Archive for November, 2016

  • Fancy footwork: Local youth take the stage in touring ‘Nutcracker’

    Nov 22, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Marina Rogova O’Brien, director and choreographer for the local portion of Ballet Victoria’s “The Gift of the Nutcracker,” 7 p.m. Friday & Saturday, Dec. 2 & 3 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, YCPAC.Com, $18-$38.] How did you get involved in the production? I’m a professional dancer and choreographer. I’ve been teaching at Yavapai College for the past nine years — dance and fitness classes. About two years ago, we got a new dean in the Performing Arts Department, Dr. Craig Ralston. Since Craig has taken that position, we’ve gotten a lot more musical theater. He’s gotten the staff involved in a lot of artistic performances. Last year, I was involved in “The Secret Garden” show, and this year we’re getting “The Nutcracker.” It’s an adapted version called “The Gift of the Nutcracker” done by a professional troupe, Ballet Victoria company from Canada. They bring their professional dancers here, and they do most of the solo dancing and lifts, but the corps of ballet is local kids. Craig said it’d be a nice show for Prescott to feature local kids, but we needed to have a local choreographer. I agreed and started working with Paul Destrooper, the artistic/executive director on the Canadian end. I became 100 percent responsible

  • Encore, encore: Winter show highlights recent artists of The Raven Café

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

    By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Maria Lynam, one of the art directors behind “Encore,” which is Nov. 19-Jan. 8 at The Raven Café, 142 N. Cortez St., 928-717-0009.] How did “Encore” come to be? Betsy Dally, my business partner and the other art director at The Raven, and I decided on it early in the year when we were setting up the calendar. We wanted a group show around the holidays that featured all of the artists who’ve had shows at the Raven since we both started about a year and a half ago. … They’re all excellent artists, and there’s a variety of media such as mixed media, oil painting, photography, and 3D art. It’s an exciting show. One of the nice things about The Raven is that they’re kind enough to let local artists hand their work in their gallery. We have very few public spaces for art, and this is an important venue. Bringing back the people who’ve already participated with us seemed like a no-brainer. Also, always thinking about what patrons of The Raven want to see, it makes sense to bring these people back. We’ve had a lot of sales from these artists, and they provide a lot of variety. Hanging a show with such diverse pieces must be quite the challenge. It is

  • News From the Wilds: November 2016

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

    By Ty Fitzmorris November is the beginning of the long quiet of winter for the Mogollon Highlands. The cold has crawled from the cracks of night into the light of day, changing how all of the creatures of the region live. The coming season brings scarcity of food and water, along with low, sometimes killing temperatures, and every species, plant and animal, has their set of adaptations to these challenges. These adaptations are sometimes physiological and sometimes behavioral, though for most species there is a little of both. Mammals (including humans) and some non-migratory birds begin to undergo cold acclimatization now, which includes redirection of blood flow away from skin, accumulation of insulative body fat and fur, and metabolic and chemical changes, all resulting in an overall increase in tolerance for low temperatures. Insects undergo a wide variety of changes — some, including bumblebees, generate propylene glycol (antifreeze) in their blood, which prevents them from freezing, while others develop the ability to raise their body temperatures far above that of the surrounding air, proving themselves anything but “cold-blooded.” Reptiles and amphibians are able to tolerate very low body temperatures without any injury, though some snakes, such as rattlesnakes, gather together in large numbers in caves to avoid the killing frosts. Many birds, including the swallows and warblers, migrate south, both for food and to avoid the cold, while mammals such

  • Set in stone: Weather the weather or whether or not …

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

    By Alan Dean Foster As I write this, Hurricane Matthew is set to hit the east coast of Florida tomorrow. Understandably, this puts me in mind of … no, not Disneyworld. I’m thinking about the science of … no, not Cape Canaveral and rocket flight. Building materials. Not as exotic as reusable rockets (hi Elon, Jeff) nor as fascinating or as strange as metallic glass, building materials are something we deal with every day. Assuming you live in a building, of course. This being Prescott there are, alas, all too many who are forced to adapt to less solid living situations. But I digress. The media is full of talk of advances in building materials. As an example, one architect wants to build tall structures, perhaps even skyscrapers, out of wood. While we’ve been utilizing wood in our dwellings for thousands of years, it wouldn’t be my first choice for building materials for a home on the Florida coast. Yet Floridians and the rest of us persist, putting up hundreds of new homes a year in hurricane- and storm-prone areas that rely on wood frames. And every decade or so, along comes a Cat 4 shower like Matthew to blow them all down. You’d think by now that the insurance industry, if nobody else, would insist on some changes. And by changes I don’t mean stopgap, makeshift, temporary fixes like

  • Bird of the Month: Sora

    By Morganthal Persival Wheysleywillow III If you are looking to expand your “Big Year” list, the Sora is a great candidate worth considering. Sora are the most common and widely distributed rails in North America, yet few individuals will ever see one. It a small, secretive bird with a triangular shaped body, deep rear end, gray body, short, bright yellow bill, strong legs and a short tail with white on the underside. Adults are 8-10 inches in length and weigh no more than 4 ounces, with black faces and bibs, which are missing in the immature, who display a buffy, brownish chest. Sora breed in shallow wetlands and marshes throughout North America, nesting in well-concealed dense vegetation. They lay 10 to 12 eggs, sometimes up to 18, in a saucer-shaped nest built from marsh vegetation. Eggs hatch over several days, and both parents incubate and feed the young, who leave the nest when able to fly within a month. Soro feed primarily on seeds and aquatic invertebrates, but have been sighted in grain fields during migration. These omnivores help check the populations of insects and invertebrates they eat, as well as plants they consume. Survival of the species is a challenge for Sora because of the many predators that prey on them, especially their eggs and young which are highly vulnerable to snakes, raccoons, and many other animals. Sora are

  • Oddly Enough: November 2016

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

    By Russell Miller The octopus is a remarkable creature with a highly developed brain, extremely good eyesight, and a vast array of survival tricks. They can change color, skin texture and even body shape — quickly. They are known for squirting clouds of ink into the water which confuses predators visually, but also the smell of the ink resembles the octopus itself. This helps to cover its tracks. And, if the unfortunate octopus is damaged in the attack, it can regrow its tentacles. Octopuses can grow to the length of 30 feet from arm tip to arm tip, and it has recently been discovered that all octopuses are venomous. The tiny blue ringed octopus, though small, packs a particularly potent venom, making it one of the deadliest animals in the ocean. It can inject large doses of a neurotoxin called TXX. This animal’s venom has enough wallop to kill 26 grown adults in a matter of minutes. There is no antidote. ODDLY ENOUGH … The blue ring octopus is so poisonous that it can kill without even biting its victim. It can merely release its toxin into the water near its prey and the victim will die after pumping the poisoned water through its gills. ***** Salmon belong to their own biological family, however, they are closely related to trout and char. Most salmon are anadromous, meaning they can survive

  • ‘The possibility of the play’: Baul Theater Co. presents ‘The Nine Houses of Mila’

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

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and VJ Fedorschak, director of the play, “The Nine Houses of Mila,” put on by the Baul Theater Co., 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19 at Embry Riddle Davis Auditorium, 3700 Willow Creek Road, $15.] What can you tell us about the play? It’s “The Nine Houses of Mila,” and it’s about one man’s search for himself in the face of extreme trials. The character’s name is Milarepa, and the story of his life is one of the most beloved tales in Tibetan Buddhism. There’s this idea that in the midst of extreme trials we can be led to resolve them if we trust ourselves. And we need help. The Persian poet Rumi said something like, “Your need is the Way.” If your need is really sincere, you’ll be led to a source of help. And the Baul Theater Co., how do you come in? It started in 1988. It was an idea that coalesced among several people who were inspired by the possibility of transformational theater. We all recognized that some kind of magic can happen on stage, where people’s attention can be focused in a way that’s uncommon. Essential human qualities can be evoked that are latent in us for the most part — things like courage and compassion. Over the years we’ve performed

  • All the art that’s fit to print: Contemporary Printmakers of Prescott return to ‘Tis

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

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Barb Wills, group facilitator, and Maria Lynam, both of the Contemporary Printmakers of Prescott, whose show, “Outside the Lines,” runs through Nov. 22 at ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223.] How did this group and this show come about? Wills: There was a discussion in an advanced printmaking class at Yavapai College. We talked about the fact that the work that was going on there was so individual that it’d be nice to get the community to see what printmaking is all about and what goes on at the college in the art classes. We started out in 2014. I put together a submission for a printmaking show, and we’ve done it every year since. This is our third annual show. We also had a printmaking show at the Yavapai College gallery in March. Lynam: We got the opportunity through Barb, who’s on the executive board at ‘Tis Gallery, so she figured all this out. We got together all the advanced printmakers at Yavapai College and decided to have everything professionally matted and framed, and we went for it. We’ve done that show every year since then and we’ve also shown at The Raven. We’re all passionate about printmaking. It’s so interesting because there are 20 or so of us

  • That’s smarts! Thinking about thinking tech

    By Paolo Chlebecek Smart Phones, Smart Watches, Smart Speakers, Smart Cars, Smart Homes, and Smart Stars. Well, maybe not the latter. Anyway, what’s all this emphasis on “smart” things? Am I so dumb that I need to have all these so-called smart devices? What’s the big deal anyway? You are not alone, my friend. Anyone who knows me knows I favor tech gadgets. I have most of those items listed in the paragraph above. It’s my job, after all, but not my entire life. As I’ve said many times: Take advantage of technology, don’t let technology take advantage of you. Ahh, but how? That’s the trick. Back in 1971, a Greek-American engineer, inventor, and businessman by the name of Theodore “Ted” Paraskevakos first came up with the idea of transmission of electronic data through telephone lines, later known as Caller ID. That concept of intelligence, data processing and visual display screens into telephones continued to evolve. By 1994, we had the IBM Simon. The Simon was the first commercially available device that could be referred to as a “smartphone,” although it was not called that back then. Not just for placing and receiving cellular calls though, Simon could also send and receive faxes and emails. In addition, a calendar, address book, appointment scheduler, notepad, world time clock, and calculator — the ol’ Simon could handle it all with its touch

  • Vegetable of the Month: Kale

    By Kathleen Yetman Kale is a cultivar of Brassica oleracea, or wild cabbage, along with cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The origin of wild cabbage is controversial with several theoretical locales including the coast of southern and western Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, and Asia Minor. Evidence shows that kale has been domesticated for at least 2,000 years; both the Greeks and the Romans grew kale as a food. Kale is grown year-round in Northern Arizona and is a fairly easy crop to raise for the home gardener. Plants are generally started from seed in the ground and can handle a wide range of temperatures. Kale plants can withstand light frosts, which makes the leaves taste sweeter. If a kale plant survives through the winter it can reach heights of six or seven feet. The most common varieties in the United States are Red Russian kale, Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale, and Siberian or curly kale. Many people’s first introduction to kale may have been as a garnish on their dinner plate. These purple, red, and white varieties are just as edible as their green counterparts. Kale recently enjoyed a few years in the spotlight of American cuisine, making it a hip vegetable and touting its many health benefits. The leaves of kale are host to many nutrients; they are a great source of vitamins A, C, K, and B6, folate, and manganese. Kale

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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