Archive for February, 2016

  • Quiet as a mouse: The art of Beth Neely

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, PortfolioNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon Search for Prescott’s Beth Neely on Amazon and you’ll net two children’s books: “Don’t Call Me Pig! A Javelina Story” and “Lizards for Lunch: A Roadrunner’s Tale.” Originally published in 1999, they were written by Conrad J. Storad and illustrated by Neely and her then-husband, Don Rantz. (Kept scrolling? No, she wasn’t on “Survivor: Vanuatu” or the “Enchanted” soundtrack. Amazon is a fickle oracle.) The books were hits. “Don’t Call Me Pig!” won several awards and, years later, was chosen for a statewide program that put special editions in some 93,000 Arizona first-graders’ hands. That credit alone could’ve opened up doors, but Neely never leveraged it into more illustration gigs. “When you read a children’s book looking at all the pictures, reading it aloud to kids, it’s such a wonderful experience,” Neely said. “I thought it would be like that to make one, but it wasn’t. … I don’t know if I’d ever do another one.” After decades as an illustrator, Neely started Spirit of Delight, a line of handmade greetings cards, in 2011. Most feature watercolors of whimsical animals. You can find them at Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery and Jay’s Bird Barn. “I’m not going to get rich making cards for a living, but that’s not my goal,” Neely said. “I’m really happy with what I’m doing right now.” It’s a graceful explanation, but not the

  • Planet of the coywolves: Mother Nature fathers some whimsical whelps

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster So, you haven’t heard of the coywolf yet? You will. It’s just one more example of how Nature never sleeps, of how biology is always tick, ticking away while we’re not paying attention. Because time moves so slowly for we human beings, because we live such short, preoccupied lives, and because recorded history only goes back a few thousand years, we are rarely privileged to see her in action. When we tinker with Nature, it’s called genetic engineering, and for some folks that’s not a good thing. When Nature does the tinkering on her own, that’s called evolution, and for some folks that’s not a good thing either. But the fact of the matter is that whether we start slinging genes around or Nature does it on her own, such change is as inevitable as the rhetoric of political parties. Politicians may shout; Nature doesn’t. She goes about her business quietly, slowly, and with utter disregard for what we might think of the consequences. Take dogs for example. Looking at the multifarious breeds, a visitor from another planet might easily presume that a poodle and a mastiff are two entirely different species. Both are canis lupus familiarus, the domesticated dog. Same with Chihuahuas, pit bulls, Rottweiler, and greyhounds. Each and every one, good ol’ canis lupus familiarus. But the Australian wild dog, which looks far more

  • New From the Wilds: February 2016

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris In most years February in the Mogollon Highlands of Arizona is still a very quiet time when mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants remain quiescent, waiting for the combined cues of increased day-length and higher temperatures to end their winter diapause and begin searching for mates and food. But in all years, the first glimmerings of spring’s vivacity begin this month in the deserts and the chaparral of our region. Over the next several months, the activity in the lowlands will grow from a hum to a roar and gradually flow up the slopes and into the highest mountains, carpeting the whole of the Mogollon Highlands with flowers, warblers, and butterflies. But for now, the uplands remain relatively quiet, leaving the naturalist to search for hints of spring. Bird migrations begin to pick up steam now, as overwintering species such as Northern Goshawk and Townsend’s Solitaire begin the months-long journey that will ultimately end in their breeding grounds as far north as the Arctic Circle. Other species migrate through our region to points nearer to the north, while the last of the migrants will include the neotropical migrant warblers who have spent the winter in the rainforests and dry forests of Central America, and will breed and nest here. The overwintering waterfowl on Willow and Watson Lakes, as well as the many smaller bodies of water, will

  • Oddly Enough: February 2016

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller Sponges come in a seemingly limitless variety of sizes, shapes and colors. One particular sponge is called Venus’s Flower Basket, and its skeletal structure is made of silica which the animal itself produces. This creature attaches itself to the deep ocean floor by way of these tough glass-like threads called spicules. ODDLY ENOUGH … As the sponge grows and develops its glass crystal network, many young marine animals (like shrimp, crabs, etc.) seek out its lacy shelter. Many become eventual inmates of this glass prison when they grow too big to leave the arabesque matrix. ***** The Mantis Shrimp is a truly unique creature. Ranging in size from 4 to 18 inches in length, they are voracious predators, and have been known to eat any and all aquarium mates while in captivity. Their vision is tremendously refined. Each eye is capable of seeing in trinocular vision, meaning that even if the shrimp loses an eye, its depth perception is not impaired. Also, the visual information is processed by the eyes themselves and not by the brain as in humans. Remarkably swift, a strike from the fore-claws of a Mantis Shrimp is unlike any known animal. The blow of this animal has been likened to a .22 caliber bullet, shattering crab and mollusk shells, aquarium glass, and blasting fish into dismembered bits. ODDLY ENOUGH … It has been

  • New tech review: Commuter drones, wine by the glass, & the promise of privacy top CEA 2016

    By Paolo Chlebecek The lesson: Four days of walking and looking at tech can be wearing but rewarding. The teacher: Yet another week of thrills for the geek in all of us at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This year’s show proved to be the largest yet with almost 2.5 million square feet to quench your thirst for all sorts of tech. It takes nearly 500,000 staff members, exhibitors, spokesmodels, and weary travelers from all over the world to make this show possible. Naturally, my crew and I enjoyed it immensely. So, what’s new you ask? Well if you ask the CEA (ahem, the Consumer Electronics Association) it’s all new. More accurately, it’s many improvements on existing tech and some new innovation. One of the largest and growing segments to the consumer and professional field is UAV, i.e. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Most people just call them drones. But there’s a new category now: AAV — yes, another TLI (Three Letter Initialism) — Autonomous Aerial Vehicles. Leading the field is “EHANG 184,” a working prototype of what looks like a giant quadcopter with a pod big enough for a person to get in. I interviewed Colby Johnson, the Marketing Manager for Ehang. While there isn’t a price point or release date yet, the 184 is a commercially viable product. Once you get in, a Microsoft Surface tablet greets you

  • … finish each other’s sentences: Google’s autocomplete is …

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Markoff Chaney I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I have the Internet at home. Not the whole thing, obviously, but I can check on it anytime I want via the same computer I’m typing at right now. Pretty nifty, huh? Anyway, I just found out about this amazing digital oracle called Google (who names these things?) and, apparently, it knows what I’m going to research or “search” for before I finish typing it. Here are some recent highlights. …     ***** Markoff Chaney is an Earth-based whodunit pundit and (Fnord) Discordian Pope. He has lotsa bills and no sense. Contact him at NoisyNoiseIsNoisome@Gmail.Com

  • The Frame & Her: Francine Hackerott collaborates on Larson-Juhl collection

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and  Francine Hackerott, framer at The Frame & I, who won the Larson-Juhl’s third annual Design Star: Framing Edition Competition. See her recently released collaborative line with Larson Juhl, “Salon 1789,” at The Frame & I, 229 W. Gurley St., 928-445-5073.] Let’s start with the contest itself, which was at the West Coast Art & Frame trade show in January of 2015. What’s your background and how did you end up entering the Larson-Juhl’s third annual Design Star: Framing Edition Competition? I’ve been doing picture framing for 30 years. I entered a couple of competitions for an art gallery about four years into it through the Professional Picture Framers Association. I’d actually done one for Larson-Juhls, and had done a really, really great one for it. It’s kind of exciting all these years later, after not doing competitions, for this to happen. I had made a comment to Ida (Kendall, owner of the Frame & I), who’s been very, very supportive of this, about wanting to make a tabernacle frame. It’s a style of frame originally created as an altar piece, usually used in churches to hold iconic images. At first, they had doors on them because they traveled from place to place. They were literally portable altars. So I’d made this comment to Ida

  • Bird of the Month: Barn Owl

    By Felipe Guerrero A band of coyotes yip and howl excitedly as the last reaches of light lift off the rounded peaks and icy corners of the Granite Dells. The winter sun lowers and finally its glowing crown disappears from the western skyline. A pulse of frozen air washes over the rocks and the temperature sinks. A large oak, anchored on the edge of a grassy cove, stirs with the first cold breath of night, its branches waving stiffly in the breeze. In the tree, a Barn Owl shifts her position, awakened by the waning light and the sound of wind through the leaves. Her dark eyes open widely and stare out on the field to the north through a small window in the branches. A second icy breeze surges through the old oak. Without a sound she is gone. Sailing silently on long, pale wings across the darkening sky, she appears ghostlike. Her body is white from below, lightly speckled across her breast and belly. Above she is cloaked in soft orange and beige tones, dappled with gray. As she flies, her outstretched head intently scans the earth below. Her sharp eyes, fixed within a mask of fleecy white feathers, perceive even the smallest features passing beneath in unimaginable detail. Banking left and right she turns her ears to the ground, listening for movement from her small, favored prey

  • Word Herd: February 2016

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Word HerdNo CommentsRead More »

    By Brian Lemcke

  • The potential of dance: Reflections on the Prescott College Dance Alumni Reunion

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Moving ArtsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Delisa Myles So many faces. So many dances. So many memories and emotions whirling around in the past and present. It’s February, but I’m still thinking about the Prescott College Dance Alumni Reunion from November. It brought together people from 45 years of dance at Prescott College — from the early 1970s when Heather Starsong first taught dance classes, and up to students who are enrolled now. It’d be a cliché to say that lifelong friendships began in those dance classes. And it’d also be true. The reunion, held Nov. 6-8 in 2015, was an opportunity for alumni and alumni-to-be to touch back into their strong roots at Prescott College, to meet new people and to celebrate dance. Liz Faller, my colleague of 22 years in the dance program (who also coordinated the event) and I kicked off the weekend with “Coming Home,” a dance improvisation mixer. Alumni performed, took and taught workshops, and got to boogie altogether in an epic dance party with live music from Moving Edge Ensemble. Throughout the weekend, I was impressed by the amazing range of approaches to dance that were shared. It was inspiring to see the diverse directions dance training at Prescott College has spanned out to. From Improvisation to Contemporary Technique, from Butoh to Physical Theater, and African Inspired to Gaga (look it up: GagaPeople.Com), and to movement that defies categorization

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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