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CMU professor receives national medal

Mary Shaw, the Alan J. Perliss University professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, was recently honored by President Obama. Shaw was one of eight recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for achievement in the field of technology, innovation and invention.

“These scholars and innovators have expanded our understanding of the world, made invaluable contributions to their fields, and helped improve countless lives,” President Obama said. “Our nation has been enriched by their achievements and by all the scientists and technologists across America dedicated to discovery, inquiry, and invention.”

Read more about Shaw’s honor here.

Native rappers stick together

MTV reported this week that Pittsburgh rappers stood by Hardo, a rapper from Wilkinsburg, through social media after he was found not guilty for drug charges.
 
Mac Miller asked fans to tweet their support with the hashtag #welcomehomehardo while Wiz Khalifa pledged his allegiance to the black and yellow and tweeted “free Hardo.”
 
Hardo was arrested and charged with drug possession and intent to deliver last August when officers found 250 individual stamp bags of heroin in a bag in his vehicle.
 
Since returning home, Hardo has already recorded and released a new single entitled “Thug Motivation.”

Duquesne grad and August WIlson protege contributes to Broadway musical about Tupac Shakur

The New York Times reported last week that  “Holler if Ya Hear Me”, a new Broadway musical revolving around Tupac Shakur’s music and messages, was originally the brainchild of beloved playwright August Wilson who saw honor, duty, betrayal, and love in Shakur’s music.
 
When Wilson died in 2005, the idea lapsed until Western Pennsylvania native, Duquesne graduate and former Pittsburgh Public Theater staff member Todd Kreidler collaborated with director Kenny Leon and they took on the project of weaving 21 of Shakur’s songs and poems into a narrative.
 
The musical will open directly onto Broadway on June 19, after the Tony awards deadline, at the Palace Theater. The piece asserts the idea that Tupac Shakur is universal and that everybody can relate to his music.
 
“This is the greatest stage for storytelling in our country and I think Tupac Shakur belongs there,” Leon tells the New York Times.

"When movies film in Pittsburgh, experiences vary"

Communication is the key to successful movie filming in Pittsburgh, according to a recent article.

Movies like “Fathers and Daughters” and “The Fault in Our Stars” were filmed in Pittsburgh recently and have affected businesses in Pittsburgh in a variety of ways. The Toonseum on Liberty Ave. has witnessed several film shoots close to its building. 

"We love having these films in Pittsburgh. We love that they bring something to not only the economy, but to the personality of the city," Joe Wos, the executive director of The ToonSeum, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh-based filmmaker's documentary on Bitcoin premiers today at Tribeca Film Festival

Local filmmaker Nick Mross and his brother, Dan Mross are gaining national recognition for the documentary The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, directed by the latter Mross and starring the former.

The Mross brothers were inspired to make the film back in 2011 after Dan’s obsession with the virtual currency piqued his brother’s curiosity. The documentary looks at the broader implications of Bitcoin through the lens of Dan’s preoccupation.

The documentary premiers today at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Check out their interview with Fox Business here.
 

Casepops, a 2014 DATA Award finalist, makes national news

A local iPhone case company is making national headlines, particularly in the teen magazine market.

Casepops is a fashion iPhone case line that allows owners to customize their phone by choosing different charms, such as studs, skulls and gems that “pop” into and out of locks on the hard plastic case.

Seventeen magazine writes: “Changing your phone case as often as you change your outfit just got easier.”

Casepops is also a finalist for the 2014 DATA Awards.

Local startup Astrobotic earns mention in the New Yorker

Pittsburgh-based startup, Astrobotic got a big mention on NewYorker.com this week for their work on creating a lander for what will be the first lunar commercial delivery.

The lander, called Griffin, will hold the time capsule bearing Pocari Sweat, a Japanese beverage. Griffin is the same technology that Astrobotic is hoping will win them the Google Lunar X prize.

Astrobotics’ focus is on developing technology for commercial deliveries to the moon. Right now their prices exceed half a million a pound.

Pittsburgh artist creates 'Normal Barbie'

Pitt alum and Greenfield resident Nickolay Lamm has gotten a lot of press this week surrounding his creation of a 'normal Barbie.' That is to say, a Barbie-like doll that resembles the average proportions of a 19-year-old girl according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He calls his dolls Lammily and you can order one of 5,000 dolls he's planning to manufacture on the crowd-funding site he created.

Not only is Lammily shorter than Barbie, she's also got flat feet and bendable joints. Refreshingly, she is much less made up than Barbie or a Bratz doll.

Lamm urges visitors to the Lammily site to "be the change" and not to wait for toy companies to change their outdated dolls that promote an unhealthy standard of beauty.

“If there’s even a 10% chance that those dolls affect [body image], let’s make it," he told Buzzfeed.

'Thanks Dan' is the new 'Better Call Saul'

Have you seen the "Thanks Dan!" video yet?

If not, you should watch it here.

Actual criminal defense attorney Daniel Buckley Muessig is using the power of satire to lure customers (i.e. criminals) to his firm. He suggests that if you've committed murder, arson, burglary or other "throwback crimes" like pick-pocketing, he's your man, because he "thinks like a criminal"...except he's got a degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

"Breaking Bad" fans will particularly enjoy Muessig's ad, which refers heavily to the show's character, Saul Goodman's "Better Call Saul" ads.

Muessig uploaded the ad he created with local branding firm, Covalent to Youtube on March 5, and less than 24 hours later it went viral. It currently has over 150,000 views.

Esquire.com asked Muessig, a former rapper and Pittsburgh native what kind of business he was hoping to acquire with the commercial.

"I want to let the people in Pittsburgh who do illegal things for a living know that I am here for them so long as they can pay me," Muessig replied.





Vote for a LEGO Cathedral of Learning

How cool would it be to be able to buy a Cathedral of Learning LEGO set? Josh Hall, a Pitt alum, is trying to make it happen.

Hall’s model of the Oakland landmark won the S.W. Randall LEGO Build Contest in 2012 and inspired him to enter the design on LEGO Cuusoo, a site on which LEGO enthusiasts can post their projects to be judged by the community. If supported by 10,000 people, the project will be reviewed by LEGO for a chance to become an official product.

Vote to support Hall’s project here.

ID8: Pittsburgh

Entrepreneurship.org started a web magazine called ID8 focusing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in American cities. They’ve covered Seattle, San Diego, and the research triangle in North Carolina, but their inaugural issue was dedicated to Pittsburgh.

ID8 did their homework and got on the ground in the ‘Burgh, touring the city with William Generett Jr. of Urban Innovation21, making videos featuring the players behind Project Olympus, and creating a map of the city’s entrepreneurial hot spots. It’s definitely worth a look. Check it out here.

Found in Translation: Pittsburgh language tech companies rocking the region

Pop City innovation editor Deb Smit reports on language technology companies in Pittsburgh—13 of them including one snapped up this year by Facebook—that are attracting international attention and changing the way we learn and communicate.

Read the story in Pittsburgh Magazine.

Mod Cloth cites Pittsburgh as reason for growth

Mod Cloth may not be headquartered in Pittsburgh, but they are still very much in town. A large number of their employees continue to work at the Pittsburgh offices and Mod Cloth considers them absolutely essential.

"Citing the "Be the Buyer" program, which allows users to vote on garment samples to be produced; the "Make the Cut" program, which allows votes on winning designs; and the social outfit-sharing feature "Style Gallery" as keys to the company's success, Koger said those programs would likely never have come to being without direct customer engagement that is often routed directly through Pittsburgh."

To read more about Mod Cloth's healthy relationship with its mother city, click here.

Pittsburgh tops the list of smartest cities. But then you knew that, yes?

Pittsburgh not only made the list, we topped the list of smartest cities.

 Here’s the criteria:
  • Universities and colleges per person
  • Libraries per person
  • Education level
  • Media per person (newspapers, TV, radio, magazines)
  • Museums per person
  • Public school rank
Read the article here.

Mod Cloth founders on doubling down

The founders of Mod Cloth are looking to expand their business by providing a new line of plus-size clothing. "What started as an idea by high school juniors Susan Gregg Koger, 28, and her (now husband) Eric, 29, now brags more than 400 employees in three cities and is hell-bent on the expansion of both an in-house private label and a re-commitment to serving the plus-sized market."

To read more from Forbes.com, click here.
111 Talent Articles | Page: | Show All
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