"Tucson's Health Week" (see the Well-Being blurb on the next page) coincides with the state's "Valley Fever Awareness Week" (Nov. 14-20). Valley Fever is that ominously named illness that affects plenty of Arizonans annually.
Of the approximately 150,000 infections that occur annually, two-thirds happen in Arizona. According to the UA Health Sciences Center's press release, "While many people who contract the disease show only mild symptoms or none at all, about one-third of those infected become ill, some seriously so."
So, what is Valley Fever? In the press-released words of somebody much smarter than myself, "Coccidioidomycosis, or 'cocci,' is an infection caused by the soil-borne fungus, Coccidioides." I knew those Coccidioides were bad news. However, fear not, as all your questions will be answered and fears allayed when Demosthenes Pappagianis, M.D., Ph.D., gives the 10th Annual Farness Lecture Tuesday. The lecture is free, as are all the other Valley Fever Awareness Week events.
Dr. Pappagianis will speak on "The Importance of Coccidioidomycosis to the Public Health of the Southwest," and address everything that convenient and self-explanatory title suggests. Although I cannot begin to fathom just what that is, I can tell you Dr. Pappagianis' credentials speak for themselves. With a Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley and medical degree from Stanford, Pappagianis knows Coccidioidomycosis like nobody's business.
Other scheduled events include a Valley Fever Poster Session on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 2-4:30 p.m. in the UA Student Union Memorial Center; and Coccidioidomycosis for Arizona Physicians on Friday, Nov. 18, from noon-1 p.m. on Cox cable and archived at
video.biocom.arizona.edu . --M.P.
There have been great examples of clay in action, like those clay animation Christmas specials. Then there's been, well, MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch. Muse Pottery will be hosting a Clay Festival/Olympics this Sunday that looks to be in line with the former, and we couldn't be happier.
Maxine Krasnow, director of Muse Pottery, spoke via e-mail about the inspiration for the event. "When Muse Pottery ... relocated to the Warehouse District, we were brainstorming ways for the public to find us," Krasnow said. "One of our studio monitors, Dana Holland, suggested a clay festival, and we all ran with the idea. We wanted an event that would bring the entire Tucson clay community together."
Together indeed. With a smattering of fun and unique events, the Clay Festival/Olympics looks to be one of the more exciting arts events in all of Tucson this fall. "I am most excited, because this festival will be fun for everyone," Krasnow said. "We will have activities ranging from demonstrations by professional Tucson artists to hands-on experiences for the general community. There is something for every age and experience level."
Krasnow hopes the event will become an annual celebration of clay. The day is packed with clay-rific (patent pending) events. Plus, in the parking lot, you can check out a variety of booths, from homemade soups served in a bowl of your choice to a booth addressing carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and other hazards of the potter's trade.
So, to enjoy the most clay-tastic (you can have that one) event in Tucson, check out the Clay Festival/Olympics this Sunday. As Krasnow said, "I hope the community comes away with a deeper appreciation of clay and a greater awareness of the ceramic educational resources in Tucson." The event costs $10 (for admission to all events) or $1 tickets for booths and single events. Most events require one to three tickets. --M.P.
There are few things worse than being under the weather. Thankfully, Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup feels your coughs, aches and pains, as he dubbed the week of Nov. 11-16 "Tucson Health Week." The weeklong healing session kicks off this weekend with a three-day Arizona Choices Exposition and Complementary/Alternative Medicine Conference.
The expo looks to be an extravaganza of good health advice, tips and secrets. According to the press release, there will be "free and low-cost health tests by medical personnel and natural healers; 115 free lectures; over 100 exhibit booths; over 70 affordable workshops; and nine evening special events featuring national presenters."
The press release also states that the expo will showcase the latest in "integrative medicine" including "conventional Western-style medicine with complementary forms of healing such as acupuncture, meditation/prayer, yoga, herbal and other non-pharmaceutical remedies, homeopathy, massage and more." There will also be indigenous healers on hand to "share traditional and spiritual healing insights handed down for generations."
Whether you care about your health, or you are just curious about health-care options, the Arizona Choices Exposition is like a hearty batch of chicken soup for the body and mind. With special events like "Women, Health and Sexuality" and "The Healing Power of Awareness," you're sure to find something worth exploring. Plus, the prices will make you feel great, with fees ranging from $5-$10 per day ($18 for the weekend), $10 per workshop and $25 for an evening of special events. Cool kids can snag a three-day Expo VIP Pass for $99. --M.P.
Because it would be foolish to assume religion and the possible benefits it can bestow are a strictly human thing, St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church is having its wildly popular annual Blessing of the Animals service. For more than 25 years (!), the church has been giving our favorite critters the special treatment usually reserved for us humans.
All you have to do is bring your pooch, feline or other house pet to the event, and sit back as they enjoy a good ol' blessing. Although all types of pets are invited and welcome to the blessing, it may be best to leave wily, disruptive ones--or, say, crocodiles--at home.
The service does not include communion and is free of charge.
In what may be the shortest City Week listing of all time, I've said all I can and omitted any personally (ir)relevant stories. So, go on; take your pet, and revel in the basking glow they'll emit. --M.P.