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Review: Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) Public Day

May 17, 2018 Leave a comment

 

ISEF Public Day 2018

(c)2018 Intel ISEF

Review: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Us knowing ISEF was in Pittsburgh started out by attending a tour of CCAC. The one professor my step-daughter talked to strongly suggested that she check out ISEF on the public day (as he would be judging one of the areas). We’d like to thank Abiraman Srinivasan for that.

Keep in min my step-daughter goes to one of the most highly rated public school districts in the area. Nobody informed her of this opportunity, nobody knew about it when asked for permission to miss part of the school day. It took one professor that did not even have my step-daughter as a possible student yet to take interest enough in that student to alert them to what was really out there.

The event was completely and unbelievably impressive. When you see a student’s eyes light up when they realize what opportunities are really out there – it makes you overjoyed that you took the time to act on a suggestion.

Half way through the event, I asked my step-daughter if she would have handled high school differently if she knew what opportunities were out there she said “yes”.

The problem is when events like this happen very few schools get their students to them. Sadly this does create a lack of inspiration in our young to have any ambition for higher education. You have to know about the goals to have ambitions towards them.  Kudos to Intel for making this possible … even if you don’t like their processors. This is truly a company giving back to the community.

The only bad side to the event was the realization of how far behind the US is in education. A family member works for a very well-known tech college in Pittsburgh and many times you rumors of them only seeking out international students. After talking to many of these students at this event – I now know why. I spent half of my day having conversations with high school students from other countries and felt like I was speaking to seasoned scientists and researchers. When I talked to the students there from the US they were smart … but it seemed like I as speaking to high school students. Got back to the 60s, 70s, and 80s and this situation would have been flipped. I’m not bad-mouthing the US students, just indicating that we may need to get rid of the entitlement thing big time in this country so we can do some catching up.

In an unexpected and enlightening realization – this even also proved one thing. When there is a very strong common interest or goal people from all walks of life have absolutely nothing against each other. In this even where people of persuasion that the news depicts as absolutely hating each other.  Not a sign of any discomfort between any students, their parents, volunteers, or attendees. None. All of then had one common goal – advance science. We need to learn from this.

In summary – this was an amazing even from a multitude of viewpoints. If ISEF is happening and it’s not in your area and you have a student trying to figure out what to do with their higher education that may give them a real opportunity to actually pay for that education and still have enough left over for a real life – fly them to it.  It’s worth the cost of plane ticket. ISEF if an immense opportunity to simply expose students to the information about careers and opportunities that exist in current times and the future.

Give people opportunities and peace will happen automatically by giving the ability to have food,shelfter, and quality of life.

Big Kudos to Intel for sponsoring this event!

-SWB

 

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Wiener World (A Pittsburgh Icon)

May 15, 2018 Leave a comment
WeinerW_051418_Small

“Hot Dog King” (c)Lawrence A Capozzolo

No … this is not a blog posting on a less than family friendly movie.

Get you head out of the gutter.

No, really – stop thinking that!!!! It’s REALLY embarassing.

To the food …

Wiener World is probably one of the last established long time food icons left in the city that almost brings visions of a New York scene in an episode of Seinfeld. We did try the soup guy thing, but that didn’t stick.

I guess hot dogs are easier —- everyone loves a hot dog. I mean, what’s better than something that contains 2% of stuff that should never be in your daily intake. Just kidding.

WW has been around in the city ever since I can remember – sort of like S.W. Randall Toys and Gifts. It’s one of those things that’s never not been there. It’s also one of those things you easily forget to visit occasionally.

Don’t miss out on this one …. it’s a treat.

Tradition, taste, and hot stuff on a bun … perfect!

Our rating … we skip on this one. You just can’t rate tradition. Kudos to Wiener World for keeping it alive.

-SWB

PS – don’t forget the chili.

Review: DUST Movies on YouTube

April 30, 2018 Leave a comment
DUST_0418_Small

Logo (c)DUST

Two links you need to know if you like SciFi and/or good production in general:

I remember the old days of good SciFi paperbacks … and publications like Analog, that showcased some of the greatest SciFi shorts of the time. BTW … Analog is still around. Many things like that just dissolve into memories you cherish in your rocking chair (or perpetual motion glider chair). The great thing is DUST, being one of the better online venues, became the modern upgrade for lovers of great fiction … in video form.

I have yet to see a single short on their YouTube channel or site that I would not want to see as a full feature motion picture. Many of these talented film makers work production for many of the commercial length movies you watch at the theaters … some are independents. Regardless of the situation … curating on DUST is outstanding. Check them out … you won’t be disappointed.

swbkudosKudos from SWB!

Keep it up and keep us entertained.

Experience the future …. watch DUST!

-SWB

Netflix AMC Halt and Catch Fire – a late acting surprise gem.

April 23, 2018 Leave a comment

From IMDB

Most of the fan base for this tech history drama  were basically included the techno geeks of all ages, and all generational labels … the true geeks, and the closet ones (we know you …. Big Brother watches you playing your Atari 2600 behind your wardrobe!).

The main reason most watched it … the techie history (or so we thought). In general it was really cool trying to place the fictional company with the real innovative company of the time during each episode (of course seeing the gear was fun too). An yes, I too did wince when the ceiling dust fell into the mainframe due to the partying techs on the floor above.

The characters, in general, were spot on to their stereotypes of the day. The appearance of women heavy in influence in the beginnings of the industry also had much truth … many forget NASA butt being saved prior to the computing golden years by women who learned how to program on their own. Many of the female characters were not put in the show just to get viewership … many times, it was really like that.

In the beginning the show seemed to be more the design of a lite docu-drama about computer history in Silicon Valley. Later it seemed to expand into a hodgepodge of dramas (including the required sex scenes concerning all applicable lifestyles to give the typical cable and streaming series message of “you can watch our show … we’re very PC” – this is the only thing where I see TV hurting these days, when good acting starts to be over-shadowed by the political need to do on-screen CYA). Seasons 1 and 2 were great …. and to the the credit of the writes, if you skipped any scenes you didn’t think applied to the show, the story lines still continued very clearly. Season 3 took me a while to get through, and I even mentioned to wife that it was neat seeing the companies portrayed in seasons 1 and 2 were very cool, but season 3 seems to lack in keeping me interested and I didn’t see a real direction in the writing.

Then season 4 hit. It seems to almost be a continuation of the writing in season 3, but more into the relationships (including family) that were forged and destroyed by the industry – a very real thing. The acting was always decent, but you noticed a higher caliber come into play in season 4. The ending episodes of season 4 brought in a level of writing and acting I haven’t seen in years. If you are a fan of good theatrical acting, but don’t care much about the techie stuff … at least watch the last 4 episodes of season 4 (starting with “Who Needs a Guy”). This is where Gordon passes away due to his health issues. The real highlight is in the last episode where Donna and Cameron go through a dialog about their startup – in about 4 minutes they describe a complete cycle of a company, their relationship in it, and their moving on … in a way that is theatrically award worthy.

Emotionally the last 4 episodes are on the caliber of The Cryptogram. The writers did such an excellent job of making you completely immersed into the families (tech and otherwise) to the point where you felt like you were the one getting on a plane to move away and start over. Emotionally you will be spent.

Don’t miss it …. this is truly one of those gems everyone will end up buying on DVD or digital download in a few years and treasuring (like Heart of Dixie, or All The Rivers Run).

-SWB

Switching Positions – Crazy Mocha

September 12, 2016 Leave a comment

cr-first-day-picAlrighty, then ….. for all those loving to jump to conclusions, this article isn’t about making lifestyle choices or anything of the such.

Sorry to disappoint y’all … so ya can jump back from whatever conclusion you landed on (or skip reading this post and pop in your “Office Space” VHS tape .. which will probably be more entertaining).

Anywayz (we’re adding “z’s” to then end of lots of words to appeal more the Millennial generation) :-),

The pic is the view of the new Crazy Mocha store in Sewickley, PA. Now, for a SWB article, does this have a point at all?

Yep.

The blog, when it was on Apple’s web hosting site (yeeeeaaaarrrrs ago) was started with it’s first post in April of 2006 and the posts for years after being written at the Crazy Mocha in Southside when the company had a few stores to speak of. At least two other national blogs and twenty to thirty long time running local blogs were started that year in that Crazy Mocha location.

Now, the newest gem of the store chain – the relocated site in Sewickley PA site has opened for it’s first day with the chain now having way over 30 stores in multiple states (not bad for a local Pittsburgh company, right?)

In honor of Crazy Mocha providing such a beautiful new store, SWB thought it might be a good time to re-kick Screaming Weasel (not to mention with some inspiration from the latest literal bridge burning of the Liberty Bridge).

Check out the new store if you get a chance – even if you don’t live in the area … it is well worth the stop in to another location to celebrate and support a local company.

If you can’t get out to Sewickley – stop at another Crazy Mocha and tell them you saw the post!

-SW

Review: Luke Wholey’s Wild Alaskan Grille

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Click Pic for link. SWB has spent years in The Strip, especially liking Wholey’s seafood.  So when Luke decided to open his own seafood spot, we figured it would be hot.

Placed in the old Area 51 spot across from Reyna foods, the space is simple, slightly rustic yet elegant, and very, very, very tasty.  We are convinced that no one does seafood like Luke.

When we went, we treated ourselves to the grilled swordfish. Personally, I have never experienced swordfish as well prepared and moist as I had at Luke’s. The service by all staff (including Luke himself) was excellent. The drinks were heaven. The atmosphere overall with the food quality made a very long day end quite nicely due to Luke’s Grille.

We highly recommend you visit and support this sure to be future Pittsburgh mainstay.

-SWB

Out Of A Coma

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

We’re back …. or at least out of a coma.

Slightly after our little stint of “help” from the folks at Sophisticated Pittsburgh on upping our number of blog writers, they in fact lost many of theirs.  In other words people got real jobs, go married, or just disappeared of the face of the earth at SP.  As a result, we are coming back to our original self.

So, about our original self. The blog experimentally started in 2005, and was moved to .mac via the Apple iWeb.  We started writing around the time that PittGirl, CafeWitness, and others started and gained one of the top growing blog rankings ending up with 2000 readers per day, across 15 countries while on the .mac site.

That actually scared us, considering the amount of vomit we spewed out in those days along with the other rant blogs.  I’m not sure we’ll be as harsh these days, but we’ll try.

BTW – while we were hosting on .mac, Apple kindly asked us to move our site due to their product not being originally made for the amount of throughput we were getting.

So, around Spring of 2008 we moved to WordPress.

The Weasel is back, and we will be blowing word chunks as far as possible.

Cheers

-SWB