Friday, December 28, 2018

UA Rescues OSIRIS-REx from Government Shutdown

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 11:59 AM

Just as the University of Arizona-led spacecraft OSIRIS-REx prepares to begin orbiting the asteroid Bennu, it turns out the consequences of President Trump's continued government shutdown over a border wall reach into outer space itself.

According to a message by OSIRIS-REx communications lead Erin Morton, "For the duration of the shutdown, we are unable to issue press releases through NASA’s resources or communicate mission updates through NASA websites."
  • Courtesy illustration by Kevin M. Gill
Part of President Trump's border wall upheaval means NASA's funding is being held, and no funding means it'll be more difficult for the agency to broadcast some pretty monumental events in scientific history: OSIRIS-REx orbiting the smallest asteroid a human machine has ever orbited, and the New Horizons spacecraft sending back images of the minor planet Ultima Thule.

When the government began its shutdown on Dec. 22, the majority of NASA's 17,000 staff were kept home with no promise of pay. Roughly 1,400 NASA staff remain working, however, to carry out critical agency roles.

Luckily for fans of OSIRIS-REx, updates will still be put online by the UA.

"For the duration of the shutdown, we are fortunate to be able to use the University of Arizona’s resources to keep the public informed of mission developments." Morton said.

For updates on OSIRIS-REx, visit the mission’s website, or follow OSIRIS-REx on social media. 

Chris Black | A Song Per Week

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 10:51 AM

Chris Black - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Chris Black

ChamberLab mastermind, composer/performer Chris Black is charging into the New Year with a glut of fresh material. And, he’s pledged to release a song per week exclusively to his email list.

Here’s what you have missed so far.

Week 1 delivered “Angel Goodnight.” A lullaby for solo double bass using natural harmonics.

Week 2 introduced “Butch.” A stomp for bass, drums, and glockenspiel, heralding the arrival of Butch. “If you're a friend of Butch, this is a happy song. If you aren't, then it isn't,” Black says, enigmatically.

And, Week 3 brought “Came Unglued.” Which Black describes as “frantic and calming. Suitable for all listeners.”

Piqued your curiosity? You may want to sign up:

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Get To Rocky Point While You Can: Prez Trump Threatens "To Close the Southern Border Entirely"

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 10:02 AM

Sounds like someone is at a loss as to how to get himself out of the political corner he's painted himself into and is now issuing very hollow threats:

Eric Levitz at New York magazine notes that Democrats have little incentive to cave to Trump:

Donald Trump entered the holiday season with a bulletproof plan for advancing his electoral and legislative goals: He would sabotage the basic functioning of the government that he presides over, so as to draw attention to the fact that the Democratic Party does not support an extremely unpopular immigration policy. Or, more concretely, he would refuse to fund the federal government until congressional Democrats agreed to appropriate upwards of $5 billion for his border wall (even though the Republican Senate had already signaled that it was willing to fund the government without such an appropriation, and Democrats would only need to wait a matter of days before they assumed control of the House).

And yet, somehow, the government has been (partially) shuttered for six days now — and the Democrats have yet to surrender.

16 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: Dec. 28 to 30

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 1:00 AM

One Week of Free Classes at Circus Sanctuary. First, let's just take a minute to reflect on how wacky and wonderful of a town Tucson is to have MORE THAN ONE circus school. Now, let's move on to celebrating that the newest one, Circus Sanctuary, has been in business for a whole year now! Their philosophy is to teach students to play like children, train like athletes and perform like artists. And if that's not just a damn good philosophy, we don't know what is. They're celebrating one year with a whole week of free conditioning classes, from Sunday, Dec. 30, through Saturday, Jan. 5. Everything from pole to aerial silks to trapeze to flexibility to beginning contortion will be offered, as well as open studio times and a family circus class. Circus Sanctuary, 3113 E. Columbia St. Free. Check out the Facebook event page for specific class times. Details here.

The Snowman Factory. As of the time this issue is going to print, it does not look like a white Christmas is in the forecast for Tucson this year. But Little Cardboard Rocket is going to help you make it up to your little ones, and teach them a little bit about science to boot! Head on over to make a snow-like substance out of only two ingredients, and then create a snowman with your child. There's also several other activities that everyone can work through at their own pace, a healthy snack and plenty of take-home resources. This is designed for kids ages 3 to 5, but younger scientists are welcome as well! 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Little Cardboard Rocket, LLC, 5630 E. Pima St. $8. Details here.

A Night of Tucson Salvage. If you don't know and love Brian Smith already, where have you been? The award-winning journalist, former alcohol and crystal meth addict, one-time rock 'n' roll front man for bands like the Beat Angels and Gentleman After Dark, and Tucson Salvage columnist is well-loved around these parts. His Tucson Salvage columns and essays have been gathered into a book, and at this event, we're celebrating with all sorts of art! Poet Maggie Golston is doing a reading, Billy Sedlymayr and Kaia Lacy are making music, filmmaker Maggie Smith is showing some of her work and (of course), Brian is doing a reading from his new book. A Q&A and book signing follow. 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Exo Roast Co. 403 N. Sixth Ave. $5 to benefit Youth on Their Own, but no one will be turned away at the door for lack of money. Details here.

Tucson Repertory Orchestra Concert. The Tucson Repertory Orchestra was created to bring skilled musicians together for a chance to play some classical standards. That's exactly what they're doing at this show, and you get to watch! Music director Toru Tagawa will conduct and violinist Michelle Abraham is the performance's featured musician. 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. Admission by donation. Details here.

  • Tucson Roadrunners
Tucson Roadrunners vs. Stockton Heat. If we can get through these hockey game without a team literally called "heat" melting the ice, then they're definitely a fun way to spend your Friday or Saturday night. And hey, you have to admit that if the ice melts during the game, it would still make for an interesting time. If you're looking for an especially nerdy experience, go to Star Wars Night on Saturday, where you can meet your favorite characters form the franchise and participate in a costume contest to win some cool prizes. 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28, and Saturday, Dec. 29. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $11 to $61+. Details here.

Goal Post Party! Even if you're not a sports person, you might enjoy a free concert by Everclear, lots of fun and games, food and beverages for all ages and a charity village where you can really get in the holiday spirit. It's important to pack as much living as you possibly can into these last few days of the year, and this event full of things to do and see is a perfect opportunity. 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. UA Mall. Free. Details here.

Cuban Night at Crooked Tooth. It's getting lively at Crooked Tooth Brewing Co! The funky tropical Cuban trio Acerekó—Enrique Feldman, Doug Davis and Bubba Fass—is performing. Food will be provided by Cuban Twist Cafè, with a special menu of bean and rice bowls, special Cuban sandwiches and more. Plus, there are always plenty of great in-house drinks from Crooked Tooth! 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. 228 E. Sixth Street. Details here.

Succulents & Sangria. What a glorious pair of words. If you want to enjoy the look and taste of wonderful vegetation, Green Things has your back. At this event, you'll get step-by-step directions on how to plant your very own succulent bowl. And at the same time, you get to drink sangria. What more is there to say? Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30. 3384 E. River Road. $5 plus supplies. 21+ for sangria. Details here.

Bacon Day at 1912 Brewing. Back by popular demand, 1912 Brewing is combining mead and bacon for one super-special flight. The mead is made by Superstition Meadery and the bacon is by Daniela's Cooking. And as an extra bonus, they will be adding bacon as an extra for micheladas. If you're the kind of person who likes maple syrup on their bacon, the flavors of mead and bacon are close enough...right? 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30. 2045 N. Forbes Blvd. Details here.


St. Philip's Plaza Classic Market. In the quiet lull between Christmas and New Year's Day, take a morning to enjoy the simple things, such as locally made food and crafts. The St. Philips's farmers market is both a great place to shop and relax, and it's an even better place to eat. This market will include some awesome local bakers, such as the Bakehouse Bread Company and A Simple Cookie. 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Dec. 30. 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Details here.

Winter Break STEAM. Maybe your kid doesn't think he or she's interested in STEAM. But maybe he's wondered just a little bit about how electrical circuits light up the house, the Christmas tree and every electrical appliance they need. Or maybe she'd be interested to learn you can manipulate static electricity to make objects move without touching them. (Wingardium leviosa, anyone?) First through fifth graders who have ever wanted to learn a little bit more about how things work will love this activity at the library. 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, and Friday, Dec. 28, as well as Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 2-4. Quincie Douglas Library, 1585 E. 36th St. Free. Details here.

Last Fridays at MSA Annex. It's the last Friday of the month. Hell, it's the last Friday of the whole year! How are you going to spend it? One great option is a low-key night of shopping under the stars at some of the merchants' stores in the MSA Annex. This family-friendly event also features live music, food trucks to supplement the usual on-site restaurants and other libations by Westbound Bar. In this few-day lull between Christmas and New Year's Day, a nice stroll with your family and a chance to support local artisans might be just what you need. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28. MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento. Details here.


The HugTrain Stops in Tucson. Loneliness is bad for your health—some studies are showing it can lead to anxiety, depression, reduced cardiovascular health and weakened immune systems. But you know what's good for your health? Hugs! They're a small, powerful way to let another human know they're not alone. The HugTrain founder, a guy named Arie, has been traveling through Canada in the United States during the holiday season since 2009, giving out free hugs to whoever wants them in an effort to make the world just a little bit better. He'll be around for a few days, with his train arriving at the Tucson Amtrak, 400 E. Toole Ave., at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, and leaving at 8:35 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30. So keep an eye out! Details here.

Tucson Garden Railway Society Holiday Train Display. Wait, you're telling me it's almost the end of the year—almost the end of the holiday season—and you still haven't seen any model train displays? You'd better hurry on over to the VA for this sweet little display, featuring mountains, buildings, picturesque scenes and—of course—a big ol' miniature train. Members of the Garden Railway Society will be around to explain the display and answer questions. It's a great way to give your kids taste of the holidays of yesteryear, or to give yourself a refresher on the holidays of yesteryear. Stop in any time from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 28. Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, 3601 S. Sixth Ave. Free. Details here.

Settle This Thing. Ever had an argument with your partner, or even with a friend, that you needed to bring in a third party to resolve? Ever had to bring in an entire audience full of people to be the third party? Married comedians Tamara Bick & Drew Antzis (they're comedy writers/directors for Funny or Die, Comedy Central, Second City and HBO) are doing just that, and if you like having fun and laughing, you should be in the audience. The couple will be going over everything from sex to parenting to dealing with the in-laws. "Should a man be allowed to fart freely in his own home?" Drew might ask. "Should your partner have to agree to go on a diet with you? Especially if you're cooking the food all the time?" Tamara might counter. It's up to you to settle this thing. 9 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Unscrewed Theater, 4500 E. Speedway. $15 one ticket, $25 for two tickets (couples only). Details here.


Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion. The band name tells you a lot of what you need to know: Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion are a music outfit without borders. Fronted by singer/songwriter Katie Wise, this band sidesteps being simple folk musicians with lush, meditative infusions of Hindustani music. It's partially New Age, but Wise keeps the style grounded with positive, conscious lyrics: "Thank you almighty, for every damn thing." Certain to get you whirling in weird, worldly sonic wonder. Catch Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion at Galactic Center. 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. 35 E. Toole Ave. $10-$30. Details here.

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Laughing Stock: Ways To laugh off 2018

Posted By on Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 3:39 PM

Tamara Bick and Drew Antzis bring their “Settle This Thing” stage show to Unscrewed Theater at 9 pm, Saturday, Dec. 29. - BICK/ANTZIS ON FACEBOOK
  • Bick/Antzis on Facebook
  • Tamara Bick and Drew Antzis bring their “Settle This Thing” stage show to Unscrewed Theater at 9 pm, Saturday, Dec. 29.
Married comedians Tamara Bick and Drew Antzis take a uniquely 21st century approach to their squabbles: They ask the internet. Nothing is sacred to the two. Sex, parenting, in-laws are all on the table in their popular YouTube series, “Settle This Thing.”

The series inspired a stage show that the pair is bringing to Unscrewed Theater for one night, only, at 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 29.

“It’s very interactive and the audience loves it,” Bick says. “For part of the theatrical show we play videos of our arguments, and the audience votes for who they think is right” Bick says. “It’s often me.”

Antzis, naturally, rejects that thesis, but he adds, “There’s a whole lot more to the live show as well, so you'll have to come out and see it! And vote. For me."

Both have been writers and directors for Second City, Comedy Central and the unmissable Funny Or Die. They freely riff laughs into the complex topics of sex, parenting, dealing with in-laws and a wide range of annoying personal habits. Everything’s on the table, the F-bombs fly and the battle of the sexes rages for 90 minutes of fun.

Antzis was born in Queens but grew up in Tucson where he was an actor and played in the U of A improv team, Comedy Corner. In Hollywood, Bick co-starred in an episode of Frazier and worked with Kelsey Grammar. Antzis created the video "The Landlord" with Will Ferrell for Funny or Die. The clip so far has had more than a million views.

The couple recently moved back to Bick’s hometown, Peterborough, Ontario. Why not just move back to Tucson?

Antzis says, “Although I’m a desert rat through and through, I’ve always felt like a Canadian born in an American’s body. I wanted to explore that side of myself.” Bick adds, “and if he needed to go through with a ‘transition’ then, the free healthcare (in Canada) would cover that.”

Tickets are at

Party with TIM on New Year’s Eve

Throwdown, TIM’s top short-form, competitive team, kicks off the party at 7:30 pm Monday, Dec. 31. With fast-paced action made for laughs, veteran players compete for street cred. At 9 p.m., three of TIM’s favorite storytellers inspire the company’s flagship Soapbox team to riff on their true stories. After the shows, audience members can jam with improvisers until midnight. Each show is $5. TIM serves beer, wine, sparkling rosé and “Yesand-gria”, which sounds like a potion for positivity in the new year.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

From Christmas Trees to Merry Mulch, Recycle Your Tree This Holiday

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2018 at 11:00 AM

  • BigStock
Picking out a Christmas tree, strapping it to the roof of your car and finding the perfect spot for it in your living room are the fun parts of decorating with a real tree during the holidays.

But what are you supposed to do with that hunk of dried out pine needles cluttering up your house once the holidays are over?

For the 22nd year, the City of Tucson is running its TreeCycle Program starting the day after Christmas through Jan. 14.

There are convenient locations throughout Tucson and Oro Valley to take your tree:

1. Oro Valley Naranja Park, 810 W. Naranja Dr. (Only open through Jan. 7)

2. Tank's Speedway Landfill & Recycling, 7301 E Speedway (Open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Do not leave trees outside property.)

3. Golf Links Sports Park, 2400 S. Craycroft Rd. (7 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

4. Tucson Rodeo Grounds, on 3rd Ave. (East of Rodeo Grounds, on 3rd Ave. north of Irvington Rd.)

5. Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E. Los Reales Rd. (Entrance is at intersection of Craycroft Rd. & Los Reales Rd., follow signs) 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sundays.

6. Silverbell Site, (Northeast corner of Silverbell Road and Goret Rd (follow signs).

7. Purple Heart Park, 10050 E. Rita Rd.

8. Randolph Golf Course, 600 S. Alvernon Way, (Southeast corner of parking lot)

9. Tank's Green Stuff, 5300 West Ina Road, Open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sat 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

So, what are they going to do with all those trees? Make mulch! From Jan. 2 to 14 pick up free Merry Mulch for your garden at Los Reales Landfill. Bring your own container and take home mulch to help soil retain moisture.

Find more information here. 

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Holidays to All!

Posted By on Tue, Dec 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM

  • Cagle Cartoons

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Monday, December 24, 2018

Adoptable Pet: Jaime Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Dec 24, 2018 at 2:00 PM

“I am a sweet, mellow 10-year-old girl who is already house and crate trained.”


Meet Jamie at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd., or give an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088, ext. 173 for more information.

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Staff Pick

Patronato Christmas at San Xavier Concerts

Evening concerts with the Tucson Boys Chorus and the Sons of Orpheus raise funds for The Patronato,… More

@ San Xavier del Bac Mission Tue., Dec. 10, 6-7:30 & 7:45-9 p.m., Wed., Dec. 11, 6-7:30 & 7:45-9 p.m. and Thu., Dec. 12, 6-7:30 & 7:45-9 p.m. 1950 W. San Xavier Road.

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