Gonna wind down the blog for the holiday here, but before I do, I want to note a couple gifts that Pittsburgh bloggers have given me ... and that Pittsburgh has given the world.
Personal thanks go out to Sue Kerr, of the ever-instructive Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog, for introducing me to Daylin Leach's Twitter account. Leach is a state Rep from out east, and while I've written about him before, I'd never have bothered to check out his tweets otherwise. Which would have been a big loss, because these are great. Among my favorites:
I'm still laughing at these, three hours later.
In a similar vein, I owe a long-overdue thanks to Maria Lupinacci of 2 political junkies for this video, which may singlehandedly be reason enough for Al Gore to have invented the Internet.
Of course, local bloggers give this kind of stuff way -- for free! -- on a weekly basis. But I've done one "best of" issue this month already, and I'd like to avoid having to do another. Suffice it to say I hope that all you content providers have a happy holiday.
Oh, and while I'm on the subject ... it seems like nobody else has noticed this, which is weird, but a few weeks ago, Pittsburgh got name-dropped twice in The New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" issue.
How did Pittsburgh contribute to the life of the mind this year? By getting drunk on the South Side, for starters.
Two Carnegie Mellon University researchers, Carey Morewedge and Tamar Krishnamurti, hit the bars on Carson Street to conduct a psychological experiment. In order to answer questions about human motivation, the researchers needed to run an experiment on drunk people ... and in the South Side they found test subjects who were "often at a level of intoxication that is greater than is ethical to induce."
Pittsburgh's second bold innovation in 2009? It was none other than our pioneering use of the LRAD "Sound Cannon" during the G-20 summit. After first boasting about the equipment during the international gathering, city officials suddenly decided to get all modest about it last fall, once the threat of lawsuits began cropping up. So it's good to see this innovation getting the attention it deserves -- and to see Pittsburgh getting full credit for its unique approach to crowd control. Who knows? Maybe in a couple years we'll be celebrated for law enforcement's equally idiosyncratic take on gender relations.
No need to thank us, rest of the world!
I love Mel Packer!