Archive for November, 2018

  • Art for a Cause: Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery raises funds for The Launch Pad

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureComments Off on Art for a Cause: Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery raises funds for The Launch PadRead More »

    By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Laura Tully, deputy director of The Launch Pad, 302 Grove Ave., 928-227-0758, TheLaunchPadTeenCenter.Org. The Launch Pad is the beneficiary of Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery’s annual charity art sale fundraiser, which runs Nov. 23-Dec. 26, 134 S. Montezuma St., 928-776-7717, ArtsPrescott.Com.]   What is The Launch Pad and where did it come from? The Launch Pad is a nonprofit teen center that serves kids in the Quad City Area. Courtney Osterfelt started The Launch Pad about five years ago. It came out of the WEB program, Women’s Empowerment Breakthrough, which is a three-day retreat for teenage girls that she started 15 years ago. So, she was doing this weekend every year and the girls kept saying, “Why can’t we do this every weekend?”; “Can’t we have some place where all of us can go all the time?”; and, “Can my brother come?” So, Courtney saw the need for youth involvement in the community. Courtney was my professor at Prescott College and led an independent study with five of us in 2013. We spent the entire semester surveying youth and adults in the community to gauge the need for a teen center and how well it would be received. The next fall, Launch Pad opened. We were renting space out of a tiny little church building,

  • Perceivings: Depth perception

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's Perceivings1 CommentRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster I never tire of looking at art. Even bad art can be instructive, by showing that you can do better than those who are making millions hauling scrap from yards and calling it art. (What really differentiates so much modern “art” from what you see jumbled together at your neighbor’s yard sale?) But sometimes, it’s just as entertaining and enlightening to look at people looking at art. I don’t mean folks muttering fraught pseudo-intellectual claptrap while gawking at a toilet installed in a bare white museum room. I’m referring to art that is, or was, seriously controversial. Unsettling, even, to its audience. The 20th, let alone the 21st, century did not invent disturbing art. Work that was truly groundbreaking likely goes back to some scribe surreptitiously scribbling something outrageous on the walls of the king’s new bedchamber, and then ducking out before it was discovered so he wouldn’t lose his head. I just got back from Paris (I always wanted to be able to say that). Naturally I spent endless hours, accompanied by increasingly sore feet, exploring the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay and the Luxembourg museum, and others. I feasted upon works famous and less so, encountering the expected and the unfamiliar. It was while viewing the collection of the much smaller but still notable Petit Palais that I found myself sufficiently intrigued to spend

  • News From the Wilds: December 2018

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris The coldest season has come round again, and the wilds have entered the depth of their quiescence. But though the nights are at their longest now — the longest of the year is on Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice — the coldest (and, for many species, hardest) parts of the winter are still to come. December is slightly warmer and bears a bit less rain and snow than January, when the days will be already growing longer again. This lag between the darkest and the coldest times is a result of an interaction between the thermal qualities of the air masses in the atmosphere and the thermal mass of the landscape — the air holds its temperature long after incoming solar radiation has declined, but now begins to lose its heat to the rapidly cooling land. It is for this reason that the warmest parts of the summer are typically after the Summer Solstice, and that the coldest parts of the winter are after the Winter Solstice. As a result of low temperatures and lack of sunlight, plants and insects now enter the depth of their winter diapause, when almost no activity is to be found. These two groups are the primary food sources for almost all of our species, so their somnolence brings extreme hardship for birds and mammals, the two groups that remain most active

  • What’s Up?: The Geminids meteor shower

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, What's up?No CommentsRead More »

    By Adam England Recently, we experienced two relatively small meteor showers, at just 5-15 meteors per hour. While any meteor event can be exciting, “the more, the better” mantra certainly applies to these shooting stars. The December Geminids hits that mark, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak in the chilly early morning hours of Dec. 14. But what exactly is a meteor shower? Ancient cultures attempted to describe these celestial events, but the irregularity of meteor showers proved to be more difficult to predict than the orbits of the planets and seasonal migrations of the stars. Plutarch likened this unpredictability to that of experiencing pleasures, which, “Like gales of soft wind, move simpering, one towards one extreme of the body and another towards another, and then go off in a vapor. Nor are they of any long durance, but, as so many glancing meteors, they are no sooner kindled in the body than they are quenched by it.” The Maya predicted meteor showers and timed significant cultural events to coincide with their arrival. By 900 C.E., Asian cultures were accurately predicting the annual return of the Perseids. The first modern study of meteor showers was after the Leonids event in November 1833. Estimates give 200,000 meteors over the nine hours of the storm that blanketed Western North America. Speculation as to why this was only

  • A Fishy Story: The bald-faced truth behind those eagle photos

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureComments Off on A Fishy Story: The bald-faced truth behind those eagle photosRead More »

    By Dale O’Dell [Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in “Photographic Memories,” 2009, by Dale O’Dell.] When you see pictures in books and magazines of bald eagles I’ll bet you’re pretty impressed. I used to be — until I saw how they were done. If you know where to go, and who to see, photographing eagles is a piece of cake. Not all pictures of bald eagles are shot this way, but a lot of them are. This fish-flinging adventure occurred the second time I’d gone to Alaska to photograph eagles. I’m not going to give away all of the secrets; you’ll have to do your own research if you too want to photograph these majestic and sometimes goofy birds. There’s a town on the southern coast of Alaska (is that vague enough?) where bald eagles congregate in the winter. The eagles range all over the place but gather in one specific spot, out near the beach, where a certain woman feeds them. Although, technically, it’s illegal to feed wild animals, this woman is credited with nearly single-handedly saving the southern Alaskan bald eagle population, so the Fish and Wildlife guys just look the other way when it comes to her feeding activities. She lives across the road from a fish packing plant. Every day during the winter months, when many eagles might starve because there are too few animals

  • Myth & Mind: A worm by many other names

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard On the limbs of a shrubby oak tree native to the Mediterranean and Aegean shores, a scale insect called Kermes vermilio nourishes itself with sap. In prehistoric times people discovered that the dried bodies of the female kermes rendered up a red dye so rich, so eye-ravishing, that its saturated intensity was matched only by the famous Tyrian purple. This was the livid wineish dye expressed drop by drop from murex rock snails to color the ceremonial garments of Roman emperors, a dye so costly — it took 12 thousand snails to ennoble the trim of a single garment — and so fabled that in the ancient world it was the emblem of all things exotic and prized. The maritime civilization that traded murex purple, old when Classical Greece was in its infancy, is known to history as Phoenicia from the Ancient Greek φοῖνιξ (phoînix), “murex dye,” from φοινός (phoinós) “purple-red.” Phoînix could refer to any of the dye’s characteristic shades, from grapey crimson through heather to what Homer called “purple blood.” Pliny the Elder reports in his “Natural History” that murex dye was “considered of the best quality when it [had] exactly the colour of clotted blood,” a deeply saturated, “shining” hue attained through a process involving two murex species, one of which yielded an indigo color. Unlike other dyes which fade with wear, Tyrian purple

  • Oddly Enough: December 2018

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller Hoover Dam (formerly Boulder Dam) rises a majestic 726 feet high and is 660 feet thick at its base. It weighs an estimated 6.6 million tons. It backs up Lake Mead, which is 590 feet deep at its deepest point. When originally filled, the sheer weight of the lake water caused over 600 earthquakes. It was a monumental Great Depression undertaking from 1931-1936. Many people died during this ambitious project. The first official death associated with this dam was J. G. Tierney, an employee of the Bureau of Reclamation, who was scouting for a good geological location for the dam. He fell from a barge and drowned on Dec. 20, 1922. Oddly Enough … The last person to die on this engineering wonder fell from one of the intake towers to his death. He also died on Dec. 20, thirteen years later. His name was Patrick Tierney – J. G. Tierney’s son! Bonus Oddly … Although well over 100 people died as a result of working on this structure, no one is buried in the concrete. Each pour of cement only measured a few inches thick, making it virtually impossible for anyone to be entombed. Most deaths occurred from extreme heat and poor ventilation in the overflow shafts. ***** This small carnivorous cave beetle (unique to the cave systems of Slovenia) was discovered in 1933 by a

  • Active Visions: Introducing … Save the Dells

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureComments Off on Active Visions: Introducing … Save the DellsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Joe Trudeau, the chair of Save the Dells. Find out more at SaveTheDells.Org.]   What is Save the Dells and how did it get started? Save the Dells is a local citizens advocacy group advocating for the protection of the Granite Dells as a publicly available space. I started this group two years ago when we learned about a major development that was in the conceptual planning phase that involved several hundred acres of the Granite Dells. A few of us got together at a coffee shop downtown and talked about the rumors we’d been hearing and decided it was the right time for us to take a close look at the proposed development. So, we did that and what we found was really troubling. At that point in the conversation with the Prescott City Council — that is, between the developer and the city council — it was looking like it would be a really bad thing: probably the largest development in the history of Yavapai County and certainly the largest in the history of the Granite Dells. We had to do something.   So what’s happened since the group was formed? We spent about a year just trying to educate ourselves on the issues and getting to know the key players and

  • Story Time: ‘Storytellers’ returns to Smoki Museum

    Nov 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureComments Off on Story Time: ‘Storytellers’ returns to Smoki MuseumRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Manuel Lucero IV, assistant director of the Smoki Museum, member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and a participant in “Storytellers,” 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, at the Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave., 928-445-1230, SmokiMuseum.Org., $6-$7, free to children 12 or under and native people.] Why tell stories at the Smoki this time of year? Traditionally, with most native people, wintertime is the time we tell our stories. It’s a time for our elders. It’s usually too cold to go outside to work or play, so you can eat some good food, maybe play some games, and then you say, “Grandma, Grandpa: Tell me a story.” It’s usually during this time our creation stories are recited. There are stories about the way you should or should not behave, stories about love, and sometimes scary stories. Were you brought up with that as a child? Absolutely. When I was a kid, my favorite story was how Bat got his wings. It’s a story about animals playing a game of stickball — what we call lacrosse today. And, in this story, little Mouse wants to play the game but all the other animals tell him he’s too small. So, Mouse goes over to the winged ones, the flyers, who are picking teams, and they

  • Tally Ho, Trismegistus!: December 2018

    Nov 30, 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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