One professor’s attempt at a $25 programmable robot: my profile of Locorobos and Pramod Abichandani

The research on low-cost, educational robotics led by Drexel University professor Pramod Abichandani was the focus of a profile I wrote for the college’s academic journal. It ran this summer.

We’ve written about him on Technical.ly here. My piece was a bit more focused on his research process. Find the full story online here.

As I do with my freelance writing, I have some extras that I cut from the story below.

Continue reading One professor’s attempt at a $25 programmable robot: my profile of Locorobos and Pramod Abichandani

Mark Headd is your new Chief Data Officer: Philadelphia magazine

The future for the new City of Philadelphia Chief Data Officer Mark Headd and his role on this local government’s online transparency was the focus of my first contribution to Philadelphia magazine.

I’ve followed Headd, the city’s transparency movements and the open government movement for years, so I was eager to pitch and report out a more general-interest focused story. I was also excited to get the piece out to a broader audience — thanks to editor Tom McGrath for the interest and the opportunity.

I suggest you buy a copy, but you can also see the story online.

As always, I share some of what didn’t make it into the story below.

Continue reading Mark Headd is your new Chief Data Officer: Philadelphia magazine

How the web continues to shape campus life: Temple Review

More than 20 years after the Internet and web-based technologies stormed onto college campuses, the life of a university student is still rapidly changing.

So goes the focus of another feature I did for the newly rebranded Temple University alumni magazine.

Read the story here or see the sleek new design here [PDF].

As usual, below I have some background and interview extras that I cut from the story.

Continue reading How the web continues to shape campus life: Temple Review

Temple Review: why big companies still lead innovation and how that’s changing

How large technology companies still lead innovation in the world is the focus of a freelance story I wrote for Temple Review, the alumni magazine of Temple University.

Read the story here or download the PDF here, on page 24.

An earlier nut graf: Innovation has been seen as strictly in the purview of tiny, agile startups, taking an idea and bringing it to market. But as the speed of new technologies continues to quicken, the need for large businesses to help bring products to market becomes even greater. So big corporations are not only playing a remarkably underplayed role in innovation, they are also innovating in how they change the world altogether.

Give it a read and then check some of the extras from my interviews that didn’t make it into the piece.

Continue reading Temple Review: why big companies still lead innovation and how that’s changing

District 172: John Perzel coverage for NEast Philly, funded by JLab

 

Though I took part in three of 14 JLab-funded Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Fund projects, first announced here last fall, I led one of them.

For Northeast Philadelphia hyperlocal NEast Philly, I helped lead the editorial direction of a project called District 172: the politics of change after state Rep. John Perzel.

Following the indicted former state Speaker of the House, whose corruption trial has been postponed until the fall, we covered what the impact the loss of a 30-year state leader would be on his district, particularly a small swath that had served as his political base.

 

Find all the coverage here.

I had the following roles:

Rosemary Feal, Modern Language Association, Metro Q&A: Stories that never ran

A year ago, I did a short interview with Rosemary Feal, then the Executive Director of the Modern Language Association, ahead of the group’s annual conference in Philadelphia.

The interview was due to run in the Metro but never did. With a year passed and its hook gone, I run it here for all you grammar geeks because there just might be interest in hearing the thoughts of someone who told me: “I also love the semicolon, but that’s just my personal preference.”

Find what I submitted below.

Continue reading Rosemary Feal, Modern Language Association, Metro Q&A: Stories that never ran

uwishunu blogging

Uwishunu.com (January 2009 to present): I blog on upcoming events and review concerts, culture, arts and entertainment in Philadelphia for the staple blog on what to do in one of the largest cities in the country. See my posts here, and my profile here.

August 2010 Invoice

  1. Mauckingbird Theatre’s take on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

July 2010 Invoice

  1. Hot Air Ballooning with the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team

June 2010 Invoice

  1. Leaving @ the Wilma Theatre: Madeline Albright Sure Seemed to Enjoy It

April 2010 Invoice

  1. Contemporary Czech classic ‘Leaving’ @ Wilma Theater

March 2010 Invoice

  1. Rooms: A Rock Romance @ the Prince Music Theater

February 2010 Invoice

  1. Romeo and Juliet @ Arden Theater
  2. Review: Romeo and Juliet @ Arden Theater

January 2010 Invoice

  1. Philadelphia and Baltimore Baroque stylings

November 2009 Invoice

  1. A Christmas Carol @ the Walnut Street Theatre
  2. Review: A Christmas Carol @ the Walnut Street Theatre

October 2009 Invoice

  1. Review: Mister, Mister @ Walnut Street Theatre (At $15 rate, as previously assigned)
  2. Waiting for Godot @ Amaryllis Theatre Company

September 2009 Invoice

  1. Little Shop of Horrors @ the Devon Theater
  2. 24-hour bakery and eats @ The Dining Car
  3. Italian brick oven @ the Ashburner Inn
  4. Preview: Mister, Mister @ Walnut Street Theatre
  5. ShareUrMeal Release Party @ the Academic Bistro
  6. Lyric Fest debuts @ Haverford College and First Presbyterian Church
  7. CITYSPACE Artist Installations @ Parkview Condos
  8. Home cooking @ Kenny’s Soul and Seafood Restaurant
  9. Crab Fries @ the original Chickie’s and Pete’s

August 2009 Invoice

  1. First Friday Vegetable Party and Architects @ National Constitution Center
  2. Bowling for Rhinos @ Wynnewood Lanes in Ardmore
  3. RedBull Block to Block race ending @ the Piazza
  4. JL Schnabel and “I am Writing to you with My Eyes” @ Mew Gallery
  5. Adam Holden Rosenberg and Scratch & Paint @ Suite 79
  6. Cruise for the Kids @ Moshulu on Penn’s Landing
  7. Two Together @ Mount Airy Contemporary Artists Space
  8. From Washington to Waterloo @ National Constitution Center
  9. Big changes, opening reception @ James Oliver Gallery

No July 2009 posts

June 2009 invoice

  1. Haunted Poe preview workshop and cabaret @ the Latvian Society
  2. Haunted Poe by Brat Productions in South Philadelphia
  3. La Fête du Savon reception @ Lisa M. Reisman et Cie
  4. Cheese pizza @ Montessini’s in Mayfair
  5. FootPrints Of Life @ Philadelphia Art Museum steps
  6. Fatebook preview show @ Arts Bank

May 2009

  1. SoleFood Restaurant has seafood stimulus @ Loews Hotel
  2. Review of SoleFood Stimulus @ Loews Restaurant
  3. Drexel Fashion Show @ Urban Outfitters in the Naval Yard

April 2009

  1. Story Slam @ Bubble House in University City
  2. New Faces by Philadanco @ the Perelman Theater
  3. Philly-native author Charles D. Ellison signs @ Liberty Place
  4. Introduction to color theory @ the Mew Gallery
  5. Gouache and watercolor painting workshop @ the Mew Gallery
  6. Greeting card painting workshop @ the Mew Gallery
  7. FREE national BarCamp for NewsInnovation @ Temple University
  8. Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali meet in Hysteria @ the Wilma Theater
  9. Annual alumni reunion @ Eastern State Penitentiary
  10. Rebecca Rothfus @ Pentimenti Gallery in Old City
  11. The 113th annual Devon Horse Show on the Main Line

March 2009 Invoice

  1. The new Pennsylvania Ballet Youtube channel
  2. The Three Monkeys Cafe in Torresdale, Northeast Philadelphia
  3. Ladies in Retirement @ The Stagecrafters Theater in Chestnut Hill
  4. Gino’s Pizza Cafe in Mayfair, Northeast Philadelphia
  5. Fresh Fish 2.0 Ten Minute Play Festival @ Walking Fish Theatre
  6. Art Auction and Raffle @ The South Philly Tap Room
  7. Wow! Superhero Day @ the Penn Museum
  8. Moore College and Wilma Theatre join for Scorched premiere
  9. Mayfair Diner in Mayfair, Northeast Philadelphia
  10. Guinness @ The Bards in Rittenhouse
  11. Yo, Philly, Play Ball @ Saint Malchy Church
  12. Nunsense @ Devon Theater in Mayfair, Northeast Philadelphia
  13. Buy organic T-shirts to support Future Weather film
  14. Smak Parlour in Old City turns four this First Friday
  15. April First Person Arts salon series @ Philadelphia Arts Bank
  16. May First Person Arts salon series @ Philadelphia Arts Bank
  17. Trash and Treasures indoor yard sale @ TONY boutique in Old City

February 2009 Invoice

  1. West Philly Tool Library lends tools to Philadelphia
  2. First Annual Fishtown Shadfest @ Penn Treaty Park
  3. Frank McCourt and the Irish @ the Kimmel Center
  4. The Village @ the Painted Bride
  5. Pennsylvania Ballet Offers Discounted Valentine’s Day Tickets
  6. GW Carver Science Fair. Feb. 24-26
  7. Battleship New Jersey Re-Opens for Guided and Self-Guided Tours on Friday
  8. Hilary Hahn Kimmel Center
  9. Krystian Zimerman Kimmel Center

January 2009 Invoice

  1. Paleopalooza @ The Academy of Natural Sciences
  2. Philly Punk Band Mischief Brew Joins Amebix @ The Troc
  3. TONY ON THIRD shop preview
  4. ACADEMY DARWIN

Stories that never ran: the Philadelphia workplace in five years

More than a year ago, I handled a half dozen interviews and a couple rewrites on a story for the Inquirer that covered what Philadelphia workplaces will look like in the future. As is sometimes the case, it never found its home in print.

The story’s primary timeliness has been lost, but I think it still has merit. So, with permission from my editor, I share it below, in addition to a slew of extras from the heavy lifting of reporting.

It was meant to be a localized version of a Time magazine cover story that caught my attention.

Below, read the story, see portions of my interviews that didn’t make it into the piece and watch some related video news pieces

Continue reading Stories that never ran: the Philadelphia workplace in five years

The Philly Post: City departments that need a Web overhaul

As part of a push for a broader readership, back in March Technically Philly announced a content partnership with Philadelphia magazine and its new daily blog.

Fellow co-founder Brian James Kirk has been writing most of the weekly posts, as he’s still freelancing. But last week, I filled in, penning a short feature on five City of Philadelphia departments that could use a touch of Web openness.

The use of technology to transform government has been a growing municipal interest in city halls across the country.

Here, the City of Philadelphia has announced intentions to release a service-orientated 311 iPhone application, it’s applying for ultra high-speed broadband from Google and it’s in hot pursuit of a funded team of developers and technologists which may someday make our every government transparency dreams come true.

The overtures are there, even if the substance hasn’t yet hit the pavement.

Read the rest here.

Fishtown Spirit: Community meeting coverage of soda tax, I-95 and more

Mayor Nutter Press Aide Katherine Martin addresses the April Fishtown Neighbors Association meeting.

A few times a month, I go out to civic and town watch meetings in a variety of neighborhoods. Yes, I actually find most of them to be fun — local politics on the smallest of scale.

Since moving to Fishtown, I’ve begun going to monthly Fishtown Action and Fishtown Neighbors Meetings and filing reports for the Fishtown Spirit. It’s all within a few blocks of my house and endearing to be sure. Each month, I’ll probably share those two and any other pieces I might have had in the Spirit.

As I wrote after my first piece for my small, local community news weekly, it’s my way of getting to know new people and the issues facing them in a new neighborhood.

I have one on two controversial proposals in today’s issue:

City officials defended two controversial proposals to close a $150 million shortfall in the city’s 2011 budget at last week’s Fishtown Neighbors Association meeting.

During the 90 minute session that saw raised voices and broad criticism of city spending, Deputy Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams addressed a proposed $300 trash collection fee and Mayoral Press Aide Katharine Martin talked about the two-cent-per-ounce sweetened beverage excise tax. Both proposals need City Council approval and remain executive branch proposals that are vying against ongoing deliberations, including suggestions to raise property taxes and tax smokeless tobacco products.

Read the rest here, or below find other pieces I’ve done in the past few months below.

Continue reading Fishtown Spirit: Community meeting coverage of soda tax, I-95 and more