NextPittsburgh: Meta Mesh wants to get mesh network Wi-Fi to neighborhoods throughout Pittsburgh

The tech and innovation scene is booming in Pittsburgh. In my latest piece for NextPittsburgh, I talk to MetaMesh, a startup hoping to give free internet to all:

Adam Longwill built his first wireless antenna using a wok.

“My parents, whom I was living with at the time, had DSL and they were too cheap to get a better connection,” the founder and CEO of Meta Mesh jokes.

“I was home from college and I was desperate for good Internet speed. I thought ‘Let me steal some Wi-Fi off of my neighbors, and so I started messing around with different antennas so I could reach further.’ I started to realize I could go really far with some antenna designs.”

Then he considered: what if he and a friend each put one on their roofs and pointed them toward each other?

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NextPittsburgh: Why Pittsburgh’s urban beekeepers matter more than ever

There’s been some buzz in the ‘Burgh about urban beekeeping, and I decided to eschew my fear of the little guys to explore the topic in depth. Check out my piece on urban beekeeping below:

Beekeeping started as a New Year’s resolution for Lynetta Miller.

“I decided that every year I was going to learn something new,” explains Miller. When she rang in the New Year in 2010, she decided to try beekeeping.

“Nobody I knew kept bees. It was just something that sounded kind of cool, ” says Miller. What started as an experiment turned into a  profession. Miller is now vice president of Burgh Bees, an organization that introduces the public to bees, beekeeping and acting as stewards of the environment. Miller is also an urban beekeeper who keeps her hive at the Burgh Bees community apiary in Homewood.

Urban beekeeping may sound like an oxymoron, but for several hundred homes in the Pittsburgh area, it’s a reality.honeycomb-F2649-750

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Ask Lena

I know most of you are just like me and waiting on bated breath for the release of Lena Dunham’s Not that Kind of Girl. The memoir poses as an advice book, with Dunham using personal experiences to dispense wisdom. Perfecting the distinctive voice she developed in Girls, Dunham shares her own experiences of the time before her show became a hit.


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You Do You

We all do it; say we’re getting into Crossfit, or try speaking positive aspirations in the morning. I know I told an acquaintance recently I was “really getting into mediation.” I guess by that I meant I had done it once, then become too distracted by a fly to complete one session.

I’m not calling anyone out on this, we all make promises about self-improvement that never quite come to fruition, myself included. But, what if self-improvement could be a game?  Continue reading


First Listen: The Naked and Famous “In Rolling Waves”

The Naked and Famous, remember those dudes? I sure do.  The group is my favorite New Zealand band (I mean, Flight of the Concords is a close second…). On The Naked and Famous’ newest album, the group is up to more of the same. It uses the synth and echoey filters that made the group famous, but there’s also a maturity to be found. Needless to say, I hope The Naked and Famous hit up Pittsburgh on the next tour. Check out “In Rolling Waves” below.


Thanks Vice!

“In Rolling Waves” drops Friday (September 13), be sure to check it out.

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What I’m Listening to: Phosphorescent

Every so often, I’ll hear a song I never want to forget. It might be in the grocery store, or the ballad accompanying the trailing credits of a movie. There’s a sense of panic that you might never hear the song again, and in that moment it can be heartbreaking.

Phosphorescent’s “Song for Zula”, stopped me in my tracks. I heard the song playing after The Spectacular Now, and scrambled to bring up Shazam (thanks, technology) on my phone. I had to know who the artist was, because I couldn’t forget that song.

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Weekly Round-Up

Slow week, heading on vacation tomorrow so I will try my hardest probably not write.

Articles this Week

‘gram of the Week


Another Tuesday Night at The Moth 

 Online Reading:

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I remember my first trip to Dependable Drive-In in Moon Township. I was in middle school, and a friend’s mother drove us out to the spot late in the evening. We got there just in time for the second film in the double feature. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the experience, and since then I’ve gone each summer.

It’s almost like traveling back in time, with retro screeners before the feature itself. A dog yipping quietly from a nearby car, and the freedom of watching a movie under the stars. In high school and college, it was an affordable night out (double feature for $6) and a great spot to bring visitors and friends. This experience is becoming rarer and rarer, and I can only hope that we preserve the drive-ins we have left.

With the conversion to digital projection, these historical spots are in jeopardy. At the end of this summer season, the drive-in theaters must convert to digital projection, or close forever. For many owners, it’s a daunting and impossible task. Fortunately, the folks at Honda are coming to the aid of theaters across the country. Project Drive-In aims to save several drive-ins by purchasing digital projectors.


Use Project Drive-In to find a drive-in in your area and vote. You can also donate to the cause, with proceeds benefitting local drive-in theaters. Vote, and help us preserve these cultural treasures.


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