing patients’ blood with a cold saline solution to cause hypothermia. This reduces cellular activity and gives surgeons more time to repair wounds. 

Peter Rhee, a surgeon that contributed to developing the process, said that emergency preservation and resuscitation cannot bring a deceased patient back to life. 

“But if they’re dying and you suspend them, you have a chance to bring them back after their structural problems have been fixed,” he told New Scientist.

Read our story about this futuristic procedure here.

 

"Rebuilding the steel city"

Al jazeera America recently reported on Pittsburgh’s thirty year revitalization since the collapse of the steel industry, referring to the new and improved steel city as center for financial service companies, medical centers and high tech industries. 

The piece points to developments such as the Waterfront along with local and foreign investments as steps in the transformation. The efforts to improve Pittsburgh are compared to the steps taken in Detroit, Mich.

“You can bomb a city, you can burn a city, you can flood a city, or you can tear the economic heart of a city out. As long as you invest back into the people who believe in that city, the city will come back,” Mayor Bill Peduto comments.

Pittsburghers rank as second most courteous drivers

The Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey indicates that Pittsburgh drivers use their manners on the road.

The study conducted by AutoVantage, a roadside assistance company, ranked Pittsburgh behind only  Portland, OR in courteous driving.

According to Tech Times, the study included 2,500 consumers age 21 and above, who personally drove during rush hour (Mon. through Fri.) no fewer than three days per week.
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