Drexel University Building Still Contaminated with Radium

Ex-City Paper editor in chief Theresa Everline has a piece in the new issue of The Magazine (which, if you hadn’t been able to guess, is a tablet magazine with a web presence). The article’s a look at cleaning up radioactive contamination in the area, specifically the radium cleanup duties of Frank Hartman (in the early 20th c.) and the current cleanup crews in Pennsylvania.

In it, Everline tells the story of Hartman cleaning up the American Oncological Hospital at 33rd Street and Powelton Avenue. Turns out the hospital left a radium spill to sit there for five months.

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5 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend: A Dark Place Inside, Welcome to Campus, and more

Every Friday we round up five of the best ways to spend your weekend in Philly. Have an event you’d like listed? Send details to ticket@phillymag.com

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Maniac Films Presents A Dark Place Inside Premiere:  For a background check on Philadelphia-based director/writer/producer Mike O’Mahony, look no further than the titles of his previous work. If Sloppy the Psychotic doesn’t sound like your idea of a Friday night flick, maybe skip tonight’s premiere of his newest filmA Dark Place Inside. For those who do enjoy a good grindhouse gore-fest (and can hold down a beer even as the on-screen heads roll), stow away “good taste” for a night of no-brow thrills. Fri., Feb 21, 7 p.m., PhilaMOCA,  531 N. 12th St.

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Drexel Welcome to Campus:  Presented by Drexel and Swim Pony, Welcome to Campus: Not Your Average Campus Tour dramatizes the already fairly dramatic going-ons of your typical college student. The student-performed, interactive theater performance stages a campus tour where the realities of college/adolescent life, and not just the highlights of the meal plans and study-abroad programs, are at the forefront. Catch the show in its first weekend run and maybe re-think letting your daughter take that semester in Barcelona. Fri., Feb. 21, 7 p.m., URBN Annex Black Box Theater, 3401 Filbert St.

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The Unflinching Eye: The Works of the Tiberino Family Circle: In honor of Black History Month, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is featuring a slew of special programming celebrating the black community of Philadelphia. This Saturday, join the Tiberinos, Philadelphia’s first family of African American art as they offer insight into their own works.   An intimate look into black history as it’s situated in Philadelphia’s narrative and a poignant display of art and the urban experience. Sat., Feb. 22, 1 p.m., African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.

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4th Annual Party for the Market:  The last time you were at Reading Terminal may have been at the request of an out-of-towner, but admit it, you were just as thrilled with that pork sandwich as your Aunt Sally. Show your support for  a Philadelphia institution this Saturday for Reading Terminal Market‘s “Party for the Market,” where a ticket gets you food, drinks, dancing and live entertainment. Proceeds go to the preservation of the historic market and will fund upcoming arts and nutritional programming. Sat., Feb., 22, 7:30 p.m., Reading Terminal Market, 5 N. 12th St.

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Salsa on Ice:  Things are heating up for Blue Cross RiverRink’s final weeks. This Saturday, join DeeJay Jonathan for an eclectic set of latin grooves to fumble around on skates to. And after embarrassing yourself to meringue rhythms, you can warm up in the Waterfront Winterfest lodge with craft beer and warm beverages. Ole! Sat., Feb 22., 3 p.m., Blue Cross RiverRink at Pen’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Market Street. 

ThinkFest Video: Frank Lee


Remember that game of Pong on the Cira Centre? Frank Lee helped create that Guinness Record winning, world’s largest video game. As Associate Professor of Drexel University’s Media Arts and Design program, he is hoping to take the isolation out of technology, and recreate the social and physical interaction we used to have as kids through his unique game designs.

Watch this talk to understand just how he plans to transform the world of gaming and see some clips from his biggest successes yet—the largest video game in the world and a very poorly played game of Tetris.

Midday Headlines: Cira Centre Pong Makes Guinness Book of World Records

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Left photo by B. Krist for GPTMC.

• Pong on the Cira Centre has earned a a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, as Technical.ly Philly reports.

The Inquirer’s Al Heavens writes about continued growth in an already flourishing Francisville.

• A December town meeting at Northeast High School will cover draft plans for improving Roosevelt Blvd., area shopping districts, and parks, according to PlanPhilly.

The Philadelphia Daily News says that the new Frankford Avenue murals celebrate that neighborhood’s diversity and history.

• Former Flyer Max Talbot is selling his Bella Vista 3BR that includes a plasma TV and projector, according to Curbed Philly.

• Is Germantown going green? The Inquirer’s Alison Burdo writes about the solar paneled home and eco-friendly development firm that moved in within three years of each other.

ThinkFest Snapshot: Video Game Designer Frank Lee

We’re rounding up the reasons Philly Mag readers should not miss ThinkFest, our week-long event connecting the brightest minds and most innovative ideas in Philadelphia. 

Drexel's Dr. Frank LeeDrexel University has a keeper in associate professor Frank Lee. Not only does Lee teach in the digital media program at Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, he is also the co-founder and co-director of the Drexel Game Design Program, which has been named among the top 10 game design programs by The Princeton Review.

Lee created the program because he wanted to make the best game design program in the world, and although he says we are not quite there yet, his efforts to become the best continue: This year, Lee was named Hacker of the Year and awarded Geek Story of the Year at the 3rd annual Philadelphia Geek Awards for his project “Pong on the Cira Centre,” or as Lee calls it, “World’s Biggest Pong” (video below). He also founded the Entrepreneurial Game Studio, which helps Drexel students create their own gaming companies, in hopes of expanding the video game industry in Philadelphia.

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Drexel to Remain Squash Capital of World

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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.

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Ruth Patrick, Philly-Based Science Pioneer, Dead at 105

New York Times:

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.

Washington Post:

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.”

 

Rowan and Drexel Rank Very High on “Ugliest Colleges” List

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

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