Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My First Interview...

My first interview regarding 'My Crazy Life'

Thanks Bethany!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Release Party Information - UPDATED

I want to thank everyone who made it out on Friday for the party... Much appreciated

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Crazy Life

I am happy to announce that a series of short nonfiction stories of mine have been published and limited copies are now available on Amazon and Barnes_&_Noble and on the Publisher's_Website

You can find the book by either searching on my name or typing in the title 'My Crazy Life'. But I set the links to go right to the book...

Official release date is December 27th 2008. I am hoping to have a few book signings in the Pittsburgh area shortly after the 27th release. Once I have those set up I will provide the information for those of you interested.

Thank you for all of your support!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Lux Magazine

Lux Magazine is a Pittsburgh publication that I wrote articles for - but due to some financial issues they have yet to be published. I am not sure if they will ever get published... sigh.

So I am posting the articles here instead... there are 3 of them.

Bike Pittsburgh

Going green and making a conscious effort for an environmentally friendly lifestyle is more than just using recycled goods and protecting Mother Earth. It is also about reducing fuel consumption and the pollutants that are emitted from our cars. It seems in today’s society that driving has just become a way of life as public transportation is not always readily available.

Bike Pittsburgh’s aims include changing the biking image and to prove that biking is a safe and reliable form of transportation. Not only do they promote biking and all the health benefits that come along with it, Bike Pittsburgh also promotes the environment. They make people aware of being oil dependent and the pollution that is caused by motor vehicles. Also, Bike Pittsburgh is working with their stakeholders to improve streets, bridges and trails to make our city safe for cyclists.

Since 2002, Bike Pittsburgh has been striving to make Pittsburgh a bike-friendly city. They started with answering questions and training and moved on to bringing cyclists in to improve Pittsburgh. It is through these efforts that the city has become a safe and welcoming atmosphere for biking. Bike Pittsburgh’s staff actively meets with government officials to ensure the city is constantly improving its cycling environment.

Bike Pittsburgh’s website is full of helpful tips on bike education and directions on how to get around Pittsburgh. It is important for cyclists to not only know their way around the city but to feel safe while biking. It is a goal of Bike Pittsburgh to provide both as well as being an advocate for cyclists within the city.

There are several ways to get involved with Bike Pittsburgh. The easiest is to just get on your bike and ride. Instead of grabbing those car keys, grab your bike and ride to work or to the store or to visit friends. Granted that might be easier said than done. If you live in the city, then it will be easier to bike to work than if you live in the suburbs, but don’t fret, there are ways for the suburban’s to get involved too.

The first thing to do is become a member of Bike Pittsburgh, which you can join by visiting the website (www.bike-pgh.org). Not only will you get copies of the newsletter and be able to use your membership fee as a tax deduction, your membership money will be used to keep bikers safe.

If you want to get involved with Bike Pittsburgh but feel you have two left feet and no sense of balance, there are still things you can do, such as becoming an advocate for the group. By talking to your local officials about the program, you can encourage them to start thinking cycle friendly by building trails for cyclists.

If you would like to find out more on Bike Pittsburgh, you can visit their website www.bike-pgh.org or phone them at 412.325.4334.

Now, get out there and cycle Pittsburgh!

Fresh Heirlooms

Recycling can be an art form, by taking used items and transforming them into something new and beautiful. That is exactly what is done at Fresh Heirlooms, located on Butler Street in Pittsburgh. They take reclaimed items and create "unique home furnishings."

Many people are becoming more environmentally conscious today with the rising threat of global warming and landfills running out of room. Recycling has taken on an important role in many communities to reuse goods that would otherwise end up in the landfills. Why not bring those items in as pieces of art, as conversation pieces with a real history?

Lindsay Woge came up with the idea of Fresh Heirlooms as a result of her interest in "the intersection of art and science. Creating functional works of art from materials otherwise bound for the landfill." An example of this would be taking old bike chains and making clocks or picture frames out of them.

Many of the pieces that are created are one-of-a-kind and made right in the Fresh Heirlooms workshop. There are a few pieces that they carry which come from other artists within the United States.

While many of the pieces are created with items that they have, if someone comes in with an item that they want fabricated into something else, Fresh Heirlooms will take on the challenge in fashioning it into a precious piece.

Free mini-workshops are offered for customers to come in and create a unique piece of their own. Fresh Heirlooms hopes to offer more in-depth workshops on a regular basis in the near future. Woge is pleased that they will be offering a summer program for children from the 10th Ward. The program is sponsored by Operation Weed and Seed and will focus on how to reuse materials creatively. An example of projects will be creating different pieces out of newspaper, such as making origami or making pulp.

On March 15th Fresh Heirlooms hosted a celebration of all things green. It was to honor Mother Earth and St. Patrick's Day weekend. They not only offered a green-dot sale but also complimentary refreshments and chances to win Celtic-knot inspired pieces. The event also showcased work produced by local "salvage artists" and traditional Celtic music by David Shelow.

If you are looking for a piece of artwork or furniture that has history or character then Fresh Heirlooms is a great place to find it. Not only will the piece have a minimal effect on the environment, it very well could be custom made for that one empty corner of the room that you just have no idea how to fill.

Fresh Heirlooms loves their customers and will take the time to tell them how the piece was created and where the items came from. Many of their pieces are posted on their website www.freshheirlooms.com or they can be viewed in person at the store, located at 5218 Butler Street. They have metered parking a few doors down. The store is open Tuesday – Saturday 11 – 6.


Let's cover Pittsburgh in clay, or more specifically ceramic art. That is exactly what the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) wanted to do when it moved its annual conference from New Orleans to Pittsburgh, giving birth to Cera[m!x] Pittsburgh. While this marked the 42nd year for the conference it was the first time it was held in Pittsburgh. The conference brings together some of the finest educators and ceramic artists. This truly is "a whole new spin on the world of clay!" as Joshua Green, On-Site Conference Liaison, states.

The thought of Cera[m!x] Pittsburgh started August-2007 with an official media launch. Green was amazed that within such a short time the community of artists was full-in involved. The NCECA not only had the support of artists and educators, but also support and donations from individual and corporate foundations.

The Cera[m!x] conference took place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center during March 19-22, which included registrants of over 5,000 artists and enthusiasts. The conference was hosted by The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild as a way to help connect the organization and its members to the community of Pittsburgh.

Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Youth and Arts became involved with Cera[m!x] because of their mission to educate and inspire youth through the arts. As a result of this shared key strategy, Cera[m!x] Pittsburgh and the MCG seemed an ideal partnership. Other goals include maintaining a strong sense of community programming and developing network opportunities. This network would represent already established artists and educators, but also encourage those from K-12 through the university level to get involved in the arts community. It is a place where information and techniques can be shared.

If you are an artist, curator or even a collector, you can join NCECA. Green states that the membership is for the "extremely dedicated and passionate about the organization as can be seen through is extremely well-attended conference. Our hope was to build the kind of exposure for ceramic arts and access to ceramics experiences that community members like these would visit exhibitions, purchase artworks and get their hands into clay."

Because of the overwhelming response from the past Cera[m!x] conference, Green hopes that it will serve as an indicator that the artists and venue will remain active in the city of Pittsburgh. To keep the momentum going, there will be a post-conference/workshop held at Slippery Rock University in April. Green also stated that "MCG anticipates sustaining the Cera[m!x] Pittsburgh website over a three-year period."

For more information on Cera[m!x] Pittsburgh you can go to their website at http://www.ceramixpittsburgh.org/default.aspx where you can learn about upcoming events and workshops. If you have a specific question or interested in volunteering or participating in events please contact Joshua Green at jgreen.nceca07@gmail.com.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Is the H1N1 Vaccine safe?

Written by Nicole Sebula
Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:34
As a new mom, I have been doing a lot of research on vaccines. One of the vaccines that has been catching my attention is this H1N1 flu shot. Mind you that H1N1 is completely different than the regular flu and requires its own vaccine. The virus is a combination of four known strains of influenza A virus: one endemic in humans, one endemic in birds, and two endemic in pigs (swine). However, how safe is the vaccine that can supposedly prevent it? How much research was done on the side effects? Will it really prevent the H1N1? These are some of the questions that I have been asking myself.

The amount of people that have died with this flu is astounding and very scary especially since my baby is too young to get the vaccination. Globally, the number of official cases of those infected is in the hundreds of thousands. Deaths caused by the virus number in the thousands. What am I supposed to do as a working mother who has to send my child to daycare where he could possibly be exposed to this horrible flu?

My baby is two-months-old. He doesn’t know to keep his hands out of his mouth or wash his hands. His main concerns right now are eating, sleeping and farting. So what can I do as a parent to protect myself and my son from this flu?

First let me explain the symptoms of the H1N1. According to the CDC’s website the symptoms “include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Severe illnesses and deaths have occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.”

What we can do to prevent H1N1 Spreading

As the vaccine isn’t wide spread yet, and only being distributed to certain categories, there are some things we can do according to the CDC to protect ourselves and prevent spreading of this flu. These remedies actually help fight against the common cold as well.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If a tissue is not available, do not cough/sneeze into your hands, use your elbow to cover your mouth/nose. --Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol based.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

Is the vaccine safe?

As for safety concerns, it appears the H1N1 vaccine is being produced identically to seasonal flu vaccine. By most accounts, the same manufacturers who make the seasonal flu vaccine are making the H1N1 vaccine using the same methods and safeguards used over the years to produce seasonal flu vaccine. So it would appear it is no more dangerous than the typical flu vaccine many people get this time of the year. Unfortunatley, my baby is too young for the vaccine. If you are able to get one, you should not have any more worry than you would associate with a typical flu vaccine. If you can't get the vaccine, remember that as contagious as the H1N1 virus is, the best way to fight it is through education, diligence and good old fashioned sanitary habits.

Nicole Sebula is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh and covering the North Hills area for AcrossRoss.com.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 12:21

AcrossRoss is a local website designed for the Ross Township and West View area... Please stop by and check out the site - it has a lot of helpful information posted on it. To find it just click here.

December 8, 2008 - It’s December and everyone knows what that means, Santa and Christmas trees, baby Jesus and the Menorah (depending on your religious preference). It seems though many people are having a hard time getting into the spirit this year, perhaps it is that some stores have had out their holiday décor since before Halloween or maybe it is the economy.
Whatever it is, I think people are slowly getting out of the funk and the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season began November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving, better known as Black Friday.

Stores were offering discounts, coupons and gift cards to the first so many customers in the wee hours of the morning (For the record, I did do my shopping in the early morning hours, and then went to the Pitt game which we won!). However, some people were actually camping out in front of McKnight Road Best Buy! How insane is that?

Nonetheless, with a little more than two weeks until Christmas and Hanukkah the retailers are upping the sales and deals, both in the stores and online. But isn’t there more to the holidays than giving gifts? I mean, I am all about the giving and getting of gifts. Seeing someone’s face light up when you get them something that they wanted, or when you get that power tool or new iPod. However, there is more to Christmas than gift giving (Though I would not complain with something in my stocking from the new Nordstrom store).

Families are putting up their lights and trees and building new traditions within their own families as children are born or grow up. I am a strong believer that traditions this time of year especially are important.

My lights were hung outside after Thanksgiving and the tree will be put up this weekend which will remain up until the first weekend after the New Year. A new ornament is bought every year for the tree. This time of year has many traditions that I love and am very excited about every year.

For many Italians (and European descendants for that matter) Christmas Eve dinner is a night for a full course of fishes. Depending how you were raised or what part of Italy your family was from you either has seven or thirteen different fishes signifying the seven sacraments or the twelve apostles and Jesus.

While many of the dishes vary from one household to another, there are a lot of similarities; many have baccala (a salty cod), smelts, calamari, linguini with clam sauce, crab, and shrimp. I think it is truly whatever your preference is, as my family has molded the meal to our favorites but still not losing sight of the meaning behind the meal.

Also in my family, we have the exchanging of gifts and/or visit from Santa Christmas Eve night. I was taught at a young age that this was because Jesus is born on Christmas day and that the two are very separate occasions. And come on, what kid can honestly wait until Christmas morning to open up all of their gifts. I know if I had to wait I would think I was being tortured.
Another tradition that many have for Christmas Eve is to go to midnight mass. Although I am finding that the hour ‘midnight’ is being moved up to a more reasonable 9 or 10 pm in many perishes.

I suppose this is a good thing as many more might attend the late night mass, but I always thought it was at midnight to signify the birth and the fact that it was December 25th. These are just a few of the things that we do in my family this time of year; please feel free to email me some of your traditions. I would love to hear them.

Happy Thanksgiving! Remembering why we celebrate

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds." - Theodore Roosevelt

By Nicole Sebula
November 25, 2008 - With Thanksgiving only two weeks away, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to look at some of the traditions many families practice over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Turkey—everything from a gigantic bird to feed the army sized family to turkey burgers are traditional food for this holiday. And in fact, according to the National Turkey Federation (yes there really is such a thing), 95-percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

Granted, there are regional twists on the traditional turkey, such as coffee rubbed turkey from Hawaii, salt encrusted turkey from New England, and deep fried turkey from the South.
Beside the turkey, my other favorite part of Thanksgiving is watching the highly anticipated football game. Throughout the United States, football on Thanksgiving Day is as big a part of the celebration as turkey and pumpkin pie. This tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving dates back to the first intercollegiate football championship held in 1876 (on Thanksgiving Day).
This year you can expect to see the Tennessee at Detroit, Seattle at Dallas and Arizona at Philadelphia. I have my picks, but I think I am more excited about the game the day after Thanksgiving when Pitt will be hosting WVU at Heinz Field.

As a child I loved watching the parades on television. All of the giant balloons of my favorite cartoon characters coming to life. The first American Thanksgiving Day parade was held 88 years ago in 1920, organized by Gimbel's Department Store (Does anyone remember Gimbel’s?) in Philadelphia, not Macy's as most people believe. The NYC Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade tradition actually began in 1924, and has grown into an annual event of balloons, bands, and floats, with more than 46 million viewers in person and from watching on TV.

One of my favorite things to this day is breaking the wish bone. Hoping that my wish will come true and my end of the bone will be the ‘lucky piece’ as it is being pulled apart. This tradition dates back to the Etruscans of 322 B.C. The Romans brought the tradition with them when they conquered England and the English colonists carried the tradition on to America. That’s a lot of wishes.

The main reason for Thanksgiving is to give thanks. While we might get wrapped up in the years events, it is always nice to take a minute to stop and think about what we are thankful for and to pray for those who might not be so lucky.

And lastly, I am one of those ‘crazy’ people that get’s up at 4 in the morning the day after Thanksgiving to get all of my Christmas shopping done. When talking about Thanksgiving traditions, I cannot leave out my annual trip on Black Friday. For years I have been going out to the stores, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Circuit City (to name a few) to get all of the bargains.

It used to be a family affair when I was little, now somehow I have managed to lose my family (I think it is the wee hours of the morning that deter them). I am getting geared up for this years trip to the shopping areas. I always bring breakfast bars and Gatorade because provisions are good. That turkey and pie only keeps me filled up for so long. What ever your traditions are for the holiday weekend, I wish you a safe and happy one.

Nicole Sebula is a contirbuing writer to AcrossRoss. Learn more about Nicole at her writing website: blueeyeswriting.blogspot.com. Nicole is the also the author of soon-to-be-released book, My Crazy Life.

Ross / West View back-to-school fashion special
By Nicole SebulaSpecial to AcrossRoss.com

August 04, 2008 - As August approaches and the dreaded (for the kids) back-to-school shopping season begins, the shopping excursions to get the hottest, cutest, trendy fashions will go into high gear.

Speaking of gear, as I clearly remember from when I was in school, this is a big deal.
The question at hand is what is trendy this school season? Hopefully the fashionistas are not bringing back those dreaded stirrup pants… That is a trend no one needs to re-live. I will admit to being guilty of wearing the pants back in the day, but as I look back at pictures, they were not attractive at all…

Graphic printed t-shirts and hoodies will continue to be a trend this season. Pair them with a pair of plaid shorts or some denim add some flip-flops or sneakers and you are ready to go. Perfect for that first month of school, while it is still hot out.

Another big trend this season is the ‘rocker’ look. Blazers, vests, white t-shirts paired with knickers and some ballerina flats for the girls. For the boys, themed t-shirts or tattooed imprinted tees, skinny jeans and motorcycle jackets.

Never fear, the polo shirts are still in fashion. This season though, they are making the look more British, pairing the shirts with blazers and khaki pants. Some looks seem to never go out of style.

It is nice to have an old stand-by sitting in the wings of the fashion show. Jeans are always a big part of anyone’s wardrobe. But what is this years trend… boot cuts, low rise, skinny, bright colors? Bright colors are fine as long as it is not your denim, save the bright colors for your shirts, cardigans or hoodies. Denim is all about the dark wash this season… in whatever cut fits your body the best. Wide legged jeans are staying strong and so are the skinny jean.

Shoes… what are trendy this season for the back to schooler you might ask…
For the girls… The ballerina flat continues to be a top trend, as are maryjanes, weggies, and the fun printed rain boots. For the boys… it’s all about the slip-on vans sneakers. Fun and comfortable.

The last thing that the kids will need as they head off for their first day is a backpack. There are several types and picking the perfect one that lasts throughout the school year is important. Everyone seems to be going green this year, so why shouldn’t your backpack be environmentally sound as well. There are a lot of eco-friendly backpacks made with recycled plastic and materials.

For the little kiddies that like the character book bags, the cool ones for this season are Transformers Optimus Prime, Batman, Veggie Tales, Kung Fu Panda, The Incredible Hulk, Harry Potter and Star Wars. As I look at these names, it makes me laugh as many of these were popular back when I was in first grade, I guess like they say fashion trends go in circles.

For those in high school or college, you might want to try the 3-way bag that converts from a backpack, messenger bag or tote. They have special compartments for laptops and accessories. The bags are also weather resistant and very durable.

Nicole can be reached at mailto:nicole.sebula@acrossross.com.
Time for spring cleaning in Ross Township and West View
By Nicole Sebula
AcrossRoss Staff

March 27, 2008 - The sun is shining, temperatures are warming, birds are chirping. That could mean only one thing – it's time for spring cleaning. The task that all people dread. I am here to provide you with some helpful tips to make it a little less daunting.

Plus, follow these tips and you will save time getting your Ross Township or West View townhome, ranch, multi-level, Cape Cod, Colonial or Apartment whipped into shape just in time to see and smell that fragrant first bloom.

First and foremost, before even starting make sure you have all the supplies you will need. Paper towels, cleaning products, vacuum bags, etc. There is nothing worse than diving into a project and finding out you are all out of garbage bags. I recommend the Dollar Tree in Wes View Plaza for a number of these supplies. You will save some money over the brands at Giant Eagle and K-Mart and the quality is comparable.

Remember time is a valuable asset. So if you live in Perrysville and walk to Vater's Hardware; keep in mind the gas you save in your car versus the difference in pennies you might pay for cleaning supplies at a cheaper, mass outlet store. In fact, need to schedule a tune up as well. You got Vince's Automotive a short walk away. Get that done too.

Now that you have all of your products, put on those old comfy clothes and turn up the radio. Start in one room and work there until you are completely done. Don't jump from one room to the next without completing the first. It will only cause you more work in the end. Make piles of items you would want to donate or sell in a garage sale and things that you just want to throw away. If you don't use it then get rid of it. In fact, if you never used an item last season, what makes you think you will this time? This is a time to get rid of clutter. Take it the Goodwill drop-off on McKnight.Do it around noon. That way, while you are there, you can take a break and grab some lunch at Panera Bread.

This is called multitasking and it will save you time and money in terms of gas in the car. The idea is when you have to make a trip, think about what other chores within reason you can knock off along the way. You want to stay focused on the spring cleaning so keep side chores to a minimum. Do the ones that make the most sense. When cleaning the kitchen, get rid of the week old Nacho's Grande from The Fox and Hound and other foods that might be hanging out in your pantry for no good reason. This is also a great time to throw away your old dish rags and sponges. Get new ones.

Pick up any throw rugs you have and if possible wash them – if not, shake the dirt out of them and air them out. Need new rugs – visit Roth Carpet and pick out a fresh design. While you are there, save time by getting your Pet supplies at the Pet Smart next door. But don't doddle on things you don't need. This is a spring cleaning mission. A good tip for cleaning butcher blocks is to use a few drops of a mild detergent and warm water.

When cleaning the bathroom, replace your shower liner and any nonslip stickers you have in the shower. Wash your rugs in hot water and get rid of any old products in your medicine cabinet. A good tip for cleaning the bathroom sink is to fill it with hot water and add a cup of bleach, let it soak for an hour. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Scrub with a nonabrasive cleaner and again rinse thoroughly. Spray with a glass cleaner, wipe dry.

Other important things to remember during the spring cleaning are to change your smoke detector batteries. You don't want the Berkley Hills Fire Department to come break your door down after you just finished cleaning the place. Check lamps and light bulbs to make sure all are working efficiently. Replace or get rid of anything that has a tattered cord or loose switch. The idea is when you make the trip to Home Depot, make it once. Get what you need and get out and get on with Spring in your sparkling clean home or apartment.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


By Nicole Sebula
CoverUps.com Staff Writer

One of the world’s biggest mysteries concerns how the Egyptian Pyramids were built. Many people believe there is no way any group of human beings could ever have constructed such monstrous creations. After all, the precision and strength needed to build the pyramids seems to be an insurmountable task even today, let alone 4,500 years ago; not to mention that the Great Pyramid is the last standing of the Seven Wonders.

There seems to be something a bit suspicious about that. Egyptians did not have the tools or skill sets which would have been needed to lift the two tons (or heavier) blocks, let alone make all of the flush cuts to butt the blocks up together without any gaps. Then, these extremely heavy blocks had to be lifted and placed into exact spots or the entire pyramid would come crashing down. So how were the pyramids built? One explanation is that aliens built them. It makes complete sense; no human being could have possibly created them. Maybe you need a little convincing, a little proof if you will.


Egyptians were great at writing down their history. Hieroglyphics were written and or drawn of every event that took place in Egypt since the beginning of time, including every other building built in Egypt except for the Pyramids. However, an event as big as the construction of the Great Pyramid was never written about or noted. If humans were to build the Great Pyramid it would have taken 10,000 workers 20 years to build, moving 100,000 rocks of epic size.

The fact is that ancient Egyptian writings actually often talk of beings from the sky, that the sky opens and bright lights come down to teach great technology and give wisdom. Many of the hieroglyphic pictures and symbols resemble that of UFOs and aliens. Maybe aliens built the Great Pyramid and not the Egyptians, which would explain the lack of history and writings about the Egyptians actually building it. Even if the Egyptians used ramps, they would need even more rocks to build the ramps. Now, what would they have done with all the excess rocks? For that matter, where would they have gotten all the rocks from in the first place? Not to mention the fact that the ancient Egyptians would have had to cut down a lot of date trees to build the ramps. The greatest export of Egypt is dates; it is also their main source of food. I would venture to guess that the Egyptians would not cut down their sole source of food to build ramps.


There is also some interesting mathematical evidence that would have been extremely difficult for the Egyptians to carry out without any tools or measuring type devices. The first is that the Sun on the first day of the summer solstice falls right between the Great Pyramid and its neighboring pyramid, dead center, middle, perfect.

For the Egyptians to figure out where the sun sets on the summer solstice and then build not only the Great Pyramid but another one to frame the sun, would be nearly impossible without highly technological help. Some of the pyramids are over 750-feet long, yet every base angle is perfectly square with 90-degree angles. If there are small differences in the lengths of the sides, they are by mere centimeters.

Another interesting math fact about the Pyramids: If the perimeter of the pyramid is divided by two times the height, the result is exactly equivalent to the number pi (i.e. “3.14”). The chance of this phenomenon occurring as sheer coincidence is remarkably small. How could they come up with this number alone? The number pi was not calculated accurately to the fourth digit until the 6th century! How in the creation of the Great Pyramids did they manage to calculate the number to the fifteenth decimal place out? The lines of longitude and latitude that the Pyramid lies on are 31-degrees north by 31-degrees west. (Is it just a coincidence that these numbers are the same) and are the same two longitudinal lines that cover the most combined land area in the world. The Pyramid is the center of all of the land mass of the entire earth! What about inside a Pyramid itself?


One thing that most researchers have said for generations is that there are only a few tunnels and chambers within the inner workings of the Pyramids, and nothing else. Recently however, evidence has been uncovered to suggest that there are more to the Pyramids than just the skeletal rooms and passages – a lot more.

One major discovery was a large, 63m shaft, thought to originally be an air shaft. But when a camera-robot was sent up the tunnel to further investigate the matter, it found a trap door at the end of the tunnel. The door had 2 brass fittings, one of which was broken. The odd thing about this passage is that it has layers of limestone, like that found on the walls of inner chambers.

Also, inside the king’s chamber, areas with loose-fitted stones were discovered, indicating either poor craftsmanship, (unlikely, especially for the king’s chamber) or that another chamber had been covered up behind the room. Though there appear to be many hidden cavities inside the Queen’s chamber, the Egyptian government has yet to permit any more investigations.


Because the Pyramids are so accurately aligned with the points of the compass, I am led to believe that only aliens could have built them all those years ago. After all, the angles of the slopes of the sides are so precise I find it difficult to believe that the Egyptians engineered them without any help.

Furthermore, the blocks being so heavy and the Great Pyramid so tall, how could anyone but alien builders have helped the Egyptians achieve this remarkable structure? The technology was simply not available to do this in their time.

In 2,500 BC man did not have the tools or the necessary knowledge to build the Pyramids. The Egyptians would have had to employ the use of advanced construction equipment that is even more sophisticated than what we have today. Where else could that technology come from? There are many questions that need to be answered, especially for me to firmly believe the Egyptians did not have any help from an alien source.

Until all these questions about how it was built and where the engineering technology came from are adequately answered, the builders of the Great Pyramids will remain one of mankind’s enduring mysteries. However, until evidence is uncovered to the contrary, I will continue to support the theory that they had help that was not of this world.

New Yinzer

TiNY Lives: Cynthia Grant
Nicole Sebula

Sterling silver, crystals, pink mother-of-pearl designed not only to form a beautiful locket but also created to help women. The locket, by Cynthia Grant, was designed to help fight the war on breast cancer. With each locket sold, 50% of the proceeds go to the Komen Foundation.

Over the past seven years Cynthia has been creating original one-of-kind pieces for clients such as Kolman Jewelers, Nemacolin Collection, Choices, Collage, Sugar Boutique, and 3rd Street Gallery. It wasn't until three years ago when Cynthia's passion for design turned into a mission to raise money for local charities. Inspired by the book Do Unto Others, written by Dr. Abraham Twerski, Grant wondered what she could "do" to contribute to those in need.

Three years ago, Cynthia contacted Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Pittsburgh branch. Her inspiration, a friend struggling with breast cancer, and her mother-in-law, a 3-time cancer survivor who volunteered her time motivating cancer patients, Cynthia created the "Locket of Love" bracelet to help support the Race for the Cure mission. Cynthia has a new piece that will be launched in May 2008, an additional pink ribbon line titled "Consider the Lilies".

Cynthia not only work designs jewelry for the Komen Foundation, she also designed a piece for the Gateway Rehabilitation Center and the third charity Cynthia is involved with is Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Being a mother of two, she feels very grateful to have access to one of the nations top ten Children's Hospitals.

Cynthia doesn't just stop at making jewelry, through her work with charities she continues to find ways to help those who are suffering. Cynthia was motivated to peruse the ancient Japanese practice of Reiki. During the past year she has become certified as a level II Reiki practitioner. Reiki is the ancient Japanese art of healing and relaxation and is used in many spas and hospitals across the United States. In fact, Grant is involved in a pilot program at Magee Women's Hospital to study the positive effects of Reiki on Chemotherapy patients.

All of her involvement has led Cynthia to establish the White Lotus Reiki Loft, which will be opening May, 2008. It will be located at 53 East Wheeling Street in Washington. She will provide Reiki treatments by appointment and will be offering a variety of products such as hand-made soaps, essential oils and air fresheners, along with organic lotions. All of Grants charity jewelry will be available as well.

Cynthia has recently started an organic line of beauty products. So far the line contains So Zen Lips, So Zen Soap and So Zen Spritzers. So Zen Lips is a luscious lip balm that is crafted with healing organic herbs and nurturing organic oils, providing lasting protection as it softens & moisturizes your lips. So Zen Lips comes in three varities: Citrus, Vanilla & Mint. The So Zen Soap’s base recipe is made from 100% certified organic oils and is purely herbal. The soap is scented with essential oils and colored with organic herbs and plant extracts only. It comes in ten varieties that include: citrus lavender, herb garden, lavender, lemongrass, oatmeal, patchouli, peppermint, pink grapefruit, thyme and unscented. The unscented is perfect for chemotherapy patients or anyone with sensitive skin or an aversion to smells.

On March 22nd Cynthia will be participating in the Susan G. Komen for the cure Survivors Brunch Event. She will be selling her So Zen Organic products as well as jewelry and donating 50% of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

To find Cynthia's jewelry you can go to cynthiagrantjewelry.com. Each charity has a separate page to show off the jewelry for that charity. To find Cynthia Grant's creations check out her sites, www.compasstar.com, www.neonclockusa.com, www.cynthiagrantjewelry.com, www.reikiforrelaxation.com. The organic body products can be found at www.sozenorganics.com (the site will be up and running at the end of March). You can also contact her at grant@compasstar.com or 724.466.1157 or stop in Collage in the Strip District (2124 Penn Avenue) where Cynthia’s jewelry and organic lines are sold. She might even be there when you stop by.

Nicole Sebula

Growing up near Homestead, in the nearby borough of Whitaker, I remember what this town once was. More importantly I recall what Eighth Avenue was to the community. My family and I would spend Saturday mornings shopping on the avenue. The furniture that filled our house came from Katilus’, the shoes I undoubtedly would have on my feet were from Gold’s Shoes, my school uniforms, and so much more all came from the neighborhood shops. I took swimming lessons at the Homestead branch of the Carnegie Library. My preschool, which is now a builder’s outfit, was on the corner of Eighth and Ravine. Standing tall and sturdy, watching over my childhood was the old steel mill.

Today as I walk along Eighth Avenue so many of the buildings are boarded up and without occupants. Some buildings have been torn down and exist only in memory. All of the places that my grandmother would take me are gone. I try to make sense of where I am, get my bearings, but I find I am lost and unable to place where the buildings of my past were.

Homestead’s true existence began in 1880 when Andrew Carnegie handpicked the land for the mill. The mill would employ nearly 4,000 men despite Homestead only having a population of less than 600 people. In 1889 the steel workers, under threat of having their wages cut, declared a strike. William L. Abbott tried to break up the strike but the mill workers became riotous and the sheriff was called in to help calm the situation.

As I walk Eighth Avenue I try to imagine this area as a thriving mill, full of workers sweating for mere pennies on the dollar. It is hard to believe that at one time this area was enclosed by a three-mile long fence that was topped off with barbed wire and platforms for snipers.

In the 1970’s the steel industry was still going strong in Homestead. The mill provided secure employment and good wages. Eighth Avenue had every shop that the teeming community would need: shops for shoes, clothing, groceries, and a pharmacy to name just a few. In a time when most families only had one car, if that, everything being in walking distance was key to the way of life for this community.

After the mill closed in the mid-1980’s Eighth Avenue started to become rundown. Without the employment of the mill, workers and their families started moving out of the area and those who remained did not have the money to shop on the avenue. Eighth Avenue, along with other parts of Homestead, started to resemble a ghost town. One by one the stores closed, windows were broken, and buildings were boarded up. Squatters began taking over.

Recently I toured the area with Daniel Steinitz who is passionately involved in the revitalization of Eighth Avenue. Unfortunately, it is a very slow process. Eighth Avenue is part of three separate boroughs and to get everyone involved (politicians, business leaders, and residents) to agree on a course of action is an almost Herculean task. Also, there are liens on some of the properties owned by disinterested companies and recalcitrant owners who live out of state.

Daniel showed me around The Moose, or more accurately Lodge #60 of The Loyal Order of the Moose, a building which Daniel’s family has purchased and is deep in the process of remodeling. A huge three-story structure, The Moose features gorgeous wooden floors, crown molding, and ornately designed ceilings. Hidden in the basement is an old speakeasy from the 1920s which Daniel hopes to eventually re-open as a bar and restaurant.

To listen to Daniel speak so enthusiastically about what is happening and what has still yet to happen in Homestead is to be swept up in the excitement of all the possibilities that exist for this town.

Later, while sipping chamomile tea in a neighborhood café, I reflect on how unkind the last twenty-five years have been to Homestead. However, there is a glimmer of hope that grows brighter with each passing day. New businesses are beginning to dot Eighth Avenue. The Annex Cookery, Karma, retro, and Waters Edge Tanning and Tattoo bring with them a hope that a true revitalization of Homestead is not far away.