Archive for September, 2015

  • Creature comforts: Open doors, arms await patrons of the eighth annual Prescott Area Artists’ Studio Tour

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Portfolio3,054 CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood “The only thing I know is that if I get to my studio, that means I’m alive today.” — photographer Robert Farber As hackneyed as it is to begin with a quotation, Farber’s is irresistible. It illustrates the singular passion artists have for their space. An artist’s studio is no mere tool repository. It’s an extension of self and of character. It’s a place in which life is lived and, in a sense, created. That’s why, given the opportunity, you should jump at the chance to meet an artist in their studio space. And you’ve got a doozy of an opportunity next month. … The eighth annual Prescott Area Artists’ Studio Tour runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 2-4. The free, self-directed tour includes work by 56 juried artists at 38 artist studios, plus several dozen more artists at four art centers. Mediums include ceramics, pottery, glass, jewelry, paintings, and more. The Mountain Artist Guild has sponsored the independent, volunteer-run tour since its inception. In recent years, the cost putting on the tour has been in the $10,000-$12,000 range. It’s brought in roughly $1,000-$2,000 from artist fees plus raffle tickets. This year’s studio tour benefits two children’s art programs: one through Mountain Artists Guild and one through ‘Tis Art Center and Gallery. Now that the housekeeping’s out of the way, it’s time to hear from

  • Chain reactions: Appreciating the beauty of science function plus art

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's Perceivings3,374 CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster I love it when science and art merge. When they do so in the service of something functional, that’s even better. My favorite example, albeit one that’s fictional, is Captain Nemo’s Nautilus from the Disney film version of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The Nautilus is a work of art by Harper Goff that was designed as if it was to be a real, functioning Victorian-era submarine. I still remember the mixture of awe and delight that attended the first full sighting of it in the movie when I saw it in the theater way back in 1954. That the design continues to inspire to this day is a testament to Goff’s artistic talent and the skills of the Disney special effects team that brought it to life. For many years, the original model used in the movie was on display in Disneyland. Scientific function plus art. We never see enough of it. Moscow’s subway system is another outstanding example. But those were made real by Hollywood and governments. It’s rare when you can do something similar to your own home. I’m going to speak now of rain chains. Now, rain chains may be something most of you grew up with. They may be as common in your neighborhood as the rain gutters from which they usually hang. But until a couple of years

  • News From the Wilds: September 2015

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the Wilds3,959 CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris September glows in the golden light of late summer, its sunrises heady with the smell of white Sacred Datura flowers, fading into the noontime butterscotch of sun-warmed Ponderosa, and later into the dusk sweetness of bricklebush. In much of North America, September marks the beginning of the colder part of the years with last harvests and cold nights. But in the lower latitudes, such as the Mogollon Highlands of Arizona, September is still summer, though with hints and foreshadowings of autumn. The monsoon rains usually continue into the early part of the month, tapering off eventually into glorious sunny days — with extraordinary flowering of purple four-o-clocks, asters, and morning-glories, red penstemons and Scarlet Creeper, yellow sunflowers and daisies, and the tall, strange, tree-like Wright’s Thelypody (Thelypodium wrightii), with its white flowers. Insect diversity, too, continues to grow and change, with some of the largest insects of the year making their debut. Look for the large brown Rhinoceros Beetle (Xyloryctes jamaicensis), the Great Ash Sphinx Moth (Sphinx chersis), and the gigantic leaf-mimic katydids of the genus Microcentrum, as well as the harmless (though somewhat alarming) Giant Crab Spider (Olios giganteus), which is often seen in houses as temperatures fall outside. It is during this time of extraordinary plenty that many creatures begin to prepare for the coming cold season. Most of our woody plants are setting seed,

  • Oddly Enough: September 2015

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly Enough2,278 CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller The Flower Urchin, like most sea urchins, is covered with short spines that are non-venous. Between these spines are delicate little structures that resemble flowers, hence the name, Flower Urchin. ODDLY ENOUGH … Each one of these petite little “flowers” has three fanged pincers that slam shut when provoked, injecting venom instantly! ***** Looking like a bizarre space invader, this giant Isopod lives in the Pacific Ocean at great depths. These armor-plated scavengers can grow to over two feet in length and can walk on the ocean floor as well as swim with paddles located under their bottoms  They have been found eating whale carcasses on the ocean bed and gathering up animal scraps like crabs. When disturbed they will roll up into a tight, hard ball just like a wood louse or pill bug. ODDLY ENOUGH … When samples of these animals were brought to the surface and frozen for later examination, scientists were shocked to see that they revived completely once they were thawed out. ***** Russell Miller is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, bagpiper, motorcycle enthusiast, and reference librarian. Currently, he illustrates books for Cody Lundin and Bart King

  • Bridging traditions: Ustadza Azra teaches belly dancing, cross-cultural history

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Prescott-based belly dancer and teacher Ustadza Azra, founder of the New Moon Tribal School of Bellydance. Her belly dance classes are held at Lotus Bloom Yoga Studio, 777 W. Hillside Ave. Her new DVD, “Dynamic Zilling for Tribal and Cabaret Bellydancers,” $25, is scheduled to go on sale on Amazon in September. Visit her online at UstadzaAzra.Com.] How did you get started belly dancing? My mom told me stories about how she did it as a child. Some of them were great and some of them were no-n0-no. She told me about being held up by a crowd of family members as the women danced to celebrate her coming of age. I thought to myself, “Oh my god, I never want that.” But she didn’t teach me it. … I grew up in California, and I came to Prescott in 2005. My boss saw a flyer for belly dancing, was talking about it, and I decided to try it. What my mom did, it wasn’t the stage belly dance; it was the more social. So, I started taking classes and got really into it and took some workshops with my friend Ginney. We were really into it. One day we drove all the way out to Redlands, California for a belly dance show and

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: September 2015

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book CompanyNo CommentsRead More »

    By Peregrine Book Co. staff “Juxtapoz: Hyperreal” By Evan Pricco Hyperreal: realism in art characterized by depiction of real life in an unusual or striking manner. I cannot even begin to craft an explanation of what these pages hold nearly as well as Pricco does in his introduction. Therefore my advice is to read and reread the introduction and prepare yourself to be amazed at how art has responded to our technological age! Be sure to check out Lee Price, Zaria Forman, and Diego Koi — they are some of my favorites! —Sarah “Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature” By Harry W. Greene For all lovers of the scaled and enigmatical, a tome equally at home on a discerning coffee-table as on the serious herpetologist’s desk. Greene’s clear, impassioned writing is the perfect vehicle for his experience and erudition in the natural history of Serpentes. Spectacular photos by Michael and Patricia Fogden show snakes hunting, mating, on the move, and at rest. Bask in their serpentine glory. —Reva “A House In The Sky” By Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett This story will haunt you long after you read it. Amanda is incredibly brave, and as terrifying as some of her stories may seem, they are powerful and need to be read. —Lacey “All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West” By David Gessner This

  • Plant of the Month: Bouteloua

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Plant of the Month1,989 CommentsRead More »

    By Mara Kack After some blistering heat and mystifying thunderstorms, new variety and color has sprung up in our ecosystem. Within the calming blue of the Birdbill Dayflower (Commelina dianthifolia) and the brilliant yellow of the Common Sunflower (Helianthus annus) there is a hidden gem, Bouteloua. Like most grasses, Boutelouas are an abundant species, and within the Prescott area they are easily overlooked. Commonly known are Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis), Sideoats Grama Grass (Bouteloua curtipendula), and Black Grama Grass (Bouteloua eriopoda). Starting in spring, these perennial grasses cover our hillsides in a display of soft purple and green. As the spring heats up into summer, the leaves dry a bit and cover the landscape with a yellow tone. Through August and September rain brings color to the leaves again along with intricate flowers. Sideoats Grama sends up long flowering stalks with many spikelets (the flower structure of a grass which consists of many little flowers called florets) lined up all to one side. Blue Grama displays spikelets in an interesting way reminiscent of delicate eyelashes fluttering for attention. The magnificence comes when each floret ripens, displaying spikelets with linings of silver hairs surrounding gold, purple, and green. The florets then open to display a light yellow anther, fresh with pollen to give to the wind. The next time you’re packing for a hike, grab a hand lens or a

  • Vegetable of the Month: Peppers

    By Kathleen Yetman Chiles, chili peppers, peppers, bell peppers — no matter the name, they are all fruit from plants of the same genus: Capsicum. Capsicums are native to the Americas and are extremely popular worldwide in cuisine. Fossil evidence shows prehistoric people from southern Peru up to the Bahamas were cultivating peppers 6,100 years ago. Currently there are around 25 recognized species in the genus, five of which are domesticated. There are thousands of cultivars of peppers. Hot peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which produces a burning sensation when eaten. This chemical is most plentiful in the placental membrane of the fruit that holds the seeds. Most mammals find the burning sensation unpleasant, however birds are unaffected, and thus contribute to the spread of seeds. Peppers’ heat is measured on the Scoville scale, which rates a given pepper by units. A bell pepper has a zero and an extremely spicy pepper has more than 2 million. Peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. They are also a source of vitamin B6, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. Red peppers contain lycopene, which is believed to help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Peppers are extremely versatile in the kitchen. They can be roasted, smoked, dried, fermented, sautéed, pickled, stuffed, grilled, powdered for spices, infused in oils and liquors and pulverized for hot sauce. Americans are familiar

  • All aboard: Train your collectibles on the road less traveled

    Sep 4, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, ColumnNo CommentsRead More »

    By Jacy Lee In his song “The City of New Orleans,” Arlo Guthrie bemoans, “This train has the disappearing railroad blues.” And he was right. Although freight trains are still quite prevalent, non-commuter passenger travel on the rails is a trickle of what it once was. On a recent drive across America, I saw numerous freight trains, some with hundreds of cars, but only one passenger train, with a half dozen or so cars. It’s true, the golden age of rail travel is dead, but the age of railroad collectibles is very much alive. There is a multitude of railroad-related items in the antiques and collectibles world. I’ll cover some of the more common ones here. But, trust me, there are so many. Almost anything that would be in a house was also in a train. There were also many items that were on the outside of trains. Probably the most common outdoor railroad collectible is the lantern. Kerosene lanterns were used by brakemen, mechanics, detectives, and, most notably, inspectors. The typical lantern is about 10 inches tall, with a metal bail above that. The metal base and cap sandwich a glass globe, usually clear or red. To differentiate railroad lanterns from common barn lanterns of the same make, railroad lanterns are embossed with the company initials. A lantern manufacturer such as Adlake would have made both barn and rail

  • Inversion of privacy: How safe are you when you are on the internet?

    By Paolo Chlebecek Yup, it’s that time again. It’s time to get geeky. I was asked by a devoted reader recently to report and evaluate the efficacy of various ways to surf the web incognito. Good question and much to discuss. Let’s begin. If you do a web search for “browse the internet anonymously,” you’ll literally get over a million results. Why is it needed, and can you trust those various methods to circumvent detection? First let’s review what the internet can find out about you. Even before you search online for anything, your computer and browser broadcasts your public IP location; the operating system and version you are using; what internet service provider you are using; what software you have running; your screen resolution; and even the kind of hardware you are using. Plus a whole bunch of additional information. Supposedly, this helps give you a “more friendly user experience.” That web page you’re visiting can display the information and images clearly and no matter what kind of computer or browser you’re using it will look the same across all platforms. Therein lies the problem. It’s just too much information being given out without your knowledge or consent. Sure, you can read the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) that comes with just about every piece of software, hardware, and computer browser to find out just what information is being

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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