Archive for June, 2013

  • Luminous Water

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Portfolio18 CommentsRead More »

    By Jacques Laliberté Interesting story — probably true — it’s been a while now, but this is how it begins. Starting about 1994, I dragged one hobbled Volkswagen after another into Prescott German Motors repair shop, a sturdy brick building on a manicured corner along a shady avenue. I started with a 1986 vanagon, a 4X4 Synchro model maligned with cantankerous electrical problems. The face of the shop was a slight, dapper man. He was Asian-looking, with wire-rim specs, who seemed to smile to himself as he discussed the current calamitous condition my VW and I were undergoing, bemused at the thought the German cars’ Teutonic engineering could possibly be at fault. He scheduled a look anyways. It may’ve been this man’s easy demeanor, or soft delivery of my car’s mechanical state of affairs, or maybe it was the benign co-dependence a patient develops for his doctor; I felt we may be becoming friends. Robert Hooper and me.   American import Japanese born and raised, Hooper moved to Fort Meyers, Florida at age 14. It was pure culture shock: malls, condos, and cars. Cars! Hooper became car-crazy. He started washing cars, and eventually worked himself into a Toyota dealer’s service department. Between Fort Meyers and Los Angeles he remained in the Toyota echelon as Service Adviser Extraordinaire. (That probably wasn’t the title on his business cards.) As a ’70s

  • Perceivings: Weather it makes a difference or not

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's Perceivings18 CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster For thousands of years, humans have been hard at work trying to predict the weather. From gazing out to sea in search of incoming storms, to studying various cloud formations, to monitoring the temperature from month to month and season to season, it has been a primary and important component of the rise of civilization. Today we have access to techniques and devices for forecasting the weather that are beyond our ancestors’ wildest imaginings. Every day, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites send back multiple images of Earth. Computers analyze the pictures and compare them with data from thousands of individual land-based monitoring stations. Sensors can count the number of microparticles in the air and issue health warnings based on carefully developed charts. Pilots have access to wind speeds and direction at different altitudes. We can instantly call up the air pressure at multiple elevations. Tornadoes and other dangerous weather phenomena can not only be monitored, but, in many instances, can be predicted with remarkable accuracy. So, with all this impressive technology, with all these immense scientific and human resources at their disposal, why the hell can’t different weather-predicting organizations ever concur on what the high or low temperature will be on any given day in Prescott, Arizona? I’m writing this at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday morning, May 30. Here are the predicted highs and lows for tomorrow

  • Brain Food: The Brain Food Diet

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Brain Food17 CommentsRead More »

    By Jimmy Polinori During my junior year of high school, I and my peers were subjected to an onslaught of “brain tests” to determine our aptitudes, skills, and IQs. It had something to do with career goals. Always a freethinker, this attempt to put everyone in their proper category boggled my mind. Of all the testing, only the results of one have stayed with me and proven quite accurate. It was the right brain/left brain test. A school counselor read me tests results revealing that I was neither right nor left dominant. My brain was split right down the middle. Upon remarking that I was in a small percentile, she added that it could lead to intense distraction and difficulty at settling on a career path. I promptly informed her that my parents could have saved them time and money in drawing that conclusion. Test or no test, that attribute has led to some of my greatest achievements and set the stage for some of my greatest challenges. I learned early on that my brain thrives on variety and withers with consistency. I adapted my professional career to involve multiple projects of differing skill sets and creative outlets in order to avoid under-stimulation. I’ve also learned through my study of food science that the brain — mine and yours, mind you — reacts to diet. Today, as I write this,

  • 4rt Page: Patriotic primer

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 4rt Page, 5ensesNo CommentsRead More »

     

  • News From the Wilds: July

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the Wilds3,059 CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris Though the climate of Arizona’s Central Highlands can be harsh for part of the year — dry and fire-scorched in early summer; cold and snowy in the winter — tough times are typically followed by our most resplendent seasons. So it is with the annual drought of June, which is followed by the coming of the monsoon rains in July. The first rains are a real cause for celebration, especially in years like this one in which fire danger is very high and the forests are kindling-dry. They are, however, somewhat of a mixed blessing: They bring a second wave of growth and flowering, but, in the short term, they bring lightning that, when combined with the low fuel moistures from a dry June, can lead to a proliferation of fires. Lightning-storms are some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the natural world, and, interestingly, they are a source of nitrogen for our nitrogen-limited soils. The energy of the lightning strike combines nitrogen with ambient oxygen forming nitrogen oxides, which are then bound into the soil, increasing plant growth. Fire, though a destructive and necessarily suppressed force, is also an integral part of the Central Highlands ecosystems. Research conducted by Dr. Lisa Floyd-Hanna, a prominent Prescott-based fire ecologist, has established not only that our different vegetation communities tend to burn in different ways and at different intervals,

  • Outside the Frame: Tiny stories

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Outside the FrameNo CommentsRead More »

    By Sadira DeMarino A small medieval village in Mexico. Día de los Muertos. Intimate family gatherings. Decorating the cemetery for your ancestors. Children. Parades. Arms overflowing with flowers. Singing. Honoring, loving, and remembering. Tradition. Folk art. Art. “I’m not sure why I make the art I do, but there’s so much to be done,” says Prescott artist Dawn Reeves Elliott. Elliott works in mixed-media. If you were to see her entire body of work, you could identify any given piece as hers. The turquoise, ochre, and reds she uses are dead giveaways, but Elliott works in myriad mediums, connecting and choosing every aspect with thoughtfulness. Her pieces are collages, assemblages, wall hangings, sculptures.   This and that Elliott grew up in Tucson in a family where everyone worked with their hands one way or another. She was a teacher for 25 years and explored different cultures with her students, but not as an art teacher. She’s not a “trained artist,” but enjoys having more time to create now that she’s retired. “Retired.” She laughs as she says it and talks about the many activities she enjoys now that she’s got the time to entertain herself. One part of the new life she’s created is “finding.” Elliott’s art consists of found objects. She gets them at swap meets, yard sales, and thrifts. Friends find things and give them to her. She

  • With Libertines & Just Us Fatales: The science of women

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Guide2,080 CommentsRead More »

    People recognized differences between the sexes long before “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” was published in 1992. There are sociological components to these distinctions, but some of them are also rooted in biology. Separating these influences is difficult, if not impossible, but researchers don’t necessarily have to do that — all they’ve got to do is describe the mechanisms by which they occur. Without reference points, it can be difficult to discuss the inherent and inherited differences between women and men, but science has you covered. The scientists who conducted the studies cited in this article would likely balk at the over-generalizations and omissions committed here in the name of infotainment. Just remember, this guide is intended to engage, entertain, and incense the reader to seek out additional information. The editor of this section has set aside this paragraph for an exhaustive list of apologies regarding the bifurcation of the sexes and conflation of sex, gender, and identity seemingly, though not intentionally, implied in this article. The word count of this errata, however, exceeded that of the entire publication, and was thus omitted. Sorry guys. You experience the world through sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Why not peak through the window of those five senses into the world of women? Touch Women tend to have a better sense of touch than men. In science-y terms, they

  • Bird Watching (No, the Other Kind): Having a field day

    By Matt Dean Aircraft spotting at Ernest A. Love Field in Prescott has its moments. The best, for me, are less about aircraft spotting and more about the first-class times my daughter and I are sharing. Early Saturday mornings, we load ourselves and the dogs in the Chevy and head over to MacCurdy Drive for a few hours of pure aircraft spotting joy. My daughter is 3-years-old and her name is Edythe. She calls aircraft spotting by its rightful name and points out aircraft details as she spots them. We usually share homemade chorizo burros and watermelon on the tailgate of the truck. This father-and-daughter duo has discovered more than a pastime; we’ve established a potentially lifelong family tradition. Our first spotting trip was on a warm March morning. I knew we’d see some of the first pilots and aircraft emerge after winter. The airport was busy with multiple single engine planes departing for unknown locales and inbound planes landing in Yavapai County. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University trainees practiced touch-and-go landings and a helicopter buzzed about. Our initial adventure at the Prescott Regional Airport was scouting out good spotting locations. I’d done some preliminary reconnaissance on Google Maps and had a specific area in mind — one that promised an expansive view of the airport and surrounding area, as well as the opportunity to spot take offs and landings. The site

  • Astronomy 101: Theoretically speaking

    By Wyatt Frazee “The Big Bang Theory” — great TV show right? The actual scientific theory it’s named for is even wittier. The Big Bang theory is a model that explains how everything, absolutely everything, came into existence. Though illustrative — Bang! Universe! — the name itself doesn’t sound particularly scientific. (It kinda sounds like something you’d say to a toddler who falls down or throws a toy.) That’s because the name was born of sarcasm. A few centuries ago there were two competing scientific theories about how the universe came into being and what it was doing. The rule of the day, the so-called Steady State theory, stated the universe was neither contracting nor expanding. It was, well, static. Albert Einstein himself backed this theory, ultimately leading to his ill-fated cosmological constant. The competing theory stated the universe started as an infinitely small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense matter squished into infinite density, called a singularity. After the singularity’s appearance it began inflating and cooling off, and continues to do so. This idea, the Expanding Universe theory, was pioneered by astronomer Edwin Hubble. As the 20th century wore on, the notion of an expanding universe eclipsed the static model. British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle wasn’t convinced. In the 1950s, while taping a series of TV lectures called “The Nature of the Universe,” Hoyle tried to explain that the universe had

  • Diagnosis — Technology: Passable passwords

    By Paolo Chlebecek Passwords, passphrases, and passcodes — nowadays everything you do electronically requires security. How can you be sure your choice is secure but easy enough to remember? Education. The strength of any password is relative to how many different types of characters and symbols it has. The more, the better. Microsoft has a great website dedicated to security and password creation at Microsoft.Com/Security/Online-Privacy/Passwords-Create.Aspx. It advises that good passwords are a minimum of 14 characters. Need an example? Here’s a very strong, Microsoft-approved password: 2*jU6z@c9+c32!Bq\75d. Most people, however, can’t remember such an obscure password. According to multiple studies, passwords based on phrases that use the first letter of each word in that phrase are easier to remember. They’re also just as hard to crack or bypass as randomly generated passwords like the example above. Here’s a strong, Microsoft-approved example: 2bGwtwD!-!1939. That’s based on the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.” Notice that it’s got both lower and upper case letters, numbers, symbols, and is 14-characters long. There are some seemingly clever password techniques to avoid. Don’t use simple number-letter substitutions such as 3 for E and 1 for L. These are well known to invaders. Simply typing your password one keyboard row higher or lower than normal is likewise feeble. Hackers easily break weak passwords. I get calls weekly that someone’s email account has been hacked, and simple passwords

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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