Thursday, February 28, 2019

UA Astronomers Join $242 Million NASA Mission

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 2:48 PM

NASA's SPHEREx mission is targeted to launch in 2023. SPHEREx will help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common are the ingredients for life in our galaxy's planetary systems. - COURTESY OF CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY VIA UA NEWS
  • Courtesy of California Institute of Technology via UA News
  • NASA's SPHEREx mission is targeted to launch in 2023. SPHEREx will help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common are the ingredients for life in our galaxy's planetary systems.

Astronomers at NASA have embarked on a new space mission to study the evolution of our universe and the commonality of ingredients for life on other planets. Two astronomers from the University of Arizona will participate in the mission.

The mission, called the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer, or SPHEREx mission was recently given the go ahead by NASA's Explorer program and will launch in 2023.

Elisabeth Krause and Tim Eifler, who both joined the UA as junior faculty members last fall, will be working on the mission over the coming years.

Krause is an assistant professor of astronomy and physics at the UA and is a mission co-investigator on the SPEREx mission. Eifler is an assistant professor of astronomy at the UA and is a SPHEREx collaborator.

Every six months, SPHEREx will survey the entire sky to create a map in 96 different color bands, far more than any other sky map.

"This amazing mission will be a treasure trove of unique data for astronomers," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, in a press release. "It will deliver an unprecedented galactic map containing 'fingerprints' from the first moments in the universe's history. And we'll have new clues to one of the greatest mysteries in science: What made the universe expand so quickly less than a nanosecond after the big bang?"

Until the mission is launched, the SPEREx team will be designing, building and testing the space telescope.

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Feeling Fortunate? The Wheelmobile Rolls into Town this Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 11:50 AM

  • Courtesy Casino Del Sol
Have you always wanted to be on the Wheel of Fortune? This weekend you might just have the chance!

The Wheel of Fortune Wheelmobile rolls on into Casino Del Sol's AVA Amphitheater on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, from noon to 4 p.m.

Tucsonans will have the chance to fill out an application, have their name drawn randomly to play a simulated version of the game onstage, win prizes and be considered for the televised version of the show.

Wheel of Fortune staff will hand out applications one hour before each show begins, so make sure to be there at 12 p.m. 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. All ages are welcome at the event, however game show contestants must be at least 18 years old.

Gates open at 10 a.m. and applications will be handed out at the West Gate of the amphitheater.

“Every year, Wheel of Fortune receives over 1 million inquiries from viewers who want to be contestants,” wrote Executive Producer Harry Friedman in a release. “The Wheelmobile was created to give people all over the country an opportunity to realize that dream.”

Most Wheel of Fortune contestants were chosen for the show after meeting the Wheelmobile in their hometowns. Try your had at fortune at the Casino this weekend. 

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XOXO: Where to Rock Thursday Feb. 28

Posted By and on Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 8:47 AM

  • Courtesy of The Rialto Theatre
Violinists Laura Tagawa and Sam Bounkeua perform a lovely evening of classical violin duets. In the bar at Agustin Kitchen. Details here.

Bass technician Downlink injects a heavy dose of dubstep into the collective bloodstream. At Gentle Ben’s. Details here.

Creating the verisimilitude of the real, this band of veterans are billed as the nation’s premiere tribute to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. PettyBreakers are “Running Down a Dream” at the Rialto Theatre. You decide. Details here.

Originally formed in Phoenix, these heavy metalists’ 11th studio album, Ritual, mashes up political and religious themes. “Bow down to the greatest corrupter/Evil in place of power.” Soulfly make prophecies at The Rock. Details here.

Indie rockers DIVY are at Club Congress. Droll and Adara Rae & the Homewreckers provide underpinning. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Hotel Congress

Mötley 2
give some semblance of the drug-addled, sex-addicted Crüe when they ruled the Sunset Strip of lore. In the Paradiso Lounge at Casino Del Sol. Details here.

Singer-songwriter Joe Peña sings songs from Dust of Our Love. Tempe’s Gene Moran opens the the evening. At Tap + Bottle Downtown. Details here.

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Seven Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Thursday Feb. 28

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 1:30 AM

Mezcal Tastings at Exo Roast Co. - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Mezcal Tastings at Exo Roast Co.
Mezcal Tastings at Exo Roast Co. Feel like drinking and learning at the same time? How about learning about what you drink? Mezcal-tasting proprietor Doug Smith is at Exo Roast, and will give you a high-quality education about high-quality mezcal. Come on, you live in Tucson—you’re surrounded by agave! You might as well know a bit about the plant and the drinks made from it. 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. 403 N. Sixth Ave. $20. Details here.

Resilience. The Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence is hosting a screening of this documentary at the Northwest YMCA. The film examines how stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children. But it also showcases a movement that is determined to fight back, using therapies to “protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress.” A Q&A with local experts follows the screening. 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. 7770 N. Shannon Road. Details here.

National Park Star Party. If you go to the right place in the Sonoran Desert, every night is a star party. One of the right places is Saguaro National Park—especially tonight, where park naturalists will share telescopes and binoculars and offer an introduction to astronomy. Celebrate the end of the shortest month of the year (which felt like it dragged on forever, no?) by looking upward at the stars and remembering that, to them, February was just the blink of an eye. Call ahead to make the required reservations! 733-5153 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. Saguaro National Park. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Rogue Theatre
The Secret in the Wings. Set in a basement play space, this play by Mary Zimmerman is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast and seven other fairy tales. So it’s got romance! It’s got danger! And it’s got intrigue and rich scenes full of fantasy. When young Audrey’s parents leave her with a terrifying babysitter, he starts reading her a book of fairy tales, and then the characters all come to life. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 17. The Rogue Theatre at the Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd. $38, or $28 for preview performances the first two days. $15 student rush tickets sold starting 15 minutes before curtain, pending availability. Details here.

A Conversation With Edith Head.
Hollywood’s most famous costume designer worked on more than 1,100 movies over the course of more than five decades, picking up 35 Academy Award nominations and eight Oscars along the way. This play is based on Edith Head’s Hollywood, a biography of the designer which was written with the help of more than 13 hours of recollections recorded by the legend herself, and chock-full of what she herself liked to call “Edithisms.” Susan Claassen is the show’s actor, director, producer and designer, and was there to help the book’s author sort through the hours’ worth of recordings and talk to people who knew Head best, like her sketch artist and her friends. 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 and Friday, March 1. 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. $35, with discounts available for groups, seniors, active military and students. Details here.

Poetry Circle.
Did you know the Oro Valley Public Library has monthly poetry discussions led by docents from the UA Poetry Center? It’s truly a pleasant opportunity to share knowledge about your favorite poets and to learn about new ones. Docents provide reading material from the center’s world-renowned collection as well. This month’s topic: “Donald Justice: One of 20th Century America’s most quietly influential poets.” Here’s a bit from his poem, A Dancer’s Life. “On the train window trembles the blurred / Reflection of her own transparent beauty, /and through this, beautiful ruined cities passing, dark forests, and people everywhere.” 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive. Free. Details here.

BANFF Mountain Film Festival. Summit Hut and the Fox Theatre are coming together to screen three nights of films on “remote journeys, ground-breaking expeditions, and cutting-edge adventures told through the eyes of adventurers.” From snowy peaks to green forests, these films document the most exciting hikes and climbs around the world. Maybe you can’t scale the front face of Half Dome, but watching someone do it on the big screen is almost as good. Proceeds from the festival will support local outdoor-oriented non-profits. Doors open at 6 p.m., films start at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, to Saturday, March 2. $15 or $60 VIP. 17 W. Congress St. Details here. 
  • Courtesy of Fox Theatre
Events compiled by Briannon Wilfong, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tucson Favorites Nominated for James Beard Awards

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 10:12 AM

Don Guerra of Barrio Bread - MARK WHITTAKER
  • Mark Whittaker
  • Don Guerra of Barrio Bread
After El Güero Canelo won a James Beard award for American Classic Food last year, Tucson has two reasons to be excited for one of the highest honors in food this time around.

The semifinalist nominees for the 2019 awards were announced this morning, and two Tucson restaurants/chefs made the cut.

Don Guerra, the mastermind behind Tucson favorite Barrio Bread has been nominated for Outstanding Baker. Longtime Tucson classic El Charro has been nominated for Outstanding Restaurant.

Congratulations to all of the nominees, but especially to our local favorites!

Five finalists in each category will be announced on March 27, so keep an eye out for more foodie award news coming up.

The James Beard Award Gala will be held on May 6 in Chicago.

Check out our 2017 article on Don Guerra and Barrio Bread here.

Find the full list of James Beard Award semifinalist nominees here.

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Claytoon of the Day: Nukes And Nuts

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 9:57 AM

Find more Claytoonz here.

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Five Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Wednesday Feb. 27

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 1:30 AM

Revel’s Northern Italian Wine Dinner. Revel Wine Bar is taking you on a taste tour of the old country, from Piedmont and Liguria to the Veneto and Friuli. The dinner features four courses of Northern Italian cuisine prepared by local chef Janet Jones paired with a selection of wines curated by the Revel team. 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. 416 E. Ninth Street. $48 (Gratuity not included). Details here.
  • Courtesy of Revel's Northern Italian Wine Dinner 2/27 Facebook event page
In-Depth Tour at the Museum of Natural History Research Collections. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how many hidden treasures there are right here in our hometown. For example, these research collections, maintained by the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, include birds, reptiles, mammals and fish from different periods of history. So maybe you can’t afford to take a trip around the world this year, but you can take a trip through time right in your own backyard just by heading over to the UA. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. Biological Sciences East Building, Room 129, 1311 E. Fourth St. Free. (Closest parking is the Sixth Street Garage or the Cherry Avenue Garage) Details here.
  • Courtesy of Visitor Center - University of Arizona
Shen Yun. If you don’t have a friend or family member that has seen Shen Yun in their city and had rave reviews for it, are you even living in the 21st century? With classical Chinese dance, stunning costuming, high-tech backdrops and a live orchestra, this show aims to bring 5,000 years’ worth of Chinese civilization to life. Take it from the show’s website: “The traditional Chinese culture Shen Yun presents cannot be seen anywhere else in the world—not even in China.” This is a whole new level of authentic. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $80 to $150. Details here.
Singing Our Way to Freedom (Free screening!) University of Arizona’s Gallagher Theatre presents the Tucson premiere of this documentary on the life and music of Chicano musician, composer and community activist Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. His music drew influence from both sides of the border, a theme clearly present in much of the Tucson music scene. Followed by Q&A with filmmaker Paul Espinosa. 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. 1303 E. University Avenue. Free. Details here.

To Sleep with Anger (Free screening!)
This free screening is of the third feature by acclaimed filmmaker Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep), whom The Loft Cinema recently awarded their “Lofty Achievement Award.” Using a gospel and blues mythos, and combining it with contemporary and experimental filmmaking techniques makes this a unique and important pillar in the Black film world. Danny Glover’s incredibly awesome performance helps, too. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. 3233 East Speedway Boulevard. Free. Details here.

Events compiled by Briannon Wilfong, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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Staff Pick

Arizona State Museum’s Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest

This permanent, ongoing, exhibit explores the origins, histories, and contemporary lifeways of ten Native American culture groups… More

@ Arizona State Museum Ongoing, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1013 E. University Blvd.

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