The (Delaware Investments) U.S. Open Squash Championships–the veritable U.S. Open of squash!–are being held at Drexel this week for the third year running. (“Low Eliminates El Weleily! Willstrop and Matthew Set Up All-English semi!“) And now news comes that it will be plopped in University City through 2023, after the school signed a ten-year deal this week.
Ruth Patrick, a pioneer in studying the health of freshwater streams and rivers who laid the scientific groundwork for modern pollution control efforts, died on Monday in Lafayette Hill, Pa. She was 105.
Her death, at the Hill at Whitemarsh retirement community, was announcedby the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia. She had been associated with the academy for more than 70 years.
Dr. Patrick, an adviser to presidents and the recipient of distinguished science awards, was one of the country’s leading experts in the study of freshwater ecosystems, or limnology. She achieved that renown after entering science in the 1930s, when few women were able to do so, and working for the academy for eight years without pay.
“She was worried about and addressing water pollution before the rest of us even thought of focusing on it,” James Gustave Speth, a former dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, said in an e-mail message.
From 1933 to 2003, Dr. Patrick published more than 200 papers and contributed to books. She taught botany and limnology at the University of Pennsylvania for more than 35 years. After studying the water quality near DuPont chemical plants, she became an adviser to the company on environmental issues and, in 1975, was named the first woman on its board of directors.
At a White House ceremony in 1996, President Bill Clinton awarded her the National Medal of Science.
Until she turned 97, Dr. Patrick worked five days a week at the Academy of Natural Sciences, whose limnology center is named in her honor. At 100, she still came in to her office to work on her multi-volume text “Rivers of the United States,” whose installments ran up to 900 pages.
“Many of the things that we take for granted now, in terms water quality and water purity, would not be where they are without her,” Peck said. “Ruth Patrick always tried to apply what she was studying to broader social concerns and helped to make the work relevant. She thought that, ultimately, the reason for studying all this was to help to improve human life and the life of the natural world.”
Drexel, twice-named the ugliest college in America by various campus-judgers, has improved its standing this year, at least according one “metric.” Complex Magazine has come out with its list of worst campuses, and the dragon’s den has come in sixth this year. (Above: Beautifying Drexel.)
The campus is still being criticized for its “prison-like” dorms and factory-inspired aesthetic. The school’s concrete and brick Disque Hall looms over an open courtyard, and even from outside, the lack of windows is oppressive.
Rowan made the list too. The picture below depicts the school’s Oak Hall, a lovely looking residential dorm on the school’s Glassboro, NJ campus. Not so bad, right? Well, Complex isn’t impressed, and has ranked it the 10th ugliest in America.
This campus is in need of a lot of love. The buildings are falling apart and are covered with water stains from years of rainfall. If the crumbling architecture wasn’t unwelcoming enough, the campus has an unfortunate amount of ill-placed technical equipment and dumpsters.
I don’t know what Rowan’s doing to improve its look–as Complex notes, there used to be a blog devoted to the shoddy state of the campus. But Drexel is in the process of repainting its signature orange bricks, to make itself more like a certain next-door neighbor.
Photos: Drexel.edu; Wikimedia Commons
A lesson to all college students: if you’re gonna sell drugs, don’t rob your customers. That’s called Dealing 101, but former Drexel student Daniel Painitsky, 20, must have missed that bit of street education.
Police say Painitsky, who stopped attending the University in 2011, sold 20 pounds of pot a week out of his Powelton Village home, serving as a high-level distributor to drug dealers at other area schools. So, basically, he’s the millennial version of Heisenberg, except for one thing: he took a liking to robbing his clients post-deal.
Painitsky evidently enlisted the help of neighborhood robber Melvin Lewis, 42, who would rob the dealer’s customers after pickup so the two could split the loot. But that type of greed, as Lieutenant John Walker told NBC, is often the downfall of wily criminals everywhere:
“People get greedy and that’s how you get caught. This kid clearly got greedy.”
So, all you would-be drug dealers out there, take this bit of advice: only commit one felony at a time. Take it slow. You’ll get away that way for sure. [NBC]
Yesterday, Drexel University rolled out a public service campaign to eradicate chicken-washing, using “video mini-dramas” and “photonovellas” to make the case. Here are the four vignettes, done up in high ABC Family style.
1. Clueless husband and eye-rolling, street-smart wife.
2. Token Latina family (Mmm..Chicken “Mole-lay”)
4. Tech-savvy, iPad wielding Millenial and hopeless grandma.
(For what it’s worth, these scenes were all acted by professional actors from New Mexico; Drexel food safety researcher Jennifer Quinlan worked with New Mexico State University to produce the campaign.)
“Set it and Forget It” goofiness aside, thank you Drexel. I made the mistake of washing a chicken two months ago and am now desperate for Germ-Vision. The scene in my kitchen probably looked much like this one, except I didn’t put American cheese on my roast chicken.
NewsWorks reports that Penn and Drexel are among six semifinalists in DARPA Robotics Challenge. The two will compete in December on an obstacle course in which their robots are expected to “climb ladders, walk through rubble and even drive cars.”
Drexel’s entry, “Hubo,” is about the size of a 10-year-old boy. It’s a humanoid—with arms and legs like people.
Paul Oh, who runs Drexel’s autonomous systems lab, has been working on Hubo for years. But for this Robotics Challenge, a team of students from Drexel and nine other schools, including Swarthmore and the University of Delaware, are making Hubo bigger and stronger so it can tough it out in a nuclear disaster zone.
As for Penn:
Penn has partnered with Virginia Tech, and their robot is humanoid as well. It’s named after the Nordic god of thunder, Thor.
According to Lee, all the technology required to build a robo-rescuer exists. Researchers have gotten robots to walk, climb and lift. But bringing all of that research and knowledge together will be a big achievement.
“The level of difficulty they’re asking for in all the tasks is incredible,” Lee said. “Each one of these tasks could be a cutting-edge Ph.D. thesis.”
Just remember: When the inevitable robot revolution comes, you can probably blame the eggheads west of the Schuylkill River.
Long before Kai the Homeless Alleged Murderer was apprehended at the dingy Greyhound Station in Center City, young commuters have preferred Bolt Bus and Megabus to the grey lady of crappy coach busses. But despite the preponderance of Drexel Dragons who use Mega and Bolt–which dock from JFK Boulevard, behind 30th St. Station–the university is not overly endeared with the busses’ presence.
Drexel owns the land on both the north and south sides of the block. It has big plans for the space, which is currently home to a parking lot and the former offices of newspaper The Philadelphia Bulletin, as part of an “Innovation Neighborhood” to include high-density mixed-use buildings. “As the Innovation Neighborhood takes shape, it is our concern that private bus operators’ current location on JFK Boulevard will deter entrepreneurs and companies from wanting to locate their businesses there,” says Drexel spokesperson Lori Doyle.
Which means that there’s little chance Drexel’s going to erect much-needed shelters (much less an actual station, as in Boston or D.C.) near the bus stops. So we’ll all get wet and hot and bothered. Still, it could be worse: There are always poorly ventilated, ill-regulated shady as hell Chinatown busses. [City Paper]
Philadelphia Magazine‘s Best of Philly issue is on newsstands now, and for those interested in real estate, economic development, and the city’s future, there are some real standout picks in the magazine’s “20 Best Philadelphians.”
Those who kick some serious butt in the Property world? “Retail King” Michael Salove, “Liberators” Post Brothers and “Connector” John Fry. Congrats to those three, as well as the other 17–who are best revealed on printed paper, we assure you.
We’re a little bit late to this story, but honestly it reminded us so much of a 1990s stoner movie that we had to share the details. Drexel University, it turns out, has been given a $3.3 million grant to study the effects of medical marijuana on adults ages 18-28.
The study, “Medical Marijuana, Emerging Adults & Community: Connecting Health and Policy,” is being led by Dr. Stephen Lankenau, an associate professor in Drexel’s School of Public Health, who was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for $3.3 million over five years, beginning July 1. Ultimately, Lankenau hopes the study’s findings can guide medical marijuana policies at local, state and national levels to result in the most positive health outcomes for young adults and communities.
“Dispensaries are a relatively new and unusual institution, and they haven’t been studied much,” Lankenau said. One study hypothesis is that dispensaries, which often provide social support in addition to medical marijuana, may provide the basis for better physical and psychological outcomes for medical marijuana users, compared to non-medical users who purchase the drug on the black market.
We can see it now: Higher Medicine, starring Jim Breuer as the bad-boy medical genius who gets a grant to keep the party going for five years! Only he meets a straightlaced hospital administrator played by Christina Applegate, who teaches him responsibility, love, and helps him keep the grant in a climactic contest that shows he’s learning real stuff that will benefit mankind. Which, to be fair, the real study will probably do.
Drexel has tired of its orange-bricked buildings and would now prefer the statelier red that graces Penn’s campus. “You were immediately able to tell when you left the Penn campus,” said [Drexel's vice president for facilities]. “It was cheap and tawdry, a symbol of the old Drexel.”
So they’re busting out the mini-rollers.
It is accomplishing this by equipping workers with miniature paint rollers and dispatching them to coat each offending orange brick, one by one…The work is time-consuming, explained painter Rick Farina, because they are striving to stay within the lines, to avoid staining the grout.
My colleague Tim Haas has his own little motto for the school, which I’ll share now: Drexel University: Close to an Ivy League School. [Inquirer]
Photos: Drexel.edu; UPenn.edu