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Drexel student starts feeding frenzy in the 'Shark Tank'

A Drexel student-entrepreneur started a feeding frenzy in the Shark Tank, eventually earning a deal with two sharks for his app SchollyCheck out the video here.

Original source: ABC

Buzz Bissinger lists some Dos and Don'ts for the arriving DNC hordes

The curmudgeonly author of 'Prayer for the City' shares some tips with Politico readers. Some of our favorites:

DON’T come near a cheesesteak. They are gnarly and fundamentally deranged in conception. Until you eat one. Then they are almost worth the guilt you will inevitably feel because you just ate one and likely ingested fifty or sixty thousand calories. Instead satisfy your cravings in what is America's most interesting and diverse culinary city. Try one of the many BYOBs. They are small and intimate and the food stunning and the cost reasonable.

DO drive on the Schuylkill Expressway one night to see the twinkling lights of Boathouse Row against the backdrop of the art museum and the Fairmount Water Works and the city skyline. It is the single most spectacular view in the city. Then be prepared to die since the expressway is the worst engineered highway in history (for a real death thrill, take the South Street exit heading east and try to merge).

DO be prepared to have a ball. The city is truly divine and you will feel pampered. Now if only there was no convention …


Original source: Politico
Read the complete story here.

Commonwealth 'flush with cash' for transit projects

While other states struggle to fund transportation projects, Pennsylvania is "flush with cash," according to the Associated Press.

Pennsylvania is implementing a multifaceted, multibillion-dollar blueprint designed to accelerate road and bridge projects, improve mass transit systems and increase subsidies to local governments.

The higher taxes, fees and fines approved in 2013 are being phased in over five years to generate $2.3 billion annually - mostly for roads and bridges, and additional millions in inter-modal grants for railroads, seaports and airports. There's even $35 million earmarked for improving gravel and dirt roads.


Original source: Associated Press (via Philly.com)
Read the complete story here.

York County 'Eagle Cam' provides plenty of avian drama for viewers

Viewers across the web are tuning in to watch these York County eagles.

The perilous mission of two bald eagles in York County to raise a family has people the world over glued to their computer and mobile device screens.

Since Jan. 14, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Eagle Cam has garnered more than 1.6 million hits — and more than 1 million views this month alone.

"Those are crazy numbers," Lori Neely, the agency's social media director, said.

On LancasterOnline.com, the Eagle Cam had been viewed 340,000 times by early last week. With the eagles taking turns incubating two eggs in the large stick nest 75 feet up in an oak tree, the best high drama is yet to come.


Can the eggs avoid a fatal smothering of snow, freezing rain, a falling branch or a marauding hawk? Will they hatch? Will they avoid sibling rivalry and both get enough food to fly out of the nest in late May? It's central Pennsylvania's own avian soap opera and reality show.

Original source: The Morning Call
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The 2016 Democratic National Convention comes to the Keystone State

Philadelphia has been awarded the 2016 Democratic National Convention. It's a huge boon for the area and a symbol of its progress.

Maybe it was the private nighttime visit to Independence National Historical Park, where the Democrats’ top national official got to touch the Liberty Bell.

Whatever it was that sealed the deal, Democrats on Thursday chose Philadelphia for their 2016 national convention, looking ahead to Independence Hall and other symbols of America’s birth bathing their presidential nominee in a patriotic aura.

"In addition to their commitment to a seamless and safe convention, Philadelphia’s deep-rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering," Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, who had caressed the Liberty Bell, said in her announcement.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.


 

Oscar Meyer Wienermobile crashes in PA, jokes ensue

Who could resist a story like that?

An iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has crashed into a pole in central Pennsylvania.

Officials say the giant hot dog on wheels slid off a road and slammed into a pole on Sunday in Enola, near Harrisburg.


PennLive even came up with a song.

Original source: Associated Press; NPR
Read the complete story here.

Philadelphia University basketball coach passes tremendous milestone

This Pennsylvania legend recently became only the second NCAA men's basketball coach to win 1,000 games. 

[Philadelphia University coach Herb] Magee hit the milestone with the Rams' 80-60 win over Post on Saturday. He has won all 1,000 games over 48 seasons at the 3,600-student private Division II university in Philadelphia.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is the only other NCAA men's coach to win 1,000 games. Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game on Jan. 25 against St. John's at Madison Square Garden. He is the fourth men's coach in all divisions to reach the milestone.
Magee needed two tries after the Rams (15-6, 9-3 Central Athletic Collegiate Conference) lost this week to Wilmington.

"Relief. I don't make that up," Magee said. "That's the way I felt. Ask my wife, she'll tell you. It's been a tough situation because the hype is there and everyone is pulling for us as a team but they're really pulling for me to get 1,000 wins because they know how important it is. It means a lot."


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

The New York Times reviews the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director

The New York Times visits the Merriam Theater to check out the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director Angel Corella.

On Saturday, I watched two performances of a triple bill at the attractive Merriam Theater (to be a century old in 2018). My particular interest was in “Shift to Minor,” a world premiere by Matthew Neenan, whose position as resident choreographer Mr. Corella recently extended by three years, and in a revival of George Balanchine’s “The Prodigal Son.” The audience loved both, as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s opening “Polyphonia.” But it is not from these pieces that we can judge Mr. Corella’s taste; for that, we’ll have to wait until he announces his 2015-16 season. The most immediate shifts of emphasis lie in dancers beneath principal level.

In Philadelphia, the program was advertised with a poster image of a newly promoted soloist, Alexander Peters, as the Prodigal. Mr. Peters and a corps dancer imported by Mr. Corella this summer, Mayara Pineiro, were also prominent in “Shift to Minor.” And Saturday’s performances also gave important breaks to two other dancers added by Mr. Corella: the soloist Oksana Maslova and the corps dancer Etienne Diaz. Ms. Maslova and Ms. Pineiro have unusually glamorous presences, considerable poise and technical flair; Mr. Diaz has a boyish charm and athletic energy that somewhat recall Mr. Corella’s own.



Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete review here.

Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run is all fun, no work

This run has everything -- drinks, t-shirts, food -- without the actual running.

The Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run finished a step after it started Friday night. An official time of 1 second was given to each of the estimated 350 participants, who paid $20 to $35 apiece for a T-shirt, beer, food and live music. It was a race like any other race except for, well, the actual running.

Traditional races have spawned any number of novelty alternatives: obstacle courses featuring mud, fire and barbed wire; mile runs in which participants chug a beer before each of four laps around a track; color runs in which participants are showered with kaleidoscopic cornstarch.

And now, inspired by a cartoon, comes the nonrun, with the motto “All the fun, none of the commitment!”

Depending on one’s view, Friday’s race was an existential comment on engagement and responsibility; a critique or embrace of entitlement and self-importance; a celebration or rejection of couch-potato sloth; a chance for serious runners to shake off the midwinter doldrums with silly fun; or a sly enticement of nonrunners, luring them to what may be the best part of a race — the after-party.

“We wanted to prove that with no hard work, no perseverance and no discipline, anyone can be a winner,” said Dan Babeu, 40, of Levittown, Pa.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

PA college student to appear on 'Shark Tank'

PA student-entrepreneur Christopher Gray will pitch his scholarship app Scholly on ABC's 'Shark Tank.'

Airing of the show will be next Friday, Feb. 20, at 9 p.m. on ABC. A show teaser says Gray, an undergraduate student at Drexel University, kept things interesting: "Interest in a scholarship app created by a student from Philadelphia ignites into the most heated Shark fight ever with three of the Sharks walking out of the Tank!"

Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here.

Washington Post backs Philly for 2016 Democratic Convention

The Washington Post blogger thinks Philly is an ideal choice for the 2016 Democratic Convention.

As much as I love my home town, New York City, and would love to see Brooklyn host the 2016 Democratic convention, I have to agree with my MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews. The party’s next presidential standard-bearer should accept the nomination in Philadelphia. “By gathering in iconic Philadelphia, Democrats could lay claim to not just the flag but what it stands for,” Matthews argued Sunday in The Post. “A week there, sparkling with American values, could produce the kind of inspiring national convention we’ve missed in recent years.”?

Original source: The Washington Post
Read the complete story here.

Six more weeks of winter says local groundhog

That's right: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2, crushing hearts across the country.

On an overcast morning, Phil the groundhog gazed at the sky, looked for his shadow and at about 7:25 a.m. ET told his handler Bill Deeley his prediction: "Forecasts abound on the Internet, but, I, Punxsutawney Phil am still your best bet. Yes, a shadow I see, you can head to Twitter, hashtag: Six more weeks of winter!"

Phil's prediction on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., came as a winter storm moved from the Midwest to the Northeast.


Original source: NPR
Read the complete story here.

Uber and Carnegie Mellon collaborate on driver-less car research lab

The ride-share giant Uber has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University on a new Pittsburgh research lab focused on driver-less cars.

Carnegie Mellon and its Robotics Institute have been working on driverless vehicles for years, and its work is part of the reason the city has successfully segued from an industry-driven economy to one based on technology and medicine in the last 20 years, with the nearby University of Pittsburgh Medical Center pioneering transplant medicine and other breakthroughs.

The Uber-Carnegie Mellon deal is "another case where collaboration between the city and its universities is creating opportunities for job growth and community development," Mayor Bill Peduto said

The partnership announced Monday includes Uber funding for faculty chairs and graduate fellowships at the private research university.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Drexel tackles the complex town-gown dynamic in West Philly

NPR's Code Switch blog takes a look at the ways Drexel is rethinking the traditional town-gown dynamic, especially with its Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

Like many expanding colleges and universities, Drexel has put real estate pressure on its surrounding neighborhoods including Mantua, a predominantly black community and one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. The school is now trying to counteract that pressure with a center designed to serve not just faculty and students but mainly local residents.

"Developers were looking at this beautiful 1.3-acre site and were saying, 'Boy, we could put a lot of student housing on the block!' " explains Lucy Kerman, who oversees the Dornsife Center as Drexel's vice provost for university and community partnerships. "What's intentional is to look at this as a resource for the community and to say, 'No, that's not what's going to happen.'"


Original source: NPR
Read the complete story here.

Governor Tom Wolf appoints transgender woman physician general

The state's new governor has already demonstrated a commitment to diversity, appointing a transgender woman as physician general.

Dr. [Rachel] Levine, a resident of Middletown, Pennsylvania, is currently a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where she also serves as chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders, a program she created on her own. She has also worked actively with the school’s Office of Diversity, mentoring LGBT students, faculty and staff, and she sits on the board of Equality PA.

...In a press release sent out this weekend, Wolf explains why he chose her for this position:

“Dr. Rachel Levine is well-respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades. She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders. It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters."


Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete story here.
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