Pittsburgh most educated city in Pa., analysis finds



Out of the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas, Pittsburgh ranks 28th in Wallet Hub’s Most Educated Cities list, making it tops in Pennsylvania. Philly is a distant 77th, Harrisburg 83rd, Allentown 94th, Reading 101st, York 105th, Lancaster 129th and Scranton — sigh — 134th. Continue reading


The list Pittsburgh doesn’t want to be on


The American Lung Association in its annual report on the most polluted metropolitan areas names Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton as No. 6, that’s up two places from last year.


Map illustrations by Mark Byrnes via The Atlantic Cities

I doubt that we can go even higher on the list next year. California population centers grab the top spots.

Some of the cleanest cities are … Continue reading


Most affordable cities to retire? Pittsburgh in Top 10


Just in time for David Letterman’s retirement, his network has found the Top 10 places where he can enjoy his golden years.

A recent Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate survey on the retirement dreams of baby boomers finds that 39 percent are focused on a bucolic lifestyle while 26 would like to go urban.

To determine what places would offer a mix of city and country — as well as favorable tax rates and median home prices — CBS News crunched the numbers from the Tax Foundation, Census Bureau and Zillow.

The Top 10? Drum roll, please … Continue reading


Greenfield digital artist to manufacture ‘average Barbie’


RealBarbieVs.AverageBarbieNickolay Lamm, a digital artist from Greenfield, created a stir last year when he produced images of what the average 19-year-old would look like if she were the model for the iconic Barbie doll.

His Photoshopped picture of the real Barbie ( left) vs. the average Barbie (right) flew across the Internet, prompting much discussion about beauty. And, he says, a lot of kids and parents started asking him: Where can we buy a doll like this?

So he’s teamed up with a former Mattel executive and has decided to manufacture a doll with standard body proportions. Continue reading


Don’t mess with my parking chair


A local merchant came up with a “joke” chair. Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Press.

It’s a fine winter tradition: When it snows, you shovel the parking space in front of your house and save it with a cheap, plastic chair, or whatever else you have handy.

In Chicago, it’s called dibs. In Boston, its longtime mayor referred to it as “this rummage sale” of space savers. In Philly, “savesies.”

But the time-honored practice is on thin ice in cities from the Midwest to New England. Continue reading


Spotlight shines on ‘robots that saved Pittsburgh’


How did the ‘Burgh climb back from a jobless rate of 17.1% in 1983? By transforming itself from the Steel City into “Roboburgh,” according to Politico Magazine, in an article that takes a look at why this metropolis made it and other Rust Belt cities didn’t.

“The city is sort of in a sweet spot,” Sanjiv Singh, a Carnegie Mellon robotics researcher who has developed a pilotless medical evacuation helicopter for the Marines, tells Politico. “It has the critical mass of talent you need, it’s still pretty affordable and it has corporate memory—the people here still remember when the place was an industrial powerhouse.”

We’re well aware of what makes Pittsburgh great, but it’s intriguing to see our high-tech wonder through the eyes of Glenn Thrush, a senior writer for Politico Magazine, which is debuting its What Works series today.

You can read Thrush’s story here


Loudest Super Bowl? Yinz can take a bow


Don’t expect the crowds to roar in the stands at the Super Bowl, the New York Times reports.

With the game being held in a neutral city and so few tickets going to hometowns, it can be strangely quiet in the stadium.

Al Michaels, the sportscaster of eight Super Bowls, tells the Times that the loudest Super Bowl was 43 in 2009, when “Pittsburgh fans far outnumbered those of the Arizona Cardinals” in Tampa.

It didn’t hurt that the Steelers had that last-minute touchdown pass.

“Even then, you probably had half the fans there as neutral observers,” Michaels says.