Episode 25 – Making Microgrant Magic with AwesomePGH

By Mary
We’re living it up downtown with Leah Helou and David Thor from Awesome Pittsburgh. We get into an enlightening discussion about the world of grant funding and the projects, culture, and initiatives that make Pittsburgh great. Also we learn about the importance of massaging your kale, commiserate about our ignorance of Pittsburgh sports, and Leah teaches us all about the wonder of Whirleyball.

Recorded on location at Meat & Potatoes in Downtown Pittsburgh.

For more information about Awesome Pittsburgh, visit their website.

Leah Helou
David Thor

Mentioned in this episode:
Creative Mornings
An Orchard for Isaac
Knit the Bridge
ZipPitt
Brazen Kitchen and Leah Lizarondo
Eden
DJ’s Butcher Block
Wild Purveyors
Gus’s Cafe
Salt of the Earth
Kevin Sousa
Whirleyball

Source: Brunchburgh

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Phipps to Celebrate Spring, Butterflies and Biophilia at Bowties & Butterflies Gala

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hello, orchid (Photo credit: ginnerobot)

Pittsburgh, Pa. – On April 24, 2014, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will celebrate the return of spring and Butterfly Forest in grand style at Bowties & Butterflies. This elegant soirée, featuring select wines and themed cocktails, delectable hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment, will not only provide attendees with a chance to explore the gardens by evening light but also offer a sneak peek at a brand-new biophilic art exhibit being installed at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL).

Bowties & Butterflies — with Carol and Joe Massaro as event chairs, Athena Sarris as honorary event chair and Dr. Jeanne DeMoss and Dr. Theresa L. Nimick-Whitehouse as host committee co-chairs — will commence at 6:30 p.m. with a private VIP Reception for benefactors complete with fine wines and small plates. At 7:30 p.m., all other guests will join the party for the Flights of Fancy Reception and enjoy select wines and other specialty drinks, food stations and hors d’oeuvres, music, dancing and more.

While reveling in the warmer weather and the return of the butterflies to Phipps’ beloved Butterfly Forest — where nature lovers of all ages can delight in close encounters with several species of winged beauties — party-goers are also invited to explore the BETA (Biophilia Enhanced Through Art) exhibit as it springs to life at the CSL, where the inspired works of both local and international artists, some of whom will be in attendance, will be on display. Biophilia, a term made popular by biologist E.O. Wilson, describes the innate desire of humankind to connect with other living organisms, and the new exhibit aims to awaken bonds to nature.

Tickets for Bowties & Butterflies can be purchased through April 17 at phipps.conservatory.org, by phone at 412/651-5281, or via email at reservations@phipps.conservatory.org. Benefactor tickets cost $150 per person and include the VIP Reception at 6:30 p.m. and Flights of Fancy Reception at 7:30 p.m. Patron tickets cost $125 per person and include the Flights of Fancy Reception at 7:30 p.m. Host committee tickets and sponsorship packages are also available. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.

 

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.

 Phipps to Celebrate Spring, Butterflies and Biophilia at Bowties & Butterflies Gala

Common Home Maintenance Tasks in the Springtime

When a person owns a home, there are plenty of tasks to be done in order to get the house ready for each season of the year. Here are just a few of the common home maintenance tasks that owners perform in the spring.

First, many people make it a point to do some maintenance work on their furnace and air conditioning system. For instance, the filter needs to be changed in preparation for the new season. Dust and debris can build up in the filter inside the furnace and air conditioning system. This results in the system exhausting itself in order to accomplish its goal of heating or cooling a home. Along with changing the filter, a homeowner may check the connections of the furnace and air conditioning system to see that they are secure. If any part needs to be cleaned or replaced, an owner may make it a point to call the professionals in to perform this work.

Another task that many homeowners do in the spring is to remove their storm door and replace it with a screen door. A storm door keeps the cold winds out in the wintertime. Now, the screen door will allow family members to enjoy the warm breezes of the season. This is a fairly easy task, but it does take some time to remove the storm door and put it into storage.

Homeowners who want some assistance with keeping track of all of these maintenance tasks may contact a place that alerts them when various tasks need to be done. They may look for a resource such as Home Maintenance Solutions.

Cleaning the garage is another task that many homeowners perform when the season changes from winter to spring. Leaves and other debris may be accumulating in the corners of the garage. These need to be swept out and carried away. Things like tire chains, anti-freeze and sidewalk salt need to be put away for the next winter season.

All of this helps a homeowner to make room for items used in the warmer weather months.

Finally, many homeowners choose to wash their windows in the springtime. They want to clean all of the dirt off the windows left there by the snow and ice storms that occurred during the wintertime. This can be a time-consuming task depending on how many windows a homeowner has to clean. Once the windows are clean, it certainly gives a home a refreshed appearance.

 

 Common Home Maintenance Tasks in the Springtime

Hands On: Moto X For Verizon Wireless

IMAG0012 169x300 Hands On: Moto X For Verizon Wireless

Sometimes when your ready for a new phone you want something good but don’t want to spend a ton of money to get it. Verizon is offering the Moto X for free with a new 2 year agreement or for just $16.81 with the Verizon Edge Plan. Is it worth it? Lets find out.

The Moto X was one of the last phones released by Motorola before Google sold them.

The Moto X is powered by a Motorola X8 Dual Core processor running at 1700 Mhz. The processor keeps this little phone running at full speed even while your doing multiple things. Also the dual core helps to give the Moto X it’s 13 hour talk life.

The screen is 4.7 inches for those of you who don’t want your phone to be as big as your tablet. This keeps the Moto X in the same screen size class as the iPhone 5/5S.  The screen is an AMOLED display that has a resolution of 720 x 1280 with a pixel density of 316 ppi. This gives you a very clear picture whether you are looking at web page pictures or watching your favorite movie while at work or on a road trip.  It also works well for watching TV with your Direct TV App, Verizon Fios App, or Comcast App.

Memory on the Moto X is ok at 16GB  on board and with 2GB of RAM. Google helps you out with space by giving you Apps such as Google Play Music that will allow you to store your music in the cloud. With this app you can store up to 20,000 songs for free and stream them where ever you have service. With Verizon 4G LTE that is pretty much every where.  You can also store you Movies on the cloud with the Play Movies & TV App. You can also use Google Drive to store your video’s and images to save space on your Moto X. If you like to store your phone, this might not be the best choice due to the fact that there is no microSD slot for expansion. You are stuck with the 16GB you have onboard.

Taking pictures with your X is easy also. The X has a 10mp rear facing camera with a F2.4 aperture size. This combination gives you excellent pictures that can rival a digital camera’s.  The front facing camera is great for selfies and video conferences at 2mp. Now you can leave the house with only one device and be set for anything for sight seeing to a spur of the moment work conference.

The Moto x runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat which is the most up to date version available. This gives you the latest features that Google has implemented into their phones.

As stated earlier, the Moto X has a 13 hour talk time. Since we know that no one uses their smartphone for just voice, the usage I got was about 7-8 with mostly data and text. This was over a combination of both 4G/3G and Wi-Fi. Not bad for a phone that you can pick up for free. Since this phone is sealed you can’t buy an extended battery for it to increase your battery life.

The speakerphone works decently for calls and playing music and movies. It gets harder to hear in loud environments.  Overall it works great for what you need from a phone.

Another feature I love with the Motorola Phones that is included with the Moto X is the notifications on the screen when the phone is asleep. Instead of flashing a light or making you wake the phone up to see if you have a message, the screen will flash the time and what the notification is in a soft white light. This saves battery life while still allowing you to see what if any notifications you have. The light setting they use works great in both bright light, but is still dim enough to not blind you in the dark.

Overall, the Moto X from Verizon Wireless is a great phone if your looking to upgrade from a feature phone, aka first smartphone but also has the power and speed to make and Android enthusiest happy.  Internal storage, while not large, is sufficient when paired with one of the Google App’s for cloud storage.  The price for the Moto X is free with a new 2 year agreement, $16.81/month on Verizon Edge or $399.99 off contract. As you can see, they have given it a very attractive price point.

Head over to Verizon Wireless and check out this and all the other great phones they offer.

 

 

Episode 24: Steak & Eggs, Start Ups, & Socializing with Aggrenda

By Mary

IMG 7602 225x300 Episode 24: Steak & Eggs, Start Ups, & Socializing with Aggrenda

Spring has come, and we’re outside in Oakland for an enlightening talk with the founders of the events management app, Aggrenda – Joe Esposito, John Quayle, and Steve McCarthy. This episode covers the power of networking: how meeting the right people can change your whole direction, trying to juggle a multitude of projects and events, and why current social media apps aren’t fulfilling our needs.

Recorded on location at The Porch at Schenley in Oakland.


Follow the show @brunchburgh, online at www.brunchburgh.com, and on iTunes.

Follow Mary on Twitter @maryestew .

Follow the founders of Aggrenda on Twitter @joeyespo, @jpquayle, and @ifosteve

Learn more about Aggrenda on their website.
2014 03 22 11.35.43 225x300 Episode 24: Steak & Eggs, Start Ups, & Socializing with Aggrenda

Mentioned in this episode:
Start Up Weekend
Geek Breakfast
Thick Bikes
Creative Mornings
Jay Fanelli and United Pixel Workers
Megabits (listen to our episode with them)
Alphalab
Joe Vennare (listen to our episode with Joe)
Krish Mohan
Special thanks to Joe Esposito for providing photos of this brunch.

Source: Brunchburgh

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Phipps Re-Opens Enchanting Butterfly Forest April 26

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phipps 001 (Photo credit: marshlight)

 

Pittsburgh, Pa.  On April 26, 2014, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will set hearts aflutter with the seasonal reopening of Butterfly Forest. A beloved family tradition, this enchanting annual exhibit designed for the delight of all ages offers intimate encounters with live monarchs, zebra longwings and more as they emerge from their chrysalides and take flight among the colorful tropical blooms in the public garden’s Stove Room — sometimes even stopping to land upon the luckiest guests.
With approximately 20,000 species on Earth and roughly 575 in the U.S. according to the North American Butterfly Association, butterflies are important pollinators that help to ensure the proliferation of life-supporting plants and global diversity. At Phipps, guests will have a chance to see these fragile insects up close as they cultivate a sense of wonder at the beauty and benefits the winged beauties bring to the planet.
Phipps is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Fridays. The Butterfly Forest exhibit, running through Sept. 1, is included in the price of regular Conservatory admission, which costs $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children ages 2 – 18. Members and kids under 2 enter for free. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.

Bowties & Butterflies: April 24, 2014
At this springtime garden gala to celebrate the return of the butterflies and warmer weather, guests are invited to enjoy select wines and refreshing themed cocktails, delectable hors d’oeuvres and other choice foods, live performances, and a sneak peek at Summer Flower Show. Party-goers will also have the chance to see the new BETA (Biophilia Enhanced Through Art) exhibit spring to life at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, where the works of both local and international artists will be on display. Tickets for the gala start at $125. RSVP required. Reservations can be made at phipps.conservatory.org.
 
About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

 

 Phipps Re Opens Enchanting Butterfly Forest April 26

Are You Sharing Too Much on Social Media? How You Are Putting Yourself At Risk

ID Theft thumb Are You Sharing Too Much on Social Media? How You Are Putting Yourself At RiskThe Internet has completely changed how the world interacts. You used to call or write to your friends directly to tell them news about your life. They might have “shared your updates” by telling others, and the worst that would have happened was gossip spreading with neighbors or in classrooms. Today, a good amount of information is publicly shared online to the world. The gossip epidemic might have weaned, since everyone can now get the information right from the source, but there is a huge cost. Where gossip was once limited to the people who knew you, information spread on social networks can be dangerous, as people can use your information to do actual harm. That information in the wrong hands has contributed to a 13% increase in identity theft in 2011, based on a survey by Javelin Strategy & Research.

Broadcasting Your Passwords

When you setup your online accounts, such as a bank or email, you try and choose a password that is tough to guess, but easy for you to remember. Unfortunately the information you use to create these secret passwords and to verify your identity is also broadcasted to the world through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. According to the Identity Theft 911 Blog, out of all the people that have public social media profiles on those networks, 68% share their birth date information, with 45% of them actually giving away the month, date and year of their birth. Birthdays are a high ranking secret used for passwords. It gets worse. 63% shared the name of their high school, 18% shared their phone number and 12% shared their pets names. Of course, even more secret password information is for grabs on the internet.

Telling the World Where You Are and What You Like

Another big problem with social networks that can lead to identity theft is geotagging and posting that you are not at home. Entrepreneurs’ Organization states that if you announce on Facebook or Twitter that you are on vacation or geotag yourself out of town, would be thieves know that your house is most likely vacant and prime for robbing. Even worse, if you post that you are out of town on business, then it leaves your family vulnerable to assault or attack. In addition, if you post images of your home, or of activities you are involved in on Flickr or YouTube, it gives criminals even more insight into your life and opens you up for identity theft.

Keep It Safe

All is not lost. You can take a proactive stance in keeping your identity safe by enlisting the help of a 3rd party to monitor your personal information online. Companies like LifeLock back their services with a $1 million guarantee, and will monitor your credit as well as send you alerts when potential fraud with any of your accounts are occurring. There are also many DIY precautions you can take to keep yourself safe. Digital Trends advises never to set your Facebook privacy to public, and to choose to limit your past posts to friends only, in case you made a mistake before you realized the consequences. Other tips they give include going into your security settings and enabling secure browsing and login notifications so you can be informed of new devices accessing your account. You can also choose login approvals, so Facebook will require that a code be used for you to access your account.

If you are careful of what you put online, use good privacy settings, and have experts monitor your personal information, the web does not have to be a scary place.

 Are You Sharing Too Much on Social Media? How You Are Putting Yourself At Risk

Hands On: HTC ONE M8 Dot View Case

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If you just picked up your new HTC ONE M8 like I did, you need a case for it.  The Dot View case is not only a great choice, but also a cool choice for your phone. The HTC Dot View case protects the front, sides, and back of your phone. The back of the case has the HTC logo in the center of the case with openings for both the camera’s , the flash, and the rear mic. The front of the case has the HTC logo on the side and an opening for the front camera. The front of the case is also full of tiny holes that allow the screen to show through. These holes in conjunction with the Dot View app that is pre-installed on the HTC ONE M8 give you alerts, time and weather conditions without having to open the case and fully illuminate your screen. The app places what looks like 8 bit graphics onto the screen. These graphics show through the holes in the case to create images and numbers.  The case can show time, weather conditions, temperature, message alerts, callers name, mail, phone, voice dialing, and calendar. To display the time /temp/weather condition all you need to do is lift the phone into portrait mode and double tap the front of the case. When you have another alert, if you tap the front of the case it will show you the alert such as the message icon or mail icon.  If you are streaming music via Bluetooth and adjust the volume a speaker icon show in the case and the sound level will show. Only downside with this is once you hit the level where HTC has a sound warning set for loud music levels, you need to open the case to acknowledge the warning.  As for now the Dot View case only works with select HTC Apps. Hopefully a future update will allow it to work with more apps.

The Dot View case protects your phone well as it includes protection for the corners, and one side, as well as the entire front and back. The case does not add much size to the phone which is another bonus. While the case does not cover the entire sides, it has protection on the corners where the phone is most likely to hit. The HTC ONE also fits securely into the Dot View case and does not fall out.

Overall, if you are not looking for a waterproof case for your HTC ONE M8, this is the way to go.  It add good protection and includes great functionality with the Dot View front.

The Dot View Case for the HTC ONE M8 is available from Verizon Wireless for $44.99