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Apr 19th
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A&E

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The World at Our Fingertips

The World at Our Fingertips

Santa Cruz-based project aims to change the way we interact with technology

Jay Silver has a degree in electrical engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology and another one in Internet technology from The University of Cambridge. But while that educational background helped him build a foundation of knowledge, it left something to be desired.

“One of the biggest things that my education taught me, was that education doesn’t teach you how to make things,” says Silver. “So I went through years of getting degrees and I still didn’t know how to change the world, I didn’t know how to make things.”

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An 8-bit Epic

An 8-bit Epic

'Samson's Quest' revels in a 1993 that could have been

I hate graphics," Christopher Rosenberg says, explaining that his disdain for the ultra-real renderings found in many of today's most popular videogames is likely directly linked to the many hours of his youth that he spent playing 8- and 16-bit Nintendo and Super Nintendo consoles.

"Some of my earliest memories are of playing Zelda II on an NES console," the 24-year-old Los Altos resident says. It is a time of great nostalgia for Rosenberg, though he doesn't always accurately recollect his childhood.

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Inside Out and Larger Than Life

Inside Out and Larger Than Life

Santa Cruz Public Libraries joins global art project

The libraries' most powerful asset is the conversation they provide – between books and readers, between children and parents, between individuals and the collective world. Take them away and those voices turn inward or vanish. Turns out that libraries have nothing at all to do with silence."

Bella Bathurst ended her 2011 essay, “The Secret Life of Libraries” with this insight. The conversation she started in the Manchester Guardian has jumped the pond and landed squarely in Downtown Santa Cruz, and it sounds a lot like the shutter of a camera. (Remember those?)

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Photographically Correct

Photographically Correct

Two local photographers come together to teach one amazing workshop

Walking into Poppy de Garmo and Margo Duvall’s Santa Cruz studio is like stumbling upon an artsy treasure trove. A large backdrop takes up nearly half the space, artwork hangs on the walls, and a rack bursting with colorful clothing pops out near the back. Their studio feels like a space of inspiration and collaboration.

When a colleague introduced de Garmo to Duvall about a month ago, their connection was instantaneous. Both photographers love taking portrait shots, and both have taught classes in the past. So, De Garmo thought they should pull their talents together and suggested teaching classes together.

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The Funny Formula

The Funny Formula

UC Santa Cruz alumnus has comedy down to a science

Nathan Habib claims he is a comedian first and an economist second. But talking to the 22-year-old UC Santa Cruz graduate, it is clear that the economist inside is constantly at work—even when he is behind the microphone telling jokes.

Habib is not a day trader or a Paul Krugman type. He loathes math and isn't preoccupied with global markets or politics. He is an economist in the classical sense. The young comedian concerns himself with actions of people and the peculiar forces behind those actions. Habib spends his days thinking about what makes people cry, scowl, smirk and (most importantly) laugh.

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Toy Story

Toy Story

Santa Cruz Toymakers celebrates 25 years with library exhibits

The story goes that Al Raboff, a Santa Cruz local, loved to fashion wooden roosters, helicopters, puzzles, trucks, and critters of any kind for his grandchildren to play with. But as the children grew up, Raboff never did.

He expanded his woodworking project to include friends. The group began meeting once a month at (the now defunct) Tiny’s Restaurant in Capitola to swap ideas, and show off the toys they had created. The collective began donating their toys to local kids via nonprofit daycare centers recommended by the County Board of Education.

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Drumming a Dream

Drumming a Dream

Watsonville Taiko breathes new life into ancient Japanese tradition

When Ikuyo Conant was growing up near Mount Fuji in Japan, she never imagined she would play the Taiko drums. Every summer, her family and neighbors used the instrument to celebrate the Obon, a festival which she compares to Christmas in terms of importance. But as a child and a female, the drums were forbidden to her.

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Viva Los Mejicas

Viva Los Mejicas

Mexican folkloric dance group celebrates its 40th anniversary at UCSC

once a Mejica, Always a Mejica,” reads the motto for Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas; it’s a tagline that holds both literal and symbolic meaning, one that represents more than the simple association of having once participated in the group. It indicates something deeper, an acknowledgement of where one has come from, and the promise to take that knowledge into the future. And now at the impressively ripe age of 40, the group has certainly accumulated a substantial amount of members who will always consider themselves as such.

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Renewing Pride

Renewing Pride

Annual Santa Cruz Pride Parade returns—with a twist

When the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz was thinking about a slogan for this year’s Pride Parade and Festival, its organizers immediately thought of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign and the Gay Straight Alliance’s “Make it Better” campaign. “We wanted to riff on that theme,” says Jim Brown, executive director at the Diversity Center. “Some teens can’t wait for life to get better—they need to do something now.”

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Beauty and the Scientist

Beauty and the Scientist

Upcoming exhibit features inspired collaborations between scientists and local artists

It’s not hard to find art that makes you think. It’s much less common to find art that actually requires scientific collaboration—a seemingly counterintuitive pairing. But, the upcoming show “earth • science • art / sixteen collaborative explorations,” at the R. Blitzer Gallery, does just that.

Featuring the work of 16 artists from the Central Coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area working in collaboration with 16 research scientists from the Santa Cruz-based U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, the exhibit opens on June 1, with two evening panel discussions on June 7 and 14.

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Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Mighty Leaf

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What would you like to see a TED talk about?

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37th Parallel Wines

I visited the Capitola Mall recently to check out the newly launched Third Fridays Walking Art Tour, and was surprised to find an impressive assortment of artwork from local artists.

 

New Bohemian Brewery

New Santa Cruz brewery focuses on European style lagers