Archive for March, 2016

  • Unfathomable fathoms: The Art of Adam Schrader

    Mar 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, PortfolioNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon You probably noticed it the first time you stepped foot in The Raven Café. There, on the wall above the bar. That big painting of a perched raven and another, in flight near Thumb Butte. But when was the last time you really looked at it? You know, gave it thoughtful attention. Both subject matters have been done to death, but there’s something different about their depictions in that mural. They’re more dynamic. More, well, alive. It might be the time of day or the light. It might be a certain mood or spirited whimsy. Whatever the catalyst, that piece of art yields endless novel experiences and singular moments. And, if you knew the artist who painted it, you might even notice a few more nuances. For your consideration, the artist behind that painting: Adam Schrader.   Foundations & Philly “You can hear six different stories about Adam and it sounds like six different people,” said Ty Fitzmorris, entrepreneur, owner of The Raven, and commissioner of the painting in question. “He can be a little reticent to talk about himself, and he’s a semi-mystical character as a consequence of that.” Schrader grew up on the Jersey Shore and got in trouble in school for doodling. Usually birds. He started surfing at age 10 or 11. (Remember that iconic roller coaster that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy? That’s

  • News From the Wilds: March 2016

    Mar 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris March is an alluring but ultimately deceptive month in the Mogollon Highlands. Glorious sunny days abound, glittering with butterflies and migrant songbirds, and highlighted with the earliest wildflowers and luminescent leaves. But March is also one of our wettest months of the year, and most of that moisture comes in the form of snow. Large storm systems over the Pacific Ocean throw off snow storms that sweep into our area from the north, dropping anywhere from inches to feet of snow, and bringing us firmly back into winter. Because of its trickster nature, March one of the more dangerous times for the creatures in the wilds. Many mammals are bearing young now, some insects are emerging from creeks and pupae as winged adults, and birds are making nests or migrating back into the area from the tropics. The dramatic cold snaps can therefore cause many of these species severe temperature and food stress, and sometimes lead to their deaths. In spite of the warm temperatures and sunny days, most of the native plants of the Highlands, with the exception of the wind-pollinated trees, refrain from growing and flowering. They’ll wait until the days are reliably warm and frost-free — each species determining this through a unique combination of day-length, soil temperature, the number of accumulated days of cold, and other cues. Non-native plants, such as fruit trees

  • Do android cats dream of electric mice? Another take on the taming of the shrewd

    Mar 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster A recent scientific study undertook to find out if cats developed purring as a way of subjugating (alright, that’s probably too strong a word) … as a way of encouraging humans to keep them as pets. From the cats’ point of view, not specifically to keep them as “pets” so much as to provide them with free homes, free food, free toilet service, free snacks, and free objects with which to engage in play. Dogs do likewise, but dogs don’t purr. Neither do pet rabbits, pet snakes, pet gerbils, or any other household pet. Over the years, we have had many cats (and dogs). The current roster in our household totals two dogs and eight cats. All of our pets have been rescued animals; some from shelters, some from folks who physically can no longer care for them, one from a burning house, several from a barn. Each and every one eventually settled in comfortably, at his or her own speed, because cats are not predictable. Something they have in common is that they all purr, which put me in mind of the aforementioned study. While its conclusions were indecisive, there were some indications that felines do indeed purr to make themselves more attractive to potential suckers human hosts. I found this conclusion an awkward one, however, because of a personal encounter. In 1993, I spent

  • Oddly Enough: March 2016

    Mar 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller Blennies are a small but colorful fish measuring 3 to 7 inches in length. They live primarily in shallow water, but have been found at depths of 60 feet. The males guard the eggs of the females for several weeks until they hatch. Some Blennies leave the water for short periods of time during low tide, navigating by use of their strong pectoral fins. Generally they eat small invertebrates and some algae. They can be extremely territorial. ODDLY ENOUGH … Blennies are the only known fish with fangs that pack a venomous wallop. They don’t use their venom to bring down prey, however. They only bite and envenomate in self-defense. ***** Bioluminescence is the emission of light by a living organism. In sea creatures, these lights have been observed in shades of blue, green, red, yellow, and white along with a combinations of each. Often the light is produced by a type of bacteria that lives in a symbiotic relationship with its host. The host animal provides food and shelter for the bacteria, while the bacteria provide light to lure prey to the host, or help confuse predators so that the host can escape. If the host wishes to intensify the light, it may pump oxygenated blood into the area where the bacteria lives and, conversely, reduce the blood flow to extinguish the light. ODDLY ENOUGH &#

  • Ask a Rocket Scientist: 2π in a pie

    Mar 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Ask a Rocket ScientistNo CommentsRead More »

    By Prof. Werner Von Karmann Apple Pie Recipe (Fannie Farmer Cookbook) basic pastry dough for 9” two-crust pie 3/4-1 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 & 1/2 tablespoons flour 6 large, firm, tart apples 2 tablespoons butter Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a 9” pie pan with half the pastry dough. Mix the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour in a large bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them in the sugar mixture, coating them well. Pile them into the lined pan and dot with the butter. Roll out the top crust and drape it over the pie. Crimp the edges and cut several vents in the top. Bake 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 F and bake 30-40 minutes or until the apples are tender when pierced with a skewer and the crust is browned. ***** There was this apple tree that my parents planted when they bought their first home. It was a large tree that dad nurtured over the years, carefully pruning and spraying it each season. Every fall, it yielded an abundance of fruit — bags and bags of fruit that he used to make apple pies and stock up the freezer, which provided us with luscious desserts for several months. When my father was dying, one of the last things he taught

  • Word Herd: March 2016

    Mar 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Word HerdNo CommentsRead More »

    By Brian Lemcke

  • People, places, & places as people: Susan Lang reflects on her fourth novel, ‘The Sawtooth Complex’

    Mar 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Prescott-based author Susan Lang. You can pick up her latest novel, The Sawtooth Complex, and attend her free writing workshop, “Breathing Life into Character,” 2 p.m. Saturday, March 19 at Peregrine Book Co., 219 N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000.] Your latest novel, “The Sawtooth Complex,” came out last October. Tell us about it. I’d been working on it for a long time. It sort of follows up on my earlier trilogy about a woman homesteading, but it’s set between 2006 and 2008. I won a project grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2007 and thought it was ready to go soon after, but the more I looked at it, the more I changed it. I’m never happy when I look at my own work, though. When I do readings, I’ll edit sentences ahead of time. … “The Sawtooth Complex” has a lot of emotional resonance for me. It’s about the place where I grew up and it was important to get everything right. It’s dedicated to the people of that area. The book is about a small group of people who are descended from a woman who homesteaded in the mountain — well, two of the four main characters are. Some of them care about the the land and how the climate’s

  • Thinking machines: How digital brains could revolutionize, well, everything

    By Paolo Chlebecek If you Google “AI” or more specifically “artificial intelligence” you’d find approximately 29,600,000 results. That is certainly a wildly discussed, internet query and movie trope. Currently, we depend on a form of AI that helps us every day: smartphones. While your smartphone really is smart, all of the intelligence isn’t built in as of yet. When it comes to speech recognition and the like, it depends on sending that data to the cloud or internet to be analyzed and sent back a result. Right now, there is an ambitious, $12 million project that wants to “reverse-engineer” the brain. Why? Well, we lowly humans learn at an astonishing rate. For example, a child does not need to see thousands of labeled toy bears to identify one the next day, but a computer does. To date, those computerized neural nets depend on algorithms that were developed in the 1980s. Think of the 1983 film “War Games” with Mathew Broderick and WOPR (War Operation Plan Response). That was the thinking computer that eventually learned the only winning move in Global Thermonuclear War is not to play. Well, if this five-year project to duplicate the way we humans think actually works, we hope that it can learn very quickly. How can we truly map and then duplicate how humans think? The project is funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity

  • Vegetable of the Month: Bok choy

    By Kathleen Yetman Bok choy (aka pak choi), Brassica rapa, is a type of Chinese cabbage. Records show that the Chinese have been cultivating the vegetable since the fifth century. It wasn’t introduced to the United States until early in the 20th century. Bok choy prefers mild to cooler weather and will bolt when temperatures are consistently colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer than 75. It can withstand occasional frosts, making it a great crop for the early spring here in Yavapai County. Plants are generally ready to harvest 50-60 days after planting. Most of the bok choy found in grocery stores and farmers markets is “baby” bok choy, meaning it was picked while still immature and/or is a variety selected for its small size. When harvested, the plant is cut just above the roots, leaving a loose head of leaves attached by their stems to the base. All parts of the harvested vegetable can be eaten. When selecting bok choy, feel for stems and leaves that are still somewhat crisp. Store the vegetable in the fridge and use within a few days to ensure that it still has its crunch. Bok choy is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and is a good source of potassium, folate, vitamin B6, calcium, and manganese. It has a mild flavor and slightly crunchy texture, and is fantastic in

  • Bird of the Month: Wood Duck

    By Sharon Arnold Just a few riparian areas in Arizona support Wood Ducks, and Watson Woods along Granite Creek is a good place to spot them. Don’t be surprised if you see this colorful, distinctively marked duck — some might say, a gaudy bird — peering out of a nest hole. Wood Ducks nest in natural cavities or nest boxes in wooded swamps or in trees along creeks and lakes. They are the only North American duck to produce two broods a year. A clutch may have up to 10 or 11 eggs. Chicks are alert when hatched and covered with down. A day after hatching, the nestlings are ready to fledge. The mother calls from below, and the ducklings jump down, sometimes from heights of 50 feet, without injury. Wood Ducks have strong claws that grip bark and help them perch safely on branches near their nest site. They do not excavate a cavity preferring instead to use a site where a branch has broken off and created an opening. Ornate, courting males swim speedily before an elegant female with wings and tail elevated sometimes with the head tilted back. Ritualized drinking, preening and shaking movements can be observed. Look for mated pairs in the Watson Woods pond and in the shallow, swampy south end of Watson Lake. These ducks eat aquatic seeds, fruits, and insects by dabbling or

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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