Archive for February, 2018

  • Oddly Enough: Russ Miller reflects on his own strange-but-true tale

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Feature, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Russ Miller, Prescott-based illustrator, polymath, and creator of “Oddly Enough,” which runs in, among other places, the publication you’re reading right now.] How did you get started doing “Oddly Enough”? Probably one of the big reasons why I started “Oddly Enough” was because of a library. It was the one here, actually, in the Carnegie building. It was in the late ’50s or early ’60s. I used to get dropped off in the summer there because, well, I’m sure my folks had other stuff to do. But I was in the kids’ section at the Gurley Street corner, the bottom section of that building. At one point, as a kid, you’ve read everything of interest in there, but the upstairs was daunting. It was dark, hardwood, and quiet. I remember I started looking around up there and, man, there was some really good stuff. I remember this one particular book I kept trying to check out. It was about strange people — basically, about freaks, when you get down to it — people who’d been in horrible accidents and other stuff. At the time, librarians could say, “No, put that book back on the shelf, sonny.” So, I kept trying and one day they had someone else working there and he just stamped the

  • Perceivings: The Blue Raspberry of Forgetfulness

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster When we think of science, our initial thoughts likely turn to physics, chemistry, geology, or biology, zoology, and the other life sciences. I doubt anyone’s first thought is of food science. But there really is such a thing, and it impacts our daily lives as profoundly if not more so than any of the others. If you live in the woods and off the land, you’re not likely to have much interaction with food science. If, on the other hand, like most of us you buy your food in a store, you’re much more likely to encounter food that has been intensively studied, dissected, modified, and very possibly enhanced. As the old adage says, “better living through chemistry.” I was reminded of this by seeing on the soft drinks shelf of a local supermarket several bottles of blue raspberry soda. I bought one, took it home, drank it. It wasn’t bad and it certainly tasted of raspberries. But it didn’t have any raspberry in it (artificial flavor) and it didn’t look like any raspberry I ever encountered in its natural state. Blue raspberry is also a popular flavor of shave ice and other “foods.” But … there is no such thing as a blue raspberry. Raspberries are red, shading decidedly to black. For the food industry, that presents a problem. Because a more popular flavor, cherry,

  • Shooting selfies with the aliens: A return to Area 51

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5ensesNo CommentsRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell Everybody knows about the “secret” airbase in central Nevada, Area 51. It hasn’t been secret for a long time, though. In fact, Area 51 is so well-known that it’s become part of the UFO folklore. But unless you’re a super secret, deep black military contractor, X-Files type who’s signed an “upon pain of death” security oath/nondisclosure document, you have not been to Area 51. Any “normal” person — ufologists, ancient astronaut theorists, conspiracy theorists and paranormal tourists — who says they’ve been to Area 51 hasn’t; they’ve actually been to Rachel, Nevada. Rachel is an oasis located along Nevada’s Route 375, the Extraterrestrial Highway. It’s the nearest town to Area 51. The hub of human activity is the Little A’Le’Inn, a combo motel-restaurant-bar where true believers gather. If you’ve watched a UFO program during the past two decades, you’ve probably seen some “expert” standing in front of the Little A’Le’Inn Inn espousing some theory about back-engineered alien spacecraft or captured alien pilots held at Area 51. It was the UFO folklore that motivated me to visit Rachel back in 1996. You can read all about that adventure in my book “Photographic Memories” in a chapter called “Wide Awake at Dreamland.” That visit was interesting. I met some true believers and visited the infamous Black Mailbox when it was still actually black. In Rachel, aside from the Little

  • News From the Wilds: February 2018

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris In most years, February in the Mogollon Highlands of Arizona is still a very quiet time when mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants remain quiescent, waiting for the combined cues of increased day-length and higher temperatures to end their winter diapause and begin searching for mates and food. But in all years, the first glimmerings of spring’s vivacity begin this month in the deserts and the chaparral of our region. Over the next several months, the activity in the lowlands will grow from a hum to a roar and gradually flow up the slopes and into the highest mountains, carpeting the whole of the Mogollon Highlands with flowers, warblers, and butterflies. But, for now, the uplands remain relatively quiet, leaving the naturalist to search for hints of Spring. Bird migrations begin to pick up steam now, as overwintering species such as Northern Goshawk and Townsend’s Solitaire begin the months-long journey that will ultimately end in their breeding grounds as far north as the Arctic Circle. Other species migrate through our region to points nearer to the north, while the last of the migrants will include the neotropical migrant warblers who have spent the winter in the rainforests and dry forests of Central America, and will breed and nest here. The overwintering waterfowl on Willow and Watson Lakes, as well as the many smaller bodies of water will

  • Myth & Mind: Chamunda, the skull beneath the skin

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard A terrible demon ravaged the earth in ancient days. A shapeshifter, he could take the form of a man or a huge water buffalo at will. The gods and goddesses could not kill him: The poison on their spearpoints had no effect, and for every drop of his blood that touched the ground an identical demon sprang up raging. Out of the female godhead emerged a deity born to defeat this monster. Sinking her teeth into his giant throat, she drank his blood so thirstily that not a single drop fell. As the demons wailed and died, all their power went into her. Her skin turned blood-red, her flesh withered and clung to her protruding bones, her eyes blazed, and she became the goddess Chamunda, the demon killer. The glance of her staring eyes sears evil out of existence, and her head is crowned with flames. She wears a snake, a necklace of skulls; a scorpion rests on her shrunken belly. Throughout India, she is revered as mother goddess, in some places as an aspect of Durga, Kali, or Parvati, in others as the ultimate in herself. Like the better-known Kali, whose name means “dark one,” she is black or red and her mouth stretches savagely open, revealing teeth. In carvings she dances atop a corpse or sits enthroned on one; otherwise she rides a tiger or

  • On the Walls: “Feeling the Effects: Photo Impressionism Explored”

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, On the WallsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood When you were in school, you probably learned the primary colors as blue, red, and yellow. That’s all well and good for kiddos, but it’s flat wrong when it comes to how printing, let alone light, works. If you’re starting with white (which is all colors), you subtract colors convergent on cyan, magenta, and yellow. If you’re starting with black (which is no colors), you add blue, red, and green. (Incidentally, there’s much more to this and, not coincidentally, cyan, magenta, and yellow are the opposites of blue, red, and green.) Why am I rambling on about colors like this? Well, it’s an apology because the amazing images on this page for the upcoming “Feeling the Effects: Photo Impressionism Explored” — which runs Feb. 15- March 13 at ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223, TisArtGallery.Com — have been neutered by the printing process, which reduces colors to mixtures of cyan, magenta, and yellow (plus black) thus muting the more evocative end of the color spectrum. So, with apologies to the talented Susan Walshe — who’ll be on-site 5-7 p.m. for the Feb. 23 4th Friday Art Walk artist’s reception — here are some amazing impressionistic photos that pair 19th-century French artistic sensibilities with contemporary photo-shopping. ***** Visit “Feeling the Effects: Photo Impressionism Explored” at ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St.,

  • Oddly Enough: February 2018

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller Twice a day, 100 billion tons of seawater flows into and out of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada. That amount of water is equal to the daily flow of all the combined rivers on Earth. ODDLY ENOUGH … The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides on the planet and reaches the incredible height of 50 feet. ***** The first pedestrian to die by moving vehicle was in 1896. Since then, the imperative to save lives has been responsible for some innovative if not specious inventions. The “Pedestrian Catcher” (recorded as early as 1927) was one such device, which amounted to a scoop bolted to the front of an automobile. Activated by a lever inside the car, it violently ripped the person off the street and into a kind of netting. As one ad put it: “When the scoop is open, a jaywalker simply can’t get run over, and sometimes that’s more than he deserves.” Along with this dubious creation, there was the S hook, C clamp canvas pet bag that was simply affixed to the vehicle’s running-board. Its advertisement read: “Your dog will ride safely in this sack, which is quickly attached or removed.” ODDLY ENOUGH … These ideas were not simply the fever dreams of crazed American crackpot visionaries; these car accessories were used on several continents until reason, and I’m sure,

  • Two-bit Column: By a particular measure

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Two-bit ColumnNo CommentsRead More »

    By Justin Agrell Metrics are salient in plenty of fields, but especially computers. But when you stop and consider metrics, at large — whether that be an idea or a physical object or process — they don’t always add up. When you take the time to see which ones measure up, you’ll find you might be obsessing over the wrong ideas. Take, for instance, the Megahertz Myth. For a long time, Intel pushed clock-rate (i.e., how many times per second a processor can process an instruction) as the supreme unit of computing power. They had (mostly) convinced their customers that the faster the clock, the better the computer was as a whole. However, in the vast majority of cases, this metric is useless when comparing cutting-edge processors. But explaining the intricacies of how computer processors function proved too complicated to put into advertising, so Intel’s plan worked out for them. Consumers were baffled by the overload of benchmark comparisons explaining how the competition was better and, in the end, most people simply preferred the simpler metric. Clock-rate, memory, storage capacity, number of ports, weight, and size are the most common measures of a computer. Every processor being sold for general purpose computing now clocks in at billions of hertz and it has been proven that, given efficient enough software, we have surpassed the power required for day-to-day tasks. Memory and

  • On the Stage: ‘The Vagina Monologues’

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Heidi Hampton, director of “The Vagina Monologues,” which runs 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 & 24 at the ERAU Davis Learning Center, 3700 Willow Creek Road, $12-$15. Buy tickets online at VMPrescott.BPT.Me. All proceeds benefit Prescott Area Shelter Services. A 4AM Productions event.] What are “The Vagina Monologues”? It’s a collection of stories that Eve Ensler put together 20 years ago. She’d interviewed these women who run the gamut: rape survivors, incest survivors, homeless women, sex workers, you name it. Originally she did a collection of 12 monologues as a one-woman show. Now, women read different scripts and each year a new monologue gets put into the rotation. … Some people think it’s just a bunch of women talking about their vaginas. Believe it or not, there’s a little bit more to it than that. Some of the pieces are monologues of particular women’s stories, and others are made up from several different women. How did you end up staging this in Prescott? I’ve been with the “Monologues” for 10 years now. This is my first year in Prescott. I moved here about a year ago to help take care of my parents, who are 91. In the past, I found out, “The Vagina Monologues” were done by Prescott College and Embry-Riddle (Aeronautical University), but

  • Tally Ho, Trismegistus!: February 2018

    Feb 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Tally Ho Trismegistus!No CommentsRead More »

    By Clay Smith ***** Clay Smith is an inveterate absurdist with an ear for cognitive dissonance, an eye for Italian horror movies, and a taste for jalapeño bacon. You can reach him at ClayIsNapping@Gmail.Com

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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