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80th place? At least we made the list

Eightieth place is not something to brag about, we guess, but at least we made the latest livability list, from the website of the same name. Read why. Maybe you can convince them to move us up.

Luis von Ahn's Duolingo is Apple's App of the Year

CMU prof and ReCaptcha founder Luis von Ahn has done it again with a smartphone app that is teaching the world to speak and write foreign languages. Apple named it the Apple's App of the Year. Perhaps it was the 10 million downloads that convinced them.

Read about it here.


Think we're not getting our young people back?

Think again. Here's one who came back, and her tribute to all the good reasons.

More pizza joints equals more bars -- and we're a top example

Pittsburgh is now among the top ranking cities with the most per-capita pizza places and bars -- which go hand in hand, they also found.

We think this is something to celebrate...

A love letter to the Burgh

"Oh Pittsburgh, I love you," begins Allison Bustin's aptly titled "Love Letter to Pittsburgh" in The Huffington Post. "The Paris of Appalachia. The Steel City. Not Philadelphia. The Most Livable City. The City of Champions. The Burgh. The 412."

And she was born in Baltimore.

Read the rest here.

Pittsburgh's fracking dilemma

The headline reads "‘Saudi America’ fracking boom a dilemma for environmentalists" but the article, from McClatchy, begins with Pittsburgh's effort to deal with the possibility of fracking in the Marcellus Shale locally.

Read the article here.

Top 10 best places to retire includes Pittsburgh

"Baby Boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, currently make up the largest part of the U.S. population. While some already have retired, a recent Gallup report shows the average expected retirement age for Americans has increased to age 61, partly due to this generation of retirees choosing and being healthy enough to work longer than any generation before them.

So for at least the next decade, Boomers' lifestyle habits will continue to impact communities, particularly as they redefine traditional ideas of what retirement means."

Citing our safe neighborhoods, low cost of living, and abudance of fitness centers, Pittsburgh made #5 on the best places to reture list.

To see the complete list, click here.

"I always knew I would come back" to Pittsburgh

"Moira Egler, 25, wanted to live in New Orleans ever since she volunteered on post-Katrina reconstruction projects as a high-schooler back in 2006. Gutting houses and talking with survivors inspired her to pursue community development as a potential career. She ended up going to Tulane University and toiling at hands-on internships in New Orleans communities. To save up some extra money, she decided to get a summer waitressing job in her hometown, Pittsburgh, then head back to New Orleans as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Or at least, that was the plan."

Moira's story, and the story of many like hers, is featured in TheAtlantic.com's Cities section. More and more young people are deciding to come back to Pittsburgh after college, bringing with them a wealth of talent and innovation that keep the city moving.

To read why Moira decided to stay, click here.

Bloomfield makes this list of Italian American neighborhoods

Bloomfield is featured in this slideshow of 10best.com's list of the best Italian neighborhoods in the US.

No offense, but we think we're better than those other guys over there, know what I mean? Fuhgeddaboutit!

To see what other cities made the list, click here.

Lights, camera, Pittsburgh!

It's no secret to anyone living in the Burgh that we've become a bit of a hotspot for movie filming. Some of us still feel like Christian Bale is watching from atop PPG place, ready to take Gotham back from the evil Bane. But movies in Pittsburgh go back much farther than that, as PA-mag.com discusses in a recent article.

"For nearly a quarter-century, the Pittsburgh Film Office, formed in 1990, has assisted in the production of more than 100 feature films and television programs all filmed in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. But Pittsburgh’s first ties to the movie industry can be traced nearly a century ago to the 1914 silent film The Perils of Pauline, followed by a handful of other movies in the 1940s through the ’60s."

To read more about why Pittsburgh has earned the title "Hollywood of the east," click here. (It's a .pdf, so you may have to give Adobe Reader permission to run.)

Thorsten Brinkmann transforms abandoned house into artspace

Pittsburgh's new resident artist, who has completely transformed what used to be a single family row house into a massive installation art piece, was featured on designboom.com.

"‘Le Hutte Royal’ totally transforms the interior of a three-story space into a permanent installation that reuses music albums, furniture, trophies and other found and discarded materials into the existing structure. From the street, the home completely blends in to the working-class neighborhood where it is situated; upon entering, visitors are transported into the art space, squeezing past an enormous bell — a prop salvaged from a bygone children’s TV show — in order to get inside. Almost every room has been substantially remade — a boxing ring in a bedroom and a home theater installed in the attic uses vintage beauty parlor for seats and sound."

To read more about Le Hut Royal and find out how to reserve your own tour, click here.

The best cities for millenials right now

The Atlantic Wire will run a series of articles about millenials making it outside of larger hub cities favored by previous generations.

"Having come of age during the Great Recession and now a long-lived weak job market, the assumption is not only that we'll be less wealthy, but that the traditional markers of adulthood will be delayed. Or never achieved at all. Yet this worry also assumes today's twentysomethings are aiming for the same things as previous generations: either to make it big in the major cities that have traditionally held the promise of success, or to settle down in the house with the white picket fence in the suburbs.

"Some of us certainly still yearn for this paradigm, but most of us are adjusting our expectations. We’re realizing that those big, bustling cities have become unaffordable for those of us just starting out. And the house in the suburbs, with its long commutes and high gas bills, doesn’t fare much better. So where does a Millennial turn?"

Pittsburgh is featured in this week's introductory article as an example of cities where young folk tend to boomerang back home after some time away.

To read more about the upcoming series, click here.

Dead bees, nail clippings, and priceless art in Warhol's 'Time Capsules'

NPR covers the slow process of uncovering the past of Pittsburgh's favorite Pop artist by dissecting hundreds of his old personal items, stored in cardboard boxes and saved with the intent of someday being an art piece.

"Marie Elia likes to describe her job this way: She is the secretary to a dead man. As one of two catalogers for Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, it's her job to go through the 610 boxes he left after his death in 1987. In one box she found a mysterious small tin. 'I opened it and it was full of fingernail clippings, dead bees and those little holes that come from a hole punch,' she says. The fingernail clippings weren't Warhol's. They were sent to him by a fan. 'I don't know why. Somebody mailed that to him. Somebody thought that he would like it.'"

Some of the boxes are even opened in front of a live audience on a small stage inside the Warhol Museum.

To read more about the Time Capsules exhibit, click here.

Two case studies: how connected educators can transform schools

KQED discusses the innovative ways in which teachers can connect with each other to discover new ways to teach more effectively. One of the people dedicated to this field of work is Kris Hupp, who works for the Cornell School District here in Pittsburgh.

"Figuring out which new teaching practices or pieces of technology might work in a classroom can feel like a full-time job. Lots of educators spend their free time researching new ideas and connecting with other educators, but there are plenty more that find the process confusing and overwhelming. How much easier would it be to have a dedicated staff person whose job is to bring new ideas into the district, support teachers and smooth the way with administrators?

That’s what Kris Hupp does for Cornell School District, a tiny district in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hupp’s official title is 21st Century Teaching and Learning Coach, a job that started out as part of a state grant and has been incorporated into the regular budget. “My district made the investment in my position because they were seeing instructional shifts and a lot of that is this mentality that we’re in it together,” Hupp said.

"The most important thing about his job is to create trust with both teachers and administrators who sometimes find themselves on opposite sides of labor disputes and budget issues, Hupp said. 'Sometimes we’re just negotiators, whether it’s that the administration wants something from a teacher or vice-versa. It really requires a tremendous level of trust.'"

To read the full article, click here.
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