Visual Sound News
Visual Sound custom designed the set and elements for the
76ers sold-out Gala event to formally inaugurate the Sixers Youth Foundation.
Services included staging, lighting, video & audio.
On the Beat: Gala Helps Launch Sixers Youth Foundation
Funds that were raised at the loose, business casual, interactive affair will be put to use towards helping the Sixers enrich the lives of area children.
According to O’Neil, the core set of values adopted by the Sixers Youth Foundation were influenced, in part, by the team’s head coach.
“A lot of stuff we actually took from Brett Brown, incorporating leadership and basketball in education,” O’Neil said. “Hopefully, we create or help be part of the next generation of great leaders in Philadelphia.”
Brown, members of his staff, and all of the Sixers’ players, including Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor, mingled with the crowd throughout the night. The mindset and belief system Brown strives to instill in his group is also one that he thinks can be applied to the development of young people.
“We talk about all the great players that we’ve been around that they have a routine, there’s a rhythm to their day,” said Brown. “They really sort of lock into something and form a habit, and try to do stuff day-by-day. Whether that’s a school habit, whether that’s a skill habit with a sport, basketball maybe, to try to just share how to have some level of discipline, even at a young age, of how you can improve and get better.”
“In a classroom, soccer field, with a tennis racket, basketball, whatever, just try to put those professional practices in place, even when they’re young, to let them recognize the importance of goal-setting, routine, rhythm to your day, habit-forming things, and try to help them get better. It’s really not that different than what we do with my 20 year olds. It’s by and large the same type of philosophy.”
Nerlens Noel said, “It means a lot to come out here, and hold something like this, to be able to give back to the youth, and just picturing myself at a young age, wanting to always be in a position like this. It means a lot to be able to give back to the next generation.”
Julius Erving, Allen Iverson, and World B. Free were on hand Thursday evening, representing the Sixers Alumni Association. Jordin Sparks, who won the 2007 edition of American Idol, performed as well.
Visual Sound provided video services during Pope Francis’ mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
POPE FRANCIS CELEBRATES MASS AT PHILADELPHIA BASILICA
Pope Francis arrived in the City of Brotherly Love on Saturday for the final leg of his U.S. visit – a festive weekend devoted to celebrating Catholic families – and immediately called for the church to place greater value on women.
The pontiff’s plane touched down at the Philadelphia airport after takeoff from New York, bringing him to a city of blocked-off streets, sidewalks lined with portable potties, and checkpoints manned by police, National Guardsmen and border agents.
After speeches to Congress and the United Nations earlier this week aimed at spurring world leaders toward bold action on immigration and the environment, he is expected to focus more heavily on ordinary Catholics during his two days in Philadelphia.
Francis rode by motorcade to the downtown Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul and celebrated a Mass for about 1,600 people. In his homily, he said the future of the Catholic Church in the U.S. requires a much more active role for lay Catholics, especially women.
“It means valuing the immense contribution which women, lay and religious, have made and continue to make to the life of our communities,” he said.
Francis has repeatedly said women should have a greater role in church leadership, though he has rejected the idea of ordaining women.
His praise of nuns marked his second such public expression of gratitude in the U.S. after the Vatican under his leadership ended a crackdown on the main umbrella group of American sisters. Nuns in the cathedral appreciated the gesture.
“We have felt very strong support from him,” said Sister Catherine Darcy of Merion, Pennsylvania, one of about 50 members of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas at the Mass. “We feel he recognizes the contribution that religious (women) make to the church throughout the world.”
Also in attendance was the former Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Justin Rigali, who retired in 2011 amid a scandal over clergy sex abuse.
Rigali retired to the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, months after a grand jury accused the Philadelphia archdiocese of sheltering more than three dozen credibly accused priests and lying about it to victims and others.
After Mass, the pope stopped to bless children in wheelchairs before leaving the cathedral in downtown Philadelphia.
Francis walked through a chapel adjacent to the main room in the cathedral on Saturday to greet ill and disabled parishioners, along with other visitors. He blessed the children and gave them a kiss on the head.
VISUAL SOUND provided the sound system & podium for the city of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program press conference announcing the painting of a mural to commemorate Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September
Pope Joining Gallery of Murals on Philadelphia Buildings
Philadelphia boasts a large and colorful cast of characters painted on buildings across the city — and now Pope Francis will join the crowd.
Officials announced Thursday that hundreds of residents and visitors will help create a mural honoring families and the pontiff, who is scheduled to visit the city for the World Meeting of Families in September.
The multigenerational portrait, titled “The Sacred Now: Faith and Family in the 21st Century,” will show the pope with his arm around a youngster and surrounded by a diverse group of parents and children. Flowers and grapevines will border the triptych, which will span more than 4,000 square feet over three sections of the future St. Malachy school.
“It looks nice,” seventh-grader Frederick Thompson said. “I’m looking forward to help paint it and make it shine, make it so everybody can admire it.”
The city’s Mural Arts Program, which began as an anti-graffiti initiative 30 years ago, has created thousands of murals depicting a range of themes and faces, from neighborhood children and grandmothers to “Three Stooges” star Larry Fine and basketball great Julius Erving.
“They help us, as a city, tell our stories,” Mural Arts executive director Jane Golden said at a news conference. “They encourage us to never forget. They remind us of our heroes. They represent our struggles, they lift up our triumphs and aspirations. They give expression to our lives.”
The murals have become a popular attraction, with guides leading about 18,000 tourists annually by foot and trolley.
Over the coming months, community members and World Meeting participants will paint portions of the image on cloth panels. Artists will then use adhesive to assemble the mural on the three-story walls of the former William Harrison Elementary School in struggling north Philadelphia.
Harrison, which closed in 2012, is being refurbished to become the new home of St. Malachy School. The Roman Catholic elementary school now serves about 200 children in a smaller building about a block away.
Lead artist Cesar Viveros showed a rendering of the image to hundreds of children from St. Malachy and St. Veronica schools on Thursday. The mural won’t be his largest work, though Viveros said it’s likely the one that will give him the biggest exposure.
“More important, it will give me the opportunity to connect with more people, because that’s what keeps me moving — connection, living, interacting with people, being part of their life,” he said.
St. Malachy will host the first mural paint day for students next week. Mural officials hope to unveil and dedicate the finished piece in November, after the papal visit.
“I predict it will become a very important spot for people to come and visit … and maybe take a selfie or two in front of it,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the local World Meeting organizing committee.
The triennial World Meeting of Families — an international gathering for Catholics — offers seminars and workshops focused on strengthening family bonds. It runs Sept. 22-25.
The pope plans to attend the closing festival of the conference on Sept. 26. The next day, he will celebrate an outdoor Mass. More than 1.5 million pilgrims are expected to converge on the city.
Before Philadelphia, he will visit Washington and New York.
VISUAL SOUND provided the Staging, Lighting, and Audio for the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) during the Vice President of the United States recent visit to Philadelphia
Biden, in Peco visit, announces plan to update energy infrastructure
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
The Obama administration announced a broad plan to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure Tuesday in Philadelphia, where an aging system of pipes, wires, rails, and waterways is struggling to adapt to a dramatically shifting energy environment.
A delegation headed by Vice President Biden visited the city to unveil the initial installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review, which focuses on how to transform the nation’s energy transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure.
Biden, joined by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and John Holdren, policy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, announced the results of the review at the Market Street headquarters of Peco Energy Co., the regional utility that received a $200 million stimulus grant in 2009 to help finance a $650 million modernization of its power-delivery system.
“We have to modernize our infrastructure to keep up,” Biden told an audience of about 150. Construction of new pipelines, transmission lines, and ports could drive job growth, economic competitiveness, and national security, he said. Infrastructure spending has declined from 4.5 percent of the economy during the 1960s to less than 1.4 percent today.
Obama launched the review in a January 2014 memorandum that stated the nation’s aging infrastructure is increasingly challenged by transformations in energy supply, markets, and patterns of end use, combined with the impacts of climate change and cyber and physical threats.
“Any vulnerability in this infrastructure may be exacerbated by the increasing interdependencies of energy systems with water, telecommunications, transportation, and emergency response systems,” the memorandum stated.
According to a fact sheet, the review identifies opportunities that delivery systems can provide for a clean and secure energy future, as well as potential vulnerabilities. It proposes policy recommendations and investments to protect, expand, and modernize infrastructure.
The federal review comes amid a boom in domestic oil and gas production from hydraulically fractured shale formations that has shifted the U.S. energy-policy debate from worries about scarcity to how much and what kinds should be exported. That debate has invigorated a political struggle over the U.S. role in addressing global climate change.
Philadelphia, whose city-owned gas utility faces regulatory pressure to replace its crumbling distribution system, is a showcase for old and new systems.
Industrial and political leaders are debating ways to promote the region as an energy hub for fossil fuels produced from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, which in five years has become the nation’s most prolific source of natural gas.
Delaware River refineries that once processed imported oil are being retooled to refine domestic oil delivered from the Midwest by rail, or repurposed to serve as export terminals for Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids delivered here by pipelines. But the operators of the expanding systems of pipelines and oil trains face increasing public apprehension and resistance.
The federal review focused initially on transmission, storage, and delivery systems because the longevity and high costs of energy infrastructure will strongly influence the nation’s energy mix for decades. In subsequent years, the review will focus on supply and end-use infrastructure, as well as supply chains, according to the administration.
The Energy Department coordinated the quadrennial review. Meetings were conducted last year, each focusing on specific aspects of energy infrastructure.
On Tuesday, Biden also unveiled two executive actions to modernize the electric grid: The Energy Department is announcing a Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience with 17 utility chief executives to explore ways to harden electricity systems to extreme weather. And the Department of Agriculture announced $72 million to support six new rural electric-infrastructure projects, including major investments to drive solar energy.
Before Biden delivered his address, he and Moniz toured Peco’s transmission system operations control room, where dispatchers manage the flow of electricity across the company’s high-voltage system. They were joined by Mayor Nutter and Denis O’Brien, senior vice president of Peco’s parent company, Exelon Corp.
Moniz, a nuclear physicist, asked detailed questions of the Peco executives about specific equipment installed under the 2009 stimulus grant. Much of the money underwrote “smart-meter” installation, a task nearly complete. But some funded transmission improvements.
“You paid for them,” he told Biden.
The vice president seemed intrigued by the technical details of the electric system, but he lit up on meeting several Peco employees with connections to Delaware, his home state. David Weaver, Peco’s director of transmission, mentioned his son recently graduated from the University of Delaware, Biden’s alma mater.
“Congratulations. You ought to get a pay raise,” Biden said, pumping his hand. “That’s great, man.”
VISUAL SOUND provided live audio support as well as video recording & streaming for Andretti Autosport during their press conference on April 2nd, 2015
Simona de Silvestro becomes 5th driver named to Andretti lineup for Indianapolis 500
Associated Press |
By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With a race car parked on a city sidewalk, Simona de Silvestro shared tales of her ride from European karting all the way to a date in Indianapolis.
“I started when I was 6,” she told a group of local Philadelphia students. “It’s funny, when I look at pictures now, my helmet was way too big.”
Her helmet fits fine these days — one she’ll wear driving for team owner Michael Andretti in the Indianapolis 500.
Andretti Autosport has found its fifth and likely final entry for the Indianapolis 500 with the addition of de Silvestro to the lineup. The Swiss-born de Silvestro ran last weekend’s season-opening race at St. Petersburg for Andretti and finished 18th. Andretti said he had hoped to add her for the Indy 500, and Thursday announced she’ll drive the No. 29 TE Connectivity Honda.
Andretti said outside The Franklin Institute, a science museum, he was working on deals that could add de Silvestro to even more races.
“We want to keep her in the car all year, if we can,” Andretti said. “We’re working on it. But the 500 is the big one.”
Andretti won the Indianapolis 500 last year with Ryan Hunter-Reay, and will field cars this season for Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz, Justin Wilson and de Silvestro.
“Ryan won last year, so it’s the team you want to be with at the 500,” de Silvestro said. “Hopefully, that’ll put me in the mix right up there with them.”
Up first for Andretti is figuring out a way to knock off the Team Penske contenders and have his Hondas get up to speed with the early Chevrolet dominance.
The four Penske drivers led every on-track session through the streets of St. Petersburg and qualified 1-2-3-4 in the season opener. Led by race winner Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske finished in four of the top-five spots.
“I think they’re a little ahead of us, especially Penske because I think they understand the kit a little more than we do, the Honda teams,” Andretti said. “We were off a bit. We were mainly off to the Penskes. But if you look at the rest of the field, we were a lot closer.”
Chevrolet took the top six spots in the debut race for manufacturer-designed aerodynamic bodykits.
“I know that our drivers were not happy with the cars, so that means there’s a lot more time to come once we get the right setups,” Andretti said. “There’s no need to panic yet.”
Andretti said with a smile his team could sweep the top-five spots at the Indianapolis 500. The 26-year-old de Silvestro will attempt to make her fifth start in Indy. She’s the lone female entered in the race.
“It’s always a special feeling,” she said. “Hopefully, we can show what we can do in the race car.”
She has one podium finish in 66 career IndyCar races.
De Silvestro left IndyCar last season to become a test driver in Formula One, but her funding package fell apart and she’s trying to put together a return to full-time IndyCar racing.
She lives out of an Indianapolis hotel waiting for opportunities.
“It’s hard to plan stuff,” she said. “You know you might be racing, so you keep working hard.”
Her worth ethic was just one quality that impressed Andretti.
“She’s the fastest woman driver out there,” Andretti said. “What impressed us, really impressed us, was outside the car. When she was in the debriefs with her teammates, they all were really impressed with her feedback on what the car is doing.”
TE Connectivity CEO Tom Lynch didn’t rule out more sponsorship in IndyCar but said the company was interested in involvement with Formula E, a fully electric racing series.
Andretti fielded a car in last year’s Indy 500 for 2004 NASCAR champion Kurt Busch in his attempt to complete an IndyCar and NASCAR race on the same day. With Busch’s legal woes hampering a return effort this season, Andretti said he’d eventually like to make another run at The Double with Busch.
“We talked, but not about this year,” he said. “We left the door open to try and maybe do something next year.”
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Kesha accidentally leaks UPenn music festival headlining appearance
- Posted:Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 11:38 AM
Social media flubs have become the sadly prevalent way of the present and no one is safe. Not even Kesha.
The pop star prematurely leaked information of her performance at the University of Pennsylvania on April 17 on her Facebook page on Saturday, inviting fans to submit selfies for a chance to win tickets.
The problem is, the show hadn’t been announced by the university yet. The lineup for Spring Fling, the school’s annual music festival, was originally aimed to roll out the following evening, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian, however due to Kesha’s untimely Facebooking, the university’s Social Planning and Events Committee made the announcement via Twitter an hour and a half later.
General admission sales begin on Monday, March 30 for both Penn students and the public.
Smart Classroom, In Coordination with Visual Sound
Cutting-Edge Student-Centric Classrooms Handle Many Pedagogies at Drexel
Two reconfigured classrooms are facilitating student collaboration and providing flexible options for teaching and learning.
Over the past year, the Information Resources and Technology (IRT) department at Drexel University (PA) has reconfigured two classrooms in its Korman Computing Center, Korman-111 and Korman-110, for these key reasons: to facilitate student collaboration, and to provide professors with pedagogical choices, as well as a multitude of teaching and student-engagement options.
Korman-111 features six six-student “pods.” Each pod has its own high-definition (HD) flat panel screen, which can display any student computer screen from that pod. Student groups can alternate pod displays on the fly. Up to six student groups can, working collaboratively, view different versions of their work or group project — in a high-tech yet high-touch manner that is virtually impossible to achieve in less-advanced learning spaces.
The instructor can view students’ progress by visiting them while they work in groups and engage one another at their pods. Importantly, while the professor is lecturing, she or he can ask students to retract their FlipIT computer screens to create a flat table surface for taking notes, reviewing handout materials, referencing their textbooks and the like. Hence, whenever a traditional pedagogical approach is appropriate, such capabilities are preserved.
At the front of the room, the instructor has two state-of-the-art flat panel Smart Boards (no projectors needed!). Ancillary, but quite important, are the room’s new recessed light fixtures, ceiling-mounted speakers and precisely-positioned omni-directional microphones.
Similar to most Korman classrooms, Korman-111 can host HD videoconference or webcast sessions using front- and back-of-the-room HD cameras. The back-of-the-room monitor has a dual function for the instructor or presenter: It can be a confidence monitor(to view how the instructor/presenter appears to remote viewers) or a monitor where she or he can actually see viewers at remote location(s).
Room 111 Technology Choices
Until now, Korman-117 was the only classroom in the building that even approached a student-collaboration configuration. The layout positioned students in six six-person groups at dated tables; students took laptops from a storage cabinet, fired them up and connected to their group’s ceiling-mounted projector. Students projected their work onto whiteboard walls where they could also make notations and mark up their projected images.
Each student group worked in isolation; instructors struggled to showcase work or display progress from any of the student groups. Pedagogically, it was difficult to alternate between lecture and group collaboration mode. Accessing, deploying, storing and/or returning the laptops proved disruptive to the flow of class. These were time-consuming processes for instructors who were already pressed for time in their typical class timeslots. Technological advances in multiple areas enabled IRT to rethink and radically reconfigure many of their learning spaces.
Korman-110 is the newest example of the reconfiguration process. Its student collaboration capability is similar to Korman-111, with four eight-student pods equipped with all-in-one computers and an HD flat panel display. In this room, instructors can tell students to keep their computers hidden during the lecture; students use the FlipIT lids to deploy their computers only when appropriate. Moving from lecture mode to collaboration mode and back again is fast and straightforward, thus maintaining a seamless flow for the class.
Students can collaborate and view any peer’s work on their group’s flat panel screen. A wall-mounted, digital touch panel allows the students to select which of the pod’s eight computers to display with one-touch ease. Or, the instructor can tell any student group to select the “Teacher”button to send the group’s display to the front screens. Furthermore, the instructor can display her or his content on each pod’s monitors, along with those at the front and/or rear of the room.
Perhaps the most revolutionary capability in both of these classrooms is the instructor’s ability to select a specific student’s computer screen to display on all of the pod screens, along with the instructor’s flat panels. This enables the instructor to highlight one group’s work for all groups to see, alternating from pod to pod using the touch panel on the instructor podium. Hence, the learning space accommodates traditional lectures, collaborative work by each student group and collaborative work by the entire class. The capabilities are numerous and flexible, with many pedagogical approaches possible.
Room 110 Technology Choices
Pa. National Guard opens new facility for emergency operationsBy
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on January 09, 2015 at 4:05 PM, updated January 09, 2015 at 4:13 PM
Instead of the cramped Cold War shelter they were working in before, the Pennsylvania National Guard along with Gov. Tom Corbett cut the ribbon on new Joint Emergency Operations Center on Friday.
Located at Fort Indiantown Gap, the new 8,000-square-foot facility cost $1.5 million to build. The new operations center will be used to coordinate rescue efforts during times of emergency.
Pennsylvania Adjutant Gen. Wesley Craig said the National Guard used the previous 1,300-square-foot facility to coordinate responses to more than 100 emergency situations.
Over the past 51 years, Craig said the Pa. National Guard provided help during floods, security situations, snow storms, tornados, droughts, fires, kidnappings, airplane crashes and oil spills.
“You name it, we’ve done it,” Craig said. “With the opening of this new emergency operations center, we usher in an era of increased readiness and strength in our already-rapid response capabilities in Pennsylvania,” Craig said.
Corbett, who served in the Pa. National Guard, spoke about the importance of having a state-of-the-art emergency operations center.
Corbett said he got to test out of operations center’s capabilities in 2011, when a flood forced him from the Governor’s Mansion.
“You can’t be in a second-rate facility,” Corbett said. “I am confident that what you built is not only what you’ll need for today, but what you’re going to need for 10 years, 15 or 20 years down the road.”