The summer at the Warhol

I’ve seen them popping up in City Paper, and I’d be they’re elsewhere as well, and CopyRanter over at Buzz Feed has picked up the awesome campaign for the Warhol.

This one is my favorite, even with the cringe it induces, and BuzzFeed is missing at least one (the firecracker underwear), unless there are more that I haven’t seen yet.

I’ve only been to the Warhol once, and I didn’t get to see much (I was volunteering as an usher for Pittsburgh Opera), which I know, makes me a bad Pittsburgher, but maybe this will be the kick in the pants for me to get there.

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Nerve covers Anthrocon

I sadly missed Anthrocon this year.  For years it was the last weekend before I left for the summer and my coworkers and I would wander downtown on our lunch break to grab some pictures.  Usually of, and sometimes with the furries.

And they’re totally kind, awesome people!  But it was in July this month (I have no idea how they didn’t die from heat exhaustion), and I was otherwise engaged, so I missed it.

However, Nerve’s ongoing series, “Talking to Strangers” picked up the slack, and I was taken aback when I was at their homepage and thought to myself, “that bridge looks familiar.”

Check out the article, it’s totally worth it.  Don’t judge them too hard, they’re nice people, and harmless, and found a place where they can be themselves, if only we were all so lucky.  Oh yeah, and the massive amount of money they bring to the city each year.  That’s pretty awesome too.

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The Pirates and hope

I don’t really follow baseball.  I mean, I root for the Pirates, I wouldn’t think of rooting for another team.  But hockey is my sport, so I don’t know much about the roster, stats or anything else, really (same with football, I know, a sin here in Pittsburgh).

So I have cautious optimism while we’re doing so well.  Fool me 20 times, shame on you.  Fool me 21 times, shame on me.

The Good Men Project took a look at the Pirates.  Does this resonate?  Is it missing something?  Let me know, and maybe I’ll see you at the double header later today!

Let’s go Bucs!

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Pa’s DOMA case

After the Supreme Court ruled on the Windsor case, the ACLU moved swiftly, and their first lawsuit was here in Pennsylvania, challenging our state-wide DOMA in Whitewood v. Corbett.

Our Attorney General has decided to not defend the state, as in her professional opinion, the law is unconstitutional and she would not be able to defend it.  Please note, while this is her personal opinion, as a lawyer, her professional opinion is that the law is unconstitutional, and defending it would be a waste of tax-payer time for a frivolous exercise.

The Judge randomly assigned, John Jones III, is a bit of an enigma.  He is conservative, and has the backing of, of all people, Rick Santorum.  But he also ruled that a public school could not teach Intelligent Design in a science class.

Talking about that case:

“I take every case as it comes, but beyond that, anybody who is familiar with the Kitzmiller case understands that I gave both sides ample opportunity to present their cases, and I’ll certainly do that in this case as well.”

So we’ll see what happens, the courts seem to take a while, so we’ll be waiting for a bit.  But watch this space, I’ll keep you updated.

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Venture Outdoors Fireworks Paddle

And I’m back.  I wanted to take a minute to talk about the most recent adventure I went on with Venture Outdoors: Fireworks Paddle.

At the start of the Pirates game, we headed down underneath the Clemente Bridge, got our kayaks, PFDs and paddles and after some brief instruction, headed out onto the water.

There were a lot of us, and we were much more spread out than on other VO events (since the boats bounce into once another and it’s generally annoying when you do), so it was more of a relaxing, solitary look at the setting sun bouncing off the skyline.

We made our way up to Herr’s Island and then headed back towards PNC Park, all the while, in my head, singing Ride of the Valkyries.  As the sun finished setting, the game finished up (Pirates won by the way) and we had the best seats in the house for the fireworks.

It was mentioned beforehand, but I was surprised how much the water and boats were rocked by each blast.

Aside from a jagoff motorboat boat operator (who said he couldn’t see us even though we had lights and to get out of his way as he started to move), it was an awesome night.  The staff at Kayak Pittsburgh are amazingly efficient and helpful.  VO talked about it on their blog, and there’s another one scheduled for August.  Make sure to check it out if you want to see Pittsburgh from a new perspective.  I’ll have some pictures posted soon!

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Move over, Peduto

The web designers for Anthony Weiner’s campaign (for NYC mayor) messed up and used the Pittsburgh skyline (and one of the three sister bridges) on his website instead of Manhattan:

I think we should take the compliment.

(h/t to Joe My God, which also includes a great comment thread)


The Onion and Pittsburgh

I’m pretty sure that one of the writers for The Onion is from Pittsburgh.  Our neighborhoods pop up too much for it to be a coincidence.  And of course, it’s even more fun when the stories show up on Literally Unbelievable:

 

And parents in Bethel Park, I expected more from you!

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Best. Movie. Ever.

In the works is a biopic of Mr. Rogers:

The sweater wearing children’s TV icon Fred Rogers is the subject of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, an Alexis Jolly spec script that has sold to Justin Nappi and Kevin Turen’s Treehouse Pictures.

Words can’t describe how much I adore Mr. Rogers, and I can’t wait to watch this over and over and over again.

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Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

Once again, we’re in my favorite week of the year: Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week!

There are special events all over the region, including a lot of special brews and tap takeovers.  Even if you think you don’t like beer, I promise you’ll be able to find a beer that you’ll like.

And, just like last year, the local craft brew community came together and created five special collaboration brews:

  • D’Pomme Rye Saison – Rye Saison
  • Fear of a Black Walnut – Smoked Black Wanut Oatmeal Stout
  • Pennsyltucky UnCommon – PA Swankey/Kentucky Common
  • Fakin the Funk – American Wild
  • None More Black IPA – Belgian Black IPA

I went down to Rock Bottom to try the Fear of a Black Walnut, and it’s out of this world amazing.  I’m hoping to find all the others, but I’ll be hunting for the None More Black IPA.

There are also a couple other special beers out there from some craft brewing, and I have to recommend the Pittsburgh Left by Southern Tier.

Find out more, find a participating location and check out the myriad of events here.

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Dream of Autumn

Quantum Theater, once again, is pulling out all the stops.  And this time, it’s the world premier of “Dream of Autumn.”

What I’ve always liked about Quantum is how they use spaces in new and innovative ways, and especially how they use that mobility to support the local community.  “Dreams” is being staged in the former Park Schenley Restaurant in the Royal York, and the reviews have been very good.

The show runs through the rest of the week, and if you have a chance, certainly check it out (and hopefully I can make it to the next show!)

Find out more here.

 

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12 Years Later

CBS News (and The Good Men Project) cover The Lost Boys of Sudan, 12 years later.

When I was in college at Saint Vincent, we did a year-long project with some of the Lost Boys who were staying with the parish of St. Benedict the Moor in the Hill District.

We went down to visit them twice, spending Mass and an afternoon with them, learning about their stories, their culture and what it had been like since they came to the United States.

The third session, they came to visit us.  We had a huge cook-out and a great game of soccer on the Steeler Fields, and I really, really enjoyed the time I spent with them.  Check out the story and the video clip from CBS at the link above.

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An open letter to Mary Ann Burkhart of Bethel Park.

The Tribune Review ran this piece: When Pittsburgh flies rainbow flag, some see red

Ms. Burkhart is quoted:

“Lesbians, gays and transsexuals are honored … under a flag that many people have died for?” she said. “I’m crying for my country.”

Ms. Burkhart,

You make the assumption that those who have defended this country: one, should only be honored if they fit your narrow view of acceptability, and two, no one from the LGBT community has ever died for this country.

Let’s start with the countless scores of LGBT service members who have fought for this country since its very inception.  Who have died for this country.  Do you not think that they matter?  Can you so callously brush them aside?

Why do you not also cry for them?  Does their sacrifice, their family’s loss, not move you?  Why is your sorrow based upon their personal lives, in which you are in no way connected?

And what of the countless members of the LGBT community harassed, beaten and murdered, simply for who they are.  It was only a few short years ago that sexual orientation and gender expression were added to the federal hate crime statutes.  And it took the brutal and heinous murder of young man Matthew Shephard to bring this issue into focus.

Matthew died underneath that flag.  He died here, on American soil, tied to a fencepost, beaten and tortured and left to die in agony, all because of who he loved.

So when you cry Ms. Burkhart, cry for our fellow citizens.  Cry for the ones who spread bigotry and intolerance.

So when you cry Ms. Burkhart, cry for our county.  Cry for those who have died underneath the American flag, their lives cut short due to the hatred of their neighbors.

So when you cry Ms. Burkhart, cry for all the brave members of our armed forces, not just some of them.  For they all deserve our respect.

All my best,

Mike

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Disc Golf Champtionships

In 2015, the Professional Disc Golf Association’s world championships will be here in Pittsburgh:

July 25 – August 1, the tournament will be played at Deer Lakes, Knob Hill and Moraine (state) Parks, as well as Slippery Rock University.

I’m very bad at Disc Golf.  It’s fun, but I just don’t have much aim.  While playing Ultimate in college (as one does), I was much better at catching than throwing, not that I was that great, but I made a few good plays between classes.

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Lent and emoticons

The Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh has posted a Lenten message, where he discusses the smiley face.

Check it out here, and happy Fat Tuesday!

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CMU Studies Grammar

A new study from Carnegie Mellon shows that using using proper grammatical structure in passwords, actually makes them easier to crack.

Guess I’ll need to make some changes.

You can check out the report here.

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