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Jan 27th
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The Ticker

Rock-Paper-Lizard

Rock-Paper-Lizard

UCSC researchers use game to explain findings on speciation

What does the game of rock-paper-scissors have in common with speciation? More than you may think, according to a paper by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, published this week in the online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The idea that morphs within the same population could eventually evolve into separate species is not a particularly new one. But a study by researchers Barry Sinervo, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCSC, and Ammon Corl, who led the new study as a graduate student at UCSC but is now a postdoctoral researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden, about side-blotched lizards finds new evidence to support the theory.

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Staycation

Why Monterey’s Hotel Abrego is the Perfect Portal To Reboot

Why Monterey’s Hotel Abrego is the Perfect Portal To Reboot

Years ago, when I lived in Monterey, a friend and I often frequented a Denny’s restaurant that was nestled near the corner of Abrego and Freemont streets. We’d spend countless hours there chatting about life and, whenever we went our separate ways, we barely noticed the hotel that shared the same parking lot with the diner.

Well, those days are over—it’s hard not to pay attention to the hotel now. For starters, the Denny’s bit the dust. In its place is a new structure that makes up just one portion of an impressive 93-room vacation—or staycation—portal that was once dubbed the Sand Dollar Inn.

Welcome to Hotel Abrego.

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CultureBeat

Crepe Filling

Crepe Filling

Tips for local bands on how to book a show at The Crepe Place

As local bands come up the ranks from street corner to coffee shop to house party, they eventually reach the point where they’re ready to hit the big stage. While getting your name in lights (or at least on a flyer) may seem like an impossible mission, I’d like to give you—or the aspiring musos in your life—a fighting chance.

Hitting the stage doesn’t have to be a heartbreaking struggle, and I’m here to do the local music scene homework that all bands should be assigned. To kick off this “How to Book a Show” blog series for local musicians, I’ve spoken to the man behind the concerts of the Crepe Place (1134 Soquel Avenue), booker Adam Bergeron.

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The Ticker

Local Animal Behavior and Cognition Expert Dies at Age 77

La Selva Beach resident Ronald Schusterman, best known for his research on the hearing, vision, and cognitive abilities of marine mammals, died on Feb. 11 at the age of 77. Throughout his life, Schusterman had many notable achievements, among them was helping debunk the idea that pinnipeds use echolocation and demonstrating that sea lions can understand syntax and a serious of commands. In 1985, Schusterman moved his research program to UC Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory, where he conducted experiments to understand how California sea lions, harbor seals, and elephant seals think about the world around them. He helped establish the lab’s reputation as a leading center for marine mammal research. Schusterman was also a research marine biologist and adjunct professor of ocean sciences at UCSC from 1985 until his retirement in 2003. A memorial service is being planned for Sunday, Feb. 28. For more information, contact [email protected]

Mind & Body

The Doctor is In (bed), part 2: Dr. Rachel Recovers from Surgery

The Doctor is In (bed), part 2:  Dr. Rachel Recovers from Surgery

Well, here I am, a month to the day, fully healed and not even thinking about my absent tonsils (and I did NOT get a sore throat and tonsillitis with a recent cold!).  Overall, I did much better than the average patient, pretty well fully functional by 12 days following surgery and no complications.  I think that the prayers, herbs, craniosacral treatment, nutritional IV’s, and acupucture all helped—at least as much as the love of the people providing them.  And I have to give a grateful nod to Western medicine, for as much as I loved all the holistic approaches, nothing came close to the passion I felt for my bottle of liquid Vicodin in that first week.

I was promised, by the good Dr. Lane, that this surgery would hurt.  A lot.  And she never lies.  I started out gagging down the disgusting, yellow, sickly sweet liquid Vicodin and, honestly, by the end, I looked forward to its pineapple-like flavor.  Amazing what the imagination can do.  I have a whole new appreciation for the difficulty of living with chronic pain and a new sympathy for the longing of addicts for their substance of choice.  After 10 days, I graduated myself to Tylenol and poured my lovely Vicodin down the drain.

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CultureBeat

Maverick’s Strikes Back

Maverick’s Strikes Back

This year’s contest saw a sleeping giant reawakened

After a long two-year hiatus Maverick’s finally unloaded, delivering ego- and bone-crushing surf renowned for registering on the Richter scale.

In deceptively clean, sunny and photogenic conditions the watershed big wave contest was nearly more than the 24 invitees could wrestle with their bare hands. Even spectators found themselves unwittingly in the crosshairs of a mean west swell that peaked at 22-foot and 17-seconds, cruelly right in sync with a 9:20 a.m. high tide. Surfers met the 50- to 60-foot faces head-on, with respected alternates such as Rusty Long, Mark Healy and expert waterman Shane Dorian freefalling into a few gaping bombs even before the contest began.

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The Ticker

California Takes Action for Education

Sudents, faculty, and staff are banding together: On March 1 and 4, tens of thousands of students and workers from the University of California, California State University, and community college systems will take action against budget cuts and more. Some will march on their own campuses while others will head straight for the state capitol. Plans for the 4th have evolved from a statewide strike in California into a national day of protest in support of higher education. Organizers at UCSC also have big plans. Check GT’s March 11 issue for more information and event coverage.

 

CultureBeat

No Fear

No Fear

Talk about a huge week for DC fans. The house that Superman built blew the minds of nerds everywhere a few days back with the announcement of some re-shuffling at the top of the creative chain. Editor Dan Didio has positioned legendary artist Jim Lee as co-publisher of the company while writing hot-shot Geoff Johns moves up to the brand new position of chief creative officer (I wonder if that comes with a uniform). His task is to create a consistency in the DC universe across all forms of entertainment. Television, movies, direct to DVD specials, you name it. Every decision goes through this guy first. In Johns' own words:

"My goal is nothing less than to have the DC Universe be the most popular mythology in and outside of comics in the world."

Yep, mind blown and if anyone can pull it off it's this guy.

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The Ticker

Blood Brother

Blood Brother

Local man has donated 43 gallons of blood

Eighty-six-year-old Felton resident Daniel Cunha has given a lot of himself to the American Red Cross over the years—in more ways than one. As a volunteer for over 50 years, he once helped transport bone marrow across the country. But in addition to the time he has given, he has given something even more personal: his blood. Forty-three gallons of his blood, to be exact.

A small ceremony was held on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Red Cross blood drive in Felton to commemorate Cunha’s enormous contribution. He was presented with a plaque before getting in the donor chair to give his unit of blood. Afterward, he and his wife, Sybil, enjoyed slices of cake brought for the occasion.

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Mind & Body

What will you do for love?

What will you do for love?

Dave Eggars writes in the introduction to David Foster Wallace’s huge ( emotionally and physically – 1079 pages ) novel, Infinite Jest, about  “a constant tragic undercurrent that concerns people who are completely lost – lost within their families, lost within their nations, lost within their time and who only want some sort of direction or purpose or sense of community and love.”  This seems universal.  After digging through Infinite Jest a number of times, never to finish, I can understand the commitment necessary to forge a connection to others or to the divine through creative expression.  Is this my answer?  Investigating and committing to photography and writing with a quest for love are encouraged by yoga.  These postures, after years of practice, seep deeper and deeper into my heart allowing the art to emerge.  Sometimes I’m sore, but mostly these days, I’m inspired.  The asanas have become established within me inducing a clearing for the expression that seems more important than ever. Love.

 
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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.