Archive for June, 2016

  • Artistic reflections: Elisa Drachenberg & Pum Rote discuss the art of Pum Rote & Elisa Drachenberg

    Jun 3, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, PortfolioNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon Their lives before emigrating to America could fill novels. But unless you directly ask Prescott’s Pum Rote and Elisa Drachenberg about their adventures, you’ll only catch cavalier allusions and isolated anecdotes. It’s not that they’re diffident. They’re welcoming but charmingly coy and self-deprecating. (Drachenberg’s artist statement begins with the phrase “cursed with” and concludes with her ambition to “trigger … something close to exuberance.” (Emphasis added.) A version of Rote’s begins with him offstage, instead focusing on his relatives’ courage as part of the Dutch Underground during World War II.) This story isn’t going to flesh out their backgrounds. It’s not focused on where Drachenberg and Rote have been or their many accomplishments. It’s about what they’re doing now. It’s about their current body of artwork. For the purposes of this story, Drachenberg is an abstract painter and writer and Rote is an abstract photographer and painter. Their art is interesting and rewarding for myriad reasons, but it’s less fun to tell you why than it is to show you through their interactions. Will the following snippets of conversations about each other’s art reveal insights into their creative processes? Surely. Into the depth of their characters and personalities? Hopefully. At the very least, their charged rapport illustrates as-well-a-matched couple of artists, nay human beings, as you’ll probably ever meet. They’re fun. And funny. That’s not a very

  • A few mild shocks: Power-full observations from an EV driver

    Jun 3, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster As I’ve been driving an EV (electric vehicle) for three years now, I suppose it’s understandable that some folks keep asking, since this column is about art and science, why I haven’t written about the slow but steady rise of the EV. Partly it’s because I thought it too obvious, because there is simply so much being written about EVs. I didn’t see any point in being redundant when there seems to be at least one new media piece per day about the ongoing developments. I’m always happy to talk about EVs, both from a personal as well as academic viewpoint. Folks new to the concept invariably inquire about range, how long it takes to charge, where the batteries are located, how much your electric bill goes up vs. the cost of gasoline, and so on. But it occurs to me that a number of the advantages of driving an EV never make it into even lengthy related articles. Just as when you travel, the only way you really learn to appreciate the great ice cream at Glacial Sorbeteria in Manaus, Brazil, is to have some, or to figure out that the best food bargain in the busy tourist hub of York, England, is the local Chinese buffet. So I thought I’d point out a few of the benefits that arise from the experience of actually

  • Oddly Enough: June 2016

    Jun 3, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller Plague Doctors were recognized by their bizarre outfits, probably designed by Charles de Lorme, personal physician to King Louis the VIII. The “beak” held straw and scented concoctions meant to filter the putrid air.  Glass eye-holes protected the vision, and heavy waxed fabric and leather covered the “doctors” from head to toe. Typically, Plague Doctors were financed by cities coping with medical epidemics, which meant they treated everyone, rich and poor. Some were pressed into service as coroners (performing autopsies), spiritual advisers, and keeping public records. They were even called on occasionally as witnesses in will disputes. ODDLY ENOUGH … One well known Plague Doctor in the 1500s recommended not bleeding the patients, getting fresh air, removing infected corpses, drinking juices with rose-hips, and using only clean water. His name was Nostradamus. ***** The African Honey-Guide is a small, plain-looking animal with a rather raspy voice that has been likened to the sound of a matchbox being shaken. Its favorite food is the wax from honey comb and the bee grubs that live inside. Unfortunately, the bird is so small and thin skinned that it cannot get to the delicious contents of the bee hive by itself. ODDLY ENOUGH … This bird (Indicator indicator) has learned to lead more durable animals like the Honey Badger (Ratel) to the bee hives, letting them do the destructive work and

  • New From the Wilds: June 2016

    Jun 3, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris June can be a pretty tough time in the Mogollon Highlands of central Arizona. It’s reliably the driest month of the year, with nearly two out of five years receiving no precipitation at all, and most others receiving only the most minute amounts. If there is any rain, it comes at the end of the month with the first of the monsoonal storms. In fact, the drought of June is critical in bringing about the rains of July, because as the hot, dry air in the Sonoran Desert and the Interior West rises it draws the moist, humid air from the Sea of Cortez to our region. Whenever these wet air masses enter our area from the south they bring the possibility of rain, but without the heat that accumulates this month the rain will not fall. But it is possible to observe this large-scale, regional climatic pattern evolve by watching the movement and development of the different cloud species as they move across our skies — a pursuit known as cloudspotting. June mornings tend to dawn clear and bright, but especially toward the end of the month, cumulus clouds appear and begin to build in the hot afternoons. These clouds may start as relatively small Cumulus humulis, wider than they are tall and uniformly white, and then turn to Cumulus mediocris, as tall as they are

  • Ask a Rocket Scientist: Skybound: Looking (up) at nature, nurture, & mimicry

    Jun 3, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Ask a Rocket ScientistNo CommentsRead More »

    By Prof. Werner Von Karmann Dear Prof. Von Karmann, Does anything in nature fly the same way as airplanes, helicopters, or rockets? — Michael D., Chino Valley Mike, thanks for your question. Over the millennia, humanity has watched nature for inspiration. Today, we call it biomimicry, which is a fancy word for observing the nature around us and adopting what one observes into a machines we build or applying that observation to the mathematics or physics used to design a machine. In Western folklore, we have the story of Icarus. Long story short: Dude made wings to fly like a bird. Not a happy ending to that one. You gotta know the limits of the knowledge extracted from nature when you apply it to manmade devices. Like don’t fly too close to the sun or your wings will melt. When it comes to flying, you can go for endurance (long flight) or attack (fast and agile maneuvers). In nature, you can see how animals evolved to conserve energy for endurance, as visible in pelagic birds and fish, and for those fast attack maneuvers in raptors, such as Peregrine Falcons. For endurance, you have to minimize expended energy. When it comes to a vehicle, bird, or fish moving through air or water, the force that provides the vertical force for flight or horizontal force to push it along is called lift

  • The past, present perfected: An outside insider’s view of Northern Arizona

    Jun 3, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Caroline Barlott On a guided tour outside of Phoenix, my husband and I learned that the Saguaro cactus grows its first side arm around 75 years of age. The tallest cacti are probably 200 years old, our tour guide said, as he pulled up to a looming saguaro with two arms and a gaping hole in its side. Our guide pointed at the hole with his walking stick, stating it was likely a bullet hole that may even date back to the days of the Wild West. And while those days are long gone, there is a small town north of Phoenix that feels like a real Wild West town retrofitted with a modern attitude. I’m not talking about a total replica or something touristy like Tombstone. I’m talking about Prescott. Prescott is more like a Wild West town melding the best of both worlds — beautifully restored historic buildings paired with the progressive attitudes of a town full of creative people. It’s a small town that was once the capital of Arizona that housed a stretch of 40 saloons on Whiskey Row. Now, there are antique shops, a stunning courthouse and excellent restaurants. Not to mention running water, antibiotics and equality — the Wild West can only be romanticized so much before modern reality sets in. My husband Jeff and I are from Canada; but Jeff used to

  • Tech test trip: Taking travel tech on the road

    By Paolo Chlebecek Well, it was another trip for the memory books. Thankfully, I did a little research on some very useful and practical tech to bring with me and test out on my most recent intercontinental trip. Some things worked well. Some didn’t. So, instead of a rambling recap, I hope to give you some practical tips on what actually worked. Let’s start with cables. ‘Why cables,’ you say? Well, if you have tech that needs to be charged, you need good quality, reliable cables. Believe it or not, there are cables that cost upwards of $1,000. (Gulp!) That is, of course, ridiculous. Nothing I mention in this article will cost anywhere near that much. Still, with my new international Google Nexus phone, I needed at least one or two decent long cables — say 6 foot or more. Why, you quite reasonably may ask, so long? One reason is that you have no control over how far the outlet is from your nightstand or bedside for those required overnight charges. Furthermore, depending on your phone or tablet, there could be issues with low quality cables. For example I decided to be thrifty and get those $6 cheapies from Amazon. Well, after charging one of my devices — aside from taking way too long — it was extremely hot. Why? Well now we are getting into real science and

  • Bird of the Month: Lesser Goldfinch

    By Johanna Shipley When is a LEGO not a toy? When it’s a Lesser Goldfinch! Bird banders (and many other birders) use four letter codes to abbreviate the name of each species, and the Lesser Goldfinch was given the acronym of the famous building blocks. As such, it’s not unusual to listen to a group of birders exclaim “LEGO!” at the sight of a tiny yellow and black bird. Not surprisingly, most commercial products that feature pictures of “Goldfinches” show the American Goldfinch, since that species is found all across the United States. Here in the Southwest, however, the most numerous species is the Lesser Goldfinch. An American Goldfinch is an uncommon winter visitor. The Lesser Goldfinch, aka LEGO, is a small bird, only 4.5 inches long. The males are bright yellow underneath with a black crown and wings and a greenish (sometimes black) back. The females and young are dull yellow with dark wings. Both sexes have a large white wing patch. That white wing patch is a good field mark, aiding in identification when the birds fly overhead. It is also prominent when a male displays for a female. He spreads his tale and flies slowly with quickly fluttering wings, singing all the way. He will also give her food as a courtship gift. If the female is impressed, they form a pair bond and she builds a

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: June 2016

    Jun 3, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Emma Schneider “Beauty is a Wound” By Eka Kurniawan This Indonesian novel knocked my socks off. Eka Kurniawan carries the mantle of magical realism beautifully here. If you are a fan of Borges, Garcia Marquez, Murakami, or Rushdie this book will fit nicely in your collection. It reads smoother to me than all the aforementioned, and is the best book I’ve read so far this year. ~David “A Sand County Almanac” By Aldo Leopold “A Sand County Almanac” stands as a cornerstone of American ecological thinking. Leopold underwent a transformation from just another wolf-killing employee of the Forest Service to a powerful advocate for a new ethical relationship with the natural world. ~Mark “Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye” By Marie Mutsuki Mockett In the wake of profound personal losses and the cataclysmic tragedy of the 2011 tsunami, Marie Mutsuki Mockett searches for resolution amidst the broken landscapes and deepest spiritual traditions of her Japanese relatives. ~Reva “A Good Man is Hard to Find” By Flannery O’Connor With some of the most monstrous characters in fiction, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” explores the hypocrisy and truth of human nature. Infused with a grotesque view of life and religious symbolism, O’Connor’s words are brutally honest and impossible to escape. With tragic comedy and apocalyptic possibility, O’Connor took the nightmares of men and women and

  • Vegetable of the Month: Chard

    By Kathleen Yetman Chard (Beta vulgaris, also commonly called Swiss chard) is a leafy green whose veins and stems come in a variety of vibrant colors. It belongs to the same subspecies as beets but has a slightly milder, less earthy taste than beet greens. Chard originated in the Mediterranean and was likely a popular vegetable in ancient Greece. It remains popular today in Mediterranean dishes. Chard seeds found their way to the United States in the 1830s and remained a specialty crop for several decades. Its cultivation became widespread following the Civil War. Chard is a biennial, which means that it grows for two seasons before producing seeds. When a chard plant bolts in its second season, it produces hundreds of seeds and is a sight to behold. Chard grows best in mild temperatures, but can withstand both hot days and near-freezing nights if given the right protection. Here in Yavapai County, farmers and gardeners can grow chard year-round. “Rainbow” chard is not its own variety, rather a mix of different colored varieties: red, pink, orange, yellow, white, and green. Like other leafy green vegetables, chard is highly nutritious. Chard leaves contain more than a dozen antioxidants. It is a fantastic source of vitamin K and is high in vitamins A and C. It’s also a good source of magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. Both the

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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