Sorin Achim is a master of robotics. After gaining a degree in electrical engineering from the Romanian Department of Defense, he served as a robotics research engineer at Carnegie Mellon University and received the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence for his contributions to the design of mobile robots.
With these accomplishments in hand, Achim founded Instant Robotics with one mission—"to translate robotics language into plain English." He teaches adults how to implement robotics into a variety of fields ranging from industry to the military. His advice touches on using medical automated systems in health care, blending robots with artistic media, preventing the robots from taking control, and engaging with robotics as a teaching tool in schools.
For a more hands-on environment, Instant Robotics' summer camps bring robotics lessons to children. In one-week sessions, students can build their own robots or create their own animated films using Legos. The camps conclude with a mini movie festival or a robotic battle for the last can of WD-40.
Sometimes, one person can single-handedly inspire another person’s path in life. For Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild founder and owner Bill Strickland, that person was his childhood pottery teacher, Frank Ross. Ross’ deep appreciation for art was all encompassing: he often brought jazz music to class for students to listen to, hosted dinners at his home––which was decorated in handwoven tapestries––and encouraged Strickland to continue building his art skills at the University of Pittsburgh.
The social inequities that troubled Strickland’s native North Side neighborhood motivated him to form the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild as a way to inspire underprivileged kids to overcome trying times through art, the same way Ross did many years before. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild began in a small space in a residential row house before growing to encompass a 62,000-square-foot art emporium with an array of studios and classrooms, and a large auditorium where commissioned bowls of fruit strike poses for still-life portraits. The award-winning center lives up to its mission “to educate and inspire urban youth through the arts” with a bevy of after-school arts programs that teach critical thinking and help prepare students for futures in the art world.
Krista’s Cantina’s menu turns hunger upside down with sauce-slathered wings and amply stuffed hoagies, all whipped up amid a jovial bar vibe. Mirrors vaunting beer insignias steam up as golden fried provolone sticks ($3) and zucchini sticks ($3.75) roll up to tables with zesty sidecars filled with marinara, and a dozen crispy wings ($7.75) can paint a diner's plate in one of more than 20 flavors, ranging from hot barbecue to buttery garlic. The meatball hoagie ($4.50) coats palates with bubbling provolone and marinara and comes with chips and a pickle to help patrons to meet their daily crunch requirements. Burgers range from basic ($2.75) to fancy varieties such as the all-American ($4.50), which, like a pop star about to sing the national anthem, is spoon-fed bacon, fried onions & american cheese.
“No makeup, no men, and no mirrors.” That was the unofficial motto of Curves’ original Texas location in 1992, and it’s no less true today: at nearly 10,000 clubs worldwide, women attack a 30-minute training circuit designed to burn calories and build strength through cardio and resistance workouts. After each minute on a piece of strength-training equipment—each built for feminine frames and designed to work opposing muscle groups with a single movement—exercisers move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to keep their heart from getting bored and falling asleep.
Cheri Herold, owner of Fountain of Youth Aveda Salon Spa, wields a lifetime of beauty-industry experience to motivate her multitalented staff to exceed client expectations. Plant-based products fuel facials, massages, and hair treatments with the anti-aging properties of lavender, sandalwood, and other pure, sustainably sourced herbs and flowers. Fountain of Youth also operates a salon apprenticeship program, which provides 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to promising young cosmetologists or ambitious mannequins.