All posts filed under: Features

Robots & Cybersecurity: Oakland Observer’s Jared Gessler Interviews Dr. Kevin J. Slonka

Dr. Kevin J. Slonka is a Professor of Information Technology at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. He previously taught at multiple universities in Western Pennsylvania and agreed to join us today to give an opinion and some insight on robotics and computer science in the local area. I spoke with him over Zoom about the incorporation of robots into everyday life, beginning steps with programming and robotics, and additional fields that could be taken into consideration. Jared Gessler: So I’m with Dr. Kevin J. Slonka. What do you teach here at the school specifically? Dr. Kevin J. Slonka: I’m an IT professor and my specialty is cybersecurity. Gessler: Alright, sounds good. So, I have an interest in robotics and computer science. And for this class instead of writing a journal, I was given permission to do an interview. Just a quick one. And I figured I would just ask around for similar fields, such as IT, or maybe programming and just get some opinions on some of the questions we have today. So, to …

Versatili-tea

According to Chinese legend, in 5732 B.C., Emperor Shen Nung discovered tea when a leaf landed in his pot of boiling water. The pleasant scent it created made the Emperor curious enough to try drinking this hot leaf juice. It gave the emperor a warm feeling that inspired his further study of the drink and influenced his conclusion in its medicinal abilities. While not a recommendable replacement for modern-day medicines, tea can offer a wide range of benefits from stimulation to stress relief, reducing the risk of heart disease to supporting the immune system. In order to find the right tea for the right objective, a little knowledge of the different types of teas can be a great help. As a former barista and avid tea drinker and brewer, I know a few things that can help point people in the right direction. Black & White & Green Teas The leaf that landed in Shen Nung’s pot would have been that of the Camellia sinensis shrub, a plant native to China and India. To tea …

Dealing with Memory Loss? The Source Could Be Unexpected

We often hear about the ways food affects our bodies, but mainly in relation to our physical health. Various food companies tout health-related benefits to their products, such as increased energy, lowered cholesterol, and fat loss. Lots of advice exists on how to keep our bodies in top shape. Typically when something is physically wrong with our bodies, we often look to our diets to figure out if what we’re eating is harmful. Yet, the same concerns do not occur to us when something seems wrong with our brains. When we deal with memory loss, in particular, our diets don’t enter our minds. Turns out, foods also have a strong effect on how our brains function — certain foods can cause memory loss while others may result in memory boosts. We have long suspected that the nutrients in our food have a significant effect on our cognitive processes and emotions, but the knowledge we have on this subject has only recently been expanded upon. Up until now, the rest of our bodies’ ailments have been …

Image courtesy of Paramore.

Discography Deep Dive: Paramore

I have been a fan of Paramore for as long as I can remember. Their catchy riffs and lyrics paired with lead vocalist Hayley Williams’s powerhouse of a voice make for a long list of emotional head-bangers that have stayed with me throughout most of my life. Part of me feels as if I grew up with Paramore. Each album’s differences seem to have changed along with me as I grew up; a shared feeling amongst Paramore fans.

Back in 2019, Paramore announced they would be taking a break from releasing music so they could step back for a little while and just be friends. However, excitement spiked when Williams recently announced that another Paramore album is to be expected in the future.

In celebration of the band’s hiatus coming to an end, now is a perfect time to remember Paramore’s roots with a close look at their discography.

Behind Megxit: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Recoil from the Royal Family

The British royal family has long captivated the world with the air of class, mystery, and power. In recent decades, journalists have released numerous first-hand accounts that expose a darker side of this powerful legacy.  It’s 2021, and the England that Queen Elizabeth II now reins over is starkly different from the one she knew when she was crowned at 25. Despite the Queen’s reported sincerity and generally favorable image, she is faced with the burden of representing centuries of British imperialism and a fairly outdated institution — a constitutional monarchy. The Queen of England, and much of her extended family, have a royal title. With the title comes influence, fame, and wealth: three things dangerous to undeserving people. There is no denying that the royal family has had its fair share of personal scandals over the past centuries. Following the departure of two senior royal family members, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, the royal family has received massive public backlash. The couple announced their decision to step back from their high-profile roles in January …

COVID Challenges Pitt’s Sense of Community

January 2020: Spring Semester begins at Pitt. Underclassmen are settling into campus life. They are getting a feel for Oakland and what it has to offer, finding clubs and organizations that are a good fit and generally finding their place in the Pitt community. Upperclassmen are back in their comfort zone. They are starting clubs and running organizations and setting the tone for the Pitt community overall.

Then the pandemic. Everything changes and the community shuts down.