Archive: » 2015 » July

Robots that do the work

Published in the Democrat and Chronicle, Aug. 3, 2012 JEFFREY BLACKWELL/STAFF WRITER Preteens taking in a week-long robotics summer camp at the Rochester Museum and Science Center are getting a little peek into what could be a booming business by the time they are adults. From the plastic containers filled with wheels, gears, arms, belts and pieces of every size and shape, they turn a little computer control unit into a rolling robot designed to perform a set of tasks fed to it by the campers through a computer program. Designing, building, testing, adjusting, the kids practice...

Read more...

Historic church struggles to survive

Published in the Democrat and Chronicle, March 26, 2013 By JEFFREY BLACKWELL/STAFF WRITER The First Baptist Church of Fairport can seat nearly 400 people at any given Sunday service in a massive sanctuary with colorful stained-glass windows and old-world carpentry that seems to embrace members in comforting light and warmth. But despite the nearly 200-year history of the church at Church and Main streets, the beauty of the building and a tall steeple that can be seen above the skyline of the village, on most Sundays the congregation fits in the first two rows of well-seasoned pews. "I...

Read more...

Touching technology

Published in the Democrat and Chronicle, Aug. 24, 2012 By JEFFREY BLACKWELL/STAFF WRITER Rise in the morning and touch the glass surface of a 100-inch flat-screen television on the wall for the daily schedule, emails, news and weather before walking into the bathroom to brush your teeth and respond to an instant message that pops-up on the mirror. In the kitchen, your spouse cracks eggs into a bowl on a white glass counter and with a touch of an index finger turns on the stove as an interactive screen tunes on the morning news. It's futurama, a home where touch-screen displays,...

Read more...

Graduate gets second chance to learn and live

Published in the Democrat and Chronicle, May 16, 2013 BY JEFFREY BLACKWELL/STAFF WRITER Thousands of men and women will walk across graduation stages around Rochester this weekend, shaking hands with the dean before stepping into their new lives. For Steven Kassirer, one of a growing number of adult students going back to school in search of new degrees and skills, it's more like a second life. When the former lawyer, 48, receives his master's degree in counseling from The College at Brockport on Friday, it will mark the end of a hard-fought journey through a personal health crisis...

Read more...

50 years of silence

Published in the Democrat and Chronicle, Sept. 30, 2011 By Jeffrey Blackwell/Staff Writer During the hard frost of the Cold War, a time when people were building fallout shelters in their basements, an extensive team of people from what was then a division of Eastman Kodak Co. worked on spy satellite programs that may have helped prevent a third world war. For 50 years, members of this clandestine team kept secret their innovative work on the Gambit, Gambit 3 and Hexagon spy satellites that circled Earth and took high resolution photographs of Soviet Union missile facilities and other...

Read more...

Social media helps start-ups solicit dollars for dreams

Published in the Democrat and Chronicle, May 27, 2012 By JEFFREY BLACKWELL/STAFF WRITER Got an idea for a new gizmo, mobile app or business, a movie to make or an artistic talent that needs exposure to the world and the only hurdle in front of you is the cash to do it? Well, the kind of freethinking minds that brought us the world of social media are now getting into the fundraising business for all those projects, innovations and artistic endeavors that can't seem to get financed through banks, venture capital and other more traditional means. With social funding sites such...

Read more...