Author Archives: Sarah Cornelius

“Marvelous” Reviews in Portland

Lighting expert Steve Paolini presents a light source spectrum demo in this colorful photo from this month’s U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting Technology R&D Workshop in Portland.

Enthralling! Energizing! Marvelous! These aren’t words most people associate with technical meetings. So imagine how gratifying it was to get reviews like this for the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting program’s 12th annual Technology R&D Workshop in Portland, Oregon. During the second week of November, an intrepid team of Akoyans trekked to the Pacific Northwest to support the event, the culmination of six months of agenda crafting, tour planning, speaker coordination, and promotion. Akoya’s efforts were key to a smooth rollout for 25 speakers and 100+ attendees, setting the stage for a lively and engaging meeting of the minds on the latest lighting technology advances and trends.

Without missing a beat, we continue planning our client’s next event, the flagship SSL R&D Workshop, coming January 29–31, 2018. Stay tuned for more exciting SSL developments!

Schlepping the Southside Slopes

U.S. cities with the most public stairways
(100 steps or more each):

1. Pittsburgh, PA (117)
2. Los Angeles, CA (89)
3. Seattle, WA (83)
4. San Francisco, CA (79)

Pittsburgh’s neighborhood boundaries might well have been scribbled out by a toddler, tracing meandering rivers, rail lines, cliff sides, and rolling hills. No wonder most early immigrants dug in deep and stayed put – until they had to get to work. Now tourist attractions, Pittsburgh’s two remaining inclined railways (at least fifteen operated circa 1900) once shuttled steelworkers from their homes on the hillsides to the mills below during the era of Big Steel. Many workers walked when possible, resorting to the steep public stairways – over 700 in all – dotting the city’s slopes.

Nineteen sets of steps used by steelworkers are within walking distance of Akoya’s offices on the Southside, so what could be a better lunch break in autumn than a brisk climb to a new vista? We plan to take on a different set of Southside steps as often as possible, until we’ve conquered all, using the maps at

Here are a few of our first photos.

Why Editors Have Job Security

I saw this on a broadcast TV commercial advertisement, a quick flash across the screen after live acting.   My first thought, “Has someone confused a hand-held mobile display with a TV screen?” My second thought, “Enough IS enough and I am mounting my editor’s high horse!”

A good editor would prevent this.  A good editor wants to make the reader’s (or viewer’s) task easier, not harder.  A good editor would consider whether the viewer has time to visually parse the typographical treatment in the medium used.  To improve comprehension of written text, avoid all-capitalized letters and separate the words.  Note how “Enough.  Is.  Enough.” conveys both the point and the exasperation.  Conventional punctuation with a capitalized “IS” for emphasis works equally well: “Enough IS enough!” Either treatment is far more effective than a dense BLOCKOFLETTERS, which can trick the eye and mangle the meaning.  (What’s a fletter, anyway?)

The next time I saw this TV ad, someone had at least had the sense to put the spaces in:

Next time: What does “woah” mean?