Essential Pittsburgh
8:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Wednesday Rundown: Making That Advanced Degree Useful Outside Academia

Credit Wrote / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday January 21, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Versatile Ph.D.

The Steel City is justifiably proud of its many universities, but with more education can come more problems. People graduating with Ph.D.s and other advanced degrees face an employment crisis in today’s university and the larger economy. Joining us to talk about their efforts in expanding the options for Pittsburghers with advanced degrees are Alexandra Oliver and anupama jain. They are local representatives for Versatile PhD, a business that fosters networking and professional development for people with graduate degrees who may want to explore non-academic work.

WESA Celebrates - Charles Kline

Textiles aren’t generally known for their career-ending power, but an expensive rug led to the downfall of the last elected Republican mayor of Pittsburgh and ushered in a new era of city government. Margaret J. Krauss has the story.

Inventing Pittsburgh

"90.5 WESA Celebrates Inventing Pittsburgh" is a new historically focused series which airs during "Morning Edition" and on "Essential Pittsburgh." Over the next year, producer Margaret J. Krauss will capture stories from Pittsburgh’s more than 250-year history, exploring how the city and region came to be what it is today. She joins us for a preview and an explainer of the project. 

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5:30 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Students Create a Micro-Shelter as Part of 'Impactathon'

This past October students at Carnegie Mellon University competed in an "impactathon," where students worked together to create some sort of shelter for the homeless that would provide protection from the elements and some heat during the winter.

“There’s a problem where the homeless don’t always come to standard shelter areas," said Jon Cagan, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who spearheaded this project. "So what about bringing the shelters to them?”

Students had five days to come up with a solution. Sixteen teams competed.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:20 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Why the Low Gas Prices?

Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr

The word “staycation” seemed to enter the lexicon when gas prices were continually on the rise a few years back. Now, to the delight of consumers, gas prices are on the decline, and genuine vacations may be back in vogue.

Joining us for a look at how this is impacting the nation is Robert Morris University Economics Professor Brian O’Roark.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:55 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The Business of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District

Credit lady_lbrty / Flickr

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has helped to transform a downtrodden section of Downtown into a world-class Cultural District. This revitalization through the arts has served as a national model for other cities.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, explains the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Cultural District.

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Eric is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

Public Safety
4:14 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

ShotSpotter System Goes Live in Homewood

It took less than one minute for officers from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to arrive on the scene after shots reportedly were fired off the porch of 7502 Hamilton Ave. in Homewood Saturday night.

“(ShotSpotter) was so accurate and so quick that the officers were able to engage the suspects and see them as they were firing the weapons and observe the muzzle flash that was a result of them firing the weapons,” said Major Crimes Cmdr. RaShall Brackney.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

What’s the Right Rhetoric for the State of the Union?

President Obama during the 2010 SOTU
Credit Blatant World / Flickr

Tonight at 9 p.m., President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address to Congress, the Senate and the rest of the country. But his office has already put forth many plans for the year.

Before the president gives his address, we'll get some perspective on what he'll propose, from University of Pittsburgh presidential rhetoric and political communication professor Jerry Shuster.

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Government & Politics
2:48 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Wolf Sworn-In As Pennsylvania’s 47th Governor

Gov. Tom Wolf waves after he took the oath of office to become the 47th governor of Pennsylvania Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
Credit AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Gov. Tom Wolf has taken his oath of office, using his inauguration address to call for a statewide transformation.

“As you know, I laid out a plan during the campaign to give Pennsylvania a fresh start, and we will debate those ideas, I know, in the days and months and years to come,” said Wolf, turning to his left, where Republican House and Senate leaders chuckled.

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Science & Technology
2:40 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Pitt Creates 'Quantum Repository' of Molecules in 3D

The way chemistry is taught has changed a lot over the years. With the advent of new technology, molecules and chemical reactions can be brought to life through digital models.

Now, a new quantum repository at the University of Pittsburgh will supplement college science lessons with a web-based database of 3D molecules and other data. Chemistry professor Daniel Lambrecht says the repository will begin with 50,000 to 100,000 molecules and chemical data.

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Inventing Pittsburgh
12:29 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

How a Rug Contributed to the Downfall of a Pittsburgh Mayor

Mayor Charles H. Kline (center) on the first day of his trial in 1932.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The last time Pittsburgh elected a Republican mayor, Charles H. Kline, the World War had yet to be distinguished by a I or II, the stock market had yet to crash and machine politics remained the modus operandi of most large cities.

Kline took office in 1926 and was almost immediately embroiled in controversy for not following the rules of office, said Anne Madarasz, museum division director of the Heinz History Center.

“At the time if you were to purchase something for the city and it was over $500, you had to put it to bid,” she said.

Which is where Kline got into trouble.

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