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Monday, October 23, 2017

What happened: The zombie apocalypse Best Of category

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 4:39 PM

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I was still stewing about the rejection of my suggestions for new Best Of categories last year — best bathroom graffiti, best neighbor’s wi-fi network name, best Wendy’s — when I saw the results come in for my favorite suggestion this year: best place to hole up in event of a zombie apocalypse.

The winner was “your house.”

Generally, the task of complaining, arguing and challenging the merits of Best Of winners is the readers’ job, but I really gotta pick a bone with this “your house” shit.

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Pittsburgh Steelers dominate Cincinnati Bengals 29-14 at Heinz Field

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 10:04 AM

Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sun., Oct. 22. - CP PHOTOS BY VINCENT PUGLIESE
  • CP photos by Vincent Pugliese
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sun., Oct. 22.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a fairly easy day of it on Sunday getting by the Bengals, 29-14, at Heinz Field on Sunday. Here are photographer Vincent Pugliese's top 15 photos from the game.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

'Day of the Dead' screening and tribute to George Romero, Tue., Oct. 24

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:51 PM

For everybody else, October is a month for celebrating assorted undead, such as vampires and zombies. Of course, here in Pittsburgh, we're forever celebrating zombies, thanks in no small part to director George Romero, who shot many zombie-centric features in and around Pittsburgh.

One of his films was 1985's Day of the Dead, in which zombies have overtaken the land, leaving a group of scientists and military personnel holed up in an underground bunker in Florida.

Day of the Dead screens next Tuesday in a special event designed to celebrate Romero and "Chilly Billy" Cardille, the Pittsburgh radio and TV personality who also had made appearances in a couple of Dead films; both men died within the last year.

Besides the screening, there will be a discussion, led by University of Pittsburgh film-studies professor Adam Lowenstein, with Lori Cardille, who is both the star of Day of the Dead and the daughter of Chilly Billy. The event is free and open to the public.

The event starts at 7 p.m. Tue., Oct. 24, and takes place at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, in Oakland.

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Followup: How a doodle by a Pittsburgh-based data analyst became the pseudo-logo for 1A radio show

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 11:34 AM

IMAGE COURTESY OF JOHN MEYER AND GABE BULLARD
  • Image courtesy of John Meyer and Gabe Bullard
If that headline makes no sense to you, go back and check out the original story here. The basic gist of it is that a hastily doodled cowboy has evolved into regularly shared meme for 1A's Friday news roundup. Last week, we published an interview with the stick figure's illustrator, John Meyer. Today, we're talking with the senior producer for digital at 1A, Gabe Bullard, to hear the story from its side.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Guerilla Artist installs exhibit on Baum Blvd. to highlight NFL protest

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 10:16 PM

CP PHOTO BY BILL O'DRISCOLL
  • CP photo by Bill O'Driscoll
This public-art projection by artist m.M Frangos went up at 8:30 p.m. on Baum Boulevard near Euclid in East Liberty. Franco, who lives in East Liberty, references the controversy over NFL players taking a knee for the national anthem to disrupt people’s daily routines and get them thinking. She hopes this work of guerrilla art — visible only at night — will stay up through the weekend.

"As a Disruptive Public Artist with an emphasis on social justice issues, my artistic goal is to buck repressive norms and disrupt our social agreements,"  writes m.M Frangos in a text to CP. "The debate about whether public art, esp temporary pop-up art, ought to serve as confirmation of perceived beliefs ie a 'social contract' or to dissent and echo the cries of a community. I believe in the latter. Peoples' voices need to be heard. Public Art provides that mechanism."

UPDATE: Frangos texted CP this morning that the building owner on whose roof the project equipment had been installed had removed the gear.

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The many hobbies of Demetri Martin

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 5:41 PM

Demetri Martin
  • Demetri Martin

There's an illustration in Demetri Martin's new book, If It's Not Funny, It's Art, that shows a bald, bespectacled man's head suspended above two crossed arms. The caption reads, "Skull and Crossbones (when he was still alive)." OK, so that's an example of a joke that shouldn't be translated to writing (sorry), but it's a good intro for newcomers to Martin's distinct approach to joke-making.

Martin, 44, is a quiet, unassuming dude who specializes in short, minimally but smartly worded comedy. The punchlines sometimes take a second to stick, but in his specials, books and TV appearances (my favorite: as the new keytar player in Flight of the Conchords), his low-key charisma is apparent off the bat.

Martin, who is performing at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall on Fri., Oct 20, released If It's Not Funny, It's Art in September. It's his third book of drawings, a skill he developed and integrated into his performance when he was first doing standup. Last year, he starred, produced and directed Dean, a semi-autobiographical romantic indie comedy that looks and sounds and feels very Demetri Martin. In it, he plays an illustrator (more on that later). CP spoke with Martin by phone last week, discussing his hobbies, Halloween and Ang Lee.

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Al Gore says progress on climate change is happening despite President Trump

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 1:29 PM

Al Gore - CP PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • CP photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Al Gore
In the months after the presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore spent time talking with President Donald Trump about the threat of climate change and the importance of sticking with the Paris Agreement, created to address greenhouse gas emissions. We now know those talks were futile, since in June, Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the global agreement.

But while things might appear bleak, in an interview with Pittsburgh City Paper this week, Gore said he remains hopeful. And he said projections indicate the United States is going to meet and exceed commitments previously made as part of the agreement, whether Trump likes it or not.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"East Texas Hot Links" begins Pittsburgh troupe's experiment with longer runs

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 1:20 PM

In years previous, this past weekend would have marked the final performances of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.'s run of Eugene Lee's 1991 drama East Texas Hot Links. Except for its popular stagings of plays by Pulitzer-winning native son August Wilson, all of the small company's runs have been three weeks long — usually about a dozen performances of each.

The cast of East Texas Hot Links - PHOTO COURTESY OF GAIL MANKER
  • Photo courtesy of Gail Manker
  • The cast of East Texas Hot Links
But inspired by Chicago's prolific theater scene, Playwrights founder and artistic director Mark Clayton Southers is literally doubling down: Instead of being wrapped, East Texas is now only halfway through a six-week run, a duration Southers intends to become his company's new standard.

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How a doodle by a Pittsburgh-based data analyst became the pseudo-logo for NPR's 1A radio show

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:38 PM

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As a lover of stick figures and public radio, this story was too good to pass up.

Last week, I was discussing the NPR/WAMU show 1A with CP intern Hannah Lynn, and she mentioned that her friend John drew the lasso stick figure. I'm a big fan of the show, but I can't say I pay a whole lot of attention to its Twitter, so I didn't know what she meant. Basically, every Friday there's a weekly news roundup (a holdover from the program it replaced, The Diane Rehm Show); every tweet related to the roundup incorporates a small stick figure wearing a brown hat, holding a lasso, smiling (sort of).

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Pittsburgh civil-rights leaders urge city to settle with alleged police-brutality victim Leon Ford

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:53 AM

Leon Ford arrives for his civil trial on Sept. 26. - CP PHOTO BY CHARLIE DEITCH
  • CP photo by Charlie Deitch
  • Leon Ford arrives for his civil trial on Sept. 26.
At 19 years old, Leon Ford was stopped by police for a traffic violation in Highland Park on Nov.11, 2012. The encounter escalated when — even after presenting officers Andrew Miller and Michael Kosko with his license and registration — police believed Ford was not who he claimed to be and was instead a man who was wanted by police with a similar name, Lamont Ford. The officers called for backup and Detective David Derbish arrived on the scene to determine Ford’s identity.

Confused and afraid, Ford remained seated in his car after the officers asked him to step out. Miller tried to forcibly remove Ford from the car. Derbish entered the passenger side of the car and claims he thought he saw a bulge indicating that Ford was carrying a weapon. Derbish then shot Ford, who was unarmed, five times in the chest at close range after the car started to move.

“With the presence of three police officers insisting that Ford was not who he really was, we could understand why such an encounter might cause a young 19-year-old to be fearful,” Tim Stevens, chairman and CEO of the Black Political Empowerment Project, said at a press conference on Monday. “Particularly in the light of the many negative encounters between young black males and white police officers which have been televised so frequently over the recent years, both locally and nationally.”

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