Without intending to, I pulled off an unusual double in today's Post-Gazette: I have a byline on the first page -- and on The Next Page -- of the paper's Forum section.

On the front: The Birth of Penguins Nation (with Chad Hermann, a/k/a Teacher. Wordsmith. Madman.). In his 4/1 post today, Chad describes how this piece came about. It's a nice little story in itself -- old media; new media; virtual collaboration; civil and civic discourse and public fellowship. Chad and I each have a new colleague, and we both had a bit of fun. Thanks to Greg Victor at the P-G running the essay. And for anyone who hasn't figured this out: Chad is the hockey fan. I'm the one who hasn't been to an NHL game in 30 years.

On The Next Page: The Cupcake Class and its Contentment. More fun at the expense of, and on behalf of, the region's cupcake creators and consumers. On the same page, Chris Briem offers typically insightful cupcake econometrics; he elaborates (and rightly blames/credits me with the phrase "Cupcake Class" as a derivative of "the Custard Class") in his post today. Our third collaborator, leavening the academic tone of the whole affair, is Rachel Kramer Bussel, who blogs at Cupcakes Take the Cake and who writes on a variety of, um, other topics. Her contribution lends a new dimension to the Cupcake Class, perhaps even to Pittsburgh's future as a whole. In the spirit of Rachel's principal line of work, I'll let you fill in the details on your own. Thanks to John Allison (who edited the page and coined the witty, J.K. Galbraith-ian headline) and Stacy Innerst (for the illustrations). Happy April Fool's Day.


2 Responses to "Bookends"

Jefferson Provost said... 4/01/2007 11:01 PM

I like the hockey piece. Now that the deal is done, there's no point in complaining about it anymore, and the region needs to find ways to turn it into real economic development. Also I agree with the main thesis:

"On the one hand are ticket sales and concessions and entertainment taxes paid by city and regional residents. This isn't new money for the region; it's already here. ... On the other hand are ticket sales and concessions and entertainment taxes and other purchases paid by Penguins fans who come to games but do not live in Pittsburgh or in Allegheny County. ... These extra ingredients grow the region's revenue pie, allowing us to slice it into more and bigger pieces."

You don't see this kind of thinking enough around here (outside of this blog). The more often it's repeated publicly, the better.

Bram Reichbaum said... 4/02/2007 10:32 PM

LOVE the reference to mucking and grinding! Missed these; thanks for pointing them out.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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