Category Archives: Penn State Events

University Park By The Numbers

As a connoisseur of useless facts and information, I was pleased to find an OPP website entirely devoted to stats about the University Park campus.   I thought I might pass on some of the more interesting statistics for those of you that enjoy extraneous information.  You can find the original page here and I credit the OPP for all of this information.

Real Estate

•    Penn State UP resides on 15,984 acres of beautiful Pennsylvania land.
•    758 buildings
•    49 rental buildings
•    15.5 million square feet total
•    Worth about 1.921 billion dollars

Building Details

•    79 acres of roof
•    10,010 exterior doors
•    2,262 classrooms and laboratories
•    7,123 offices
•    300 elevators


•    14,000 parking spaces
•    31 miles of paved roads and streets
•    23 miles of paved walkways
•    1,810 streetlights


•    11,000 trees
•    25,000 flowers planted annually


•    50 miles of water pipes
•    2.7 million gallons of water are produced/consumed daily
•    17 miles of steam pipes
•    218 fire hydrants
•    2,091 fire extinguishers

You want one more interesting fact?  Here it is (with proof):
The Sergeant-At-Arms of the U.S. Senate has the power to arrest the President if he violates the rules of the Senate.

Note: This piece debuted on Onward State on 2-5-09.

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Posted by on February 6, 2009 in General, Penn State Events


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My Trip To The Rose Bowl

I just got back from my trip to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl and I wanted to fill my readers in on how it was.  I am a member of the Penn State Marching Blue Band (herein referred to as the “Blue Band”) and the University paid for the entire Blue Band to fly out for the Rose Bowl.  Below, you’ll get a day-by-day account of my experience.  Spanning from December 28, 2008 to January 3, 2009, my trip to the Tournament of Roses was spectacular in every respect.

Sunday December 28, 2008

Members of the Blue Band had to return to State College, PA the day before we actually departed for California to get some rehearsal time in.  Since we hadn’t met as a group in 3.5 weeks or so, it was pretty important we got a good rehearsal in.  We had rehearsal at Holuba Hall (the football practice facility) at 4:00 PM and again at 7:30.  We were given the finalized itinerary for the trip and went over some guidelines for the trip during these practices.  In between rehearsals, Clem’s Barbecue catered a fantastic, if gassy dinner consisting of pulled pork, grilled chicken, mac n’ cheese and baked beans.  Many of you may not know that Clem’s Barbecue has a strong following in and around Penn State for it’s delicious food.  All I’ll say is that I went to bed that night a happy camper with a full belly.

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Posted by on January 5, 2009 in General, Penn State Events


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So I Owe A Few Updates…

I haven’t posted anything for a long, long time. The post I did on the email that all Penn State Students received was a measure to hold any regular readers over until I had time to do real posts. This weekend marks the first weekend that I have off from the Penn State Marching Blue Band, so I’m busy researching a few stories and getting caught up on sleep and homework. So I’ll offer up a few cool stories with accompanying links in order to build up some momentum. Strangely, I get a decent number of hits on this blog even though it doesn’t have any current content. I must be doing something right 🙂

  1. Last Tuesday, Apple updated part of their Ipod line. A new Nano, Classic and Touch debuted, as predicted by many analysts and rumor sites. The Nano changes form factor from the previous generation- the shape is similar to the first generation Nano (tall and skinny). Price points are $149 for 8GB and $200 for 16GB. This is a substantial price cut and a shift to higher capacity storage. They come in nine colors (a color scheme similar to Creative’s Zen Micro if anyone remembers that DAP). The iPod Classic didn’t see much change other than resorting to only one storage option. You can now get a 120GB iPod Classic for $249. The new Touch is a slight refresh from the previous generation featuring 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities for $229, $299 and $299 respectively. The younger cousin of the iPhone now features a built-in speaker, a slimmer profile, and external volume control. These new features may not sound like much, but they improve the already exceptional device. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by on September 13, 2008 in Environment, General, Penn State Events


Twin Security Challenges- A Lecture By Dr. William J. Perry

On April 28, 2008, Dr. William J. Perry spoke in the HUB auditorium about the two things he believes are the most critical dangers in our world.  Dr. Perry, the 19th Secretary of Defense, believes that the dangers include both Nuclear Terrorism and the Global Climate Change.  More importantly, he detailed the connection between the two dangers and what the world can do to mitigate the problems.

After the Cold War, many nuclear weapons were left in former Soviet Bloc countries including Ukraine, Georgie, Belarus and Kazakhstan, among others.  These new countries had possession of nuclear materials from the former Soviet bases and posed a serious security threat to the world.  Instead of a handful of countries having access to nuclear armaments, now double the number of states had possession of such weapons.  The prerogative of Dr. Perry and other top Clinton Administration Officials was to disarm these countries and slow down the nuclear proliferation that was the result of the Cold War.  After the disarmament process was over, the world was 10,000 nuclear weapons safer.

Dr. Perry argues that the same situation is happening today with the buildup of nuclear materials in other realms.  With new technologies in nuclear power being developed everyday to increase efficiency and safety, nuclear power is becoming an even better way to produce energy.  As nuclear power plants start popping up in large numbers in countries around the world, the amount of fissile material increases with it.  This new proliferation is running parallel to “catastrophic terrorism”.  If a terrorist or terrorist organization were to get hold of fissionable material from one of  these new nuclear power sites, it would be an enormous problem.  Perhaps not as big of a problem as nuclear holocaust, but it would mean catastrophe for the target and target area.  The terrorists will likely use a dirty bomb delivery system in which the actual explosion of the device is relatively small.  The important factor of a dirty bomb is the radiation released by this relatively small explosion.  It would cause radiation poisoning to the surrounding population not initially killed by the blast.  This would prevent habitation in the target area for many years and would undoubtedly have an enormous human toll.

The question that is raised here is how to we mitigate the risk for this specific proliferation?  Dr. Perry explained that there is no way of defending/deterring an attack like this.  Instead, we must prevent fissile material from getting into the hands of terrorists.  We can create new nuclear power plants that are not only designed to be efficient and safe, but secure so the fissionable material is constantly protected.  New protocols need to be put in place by national, transnational and international agencies and organizations to protect the dangerous material from being lost or stolen.  Stricter controls and protocols need to be enacted to govern the disposal of spent nuclear materials.  This kind of nuclear material is a prime target for theft and use in terrorist acts.

The third point (which he touched on briefly) is that there is no political will to act on new protocols dealing with technology and legislature.  Without political will, Dr. Perry explains, nothing changes.  His new policy initiative is poised to build up political will to push legislature that advances technology.  He is part of a non-partisan initiative that includes political and policy heroes like Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn and George Schultz.   This political dream team is focused on practical steps we can take today to have a safer future in regards to nuclear energy and climate change.

All in all, Dr. Perry’s lecture was an interesting insight into the world of nuclear and climate safety.  I would never have thought that there were people exploring the connection between increasing nuclear power plants, terrorism and climate change.  His talk was laced with an overall tone of stressing the importance of convergence of fields.  Since the lecture was sponsored by the Engineering School, he told aspiring engineers to not only know the technical side of their work, but also what policy decisions must be made in order for their deliverables to be effective and useful.  This is exactly what the College of IST is focusing on while educating its students.  We are taught to understand the spectrum of what we work on, not just a small sliver of a project.

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Posted by on April 29, 2008 in Environment, Penn State Events, Security


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Future Forum 2008 Part II

Second Panel Session- Energy in the Environment

This panel session featured professionals from Exelon Corporation, the MIT Lincoln Lab and Lockheed Martin.  This was sort of a spontaneous choice for me, as I had originally planned on going to another panel session.  I figured this might be interesting considering my interest in the environment and technology.  The speakers covered a huge variety of topics which covered a mixture of tech and environmental knowledge.

Heinz Lange from Exelon Corp gave us some insight about Exelon as a company and the things they are pioneering to incorporate the green initiative into their company.  Exelon is the biggest nuclear power provider in the country- with 19 total reactors.  Nuclear energy is a terrific carbon friendly way to generate electricity.  He didn’t talk about the possible drawbacks of nuclear energy, but the turning point for most people is the fact that they represent a possible safety threat.

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IST Future Forum 2008 Part I

On Friday April 18th, 2008 the College of Information Sciences and Technology held its annual Future Forum. This event brings together the IST community- students, faculty and staff and businesses of all sizes. It is a full day of exciting showcases, and fantastic panel sessions. Additionally, demonstrations of emerging technologies and a keynote speech are also offered. Over 75 companies and representatives of the College of IST will be present to exhibit the latest in high tech products, services and research projects.  This post is the first of two related to the IST Future Forum.

Keynote Address by Larry Kittelberger

Larry Kittelberger is the Senior Vice President of technology and operations at Honeywell International.  He served as the Keynote Speaker for this years Future Forum.  He had a great deal of things to say and covered a lot of ground.  First, he introduced Honeywell as a Corporation.  It turns out they do an incredible amount of things and have sectors in Specialty Materials, Aerospace, Transportation Systems, and Automative and Control Solutions.  They have 122,000 employees in 100 countries.  Honeywell is such a global company that they were knocked off the Dow Jones Industrial because they were no longer able to be an indicator of just the U.S. economy.

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Penn State Blue & White Game 2008

Penn State hosted its annual Blue and White game in Beaver Stadium on April 19th 2008.  This scrimmage gave the Penn State Football fans a preview of next season’s lineup.  The Blue and White game is the centerpiece of the Blue and White weekend which features things like a autograph session with the players and a carnival starting on Friday evening and continuing through the day on Saturday around Beaver Stadium.  The Stadium, which recently re-broke the seating capacity record with 107,282 seats, held 73,000 spectators for the game.  The coach of the Nittany Lions, Joe Paterno, has been leading the team for 43 years.  Under his leadership, the team reached its 500th at the Alamo Bowl versus Texas A & M.  As for this Blue and White game, the Blue Team achieved victory over the White Team 27-14.

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Posted by on April 19, 2008 in Penn State Events


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