Reality Check: Annual Pittsburgh treasure hunt at History Center Aug. 17

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The seventh annual “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures” event guarantees a steady line of clocks, vintage jewelry and tchotchkes will be streaming into the Senator John Heinz History Center Aug. 17.

Nearly 1,500 visitors are expected to bring their family heirlooms and memorabilia. About 40 appraisers will be on hand to evaluate, a la “Antiques Road Show.” Professional conservators also will be giving tips on preserving vintage items. 

KDKA’s Kimberly Gill, Dave Crawley and Mary Robb Jackson will be on site to interview visitors, and the station will film footage for producing nine 30-minute shows. “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures” is hosted by KDKA’s Ken Rice and History Center president and CEO Andy Masich. They likely will begin airing in the fall.

The event runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., but History Center members are granted early access at 9.

The event is free to members. Regular admission ranges from $15 (adults) to free (ages 5 and under).

’American Pickers’

Happen to have a LOT of vintage items at home? History Channel’s “American Pickers” is on the prowl for large collections of vintage and unusual items, including tin toys, taxidermy, pre-’60s TV merchandise, old airline items, Civil War antiques and “bizarre mobster memorabilia.”

The show is NOT looking for farming and agricultural equipment, glassware or country primitives, among other themes.

Hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are filmed traveling the country to sift through such collections. If interested, email Please include your name, phone number, detailed descriptions of the items and photos.

Pitt prof on ’Warrior’

University of Pittsburgh professor Joel Brady is expected to appear on Monday’s episode of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior.” Mr. Brady, known on the show as the “Vampire Ninja,” thanks to one of the courses he teaches, was in the Denver regional finals last spring.

Groupon contest

It’s “Beauty Week” at Groupon, where chances to buy mani-pedis, straightening irons and aromatherapy massages arrive at an even more dizzying pace than usual.

Best of all is a Groupon to donate to the World Wildlife Fund. A $10 contribution goes toward one entry into a sweepstakes where the winner gets a three-night trip to New York City to attend the “Project Runway” season finale. A meet-and-greet with hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, airfare, hotel stay plus preshow hair and makeup by the “Project Runway” team are part of the prize package.

’Face Off’

Well, they cannot say they weren’t warned. As part of the weekly challenge on “Face Off” (Syfy, Tuesdays), the team of Sasha Glasser and Barry Mahoney were told their mobster design did not sufficiently address the challenge (it involved a clock theme).

Mr. Mahoney, who attended the Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects program at Monessen’s Douglas Education Center, insisted they create a rat-like creature holding a time bomb. Early in the process, mentor Michael Westmore told them it was a bad idea.

Little surprise when their poorly executed finished product landed them in hot water. Mr. Mahoney, from Southborough, Mass., was sent home. The winner was Cig Neutron, a Californian, who also attended the Savini program. His winning design was a cigar-smoking tuna fish mobster enhanced by a great looking fat suit.

Maria Sciullo: or 412-263-1478.

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