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Issue 2, Volume 1

Summer 2015


Inside this Issue:

Gluuteny Bakery Ambassador Travel WWII Veteran Tom Wiley Representative Dan Miller Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Prepare to expand your experience! Pittverse Magazine is a quarterly

Pittverse is produced by Youth

gram, founded Pittverse in

publication that proudly repre-

Advocate Programs ( Y AP ) , a

2013. It began as a newsletter

sents the introspection and crea-

national non-profit agency that

written by four of the adults in

tivity of adults on the autism

comprises a multitude of services

the YAP program. This year,

spectrum. Its goal is to provide

for families with not only individu-

with generous funding from

thoughtful opinion and enhanced

als on the autism spectrum but

Edith Trees Foundation,

knowledge of wide-ranging top-

also other at-risk youth and

Pittverse is growing from a

ics to the public while providing

adults. Brian Kluchurosky, the

newsletter into a magazine that

its writers, who are all adults on

director of YAP ’ s PA Allegheny

commissions up to twelve autis-

the autism spectrum, with skills

County Adults with Autism Pro-

tic adults.

applicable to future employment.

FEATURES 4… WWII Lt. Tom Wiley & the B17

COLUMNS The Pittverse Opinion

11… Cats at the Pittsburgh Zoo

18...Pirate Player Spotlight: Frankie Gustine 19...Were you afraid of the dark? 20..My Dog-Human Relationship Story 25…Skidmore’s Hero Spotlight: Roger Hodgson 26... In Memorium: Chris Squire 27… Obsession 28… A Beautiful Spectrum

13… Pittsburgh’s Biggest Sports Fans

The Sci Fi Station

Aircraft 6… Ambassador Travel Agency 7… John Chamberlin of YaJagoff.com 9… Gluuteny Bakery

14… The Spiritual Side of Science Fiction 15… Representative Dan Miller

29...Sci Fi/ Fantasy Spotlight: L. Frank Baum 30…Fugitor The Time Escapee 31…The Wizard 32...Jurassic Park Changed My Life Pittverse Top Tens 33...Star Wars Jedi Knights & Restaurants 34...Movies & Comic Book Writers/Artists

Letter from the editor This year, unemployment has eased to a near seven-yearlow since the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008. But while the national unemployment rate has dropped to 5.4 percent, the UN estimates that for adults diagnosed with autism, unemployment holds steady at a staggering 80 percent. Like most people, adults on the spectrum want the fulfillment and independence that comes with a paying job. And when given the opportunity, they produce great work – just flip through these pages for the evidence! So what’s standing in the way? Some of the writers on the Pittverse staff explained to me the paradox that comes with having a diagnosis of high functioning autism. Often times, corporations consider them “too competent” to be eligible for disability pro-

grams, but also won’t give them extra support for a regular position. There are many hard and soft skills that adults on the spectrum excel at. Memorization, task repetition, loyalty, honesty, creativity, drive, and passion are just a few. But with those come boundaries they have to overcome, as well. Transportation is a big issue, because a lot of adults on the spectrum don’t drive or don’t own a car. One of our writers was recently unable to accept a job because they needed her to come in at 4:00 a.m. every morning, which just wasn’t possible. Sensory overload is an obstacle, too. Another of our writers was close to getting a job at a retail corporation, but they wouldn’t let her stock shelves without also

being responsible for the cash register, which she can’t handle due to a straining amount of sensory stimuli. These employers really don’t know what they’re missing out on. If certain positions were customized to focus on autistic adults’ paramount abilities rather than dismissing them for their disabilities, both the employee and employer would benefit. If you’re a business reading Pittverse, you’re already headed in the right direction. Keep in mind that we’re always looking for local partnerships, whether it be for advertisement space in our magazine, speaking opportunities, or employment. We hope that the work in this issue of Pittverse Magazine further substantiates the talent that lies on the spectrum.

Yours for a bright future,

Renee Fisher, Pittverse Editor

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Cover picture: “It’s About Going” Photographed by Forrest Sargent Forrest Sargent is a successful photographer in the state of Washington who is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He is non-verbal and instead uses a letter-board to communicate. Forrest also expresses himself through his beautiful photography, especially photos of nature. In his own words, Forrest hopes people can “reach my mind from my photos.” Forrest’s photos are for sale on his website: www.forrestsargent.com.

WWII Aircraft: The B-17 Flying Fortress Interview with WWII veteran Lt. Tom Wiley By David O’Rorey


he military aircraft of WWII revolutionized the war and plane industry. One of the best heavy bombers of that era was The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. The U.S. Army Air Core needed an all piston powered heavy bomber. Boeing fulfilled the need for the bomber even though the first test aircraft crashed and failed. But Boeing went through with making the bomber. The U.S. Army Air Core needed a four engine heavy bomber and didn't care that the first model failed. The first B17s that saw action were in The British Royal Air Force. Early models didn't have any guns for protection against enemy fighters. And a lot didn't make it back from their missions. The B-17 could hold 4,800 pounds of bombs and had tons of armaments against enemy fighters, making it the most successful model. Its crew of ten included a pilot, co-pilot, radio officer, bombardier, and some

gunners, including, a chin gunner, two waist gunners, a top turret gunner, bottom ball turret gunner, and, last but not least, a tail gunner. I was lucky enough to meet a B-17 Pilot named Lieutenant

the turret guns saying, “The Germans would attack head on, which helped develop the chin turret. They would then attack from the tail so we added a tail turret. They would attack from beneath us and the ball turret was added. The B-17 could take a lot of damage because it was electric. We would just twist the wires together. This would not be possible with the B-24 since it was hydraulic and they would lose their lines and crash."

Lt. Wiley talked about the Tuskegee airmen accompanying him and never losing a bomber Lt. Tom Wiley and David during that time. He explained, Tom Wiley who grew up in "Benjamin Davis ordered his Ohio and now resides in the men to never leave the bombNorth Hills of Pittsburgh at ers. They would stay with us 92 years of age. He had a lot all the way through and not of good facts and stories to leave our wing. The other tell. He flew 35 combat mis- fighters would try to become sions and was located in aces and fly off to chase the Foggia, Italy. Lt. Wiley Germans. That would leave us talked about the addition of exposed for the Germans that

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waited to attack us. I have a huge amount of respect for those who protected our bombers through the war." One of Lt. Wiley's best stories involved a flight to a southern Germany oil refinery. "We got separated from the group headed into a storm cloud. The wind was going 100 mph up in the cloud and 60 mph down the outside. It really took us for a jolt. I remember dropping bombs and they were going up and we were going down. I, to this day, do not know how it happened or if we were upside down or what. Well, we got separated and I was conserving fuel on the way back so we dropped elevation. Someone demanded I pull up and as an officer in the army I listened. They could see trees outside the plane and I forgot about the Alps. I didn't follow proto-

col and pulled up as hard as I could and engaged the superchargers. We just cleared the mountain and was taking on enemy fire. I figured we were in northern Italy so I went out to the ocean and followed down to the bump in the heel of the boot of Italy before going back inland. The base refused to let me land and I said you have your job and I have mine. I'm landing. They said I was eight hours overdue and was wondering where I landed to refuel, but I didn't. The engineers said there was no way I flew that payload where I did and back without refueling. I told them it was an engineering problem and not

mine. My flight record had 15 hours while my official record only has eight... There were many flights that I got to see the sunrise over the Alps." The B-17 was a great bomber and wartime aircraft. When the war ended, though their services weren't needed anymore, the B-17s were used for land to air missile prototypes. The missiles were developed to protect the US during the Cold War. There are only a few B-17s that still fly today, and it is a rare treat to witness. It was an honor and privilege to speak to Lt. Tom Wiley as I am a big military aviation buff, so it was quite a treat for me. He really knew his stuff and it was an amazing experience to meet a great guy. Thanks to The Heinz History Center for making it all possible.

Lt. Tom Wiley and David

Planning Your Vacation Interview with Bob Thompson of Ambassador Travel Agency

By Kevin Hart


'm writing about vacations that are affordable in America and abroad. I'm going to interview an Ambassador Travel agent. Hi my name is Kevin Hart and I travel by airplane to Disney World every October for vacation. I feel excited to go every year, and I enjoy myself there as well. I would suggest to go to a travel agent to book vacation travel. If you're running out of time for booking travel, you should go to a travel agent that will help out with last minute reservations. All you need to do is to

pay the travel agent, and they will do the rest. I don't like to wait to the end of the year but that's the only way I can afford it. What I like about planning a trip is actually going when it comes time, well when everything is paid in full to the travel agent. I interviewed Bob Thompson from Ambassador Travel. He has traveled to 75 countries and also used to work for an airline. He gave me a lot of good insight of helpful tips on traveling. He said to arrive about two and a half hours early for a flight

and that a lot of passengers cut it real close to departure; some make it, some don't. It's good to pay the vacation package early so you don't worry until the last minute but some do. Most travelers prefer to use cash, some use credit card, check, travelers checks for buying things on vacation. You need to pay off the entire vacation package 45 days going to domestic locations and some locations 60 days before; it all depends on where you're going. Bob said you should pack the essentials in a suitcase (ex: Continued on page 16

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John Chamberlin The Pittsburgh man behind YaJagoff.com By Sean Gannon


ohn Chamberlin is a blogger who has a website called “YaJagoff� and wrote a book called Above the Fries. I recently sat down with him on July 3, 2015. He was a funny guy and had a funny sense of humor and some great insight.

a picture. His first post was when the Pittsburgh Penguins were playing the Washington Capitals in the first winter classic here. It was too warm to play hockey. He said, "Mother Nature is a jag-off." The blog kind of went from there as a place to vent.

Q: What prompted you to write your blog?

Q: What is your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

A: John was prompted to write a blog because he's a frustrated driver and he hates when people are rude to other people. He was going to get a beer with his buddy Gary and there was a bus stopping and picking up people instead of pulling up to the curb. That's when he thought about a place to post

A: "I know it's a standard answer, but I think it's the people." John's favorite three things about Pittsburgh are the people., the skyline, and the food. Q: What is your all-time favorite jag-off picture?

John Chamberlin and Sean

A: One of John's favorite pictures is of a person parked 90 degrees away from a gas pump while pumping their gas. Another grouping of pictures he likes is of people trying to fit a bedroom set on their little car. His new favorite is a video interview he recently did with 96.1 Kiss morning show hosts Mikey and Big Bob in their studio eating cake with their hands based on the song that Mikey and Big Bob have called "Cake in the Break Room." The video is on the website YaJagoff.com. Q: Do your kids help you with the Jag-off business? A: John's daughter was worried everyone would hate the

blog. John's son is 22 and working on being a stand-up comedian. When John is up writing the blog at 1:00 in the morning and he gets struck, he will ask his daughter and son to help with the blog. Q. Where would you find the most Jagoffs? A: "Wow...driving!" Also traveling. For example, on airplanes, as soon as the airplane stop, people have to get up and the door is not open. "I stay in my seat and their butt is in my face." Q: What inspired you to write a funny book? A: Donna Cavanaugh from Humoroutcast.com encouraged him to write a book. It became number 14 on the

Amazon.com humor list.


Q: When are you going to write another Ya Jagoff book?

A: "Above and beyond anything, I'm a hockey fan!" But he admitted he jumped on "The Pirate bandwagon" and he said, "I like a good party."

A: "I don't know!" It took him three years to compile information in his first book, so there are no plans currently. Q: I'm a writer too and I’m wondering if you could give me some writing techniques or advice? A: "Keep writing, and writing, and writing some more!" You have to refine your voice to know what the people want to read. Then you have share your information for feedback.

Q: Do you have any favorite places to go to in Pittsburgh? A: "I love downtown!" John likes to hang out at Point State Park and Market Square. My interview went well! John is a very nice man. He was nice enough to take time out of his day to be with me. I learned about his writing process and it improved mine.

Q: What's your take on the

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Behind-the-Scenes at Gluuteny Bakery By Sara Brooks


ave you ever wondered if there was a gluten-free bakery anywhere? Well, if you have been wondering this, your question is about to be answered. Gluuteny is the only gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan bakery located in the Squirrel Hill area and Pittsburgh area for that matter. A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale. A gluten-free diet is primarily used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Gluuteny Bakery is quite small, but they make it work and bake their yummy bake goods fresh every day. When one first walks in there are different mixes one can buy to make their own baked

goods at home. There are also a variety of different baked goods on display that one can choose from.

Sara: "Working here I am sure you know many specific desserts that are the most popular. What are those?"

Here is how an interview went with the manager, Heidi Miller, who has worked at Gluuteny since November 2014. Her education background includes earning her Pastry Arts Degree. In 2008, she graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the Culinary Arts Program.

Heidi: "Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and the cupcakes."

Sara: "Who Gluuteny?"


Heidi: "Mike and Blanche Mahoney who live in Florida are the owners, and also, Bill Anderson is part of ownership." Sara: "How did Gluuteny originate?" Heidi: "The original owners opened this bakery because their child had a gluten and dairy free allergy."

Sara: "What are your hours like here at Gluuteny?" Heidi: "Our hours are the following: Monday: Closed Tuesday: 9am to 6pm Wednesday: 9am to 6pm Thursday: 9am to 7pm Friday: 9am to 6pm Saturday: 9am to 6pm Sunday: 10am to 4pm We are closed on Mondays, and on major holidays, but we are open Christmas Eve and the day before Thanksgiving." Sara: "Are all of the desserts fresh, and who makes them?" Heidi: "Yes! Overnight bakers make all the desserts fresh every night."

Sara: "What exactly does Gluuteny represent?"

Sara: "How many Gluuteny stores are there?"

Heidi: "I would have to say the classic brownie!."

Heidi: "We are a dedicated gluten and dairy free facility that also caters to some soy free and nut free needs."

Heidi: “We only have one retail location, but we have a lot of wholesale accounts in Pittsburgh area."

Sara: “What kind of crowd does Gluuteny attract?”

Sara: “Does Gluuteny provide desserts for weddings or special occasions?"

Some of my favorite desserts at Gluuteny are the classic brownie, chocolate Hostess cupcake, sugar cookie, chocolate gob, and the pumpkin loaf. I recommend that you check this place out; it is a favorite bakery within the Squirrel Hill area! Visit them and you will not regret it! Also, check out their website and see for yourself how yummy these bake goods really are: www.gluuteny.com

Heidi: "We get a lot of people with various allergies, from people with celiac disease and dairy allergies, and some just come in because they like the product!"

Heidi: "Yes! We do small wedding cakes and desserts for any special occasion." Sara: "What is your favorite dessert here at Gluuteny?"

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Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Genetics in Zoo Cats By Michelle Middlemiss


n June I met Tracy Gray, the Manager of Media and Public Relations at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. We began our walk to see the zoo’s cats. She first took me to see the cheetahs where we met Mo Brown, the Mammal Keeper. He takes care of the giraffes and cats, and Tracy calls him “the cheetah whisperer.” He showed us the four cheetahs who seemed very interested in watching people and playing with each other. There are two males and two females. When I asked Mo how they are kept from leaving the fenced in area, he said,

“There is netting above the cheetahs so they can’t get out, but they do like to play in the trees. There is currently no building for the cheetahs, but the zoo is planning on building one.” Tracy then introduced me to Ken Kaemmerer who is the Curator of Mammals. I asked him about the genetics of the cheetahs and possibility of babies. He explained that “The cheetahs are young and referred to as toddlers, who at three years old have just become sexually mature. The zoo got them as a group with two females who are sisters along with a male who is a half brother and one unrelat-

ed male. So they can’t breed with the half brother.” Mo added that, “They may split them up physically on the property if they are not acceptable for breeding.” Ken said that there is a special setup for breeding cheetahs called the Species Survival Program, or SSP. The program includes other zoos in order to breed. I asked him, “What do the cheetahs do all day when they are not sleeping?” Mo explained that during the day they interact with each other. “They hide in the tall grass and lie still watching for something to fly in. They will hunt small animals and attack them on the ground. They seem to react to people who are watching them and notice the colors of their clothing.” I was told that “In the future we are going to add a cheetah lure to the exhibit. It is a large system of pulleys and a strong line that is strung around. Then a toy is placed on one end and released and travels quickly along the system and the cheetahs chase it and love it.” Tracy and Ken pointed out that “The cheetahs can be told

Mo Brown, Ken Kaemmerer, and Michelle at the Pittsburgh Zoo’s Cheetah Exhibit

apart by their different tear drops. The male markings are thicker and darker. The female Zola has distinct stripes on her tail.” “Because of my Autism, I get stuck on one animal group for a long time,” I told everyone. “I have always loved cheetahs and all the big cats.” After teaching me about the cheetahs, Ken and Mo then talked about how the zoo lions can’t breed. There are two boys from South Africa and two girls who are sisters from the Pet Trade and are both spayed. Not much is known about their background. The zoo hopes to make some changes and breed the males, but first they need to get some unrelated females. There are new cats going into the upcoming “Island” exhibit. The hope is to breed a very young pair of clouded leopards. One is from the Denver Zoo and the other was born at the National Zoo. “To be most successful,” Ken said, “they need to be raised together as cubs and grow up together.” When the “Islands” open this summer we will see animals in their natural settings. Ken said that there will be three phases. First, the jungle; then the amphibians, reptiles and hopefully, ocelots; the third is the mountain exhibit where the snow leopards fit in.

Cheetahs Chasing a Lure via "Herberstein Gepard 017" by Marion Schneider & Christoph Aistleitner, User:Mediocrity - Self-photographed. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

The zoo has a single snow leopard who is 16 years old and has two male cubs. The plan is to build her another exhibit. In the next three years they hope to breed the snow leopards. They may move them to the “Island” exhibit and the lynx could take their old home. The female Amur leopard is older and unable to become pregnant and deliver a cub. I asked Ken about artificial insemination, but he said “she may just be too old.” The zoo houses two older tigers. The female is too old to breed, but the son, Patel, is coming into sexuality. The zoo is working with the Tigers Species Survival Program and hopes to get a new tigress.

Ken said that “everything depends on the zoo’s budget that I need to propose.” The bear exhibit, which was built in the 1930s, will be another change the zoo is working on and will hopefully be updated. “Two of the bears, Rocky and Sara, lived until their 30s and had a good life at the zoo,” Tracy told me. Tracy and I continued our zoo walk toward the polar bears. Koda and Kobe came to the zoo from Denver in 2006. “They are at the top of the food chain,” she mentioned. “And they like cream cheese and fish.” We watched them swim underwater. They can smell people from a distance very far away. Continued on page 16

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The Biggest Sports Fans in Pittsburgh By Mike Perret

Mike and Travis


have been a big sports fan since I was 15 years old and so I sought out another big sports fan and I asked him some sports related questions. Travis went to college at Penn State in Erie. He is from Greensburg, PA. Travis got his Masters at Edenboro. His major area of study while he was in college was Biology, Pollution, and Animal Behavior. His Masters was in secondary education. Travis is a

big sports fan and he was a sports fan since kindergarten. Travis has been a sports fan for 23 of his 27 years of his life and is still a sports fan today. He is a big fan of baseball and hockey. His favorite baseball team is the Pittsburgh Pirates. His favorite hockey team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. His favorite Pirate player is Gregory Polanco. His favorite Penguin Player is Sidney Crosby. Travis enjoyed growing up in his hometown

of Greensburg. Travis has been a Penguin fan since Mario Lemieux was playing for the Penguins. He has been a Pirate fan the same time as being a Penguin fan. His favorite Pirate pitchers are Garrett Cole and A.J. Brunette. His favorite Penguin goalie is Marc Andre Fleury. Travis also likes to go to Pirate games once in a while. Travis went to two Penguin games last year. Travis likes college hockey and he also goes with the underdog in college hockContinued on page 16

Outer Space, Inner Souls: Exploring the Spiritual Side of Science Fiction By Thomas Skidmore Part One: Two Sides of the Christian Coin


f all the many topics that science fiction can cover, perhaps none can be as controversial or as enlightening as the usage of spiritualism or even Western religion. While for the most part it is a subject to be avoided out of personal concerns, some of SF’s leading authors opted to forgo politeness in favor of their own brand of inner honesty. One author who heavily used the Christian faith in his tales is Clive Staples Lewis, contemporary and long-time friend of J.R.R. Tolkien. A long-time fan of science fiction magazines, Lewis decided to write a series of science fiction stories partly out of a response to the rather atheistic nature of his literary idol H.G. Wells (who was caricaturized somewhat unfavorably).

The first of Lewis’ so-called space trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, was more of a straight-ahead space adventure telling the tale of Dr. Elwin Ransom (modeled after Tolkien himself), who finds himself on the planet Malacandra, aka Mars, and meets up with the high being Oyarsa. Only at the end of the story does the subject of Christianity arise. The second book, Perelandra, is a retelling of the Adam and Eve story of temptation set on the titular planet Perelandra (Venus), again with the heroic Dr. Ransom tangling with his archnemesis Weston (first seen in Out of the Silent Planet, and who was a cruel version of Wells). That Hideous Strength, set on a nearfuturistic Earth, concerns Dr. Ransom’s battle against a socialist organization out to destroy civilization.

While C.S. Lewis gained more fame for his Chronicles of Narnia (a very overtly Christian fantasy saga influenced directly by Tolkien), his early SF stories, unwittingly, planted the seeds for a more unique approach to science fiction storytelling and exploration done by later authors. Never was this more evident, and certainly more controversial, than in Michael Moorcock’s 1966 novella Behold the Man (published in the April 1966 issue of the British SF magazine New Worlds). Behold the Man is a timetravel story about a troubled Englishman named Karl Glogauer, who rents a time machine and crash-lands in Judea around the historical era of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. His craft wrecked beyond repair and injured by the accident, Glogauer roams around the Judean desert until he is Continued on page 17

via flickr

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Representative Dan Miller By Michael Kurland


ho is Dan Miller?” some might ask. It is known that Dan Miller is a State Representative for the Mt. Lebanon/ Dormont section of Pittsburgh. He is also one of Pennsylvania’s biggest advocates for awareness of autism. Speaking to him, I asked him

In addition to being on the state government, he’s also a volunteer at the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department. That gives him two very different ways to help people in need. When it comes to either advocacy or legislature, according to Miller,

(Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act, which would allow tax-free savings account for individuals with disabilities. As was said in Spider-Man, “With great power, must come great responsibility.” And, in my opinion, Dan Miller is one of the few people I know with both the power and the responsibility to make many more people aware of the autism spectrum and how it can be seen through a whole different perspective.

why he became an advocate for this cause. He replied, “It was my son’s diagnosis with autism that got me much more in tune and aware of the issues involving autism, specifically.” His son was first diagnosed in 2008 at the age of two. Representative Miller is not a native of Pennsylvania, having grown up on the border of New York and Connecticut. (You can tell by the New York Yankees hat he’s wearing.) But he still enjoys his duties here in Pennsylvania because it gives him a chance to make a difference for a lot of people.

Michael and Rep. Miller

“Advocacy is an aspect of daily life. Legislature is a bit more limited.” Two things Representative Miller still hopes to accomplish are helping the state government with budget priorities and the PA A.B.L.E.

Special thanks to the Office of Representative Dan Miller, and to Representative Miller himself for the per-

mission to conduct this interview. For more information on Dan Miller, his objectives, and his career, visit his website at www.pahouse.com/ miller. Spider-Man Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and is ™ and © Marvel Entertainment.

Ambassador Travel Continued from page 6

Sports Fans Continued from page 13

Pittsburgh Zoo Continued from page 12

I love sea lions, and Tracy showed me Maggie and Zoey who came to the zoo 10 years ago. They swim in a beautiful water exhibit. Hawk is the 900 pound sea lion who was taken in by the zoo from the wild about 12 years ago. “The zoo was happy to get him because he has great genetics,” Tracy explained. It’s a rarity that a wild animal could be part of a captive breeding program, I thought. We passed the Second Chance Program for Sea Turtles. The zoo helps to rehabilitate many turtles rescued from the Gulf. Tracy explained how one turtle, Starburst, was hit by a boat propeller. Its flipper was injured and it had a cracked shell and couldn’t dive for food. After the zoo repaired its flipper so it could dive again, Starburst was released back into the ocean.

ey. I like to go to Pirate games every season. I would like to go to a Penguin game this year, but the tickets are just hard to get. You have to buy the tickets ahead of time before they are all sold out. If you try to go to a Penguin game this year and the tickets are sold out, then you are out of luck. If you try to go to a Pirates game and the tickets are all sold out then you will be out of luck as well. The Steelers season tickets are also very hard to get and if you want to go see the Steelers play football at Heinz Field, you will be out of luck and the reason is because many people buy season tickets online and get their tickets in advance and you will also be out of luck as well.

deodorant, brush, toothbrush, floss, and of course clothes). He said that no more than three ounces of liquid can go through security, no flammable items are allowed, and no weapons are allowed either; this is for the safety of other passengers, the airport, and the aircraft. You do need visas with your passport to go to some international destinations (ex: China and Brazil). The steps on getting a passport are: get a passport application, go to a post office, get two passport photos, and get a check. A lot of travelers go on vacation in the summertime but Bob and I like to go in the fall. To save money on food he said, it depends where you eat. Your best bet is to get the combo meal or cheapest item on the menus they have.

I’ve been a big sports fan for 15 years of my life and my other sports fan, Travis, has been a big fan of sports for 23 years of his life. We both have been to a Penguins hockey game when Mario Lemieux was playing for the Penguins, and we both have been to Pirate games as well.

We arrived back at the Education Building and I thanked Tracy for a great experience at the zoo. I loved seeing all the animals living in their own environment.

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Outer Space, Inner Souls Continued from page 14

met by John the Baptist. During the trip to Jeruslaem, Karl recollects his turbulent life in late 20th-century London. Along the way, he makes a plan to seek out the one Jesus he read about in the Bible. Once he gets to Jerusalem and meets Jesus’ earthly family, Karl grows quickly disillusioned upon seeing “Jesus” himself: a hunchback person with limited intelligence, able to only utter his own name repeatedly. Over time, Glogauer takes it on himself to assume the role of the Jesus of legend, even going as far as allowing himself to be crucified on the cross. As Glogauer “dies” in agony, he utters out, “It’s a lie . . . it’s a lie . . . let me down.”

tourism outfit which conducts tours to the site of the Crucifixion . . . as it happens before the very ogling eyes of the time tourists. While not as controversial as Behold the Man, certainly Silverberg, a Jew by birth, brings up the same questions. To be continued in Part Two: “The Rise of the Modern Messiahs: Heroes and Their Frailties”

Here in this story, Michael Moorcock wished to not so much attack Christianity as to force the reader to examine what his own inner faith can signify. In spite of the brewing controversy Moorcock’s tale stirred up, Behold the Man won the 1967 Nebula award for Best Novella, yet today the story is largely unread by the SF community. A more satirical approach was used by Robert Silverberg, in his story Son of Man. Here he devises a mildly humorous story of a time-travel

via flickr

Pirate Player Spotlight: Frankie Gustine By Sean Gannon


rankie Gustine was born on February 20, 1920, in Hoopeston, IL. Frankie was just 16 years old when he joined the Pirates. On September 13, 1939, he played his first game with the Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs. The Pirates ended up winning 6-2. He played first base, second base, third base, shortstop and catcher. Frankie's jersey number was 22. He threw right-handed and batted right-handed. He was roommates with Hall Of Famer Ralph Kiner. Other than the Pittsburgh Pirates, Frankie played for the

Chicago Cubs (#6) (1949) and the St. Louis Browns (also #6) (1950). Overall Frankie's batting lifetime average was .265. He had 480 RBI's, and 38 home runs. His last game was with the St. Louis Browns. St Louis lost 9-11. Frankie opened a restaurant and bar on the South Side. The bar was a favorite hot spot to the University of Pittsburgh students.

son. Frankie died April 1, 1991 in Davenport, Iowa. He was buried at Resurrection Cemetery at Coraopolis, PA. He was all-star for the Pirates in 1948. In closing, Frankie Gustine was a city treasure. Around the city, people loved him because he was a nice guy and had good talent.

I am happy to say there's a family that I know that lives in Green Tree and they live in the same house as Frankie did. The father is Frankie's

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The Pittverse Opinion

Were You Afraid of the Dark? By Sean Gannon


remember when I used to watch the show Are You Afraid of the Dark on Saturday nights on SNICK (Debuted on August 15, 1992 until August 28th, 2004) I remember on a Christmas Eve, my mom told my grandfather I couldn’t watch it and but we watched it anyway. Boy, she was mad! The show ran from August 15, 1992 until June 11, 2000. It focused on two generations of the Midnight Society. D.J. McHale created the series along with Ned Kandel. McHale was also the executive producer. Gary is the leader of the Midnight Society. It was revealed at some point, Gary was inspired to start the Midnight Society because of his grandfather being the founder of the original Midnight Society. His stories usually centered around cursed or enchanted objects and when in the wrong hand they can hurt them. He is played by Ross Hull who currently works as a weather man at CBC news Ottawa. Betty Ann has a knack for the unexplained, Her stories center around aliens or the supernatural generally coming into the real world and

abducting people. The actress, Raine-Pare Coull, does scheduling at the CBC news where Ross works. What a small world! Kiki has a knack for making fun of others. Her stories consist of plots about carelessness or deceitfulness. There is a tale I like of hers called "The Tale of the Dream Machine." The actress, Jodie Resther, is now

an R&B singer and has recorded two albums. Frank Moore’s stories didn't have a common theme and they had recurring characters. In season five, his family moves away. The actor, Jason Alisharan, worked in the live action division in DreamWorks Studios. He got married in September of 2013. Tucker is Gary's young obnoxious brother. He takes over as President of Midnight Society. His stories tend to revolve around family relationships gone bad and a recurring stories of characters unleashing evil upon the real world. The actor, Daniel DeSanto, is well known as Gretchen Weiners' on-andoff boyfriend in 2004's Mean Girls. He lent voices to other cartoons characters, as well. He still acts and produces. Sam’s stories center around a strong theme of love. I like a tale she told called "The Watcher's Woods." The actress, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, is well known for playing Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery. She was Ariel on ABC's Once Upon a Time. There are other cast members but I couldn’t list. "I Declare this meeting of the Midnight Society closed." via wikimedia commons

My Dog-Human Relationship Story By J.D.C.


uke, my family’s first pet dog, was a Chocolate Labrador Retriever. My mom bought him from our former neighbor on Friday, May 20, 1994. Duke was a wonderful dog and we loved him unconditionally! He was an innocent canine friend and puppy dog brother to me. I am an only human child. Duke lived with my parents and me for a little over 7 years, before he passed away on Monday, July 2, 2001. Sadly, he was a little over 7 1/2 years old. This was due to him not receiving the required canine vaccinations that he should have gotten as a young puppy from his first owner, or pet guardian, or also called pet parent, just like my parents and I at home for over 20 years now, wonderfully! Duke’s previous owners were inexperienced in taking proper care of a young puppy, unfortunately. Tragically, this negatively impacted Duke’s health for the rest of his earthly life. Nevertheless, my parents and I treated him with much love and affection! We individually believe Duke loved us and fully appreciated what we did for him! We individually thought of him as

an innocent canine son and brother to my parents and I! Two days after Duke passed away, my mother bought Hershey, our second pet dog. Like Duke, Hershey was a Chocolate Labrador Retriever. It was on Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4, 2001. We made sure Hershey received all of his necessary vaccines as a young puppy. Hershey was a friendly and affectionate dog very much like Duke. We also considered him to be a second canine son and brother to my parents and I! Hershey was almost 12 years old when he passed away on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at our home as had Duke almost 12 years earlier. We were very sad and cried a lot. Duke had a fatal gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to the parvovirus that he had contracted as a puppy, which was apparently lying dormant for over 7 years, tragically. Hershey had a cancer tumor in his stomach and under his left ear, awfully. As we all individually remember reading about, cancer is the leading cause of death in domesticated dogs

and cats, and other innocent pets. Tragically, about 25% of all dogs, cats, and other innocent pets die from some form of cancer. However, just like with people, as we all individually also remember reading about, there is ongoing medical research dedicated to treating and someday, divine deity intervention perspective wise there will someday be a cure for all forms of cancer in both people and innocent pets alike! We, as individual and eternal animal and pet lovers, all individually believe Duke and Hershey, plus all of our other dearly departed pet and human loved ones are in heaven with Jesus intimately forever and ever, wonderfully! We also realize that not everyone believes that animals go to Heaven when they physically die. Not even all Christians believe so. Indeed, there are no exact answers to these questions, including, “Do animals have souls?”, “Where do animals go after they physically die?”, “Do animals, if they indeed do or do not have individual souls, live on in eternal glory or do their skeletal remains or ashes just disintegrate into the earth?, and “Will we all see all of the innocent wild and exotic aniPittverse 20

The Pittverse Opinion

mals and dearly beloved pets in the afterlife in Heaven?” Even the Good Book, or the Holy Bible, is completely silent on all of these often asked questions, in terms of having definite and literally concise, “yes!” or “no!” answers. I myself, including my parents and countless other animal and pet lovers, was also personally disappointed in reading about this reality.

ly declared, “God made, meaning perfectly, the beasts of the earth, meaning after their own kind, including dearly beloved and innocent pet companion animals and God saw, meaning perfectly, that is was good!”, as is written by Moses in Genesis 1:25. This took place in a span of 6 days!

Despite this, my parents and I In Revelation, or in the fully believe all animals, both Greek language, also called wild and exotic and domesticated pet and/or service work animals, regardless of all of their supernaturally divine deity ordained special species breeds, mixed breeds, and cross breeds, alike, yes, indeed, literally and truly so, automatically go to heavenly paradise without absolutely any judgement nor condemnation whatsoever, because they are all innocent unlike any of via pexels us humans of a sound mind, meaning morally! the apocalypse, as is written In Genesis, in the story of cre- by the apostle John, whom ation, almighty God declared, was Jesus’ youngest and last “It is good”, as in perfect di- surviving original disciple, vine response to all of the liv- which is the good book’s ing creatures, entities, and final and 66th BOOK, in the beings, whom he had verbally New Testament, in Revelacalled into automatic exist- tion 21:5, or in the Greek language, translated into the ence! apocalypse, Jesus, as alThis is on numerous occa- mighty God’s perfect son, sions! declares, “Behold, I shall In fact, almighty God perfect- make everything, or all liv-

ing creatures, new!”, one the Biblically prophetic restored, “New heaven and new earth, and new Jerusalem”, or also known as, “Paradise on the earth”, or the “Eternal pleasure ground,” forever and ever! Reading these Holy Bible scripture verses since I also was a young schoolboy, this is adequate evidence alone that, yes, indeed, literally and truly so, that the triune trinity divine deities perfectly intend to recreate all living and innocent nonhuman creatures, entities, and obedient beings, including ourselves and all of our families dearly beloved pet animal angel babies! We believe we see all of them once again someday in a grand eternal reunion on the perfect earth and heavenly kingdom, someday, as is Biblically prophesied, with Jesus intimately, plus all of our other families’ innocent dog, cat, and other domesticated pet companion animal loved ones, wild and exotic animals and plants, and humans loved ones, whom passed away years ago and recently! Yes, indeed, we all individually believe that all innocent animals, including dearly be-

loved pet companion animals, do have perfect souls, however maybe not in the same way as us humans and angels, meaning both fallen and unfallen ones, yet, nevertheless, they do have immortal souls, individually, as we all individually believe as eternal animal and pet lovers, everlastingly forever and ever! Literally and truly so! It will certainly be a glorious reunion, yes, indeed, literally and truly so may it be, supernaturally divine deity ordained, everlastingly, forever and ever! We had Duke and Hershey, at home, for almost 19 combined years. This was separately from each other on this side of eternity that is! Those were indeed almost 19 wonderful years, indeed! Yes, literally and truly so! Amen! It is hard with the flush of bittersweet memories running through our minds of them. We talk about it together and share pictures my mom took of Duke and Hershey years ago. We laugh about the positive times we had with them. It is very good emotional therapy for all of us! We individually cope with this dilemma of death and grieving through prayer and faith in the supernatural, in a Christian faith manner!

Amen! My mom adopted Sasha for $25 from Animal Friends, now in Ohio Township, Friday, March 8, 2013. She was believed to have been a 4year-old Black Border Collie and a Flat-Coated Retriever mix breed dog. She was a tragic victim of apparent animal cruelty and illegal neglect. She was a stray dog for an unknown period of time up in Armstrong County, PA. However, a group of rescue workers found her and put her in a dog kennel on February 1, 2013. Sasha was later sent to Animal Friends’ Carol Gates Gluck Memorial Resource Center’s dog kennel shelter on February 28, 2013. 8 days later, my mom adopted her. Sasha was the first dog my mom adopted and sadly had to take back to a dog kennel while I have been alive. She was a very affectionate dog similar to Duke and Hershey, despite her troubled past. She obviously did not receive any previous dog obedience training since she was a puppy, sadly. She was not a feral dog, plus she never ever attempted to bite us, yet she also was not housetrained. She also had behavioral problems in terms of chasing after moving vehicles and she was afraid to even enter my mom’s car. We assumed no one took the necessary time to properly housetrain her from the time

of her puppyhood, as we remember reading about and attempting to practice with both Duke and Hershey, years ago. Plus, she was apparently physically abused tragically inside someone’s vehicle and even outside of at least of them, in horribly attempting to run her over, maybe as a result of her urinating and/or defecating in someone’s vehicle, possibly her former abusive owner, or pet guardian in Armstrong County, PA. This was due to possible physical evidence being that she had veterinary surgical sutures and stitches above her right eye. Plus, she could have been beaten while trying to urinate and/or defecate in someone’s home, as in the instinctive process of “going to the doggy toilet,” sadly. This could have been on a rug or a carpeted floor in any room, depending on where she was living then. As a horrible result, her canine mind was poisoned by barbaric disciplinary behavior by someone while inside motor vehicles also too, both moving and parked ones, sadly, alike. This, as again, could also have been tragically occurring outside of them and while they were passing along a roadway as she was running around as a stray dog somewhere in Armstrong County. As we all remember reading about, individually, and personally visiting local pet animal shelters since we were

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The Pittverse Opinion school children, little if hardly anything is actually known about the personal pasts , often awfully troubled, like in Sasha’s case, as well as our current pet dog named April, a former stray dog in Washington County, PA. This is in addition to countless other former innocent stray domesticated pet companion animals locally and nationwide. Sasha was adopted in May of 2013, after my mom and I took her back down to Animal Friends, after we gave her a temporary foster home for 11 days, on March 19, 2013. The dog was adopted and sponsored by an anonymous professional dog obedience trainer with extensive experience in working with abused and behaviorally troubled dogs just like her. Hopefully, she is still with this person and was not euthanized. We, meaning my mom, my dad, and I read this together on my mom’s personal computer at home, around the time of her birthday that year. She had downloaded Animal Friends’ website online. It certainly was never ever Sasha’s fault, neither! Sasha was certainly not a feral dog. This, as was mentioned beforehand, is that it is never ever any of the innocent domestic pet companion animals’ faults, even if they are feral dogs, cats, horses, or any other feral domesticated service and/or pet companion animals!

By a literal true supernatural divine deity intervention, yes, indeed, literally and truly so, as we all individually believe, as eternal animal and pet lovers, my mom saw an adoption profile online on her home computer, of a beautiful female Chocolate Labrador Retriever named Lana, on the Western Pennsylvania Humane SocietyThe North Shore Shelter, at 1101 Western Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. This was on Friday, April 12, 2013. My mom and I visited there on the next morning, meaning, Saturday, April 13, 2013. We were both able to personally meet Lana in an enclosed room known as the Peek-A-Boo Meet-and-Greet Lounge, inside the dog kennel area. Wonderfully, from the very beginning, Lana warmed up to us quite naturally! We were petting her and rubbing her belly as my mom and I were verbally talking to one of the paid dog kennel worker ladies about Lana’s life history. As with Sasha in Armstrong County, PA, Lana was a stray dog for an unknown time in Washington County, PA. Like Sasha, Lana was fortunately rescued by pet animal humane workers somewhere to the west of us in Greater Pittsburgh, PA, (Shaler Township), a little over two years ago. Lana was in a dog rescue shelter kennel in Washing-

ton County, PA., for about two weeks, starting around March 25 to April 8, 2013. She was taken to the Western PA Humane Society’s North Side’s shelter on April 8, 2013. My mom and I first met her five days later. Another lady helped my mom to legally register in adopting Lana on the very same day we both met her for the first time. It was really, literal divine intervention from heavenly paradise up above from Jesus and Duke and Hershey doggies and company, yes, indeed, because they perfectly knew my parents and I were saddened by not having an innocent furrier-than-I pet doggie at home, so they perfectly sent this poor orphaned dog into our lives, we all individually and wonderfully believe! My mom adopted Lana for a $107 non-refundable adoption fee to the Western PA Humane Society. As we had both Duke and Hershey neutered and microchipped years earlier, Sasha, by the way, was spayed and microchipped at Animal Friends, on March 2, 2013. This was six days before mom adopted her and gave her an 11-day foster home, as was mentioned beforehand, Lana was spayed and microchipped the next day, on Sunday, April 14, 2013. Then, the next day, on Monday, April 15, 2013, my mom and I brought her home. My mom renamed her April, because

of the month she adopted her. She also is truly a little furry Chocolate Lab doggy girl! We all read about how dogs, cats, bunny rabbits, and other innocent pet companion and/ or service work animals, are sometimes named by their former pet parents and/or owners, or even, sometimes, only after they are rescued by animal control humane authority workers. This could have been the exact case with both Sasha and April, who was formerly known as Lana. Either of these naming situations could have taken place for both of these poor dogs. April is a lovely dog, indeed, just like Duke, Hershey, and Sasha! Amen, furry and innocent little doggies, wonderfully! We 100% truly believe that dogs are man’s best friend! We all love cats, bunny rabbits, and other innocent and dearly beloved pet companion and/or service work animals, however, we are more canine, or doggy-oriented! Amen little furry baby buddies! All both innocent wild and exotic animals and domesticated pet and/or service work animals individually deserve a second chance at life, just like each and every one of us morally-minded humans do. Yes, indeed literally and truly so, wonderfully and beau-

tifully! They are all of Almighty God’s, Jesus’ and the Holy Spirit’s innocent animal creature creation, regardless of all of their special supernatural divine deity ordained species, breeds, mixed breeds, and cross breeds, yes, indeed literally and truly so, everlastingly, gloriously, beautifully, wonderfully, and forever truly so! As we all remember reading about and individually seeing, on a firsthand basis, at the local pet animal shelters, where we have lived since we were schoolchildren, adult dogs, cats, bunny rabbits, and other innocent pet companion animals, for years and currently, already have an imprinted personality, meaning by behavioral instinct, that was individually shaped by their personal physical and emotional environments since they were puppies, kittens, leverets, as baby bunnies, both wild and domesticated alike, for example. So, when you adopt one of them, as an adult, you are essentially adopting all of the behavioral problems that they individually inherited from puppyhood, kitten hood, or leveret hood, for example. However, through constant training and work from the adoptive pet parents, just like my parents and I, it is well worth it! This is in an even-

tual long run. The only alternative could be them being tragically euthanized or returning to an abusive situation that they could have just been rescued from beforehand, Christ-forbid-it-ever-again, some day, perfectly! Yes, indeed, literally and truly so, we all individually believe we will all be forever and ever reunited with doggies Duke and Hershey and company, along with Sasha and April, some day, along with Jesus Perfectly, everlastingly, wonderfully, gloriously, and beautifully, on a restored and perfect earth, as is Biblically prophesied, for all time to come! Amen! My mom, my dad, and I always will be forever animal and pet lovers! Amen, for and to all of you, dearly beloved and innocent pet animal companion angel baby sweethearts! Amen! This was sincerely written with much love, from JDC P.S. Thank you, everyone for taking the time to read my heartfelt innocent wild animal and pet companion animal tribute essay and story!

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The Pittverse Opinion

Skidmore’s Hero Spotlight Roger Hodgson: The Enlightened Troubadour

By Thomas Skidmore


harles Roger Pomfret Hodgson (born March 21, 1950) is world-famous as the former lead singer/guitarist/ lyricist of the art-rock/ progressive band Supertramp. Among the band’s many songs, Hodgson wrote and sang lead vocals on “The Logical Song,” “Take the Long Way Home,” “Lord Is It Mine?” and the signature tune “Give a Little Bit.” He often writes about philosophical and spiritual topics.

course, his most widelyknown hit “The Logical Song,” which employs wry humor and scathing satire to harshly attack those “teachers” who favor strict adherence to discipline and punctuality, while sacrificing the true inner worth of students everywhere.

as a creator and as a human being. As a kid growing up in the heyday of Supertramp’s glory years, I hadn’t given too much thought about the words and meanings within those hits I listened to, but as I now grow much older those very words written and sung by Roger Hodgson take on a very deeper, more enlightening tone for me as a person. The following lines from Hodgson’s song “Even in the Quietest Moments” especially resonate: “And even when the song is over, where have I been? Was it just a dream?

Marc Lacaze (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/ From a very ear- By licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons ly age, Roger had always felt Since leaving Supertramp in the need to question and seek 1983, Roger raised his famiAnd though your door is alout his ideas of what or who ly and heavily wondered ways open, where do I begin? God is in life. This is evident about his place in the music May I please come in, dear?” in the 1979 song “Lord Is It industry. After a 1987 acciMine?” from Breakfast in dent where both his wrists Perhaps it’s more than ample America; here he wrestles were broken, he fell into a time for all of us, you and me, with his own inner faith vs. deep depression upon hear- to re-think what the music of the external nature of the ing the doctors’ words that Supertramp, and especially world as it is. he’d never play music again. the songs of Roger Hodgson, Naturally, he didn’t accept and also to take Roger’s mesOther times he criticizes the this and worked to regain his sages of hope to our own idea of collective education, ability to play the music that hearts. as clearly evidenced in his meant so much to him, both 1974 tune “School” (from Crime of the Century) and of

In Memorium: Chris Squire By Thomas Skidmore


n June 27, 2015, musician Chris Squire, long-time bassist and founding member of the seminal progressive rock band Yes, passed away from complications of a rare form of leukemia at the age of 67, surrounded by his family at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. His unique form of bassplaying, teamed with the lyrical mysticism of Jon Anderson, the ethereal guitars of Steve Howe, the subtle drumming of Bill Bruford, and the cosmic wonderment of Rick Wakeman’s keyboards, established Yes among the giants of progressive rock, alongside such bands as Pink Floyd, Genesis, and King Crimson. He influenced some of today’s most noted bassists, notably Geddy Lee of Rush and Pete Trewevas of Marillion. Chris Squire was indeed a special talent, playing in an era where truth in creativity was accepted rather than shunned. Along the way, he planted a lot of good thoughts and memories in the lives of the very fans of his and Yes’ music.

March 4 1948—June 27, 2015

"Chris squire 1978" by Rdikeman - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Though your time was but brief on Earth, you delivered yet the keys to Humanity’s heart. In your gift we found our truest worth. May your songs and your tunes from us never part.

Thank you, Mr. Squire.

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The Pittverse Opinion

Obsession By Kevin Hart

I have worked at Pittsburgh International Airport for 14 years. I love my job, but I noticed a trend that hurts productivity and wastes resources at the ticket counters. When travelers check in, suitcases and other baggage can be placed either alone or in a tub on the conveyer belt. Some workers are very obsessed with tubs, when 75 percent of bags don't need tubs at all. For example, they put a regular 22 bag or a hard sided bag in a tub when it doesn't need

one at all. Even when one tub stack is gone, these workers call for more of them. They expect us to get them more tubs but, we'll not be able to do so every time because the belt will be backed up with bags and tubs by the time we get back.

I think that if there were a strict protocol in place that every airline has to follow about what items should and should not be in tubs. Then everyone, especially me, would be happier.

There's six airlines here at my side of the airport., and all six airlines need to share the tubs. When some workers put every kind of bag in a tub, then we run out of tubs when there are items that need one.

By ProjectManhattan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A Beautiful Spectrum By Delaine Swearman


hen I hear the word “spectrum,” I immediately think of a rainbow. Actually, the word spectrum was originally used to describe the rainbow of colors formed by the separation of visible light. Over time, the word has been applied more broadly to describe a continuum with a unifying theme between two extremes. So, we come to the autism spectrum. We are all persons with autism across a continuum. Or if we use the rainbow analogy, we are all persons of different colors within the same rainbow. Doesn’t that make us sound beautiful? I would much rather be thought

of as “indigo” with my autistic friend being “violet” than comparing our levels of functioning. Each person on the autism spectrum has struggles for sure, but there are also many strengths, many beautiful aspects, and inherently each person has value for who they are. After all, aren’t all the colors of the rainbow equally beautiful and important? And, in fact, all of humanity is part of a larger rainbow of sorts if you want to look at it that way. If my non-autistic brother is “orange”, it doesn’t do any good for him to try to change me into orange, because the whole rainbow still needs indigo, and it needs violet too. The rainbow needs every single

color, and that requires every single one of us being included with all our characteristics that make each color unique. The rainbow wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful without people of different abilities, appearances, interests, talents, and backgrounds. Every human being is unique and the world would be much more loving and peaceful if we just accepted one another and saw our differences as necessary and beautiful, just like all the colors of the rainbow. And we need to help each person become the most vibrant they can be, and finally accept ourselves for who we are.

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The Sci Fi Station

Science Fiction/ Fantasy Spotlight L. Frank Baum: Far Beyond Oz By Thomas Skidmore


yman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856-May 6, 1919) is best known and celebrated as the author and creator of the world-famous series of Oz novels and stories, beginning with The Wizard of Oz in 1900 (filmed in both 1925, and of course the 1939 MGM classic), and going on to write an additional thirteen novels before his death in 1919.

the popular computer application called Skype.) But perhaps the most significant Baum novel to be considered “true” science fiction is his 1901 novel The Master Key, which tells the story of Rob, a young science buff who meets with a

But here lies before us a different side to the man who took us “over the rainbow.”

Like his predecessors, H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, Baum saw the new dawn of modern science with both amazement and grave concern. In the plot of The Master Key, Rob grows very wary of the “gifts” given to him by the Demon of Electricity, who (unbeknownst to Rob) is out to destroy humanity through the guise of bringing wonder. In this aspect, Baum was prescient enough to warn mankind that science was only to be a tool, not to be worshipped as a god (thus predating such social prophets as Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry).

Unknown to most fans of the Oz novels, L. Frank Baum was also a pioneer in the field of Perhaps it isn’t too modern science fiction, much of a stretch to list even working technoloL. Frank Baum among gy into the Oz series the pioneers of science proper. For example: fiction in the early 20th his eighth Oz book, By George Steckel [Public domain], via WikiCentury, alongside his The Tik-Tok Man of media Commons good friend Edgar Rice Oz, predicted the comBurroughs (himself a ing of cellular wireless being called the Demon of prophet in many regards), telephones, and the other Electricity. With a good H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne. books in the series employ a deal of precision, Baum an“magic talking window;” ticipated the inventions of Perhaps it’s time to travel these tales of American wonKevlar, laptop computers, with L. Frank Baum far beder accurately foraged the vitamin pills, satellite relay, yond Oz . . . arrival of online video comand home video recorders munication (as evidenced by such as the VCR and later the DVR.

FUGITOR: The Time Escapee By Thomas Skidmore Seventh Installment


ay after day, my stay here grew increasingly boring, drab, and tedious, and for the first time ever in my life I was actually craving for a bit of adventurous excitement . . . if only to just break the monotony of it all, I suppose.

Without a moment’s hesitation, she made her answer be known. “No, not really. I mean, it’s so dull here overall.” I couldn’t help but faintly smile at that one. “Really?!” I shouted out.

With Marlena at my side, however, that little thought had to be put on the proverbial back-burner for the nonce. I just couldn’t risk her safety, and yet somehow in my mind I got that same sense of adventurous rebellion in her.

She looked at me in her trademark wary manner.

Risking all manners of decency, I turned to her.

“Oh, nothing too dangerous, I should think.”

“I say, Marlena, may I ask of you a rather . . . personal question?”

Marlena’s wariness slowly melted like snow in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Sure,” she replied.

“And, uh, how are we going to have this little sojourn you’re planning?!”

I breathed heavily, trying my damnedest best to weigh my words carefully. “Do you -- how am I to say this? -- enjoy your life here?”

“Just what do you have in mind?!” I humorously wiggled my greying eyebrows, my smile ever present by this time.

She made the most valid point imaginable, as I hadn’t thought of that.

“Well?!” she asked persistently. “Oh, I don’t know!” I uttered out in frustration. And with that said, a fly commenced buzzing about my head, driving me batty. As I swiped at the filthy little degenerate, a weird stream of light swept its way into our collective vision. Gingerly I repeated the motion, and the lightstream magnified in its dimensions, and also allowed us a minute glimpse into another place, totally unlike our present location. Our jaws dropped in utter shock!! We turned to each other, reading one another’s minds in regards to the visions. “Shall we?” I asked in a bold if somewhat slightly crass manner. “Let’s do it.” And thus we two, Marlena and I, set off on our voyage into the Unknown . . .

via flickr.com

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The Sci Fi Station

The Wizard By Thomas Skidmore Throughout all the known time-spaces, through each night's moon and sun's rise; he led Mankind to unknown new places and showed us all what it takes to be wise. For it was in him that we saw the best, and how to use our talents to bless. He gave out his words that never rest, and we as humans could do no less. Some called him by many different names, each one suited to his task at hand. Whether it be in hard toil or amusing games, he oversaw the welfare of the land. All called him the Wizard, for his spell he cast to the utmost of Humanity's aid. He's found a brand new home to dwell, yet he tells us, "Enjoy, and be not afraid."

LEONARD NIMOY March 26, 1931--February 27, 2015

Jurassic Park Changed My Life By Michelle Middlemiss

Part 1


wenty years ago a movie came out that would help shape my future. And no, I’m not being over-dramatic about this. Back then I was lucky if I could read a sentence of a “step up” book or a Berenstain Bears book, and I was in the seventh grade. I had given up on reading anything higher without help. My parents are both readers so they would always read to me.

But then I went to the movie Jurassic Park. I’ve loved dinosaurs since I was six months old; my local library always put aside new books about them for me. So when I saw the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton I wanted it read to me. Unfortunately a lot of the words in the book were too hard for my parents to pronounce. A lot of the scientific information can be hard if you can’t pronounce it. So I

thought I would just have to put up with the picture books and ignore the novel. That would have been okay if it hadn’t been the fact that I loved reading about DNA and understood a lot more than most kids. Months later my grandfather found a way for me to read the book. He got the audio book of Jurassic Park from the library. That’s when my life changed! To be continued...

Michelle’s Book Collection

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Pittverse Top Tens Top 10 Star Wars Jedi Knights By Michael Kurland 1. Luke Skywalker 2. Yoda 3. Obi-Wan Kenobi 4. Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) 5. Mace Windu 6. Leia Organa Solo 7. Qui-Gon Jinn 8. Shaak Ti 9. Ki-Adi Mundi 10. Aayla Secura via wikipedia.org

Top 10 Restaurants By Sara Brooks

via wikipedia.org

1. Bravo 2. Eat N Park 3. Olive Garden 4. Red Lobster 5. Hokkido Seafood Buffet 6. Nu 7. PF Changs 8. Bangkok Balcony 9. Sukhothai Bistro 10. Murray Avenue Grill

Top 10 Movies By Sara Brooks 1. Frozen 2. Once Upon a Mattress 3. Enchanted 4. My Fair Lady 5. Babes in Toyland 6. Fiddler on the Roof 7. Bregadoon 8. Pirates of Penzanae 9. The Mikado 10. A Grand Night

via flickr.com

Top 10 Comic Book Writers/Artists By Michael Kurland 1. Stan “The Man” Lee (co-creator of Spider Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Hulk, Daredevil, Iron Man, and others from Marvel Ent.) 2. Todd McFarlane (creator of Spawn, co-creator of Venom) 3. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (creators of Superman) 4. Bob Kane (creator of Batman) 5. John Romita Sr. (longtime Spider Man artist since 1966) 6. Tom DeFalco (writer on Spider Man, co-creator of Spider Girl) 7. Ron Frenz (Marvel artist, co-creator of Spider Girl) 8. John Byrne (writer and artist for DC and Marvel) 9. Geoff Johns (writer for DC, current Chief Creative Officer for DC) 10. Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, Daredevil) Stan “The Man” Lee via flickr.com

Honorable Mentions: Curt Swan (Superman artist) Mary Wolfman (co-creator of New Teen Titans, Black Cat, and others) Steve Ditko (Spider Man and Dr. Strange) Jack Kirby (Capt. America, Hulk, Darkseid, and others) Geroge Perez (DC artist, co-creator of New Teen Titans) Pittverse 34

Youth Advocate Programs Inc. 26 Terminal Way Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Office: 412-381-5563 Brian Kluchurosky, program director bkluchurosky@yapinc.org Renee Fisher, editor prfisher22@gmail.com

S T A F F Sean Gannon

Michael Kurland

David O’Rorey

Thomas R. Skidmore

Kevin Hart

Sara Brooks

Michelle Middlemiss

Mike Perret


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Pittverse Magazine - Summer 2015  

Pittverse Magazine - Summer 2015  

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