Drexel Prof. Makes Philly Art Museum App

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Mary Jo Grdina, an associate clinical professor in Drexel’s School of Education, has created a new iPad app that seeks to prove that “physics principles can be found everywhere, even [at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.] A description of “Physics in Art” from developers:

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Philly Tech Week 2014 Signature Event

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Philly Tech Week’s Signature Event was held at the Comcast Center on Friday, April 11th. It was part cocktail party, part local tech expo, and part demo party. It was a great event to network and served as a great capper for another successful year of Philly Tech Week. Food was provided by DiBruno Brothers and Shake Shack. Local beer (and open bar) was provided by Yards.

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VIDEO, GIFs: World’s Largest Tetris in Philadelphia

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The first thing I saw after arriving at the end of the Ben Franklin Parkway was a man in a Tetris costume being interviewed by a camera crew. The second thing I saw were a bunch of teenagers singing the Game Boy Tetris theme a capella. I didn’t know this was going to be such a big deal, but it was Tetris. On a skyscraper.

Yes, people played Tetris on the side of the Cira Centre as the kickoff to Philly Tech Week, and it was pretty darn cool.

I went to see Pong played on the Cira Centre last year, and it had nowhere near the crowd this year’s did. Last year I remember freezing with a few other people, hoping the rain would hold off, watching a few rounds of uninspiring Pong play. But Tetris! What a great game. I can’t see any type of tiling without mentally positioning them into Tetris-shaped blocks; you just don’t do this with Pong. And so there were hundreds and hundreds of people eating from food trucks at The Oval and watching people play Tetris — as well as other games, including a giant, light-up version of Connect 4.

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Response: Women Aren’t at Philly Tech Week for You To Look At

Tracey Welson-Rossman of TechGirlz

Tracey Welson-Rossman of TechGirlz

“That Tech Girl Talk session? Seems pretty hot,” wrote Gene Marks in his article “The 56 Things You’ll Likely Overhear at Philly Tech Week” on this website.  While the author was clearly attempting to satirize the event, this part missed the mark.

With that one line he brought to light what is wrong with so many technology events and conferences around the world.  First, the statement is clearly from a man’s point-of-view, as if they are the only people attending Tech Week events. Worse, it marginalizes the involvement of women, not only with Philly Tech Week but also within the technology community, by reducing it to a visual spectacle.

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Interview: How Philly Tech Week Became an Institution

Christopher Wink isn’t yet on Philly Mag’s list of the city’s most powerful people (check out the newest issue!) but give it time. He’s a young man in a hurry, a co-founder of the Technically Philly website that has grown into a franchise covering the tech scenes in several East Coast cities. That venture gave birth to Philly Tech Week — the fourth edition of which starts today — and which is expected to draw 25,000 people to game-playing, hack-a-thons, seminars on starting up your own tech company, and much more. (And oh, yeah: People will be playing Tetris on the side of the Cira Centre.)

“It does inspire a sense of place,” he said. “It does create a community identity … It’s a vehicle to make a better community, not just a bigger party every year. Although parties are good.”

Wink talked this week about Philly’s place in the tech scene, how the town distinguishes itself, and how to encourage Philadelphia startups beyond the tech sector.

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The Robots Are Taking Over the Opera!

Remember a few days ago, when we were debating whether using Twitter was too much technology for opera? It was just the opening wave. The robots are coming to take over your opera!

Geekadelphia reports:

Opera Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute will take part in a global experiment in 21st century opera: on Sunday, February 16, a live performance of Death and the Powers, by acclaimed American composer/inventor Tod Machover, will be simulcast from The Dallas Opera to more than ten locations in Europe and the U.S.– including The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Streaming live from the Franklin Theater, the opera simulcast is the closing event of The Franklin Institute’s Robot Day.

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Your Guide to Watching the Olympics Anywhere

Sochi_2014_Winter_Olympics_Games_Logo-940x540The Olympics are here!

Well, okay, they’re not quite the Olympics — these are the Winter Games, the not-so-beloved younger brother of the Summer Olympics. Still, I don’t see why everyone can’t get behind an event where countries compete in athletic competitions to see who’s the greatest. America is going to show you who’s boss, Norway!

This year’s Olympics are in Sochi, Russia, and they cost $51 billion — more than every other Winter Olympics combined. They’re actually more expensive than the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which had three times as many events.

The 2014 Olympics have also been marred by Russian politics. In addition to the cost overruns, Russia’s law restricting gay rights activities has dominated pre-Olympics conversation. Russia’s law is so bad even American corporations have even publicly denounced it. The Google doodle is against it!

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