Archive for July, 2016

  • Rock (& mineral) solid: Art & science form strata in Prescott Gem & Mineral Show & Sale

    Jul 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, PortfolioNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Maggi Lieber, co-chairman Life member and newsletter writer of the Prescott Gem and Mineral Club, whose annual Prescott Gem & Mineral Show & Sale runs Aug. 5-7 at the Prescott Valley Event Center.] How did you get involved with the Prescott Gem and Mineral Club? We moved out here from New Jersey in 2005 and the first weekend we were here was the county fair. At the time, the club had a display at the fair. As newbies, we were all oohs and aahs. One of the founding members, Keith Horst, said that if we liked that, we should go to the gem and mineral show in two weeks. At the time, we’d never even heard the term lapidary, so you can imagine our surprise. That was during the first few years of the show. I imagine it was quite a bit smaller than it is now. It was in an animal barn out at the fairgrounds. It was two weeks after county fair, so the remnants of the livestock were still there. The flies were more than prolific. Pretty much anyone that came in was given a flyswatter. They were fumigating at night, so you could smell the insecticide in the morning. There was just one row of vendors, maybe 25 total. So

  • An uber Simpson’s couch gag (sort of): How automatically mobile automobiles may automatically mobilize

    Jul 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster “That’s a nice looking car.” “Thanks. I bought it for the tech. I would’ve bought it even if it had looked like a Pontiac Aztek.” It’s at this point in the conversation that I start to get funny looks. But I’m being entirely truthful. This doesn’t mean I’m utterly indifferent to the look of an automobile. Only that to me there are now far more important things than its appearance. I know. Sacrilege to those of you who lust after Corvettes and Maseratis and Ferraris and such. But cars are a separate conversation. What I’m talking about when I respond to the aforementioned compliment is not cars — it’s transportation. When you’re in your twenties and thirties, not to mention teenage years, cars are important. They’re signs of status, of taste, of independence, and they make a personal statement. When one becomes … older … the general (although not exclusive) tendency is for one to focus more on getting successfully from one place to another as opposed to looking flashy when you arrive there. I’m at that point. And that’s why I’m looking forward to a future where the appearance of transportation is far less important than how efficiently it performs its intended function. Already we’re seeing predictions that no one who currently owns a car will bother to own one in the near future anyway

  • News From the Wilds: July 2016

    Jul 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris July in the Mogollon Highlands of Arizona growls with the rumbling of the afternoon clouds and rings with the first drops from the monsoon storms. After the high temperatures and low relative humidity of June, the plants and animals of the wild areas are at their most stressed and are at high risk of death from extreme temperatures and lack of water. But during this time, many species gave birth to their young, provisioned nests, and lay eggs in anticipation of a coming time of abundance and growth. Though this is a gamble, the first, massive raindrops near the beginning of the month, and the first flush of monsoon flowers that follow, prove it to be well-founded, and so the second grand flush of life begins. Though the climate of the Central Highlands can be harsh for part of the year — dry and fire-scorched in early summer, cold and snowy in the winter — these tough times are typically followed by some of our most exuberant seasons. So it is with the annual drought of June, which is followed by the coming of the monsoon rains in July. Especially in drier years such as this one (Prescott’s 2016 total so far is just over 72 percent of tje average), the July showers are a real cause for celebration. They are, however, something of a mixed blessing

  • Oddly Enough: July 2016

    Jul 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller Generally circuses are considered jolly places bearing witness to feats of human strength and precision, daredevil acts, raucous clowns, and exotic animals performing tricks. Such was the case on Sept. 11, 1916 during a parade advertising the “Sparks World Famous Shows,” when newly hired hobo Red Eldridge, riding atop Mary the elephant, poked her behind the ear when she stopped to nibble some watermelon. Enraged, Mary grabbed Red in her trunk, slammed him onto the ground and stomped on his head. The horrified witnesses, the citizens of Kingsport, Tennessee, immediately called for the death of this rogue pachyderm. ODDLY ENOUGH … Mary was lynched from a rail-car crane in front of a crowd of 2,500 to 5,000 people (mostly children) the next day. The first chain snapped, dropping Mary and breaking her hip. The next hoist proved fatal. The elephant was buried alongside the railroad tracks. ***** Lady Betty was a single mother whose son, Padraic, fleeing the crushing poverty of Ireland and his mother’s often violent tendencies, found passage to America where he joined the Continental Army in New York. Years later, he returned, well dressed, bearded, and unrecognized. She invited him into her hovel and knifed him to death as he slept in order to steal his belongings. Those ill-gotten possessions  contained some of her letters. Betty went nuts! Being sentenced to hang along with

  • Blood & Fire: Myths of Midsummer

    Jul 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard Baldr, son of Odin and Frigg, was fair and radiant, and invulnerable to weapons of every kind. The gods of the North made a game out of throwing spears, axes, and arrows at Baldr and roaring with laughter to see them bounce harmlessly off his shining skin. His mother Frigg had once used her great powers of magic to persuade everything in the world, every rock, plant and tree, to swear an oath never to harm her son — all save the pale mistletoe which, being too weak to live without a strong tree to grow on, could not pose a threat. Loki, an old god with knowledge and magic of his own, plucked a sprig of unsworn mistletoe and fashioned it into a sharp dart. Baldr had a brother, Hodr, as dark and blind as Baldr was bright. When the gods were gathered in their game, drunk on ale and mead and hurling weapons at their hero, Loki put his hand on Hodr’s shoulder and offered to help him play the game. “Take this dart,” he said, “and aim it where I point you.” Glad to join in, Hodr took the mistletoe and flung it with all his strength. The dart pierced where the hardest ash and steel could not. Baldr fell dead. Full of grief, the gods built a funeral pyre and laid Baldr on it

  • Set your phasers to fun: A highly biased, incomplete guide to finding family fun at Phoenix Comicon

    Jul 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, ColumnNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon We love our 2-year-old. OK, maybe that’s a defensive way to start a column about attending a science fiction convention with a child, but that needs to be stated at the outset. My wife and I love our 2-year-old, and we wanted her first experience at a science fiction convention to be as memorable and magical as our own (which, granted, were at much older ages). We decided on Phoenix Comicon, an annual event my wife first attended four years earlier. “What’s there for a little kid to do at a con?” I asked her. Quite a bit, it turns out. In addition to the myriad things for kids of all ages, crafts, structured and unstructured play, and several large drop-in areas — all documented in the program and on the con’s official app — simply walking around and looking at people’s costumes provided endless entertainment. (A pink Chewbacca? Wait, our daughter knows the name Chewbacca?! No, honey, that’s not The Little Mermaid. See the teeth and claws? That’s an angler fish mermaid.) We thought there’d only be programming for older kids, but we were wrong. Our 2-year-old, who has the attention span of, well, a 2-year-old, was entertained from door to door, and, after each day, had rarely slept so soundly at a hotel. Anyway, we’re glad we took her. We had a great time and

  • The beauty we love: Road trip reflections on living, loving, & dancing

    Jul 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Delisa Myles Last month at the end of the semester and also the end of my twenty-two year teaching career at Prescott College I took a road trip north to Colorado traveling with good friends Liz Faller, my colleague at Prescott College, who also retired from teaching dance at Prescott College this year, and Paul Moore a long-time creative collaborator. We were headed to a dance retreat hosted by former student Nathan Montgomery. His family owns what they call The Mesa, 150 acres of high desert pinon/juniper forest and sandstone rim-rock, protected by a conservation easement, just outside of Ridgway. We were met there by five other dance artist friends coming from around the country. It was a perfect time to visit a new place, unplug, and take a little space to acknowledge this threshold into a different phase of life. When we arrived to the land, we were met by students of Nathan’s who blindfolded us and led us on a sensory trek up to where we would be camping. We stopped along the way to listen to songs from our guides and prompts for us to dance from the inspirations of what we sensed around us. We traversed unseen pathways, each of us with a personal guide, winding our way through rocks and grasses, through forests of shadowy trees. Finally we were seated on throne-like rocks where

  • Installation nation: Hard talk about software

    By Paolo Chlebecek Picture this: You get a new computer and it doesn’t have your beloved, and sometimes hated, Microsoft Word. What do you do? How do you know when it’s time to buy software or not? Will the free ones work just as well? What if you’ve already bought it but your computer crashed and now you want to reinstall it again or on another one? Is that even legal? Years ago, the software you needed to be productive usually came with the computer. Some software suites like Microsoft Office were purchased but pre-installed with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, etc. Then, to browse “the Interwebs” you had Internet Exploder — ahem, I mean Explorer. And those were the mainstays for most people. But that hasn’t been the case for many years. Now there’s a different story. If you need to reinstall Microsoft Office, you’re allowed as long as you have a software key. But there are limits to how many times you can reinstall it and how many computers you can install it on. You’ll have to look at that boring EULA (End User License Agreement) that came with the software to find out specifics. There’s a lot of variation therein. For some people, free alternatives are effective and simple. For example instead of buying a Microsoft Office subscription for $70-$100 per year or $150-$400 outright, there are

  • Vegetable of the Month: Garlic

    By Kathleen Yetman Garlic (Allium sativum) is a bulbous plant native to central Asia whose cultivation started more than 5,000 years ago and is popular in cuisines around the world. It is closely related to onions, leeks, and shallots — all of which share the same genus, Allium. The ancient cultivation and use of garlic both as food and medicine was widespread and well documented. Garlic was commonly used in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Garlic is rich in sulfur-containing compounds that give garlic its strong odor and are also the source of its many health benefits. These compounds have been proven to decrease the synthesis of cholesterol, inhibit inflammation, and act as an antioxidant. Research suggests that these compounds help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Garlic also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. In Northern Arizona, garlic is planted in the fall, between September and November, and left to grow all winter and spring. In addition to the mature “cured” garlic found in stores, other parts of the plant are also edible. Farmers may choose to pull immature garlic to sell as “green garlic.” Green garlic looks similar to green onions and has the same taste as mature garlic, but with less spiciness. As garlic plants approach summer, they often send up stalks in order to produce seeds. These “scapes” are harvested in order to allow the plant to put all

  • Lens flare: A look at (and behind) the 2016 Prescott Film Festival

    By Helen Stephenson Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. … David Bowie’s 1971 song “Changes” is pretty much the unofficial theme for the behind-the-scenes organization and running of the Prescott Film Festival this year. And change is definitely good. When the Prescott Film Festival started with a monthly series in 2009, high quality digital projection didn’t exist in Prescott. And that was bad news for an indie film fest. However, the fest was given the use of the old Frontier Village 10 Cine, a space to store equipment, and voila — Digital projection in Prescott! And look where we are now, in the midst of a land of digital plenty. Before digital came along, festivals had to order prints of films to screen (you know, those heavy metal movie cases) and pay shipping both ways. If the film broke, there was no back up. Exhibition format is only one change to the film industry. Digital distribution direct to consumers has been taking off like a rock the last few years (err, like rockets used to take off before NASA’s space shuttle program got the ax). That’s great for filmmakers, who have more opportunities for monetizing their creations, as well as for viewers, who have a wider range of film choices. However, one of the negative side effects of this change is that the window for film festivals is quickly narrowing. For the Prescott Film Festival,

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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