EDITORIAL - Asides for Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009

Written by Susan Mannella on .

IT'S NOT the most coveted award in academia, at least by the academics, but the Princeton Review last week named Penn State University the No. 1 party school in the nation. A university spokeswoman, Annemarie Mountz, was not amused, calling the survey unrepresentative. "There are about 10 sites I found on Facebook urging students to vote and make Penn State the No. 1 party school, which shows that these rankings are nothing more than a popularity contest. It's become a badge of honor among students to get their school as No. 1 in these categories. The results are not connected to reality." That may be, but this reaction was a tad too defensive. Penn State's academic credentials are sufficiently strong to withstand the idea that, as far as some students are concerned, Happy Valley is happy.


THERE'S NO raining on Waynesburg's parade -- that is, not in the metaphorical sense of spoiling the party. Rain is actually welcome every year on July 29, which is celebrated as Rain Day. True to form, the seat of Greene County got rain again on Wednesday, just as other parts of the region did, too. Of course, other places don't have an umbrella contest and other festivities. The rainy July 29 tradition goes back to 1874 and a spokeswoman for the Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce noted that rain has fallen on that date 111 times in the past 135 years. This is pretty impressive, even by the standards of Pittsburghers who have become connoisseurs of deluges thanks to the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

NOT TO SPOIL the fun for the party-hearty folks who want to look attractively tanned, but the news that Pittsburgh has the second-highest concentration of tanning salons in the nation is not good -- those tans could prove a fatal attraction. A new report last week from the International Agency for Research on Cancer raised serious alarms about the dangers of indoor tanning (the melanoma risk goes up by 75 percent in women who start using tanning beds before age 30). It is understandable why Pittsburgh has more tanning salons than most: This sun-shy city hosts the Three Rivers Arts Festival and it's not far from Waynesburg.


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