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Gamechanger? Inky, Daily News take lead in Android tablet race

The Los Angeles Times digs into the implications of last week's announcement by Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., publisher of The Inquirer and Daily News, which will offer deeply discounted Android tablets for reading news.

Philadelphia's two largest newspapers -- the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News -- are planning on launching a low-priced Android tablet for subscribers later this year.

Greg Osberg, chief executive of the Philadelphia Media Group, which is the company that oversees both papers and their joint website Philly.com, said in announcing the plan that the move to bundle tablets with content from a newspaper company will be the first of its kind.

Source: Los Angeles Times
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R5's Agnew helps N.Y. group bring Union Transfer music venue to Spring Garden St.

The Bowery Presents rock club group will open Union Transfer in Philadelphia in the former Spaghetti Warehouse building on Spring Garden Street, with help from local impresarios Sean Agnew and Avram Hornik, according to The New York Times.

The Bowery Presents empire of rock clubs and theaters has already expanded from the Lower East Side to New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine, and now it is spreading to Pennsylvania.

Working with two local partners, the company is opening Union Transfer, a new performance space near Center City in Philadelphia with room for 600 people. The first show will be Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Sept. 21, and other coming shows include Shellac on Sept. 29, Wild Flag on Oct. 19 and Boris on Oct. 28, according to an announcement on Tuesday by Bowery Presents. About 200 shows a year are planned for the space, which was once a train depot and more recently a Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant.

Source: The New York Times

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IndyHall: We Cared About Philadelphia

AOL's travel blog Gadling makes a stop in Philly and is instantly enamored with Old City co-working space Independents Hall.

Sitting in a kitchen in a loft on Third Street in Old City, talking to one of the most enthusiastic and driven people I've met in years, I began to wonder what would happen if I quit my job, moved to Philadelphia and started my own business. Alex Hillman, wearing a t-shirt that read "I <3 my internet friends," was selling me on the cheekily named co-working space Independents Hall, of which he's a co-founder. His friend Parker Whitney was helping, telling me the story of his two years in Philadelphia.

The IndyHall guys certainly have the attention of the city, or at least some of its politicians. City councilman Bill Green is a big supporter, and government staffers are taking notice of the way things get done when fueled by passionate people-and Victory beer happy hours.

Original source: Gadling
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Philly's Pop-Up Garden gets its New York minute

The Philadelphia Horticultural Society's Pop-Up Garden at 20th and Market Streets is not so secret anymore, according to Off Manhattan.

Pop-ups appear in cities everywhere, but mostly selling European sneakers and street artwork. In Philadelphia, things are a bit more down to earth, literally. The Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) recently teamed up with a variety of local businesses, star chefs, academics, artists and urban farmers to create the PHS Pops Up, a temporary garden carved out of a once-gritty vacant lot at the corner of Market and 20th streets.

The nearly 32,000 square-foot temporary oasis�unveiled on June 13th -- is home to a seasonal mix of herbs, vegetables, flowers, and grains, all planted in a pattern inspired by Piet Mondrian's geometric grid compositions. Arching over the entrance to the space is "�colibrium," an exhibit of sustainable greenery erected by Temple University Ambler for this year's Philadelphia International Flower Show. Visitors can check out the verdant spot every Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 2p.m., when the grounds will host tours, fitness classes (botanical bootcamp?), and workshops on topics like container gardening and edible landscapes.

Source: Off Manhattan
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Da murals: Chicago digs our outdoor art

The Chicago Tribune marvels at Philly's outdoor art scene through a pair of tours showcasing the groundbreaking work of the Mural Arts program..

On my latest trip there, Philadelphia again stole my heart. But this time, instead of falling for Philly's red-bricked history, I fell for its outside art. Nicknamed the City of Murals, Philadelphia has more than 3,000 outdoor murals. The nonprofit City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP) collection includes 1,700 painted walls.

Although founded to help eradicate graffiti in 1984, under Executive Director Jane Golden, MAP now connects artists with communities by creating art in public spaces. When travelers pay for a guided tour from MAP, it helps support Mural Arts' education and youth development, including the Restorative Justice Program, which teaches inmates, ex-offenders and juvenile delinquents how to paint murals.

Source: The Chicago Tribune
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Temple hearts magnets: Physics researchers use as blood thinners

Researchers in Temple University's physics department are developing magnets as blood thinners, helping reduce the risk of heart disease, according to CNET.

Temple University physics department chair Rongjia Tao made headlines in 2008 when he developed a simple device that creates an electric field to thin fuel, thereby reducing the size of the droplets injected into the engine and improving fuel efficiency.

Now, Tao and former graduate student Ke Huang are unveiling their latest research that this same principle, when applied to the human body, can help thin blood and reduce one's risk of heart attack--without the side effects of blood thinners such as aspirin.

Source: CNET
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Comcast takes Skype's call to bring VoIP to HDTV

Comcast and Skype partner to bring VoiP to HDTV, according to ZDNet.

Comcast and Skype announced that the two have struck up a deal to bring the VoIP service to Comcast HDTVs. This could prove to be a lot more useful than just a video chat with relatives.

Skype users will be able to utilize most of the familiar functions of the desktop app. That consists of being able to make and receive Skype video and audio calls, as well as send messages - all through an HDTV connected to a Comcast adapter box. (Naturally, that TV is going to need a webcam installed somewhere.)

Source: ZDNet
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Viridity, on the fast track to green transit, partners up for SEPTA project

Viridity Energy partners with Saft and Envitech on the first trackside energy storage system in North America, recycling energy from braking SEPTA trains and trolleys, according to the New York Times.

Subway trains need a lot of electricity to get going, turning electricity into kinetic energy, the energy of movement. When they pull into a station, many of them can do the opposite: generate electricity from their momentum. They turn their motors into generators to slow the train, producing current.

But in many systems, some of that energy goes to waste because of a bottleneck: the third rail, which carries current to the train, cannot handle as much energy as the train is generating during deceleration. Too much current pushes up the voltage, and when the voltage gets too high, the electricity is dissipated by running it through a piece of metal that converts it into heat.

But in Philadelphia, on the Market-Frankford line of the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority, a new company called Viridity Energy will install batteries to capture a lot of that electricity and hold it while the train is in the station. Then it can deliver the power when the train starts up again or store it for a time of day when it is needed more.

Source: The New York Times
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City, PWD, state put Philly ahead of green curve with $2B water infrastructure effort

Philadelphia last week embarked on the nation's largest project to reduce stormwater pollution through green measures, reports the Associated Press.

The state and city, the country's fifth largest with 1.5 million people, signed a "Green City, Clean Waters" plan Wednesday, kicking off a 25-year, $2 billion effort to modify infrastructure to reduce the amount of rainwater tainted with road oil, litter and raw sewage flowing into rivers and streams.

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and national environmental groups said the initiative should serve as a blueprint for cities and towns nationwide. The changes are expected to reduce by 5 billion to 8 billion gallons the amount of sewer overflow going into the city's waterways each year, including the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. That represents an 80 percent to 90 percent reduction.

Original source: Associated Press
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NYC's High Line paves way for Reading Viaduct, other parks in the sky

University of Pennsylvania urbanism professor Witold Rybczynski writes about New York City's elevated park, the High Line II, and talks about Philly's proposed Reading Viaduct park in a New York Times op-ed.

THE second section of the High Line, the park built atop an abandoned elevated rail trestle on the west side of Manhattan, is scheduled to open next month. Like a movie sequel, High Line II will have some things that are the same -- more of those neat high-tech concrete planks underfoot and "peel-up" benches -- as well as some things that are different: a "woodland flyover" of dense vegetation; a lawn; and a dramatic glass cutout exposing traffic on the street below. Food carts and something called a wine porch are promised, as well as a Renzo Piano-designed restaurant.

The second phase will undoubtedly receive as much news media hoopla and public enthusiasm as the first, which opened in 2009. But its designers want it to be even more, a model for a new sort of town planning, dubbed "landscape urbanism." Indeed, High Line-type projects are being discussed for Chicago (the Bloomingdale Trail), Philadelphia (the Reading Viaduct), Jersey City (the Sixth Street Embankment) and St. Louis (the Iron Horse Trestle).

Source: The New York Times
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South Jersey robotics team goes international

NJ.com reports on Salem County's LuNaTecs robotics team, which took top honors at a national competition held at the Liacouras Center, advancing to the international competition.

PSEG, DuPont and Boeing sponsored FIRST robotics Team 316, the LuNaTeCs from Salem County, along with 55 other high school robotics teams from across the country as they competed in the FIRST Robotics Philadelphia Regional Competition on April 8 and 9 at the Liacouras Center at Temple University here.

After two days of stiff competition, the LuNaTeCs, along with 23 other teams, advanced out of the qualifying rounds and into the quarterfinal matches. Perhaps many did not expect Team 316 to do too well since they were ranked 23rd coming out of the qualifying rounds so it was no wonder that such a shocked hush fell on the packed stadium when the LuNaTeC's alliance beat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeded teams.

Source: NJ.com
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Villanova prof creates chip to assess concussion

New technology to electronically assess head trauma is being developed by Villanova University engineering professor, according to the National Post.

A mechanical engineering professor in the United States hopes technology he is helping to develop -- a chip that can analyze the brain's electrical "signature" -- will allow athletic trainers to diagnose concussions as they occur on the field of play, in real time.

Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon, who works at Villanova University's College of Engineering in suburban Philadelphia, has been using similar software in a study of post-traumatic stress disorder with the U.S. military. It has not been tested in sports, but he said the application would be obvious.

Source: National Post
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Baltimore thinks PIFA's April in Paris feeling is daytrip worthy

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is worth a trip to experience the French Arts connection, according to the Baltimore Sun.

If you want to spend April in Paris but can't afford it, a short hop to Philadelphia may at least give you that French feeling.

After nearly three years of planning, the city kicks off the first Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts this weekend, featuring 1,500 artists and 135 exhibits, performances, lectures and films, all paying homage to Paris.

Source: The Baltimore Sun
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Philly's 'pigeon art' flies the coop

Art commemorating the significance of pigeons comes down, while its counterpart, Mobile Museum of Pigeon Culture and History, remains in place at the University of the Arts, according to the UPI.

A display honoring the significance of pigeons in Philadelphia will start coming down Saturday.

Matt Zigler, a North Carolina resident attending the University of the Arts, erected the display in recent weeks, including a shrine-like series of boldly rendered depictions of the birds, where passersby are encouraged to make an offering of bird seed.

Nearby, the "Mobile Museum of Pigeon Culture and History" is still set up, all part of a project tied to Zigler's master's thesis.

Source: UPI
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Navy Yard to get really big battery to store solar energy

An Allentown battery manufacturer is installing its large format lithium ion energy storage system ona 2,700 square foot building at the Philadelphia Navy Yard as part of its Energy Innovation Hub, reports CNET.

"The Energy Innovation Hub will include a live demonstration of a microgrid with a 2,700 square foot net-zero energy home. International Battery will provide Sunverge with an 8.2 kilowatt-hour Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack for use in the residential SIS (Solar Integration System)," the company announced Thursday.

The battery pack will be used to store solar energy that can be retrieved for later use in conjunction with the solar system and micro smart grid, also being constructed on site, according to International Battery.

Source: CNET
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146 Design Articles | Page: | Show All
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