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Exercise equipment arrives at Philadelphia International Airport

As Flying Kite witnessed on a recent trip out west, Philadelphia International Airport is now home to exercise equipment for antsy travelers. When we walked through, many of the stationary bikes were occupied.

Sitting on an exercise bike in Terminal D on a recent morning, Ms. Donofree was cycling at a leisurely pace, wearing jeans and checking her phone as jets taxied outside.

Without becoming sweaty, changing her clothes or paying fees to an airport gym, she was able to exercise while remaining near her departure gate, thanks to a set of newly installed workout machines.

In late June, the airport became the first in the United States to provide three types of low-impact stationary bikes for travelers to use in the terminal, free of charge, while waiting for their flights.


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

PA's RJ Metrics moves into larger space, extolls lean startup principles in New York Times

Robert J. Moore, founder and CEO of Philadelphia's RJ Metrics, wrote about his company's move to a bigger office on the New York Times' 'You're the Boss' blog, reflecting on lean startup principles. 

We had learned years ago that company culture isn’t about perks. Ping-Pong tables, funny posters, and free lunches are outputs of culture, not inputs to it. If any of our team members ever say they work at RJMetrics because of the chairs, I should be fired.
I admire those bigger companies that have been true to their lean roots during periods of extreme growth. Amazon famously provided employees with desks made of old doors, even as its headcount grew into the hundreds. To this day, Wal-Mart has its traveling executives sleep two to a room at budget hotels.

Just like the perks, however, these lean-minded policies are only healthy if they are the outputs of culture, not inputs meant to shape it. A team that is aligned on a core mission and values will wear them as a badge of honor. A team that isn’t will go work somewhere else.

As we grow, the balancing act of “lean success” will only get more complex. After all, being lean is not the same as being cheap, and separating these two can be hard when you’re in uncharted territory. We will invest heavily in building an inspired and empowered team – but we will check our egos at the door. Easier said than done? Definitely.


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

Pennsylvania team cruises into Little League World Series

Behind the arm of phenom Mo'Ne Davis, Philadelphia's Little League team triumphed; they're heading to the Little League World Series in Williamsport.

It’s a truism in baseball that, in the postseason, the team with the best pitching usually wins. So it was on Sunday in Bristol, Conn., when Mo’Ne Davis hurled a three-hitter to lead Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League of Philadelphia past Newark National Little League of Delaware, 8-0. The win secured a spot for Davis’s squad, representing the Mid-Atlantic Region, in the Little League World series. That tournament starts Thursday, and Davis will have a chance to win it all in her home state, as it will be played in Williamsport, Pa.?..

She became the 18th girl to appear in the LLWS, joining Emma March, whose South Vancouver squad won the right to represent Canada on the same day.

Davis and March will become the third pair of girls in the same LLWS since the tournament began admitting girls in 1974. In addition to being the 40th anniversary of that change in policy, it is also the 75th anniversary of the tournament.


Original source: The Washington Post
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Commonwealth institutes new scholarship program

This year, the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program will be available for college students attending private and public schools in Pennsylvania.

The state has allocated $5 million in the budget for the merit-based scholarship, and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, which is administrating the program, expects about 3,600 students will receive an award this year. Colleges can't start nominating students until Friday, but because the awards will be given on a first-come, first-served basis, East Stroudsburg plans to get all the work out of the way now so as many as possible can receive a scholarship.

"We definitely want to apply for this program," said Kizzy Morris, registrar and director of the student enrollment center. "As many students as we can find to qualify for this we will nominate." To qualify, students must have completed their freshman year, have at least a 3.25 GPA and family income cannot exceed $110,000. Students who receive needs-based scholarships are eligible as well. There is no limit for how many students a school can nominate, PHEAA spokesman Keith New said.


Original source: The Morning Call
Read the complete story here.

Wegmans plans new store in Pennsylvania

Wegmans, the beloved grocery chain, is planning a new Pennsylvania location in Concordville, PA.

Each year, thousands of people who have visited our store for the first time, or moved to a place without Wegmans, write asking that we build a store in their town. Since we open just two or three new stores each year, it would be impossible to oblige every request. 

Today, we have stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.  You’ll see from our list of future projects that our new store growth is concentrated in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, though we will continue to upgrade or replace older stores in our more mature markets, like New York.  There are other sites we are working on, but are not at liberty to disclose as yet.


Original source: Wegmans.com
Read the complete story list here.

It's a go for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Southern Beltway extension

A $666 million project to extend the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Southern Beltway between Interstate 79 and Route 22 in Washington County received unanimous support on Monday.

"We need to think bigger as a region. We need to be aspirational, or we'll get what we've always gotten," said Steve Craig, chairman of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and a Lawrence County commissioner.

The turnpike project is part of a larger, $4.7 billion proposal to address Western Pennsylvania's transportation needs during the next four years, starting on Oct. 1. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a 10-county planning agency, unanimously approved it.

Increased state funding from Pennsylvania's new transportation law beefed up the SPC's four-year plan. Approved every two years, the plan adopted in 2012 was $3.1 billion, down from $3.6 billion in 2010 and $4.2 billion in 2012.


Building the Southern Beltway will become the turnpike's biggest single project, said Brad Heigel, the agency's chief engineer. Construction of the 19-mile section of highway is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2016 and end in 2019.

Original source: PennLive
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T Magazine shines a light on food halls, including Philly's legendary Reading Terminal Market

Food halls -- like the wildly-popular Eataly in New York -- are a growing trend. Philadelphia's own Reading Terminal is undergoing a renaissance.

After a $3.6 million renovation to this historic indoor market in a former train station last year, its longtime merchants, including Pennsylvania Dutch farmers, have returned. The 80 vendors include 34 restaurants. Post-renovation newcomers include Wursthaus Schmitz, a German grocery and sausage stand that serves sandwiches ($9-11); the Head Nut, which offers spices, teas, nuts and candy; and the Tubby Olive, a gourmet olive oil ($16-31 a bottle) and vinegar shop.?

Original source: T Magazine
Read the complete story here.

Sprawling PA farmhouse featured in the New York Times

A charming stone house in Elverson, PA with seven bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms was featured in the New York Times' "What You Get For..." column.

This house is on more than 22 acres, neighboring a farm and a 535-acre county park. Horse and walking trails lead directly from the property into the park. Closer to the center of town is a historic district with residential and commercial buildings dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, in styles including Craftsman, Gothic and Queen Anne...Original features include some hardwood floors, molding, trim and exposed wood ceiling beams. The living room is about 630 square feet, with a fireplace. French doors open to a screened-in porch with views of magnolia and Kentucky coffeetrees. The fireplace in the dining room is almost large enough to walk into. Off the kitchen is an octagonal sunroom with five large arched windows overlooking a pond...The spring-fed pond is suitable for swimming and skating. There is a nine-stall barn with an apartment upstairs.

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

Penn State researchers tackle 'precrastinators'

Apparently there are some folks out there who, instead of putting things off, race to finish them. Penn State researchers took a look at this phenomenon of "precrastination."

"There is an overwhelming tendency to precrastinate," according to a paper published in May in the journal Psychological Science. The behavior might include answering trivial emails, for example, or paying bills far ahead of time. “It’s an irrational choice,” the paper said, but it also reflects the significant trade-offs people make to keep from feeling overwhelmed.

The paper described an experiment at Pennsylvania State University that was meant to explore decision-making when it comes to physical effort. Students were asked to carry a beach bucket down an alley. They were given a choice: They could pick up a bucket near the start of the alley and carry it to the end, or they could pick up a different bucket that was closer to the end of the alley, walk a few steps and put it down.

The researchers assumed that most of the subjects would choose the bucket that required the least amount of lifting time. Instead, most picked up the bucket that was closer to them, a decision that forced them to carry it longer than necessary. In other words, they gave themselves extra work for no apparent benefit.

"We couldn’t figure out what on earth was going on," said the lead researcher, David Rosenbaum, a professor of psychology at Penn State. "We thought maybe we made a mistake with the instructions..."

Through the experiments, the researchers homed in on a hypothesis: People appear wired to incur a significant physical cost to eliminate a mental burden.



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

Eat Philadelphia's best "secret menu items"

Zagat has put together a list of Philadelphia's best off-menu items. We're especially drooling over the pork pastrami sandwich at Fitler Dining Room:

Chef Rob Marzinsky has been doing intense sandwich research for the just-introduced daily 5-7 p.m. happy hour at this Fitler Square American bistro, and this dish is one of the happy consequences. After a four-day brine, pork shoulder is rubbed with pastrami spice, dried and cold-smoked for eight hours. Slices are served on a house-baked semolina roll with bread and butter pickles, spicy cabbage slaw, Gulden’s mustard and melted Birchrun Hills Fat Cat cheese.?

Original source: Zagat
Read the complete list here.

Tesla gets the green light for five stores in PA

Tesla, the high-end manufacturer of electric cars, has gotten the go-ahead to open give stores in the Commonwealth.

If you Keystone Staters are looking for a more elegant, environmentally friendly way to transport cheesesteaks and Wawa hoagies, your time has nearly come. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett signed a bill yesterday allowing Tesla to open up five "dealerships," which means you'll soon be able to buy yourself a Model S without jumping through all those traditional (and awful) hoops. Once you've visited a location to see Elon Musk's work in action, you order one online and wait. Simple as that. As the Associated Press points out, the law opens the door for any other electric car company to do the same, assuming it doesn't try to sell (or have a vested interest in selling) cars from other manufacturers. ?

Original source: Engadget
Read the complete story here.

Update: Pennsylvania actually sends draft notices to 14,000 men over the age of 118

The quirky case of draft notices sent to late Pennsylvanians continues -- turns out the state sent out over 14,000 of them.

The notices from the Selective Service System were mailed to at least 14,250 men born more than a century ago — all believed to be dead — warning them that failure to register is “punishable by a fine and imprisonment.” The Associated Press reported.

"I said, 'Geez, what the hell is this about?'" said Chuck Huey, 73, about the notice he received that was addressed to his late grandfather, Bert Huey, who was born in 1894, served in World War I, then died in 1995 at the age of 100, AP reported. "It said he was subject to heavy fines and imprisonment if he didn’t sign up for the draft board. We were just totally dumbfounded."

...Turns out, the genesis for the glitch was the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which was transferring about 400,000 records to Selective Service. A clerk didn’t select the century for the records of those who were born between 1993 and 1997, so the system scooped up those who had been born between 1893 and 1897, too.


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

PennLive searches for the 'best scenic view in Pennsylvania'

Check out this list of the most scenic views in the Keystone State -- and then vote for your favorite.

This is a list of views that take your breath away. We looked for something from all four corners of the state; many are a several-hour drive from here. A few are from the midstate. Some are overlooks while forests or skyscrapers frame some others. Many evolve with the march of the calendar and the change of the seasons. All really are worth seeing at any time of the year although be aware you might need to hike to reach the perfect spot for the view.?

Original source: PennLive
 

University of Pennsylvania wins contract to treat memory deficits

The University of Pennsylvania was one of two institutions to win a Department of Defense contract to develop brain implants for memory deficits.

Their aim is to develop new treatments for traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Its most devastating symptom is the blunting of memory and reasoning. Scientists have found in preliminary studies that they can sharpen some kinds of memory by directly recording, and stimulating, circuits deep in the brain...

“A decade ago, only a handful of centers had the expertise to perform such real-time experiments in the context of first-rate surgery,” said Michael Kahana, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania and the recipient of one of the new contracts granted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa. “Today, there are dozens of them, and more on the way; this area is suddenly hot.”


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

PA man receives draft notice 102 years late

A late Rockland Township man recently received a draft notice in the mail -- 102 years late.

Martha Weaver, now in her 80s, tells The (Oil City) Derrick ( http://bit.ly/VJQzHh ) that the Selective Service System notice arrived Saturday in Rockland Township, Venango County. That's about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Her father's name was Fred Minnick, though the notice misspelled the last name "Minick" and warns that failure to register is "punishable by a fine and imprisonment."


Her father was born on June 12, 1894, which means he would have turned 18 in 1912.

Original source: ABC News
Read the complete story here.
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