West Chester SEPTA station

The potential for SEPTA to restore service to West Chester has been talked about for years. Candice Mongolian reports that a feasibility study will be underway soon: The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), in the middle of laying out its five-year financial plan and 2017 budget, is planning to do a feasibility study about restoring rail service to…

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iPad-first computing

Steven Sinofsky writes on his transition to iPad-first computing: Unlike many “use a product for month” tests this is not an experiment. For me this is a deeply held belief that the rise of smartphones (specifically starting when the iPhone launched) would have a profound impact on the way we all use “computers”. The transformation spans…

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Passing along knowledge

College communities, somewhat like airports, are transitory places. An enormous number of the people who dot the Penn State landscape today will be gone tomorrow—or next year, or in three years. The transient nature of student life is both a renewing force in a college town, ensuring freshness and vibrancy, at the same time that…

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Moving a mailbox

The Inspiration Mural is a distinctive part of Downtown State College, telling some of the most powerful stories of the people of the Nittany Valley in a visual way. As downtown continues to change and transform, the aesthetic and cultural value of the Inspiration Mural will only grow as an important means for Penn Staters, townspeople,…

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Disaster preservation

In a city whose identity is so closely associated with its historic sites, the effects of climate change and storms like Katrina and Sandy pose nightmare scenarios. What would Philadelphia be if its landmark buildings and historic districts were washed away? Since those hurricanes in 2005 and 2012 and because of the increasing severity and…

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Trust and reputation

Adriana Stan writes that “the future is the trust economy,” and puts recent economic choices into context. Trust is the basis of healthy community life, and the more of it that’s baked into our economic system, the better. Trust was once an expensive pursuit. Banks were built from luxurious materials in bold architectural forms, with sturdy…

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Making the old, new

“New to the country, I am still at the stage where everything I see has a value precisely because I don’t know what value to give it.“ — Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) April 24, 2016 This Benedict Evans tweet came across my Twitter stream earlier: “New to the country, I am still at the stage where…

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Shakespeare at 400

Daniel Hannan, British politician, writes on Shakespeare’s 400th birthday: The truly magical quality of Shakespeare’s plays is that, as Harold Bloom once put it, whatever experiences we bring to them, they illuminate our experiences more than our experiences illuminate the plays. Whenever we read his words, they seem narrowly aimed at our circumstances. The same…

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Hominins

Steward Brand of The Long Now Foundation reflected on his “ecological wildfire” post earlier this year with a fascinating insight: “Hominins” is the right term for the long us — includes pre- and post-human. We hominins mastered fire and may master fusion. What’s the context for this thinking? Understanding The Long Now Foundation: The Long Now Foundation hopes…

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Art in unexpected places

After leaving my office in Narberth, I realized I arrived a few minutes early to the train station heading into Center City, Philadelphia. It was a beautiful spring day, and I noticed the garden with a weatherproof reproduction of Camille Pissarro’s Fair on a Sunny Afternoon. I’ve always liked the idea of public art being more…

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