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Feb 14th
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The Ticker

Bringing Antarctica to You

Bringing Antarctica to You

Waking up on a recent morning in Santa Cruz that was so foggy the streets had puddles, I thought about what to pack for my upcoming expedition to the driest, windiest, coldest, and most extreme continent in the world, Antarctica. What will I need? How will I survive? What’s it going to be like? Soon I’ll find out and so will you. And we’ll learn so much more. We’ll have the opportunity to observe research under the ice of Antarctica as it’s being done and to follow along as scientists try to measure and understand changes in seafloor communities. We’ll watch them SCUBA dive and use underwater robots to take pictures and videos, collect specimens, and get data. We’ll learn about the logistics of getting to remote spots on the most remote continent in the world. We’ll get the inside scoop of what it actually means to do research and what scientists are doing to understand climate change, ecology, and extreme environments.

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CultureBeat

Making it Work

Making it Work

For whatever reason, my love of Project Runway faded out once the show made the leap from Bravo to Lifetime. It wasn't like it was moved to a different night and time slot or anything and remembering what channel to look for every Wednesday was only mildly confusing. I think the main problem was that I'd spent all of that long, torturous time that passed between seasons getting over the whole "reality" competition formula (not totally true, I still watch Top Chef). Which is too bad because those first seasons of PR held me in a vice like grip from beginning to end (Danny V was robbed!). Still, I miss Tim Gunn enough that I was pretty excited when I came across an article featuring his review of Wonder Woman's new costume. That's right, as of issue #600 Diana Prince receives yet another in a long line of makeovers. In a medium where change is generally met with nerd screams from every corner of the globe, I have to admit that I don't really mind this and neither does Mr. Gunn:

"Capes and cloaks can be easily removed if they get caught on something. Gowns and dresses, not so much. The more form-fitting, the better. So tight pants or skinny jeans, sure. I think Wonder Woman could work a pant."

I love that guy. You can check out the rest of his comments at this link (it's a fun read) and here's what you can find on the shelves this week.

Auf wiedersehen!

Obsessive Beauty

Level 99 Wren Trouser

Level 99 Wren TrouserFor a girl with a Kim Kardashian-sized rear end, finding a flattering pair of pants can be a struggle. But no longer. Recently, I took a jaunt down the street to my neighborhood store, Stripe (Stripedesigngroup.com), where I do a fair amount of shopping. The staff knows me quite well by now, to the point that I can walk in the door and they'll hit the racks, pulling out things they know I'll like. And every time, they're right. It's so impressive, that I swear they know my measurements—they know exactly what styles I'm drawn to, and precisely how something will fit my body. They also know that I have a lot of junk in my trunk, so to speak. (My words, not theirs.) So when I stopped by Stripe recently, the staff confidently pulled a pair of black pants off the rack and insisted that I try them on "just for fun." There was that knowing smile they had. And once I put on the Level 99 Wren Trousers ($88), I knew why they were smiling. Until that day, I had never found a pair of pants that fit my curves so carefully and attractively. Soft, with a linen feel, the pants are wide-leg to streamline curvy hips, and they have been exquisitely constructed to boost up the rear end. Perfect pants? Absolutely. I ended up buying two pairs—one in black, and one in khaki/brown. Sure, I spent a ton of money, but as any woman with curves knows, once you find a dreamy  pair of pants, you always buy two pairs.

The Level 99 Wren Trouser sells at Stripe, 107 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, Stripedesigngroup.com.
CultureBeat

Black and Blue

Black and Blue

Tips on how to book a show at the Blue Lagoon
In a world where e-mails go unanswered and phone calls never get returned, local bands can find a kindred spirit in Blue Lagoon booker Cory Atkinson. Coming up through the ranks with his own band, Atkinson is all too familiar with the trials of booking a tour and the heartbreak of playing an empty room. He works hard to respect bands, and let’s face it; you can’t say that about everyone.

Recently celebrating their thirtieth anniversary, the Blue Lagoon is a Santa Cruz institution. Booking live shows for the past five years, local bands can represent on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. A cavernous space, the entire bar can hold upwards of 400, but the band room is considered sold out at 250. On a typical Wednesday night, everybody is happy with 50 people in the room. Local bands can hone their craft midweek and work their way up to a weekend slot.

A practitioner of the ancient art of “show trading,” Atkinson often plays matchmaker, pairing a local Santa Cruz band with a decent following, with an up and coming San Francisco band. The idea is that the out of town band gets some local exposure, and if all goes well will return the favor by bringing the hometown band up to the city where they have the larger draw. When balanced correctly, this scenario encourages a win/win with the bands and the club.

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The Ticker

Gulf Report

Gulf Report

On the night of the Fourth of July, I flew into New Orleans.  I watched from above as fireworks sailed from below into the sky to celebrate Independence Day. The young man from a small Louisiana coastal town sitting next to me said "I've never seen fireworks from above." "Me neither."

"I've never been on a plane before this either," he added.
A few hours later I was back in the sky, this time flying above a different kind of fireworks. The kind that mourn our dependence. Our small Cessna traced the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, documenting the flow of oil and tar balls onto islands, wetlands, mangroves, beaches and the inadequacy of the bright yellow and orange booms floating here and there and more often than not, beachcast and twisted by the wind and waves.

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Mind & Body

The Midwestern Health Diet

The Midwestern Health Diet

I grew up in the heart of the Midwest and so did my taste buds.  Church potlucks with scalloped potatoes, tuna casserole, and jello salad were my idea of a good time.  My mom was an excellent (and healthy) cook, but leading the charge in the snack food category was my unreasonably thin father.  He followed the farming tradition of eating a big lunch (called “dinner”) and having a light “supper” or, his preference, none at all.  To this day his favorite meal in the evening consists of popcorn--and I’m talking GALLONS of it—popped, these days, in canola oil with plenty of salt and sliced apples and cheddar cheese neatly arranged on top.  He should be a representative for the Stir Crazy corporation as he has run through probably thirty of their poppers in his lifetime.

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The Ticker

Healthcare for Dummies

Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched on July 1 to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, more than 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” says Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.” ÿ

CultureBeat

Joshua Tree

Joshua TreeWe have been on the road for almost 6 weeks now and last night as we were driving through Joshua Tree, having just left the Joshua Tree State Park the transmission on our bus blows a gasket on Route 62 at about 5:30pm. We were about 30 yards from the Safari Motel where we limped into the parking lot, leaking the last amount of transmission fluid that we had onboard. After checking into, another, once again, cheap motel we stood by our broken vehicle and there alongside highway 62 was a sign that read “Transmission work, call Hector”. Although, it took us a few hours, we called Hector. Hector happened to live and work just an 1/8th of a mile up the road from the Safari Motel.
Read more...
The Ticker

Healthcare for Dummies

Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, Healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched today to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, over 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” said Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.”

The Ticker

Love Gutter

Love GutterLocal band challenges Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance
If you haven’t seen Love Gutter, you’ve probably heard them pounding away on their homemade barrel drum in front of New Leaf at the corner of Soquel and Pacific Avenues. For six years, street performers Brent Adams and Wireless have attempted to provide a heart-thumping soundtrack to downtown life amidst the slew of heavily enforced noise ordinances. Wednesday, the duo prepared to brave the waves of law enforcement officials and play their music anyway, as a means of objecting to what they perceive as the unfair use of the Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance. “Any kind of art that is frustrated by law or injustice, isn’t pure art,” says Wireless, who drums on kitchen pots using gardening gloves with safety pins at the fingertips. While the two are well versed in the ordinances and know they can only play for an hour in certain places and only at certain times, a single complaint about Love Gutter can cost them a $450 ticket.
Read more...
 
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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster