Sunday, April 19, 2015


Death (un) Ltd.

What happens to your body after death? Probably what you expect – but then again, this is Arizona, so maybe not.

The pathologists wheel you out of the elevator and place you on the examination table. Respectfully, but not gently. One of them makes a steady, confident incision across the back of your skull. Another cuts a large Y-pattern over your torso, revealing subcutaneous fat of a creamy yellow tint you’ve never seen before. Soon, your body is a painter’s easel of vivid and alien colors and exposed organ structures. You begin emitting smells that offer no polite comparison. Your brain is removed, weighed, photographed and sliced into pathological cutlets that will be shipped to labs all across the world. Your other major organs are similarly broadcast. Going out into the world. To advance knowledge. To do good.  You died all of 67 minutes ago.

Read more: Death (un) Ltd.

Thalidomide Made Good

One of history’s most feared and stigmatized drugs reemerges as a potential cure for Alzheimer’s.

“Stark weather homicide/children of Thalidomide,” is how Billy Joel year-checked 1958 in his history-cataloguing hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” More than four decades after the banned morning-sickness

Read more: Thalidomide Made Good

Crazy Train

Valley Metro enlists local bands to educate riders on mass-transit protocol through the power of song.

Riding the bus or Light Rail is easy. Riding the bus or Light Rail while observing the many rules and protocols that attend public transit is a bit trickier.

Read more: Crazy Train

Where's the Boeuf?

The Great Arizona Picnic is a grade-A party. Just don’t look for Kai or Binkley’s.

Weather permitting, more than 40,000 hungry and thirsty souls will visit the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Great Arizona Picnic in late April. It’s easily the biggest and most famous event of its kind in Arizona. The biggest party. The coolest roster of celebrities.

But is it the premier culinary event for people who, you know, actually want to sample cuisine?

Read more: Where's the Boeuf?

Fare and Balanced

Tempe officials say the forthcoming modern streetcar is just the vehicle to revive the Mill Ave. neighborhood.

“The city’s new $130 million streetcar line begins operations today, closing the final chapter on a five-year mission to provide convenient mass transit to residents and habitués of Tempe’s busy Mill Avenue corridor. Servicing 13 stops on a 2.6-mile route that runs along Mill Avenue from Southern Avenue to Rio Salado Parkway, with a northern loop from Rio Salado to Ash Avenue that reconnects with Mill at University Drive, the service runs every 12-20 minutes. The five 65-foot, 100-seat streetcars draw power from overhead lines and run on battery for stretches.

Read more: Fare and Balanced

All Better Meow

Thanks to some industrious residents, a grassroots trap-and-release program is controlling the chaotic Coronado cat population.

Five cats at one house, perhaps a dozen at another. Their car-hit carcasses were common sights in the neighborhood, and those that survived were painfully emaciated – the area simply didn’t have enough birds, rodents and wild food sources to sustain its growing feral cat population. The residents who tried feeding them were overwhelmed.

Read more: All Better Meow

Reality Bytes

Valley visionaries are spearheading computer technologies that enhance your grip on the here-and-now – and take us one step closer to inventing the holodeck.

I put on the glasses and I’m gliding over Mars. The cartographically-accurate surface of the Red Planet rolls below me in 3D. A tiny sun shines dimly. Rusty landscape and twilight skies surround me, even when I look over my shoulder.

Read more: Reality Bytes