Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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March 3, 2012 at 8:39am

5 Things To Do Today: "Zigzags," Snake Lake Science Fair, Slider Cook-Off, Sustainability Expo and more ...

Julie Alpert: Her "Telephone blueprint 3," 2012, collage, 5.5" x 8.5" hangs at the Telephone Room Gallery in Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Julie Alpert

SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2012 >>>

1. The tiny Telephone Room Gallery will host 6-9 p.m. opening reception for Julie Alpert's Zigzags, Stripes, and Shadows, an art exhibit showing, according to Alpert, "Stream of consciousness drawings become blueprints for how I respond to the Telephone Room's cramped, charming, and curious architecture. Utilizing the shelves, telephone alcove, cabinet doors, and window, painted lines follow and cascade off the various surfaces transforming the once useful room into a mysterious three-dimensional painting."

2. Fun fact: Before there were expos, people had no idea how to disseminate information about sustainability. It was a bleak time. Luckily, events like today's South Sound Sustainability Expo at the Tacoma Convention and Trade Center have solved this problem, bringing "green" to the masses. According to hype, the South Sound Sustainability Expo is "intended to provide residents and business owners in the greater Tacoma metropolitan area a place to discover services, products, companies, and agencies in our region that address sustainability needs in our community." As part of that goal, instruction and information on everything from urban chicken cooping to waste minimization and recycling will be discussed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

3. Kids these days are no damn good. You hear about it all the time. But at 1:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Nature Center anyone interested can get a look at some of the positive things kids are capable of - like baking-soda volcanoes and paper towel strength test. It's called the Snake Lake Science Fair, and kids from throughout Tacoma - many of them homeschooled - will participate with gusto this weekend, making for an event that's sure to be both enjoyable and enlightening. And it's also free to drop in on.

4. Artist John Miller's five-foot tall Venetian glass sculpture "Cheeseburger Goblet" and smaller "Slider Goblets," currently on display at the Museum of Glass as part of the Gathering: John Miller and Friends exhibition, have inspired Slider Cook-Off "Shake, Rattle & Grill" - an evening of 1950s kitschy fun at the museum, centered around a culinary battle pitting area chefs and their sliders competing for bragging rights, awards and art trophies beginning at 6:30 p.m. "We've given the chefs free rein to bring any recipe they'd like. They definitely all won't be beef cheeseburgers," says event organizer and Museum of Glass Corporate and Donor Relations Manager Mandy Lane of the sliders expected to compete. Read Jennifer Johnson's full feature on the Slider Cook-Off, including recipes and events, in the Restaurant section at weeklyvolcano.com.

5. The Missionary Position, SweetKiss Momma, Hot Bodies In Motion and Ape Machine will perform beginning at 7 p.m. inside Jazzbones.

PLUS: More event recommendations in our Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound Happy Hours

February 27, 2012 at 7:47am

MORNING SPEW: Occupy Tacoma, Oscars winners, Golden Raspberry Awards, Zombies 5K ...

Golden Raspberry Awards 2012: Adam Sandler wins.


Puyallup School District's Next Superintendent: Let's look at the candidates. (News Tribune)

Occupy Tacoma: In like a lion, out like a lamb. (News Tribune)

President Barack Obama's New Budget: It includes no new money for the Puyallup River study in 2013. (News Tribune)

Live Blog: Four students shot at Ohio high school. (CNN)

Afghanistan: Administration officials described growing concern about a drawdown by the United States that hinges on the close training of Afghan army and police forces. (The New York Times)

Oscars 2012: Live coverage of the Academy Awards ceremony. (The Guardian)

Oscars 2012: Complete list of winners. (USA Today)

Oscars 2012: The breakout star at the Academy Awards was Angelina Jolie's right leg. (BuzzFeed)

Golden Raspberry Awards 2012: Adam Sandler has received a record number of them. (Den Of Geek)

Run For Your Lives 5K: Runners will be chased by zombies. (The Mary Sue)

February 7, 2012 at 12:39pm

Discussion: Urban Industrial Futures in Tacoma


Urban development is a hot-button issue in Tacoma. If you look around you start to understand why. Thursday at the University Washington Tacoma, this year's Urban Studies Forum will focus on "Urban Industrial Futures." According to the UWT press release, the forum is a "one-day event designed to spur community conversation about how to balance industrial and post-industrial urban development strategies."

Speakers for the forum include Joan Fitzgerald, professor and director of the graduate Law and Public Policy program and senior research fellow at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, Brian Coleman, CEO of Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center - a nonprofit industrial developer in New York, and Dean Amhaus, executive director of the Milwaukee Water Council.

The Urban Studies Forum is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

[UW Tacoma - William Philip Hall, registration begins at 7:30 a.m., free, register at tacoma.uw.edu/events/urban, 1900 Commerce St., Tacoma]

Filed under: Community, Tacoma, Green Crush, Word,

January 23, 2012 at 9:24am

5 Things To Do Today: Environmental Seminar series, "The Great Infection of the Sea" with Capt. Charles Moore, Capes & Cowls Book Club and more ...

Great Pacific Garbage Patch / Photo credit: greatpacificgarbagepatch.info

MONDAY, JAN. 23, 2012 >>>

1. It has all the makings of a very green day in Tacoma. At 12:30 p.m. at the University of Washington Tacoma, join Regan Dunn from the UW Seattle's Biology Department as part of the UWT's Environmental Seminar series. Dunn will discuss "Tracking the Evolution of South American Biota of the Middle-Cenozoic of Patagonia, Argentina." Seminars go down in room 309 of the Science building.

2. Capt. Charles Moore's presentation, "The Great Infection of the Sea," has nothing to do with that time Lindsey Lohan gave the entire Strait of Gibraltar Chlamydia (like you read about in US Weekly). Rather, Moore's presentation is actually of paramount importance, with the scientist and activist discussing his book, Plastic Ocean, which, according to pre-event hype, "describes the alarming presence of plastics in our oceans."  Capt. Moore will be at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma today, speaking in the Murray Boardroom in Wheelock Student Center at 5:30 p.m.  The good captain will talk about what he reportedly calls the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" in the Pacific Ocean. Information on the U.P.S. website indicates the area is "roughly two million square miles in size," and "is estimated to hold an estimated three million tons of plastic debris." Should be some uplifting chats.

3.. Holy nerd alert, Batman! It's the fourth Monday of the month - which means the super hero-centric Capes & Cowls Book Club - billed as a "... book club adapted to mutants, aliens, technogeeks and puny humans who like to read superhero comics" - holds its monthly meeting at King's Books. January's super hero-y selection is The Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne.

4. Greta Jane Quartet begins its Monday night run at the 4th Avenue Tavern in downtown Olympia tonight. Catch the local favorites from 9 - 11 p.m.

5. Mondays mean all-ages trivia at the Mandolin Café in Tacoma, hosted by Jeff Ross. The quizzical fun starts at 6 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

December 21, 2011 at 7:54am

MORNING SPEW: Tacoma's new city manager, floatplanes on Foss, Hall & Oates Hotline ...

Hey Hall and Oates. She's gone. Ohwah. Now what do I do?


T.C. Broadnax Is Tacoma's Next City Manager: The stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap), deep in the heart of Texas. (News Tribune)

Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau CEO Tammy Blount Is Outta Here: All the leaves a brown and the sky is grey. I've been for a walk on a winter's day. (News Tribune)

Floatplane Dock Coming To The Foss Waterway?: You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven. (News Tribune)

Yippee!: Food scraps soon will be accepted in the yard waste bin. (News Tribune)

Analysis: Playing payroll tax roulette. (CNN)

Roger Ebert: Best films of the year. (Sun Times)

Trent Reznor: Comes clean on Fresh Air. (NPR)

Hall & Oates Hotline: Are you having a tough day? Do you love Hall & Oates? Call: 719-26-OATES. (The Atlantic Wire)

Christmas Movies: The worst. (Time)

Best SNL Skits Of The Year? (Pajiba)

December 4, 2011 at 10:19pm

FREELOADERS: Lesser-known Holidays Edition

Celebrate Mallard Day this Friday.


Feeling disenchanted this holiday season? Well, there's a holiday for that. A Festivus for the Rest of Us, created by Seinfeld character Frank Costanza who thought the holidays became to be too much: too much buying, too much stress, too much glitz. Costanza's Festivus holiday included a Festivus pole, feats of strength and the ritual airing of grievances.

What other holidays take place during this time of year?

Bobble Tiki found seven local, lesser-known holidays this week, all without an admission charge.

MONDAY, DEC. 5: "Roadiem"

  • Wake up a noon
  • Watch Spinal Tap three times
  • Drive to Ted Brown Music and discuss replacing heads and sandbagging hardware with the employees until they want to kill you
  • Hit the free Percussion Ensemble concert at 7:30 p.m. inside the Schneebeck Concert Hall at the University of Puget Sound
  • Stay up until 4 a.m. building and dismantling an Erector Set

TUESDAY, DEC. 6: "Pretendus"

  • Admit the biggest damper on holiday cheer is your adulthood
  • Banish grown-ups
  • Catch the free 10:30 a.m. Caspar Babypants show at the Tacoma Public Library in downtown Tacoma
  • Make a fort in your living room
  • Fall asleep to Shake It Up

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7: "Heat Miser Day"

  • Sing the song, obviously
  • Turn the heat dial in your car to 90
  • Gather up your greener friends and head to the Joy Building on the University of Washington Tacoma campus for Ellen Moore's free 12:30 p.m. lecture titled "Feeling The Heat: How American Mainstream Media Cover Environmental Issues."
  • Make fun of the people working at Baskin-Robbins
  • Fall asleep with your electric blanket on

THURSDAY, DEC. 8: "Waterstock"

  • Turn on the oven
  • Tune in KZOK
  • Cook a burrito
  • Eat the burrito in front of The Dancing Lights Show, a computer-animated light show with music, featuring a 50-foot yacht decorated with more than 15,000 lights that turn on around 7 p.m. at the Olympia Yacht Club
  • Think about dropping out, but instead play Angry Birds on your phone

FRIDAY, DEC. 9: "Mallard Day"

  • Gather your entire extended family at the first annual "Duck the Halls Caroling Competition" at 6:30 p.m. at the Market Square in University Place. Bring food for the food bank.
  • Put the younger generation in uncomfortable duck costumes
  • Invite your Allstate agent because Aflac reduces ducks' humanity
  • Eat bread pudding

SATURDAY, DEC. 10: "Brass Knocks"

  • Put on your David Titterington black turtleneck sweater
  • Watch every brass and organ concert on television
  • When there isn't a brass and organ concert going on, talk about brass and organ concerts you saw over the last 10 years or are about to see with everyone around you
  • Submit your brass and organ players to your fantasy league commissioner
  • End the day with the free 7 p.m. Brass and Organ Christmas Concert at St. John's Episcopal Church in Gig Harbor

SUNDAY, DEC. 11: "Wonder Year Day"

  • Start your day with a bowl of Quisp
  • Attend the free 2 p.m. book and slide presentation by Paul J. Stein on the 1962 Seattle World's Fair inside the Tacoma Public Library in downtown Tacoma
  • Ride your bike accross town then call someone on a pay phone to pick you up
  • Don't wear a seatbelt on the ride home

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Santa Says Blog

November 28, 2011 at 6:04pm

Strung out on recycling


For many Americans, the holiday season could be better-called "The Consumption Season." Corporate America has seasoned our perception of a year's end into an annual rite of buying on credit, looking anxiously for parking spaces and slipping unconsciously into a "Buy! Buy! Buy!" mind frame.

The seasonal celebration has become more about purchasing than about spiritual renewal or reverence for change. And as consumption increases, it's important to be aware of how and under what conditions your gifts were produced. Globally aware folk are realizing that feeding the corporate machine by buying overpriced products from schmancy designers doesn't comply with the forward-thinking mentality portrayed by their "Think Globally, Act Locally" bumper sticker. But the "shop ‘til you drop" attitude is the one many grew up with, and it remains an easy one to slip numbly into as the holiday approaches. This holiday season is an ideal opportunity to subscribe whole-heartedly to a more sustainable style of gift giving.

Also something to keep in mind is how your holiday celebration affects the planet.

The obvious is the living Christmas tree. No need to whack down a young pup evergreen, just to keep it gasping on life support until a couple days after Christmas. Instead, consider a live, potted tree to be planted in the spring. Check with local greenhouses or nurseries for trees that can make the indoor/outdoor transition without becoming a Yule log.

Holiday Lights Recycling

What you may not have considered is recycling your holiday lights.

Federal Way resident Jessica Lam considered it. Three years ago the 10-year-old approached Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium with the idea of recycling strings of holiday lights and raise money for the Zoo's conservation fund. Gazing out onto its one trillion lights show that is Zoolights, the recycling arm of PDZA lit up with glee.

Through the holiday season the zoo will take your light strands, sell the copper wiring, recycle the plastic coating and put the money back into the zoo. It's brilliant. PDZA asks you remove all packaging, twist-ties, rubber bands and pinecones decorated as Santa.

The Girl Scouts return to help with the recycling program - collecting strands to earn a coveted badge.

Click here to journey to PDZA's recycling program webpage for donation locations.

Filed under: Green Crush, Holidays, Tacoma,

November 18, 2011 at 8:16am

MORNING SPEW: Snow, swamp thing, Muppet Password game ...


Thar Be Snow In Dem Hills: Many ski resorts open this weekend. (News Tribune)

Swamp Thing: It's all good. The rain gardens on Pacific Avenue with have 6 inches of drain rock under them. (News Tribune)

Rolling Up Their Sleeves: Members of the congressional committee tasked with cutting $1.2 trillion from the nation's budget deficit before Thanksgiving. (CNN)

Terror Scare: Pilot accidentally locks himself in bathroom and all hell breaks loose. (New York Post)

Wood Eye: The investigation into the death of actress Natalie Wood, who drowned in 1981 while boating off the California coast, is being reopened. (CNN)

Bet Murray Is Pissed: Bret writes for The Muppets. (New York Times)

Indie Film: Raiding the Lost Ark, the documentary. (io9)

Could They Save A Bridge Jumper?: Victoria's Secret models go all superhero. (After Ellen)

Super Password: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Martin Short and Michael Stipe play the game. (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon)

Fashion Victim: Marc Jacobs' spring collection stolen from a train. (Time)

Assemble And Move: Apartment furnished completely in cardboard. (Ignant)

Happy Friday!

November 17, 2011 at 12:38pm

New Report: Groups call for ban on plastic bags


Sadly, during the holiday season, the sight of tumbling plastic bags is more common. A transfer of gifts and a gust of wind can send A bag down the street and worse, high into a tree. That's just one scenario. There are worse.

Many major metropolises, including one of the first - San Francisco - banned retailers from giving their customers plastic bags to carry their goods.

Yet the war on plastic bags is only beginning. As critics point out, the bags are terrible for the environment. They're made from fossil fuels. Animals choke on them. They create unnecessary litter and linger in landfills forever, as it takes them 1,000 years to degrade. Environmental activists want to make them a historical relic.

Today, Environment Washington was joined by the Surfrider Foundation to draw attention to the growing threat of plastics in Puget Sound. Environment Washington's new report, Keeping Plastic Out of Puget Sound: Why Washington Should Join the Global Movement to Reduce Plastic Bag Pollution, is not only a very long title, but also the first of its kind, bringing together new and unpublished research about the serious problem of plastic pollution in the Sound and its impact on wildlife.

"Nothing we use for a few minutes should end up in the belly of a whale," said Robb Krehbiel, program associate for Environment Washington, in a news release. "We should ban plastic bags to protect Puget Sound wildlife."

Take a gander at the news release, including how the University of Washington Tacoma is involved:

Key findings from the report include:

  • On Protection Island, a wildlife sanctuary in the Straight of Juan de Fuca, scientists from the Port Townsend Marine Science center found that more than one in ten gulls were eating plastic.
  • Scientists from UW Tacoma have found small pieces of plastic in every water sample they have taken in Puget Sound.
  • Washingtonians use over two billion plastic bags every year. Olympia uses 200 million. Only 6% of plastic bags are recycled nationwide.
  • At least twenty countries and more than 50 local governments in the United States have banned disposable plastic bags. In the Pacific Northwest, Bellingham, Edmonds and Portland have banned plastic bags.

Julie Masura from the University of Washington Tacoma's Center for Urban Waters has researched plastic debris in Puget Sound over the last eighteen months. "Every environmental sample I have collected from surface waters and beach sediment has contained a form of plastic," said Masura. She said that researchers are now focused on figuring out how the plastic enters the Sound.


Filed under: Green Crush, Tacoma,

November 9, 2011 at 12:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Violinist Joshua Bell, ecosystem chat, Rory Sparks, KRS-One ...

Violinist Joshua Bell

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9, 2011 >>>

1. At age 4 Joshua Bell tossed his bobba across the room and snatched a violin. At age 14 Bell dropped the slingshot and joined Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra on stage. In 1999 while you checking out your Prince outfit in the mirror, Bell was bathed in roses from his performance in the Academy Award-winning Red Violin. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. while you're sitting in the Pantages Theater, Bell will blow you away with sonatas by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Isaye and Franck. 

2. Professional thinkers-about-the-future Rowan Schmidt and Zac Christin from Earth Economics are next in line to unleash their brains as part of the Individuality and Sustainability seminar series, sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program at UW Tacoma. From 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 117 of the Joy Building, will push the boundaries of watershed economics for the 21st century, specifically the value of ecosystem services with a case study in the Puyallup River Watershed. Get ready to learn something you couldn't even imagine was possible five days ago.

3. There's talk of a print arts center opening in Tacoma. Is it possible? Rory Sparks from Portland's Em Space Book Arts Center might have a clue. Listen to her him at 7 p.m. inside The Nurture Healing Center, where there are a free things in print.

4. Northern Pacific Coffee Co. next to Pacific Lutheran University hosts an all-ages open mic from 8-11 p.m.

5. One of the most influential hip-hop artists of the '80s, KRS-One will perform at Jazzbones's Wednesday Sessions with Dirt Nasty and The Breaklites at 8 9 p.m.

LINK: Freebies for the week

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Download the new Tacoma foodie app

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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