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Jul 01st
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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.

The Ticker

Power Up Approved

A plan to help Santa Cruzans soak up the sun is moving forward. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved funding for the CaliforniaFIRST pilot program, which will allow residents of several California counties to install solar panels and other energy efficient technologies using government loans. Home and business owners will pay back the loan through their property taxes—an added incentive to people who might consider moving or have lower credit scores. Ecology Action, which helped write the grant, estimates the CEC's funding will bring the interest rate for the loan down to 7 or 8 percent. They expect more details will be available in the coming weeks.
Staycation

A View to Remember

A View to Remember

Enjoy a magical staycation at luxurious and eco-friendly Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur

It’s the type of place where magic unfolds, where troubles take a backseat, where relaxation hits an all time high, and where perhaps the greatest view in California exists. Perched high on a cliff 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur has earned the status as No. 1 lodging experience in the United States (at least from this reviewer). I have never seen anything like it, and perhaps I never will again—because the Post Ranch Inn is a thoroughly innovative, vastly original, solar-powered, organic cuisine offering, high-end luxury resort in a location that’s one-of-a-kind, with amenities and staff that are impeccable. You won’t find this experience anywhere else. It’s worth every dollar you spend on booking a room with a jaw-dropping view, eating a divine dinner, and partaking in a superb spa treatment.

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The Ticker

Top Notch

Top Notch

UCSC Ranks 18th in World in Survey for Geosciences
A November 2009 survey named the University of California, Santa Cruz, as one of the top 20 geosciences institutions in the world.
The British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) conducted the survey using data provided by Thomas Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators. The analysis looked at peer-reviewed journal articles from January 1999 through June 2009, assessing rankings based on the number of citations per paper to ensure that the rankings indicate impact, not just output.

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I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’