Alibi Volume 20, Number 28
July 14, 2011
Human and canine exterminators fight nationwide wave of pests
The unmarked white building on Candelaria holds one bed and two dressers but no personal belongings suggesting a home. It's eerily devoid of picture frames, stuffed animals and clothes. A cooler sits on the beige tile floor, and Patriot Pest Control's newest employee bounds into the room to check it out. Captain Dale, the bedbug-detection dog, has one thing on his mind.
Author Amy Stewart on the lifestyles of the gross and deadly
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
Bedbugs hide in crevices and cracks until they venture out for a snack. Detection and eradication can be tricky because these little critters are hard to locate. David Erik Swanson from Patriot Pest Control just got a bedbug detection dog to ease the process (see “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite”), but he says some infestations have been so bad he didn't need help finding them.
Dragonflies are thought to be good luck, symbols of happiness and springtime. But they have a sinister side, too, with nicknames of “eye-snatcher” or the “devil’s darning needle.” These winged beauties have had millions of years to develop their reputations on planet Earth. The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is once again unveiling their secrets at the Dragonfly Festival, buzzing with “discovery stations” where patrons can learn to identify species by color, size and wing color.
NASA promises this is not the end of human space travel
The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, marks the end of NASA's 30-year program, which began in 1981 with Columbia. Despite predictions that weather conditions would force a cancellation, an estimated 1 million visitors and 2,000 members of worldwide media looked on with awe.
Making claim to a foul ball is seldom easy
Many of the signatures on Art Duran’s memento belong to players lost to time: Ray Katt and Al Aber, for instance. Four scribbles, however, were done by Baseball Hall of Famers: Leo Durocher, Bob Lemon, Al Lopez and Monte Irvin. What is most important to Duran, 77, is that he gained this souvenir during a game, not at some memorabilia show or off eBay.
Holding back the tide of big money in New Mexico politics
Five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court seem hell-bent on dismantling campaign finance laws designed to prevent the wholesale buy-off of the American democratic process. The judges’ efforts are based on an eccentric interpretation of the First Amendment that could only be concocted by a bunch of insulated eggheads who are completely out of touch with political reality.
Funny because it happens to someone else.
Fear of unemployment stokes conventionally crude comedy
In Horrible Bosses, three put-upon workers conspire to bump off one another’s evil employers. Yes, it’s a variation on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 classic Strangers on a Train, but it’s such a venerable framework upon which to hang a story that the familiarity of the tale only adds to the fun. Besides, we haven’t seen a blackly comic reiteration of this magnitude since 1987’s Throw Momma from the Train.
Life in a post-Casey Anthony world
In Florida, 25-year-old Casey Anthony was found not guilty for the murder of her daughter, little Caylee Anthony, whose body was found dumped in the woods in 2008. Days after the jury’s decision, the mainstream media was still devoting round-the-clock coverage to the case. Some networks didn’t even cut away to the launch of the final space shuttle, in the same state as the courtroom—so engrossed were correspondents in analyzing quotes from an anonymous alternate juror.
The Albuquerque Film Festival is looking for a commercial, and it wants you to pitch in and make the thing. It’s called “The Hip, Cool, Funny, Strange, Social Change Challenge”—which is really unwieldy, but definitely shows how “hip” and “cool” the festival is. Also this week are calls for the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and the news that Third Star films has completed production on “Plush,” a horror short starring several local actors.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
The archetypal journey of a one-man band
After realizing that working in a band was not conducive to his lifestyle, Andrew Goldfarb crossed the threshold into performing solo, fingering a guitar with his hands and beating drums with his feet. He underwent a metamorphosis, inventing a new personality—a traveling snake oil pusher, or tent-city preacher, or possibly a whacked-out Vodou mambo. One thing’s sure: The essence of all of these characters is present in his music.
This bird can sing
Growing up on Lower Ranchitos Road in Taos, Jennifer Robin had a poster of Paul McCartney hanging in her bedroom closet. This month, with the release of her new recording, The Bird and the Beatles, the jazzy, folky singer/songwriter is bringing her Beatles love affair out of the closet and onto center stage.
Reviews of new music releases. Now with MP3 previews!
Random tracks from Colourmusic’s Colin Fleishacker
Colourmusic is a Stillwater, Okla.-based indie/neo-pscych/sex rock four piece. The band’s concept is based on the Newtonian theory that colors correlate with musical notes. On Wednesday, July 20, it brings its multihued performance to the Launchpad. Royal Bangs and The Great Depression open the 21-and-over show at 9 p.m. Eight ducats admits people into the venue. We asked Colourmusic bassist Colin Fleishacker to take his iPod for a spin and see what random items appeared. Below are the results.
Nice symmetry and use of clip art here. Beloved local Southwest funk rock five-piece La Junta plays at Monte Vista Fire Station (3201 Central NE) in Nob Hill on Saturday, July 16, at 9 p.m. The 21-and-over show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Four men fling themselves off of a 30-meter pole and swing around and around, tethered to the top by ropes. A fifth performer balances on the end of the pole, dancing on one foot and playing the flute. These are Los Voladores, or the flying men of Veracruz. Their thousand-year-old ritual is just part of the ¡Viva México! this weekend at Rancho de las Golondrinas.
How to make a shiv, er, rent an apartment
Street Smarts: Beyond the Diploma seems geared toward people headed for careers devoted to the pursuit of lots of money. If you’ve chosen this lot, then you have already made your pact with the dark lord. And so the title is somewhat misleading. The phrase “street smarts” invokes things like how to fashion a crude weapon out of a lunch tray while in county lockup, or how to win at three-card monte, not how to rent an apartment or invest in real estate.
Kaleidospoke is an art exhibition project with many, um, spokes meant to foster awareness and love of cycling. Organizers are pushing bike culture through visual art, talks and a film showcase, all at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. The nearly two month exhibit begins with an opening gala this Friday. [photo]You have the chance to see internationally renowned artist Gronk making his magic this summer. In fact, you can walk right up, stare at him and bug him with questions while he works—he won’t mind. Gronk (aka Glugio Nicandro) is known for his paintings and performance art, as well as a penchant for creating in front of an audience. He’ll paint a site-specific mural July 19 through 31 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.
Ideas worth spreading. This is the mission of the nonprofit organization TED, which works toward changing attitudes, lives and the world. It began with two annual conferences where some of the world’s greatest innovators and insight-givers were challenged to give the best talk they could in 18 minutes or less. Videos of the talks are regularly posted online for everyone to watch, share and love.
Cooking with whole grains
I came late to whole grains—being brought up eating white rice at every meal. With the possible exception of rolled oats, most of the grains I encountered were hulled, bleached, sweetened and renutritionized before they hit my plate.
Adobe carb laboratory gets grow room
The most local salads in town might come from a bakery. An indoor growing operation—lights, fans, reflectors and of course plants—was germinated in the west end of Golden Crown Panadería last April. For the counter staff, it's almost too local for comfort, as the expanding tangle of greens, tomatoes and peppers is growing into their workspace. If you order one of the appropriately named “huge” salads, they find the scissors and start snipping. They also make one of the best loaves of green chile bread on the planet.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming days you have permission from the universe to dwell less on what needs to be resisted, protested, flushed out and overcome. Instead you have license to concentrate on what deserves to be fostered, encouraged, bolstered and invited in. Sound like fun? It will be if you can do it, but it may not be as easy to accomplish as it sounds. There are many influences around you that are tempting you to draw your energy from knee-jerk oppositionalism and cynical naysaying. So in order to take full advantage of what life is offering you, you will have to figure out how to rebel in a spirit of joy and celebration.