Friday, January 28, 2011


Well yes him and also
On Wednesday, February 2, President Obama will travel to the Penn State Campus at University Park in State College, Pennsylvania. As part of the Administration’s strategy to win the future through new investments in research and development, the Department of Energy has launched Energy Innovation Hubs across the nation. Penn State will provide overall leadership for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for energy-efficient buildings that will be located at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.
While at Penn State, the President will tour labs focused on energy-efficient building solutions and deliver remarks on the importance of investing in innovation and clean energy to put people back to work, grow the economy, and win the future.


9TH ANNUAL S. PELLEGRINO ALMOST FAMOUS CHEF COMPETITION Was held at the Restaurant School last week. (4207 Walnut Street)The world’s brightest culinary students will soon be competing for the opportunity of a lifetime. Find out how today’s aspiring young chefs will perform under pressure as they are judged and mentored by celebrity chefs and media personalities in fiery competition—with up to $20,000 and a dream job at stake. (source)
The chef competitors were: Thanks to my buddy Laura Burkhardt for getting me involved in this competition to be a judge. It was a fun experience, especially being in the thick of things watching the judges observe and ask questions of the chefs. Chef Matt Levin, Adsum and Laura Burkhardt, Where Magazine. (PS Matt made the hat he tells me.) We were all given extensive documents on the chefs background as well as what they were about to cook.
JudgesRestaurant School's Chef Bottone and Chef Edwin Scholly. Scholly is one of a 100 Master Chefs in the US.
JudgesChef Mike Stollenwerk , Fish Restaurant, me, Chef Daniel Giusti, 1789 Restaurant, Chef Peter McAndrews, Modo Mio and Chef Michael Solomonov, ZahavDrexel University's Chef Edward Bottone and student (& PhillyChitChat reader) Devon Montgomery-Bender, Special Events Manager at Phoenixville Country Club. The judges were dead on scrutinizing the dishes as they were presented and tasted. It was interesting and uncomfortable for me as the judges were honest with the chefs, which of course is helpful in the end in preparing the chef for their careers. For me I am so emotionally involved I just see students working so hard to get the best plate, or who really believe in their dish.
This was my 2nd favorite dish. Danielle Ogunkoya. It was lamb chops "Tangier" with spiced sausage, Moroccan tomato sauce, raita and mango. The judges thought it was all over the place, but I thought it tasty. Plus I was impressed she could pull it together as she had a mishap in the kitchen cutting her finger, then going to take care of it before returning to complete her dish under the time limit. Danielle tells me she would love to be on the show "Chopped", so Ted Allen if you're listening give this Restaurant School student a call!As the judging occurred above, friends and family were tasting the competition dishes below in one of the dining rooms of the school. Did you know you could dine at the school daily to taste some of the culinary delights of the students. Check out the info here. The judging criteria was based on composure under pressure, confidence, inspirational dish, responds well to judges questions, and flavor texture and degree of doneness. You see they were under a deadline so some dishes did not come out completely cooked, and a few came out over cooked. These student judges were under a lot of pressure and for the most part performed well. A One that was called out did admit that time was elusive and his dish reflected that.
The student chefs were all given a questionnaire on topics ranging from their favorite chef, food, and color. Danielle's favorite color was purple and her measuring cups reflected that. Benjamin Rosen likes green, but says it doesn't play a role in his meal preparation. Krzysztof Babik says red is very warming and an exciting color, but again it does not affect they way he cooks.
Emma Louth from Drexel University with her winning signature dish – Smoke/Ocean/Prairie. As soon as her plate hit the judging table the judges were smitten with the simplicity of the plate, the traditional presentation and the delicious bison that even Ted Turner would be drooling over.
Ten regional winners will be flown to the finals event taking place March 11 - 14, 2011, at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, Calif. They will compete in three categories: the Mystery Basket, Signature Dish and People's Choice. The three days of competition are fierce, with the esteemed panel of judges evaluating competitors on every detail from the taste, texture and aroma of the dish, to their presentation, kitchen skills and the ability to perform under pressure. Emma K Louth will be among the competitors, food luck Emma!

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986 - New Footage

Video of the 1986 disaster was locked in Florida man's basement for almost 25 years. "The chilling amateur footage was recorded by retired optometrist Jack Moss on his new home video camera on the morning of 28 January 1986." (Source) Mr Moss even says it must be a historical tape he just filmed, yet it sat in his basement for 2 decades with his other home movies. It is both fascinating, and still tremendously sad to view the tape. I remember this Shuttle mission was taking Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project.


The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida, United States, at 11:38 a.m. EST (16:38 UTC).

(This was the only footage known for 20+ years)

Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter.

The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. Although the exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown, several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. However, the shuttle had no escape system and the astronauts did not survive the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface.

The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found that NASA's organizational culture and decision-making processes had been a key contributing factor to the accident[1]. NASA managers had known that contractor Morton Thiokol's design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings since 1977, but they failed to address it properly. They also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning and had failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors. The Rogers Commission offered NASA nine recommendations that were to be implemented before shuttle flights resumed.

Many viewed the launch live due to the presence on the crew of Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project. Media coverage of the accident was extensive: one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident. The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics. RIP: STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.


A little ChitChatter first:

"Big Brother" winner and Cherry Hill native Adam Jasinski has been sentenced to 4 years in federal prison for masterminding a prescription drug ring ... which he funded with the prize money from the show.

According to TMZ former Sixers star Charles Barkley -- who famously announced his intention to run for Governor of Alabama in 2014 -- says he's officially abandoned his plans to run because politics are a "bad business right now." As you may know, Barkley told CNN's Campbell Brown that he was "serious" about his plans to run for public office ... but last night in NY, the Round Mound of Rebound explained, "politics are not a lot of fun right now."

OPENING WEEKEND FOR BIZARRE BEASTS PAST AND PRESENT EXHIBIT FEATURES FUN ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES - This Saturday and Sunday, January 29 and 30 at The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. Crafts, face painting fun for the family.

The Sporting Club at the Bellevue has New Yoga Instructor - Please welcome Shelia Pasupathy to our yoga team. Shelia will be teaching a 75min Ashtanga Yoga on Sunday evenings at 4pm. They're also a sponsor of PhillyChitChat thanks.

Welcome to CTO who's a new sponsor. I can honestly say I love their bands, and I've written that before; They play every year at the Red Ball as well as several big events in the City, and I heard them first when they played Sabrina Tamburino-Thorne's wedding.

Feb. 1: Reading Terminal Market kicks off Black History Month with a 6 p.m. reading and talk by Dan Biddle and Murray Dubin co-authors of "Tasting Freedom" at Philadelphia’s famous Reading Terminal Market on 12th Street just north of Market. Plans are still being made, but City Councilman James Kenney and NAACP head Jerome Mondesire have said they’ll be there. And there’s talk of some other notable folks attending. Yes, books will be available for purchase and signing.

Rittenhouse Square Thursday January 27, 2011

Red balloons stuck in tree in Rittenhouse Squareadorable
Jenine Neff walking the dogs.

Four Philadelphia-based Companies Take Charge to Help the Jewish National Fund!

Last month, a series of devastating fires ran rampant through Israel' s Carmel Mountain Range which has cost the loss of more than 40 lives and displaced thousands of families . As a result, David Dinenberg, COO of Grasso Holdings, organized an initiative in which Actor Elliot Gould will lend his voice and his heart. Center City Film and Video has provided all production elements, Neff Associates wrote and directed the spots and Mark Rayfield, Sr. VP. Phila Market Manager at CBS Radio has generously donated the air time for this public service campaign.

Elliot Gould is asking Americans to support the Jewish National Fund and launched Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green, an effort to restore the Carmel region and provide the brave firefighters with protective gear and rescue equipment. To date, $4 million has been raised in support of this effort.

Welcome to Center City home of snow covered streets
and curb side lakes. Wear boots!
mommy and me going sledding
Market Street Thursday 4PM
About now I was thinking of running over to the Rum Bar for a Hot Buttered Rum, complete with Ron Zacapa Centenario, Canne Banane, and House-made Butter Batter [$13], or a Hot Navy Grog with Chairman’s Reserve, Bacardi Superior, Allspice Dram, Lemon Juice, Grapefruit Juice and Honey will warm the soul on even the coldest of days. 2005 Walnut St. (I went to Tweed instead for dinner, completing my restaurant week and wondering when am I going on that diet I keep threatening myself with.)

Sarah Cooper Bobersky styling it
Snowmen commune
the lone flute player
texting while dog walking, watch out for the fountain

King of the Hill
Laura Burkhardt, Where Magazine Publisher, Michael Schulson owner of Sampan, Kristina Jenkins Editor Where Magazine; Robert Plant, the former Led Zeppelin frontman currently on tour with his new band The Band of Joy, had dinner yesterday early evening before he played at the Tower Theater last night. Dan Gross has a picture on his blog Philly Gossip.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton received the Philadelphia Freedom Center’s Patrick Henry Award and gave the keynote address at The Union League last night.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SNOW DAY: A PHOTO ESSAY of the 1/27/11 Storm - Mostly Art Museum Part 1

SNOW DAY: A PHOTO ESSAY of the 1/27/11 Storm - Mostly Art Museum Part 1
The Waterworks. I never get tired of shooting this scene.
I love how the Flag looks in any setting
Line them up
It was a little unusual that the park peeps would plow the area at the bottom of the steps, especially since this is the landing area. Someone said it was because of the drains, but you will recall about 30 feet from the bottom of the steps are really large drains.

On their way to the Red Bull Butter Cup, which is a contest series that showcases creativity in technical flatland trickery held at Penn State University in the great state of Pennsylvania. This snowboarding contest series is all about going back to the basics of what made us all fall in love with shredding in the first place: FUN! The Red Bull folks thought they would try out the world famous Art Museum steps. They met with a bunch of snowboarders and the steps became a little competition fun. They also set up the speakers so we could all enjoy a few tunes.

sorry about the dirt on the lens, I have to blow some air in there and clean it upwhy oh why does someone have to lay underneath the ramp?

anything works on a good snow day

Fairmount Park Fail. This guy tells the Red Bull guy that there is no soliciting or movable billboards allowed in the park and he has to go.note the people on the purple inter-tube

sure enough this girl landed on her FACE at the bottom of steps
a short time later I saw the ambulance come.Hope she's ok. I was chatting with the Red Bull folks and missed the next few shots, but they said the ambulance took the girl away.
But for the most part people had a great time. Just watch it at the bottom of the steps, and next time maybe the guys who plow the apron at the Art Museum will be a little more kind and plow a path at least 20 feet from the bottom of the steps. jeez