Friday, October 31, 2014



Raiders of the Lost Art

The majority of Arizona’s museum collections reside in storage. What argosies of art and artifact are concealed in their basements?

There’s a painting hanging in the basement of the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tucson. It alone adorns a muted mustard-yellow brick wall facing rows of six-foot-high racks overflowing with old leather saddles and myriad basement bric-a-brac. Viewed from afar in the musty storage space, the framed landscape painting could be any granny’s dime-store attic art, but look closer, and you’ll see the signature of late Tucson artist Maynard Dixon, whose original oil paintings of the American West typically fetch prices in the mid-to-high six figures. This piece is a one-off Dixon did for a friend. In other words, there could be a small fortune on the wall.


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A controversial film by two Valley brothers follows famous atheists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on a global mission for reason.

Got God? Most Americans do. According to the most recent American Religious Identification Survey, roughly 80 percent of the population defers to some sort of deity. So a film that follows famous atheists on tour espousing the virtues of science is bound to ruffle feathers.


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Urine Trouble

Experts examine how to flush trace pharmaceutical chemicals from Phoenix’s water supply.

Every time Phoenicians flush their toilets, they send toxic pee to the sewer. This flood of urine – filled with chemicals from painkillers, hormones and antibiotics – ends up in wastewater treatment plants that cannot completely remove the medications before the pharmaceutical soup finds its way to the state’s lakes, streams and rivers, threatening wildlife and worrying scientists and regulators.


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Chief Concern

Phoenix’s new top cop stirs up controversy within the department, but says his sweeping changes will improve public service.

It’s 1978, and rookie Dallas cop Daniel V. Garcia has the keys to a brand new cruiser. First night out, he responds to a burglar alarm. He nabs a perp crawling through a window downtown, cuffs him and calls for backup.


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Toil and Trouble

Amid an executive flux, Arizona Theatre Company’s Director of Education brings social media-savvy Shakespeare to Arizona schools.

If Hamlet had a Facebook page, among his “likes” would be “procrastinating.”


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Drug Rehabilitation

The notorious club drug ketamine is used to fight clinical depression at a groundbreaking Scottsdale treatment center.

The first roadside bomb was an amateurish daisy-chain job. A misfire. The round bounced harmlessly off the top of the armored vehicle’s hood and he drove on.


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The Big Train That Might

Make tracks to Tucson in 70 minutes? It could happen, but don’t line up for tickets just yet.

When PayPal co-founder Elon Musk said it would be cool to build an 800 mph “Hyperloop” to zoom from L.A. to San Francisco in a mere 30 minutes, reactions ranged from amazed to bemused. The idea may not be loopy, says ASU School of Sustainability engineering professor Mikhail Chester. But “it’s not a proven technology like high-speed rail [HSR] is.”


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