It's a point of honor among paleontologists and wanna-be paleontologists to spell this dino's name correctly--those who make the fatal mistake of writing Saltosaurus in one of the many academic dinosaur chat rooms get immediately swarmed by legions of angry, self-righteous graduate students who rain down snotty phrases such as "you should know better" upon the offender until you ache to smack them all. (I witnessed this; it was horrific.)
The T-Rex museum, sweetheart of kids and dinosaur-fans alike, will unveil its new Saltasaurus exhibit on Saturday, Aug. 14; lectures about the dino are scheduled for 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, free with the price of admission.
Saltasaurus was so-named by paleontologists J. Bonaparte and J. Powell in 1980, after fossils--really just a handful of bony plates--were found in the northwestern Argentinean province of Salta. Those oval and circular bony plates covered the broad back of this sauropod--a 30- to 40-foot-long plant-eater with an elongated neck, blunt teeth, thick tail and small head. Though no complete Saltasaurus skeletons have been found, later discoveries of vertebrae, limb bones and jaws in Argentina, Rio Negro and Uruguay allowed paleontologists to identify three different species within the group; some sauropod eggs containing embryos with embedded bony plates were reported discovered in 1998.
Learn more from T-Rex staff, who will even let kids dig for fossils to take home with them. T-Rex is a community funded nonprofit teaching center; their hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
It's a ways outside of town, but the 17th Annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering promises cowboy storytelling in verse and in song, Western harmony bands, cowboy singer/songwriters and "cowboy traditions--from the latest range-country styles to fine art of the West." Reserved seats for any of the evening shows are $16. Fourteen featured poets were selected from more than 100 applicants (all "real, working-cowboy poets") and are scattered throughout the three days with supporting musical performances by a bunch of fine, cowboy (and cowgirl, through the press release doesn't say it) musicians.
Headlining the 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19 show is Jesse Ballantyne, with featured poets Leon Flick, Audrey Hankins, Randy Rieman and special guests Kip Calahan and Jim Wilson. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, Roughstring will open the stage for featured poets Bob Bird, Ross Knox, Joel Nelson, Gary Robertson and special guess Steve Rafters. At 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, Tucson's own Desert Sons will kick off the final evening of the event, featuring poets Lee Brimhall, Bunny Dryden, Bob Ryan Van, Rod Taylor and special guest Georgie Sicking. The Desert Sons will perform again at 8 p.m., followed by featured poets J.B. Allen, Joette Conley, Yvonne Hollenbeck and Tom Sharpe.
A series of smaller, less-formal sessions are also scheduled--call the info number above or visit www.sharlot.org--and it's recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance, since the event sold out several shows last year.
'Tis the season of the political documentary, thanks not only to the blockbuster Fahrenheit 911, but to the many independent filmmakers who fuel the debate with smaller, but important forays into the genre.
The Loft Cinema enters the fray with no fewer than three offerings, the first of which, The Hunting of the President, premieres at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13.
"It's a documentary about Bill Clinton's career," says Peggy Johnson, executive director of the Tucson Cinema Foundation, "from Arkansas though his impeachment trial. It's a really interesting film that's narrated by Morgan Freeman, and Susan McDougal's story is a powerful part of the film. When we saw that she was touring to promote women's rights in prison, we thought, 'let's bring her in.'"
McDougal--who was sentenced to two years in prison for refusing to cooperate with independent counsel Kenneth Starr--will speak after the screening, and sign copies of her book, The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk: Why I Refused to Testify Against the Clintons and What I Learned in Jail.
"Political documentaries have become something that people want to see," says Johnson. "The good thing about them is that they don't have any hidden agendas--the agenda is right there in front of your face. People either loved or hated Fahrenheit 911, but they saw it, and anything that adds to the dialogue adds value."
The Control Room, about Al-Jazeera's presentation of the second Iraq war to their worldwide Arab audience, will premiere Friday, Aug. 27; The Corporation, about the players in modern corporate warfare, premieres Wednesday, Sept. 8.
Cerámica y Cultura: The Story of Mexican and Spanish Mayólica was organized by the Museum of International Folk Art; thanks to the Traveling Exhibitions Program of the Museum of New Mexico, "101 plus" pieces of Mayólican pottery will be on display at UAMA through Oct. 10.
Mayólica is a Spanish term that encompasses a specific method of glazing earthenware pottery. While the pieces on display speak to the culture and everyday lives of Mexican and Spanish people, the techniques used to make the pieces represent an even more complex blending of cultures, one that stretches from the early centuries of the A.D. to the present. It incorporates not only the work of Mexican and Spanish potters, but of Chinese and Muslim artists as well. The exhibit itself includes bilingual labels, historical information and hands-on activities; on Friday, Aug. 20, Tucson Museum of Art's Latin American specialist, Stephen Vollmer, will run a public tour of the exhibit.
The work of Garo Z. Antreasian--a printmaker, painter and draftsman--also opens Aug. 14 and runs through Oct. 10. Known for "pushing the technical bounds of his medium while maintaining exacting control," many of the pieces on display are from the museum's own collection, donated by the artist and his wife.
Antreasian's more recent work revisits his interest in organic shapes, as typified by a series of tall (more than 7 feet), narrow, charcoal drawings based on elaborations of plants, ropes and traditional African shields. Antreasian will visit the museum on Tuesday, Sept. 28 for a 5:30 p.m. meet-the-artist reception.