Archive for September, 2016

  • Old haunts: Celebrate a Week of the Dead with Ghost Talk & much more

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Karen Murphy, director and playwright of Prescott Ghost Talk. See schedule for event details.] What exactly is Ghost Talk? Ghost Talk is basically the reenactment of historic ghostly folklore. A lot of them are based on true stories; some of them are based on legends; and others are based on urban legends. About 80 percent of it’s covered in newspapers or historically factual in some way. Each vignette is different. One might be done like a musical, one might include movement or dance, and there’s some traditional storytelling like a Shakespearian play or melodrama or cowboy poetry. We want to stress that we have a new and different show every year. There are people who like to come every year, so we try new approaches to old stories and add brand new ones, as well. What’s the history of the event in Prescott? This is our ninth year. Ghost Talk originally started as Ghost Walk at Sharlot Hall Museum but was still a fundraiser for West Yavapai Guidance Clinic. You walked to different houses on the museum grounds and saw the performances that way. Groups of people were lead around and heard ghosts tell their stories at bushes or buildings. So, anyway, nine years ago Sharlot Hall couldn’t be the venue any more, and

  • The Singularity may be squishy: Science truth is stranger than science fiction

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster Everybody has a favorite robot. Even folks who don’t especially like science fiction have seen enough movies and watched enough TV to have fond memories of a particular mechanical person. Probably the most famous robot in film history is Robbie, from the great 1956 MGM film “Forbidden Planet.” Amusingly, and in keeping with the tenor of the cheaper SF films of the time that emphasized horror over science, the principal advertising for the film shows Robbie carrying Anne Francis, the female lead (actually, the only woman in the picture) as if menacing her. In reality, of course, Robbie was her best friend, personal jeweler, and potential savior. But that approach makes for a much less inviting movie poster. On the other hand, I can’t blame Robbie. I would have jumped at the opportunity to carry Anne Francis around, too. Film history is littered with robots: some friendly, some antagonistic (maybe they read their contracts), some indifferent, the great majority poorly made. Few were as intricately fashioned for their cinematic appearances as Robbie. My personal favorite remains the robot Maria from 1927’s ground-breaking film “Metropolis,” even if she was made out of plywood. She certainly doesn’t look wooden in the film, and possesses an unsettling grace and appearance that carries through even to today’s viewers. While nearly all cinematic robots are humanoid, in the 21st century we

  • News From the Wilds: October 2016

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris October in the Mogollon Highlands is one of the great turning points of the year — the warmth and activity of summer drops into the lower deserts and valleys as the cold of the coming winter (borne by heavy, cold air) slithers down the creek beds from the uplands. The evening air carries a sliver of ice, and brings smells of woodsmoke and high mountains, while the days are filled with dried grasses and the last of the year’s butterflies, native bees and flowers. The monsoon showers have finally passed, leaving a wave of activity in their wake — insects laying eggs, plants setting seed, birds migrating, and mammals preparing winter stores and putting on fat for the coming time of scarcity. In October, the second dry season of the year typically begins, as the heat-driven summer monsoon pattern — which draws moist air masses north from the Gulf of California — shifts to the storm-driven winter pattern based in the Pacific Ocean, where massive storm-systems catapult smaller moist low-pressure troughs across our region, bringing snow and rain. During this change-over, the skies over the Mogollon Highlands tend to stay clear, though it is also during this time that the Pacific hurricane season is at its peak, and some of these hurricanes move through our region, dropping sometimes large amounts of precipitation. October reliably brings our first

  • Oddly Enough: October 2016

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller This odd looking vessel is called a “cigar ship” and was the brain child of an American named Ross Winans, an inventor and railroad engineer. At least four of these ships were built, the first one completed in 1858. Putting the paddle wheel in the center of this ship produced so much spray that the decks were decorative at best, and it was necessary to go outside in order to move from one half of the ship to the other. Though 16 feet in diameter, and over 180 feet long, there was little usable space inside. ODDLY ENOUGH … Although it was intended for sea travel, it was discovered that one heavy wave could roll it over. ***** Moles, which feed on earthworms, can transmit a paralyzing drug into the worm and thus prevent it from escaping. ODDLY ENOUGH … Moles often tie the worms into knots, forming balls. These knots of worms are then stacked and stored as fresh, living meat. As many as 470 such stored worms have been found in just one mole larder. ***** Russell Miller is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, bagpiper, motorcycle enthusiast, and reference librarian. Currently, he illustrates books for Cody Lundin and Bart King

  • A part of the hol(l)e: Considering life, death, & land via Skađi & Holle

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard After the gods slew the mighty giant Thjazi, his daughter Skađi stormed the gates of Asgard to take revenge. She was the deity of ski travel and hunting, and she descended on the fortress of the gods with all the awful power and majesty of the snowy mountain reaches where she made her home. Anxious to placate her, the gods offered to give what compensation she demanded. “Very well,” she said, “since you took my father from me, I’ll take one of you for my husband.” The gods consulted, and agreed that the unwed men among them would offer themselves to be chosen — but only by the sight of their feet. Skađi had her eye on Baldr, the handsomest of the gods. So when they lined up behind a curtain with only their bare white feet peeping out below, she strode immediately to the smoothest, best-groomed, and freshest-looking pair and announced her choice. Imagine her shock when the curtain dropped to reveal that she had chosen Njorđ, the weatherbeaten sea god, whose seaweed-hung beard and driftwood skin were a far cry from Baldr’s golden comeliness. But Skađi was a goddess of her word, and accepted Njorđ as her husband. “One thing more,” she said, casting a regretful glance at Baldr’s ill-clipped toenails. “I can see I’ll get little mirth from the man you’ve given me. Before

  • En route: Amusing finds from an unamusing profession

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Markoff Chaney It’s happened 46 times. Usually at night. Once a month, for the last 46 months, I’ve trolled Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Dewey-Humboldt delivering newspapers. Even went out Mayer-way twice. Newspaper delivery is boring. Absolutely necessary, but absolutely boring. And — despite some amusing podcasts and rambling conversations with friends brave/bored enough to tag along — most of those nights blur together. Some things stick out, though. Especially when you step on them. And I mean things. For your consideration, here are a few of the things I’ve found while out and about the enigmatic Quad Cities. … ***** • Thor’s hammer An accessory for a kid’s toy, only really heavy and detailed. OK, so an accessory for an adult’s toy. • Shopping lists They’re ubiquitous, and not just near grocery stores. Most of them were jotted in pen on paper. (Editor’s Note: Cooking is an art, so is a grocery list considered an artistic creation? That would mean it should be “is” not “were” in the second sentence of this bullet per the rules about the literary present tense.) A trio of memorable items: “funeral card for mom,” “bear,” and “one package flower [sic].” • A miniature American flag These are quite common in July, but this one was found in December or January last year. • Plywood with a tiger print Special thanks to

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: October 2016

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands” By Nick Flynn The subject matter in this particular collection is a lucid encounter with a dreamer. Nick Flynn’s ability to hook you with but a few words is a skill few possess. Sit back and slowly read the beautifully sparse poems and you’ll say to yourself, Well, gosh golly, he may be onto something. ~Jon “Lives in Ruins” By Marilyn Johnson Although archaeologists love Indiana Jones (they really do) their lives couldn’t be more different from his. So who are the wild and quirky characters on their hands and knees digging and sifting through the dirt looking for ruins? The ones who live in their cars because being an archeologist doesn’t pay well? Johnson’s curiosity takes her on a journey to answer these questions. Digging alongside experts with her on a sugar plantation, hunting bodies in New Jersey, and drinking ancient beverages, we discover the incredible men and women unearthing the objects of our past. It was hard to finish this, only because I didn’t want to say goodbye to all the incredible people I had been reading about. ~Lacey “The Butterflies of North America” By Titian Peale This reproduction of Titian Peale’s lost manuscript is exquisite. The paintings are phenomenal. The pages are printed on extremely high quality paper, and the book smells of a dank

  • Accents, accessories, & accouterments: Granite Mountain Jewelry Artists return to Hassayampa Inn for one day showcase

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Johanna Shipley, program director of the Granite Mountain Jewelry Artists, whose second annual jewelry showcase, sponsored by the Prescott Center for the Arts, is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Hassayampa Inn, 122 E. Gurley St., 928-778-9434. Find out more at GraniteMountainJewelryArtists.Weebly.Com.] So, who are the Granite Mountain Jewelry Artists and how did the group get started? It started out as a group of friends, most whom had taken the jewelry classes at Yavapai College. We started getting together once a month to support each other’s work. We’d have brief meetings then some type of workshop or discussion. That’s pretty much the format we’re still following. Now, the group has expanded to include a lot of jewelry artists in the area, many of whom never took those initial classes. … I think it’s been so successful because there was no other group quite like it in the area. There’s a group for people who work primarily with beads, but not for all the other types of jewelry. The people who started the group were very interested in keeping it going, and so it’s kept going and kept growing. We all come from very different traditions and represent a pretty wide group of techniques. There are traditional silversmiths, people who work with found

  • BOOM: An explosive conversation about batteries

    By Paolo Chlebecek OH NO! My phone just exploded! Let’s hope you never have to say that. But it seems, from all the news coverage, amid the other disasters, that exploding phones, laptops and “hoverboards” and even cars, are indeed a hot topic. (Pun intended.) Why? How can something seemingly harmless become so dangerous quite spontaneously? First, you need to understand what’s in a typical cellphone or modern battery-operated device. Most rechargeable devices use a lithium-ion or li-ion, or even ‘ion battery. (Is it a coincidence that “lion” is used for these roaring exploding batteries? I think not. …) There are literally hundreds of millions of these types of batteries produced every year, so, of course, issues are bound to arise. These batteries were proposed by M. S. Whittingham while he was working for Exxon back in the 1970s. But it wasn’t until 1991 that the first commercial lithium-ion battery was produced by Sony. There are several types of lithium-ion batteries with different chemical compounds and construction to reach their desired voltage, size, recharge ability, and longevity. As you probably know, all batteries have a positive (+) and negative (-) connection. The negative electrode of a typical lithium-ion cell is made from carbon. The positive electrode is a metal oxide, and the electrolyte, or capacity for holding a charge, is a lithium salt in a solvent. Guess what? Under the

  • Bird of the Month: Acorn Woodpecker

    By Al Lodwick As their name implies, Acorn Woodpeckers inhabit the Oak and Pinyon-Juniper woodlands found in the Prescott area. They make use of dead Ponderosa Pines (called snags) for storing acorns, their winter food. These birds have a complex and variable social structure. Sometimes they will live as a mated pair and raise their young on their own. In other instances, they may have a commune of up to 20 individuals with young of mixed parentage and subordinate adults assisting in feeding the offspring. They are present in the Prescott area year-round. A common description of this bird is “clown-like in appearance.” They have a white ring completely surrounding both eyes on their black face. Both sexes have red caps. Females have a black band separating the red from a white forehead. Males do not have the black band, so the red touches the white forehead. Stiff tail feathers are used to stabilize it when pecking on a vertical tree trunk. In the late summer and fall, they harvest acorns from the many small oak trees in the Central Arizona Highlands. They drill out holes in Ponderosa snags. These holes are just the right diameter to snugly hold one acorn. Then they fly to nearby oaks and pull the fleshy portion of the acorn away from its cap. Returning to the snag, also called a granary tree, they pound

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

↓ More ↓