Monday, August 31, 2009

Seeking All Robots

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 8:17 AM

The Robot Exchange, now in its sixth year, will take place beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11, at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. What's the Robot Exchange? It's a free art party that evolves into a dance party as the evening progresses. Robots of various shapes, sizes and forms will be on display.

The organizers are still looking for robots. Per the press release, "Whether you build, weld, sew, paint, sculpt, find, whittle, or draw a robot, we want to exhibit it."

Musical acts will be: Mean Beans, DJ Illete, Switchblade Parade, E-Rupt, Hometown Herm, Flagrante Delicto, Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout, Dewtron, Shaun Harris and Matt McCoy. Cheese and crackers will be served.

If you want to submit art, e-mail Janessa at by Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

McCain: "I think it harmed us"

Posted By on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 7:27 PM

In The Skinny this week, we were critical of Sen. John McCain when he backed Sarah Palin's nonsense about death panels, but we liked what he had to say today about why it's not in the country's best interest to torture people. (Less happy about McCain's reluctance to investigate actions by people who went beyond what even the loose standards of Bush administration allowed.)

McCain says: "The damage that it did to America's image in the world is still something that we are still on the way to repairing. This is an ideological struggle as well as a physical one."

Friday, August 28, 2009

More From Mars

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 7:10 PM

  • NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

  • NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Here are some of the latest photos of Mars taken by the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab's HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The upper image features dunes near the Martian north pole. Shane Byrne explains:

Multiple levels within the north polar layered deposits are visible in this HiRISE image.

The north polar layered deposits (NPLD) are a stack of dusty water-ice layers that are thought to record information about past Martian climates in the same way that ice-caps on the Earth record variations in our climate. These Martian layers are visible in the walls of troughs and scarps eroded into the stack. One such scarp-face is visible on the far left of the full image and decreases in height from left to right.

Scientists continue to debate the length of time required to

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Context Is Everything

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Republican Jesse Kelly, who is challenging Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to debates even though (a) the 2010 election is still 14 months away, and (b) Kelly has yet to even win the nomination to be the actual GOP candidate who faces Giffords, got busted by Dan Shearer of the Green Valley News earlier this week.

Kelly's team put together a little video with some clips from a conversation that Shearer and I had with Bill Buckmaster on Arizona Illustrated a few weeks back. But the editing was a little bit peculiar, as Shearer pointed out on his blog earlier this week:

If you hadn’t seen the original broadcast, it would appear Jim said, “Jesse Kelly is now the forerunner of the Republican party.”

But you’ll notice the editing was awfully choppy. That’s because they didn’t include Jim’s entire quote, which was, “I think what happens when a guy like Jesse Kelly is now the forerunner of the Republican party, it just shows that Gabby Giffords is not very vulnerable because there are no big names lining up to take her on at this point...”

It doesn’t matter whether the people who represent me are Democrats or Republicans. It does matter that they’re above-board and honest, and in this case Kelly is neither.

What he and his campaign have done is unethical and deceitful. I hope by the time you look for it online that it has been replaced with an apology. And I hope that Jesse Kelly, whose greatest asset is that he hasn’t been swallowed up by Washington-style politics, isn’t on his way to selling out.

It's a cute trick, but just to clarify my point: There are no shortage of local Republicans who would like to be in Congress: State Sen. Jonathan Paton, state Rep. Frank Antenori and Republican National Committeeman Bruce Ash are just a few names I could toss out there. The fact that they're not in the race right now tells me that they don't think Giffords is vulnerable. If she does become vulnerable—and that may have far more to do with the national mood at the start of 2010 than it does with anything that Giffords herself does—then they'll move in and swat Kelly aside without a second thought. In the meantime, they're content to let him run up and down the field because they know he's not scoring any touchdowns. But they're not going to stand aside and let him be the next congressman from the Eighth Congressional District.

By the way, after Shearer smacked him, Kelly took down the doctored clip from Arizona Illustrated.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 6:25 PM


RumRunner Anniversary Events

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Lovers of food and drink, take note: The RumRunner is holding a killer sale and open house this weekend.

RumRunner is knocking 20 percent off everything in the store, including rarities and limited editions, from noon to 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 30. The store is also offering up a nice selection of snacks throughout the day, to include international olives, imported and domestic cheeses, house-made gazpacho and gourmet chocolate, to name a few. A complimentary "Wines of Summer" tasting, featuring red and white wines picked by RumRunner employees, takes place from 2 to 4 p.m.

The event is being held to celebrate two years at the store's new location at 3131 E. First St. The new location houses both the RumRunner and The Dish, the store's bistro and bar.

Sounds like a good time and a good way to score some great deals. Visit the store's Web site for more information.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Birthday and Underpass Perspectives

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 10:57 PM

Looking back at the Tucson birthday and underpass celebration on Thursday, Aug. 20, I feel conflicted that I didn't get to the festivities in time to see Mayor Bob Walkup sporting his gray formal top hat for the ribbon cutting.

I went out of my way that day to pick up my son and bring him along, figuring a bit of history was being made. As crazy as it sounds to some, my 8-year-old son loves Tucson. The idea of celebrating its birthday is cool to him. We even walked down the middle of the underpass before cars were allowed, giddy at the idea we were doing something we would never be able to do again (well, unless it's 3 a.m.).

Our late afternoon started with a walk down Fourth Avenue, a street we know well, because it's part of our neighborhood. We talked to a few people along the way, had hot dogs and gazed up at the tiki (my son was already complaining that he won't be able to go under it since it leads into a bar). I've been wondering if its Gitmo-styled head covering was to ease our landmark into his new home or prevent him from seeing what's really going on along Fourth Avenue—our own version of Lady Justice. I imagine it's coming off this Saturday when The Hut throws Mr./Ms. Tiki a welcome party. I'll be there for the unveiling and staying on to see the Mission Creeps.

As promised, here are some photos from last Thursday. We didn't get home until a little 9:30 p.m.


Question of the week: Is the Tiki a girl or boy?


Pat Brandenberg walked down Fourth Avenue quietly letting everyone know where she stands on healthcare. As I took her picture, my son asked her, "What are you?" "A Democrat," she replied. "Oh, I know those," he told her.


Here we go. I told Rafi this was the best way. "When will we get a chance to walk in the middle of the underpass again?"


Another view as we got to downtown. It was wonderful showing Rafi the Rialto Theater. We like to go see the kiddy bands they bring into town and I wanted him to see what a quick walk it will be for us now that we can take the underpass.


We watched a trolley come down Fourth and up into downtown. They worked all night bringing people downtown and back down Fourth Avenue.


This was the closest we got to birthday cake at Hotel Congress. The lines were long, and the place was packed. Then a friend made the mistake of telling us they were giving away ice cream at La Placita. Yep, our journey began to La Placita for free ice cream.


At La Placita, a guy in a shirt and tie passed out cups of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, and then we voted on our favorite custom Harley Davidson motorcycles.


Walking back from La Placita the sun was setting, but people were still walking everywhere. We caught the sexy leg/men in kilts contest in front of Flanagan's Celtic Corner on Congress. That was interesting and brought up plenty of opportunities to explain the difference to my son between traditional kilts (sexy) and man-skirts (sorry, not so sexy).


Lucky for me this bagpipe band was standing on the corner.


Snarling, but happy piano player in front of Tooleys. Earlier, Dinnerware next door, was a great place to bring the kiddies for painting projects set up on the sidewalk in front of the gallery.


Dave Slutes seemed pretty pleased as he stood in the middle of Hotel Congress' new patio out back taking in the crowd that came out for the party. The patio is nifty.


Those Dusty Buskers busking in the back of the Tap Room.


Stiltman balancing at Congress and Toole, while making balloon animals for children, like mine, out and about late on a school night just to wish Tucson a happy birthday.


Pretty kids grooving to the Buskers at Congress with their Stiltman creations.


Time to go home, but as we headed back to the underpass, we couldn't believe the number of people still coming through into downtown. Incredible.


We tried to catch a trolley home. It stopped, and the conductor popped out to say it was full.


Nothing like being reminded of regrets at the end of a good party. We never made it to have our portraits taken for the underpass project. As we noticed everyone looking for themselves, we mumbled to ourselves and bowed our heads wishing we had a chance to be a permanent part of this historic day.

Happy birthday, Tucson!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Roundtable: Grijalva on Healthcare, Stimulus & Mining

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Congressman Raul Grijalva visits Arizona Illustrated's Friday Roundtable. He appears to have some difference on healthcare with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after the jump...

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DO(OM) Yoga

Slow & low will be the tempo in this yin-based yoga class, inspired by a doom metal… More

@ Floor Polish Sundays, 8-9 p.m. 408 N 4th Avenue

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