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Happy Birthday, Bruno Sammartino!

Written by Kim Lyons on .

When my husband and I were first married, and I was new to Pittsburgh, he took me to Lombardozzi's in Bloomfield for dinner one evening. A very large man with a very kind smile was seated near us, and as he ate his dinner, a steady stream of people came up to shake his hand.

I did not recognize Bruno Sammartino then, but everyone else in the restaurant did. I soon learned: Bruno Sammartino is the longest-running champion in the history of the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, which became World Wrestling Entertainment. And, he grew up in Pittsburgh.

Sammartino hasn't always had the rosiest of relationships with the WWE, but last night, in Pittsburgh, he celebrated his 78th birthday on stage at a WWE event as the audience sang "Happy Birthday."

The Post-Gazette's Bob Dvorchak wrote about Sammartino when he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Dapper Dan Charities in 2010:

A native of Italy whose family hid to escape Nazi soldiers in World War II, he developed rheumatic fever as a child and was prescribed leeches as a medical treatment. In 1950, he came to Pittsburgh where his father worked in the coal mines and steel mills.

"I wasn't a 97-pound weakling. I was an 80-pound weakling," he said.

Clearly, he's come a long way since.

Happy Birthday, Bruno!

 

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Bucco babies at Pittsburgh hospital

Written by Heather Schmelzlen on .

St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon is starting them young. It posted the following message to its Twitter account Wednesday afternoon:

Starting today, we're ensuring the area’s newest Pirates’ fans won’t have to wait their whole lives to celebrate postseason play. Today through the rest of the postseason, our 'Bucco Babies' will be sporting Pirates’ onesies and baby-sized baseball bats.

The photos of the nautical newborns are, as expected, adorable.

 

We're waiting to hear back from the hospital on whether there are any little Andrews, Neils or AJs.

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Pittsburgh is ready for #Buctober

Written by Pittsblogher on .

 

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Pirates players call for 'blackout' at PNC Park

When the Pirates play the National League wild card game tomorrow at PNC Park (recap: first playoff game at PNC ever, first time the team has gone to the post-season in 21 years), the players are calling for a blackout. No, not an electrical failure, but a call for fans at the game to all wear the same color clothing, to match the team's colors. Most fans are familiar with the concept; it's most frequently achieved with white, orange or red jerseys, and the effect can be impressive.

Andrew McCutchen got things going with the hashtag #PNCBlackout

 

Michael McKenry took up the cause as well:

 

 

McCutchen went so far as to try to persuade a fan's reluctant father to take part in the dress code:

 

96.1 KISS-FM morning DJ Michael "Tall Mikey" Dougherty took it a step further and put a Pittsburghese accent on the hashtag:

 

So if you are one of the lucky ones with a ticket to the game, make sure you dress accordingly: More black than gold.

 

 



 

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Pittsburgh's rubber ducky: from 'Sesame Street' to Smithfield Street

Written by Jacob Quinn Sanders on .

It's ridiculous, the duck. The giant, absurd duck ducking its way upriver toward Pittsburgh. 

So many people are so excited and I have no idea why. 

Maybe it's as basic as childhood. As "Sesame Street." You hear that song in your head already, don't you? Ernie, all by his lonesome, singing to his cherished bathtime friend.

Suffice it to say that song's been stuck in my general cranial area. Twitter, Facebook -- anywhere on the Pittsburgh internets, really -- are full of images of and stories about that duck. People planning to see the duck. Or who loathe the duck. Or search themselves to comprehend the duck.

And all I can think of is that song.

So here it is again for the first time, reimagined for Pittsburgh. You're welcome?

Rubber ducky, you’re the one

You give yinzers lots of fun

Rubber ducky, Pittsburgh’s awfully fond of you

 

Rubber ducky, hi n’at

Without you our Three Rivers’re kinda flat

Rubber ducky, there ain’t nothin’ too jaggy ‘bout you

 

Every day when I

Drive ‘cross the ‘gheny and Mon

I see you smiling like the Pirates won

Big and yellow and tubby

(rub-a-dub-dubby)

 

Rubber ducky, you’re so great

We love you more than a Kennywood date

Rubber ducky, Pittsburgh’s awfully fond of you.

 

rubber-duck-giant original 

 

Rubber ducky, you’re the one

 

You give yinzers lots of fun

 

Rubber ducky, Pittsburgh’s awfully fond of you

 

 

 

 

 

Rubber ducky, hi n’at

 

Without you our Three Rivers’re kinda flat

 

Rubber ducky, there ain’t nothin’ jaggy ‘bout you

 

 

 

 

 

Every day when I

 

Drive ‘cross the ‘gheny and Mon

 

I see you smiling like the Pirates won

 

Big and yellow and tubby

 

(rub-a-dub-dubby)

 

 

 

 

 

Rubber ducky, you’re so great

 

We love you more than a Kennywood date

 

Rubber ducky, Pittsburgh’s awfully fond of you

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Comprehensive website for all Pittsburgh art places goes live

Written by Mila Sanina on .

Do you work in the arts, love art and live in Pennsylvania? Are you among those who love discovering new art places and learning about familiar art destinations across the state? Then the Office of Public Art has exciting news for you! 

Today it launched a website called Pittsburgh Art Places -- and you may want to bookmark it, because the website serves as a hub of arts and culture venues.

art places

According to the official press release, it's a free comprehensive online resource "designed to expand visitors’ interest, pursuit and knowledge of art within our region." 

The site currently houses "information for approximately 201 art places covering a geographical region spanning the 13-county region of Western Pennsylvania."

"We are very excited about this unique project," Renee Piechocki, the director of the Office of Public Art, said. "By the end of the year we are hoping to have around 500 profiles on the site." 

This website allows artists to find exhibition and performance venues and invites users to discover and bookmark favorite art destinations. The site also welcomes venues where visitors experience the visual, literary or performing arts to create a free website profile, where they can embed multimedia content, such as photos and video, and manage the profile long-term.

The site was designed by Lava New Media out of Carnegie. The goal for Pittsburgh Art Places is to engage with the art community and the Pittsburgh community at large. The Office of Public Art hopes that the website will become a robust and widely used online destination for arts in Western Pennsylvania. 

Check it out at http://pittsburghartplaces.org/ and spread the word! 

What art destination would you like to see on the site?

pghplaces art

 

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'Breaking Bad' and brand management on Twitter

Written by Kim Lyons on .

Brand management on social media can be a tricky thing. Companies don't want to be viewed as insensitive by using Twitter or Facebook to take advantage of a tragic situation, but opportunities to be part of a social media conversation can give brands great visibility. But such opportunities usually require quick action, and a smart approach.

 (Spoilers of last night's "Breaking Bad" episode, "Granite State" and the Aug. 18 episode "Buried" follow, read this post later if you haven't seen them yet).

Last night on the penultimate episode of "Breaking Bad," bus bench lawyer Saul Goodman was preparing to go on the lam, after client Walter White's meth empire imploded. Saul, played by actor Bob Odenkirk, @mrbobodenkirk bemoaned his fate to Walt, (played by actor Bryan Cranston @bryancranston): "If I'm lucky, in a month from now, best-case scenario, I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha," Saul said.

Seattle-based Cinnabon rose to the challenge: 

 

 

It wasn't the first time a Saul Goodman reference inspired some social media cleverness. In the Aug. 18 episode, "Buried," when Saul tried to suggest Walt should kill his brother-in-law Hank, a DEA agent, Saul tried to speak in code, rather than advise his client to commit murder.

"Have you given any thought to 'sending him on a trip to Belize'?" he asked Walt.

Realizing what he meant, an angry Walt told Saul the idea was out of the question, and not to mention it again. "I'll send you to Belize," Walt snarled to Saul.

The Belize Tourism Board @belizevacation took what could have been a not-so-flattering reference and turned it around: They tweeted out invitations to "Breaking Bad" actors to visit the Central American country, including the actor who played Hank, Dean J. Norris @deanjnorris:

 

 What do you think are the best (and worst) examples of brand management on Twitter and other social media? And what do you think is going to happen to Walt, Jesse and the rest of the "Breaking Bad" universe? Lots of trips to Belize, perhaps... 

saul and walt

 Photo credit: AMC

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