It’s been a very cold and very busy month at The Parador, we sold way more rooms than any February! And we have a lot more advanced reservations for 2015 than we ever had in the past. It’s going to be a banner year.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of Cassius Clay becoming the the heavy weight champion (1964), it’s Kuwait’s National Day, the first national bank was authorized in Philadelphia (1791) and the Hebron Massacre (1994). Birth anniversaries include Beatles George Harrison (1943), Impressionist painter Pierre Renoir (1841), author Anthony Burgess (1917) and opera tenor Enrico Caruso (1873).
I put peanuts out for the squirrels right outside my office window so I can watch them scamper around (to RJ’s dismay). The birds frequent the stash as well. I just watched this blue jay shove a whole peanut in his little mouth so he could grab a second and flew away.
Speaking of animals, the Humane Society of Western PA is having a $24 spay or neutering event for the next 24 hours. If you are interested, call them quickly to set up an appointment.
Last year it is estimated $3.8B was stolen in credit and debit card fraud. Besides stealing your personal info and creating a new account, crooks have card readers the nefarious underworld attach to current card readers like ATM’s that steal your info and then put your information on blank cards. Finally, we seem to be moving to the much more secure system with chips embedded in the cards that can’t be compromised. Instead of swiping a card, you insert your card into the reader for a few seconds for it to transfer the info, you’ll actually hear and feel a bit of a click. Unfortunately, there’s a second line of defense that renders the card useless if lost of stolen that is used in many other countries that Visa & MasterCard are not adopting for some reason.
It seems the Hay’s eagles laid their first egg of the year last Tuesday. It’s difficult to tell because mom doesn’t move much right after giving birth. Last year she laid three eggs and all three were successful. Book mark the Eagle Cam page and watch them grow.
Last year at Rostock Zoo in Germany, baby polar bear Knut was a sensation both as an attraction at the zoo as well as an internet celebrity. His half brother (as yet unnamed) seems to be following in his foot steps. Born December 3, the new guy made his debut recently and is very photogenic.
Pittsburgh will be hosting a bunch of young scientists showing their stuff from May 10 through 15 at the Convention Center. These are a bunch of amazing high school students that are chosen from local science fairs and they expect 1,700 students from 70 countries and total of 5,000 attending the functions. There will be around 1,000 scientists coming to be judges. This is the second time we’ve hosted it (2012 was the last) and will host it again in 2018. One of the reasons it keeps coming here is all the science and technology we have, particularly associated with our universities. This event is being coordinated by The Society for Science and the Public, who’s been around since 1921. Should be a pretty interesting event.
Long time friend of Kurt Vonnegut, director Robert Weide, has a Kickstarter campaign to finish a documentary on the famed author called Unstuck in Time about Kurt’s life and work. Robert has already raised over $175,000 of his needed goal of $250,000 with 15 days left. Robert has done many documentaries on funny people like Lenny Bruce, the Marx Brothers, etc and is best know for his film Curb Your Enthusiasm. The documentary will showcase their friendship, Kurt’s like, views on life and where he came up with ideas on such classics as Slaughter House Five.
Here’s a turn, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is asking hikers to change their plans. The trail has become so popular that times are becoming over crowded! Last year 2,500 hikers started their trip between March 1 and April 15 to complete their trek before the heat of the summer. As many as 100 people would begin their walk during a weekend in these times causing unsustainable conditions such as trampled vegetation, sanitary issues and over crowding camp sites. They are asking hikers to start mid-weeks to alleviate this. Not necessarily a bad problem to be so popular.
Allegheny County judge Kathleen Durkin has scheduled a hearing on April 2 on whether trustees for the Dick Scaife should have disclosed the greedy children of Mr. Scaife already had trust funds of of $560M earning them $12M a year. Jeannie Scaife of Palm Beach and David Scaife from Shadyside don’t think the trust funds set up by their grandmother should be brought into the court case because it “might” slant a juror against them recouping money their father spent on his business ventures and charities. They want to recoup money their father in sane mind decided to invest in his passion The Tribune Review and charities. They want to take back dad donated to food pantries so they can enjoy more than $12M a year they both receive. The reason I bring this up is The Trib continues to quote their net worth and yearly income in each article they publish. I worked on Palm Beach Island for a number of years at a restaurant and as a waiter saw many Trust Fund Babies and even though I don’t know if I ever waited on Jeannie, I know her ilk. Disgusting. All Germans don’t eat sauerkraut (me), not all black people eat fried chicken, not all trust fund babies are useless, but indeed some are.
Beechview resident Steve Tolin isn’t just Doctor Gore, though that’s what he’s famous for. Through his company Tolin Fx, Steve has credits for special effects in such well known films as The Dark Knight Rises, Warrior, She’s Out of My League, Adventureland, Zak, Jack Reacher & Miri Make a Porno, The Walking Dead to name a few. He also was a contestant on SyFy’s Face Off. A fellow film industry person here in Pittsburgh’s brother has ALS and she contacted Steve to see if he could design a devise that could help him stay upright, and Steve came up with something that helps a lot. A subsidiary of Tolin Fx is Squib Fx, it’s small explosive devises that makes it look like a bullet hits a person and they’re selling world wide. I bet he throws one amazing Halloween party.
We all have pictures on our cell phones, we all have pictures from cameras, the ART of photography has a long history and there’s an exhibit at the Frick that’s pretty interesting. Invented in the 1820’s photography has had many lives. Around the turn of the last century, a number of photographers became Photo-Secessionists that utilized labor intensive processes to develop their images. They turned to platinum, gum-bichromate, bromiol and gelatin silver to create photographs that almost look painted. Some of these pioneers include Alfred Stieglitz, Gertrude Kasebier, Paul Burty Haviland and Heinrich Kuhn. This show runs through April 19 and is Free to the public.
Well, that’s it for now. Ty’s back next week, yea!