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Pittsburgh Drone Masters shed light on new technology

According to Bloomberg BusinessweekPittsburgh Drone Masters, a meet up group, is working to clear up the myths surrounding unmanned aerial systems. 

Group leader Micah Rosa says that gaining attention helps prepare the population for a future with drones. He wants the public to view drones as an evolution of model planes, not voyeuristic devices. 

"I'm big on education, so I try to be found in search results so that I can bring [drones] out in a good light," says Rosa.

Commercial drones are currently illegal in the United States, but private companies are allowed test flights with experimental airworthiness certificates. However, the unmanned flight industry is expected to reach $89 billion globally in the next decade and online retailer Amazon recently applied for a testing certificate to utilize drones in Seattle as part of an Amazon Prime Air Delivery service.

Child prodigy and esteemed conductor Lorin Maazel dies at 84

This week the New York Times paid tribute to Lorin Maazel, a child prodigy who grew up to become an enigmatic conductor, after he died in his home at 84. Maazel conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1940, before his tenth birthday. He returned to Pittsburgh throughout his career.  

At 15, he took a break from conducting and began studying at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1946 he organized the Fine Arts Quartet of Pittsburgh and in 1948 he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra shortly before embarking for a long stint in Europe in 1951. 

In 1984, he returned to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as a music consultant and later became its musical director until 1996. During this time, he toured the world and won a grammy with the orchestra.

Richard Mellon Scaife's will leaves his true wealth a mystery

The Chicago Tribune Review notes that when Pittsburgh billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife died on July 4, at the age of 82, his will left much of his extraordinary wealth undesignated, but he asked that his dogs go to a good home. 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette estimates the conservative political activist’s fortune to be as much as $1.4 billion, but an accurate amount is unknown due to private trusts Scaife constructed throughout his lifetime. 

Only two beneficiaries, the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum in Chadd’s Ford, Pa., and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, were named. Scaife’s children were not mentioned in his will, but Scaife’s lawyer H. Yale Gutnick says that they and a collection of institutions that Scaife supported have been taken care of.

German town follows in Pittsburgh's footsteps

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Bochum, Germany is taking a page out of Pittsburgh’s history books to recover from an industrial collapse. 

After World War II, the city was rebuilt on mining and steel production and later turned to manufacturing. Now, the city is turning to technology and healthcare, much like Pittsburgh, to reconstruct the economy.

At the helm of Bochum’s revival is the city’s largest employer, Ruhr University. With a focus on information science and healthcare, the university intends to mold Bochum into a science hub. 

Uwe Neumann, a regional economy researcher at the Rheinisch-Westfaelisches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung e.V. institute in nearby Essen says that it’s easy to compare Pittsburgh and Bochum. 

“The location and the population have proven adaptable. The all-hands-on-deck mentality and the willingness to take your destiny into your own hands play a very important role and are a significant advantage,” Neumann says.

Esquire says yinz got style

Mount Washington, BRGR, and Stage AE made Pittsburgh look stylish for Esquire’s Style Blog. The editors of Esquire have been travelling across the United States this Spring and recently stopped in the Steel City. 

The article described Pittsburgh as “a hipper, organic, authentic version of the cool downtown area near you with the bricks, only they have more bars, better food, and a brilliant arts scene.”

According to EsquireLarrimor’s and Social Status are the chic places to shop in the ‘burgh, Butcher and the Rye and BRGR are for hungry readers, and they recommend Mount Washington and the Carnegie Museum for just hanging out.

UPMC finds link between online shopping and trips to the emergency room

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was featured in the New York Times’ Technophobia column last week due to its increased collection of patient data. 

UPMC, on the forefront of healthcare analytics, recently increased the number of factors taken into consideration in regard to patients’ insurance. They are now able to evaluate variables like marital status and level of education. They also expanded their analytics to include data from Acxiom, a marketing analytics company. 

One correlation that UPMC discovered was mail-order or internet shoppers are more likely to require expensive emergency services. 

“It brings me another layer of vision, of view, that helps me figure out better prediction models and allocate our clinical resources,” Dr. Pamela Peele, the chief analytics officer for the U.P.M.C. insurance services division, says.

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.
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