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Здравствуйте (hello) from Russia Best!

Written by Brady McCollough on .

From the moment I knew I was going to Sochi to cover the Winter Olympics, one phrase has kept popping into my head. Truly, I can't stop saying it:

"Russia best."
 
Evgeni Malkin had already given Pittsburgh so much -- another visit from Lord Stanley's Cup and his hilariously happy parents, Vladimir and Natalia, to name a few things -- but when his Twitter direct message exchange with the Phoenix Coyotes' Paul Bissonnette surfaced on Bissonnette's account in June 2012, we were forever further indebted to "Geno" for the following:
 
malkin text
 
So, yeah. That was awesome. Please never get old. 
 
And in thinking of a name for this blog, in which I will do my best to regale you with funny and interesting tidbits from my travels during the coming weeks, I just couldn't get away from  "Russia Best." Oh, we thought about "The Borscht Identity" or "Brady + Russkie = BRUSSKIE!" and a few others, but the blog will be called "Russia Best," and I hope it brings a smile to your face each time you visit as it will mine.
 
My mission on this trip is obviously to do some good journalism, but it is also to find out what makes Russia the best to Geno (of course, he gives some hints in the context of his conversation with Bissonnette). 
 
I'll be traveling to Moscow and then to Magnitogorsk, Malkin's hometown, and then on to Sochi to cover the games. I've never been to Russia, and I certainly don't speak the language, so this will be quite the adventure. I hope to keep you entertained.

 russia best logo

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Photos of the snow covered garden are fun

Written by Doug Oster on .

Yesterday, I had to get out of the house and walk in the garden. I took the dogs out for a couple hours and just took pictures of what I liked.

Scroll down to the last one, to see my poor pooch at the end of the photo shoot.

You're probably as tired of hearing people like me complain about winter as I am with the weather itself.

It was wonderful to explore the garden in the snow. This layer of snow will help protect any plants that are underneath. The white stuff is a great insulator.

It was great to get some fresh air, although my dog Guinness might not agree.

blog maple seeds winter IIThe branches of 'Shigarami' Japanese maple are filled with seeds. Last year I saved some and sprouted them in the greenhouse. Photos by Doug Oster

blog tithonia droppingOne of my favorite plants is 'Torch' tithonia or Mexican sunflower. I'm hoping the downward looking seed heads will give me some volunteers in the spring.

blog azalea budsThese azalea buds are beautiful when seen close up. The below zero temperatures won't effect them at all.

blog holly snowAmerican holly is one of the few plants the deer turn their nose up at...at least in my forest.

blog barberry redThere aren't many red barberry berries left in the garden, I guess the birds have taken them.

blog britt snow seed headAren't the seed heads of ligularia 'Brit Marie Crawford' beautiful in the snow?

blog dried beansA few pole beans were left behind last summer.

blog looking inHere's a shot looking inside. It's succulents growing in a faux moss purse. Can you see the guy in the reflection?

blog snow grassI always wait unti spring to cut back my ornamental grasses, the plumes sway in the winter winds.

blog can we go in nowGuinness wonders if it's time to go inside yet.

 

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Jordan Robinson ruled partial qualifier, not eligible this season

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

Jim Ferry, do you have an update on Jordan Robinson?

"Yeahhh ... and it's not good for the Dukes."

Robinson, a freshman center, has been in an ongoing eligibility battle all season long, and Duquesne finally got an answer. But not the one it was hoping for.

Robinson is a partial qualifier, Ferry said. He can stay on athletic scholarship but will not be able to practice with the team or compete for the Dukes this season.

At this point in the season, it was likely he might just take a redshirt anyway, but Duquesne is still thin in the frontcourt -- and at the very least he would have been able to practice with the team for the remainder of the season.

Ferry said Robinson will have four years of eligibility remaining when he first suits up next fall.

"It's disappointing, really disappointing," Ferry said, "but he's taking it well."


Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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Fashion recap: Guys of the Grammys

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

The men of music didn't let their female counterparts steal the spotlight Sunday on the Grammy Awards' red carpet. Instead, they flaunted their fashionable sides by having fun with colors, patterns and classic looks.

And the go-to accessory of the night? Sunglasses -- yes, even indoors!

Who looked stylish, and who looked silly? (Photos courtesy of Associated Press)

Grammys Khalifa

Black and gold, anyone?: Pittsburgh's own Wiz Khalifa brought a bit of 'Burgh colors to the red carpet in a simple, sleek, all-black look. His wife, Amber Rose, showed off her curves in a gold deep v-neck Naeem Khan gown.


Grammys JaredLeto

Minus the man-bun: Jared Leto left behind the updo that stirred quite a buzz on social media in the days after the Golden Globes, opting instead to let his locks hang loose this time.


Grammys MackelmoreGood

Dare to be bold: Ryan Lewis and Macklemore dared to be different with pops of coordinating colors and wallpaper patterns.


Grammys StevenTyler

White as snow: We on the East Coast have seen our share of white stuff lately -- the same goes for the sight of Steven Tyler in an all-white tux. It looked out of place (more wedding singer than rock star).


Grammys BrunoMars

Laid-back cool: Not just any man could pull off this Western-style-tie-meets-preppy-patterned-shirt outfit. But on Bruno Mars, it's simultaneously retro, hip and current -- what a feat!


Grammys RobinThicke

Keeping it classic: Aviator shades elevated Robin Thicke's tuxedo from conservative to cool and edgy. And paired with his wife's zebra style-print dress, there were no blurred lines surrounding this couple's style sense.

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Is it time to rethink the bar exam?

Written by Kim Lyons on .

As Iowa ponders eliminating its bar exam, taking a page from Wisconsin's book, I tried to explore whether it was time for Pennsylvania to consider changing its own bar exam.

Bar exam falling out of favor

Some, like Duquesne University School of Law dean Ken Gormley think changes need to be made:

 

"It would be healthy for bar examiners in all states, including Pennsylvania, to examine their practices and their goals and make sure they really are in alignment."

  ...while others, like Pennsylvania Bar Examiners executive director Gicene Brignola views the exam as a way of protecting the public:

 

"Every student at Widener is not taking the same tests as they are at Villanova. Our mission is to protect the public, and there's no one standing up for citizens at the law schools. They have their own missions."

 What do you think: Is scrapping the bar exam an idea whose time has come, or is it not practical for a state the size of Pennsylvania? 

 WoodenHammerWithHat

 

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