A still figure stands silently behind a few thin trees. When he sees someone emerging from a long, metal tube several yards away, he takes aim with his marker, squeezes the trigger, and watches a blot of brightly colored paint materialize on his friend's shoulder. Such friend-turned-foe scenarios play out daily at Urban Assault, a paintball facility whose outdoor battlefields in Cecil and indoor arenas in McDonald attract players from all around the area. In the outdoor arenas, the surrounding wooded landscape adds variety of terrain and barricade possibilities, letting staffers add touches such as metal crawl tubes and other strategic bits of architecture that paintballers have come to depend on for cover. The competitors engage in open play on five such outdoor fields—each with unique features—as well as in the company's two indoor spaces that total some 30,000 square feet. Indoors, paintball contests go from sparsely adorned to almost disco-like as players stalk their enemies while traipsing across catwalks and navigating a demanding maze of fog machines, black lights, and adrenaline-boosting music inside one of the fields. The brains behind Urban Assault also offer special rates to large groups, military veterans, and members of the CIA's finger-painting brigade.
In the late 1970s, career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's particular set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality, encouraging pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
ACE-certified trainer and SpeedMatters founder Rob Naylor has dedicated his 15-plus-year career to coaching athletes with sports-specific and general-fitness training programs. Providing instruction for individuals or teams, Rob leads clinics in areas such as softball, football, and golf, teaching fundamental skills sets while conditioning bodies for competition. His ladies' boot camps and men’s overdrive classes whittle down waistlines and sculpt physiques into game shape, improving strength and endurance for matches of full-contact checkers.
High-school athletes seeking to showcase their talents for prospective colleges can take advantage of Rob’s College Prospects of America program. He creates recruiting profiles and videos for each athlete, and assists them with marketing while exposing them to more than 2,000 colleges and coaches. A portfolio of his clients—whom he swears are not robots—can be viewed here.
A business has to have something special to survive for more than half a century. For Mr. Magic Car Wash, perhaps that thing is a signature blend of nine cleaning solutions that work together to cut through tough road grease and leave vehicles with a glimmering luster. Or perhaps it’s the business's attention to detail, manifested in its soft-cloth hand washes. Either way Mr. Magic has not only survived the passing decades and the end of the DeLorean, it has thrived and expanded, now boasting five Pittsburgh-area locations. Even when sending cars through the automated car-wash tunnel for a quick rinse, Mr. Magic keeps auto owners' interests in mind, spraying fiberglass surfaces with only fresh water and drying them to a spot-free shine with hot air. Extra services, such as underbody flushes and interior and exterior detailing, help enhance each wash, and coats of Magic Repel surface protectant deflect new smudges and wizard spells.
The body is a complex system—with slight imbalances in one area often setting off discomfort in another. Dr. Anthony DiCesaro at Whitehall Health Centre works to make cures simpler and address a wide range of maladies. He explains to potential patients how a spinal realignment can reduce pain or how wrist supports can prevent future injury for competitive rock-paper-scissors players. To this list of traditional treatment methods, Dr. DiCesaro adds cold-laser therapy. The laser’s gentle glow doesn’t heat tissue, yet it inspires cellular activity that can expedite the healing process, prevent the formation of scar tissue, and boost the collagen production. Different methods are also used inside Whitehall Health Centre’s cosmetic division, where technicians use the SlenderRay Lipo treatment to flatten unwanted curves and a blue LED light to aid in teeth-whitening treatments.
Chiropractic medicine and massage therapy join forces at Greater Pittsburgh Joint and Muscle Center, a wellness studio helmed by chiropractic doctor Frank J. Verri. Here, licensed massage therapists ferry minds and muscles toward states of relaxation that are deeper and more satisfying than a moon crater filled with homemade chili. To dissolve painful knots and unclench tense muscles, they borrow Eastern techniques such as foot reflexology to augment Western modalities such as deep-tissue massage. Swedish bodywork teems with long, gliding strokes and gentle taps that awaken endorphins and promote blood flow, sending oxygen coursing into corporeal outliers such as fingers, toes, and conjoined invisible friends. In addition to kneading sinews and adjusting spines, attentive staffers help clients boost their nutrition IQs with diet consultations and weight-loss programs.