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AESOP'S FABLES

contain the story of the goose that laid the golden egg, but this is the editorial of the giant rubber duck that is expected to lay the golden eggs. On Friday, a 40-foot-high rubber duck -- the work of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman -- started floating on our city's rivers to launch the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's third Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. However, when Joe Wos, executive director of the ToonSeum, a partner of the trust, created a T-shirt with a cartoon duck above the phrase "Quack N'At," he received a cease-and-desist letter from the trust, apparently because it wanted to keep any merchandise golden eggs laid by the duck in its own nest. Add a legal wrangle over a giant rubber duck to the list of Pittsburgh firsts. Lord, love a duck!

WHEN IT COMES to golden eggs, nobody in town gathers and distributes more than the Pittsburgh Promise, the scholarship program that helps graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and city charter schools attend college. Armed with a pledge by UPMC to give $100 million over 10 years, the Promise has provided nearly $40 million to more than 4,600 students since 2008. The total pledged so far by businesses, foundations and individuals is about $167.2 million. In the spring, the Promise launched a new fundraising campaign and last week announced that the Grable Foundation had donated another $5 million, bringing its total to $10 million. The Promise is now two-thirds of the way to its funding goal.

IF YOU BECAME a dead duck in Pittsburgh because of a crime, the chances were good for many years that you'd come to the professional attention of Cyril H. Wecht, the former Allegheny County coroner, medical examiner and commissioner. In his distinguished medical career, Dr. Wecht, who is also a lawyer, performed thousand of autopsies and has many tales to tell. With the help of crime writer Dawna Kaufmann, Dr. Wecht tells them in a new e-book, "Final Exams: True Crime Cases from Cyril Wecht." Dead men (and women) tell no tales, but Dr. Wecht's expertise can speak for them. Whether the e-book lays any golden eggs remains to be seen.

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