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UAB “Space Archeologist” wins $1 Million TED Prize
By Hanson Watkins
UAB anthropology professor, Sarah Parcak, has won the top TED prize for her work in researching ancient civilizations with satellite technology. Her innovative approach, developed during her time in the UAB anthropology program, not only provides additional insights into archeological sites, but also helps preserve those sites by reducing the need to dig. As a satellite archeologist, Sarah takes images collected from 450 miles above the Earth, and uses algorithms to note subtle changes to the Earth’s surface over time.
She analyzes the data to find shapes and patterns that signal manmade objects, hidden from view. Her methods could help locate hundreds of thousands, even millions, of undiscovered ancient sites around the world. And finding these sites is the first step to protecting them. Her approach uses existing data coupled with innovative algorithms to clearly identify site looting, manmade vs natural objects and Using the satellite images, Sarah has helped locate 17 potential pyramids in Egypt. She’s also identified 3,100 forgotten settlements and 1,000 lost tombs, plus made major discoveries throughout the Roman Empire. Since the award, the researcher has been profiled by the BBC, Forbes, and National Geographic. Her research is exciting not only to the scientific community, but also amateur Indian Jones’ and History Channel buffs. In February, TED and Dr.. Parcak will announce the “secret wish” that the grant money will be used to fulfill related to her goal of protecting the world’s heritage sites. Dr. Parcak’s TED presentation can be viewed at www.ted.com.
‘House Divided, Hearts United’ Families face off during Iron Bowl By Tori Linville
Saturday, Nov. 28 isn’t just another day to wallow in the leftover-turkey-filledhaze that follows Thanksgiving. It isn’t just another Saturday. It’s the day of reckoning for millions of households in the state of Alabama – Iron Bowl day. It’s also the continuance of a rivalry that dates back to 1893. But this isn’t the 1800s, and the intense rivalry has come a long way. It’s now common to see license plates, flags and t-shirts declaring a household to be “a house divided.” It isn’t rare to have an Auburn and Alabama fan living under the same roof. Amy Poore, a University of Alabama alumna, roots
for her alma mater. Her husband, Raymond, is an Auburn fan. While the rivalry is present for the Poore household, football season isn’t as brutal as people think, Poore said. “It’s really not. Well, except those years when you both go to the Iron Bowl undefeated. I, at least, do not ‘hate’ Auburn anymore, nor do I get upset if they win (except against us),” she said. “I feel Raymond has mellowed at little, he just won’t admit it. I actually have found that I love the campus at Auburn and tailgating there is a lot of fun. And I know Raymond enjoys tailgating here as well.”
Photo: Amy Poore
In order to maintain the peace, Poore said her household works on compromising and remaining silent. While both fans have attended their rivals’ tailgates, they remain supportive and agree to
wear the other team’s color, logos not included, she said. The Iron Bowl can be an intense game for any Alabama or Auburn fan, but the Poore household deals with it – sometimes by watching the game separately. Cont. pg5
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With new construction going on all over the city, from the exciting activity with Box Row Avondale to the new Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook we thought a beautiful example of that activity was in order and long-time Mountain Brook Village establishment, Smith’s Variety, has a wonderful example of holiday cheer in thier new Crestline Village location.
THE CRAFT Jason Wilson, Founder Back Forty Beer Company
© 2015 Alabama Power Company
Safe, affordable, reliable electricity is one form of power we provide, but not the only one. For the Back Forty Beer Company, it’s helping them lead the way for craft beer in Alabama. With a lot of hard work, vision and a little help from Alabama Power to make their facility and processes efficient, Back Forty is proving that a local dream can turn into an amazing reality. That’s power to build on your passion. That’s Power to Alabama.
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Ben Talmadge serves on staff of Youth For Christ and Grace Church. He and his wife, Anna Grace, have two children, Jem and Hazel Jane.
The area of prayer can be a tricky one. While the idea of talking to God is thought-provoking, it also feels kind of strange to talk to someone you can’t see, hear, or touch. I have found that the times I pray most consistently is when I am keenly aware of needs in my life which are beyond my ability to figure out on my own. Parenting is a great example of this, for it is an area which can often be frustrating and taxing. Here are three lessons I’ve learned about prayer through my own journey of parenting: Prayer is illustrated by children. Interestingly, Jesus uses the example of children to help explain what God desires from people. He tells his followers, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). So, why does Jesus use children to explain how to best approach God? Most likely, Jesus is expressing his desire for us to come to him in the same way that little children come to their parents. They do not come with everything figured out but rather simply as who they are in each and every moment. As we observe this in our children, Jesus intends for us to assume this posture before him. Ultimately, he desires to be with us through every parenting experience, as we learn to be honest with him through both the good and bad times. Prayer matters more than principles. If you peruse any bookstore, you will find no shortage of books which
By Ben Talmadge
contain a plethora of parenting principles. While some of these can be helpful, we need to be careful not to make too much out of principles. Becoming too dependent on good principles can give us the illusion that we are the ones who are in control of the task of parenting. If we are the ones in control, it means that we are not allowing God to be in control. While principles may help in some moments, there are inevitably moments that come when we have no idea what to do or say. If principles alone could produce successful parenting, then God is not needed. May we learn to pray through our parenting as much as we attempt to apply the right parenting principles.
Prayer challenges our view of God. If many of us are honest, it just doesn’t feel like God is very involved in our lives. Accepting the idea that God is far off is dangerous, because it produces a dogged cynicism in our lives. We begin to think that life is up to us, that God is not really doing a whole lot to help us. And there is nothing in life that can feel more like a struggle to simply survive than parenting. Often times, we may feel like we have no idea what we’re doing as a parent, and it is in these moments that it is imperative for us to understand that God actually desires to be intimately involved in our parenting.
In fact, I have found the task of parenting to be the birthplace of prayer in my life, realizing that without God’s personal involvement, my best efforts to parent will ultimately fall short. Admittedly, prayer can be challenging. But if we can learn to view it as an invitation from God to enter into
relationship, then it can become an opportunity to experience relational transformation with our children. Perhaps God is wanting us to learn how to relationally pursue our children as we simply experience how he relationally pursues us.
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“There have been a few [Iron Bowls] in the last couple years that that everything rode on who won that game. We spent those watching apart,” she said. “That was a good choice because I’m pretty sure that the ‘pick 6’ game would have caused a fight. We spend Thanksgiving at the beach now and this past year – the stress got to me and I just went to bed.” Poore said she’s interested to see where her two-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, lands in the rivalry. Her daughter attends Alabama’s RISE school, where everyone wears something Alabama on Fridays, but Poore said she tries to maintain a balance. “I dress her equally, she has one [outfit] of each when it comes to her clothes. At school, she wears Auburn on Monday and Bama on Friday and until she does declare, she wears house divided outfits on Iron Bowl weeks,” she said. “I don’t really plan on influencing her, but I have a feeling her daddy will behind my back.” Susan Seymour is an Alabama fan, while her husband is an Auburn fan. Seymour said her household keeps the peace by keeping it fun and remembering that it is just a game, with compromises. “In years past we would wear the other team’s attire. Him in Alabama attire and me in Auburn’s, shakers included,” Seymour said. “We stay
together in same room for the game.” While Seymour and her husband peacefully disagree on what team to cheer for, the extended family often doesn’t understand, she said. “Some of our family on both sides can’t believe we support the other team and that we would dare to wear the other team’s colors. Some are so
die hard that now at our annual family Christmas party, the game cannot be mentioned or discussed,” she said. “[That’s] not the case with my husband and I. After the game there is discussion with no hard feelings.” As for the Iron Bowl, Seymour said she and her family plan ahead, including food and attire to wear.
“We are always supportive of the others’ team until Iron Bowl, then it is on,” she said. When asked what she wish others knew about households with rivalries like Alabama and Auburn’s, Seymour kept it short and sweet. “Remember: house divided, hearts united,” she said.
Photo: Amy Poore
Recipes to be Thankful For
Recipes and Photos by Amy Poore Anyone need some new dishes to enjoy at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Both of these dishes are perfect for the occasion. The Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash looks gorgeous, but it’s fairly simple to make and it takes just a few ingredients. And the Pear Cake offers a delicious alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving desserts (though certainly include them, too). Enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, and bon appétit! Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy’s delicious recipes, visit her blog, www.pooreamy.com
• 2 cans pear halves • 1 package white cake mix • 3 eggs • 1 stick butter, melted • Confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Drain pears, reserving 1 can of syrup. Chop pears. Mix cake mix, butter, eggs and reserved syrup on low for 30 seconds, increase to medium-high for 4 mins. Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash • 2 acorn squash • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened • 1/2 cup butter • 1/2 cup brown sugar • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped • Salt • Pepper • Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scrap out and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in 2 baking dishes. Add 1/2 inch of water to each pan. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. In a bowl, use a hand mixer (or stand) to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Stir in pecans, reserving a few for garnish. Carefully remove squash from oven and place cut side up on baking sheet. (Tip: I trim off a little of the bottom so they will lie flat.) Season squash with salt and pepper, fill with cream cheese mixture and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until filling is lightly browned and squash is tender. Sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar and reserved pecans.
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Taco Mama: Casual Dining Packed With Flavor Otey’s Tavern owner Will Haver opened Taco Mama in 2011, and the restaurant enjoyed almost immediate success. Taco Mama is an authentic Mexican cantina located in Crestline Village in Mountain Brook. It’s a casual, fun, upbeat kind of place – perfect for hanging out and lingering over chips, salsa, queso and delicious burritos and tacos. It’s also family-friendly, offering an excellent kids menu. It’s just the perfect fresh spot to grab lunch or dinner. And Taco Mama is already staple for many residents in and around Mountain Brook. The restaurant’s perfect location, in Crestline Village (in the old Crestline Seafood location), makes it easy to access, and seating is abundant. If you’re looking to relax and unwind after a busy day, start with one of Taco Mama’s outstanding frozen margaritas or a pitcher on the rocks. The strawberry margaritas, in particular, are hard to beat. Taco Mama offers both taco and
by Annie Tate
burrito baskets. Both come with chips, salsa and one of the restaurants tasty sides. You can also build your own burritos, tacos, nachos and quesadillas, with fillings like chicken, barbacoa, chorizo and grilled shrimp. Toppings include everything from ancho chile slaw to chorizo refried beans to classic pico de gallo.
If you’ve got a hungry family to feed and you need something that’s sure to satisfy everyone, pick up the Happy Family Take Out Meal at Taco Mama. For $29, you get a lot of food, including four beef and cheese soft shell tacos, four chicken and cheese soft shell tacos and sour cream on the side. The meal also includes chips and salsa, queso, cilantro-lime rice, black beans and ancho chile slaw. **No reservations are not needed at Taco Mama, though keep in mind the restaurant can get crowded fast, especially after work.
Address: 63 Church Street Mountain Brook, AL 35213 Phone: (205) 414-9314
Hours: Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Sunday.
Photography: Bartosz Potocki
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