quite faulty

I was pumped. Temple alum and Philadelphian Stephen A. Smith’s solo gig for ESPN was going to make sports television history, or something equally significant. I mean, he’s been the man representing our neck of the woods since 2003 on national TV, bringing his “A” game and attitude to every show. Quite Franklywas his call to start in the big league; it was only justice that the man gets the opportunity to take it to the next level.

Quite frankly, I wish ESPN had saved the opportunity for Woody Paige.

Excuse me for being cliché, but have you tuned into ESPN 2 weekdays at 6:30? I’m confused, disappointed, and a little frightened after giving the show my time. The attitude that made Smith stand out originally has become extraordinarily annoying, and there’s more emphasis on the fact that you’re watching Stephen A. Smiththan on sports content. Potentially great interviews and topics are overshadowed because we’re constantly reminded of the host’s ‘tude, and he calls his guests babe enough for it to be considered sexual harassment.

It’s not opinion or insight. It’s gimmick, attitude, and shouting. An avalanche of shouting. Like watching a Samuel L. Jackson movie. I thought I was at boot camp. Should I be listening to sports news or giving Smith twenty pushups? Does the man have Tourette’s Syndrome? No wonder Allen Iverson broke down in the show’s inaugural week

restoring city hall

The exterior restoration of City Hall isn’t taking as long as it took to build the 1.2 million-square-foot structure – constructed of tons of marble, granite and limestone.

That took 30 years between 1871 and 1901.

So far, the tedious job of cleaning the soot-ridden marble fa

penn researches nano-circuits

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has taken what could be a major step towards making a new generation of electronic devices.

The step is a new method for cleaning carbon nanotubes, which are seamlessly joined cylinders of carbon about a nanometer — a billionth of a meter — in diameter.

Carbon nanotubes are so small because they are made from carbon planes one atom thick. The planes are exactly in between being a conductor and a semiconductor. But when they are made into nanotubes, one-third of the nanotubes are conductors; two-thirds semiconductors.

One way to create an electronic device such as a microprocessor from carbon nanotubes is to make a lot of the nanotubes, separate them into conductors and semiconductors and glue them onto chips.

The problem with that is that when carbon nanotubes are made in bulk, they get coated with impurities during the process. As a result, effectiveness is reduced.

The Penn team showed a way that problem might be overcome. It cleaned bulk-manufactured nanotubes by heating them in moist air with a gentle acid treatment and then using magnetic fields to separate the nanotubes from the impurities.

That significantly improved the ability of the nanotubes to function as either conductors or semiconductors, although not as much as it can be improved.

They started off completely terrible, and we’ve improved them to being very, very good, but we know they could be superb and we’re not there yet, said Alan T. Charlie Johnson, an associate professor in Penn’s department of physics and astronomy, who co-leads the team with Arjun Yodh, another Penn professor.

Enabling the nanotubes to be superb conductors or semiconductors could enable the creation of smaller, more powerful computer chips. But it could also make possible many other applications.

For example, Johnson said, the nanotubes could be sprayed onto a wall to form circuits, enabling the wall to be turned into a giant display.

the 9 x 3

Monday, August 15th. Citizen’s Bank Ballpark, and the Washington Nationals will be in town. But instead of bringing my glove, I’m bringing my appetite and a two-by-four piece of poster board. It’s Dollar Dog Day at CBB and that means one thing:

Nine hotdogs. Nine beers. Nine innings.

It’s a decathlon for your stomach: 90 inches of greasy hotdogs and 192 fluid oz. of tasty beverage, all in approximately three hours. That’s 2250 calories, 130.5 grams of fat, and 5760 milligrams of sodium in the dogs and buns alone. And the beer? You’re drinking over 12 and half pounds of it. I pity the guy on the Atkins Diet who reads this and faints at the thought of all those carbs.

But you know the saying, “no guts, no glory.” And what better day to attempt such a feat than Dollar Dog Day, where delicious ballpark hotdogs will set you back only a buck (opposed to $3.25-4.25). It’s a deal you can’t avoid even if you aren’t going for the 9 x 3. Be sure to bring enough cash for your beer, or soda for those underage, and some tape to post each victory dog wrapper.

I’m no physician, dietician, or chemist (who probably disapprove of the 9 x 3 wholeheartedly). But I can offer advice to help anyone brave enough to try. First, come hungry; that means a small lunch or no lunch. And buy your first dog before you take your seat. Also, chew thoroughly, because excess air swallowed will just fill you up quicker. Don’t chug your drinks for the same reason, and I’ve found that a straw helps immensely.

By the fifth or sixth inning you’ll feel full. Shuffle around and stretch, take a stroll around the causeway, and if necessary find a place to lie on your back for a few minutes. That might give you enough room to get through the remaining innings. Take the dogs and liquid together (rather than saving one for after the other), it will help the food move through your body. Burp frequently

state funding of higher ed

Pennsylvania’s method of funding higher education is coming into question.

The Governor’s Office is looking to commission a study of higher education funding … in terms of, ‘Are there better ways to use the dollars available to fund higher education in Pennsylvania?’ said John Godlewski, the director of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Management.

The Governor’s Office isn’t alone. God