Image courtesy U.S. National Archive via Flickr

Enjoying Syracuse history doesn't have to come from stuffy museums or books. A couple new ventures show that history can be found in a glass or at a local eatery.

"SyracuseDiners.com" is a multimedia guide to diners in Syracuse. It's interactive, displays menus, and informs readers about diner culture.

Image of a man wearing a gas mask playing a banjo
Image courtesy gaslandthemovie.com

We're gearing up to do some reporting about the macro and microeconomic effects of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. However, our colleagues at NPR and member stations in shale regions have already been doing fantastic reporting about hydraulic fracturing, so we thought we'd share some of their work.

Emma Jacobs / WSKG

Yesterday our Binghamton division made a trip to East Meredith, population 1,100. A lot of it looks like what you see above. It’s not the big city.

Talking with town Supervisor Keitha Capouya about major employers, she said that a lot of people worked in agriculture, some people worked in larger, nearby Oneonta, and more and more people were working from their homes.

Capouya herself performs a lot of her administrative duties from her own very rural home (she’s had a bear on her front porch gnawing on her birdfeeder).

Image from the film "Future Shock"
Image courtesy paleo-future.blogspot.com

While researching the waning years of Orson Welles's career I came upon a documentary he narrated in 1972 called "Future Shock." 

The film is based on a popular late 1960s book by Alvin Toffler, who claims the title "futurist." How does one earn such a distinction? Sign me up! 

Essentially, future shock is a condition resulting from too much change in too short of time. It's the lack of permanence. It's a tail wind of transience that (the theory is...) undermines how we orient ourselves in the world. 

Image of a man in a wheelchair
Image courtesy Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access

I was at the University at Buffalo interviewing a gentleman for a completely unrelated story when I stumbled upon an idea. Actually, the IDeA.

Primer: IDeA = the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access. 

Officially, they practice human centered design through research, development, service, dissemination and educational activities. Hmm. That's a little too official for me. 

Essentially, they want to make the world accessible for everyone. That's "universal" design. 

Image of the New York State Capitol building
Image courtesy silive.com

It's plenty common to see a chief information officer in a business or even in a government - and now New York's state senate has one too. But can an open source advocate have an impact on a notoriously closed body? Zack Seward and Dan Bazile are on the case.

WMHT's Dan Bazile's video piece about the state senate chief information officer aired on Need to Know Rochester last week.

How ethanol is made

Aug 20, 2010
Aerial image of a field
U.S. National Archive / Creative Commons license

An old Miller Brewing plant in Fulton, N.Y. was retrofitted to make ethanol. Recently, Sunoco took over the plant.  

Read the story or watch the video to see how corn becomes fuel.

Image of a strange looking motor vehicle
Nationaal Archief / Creative Commons license

Patent attorney Mark Levy says he gets in to a flurry of calls on Monday mornings from independent inventors of all stripes. They've been sitting in their living rooms and their garages all weekend, he says, and on Monday they get on the phone to try their ideas on someone else.

Image courtesy www.streetwithaview.com

Frankly, we say this innovation thing has gone too far!

Mapping the wind

Aug 20, 2010
Image courtesy windenergysystems.info

When we started looking into wind power in New York state we thought there'd be a handy map that would show us where all the wind turbines are. We were wrong.

We'd heard of wind farms here and there, but as far as statewide context we were a bit stumped. So we made this map.

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U.S. Photonics Hub Coming To Rochester

What does this mean for the economy of the Rochester region?