January 4, 2016
Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic are known as the Word Mavens and are the authors of the "Dictionary of Jewish Words" Every now and then, we find ourselves asking questions that prove we're not as hip or as with it as we think we are. And undoubtedly, when our kids read this, they'll tell us that nobody says hip or with it anymore. We love new apps, gadgets, and conveniences, and we marvel at the things they can do, but we don't fully trust them. We spent decades dialing the phone, putting family photos in albums, and getting up from our chair to change the channel.
January 4, 2016 |
What will 2016 bring in the way of medical advances? As president and CEO of Philadelphia's University City Science Center, an incubator of medical research, Stephen Tang has an uncommon vantage point on that question. He predicts gene therapy, an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease, and health information technology will boom this year. He spoke to us recently about the center and what lies ahead. Tell us more about the Science Center.
November 18, 2015 |
Richard J. Biscardi, 45, of Jim Thorpe, Pa., an Internet technology innovator and Philadelphia native, died Friday, Nov. 13, of injuries sustained in an auto accident in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. Mr. Biscardi was alone in his car just before 8 p.m. when the vehicle left the right side of Behrens Road and struck a tree, according to state police at Lehighton. No other cars were involved. The accident was under investigation. Born in 1970, Mr. Biscardi, known as "Richie," grew up in the shadow of Veterans Stadium in South Philadelphia and lived in the city until moving to Jim Thorpe this summer.
November 7, 2015 |
TRENTON - In 2002, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring all firearms retailers to sell "smart guns" instead of traditional handguns once the technology became available. On Thursday, the Democratic lawmakers who spearheaded that effort acknowledged that it had backfired by roiling gun-rights groups and impeding the technology from coming to market. So on Thursday, they introduced legislation they presented as a compromise: It would repeal the section of the law that would prohibit the sale of normal handguns but also require wholesale or retail dealers to offer and maintain an inventory of smart guns.
September 30, 2015 |
They were just unpacking the GPS devices from the boxes in Penn's basketball offices. For their cars? No, for practice. Every Quakers men's hoops player is going to get a tracking device for the back of his jersey. It weighs about an ounce. "I don't know if we're allowed to wear them in games or not," said men's basketball coach Steve Donahue. "We're trying to figure that out. " Miles toiled will be added to a database that closely monitors sleep and nutrition and - here's where things really get state-of-the-art - individual traits such as load and explode and drive abilities.
September 2, 2015 |
Just how does FedEx track millions of packages - and can the same technology be adapted, as Gov. Christie said over the weekend, to track visitors who overstay their visas? "If FedEx can do it, why can't we use the same technology to do it?" Christie, a Republican presidential candidate, told an interviewer over the weekend as he joined the debate over border controls. FedEx declined to comment on Monday on Christie's remarks, but a former executive at the company described its tracking system as commonplace.
May 24, 2015 |
Every so often, airport screening personnel around the world have been greeted by a strange sight: A tall, red-haired Englishman carrying a clear plastic box with thin tubes and pulleys nestled inside. "Yes, I have had some interesting experiences with that," said Jason Launders, explaining his invention as he sat in a windowless lab in Plymouth Meeting. "Try to explain it to a bunch of Germans. " The scientist created the motorized contraption, which the ECRI Institute uses to test the accuracy of high-tech CT scanners around the world by imitating the function of the human heart.
April 11, 2015 |
The play begins with a disembodied head, tastefully parked in the middle of a table, amiably conversing with some sort of technician - in what could be a Samuel Beckett play or the sci-fi film The Brain That Wouldn't Die . But that isn't InterAct Theatre's style. No, this was the latest new work by resident playwright Thomas Gibbons ( Permanent Collection , etc.) titled Uncanny Valley - an important exploration of the technological possibilities of immortality. It opened Wednesday at the Adrienne, traveling similar territory as Caryl Churchill's A Number (about cloning)
February 23, 2015 |
Last week, I talked about trends associated with the winners of the National Association of Home Builders' Best in American Living Awards. Today's topic: the results of Better Homes & Gardens' annual survey of its readership, which I have been writing about, seriously or tongue-in-cheek, for the last seven years, although its informal version was part of a panel discussion at the builders group's annual trade shows for much longer than that....
December 17, 2014 |
With a growing body of innovative original productions, from House of Cards and Lilyhammer to Orange Is the New Black and Marco Polo , Netflix has proven it deserves a place in the vanguard of TV programming. Yet the streaming site's most buzzed-about offering this month isn't one of its own shows. It's the British import Black Mirror , a sci-fi anthology series whose six one-hour episodes have driven critics and sci-fi geeks to distraction with passionate praise.