Archive for November, 2013

  • Natural histories: The art & science of science & art

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Event, Portfolio5,903 CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon At first blush, the 250 prints in the Josephine Michell Arader Natural History Print Collection are a dizzying floral and faunal cacophony. In one image, a pair of Great Auks enjoy a dynamic scene with severe cliffs and choppy seas. In another, gruesome eels swim in an illusory ether stacked row upon impossible row. Others depict plants — some in acute, meticulous realism, some in a surreal limbo including multiple stages of development. From a scientific perspective, you could divvy these prints up by taxonomy, geography, or morphology. From an artistic perspective, you could divvy them up by chronology, technique, or stylistic sensibilities. By all means, do that — a large selection from the collection is on display Nov. 8 – Dec. 14 at the Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse, while an ongoing rotation of prints debuts at the college’s nascent Natural History Institute this month — but before you delve too deep into delineation, just look at them. Just. Look. “Well, the first thing is that some of them are just jaw-droppingly gorgeous,” says Dr. Tom Fleischner, director of Prescott College’s nascent Natural History Institute. “There are some of them, like the Great Auks, that I just can’t keep my eyes off of.” That simple act of looking was the first step that lead to the creation of these images. It’s the starting

  • News From the Wilds: November

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the Wilds5,794 CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris November is the beginning of the long quiet of winter for the Central Highlands. The cold has crawled from the cracks of night into the light of day, and every creature adjusts its way of being to take this into account. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of plants stop flowering and die, leaving only seeds to represent the next generation. Meanwhile, most of our insects have finished their adult lives and provided for the next generation of young, who stay still in their eggs for many more months. Most of our mammals stay active and change their diets to hardier, often less-digestible foods, most of which are harder to come by. These quiet months are a challenge to the naturalist after the bewildering panoply of the growing season, but some of the more neglected aspects of the natural world remain for exploration. Winter is a great time to study the rocks and landforms of the Central Highlands that form the basis for our ecoregion. The Central Highlands are defined as the broad band of mountains and valleys between the Mogollon Rim of the Colorado Plateau and the deserts of the South, from the Chihuahua to the west to the Sonora to the south to the Mojave to the east. The Central Highlands, as a result, have plants and animals from all of these regions, though

  • I, for one, welcome our (insert programming here)

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster A running joke among those who have studied literature is to begin a story, usually faux, by quoting from the novel “Paul Clifford,” by the English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton, by saying, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Fans of science-fiction have a similar favorite trope, which they enjoy modifying to suit whatever literary or cinematic threat happens to be manifesting itself in the relevant tale. To wit: “I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords.” Or, “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.” And so on. A particular favorite, since the plot device is featured in so many stories, is, “I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.” Which brings me to Congress. Not physically, thank your favorite deity, because if I happened to find myself there at the present time, I don’t think I could restrain myself. Or my vocabulary. However, this column is supposed to be about science and/or art. Not politics. So let’s talk science. Many years ago I wrote a novel called “The I Inside” (which has nothing to do with the movie of the same name whose producers were futilely called to account for swiping my title and who, in the time-honored fashion of filmic production ethics, choose to pretend neither I nor the book actually existed, presumably thus salving the fragmentary portion of whatever consciences they might once

  • Just picture it: A dispatch from Photoshop World

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Feature2,785 CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell As we enter the third decade of the “digital revolution” of photography, we don’t have time to lament the loss of Kodachrome to the CMOS sensor, or cameras that have morphed into little more than computers with lenses or the smelly mystery of the chemical darkroom; we’re too busy shooting cell phone “selfies” and downloading the latest “junk shot” from Carlos Danger. Photography has been forever changed. One of the most profound changes in the digitalization of photography is the replacement of the darkroom by the computer. When it comes to “development” of pictures, all roads lead to the ubiquitous program known as Adobe Photoshop. So dominant has Photoshop become that there are numerous annual conventions, workshops, schools, and trade shows devoted to it. One of the big ones is Photoshop World, held every September at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Each year I attend Photoshop World because it’s an opportunity to see the latest gadgets and keep abreast of current trends and technologies. It’s also a good excuse to go to Vegas where I can observe humans of every shape, color, and configuration gather for forced fun and hopeful debauchery. The ones carrying cameras were headed off to Photoshop World so I tagged along with Nicky Nikon, Maggie Megabyte, and Otto Focus, got my badge, and entered the exalted hall of The

  • Cast of characters

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Outside the Frame18 CommentsRead More »

    By Sadira DeMarino On a crisp fall day with leaves falling all around, I walk up to a Prescott house, through the front door and am greeted by a rather large mountain lion. Luckily, this particular mountain lion is a sculpture by Jesse Homoki, so I don’t need to remember any of my “What To Do When Confronted By A Mountain Lion” training. That’s a particular skill set you might need while hiking in Prescott, especially on the Brownlow Trail, which happens to be the home of another one of Homoki’s mountain lions. You may also remember a mountain lion sculpture that lives at the Prescott Public Library; it’s another part of Homoki’s sculpture family. Art & the artist Bronze and wax figures dot Homoki’s home and backyard studio. Each bronze sculpture starts life as a wax carving cast into what becomes a mold. These wax renderings are intricate and precise. I can only imagine how much time and meticulous attention to detail it takes to create them. Sculptures aren’t the only things I’m here to talk about. As you may’ve guessed by his last name, Homoki’s Hopi. He grew up in the Window Rock area on the Reservation, and he credits that upbringing with some of his artistic inspiration. Homoki attended Northern Arizona University as a mechanical engineering student and had never taken an art class. He took one, though,

  • Moveable feasts & excess excesses: the science of indulgence

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Guide25 CommentsRead More »

    I’d like to begin this introduction with a quote from the wife of a great American entrepreneur: “Nothing exceeds like excess.” Hard to argue with a statement like that, right? (Or any tautology, for that matter.) Whether celebrating the end of a workweek, visitors, holidays, or visitors leaving, we all enjoy enjoying ourselves. There are plenty of menial maxims and brave bromides about this: “Work hard, play hard”; “Have a good time”; “No, I don’t think I ‘have a problem.’ I’m just a social drinker”; etc. It’s hard to talk about limits in a culture that measures fun in terms of barrels. But if you’ve ever wondered how much of a good thing really is too much, then get ready for a brainy brimful. Science has you covered. The information in this guide comes from scientific studies and, to a lesser extent, recapitulations of those studies. Some of the details may’ve been omitted from the original reports. Others may’ve been omitted from the reports about those original reports. Still others may’ve been omitted by this reporter reporting about reports about those original reports. And, let’s be honest, I’ve already shown bias on the subject by indulging in pop culture references, hackney writing tropes, and use of the first person. In short, take this information cum grano salis, but in a salt-has-many-uses-and-,-historically-speaking-,-has-the-potential-to-help-or-harm kind of way. You experience the world through sight,

  • November nourishment

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Around ... ... the Corner5,459 CommentsRead More »

    By Ruby Jackson Love art but don’t always have the means to procure it? Boy, do I have a solution for you! If a local weekly scavenger hunt where the reward is a piece of art to keep for your very own (gratis) sounds too good to be true, look no further than Found Art Fridays hosted by Ollie’s Project Free ART on Facebook (search armyoart). Every Friday, a hint is posted on their Facebook page as to the location of a piece or pieces of to be found art, and all you have to do is … find it. The Project started back in September, and the treasures already found range from hand-knit, rainbow legwarmers to canvas paintings to jewelry, all created and donated by local artists. Artists are encouraged to share their love of art by participating — there are absolutely no rules to govern the medium of what you contribute. The possibilities are endless, and the results (abundant smiles of joy) are a sparkling reminder of why most of us create in the first place. Ollie’s community enterprise is chock full of heart and inspires warm, fuzzy feelings upside downside. While we’re talking art, Textiles & Textures Artisans Studio has fostered a creative exhibit titled “Prescott on Camera” featuring 17 artists who, for 48 hours, photographed 17 pieces of our local topography. (The original billing was 48-48-48,

  • Bird watching … or not

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Brain Food16 CommentsRead More »

    By Jimmy Polinori — The Culinary Composer ‘Tis that time of year again. The smell of turkey and pumpkin pies signifies the start of yet another holiday season. I have always favored Thanksgiving over any other holiday, mostly because it is a simple occasion with little fanfare. Just family and close friends gathered to share in good tidings and to be grateful and gracious. I’ll take that over frenzied shopping, unnecessary credit card bills, and materialistic expectations any time. Continuing with my left-of-norm tendencies, turkey isn’t my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Not by a long shot. For me, the stuffing is the star of this beautiful holiday. It can make or break the meal, in my opinion, and if you were to have me to your home, I would sit in quiet judgment of how you did or did not execute the stuffing. I kid of course, but it’s my favorite part. This month’s recipe, clearly, is for an Italian stuffing that I put on the table every year. Moist, savory, and robust, this stuffing aims to please and may steal the show from the bird. Speaking of the bird, I’ll mention a few helpful tips for a perfect turkey: Avoid the common pitfall of basting every hour. Frequent opening of the oven door does more harm than basting does good. Make a home made herb butter the night before

  • Fantastical drawings

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 4rt Page, 5ensesNo CommentsRead More »

    By Jacques Laliberté

  • Strongmen

    By Matt Dean C-130s are an impressive transport aircraft with a significant history and service record. With squat, wide bodies and pudgy noses, they may not be the prettiest planes, but they more than make up for that in performance. The C-130 was an aircraft borne of necessity. When World War II-era transports proved insufficient in the Korean conflict (War) the  U.S. Air Force sought new proposals from several aircraft manufactures. The winning proposal was Lockheed’s C-130, which began production in 1954. Today, the C-130J Super Hercules is still in production, which wins the C-130 the longest running production in aircraft history. Although it began life as a response to military needs, the aircraft’s sturdiness and reliability made it a natural choice for civilian use for transport duties and aerial firefighting, among other purposes. Additionally, C-130s have a long service record in aid delivery to remote parts of the globe because of their ability to take off and land on short, unprepared runways. If you want to see one up close, there are two C-130s at the Pima Air and Space Museum, south of Tucson. One is an original C-130A and the other is a C-130H. You can also catch them in action on the Weather Channel during “Hurricane Hunters” in which the WC-130J Super Hercules is featured. ***** Matt Dean is a Prescott native and a teacher for Prescott

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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