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Winter 2012/2013

Quarterly Speed Bump magazine Slow Down & Relax Slow Down & Relax Slow Down & Relax Slow Down & Relax Slow Down & Relax

QSB Volume 2 No.


QSB: Winter 2012/2013


3 Frontage: A letter from the Editor It's dark out there

4 Red Light: Backyard Astronomy

We're seeing stars. Or, wait, where'd they go?!

7 Detour: Things We Like 18

Out ofthe darkness they spring.

15 Roadside Stand What's up, Doc?

18 The Fork

Retro tastes good.

24 On the Road to... Heraldry

Lots ofwords to tell you about something that says a lot with few words.

24 1


33 Work Ahead

Let's make light ofit.


37 Interchange

Pictures worth thousands of words.

39 Offthe Beaten Tracks


Ifsound can be smoky, we've found it.

40 Crossroads

Is a puzzlement.

41 Undulations

Teacher, teacher!



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From the Editor

Hello, Wonderful Readers. It's good to have you reading these pages again. This winter I've been suffering from the seasonal blues and getting any extra things done has been a slog. The weather has been pretty mild so it's not cabin fever; it's simply the lack of enough daylight. To get myself through the dark season, I decided that this issue would focus on the dark to make it seem a little less daunting. To that end we have articles on such things as what happens when it's not dark enough, recipes to help you see in the dark, making your own light sources, and a spotlight on photography (aka "writing with light") among many others. If you, too, are suffering from the winter blues, I'm sorry to hear it, but we hope this issue will perk you right up. If you're one of the lucky ones who has been just fine and out frolicking all winter, we have lots of articles for you, too. Fortunately, as Spring approaches, the available light improves. I can't wait. May you enjoy these last days of winter and join us back here once again in Spring. Cheers, Rebecca L. Wendt Editor-in-Chief

Editor/Publisher: Rebecca L. Wendt


Jessica Herrick Sebastian Nelson

Puzzler & More: ScottWendt


Barbara Herrick JosephVaughn 3

Red Light

Dark Enough for Ya?

Hey QSB Readers, it's time for some citizen science. The International Dark-Sky Association ( is sponsoring a Globe at Night international observation to measure light pollution. It's easy and interesting even ifyou don't go outside and stare up at the night sky during their set dates (Ifyou're going to be part ofthe international reporting effort, the next window for observations is March 3 - March 12. Or, you can wait for the Spring opportunity and look for Leo: April 29 May 8.)

We have a problem in the developed

world. We're creating too much light. To see for yourself, go outside after the sun has been down for a couple of hours and look up. You probably can't see very may stars because of the light pollution; you should be able to see many including the MilkyWay. If you want to see special astronomical events, you usually have to drive a long way from the city. Most nights there's a sulfurous tint—urban sky glow—to the sky that, too, is caused by too much unnatural lighting. There are studies that indicate that the lack of enough darkness is causing humans' circadian rhythms to be impaired. Animals' migratory patterns, mating behavior, and health also seem to be negatively impacted by light pollution. On top of all that, we're wasting energy. 4

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There are things you can do. If you have outdoor lights, turn off the unecessary ones and replace the remaining fixtures with lights that shine downward instead of up and out. Unoccupied commercial buildings with no window coverings but with lights left on inside add to the light pollution and the energy bills. Turn off all lights not needed for security. Ask businesses and government entities to do the same. Help bring attention to the light pollution issue by joining in on reporting your sky conditions during March 3 - March 1 2. You'll need to do a few simple things that we've outlined on the next page.

Let's bring back the night. Let's see stars.

Red Light What do you have to do? 1 . Figure out where you are (i.e. your latitude and longitude). You can use your GPS or go online to figure it out if you don't already know. 2. During the winter observation, look for the constellation Orion. If you're in the northern hemisphere like QSB world headquarters is, Orion will be to the southwest. 3. Use the magnitude charts at .html to match up what you're seeing (or not seeing, really) up in the sky with their charts. Also, unless you're well outside of a city, prepare yourself to be depressed about what you could be seeing compared to what you're actually seeing. 4. Make your observations official by reporting in on the project website: Visit for more information. You can see the project results at

What's Orion and what does it look like? Orion is one of the easiest constellations to find. You've probably heard of its two brightest stars already: Betelgeuse (sometimes pronounced "Beetle Juice") and Rigel. He's a hunter in Greek mythology and apparently fastidious enough to wear a belt when he's out stalking prey. On an extraordinarily clear night, Orion looks like the depiction at left. For ease in seeing him, the following page shows the constellation's outline. You will note his prominent three-star belt (the stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka), his right arm raised to strike, as well as the weapon (or possibly his latest kill) held in his left hand. Rigel is his left foot, Betelgeuse his right shoulder. Of course, some depictions show Orion standing with his back to us in which case everything I just said would be reversed. Constellations are all about using your imagination. Do what works best for you. 5

Report: March 3 - March 12

Red Light


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Detour: Things We Like

Mushroom Madness 7


Become a mycophile:

one who loves mushrooms. We're not necessarily talking about eating mushrooms (though a fine batch ofmorels would not be unwelcome) or picking up a bagful at your local supermarket. We're talking about noticing the amazing and varied forms that these "fruiting bodies" of fungi display out in nature, noticing the mushrooms lurking in your neighborhood, and learning a little more about these fascinating life forms. That means that you will have to go outside unless you are unlucky enough to live in a house sprouting an indoor fungus like Peziza domiciliana from the carpet. Bundle up and tread carefully—you don't want to squish the poor mushrooms. Look up in trees, on fallen branches, at cracks in the sidewalk, and on the ground. Shrooms grow best when temperatures are above freezing but not too much above 70ºF. They like moisture. as well. so late winter and early spring should bring at least a few out of hiding—it depends on your local climate, of course. Invest in a good mushroom guide to help you identify what you're seeing. If you live in western North America, we really like the hefty Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora as well as his colorful pocket guide, All That the Rain Promises and More. Mushroom identification can be tricky and we're not advocating eating any of your finds until you know what you're doing (look into taking a class or joining a foraging expedition led by a true expert). At this stage of your mycophilia initiation, we recommend appreciation without ingestion because there are definitely poisonous mushrooms out there. Don't worry about handling specimens; they are only poisonous if eaten. Mushroom toxins do not go through the skin. But, mushrooms are not the whole organism. Like we said above, they're just the fruiting bodies that are visible to the world. Underground or in 8

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the stump from whence the mushrooms sprout, there is the fungus proper, the mycelium. The mycelium can live for decades or centuries. It's a mass made up of the threadlike structures (hyphae) that grow from mushroom spores and digest the fungus's meals. The mycelia can be microscopic or very large. In fact, the largest living organism in the known world is a mycelium living under parts of eastern Oregon—it takes up nearly four square miles and is probably 24008600 years old. That's a humongous fungus (and an ancient one, too)! The cycle goes like this: spore, hyphae/mycelium, repeat. Which came first? What are you going to do, ask us about the chicken and the egg next?! Let's concentrate on the parts we can see. Most mushrooms have a cap with gills underneath, a stem (aka a stipe), and spores which they release to reproduce. As we'll see in the following images, some of these structures are missing or modified. Differences in these features help to identify species. For example, when trying to identify a mushroom. you will look at how the cap attaches to the stem, what kind of gills the mushroom has (if any), relative size, color of spores, and on and on. Sometimes you can only tell which mushroom you have by making a spore print. To do so, take a white sheet of paper and tear the cap off of the mushroom. Place the cap, gill side down on the paper and cover with something (a drinking glass works). Leave the cap alone for several hours until the spores have dropped to the paper and you can see what color they are. Compare your results to descriptions in your field guide. This printmaking only works part of the time depending on the age of the mushroom and the availability of spores. The identification game can be tricky and there are lots of look-alikes. Mushrooms grow from the ground (sometimes on decaying tree roots), on live trees, and on dead trees to name a few locations. You'll notice them more frequently a few days after a rainstorm has gone through the area. Kicking over mushrooms won't kill the fungus but it's no end of annoying

Detour when people destroy mushrooms because of some misguided phobia. Most are beautiful and few do any harm (there are some that will cause living trees to rot and die but usually they're not the cause of such tree death but rather a symptom of an existing sickness). In fact, without mycelia to digest detritus, we'd all be covered by fathoms deep in dead material. Some mycelia are able to absorb and break down toxins. Save the mycelia, save the world.

Prominent gills on the underside ofthe cap ofan aging specimen ofmilk cap mushroom.

Instead ofgills, the Echinodontium has spines. This one grows directly on wood (dead or alive) and is really tough like wood, itself. 9


Sulfur Shelf, Laetiporus sulphureus, growing on a live tree. Note the absence ofgills and the presence of pores on the underside.


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A milk cap growing in the ground beneath its associated oak trees. You may see that some mushrooms only appear in conjunction with particular trees. Take note.

Growing on a decaying stump and breaking it down.

SulfurTuft, Hypholoma fasciculare, growing on decaying tree roots beneath the lawn. 1 1


Witches Butter, Tremella mesenterica is usually noticeable only after rain and quite gelatinous. It seems to prefer, as here, the same conditions as lichen.

Puffball mushrooms look like golfballs on first appearance. They're tenuously attached to fibers but, when they're older, may go rolling around the countryside in the wind. Spores escape by puffing through a hole in the top like smoke. 12

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An Earthstar pushes up through the ground and opens its rays to reveal a spore case. Spores escape through a hole in the center in smokelike puffs. Some species are hydroscopic and curl into a ball again when it's dry. 1 3


Bracket fungi are usually extremely tough. They're polypores (no gills) and will be found on dead and trees or logs. This tree was a fire victim but mushrooms love it.

Inky cap mushrooms are all over the place. I've even seen an entire group pushing up though a narrow sidewalk crack.


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Roadside Stand

THE CARROT (Not the Stick) 1 5

Roadside Stand That carrots can help you improve your

eyesight is something ofan urban myth, alas. However, they are full ofbeta-carotene that wonderful precursor toVitamin A. AndVitamin A, as you may know, helps ward offcataracts and the horrifying macular degeneration. Ofcourse, you'd probably turn yourselforange (i. e. you'd give yourselfcarotenaemia and have carotenoderma) before you got enough betacarotene from carrots to make huge differences in your eye health. Nil desperandum: carrots can still come to the rescue ifyou have poor night vision caused by low levels ofVitamin A. So eat up. But, forget all the eye stuff. We're featuring carrots this season because carrots are readily available in winter and their usual orange color is cheering in a gray season. Ifyou're tired of eating your "baby" carrots straight out ofthe bag with hummus, here are a few different recipes to try featuring that ubiquitous root veggie.

Carrot Muffins Makes 1 dozen

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 2 cups freshly grated carrots 2 eggs, slightly beaten ½ cup maple syrup 1 /3 cup plain yogurt (not nonfat) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil ½ cup dried cranberries Mix flour, leaveners, salt, and spices together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl mix the carrots and wet ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overwork and quickly stir in the dried cranberries. Spoon the muffin batter into a well-greased muffin tin. Bake at 375º F for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are lightly golden. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 1 0 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack. Eat warm with jam if desired. Freeze any muffins that you're not planning to eat right away. They can be revived in the microwave or a warm oven later.

Carrot Jam 1 pound cleaned and peeled carrots, cut into 2 inch lengths 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 orange - zest and juice 2 cups sugar 1 cup water ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes Steam the carrots until completely tender then place in food processor with the fresh cranberries and puree. Leave some texture but not too many chunks. Move the carrot mixture to heavy-


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Roadside Stand bottomed pot and add 2 cups of sugar, the zest and juice of 1 orange, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine and then add the pepper flakes. Heat over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently so it doesn't scorch. Spoon jam into sterilized jars, place new lids and clean rings on the jars, and process by boiling water method or just refrigerate.

heat and let the mixture steep until it cools to room temperature. Strain the ginger and zest out of the simple syrup and discard them. Blend in the carrot juice and chill thoroughly. Freeze according to the instructions of your ice cream maker. Transfer the churned sorbet to a freezer container for storage and freeze until solid. Let the sorbet sit at room temperature for a while before serving so that it's not as hard as a rock.

Carrot Sorbet ½ cup water ½ cup honey 2-inch piece of ginger cut into coins zest of 1 lemon 3 cups carrot juice In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except the carrot juice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid boils. Immediately remove from 17

The Fork


Dining Remix


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The Fork This winter has been a rough one for a lot ofpeople. Seems like a good time to

hunt up some old favorite recipes and give them new life on the pages ofthe magazine. Unlike carrot sorbet, you might recognize these from your own past (or are we underestimating your past?) but the ingredients and methods have been modernized. The occasional dose ofcomfort food does no harm and makes one able to face the dark days ofwinter. Ifyou're worried about the upcoming swimsuit season, eat more ofthe brussels sprouts! Heck, everyone should eat more brussels sprouts. We have spoken. Go forth and munch.

Swedish Meatballs Serves 6

You might be wondering why you should go to all the trouble of making these meatballs when you can wander into a particular blue and yellow big box store (that sells items in flat boxes) and buy 1 5 for not a lot of money. I can't answer that question for you but, with this recipe, you do know exactly what's going into your mouth when you're eating. The meatball recipe comes from my mother's college roommate (as does my middle name). I've tweaked the ingredients just a little because that's what I do but the taste remains the same. Don't skip the nutmeg.

Gravy: To the remaining butter and meat drippings in the pan add 3 tablespoons of flour Whisk to blend then add 3 cups beef stock (low sodium) 1 /2 cup milk (not nonfat) 1 /2 cup half & half

Meatballs: 1 pound ground beef (85/1 5 is preferred) 1 cup fine, plain breadcrumbs 1 /3 cup milk 1 /4 cup finely chopped onion 1 egg, slightly beaten 1 1 /2 teaspoons salt 1 /2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk. Add onion, beef, egg, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly but do not overwork. Shape into 1 inch balls. SautĂŠ in 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan. 1 9

The Fork Roast at 475ºF for 20-25 minutes until caramelized in spots but not burned. Stir once during roasting process. Remove from oven and enjoy. The roasting gives the sprouts an excellent flavor and they don't taste of boiled cabbage if that's what you were worried about.

Layers ofLove Dessert 8"x8" serves 6-9

The original recipe for this calls for whipped nondairy topping and instant pudding to which I say "NO THANKYOU" and make it my own way. It barely takes much more time and tastes so much cleaner and better. I'm not saying my recipe is healthy 'cause it's not but at least it's not fake. Cook and stir over medium heat until the gravy is smooth and starting to thicken—about 2 minutes. Add meatballs, cover, and simmer for 1 5 minutes. Taste the gravy and add salt and/or pepper as needed. Serve the meatballs and gravy with steamed potatoes and Brussels sprouts (eat more sprouts!). A side of lingonberry or cranberry sauce (not shown) adds color and tang to the plate. Then move on to dessert.

Potatoes with Butter and Parsley More of a suggestion that a recipe.

Use 4 ounces of red potatoes per person. Cut potatoes in quarters and steam until tender. Top with salted butter, salt and pepper if desired, and freshly chopped italian parsley. Tastes great with a bit of the gravy. Told you this wasn't a recipe!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Another suggestion rather than a real recipe. Use 4 ounces of Brussels sprouts per person. Slice a sliver off the stem end then halve each sprout. Remove any past-their-prime outer leaves. Place sprouts in a baking dish and toss them in olive oil and salt and pepper until they are all lightly coated. 20

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Brownie Crust (First Layer): 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 2/3 cup sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1 egg 2/3 cup flour 2 tablespoons milk pinch of salt 1 /2 teaspoon vanilla extract (no leavener) Mix all the brownie ingredients in a food processor for several minutes. Spread the batter evenly in a greased 8"x8" pan. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before continuing. If you're in a rush, stash it in the freezer while you get on with the next layers. Creamy Cheese (Second Layer): 1 /2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature 1 /2 cup powdered sugar, divided 1 cup heavy cream Whip the mascarpone and half the powdered sugar together. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream with the remaining powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture and spread evenly over the cooled brownie crust.

The Fork 21

The Fork


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The Fork Chocolate Pudding (Third Layer): 1 /4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 3/4 cup milk (fat level of your choice) pinch of salt 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Using a whisk, stir in the milk until the mixture is smooth. While whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the liquid has thickened and starts to boil. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add a small portion of the hot liquid to the beaten egg yolks to temper the mixture (keep stirring so you don't make chocolate scrambled eggs). Slowly pour the eggs into the remainder of the mixture in the saucepan and heat until mix is thick like pudding. Don't forget to stir. Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until completely combined. Let cool and spread the pudding atop the creamy cheese mixture being careful not to mix the layers. If you want to speed the cooling process for the pudding, place the saucepan in a large bowl full of ice water (don't get water in the pudding). Cream Topping (Fourth Layer): Whip 1 cup heavy cream with 1 /4 cup powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Carefully spread the sweetened whipped cream over the chocolate pudding layer. Top it all off with chocolate sprinkles or other decoration of your choice (chocolate curls? chopped nuts? sifted cocoa powder). Chill your beautiful dessert in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so you get nice, distinct layers when you cut into it. Enjoy and feel oh so retro while doing so. 23

On the Road to...

Heraldry With Sebastian Nelson For the "On the Road to..." column a Quarterly Speed Bump writer sits down

with a hobbyist and finds out about how to get into their particular hobby and what they find to be rewarding about it. In this issue we're on the road to heraldry. We were pleased to turn the tables on regular QSB columnist Sebastian Nelson to learn more. Sebastian also supplied the images and wrote the blazons that are included with and follow the interview so he didn't get out ofwriting after all!

QSB: What is the proper term for someone who practices the gentle art ofheraldry?

coming into play so I could find more information.

Sebastian: An enthusiast is called a heraldist. A

QSB: What do you recommend to others who might be interested?

herald, on the other hand, practices heraldry by profession and usually works for a government or state. There are only a handful of real heralds left today. The yearly salary for an English herald, set in the 1 830s, is ÂŁ1 7.80, or about $27.95 but it is one of the very few professions to get government-issued wands (like something out of Harry Potter).

QSB: What about heraldry attracted you? Sebastian:

I really loved the visual way of encoding family history and genealogy with colors and shapes. That's what first caught my attention. There are about a million rules and a lot of them are unwritten and then there are a million exceptions. It's very strict and formal, but the shield itself is like a stage where strange and other worldly creatures can exist, so it is also really creative. I really like that tension.

QSB: How long have you been into heraldry? Sebastian: I got started when I found a book on

heraldry at the school library when I was in junior high school. In high school the internet was just


Sebastian: You don't need

much to begin...just a library card and access to the internet. The basic skill needed to practice heraldry is to be able to interpret blazon, which is the verbal description of coats of arms. “Blazon" is the technical language. It's very detailed--almost like techno-babble. When Figure A heraldry first appeared in the middle ages, the rules and terminology of blazon soon followed. Some people believe that the rules of blazon were so technical as a kind of job security for heralds. As more and more coats of arms were designed and adopted, the risk of duplication rose (there were lots of medieval court cases over coats of arms). Blazon helps allow for small details and differences to be described in great detail. It is almost like musical notation.

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On the Road to... There are many helpful types of reference books, including dictionaries of blazon, armories and ordinaries of arms. An armory is a written list of blazons arranged alphabetically by the surname of the person or family who used a particular coat of arms, kind of like the white pages. An ordinary of arms is a written list of blazons arranged alphabetically by the main design elements (axes over here...unicorns over there). They're like the yellow pages. Heraldry can even help people like art historians to identify things like portraits based on the coats of arms in the painting. There's no universal armory or ordinary of arms. There are many different ones for different countries and different time periods.

QSB: Tell me about what the basics ofheraldry are. Sebastian: Heraldry is the

systematic and hereditary use of designs on shields, and it first appears inWestern Europe in the twelfth century. It appeared on shields so that people could be distinguished in battle. The earliest surviving example of heraldry is the coat of arms of Geoffrey ofAnjou. He was a given a gift of a shield with lions, and his grandson, William LongespĂŠe, continued using the same design. Ironically, most coats of arms date from the centuries after shields were discarded by soldiers, and almost all heraldry is paper-based now. There are many misconceptions about heraldry. The worst is that heraldry is snobbish. Although coats of arms were first used by people of high status, it was quickly adopted for use on seals which are very useful for documents like land deeds. It caught on like wildfire in a pre-literate age. Within just a few decades, many people from

Figure A: The coat of arms of an English

nobleman Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby (14851521). Stanley was the Lord the Isle of Man, a large island located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The arms of Man are displayed twice in the second and third quarters of Stanley's arms. The verbal description, or blazon, is "Gules (red) three legs conjoined in the fesse point in armour proper garnished and spurred Or (gold)." The three legs, or triskelion, is a design motif used by the ancient Greeks and Celts. This design is still used as the official flag of the Isle of Man today. Image from "Facsimile of a contemporary roll with the names and the arms of the sovereign and of the spiritual and temporal peers who sat in Parliament held at Westminster on the 5th of February in the sixth year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, anno domini, 1515" published by Thomas Willement in London in 1829.

all ranks of medieval European society started using heraldry, so it was very democratic from the earliest years. It's a shame that heraldry is associated with snobbery, because it isn't true and because I think that restricts its popularity in America. In the 1 500s and 1 600s, European governments increasingly looked at heraldry as a revenue source. Edicts restricting coats of arms to certain classes prompted the nouveau riche and others to register coats of arms, and these registration fees were very lucrative. In France, the government at one point forced many to take coats of arms whether they wanted them or not, so they would have to pay the fees. These coats of arms were designed on an industrial scale...almost like an assembly-line. English heralds around the same time enforced rules and collected fees by traveling to the countryside during inspection trips called visitations. Those summoned had to present evidence about the origins of their coats of arms, and surviving visitation records contain a wealth


On the Road to... of genealogical and historical information. Since many heraldic rules originated during the middle ages, they reflect some of the biases and inequities present in that age. For instance, although coats of arms are hereditary, they almost only pass down the paternal line, reflecting a time when property passed from father to son. Women also typically use coats of arms on diamond-

authority since the 1 980s, is very progressive in this area. Its chief herald is a woman, which is a world first. Another misconception is that having a particular surname automatically means your family has a particular coat of arms. This misconception is exploited by the many companies that offer to sell people their “family coat of arms.� We call these companies "bucket shops." For a person to use a pre-existing coat of arms, they usually need to show that they are descended from the original person or family that used that design. Sharing the same surname is not necessarily proof that two people are related. There is nothing wrong about designing and adopting a new coat of arms if your family never had one. It can actually be a very fun and rewarding experience. Many designs are visual puns on either a name, profession or some other characteristic, and these designs can sometimes be very humorous. In some countries that had clan-based societies, like Poland or Scotland, people with the same surname usually use the same or very similar looking coats of arms, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

QSB: What supplies/materials do you use, and what would you recommend to a beginner? Sebastian: I use armories and

ordinaries...mostly printed works. Many heraldists are heraldic artists, and also use ink and paint.

Figure B

shaped objects (lozenges) or sometimes on an oval, rather than on a shield, reflecting the fact that women were typically excluded from medieval combat. These rules are in many places being modified to make them more egalitarian. Canada, which has had its own official heraldic

QSB: Tell me about the process of designing your coat ofarms. How did you make decisions and so on...? Sebastian: As far as I know, my family never had a coat of arms, so I designed and adopted one in the mid-1 990s. The shield has a geometric design featuring shapes called chevronels, which are diminutive versions of chevrons. I came up with


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On the Road to... the design purely based on aesthetics. The crest, which is the object on top of the helmet, features golden poppies (for the California connection) and a lozenge that is blue with a yellow cross. This is from the Swedish flag which is where a lot of my family came from. Good heraldry uses a design which is both unique and easily identifiable from far away. This goes back to the middle ages when coats of arms were used on shields and flags in battle. History records some battles that were won or lost because troops mistook the flags of friendly forces for those of their enemies. It's bad heraldry if no one can figure out what the design is. I registered my coat of arms with the Government of Scotland. Scotland has the most pure system of heraldry in the world; it's practically the only place on earth where using someone else's coat of arms without authority can result in fines and penalties. I also wanted to register the design to “set in stone� so I wouldn't keep tinkering with the design.

QSB: Did heraldry match your expectations? What surprised you most? Sebastian: I'm surprised that I'm still interested after twenty years. There's always so much more to learn.

When I first went to Britain, before I even showered or went to my hotel room, I went to the College ofArms. It was great fun, but after returning to the States I realized that there isn't much call for history graduates versed in heraldry, so I ended up going to library school.

Figure B, opposite page: The

coat ofarms ofSebastian Nelson. Designed by Sebastian and registered with the Government of Scotland in 2004, the crest features two California golden poppies and is a rare instance ofEschscholzia californica in heraldry. Coats of Arms can consist ofmore objects that just a shield. Typically, shields are shown surmounted by a helmet which itselfis usually topped by a three dimensional object called a crest. Some people use the terms Coat ofArms and crest or family crest interchangeably, but this is incorrect. The arms or Coat ofArms can refer to the heraldic shield alone or to the shield in conjunction with a helmet and crest. The term crest refers only to the object on top ofa helmet.

QSB: What have you gotten out of heraldry?

QSB: Do you have favorite coats ofarms or attributes? Which ones and why?

Sebastian: I did my master's thesis on medieval

Sebastian: I really love Spanish heraldry because

painted lists of coats of arms called rolls of arms at Pembroke College in the University of Oxford. I made a lot of good friends interested in heraldry in Britain. England is home to the College ofArms, the government corporation where English heralds work. It was founded in 1 484 by King Richard III, and it's like Mecca.

many Spanish coats of arms seem more bizarre or grotesque that those of other countries. As a Californian I like Spanish heraldry because most early heraldry in the West was Spanish or Mexican in origin. Most American heraldic resources are focused on heraldry used in New England by Americans of British descent, and tend to neglect


On the Road to... the West. I really like bizarre animals in heraldry. There's one animal that shows up occasionally: the bonacon. They shoot burning excrement at people.

QSB: What's your favorite heraldic discovery or tantalizing tidbit? Sebastian: Bernardo de Galvez, a governor of

Spanish colonial Louisiana, was a friend ofThomas Jefferson. During the American Revolution he fought against the British along the Gulf coast and in Florida using a ship captured from the British by the American Navy. His victories helped us gain our independence, and as a reward the King of Spain granted Galvez a special addition to his family's coat of arms....a small depiction of the captured ship. [Editor's note: Sebastian has written an article about this as well as many other articles on heraldry.]. I love it because it shows how heraldry was in full flower even at the very birth of our country.

QSB: Are there any heraldry-related books/websites that you'd recommend?

Sebastian: The American Heraldry Society is a

QSB: Anything else you'd like to add? Sebastian: Heraldry is a very visual hobby and I

think that's what I like about it. You can say a lot with few or no words. Some of the artists are just incredible...I look at the artwork and I'm just fascinated and want to know more about it. It would probably be the most interesting job to design new coats of arms. You sit down and interview people to find out about them. There's a finite number of colors and shapes that you can use to make a unique and attractive coat of arms and tell a story about a person's background.

Sebastian is an archivist at the California State Archives and a native Californian. He enjoys sleeping, CivilWar reenacting, the gentle art ofheraldry, and things that go bump in the night.

wonderful organization with a great articles on their website:

A good book to start with is Simple Heraldry Cheerfully Illustrated [by Iain Moncreiffe & Don Pottinger]. It illustrates and explains different heraldic practices like blazon, marshalling and quartering in a very simple and engaging way. Quartering is a form of marshalling two or more coats of arms from people you are descended from. It's a way of taking multiple coats of arms and combining them into one new coat of arms, and it can be really fun because you can work out backwards who someone's descended from.


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On the Road to...

examples with blazons

by Sebastian Nelson Figure C

Figure C: A line drawing of an heraldic flag, or standard,

used by Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby (1485-1521). The standard incorporates Stanley's crest of an Eagle preying upon an infant, which is itself based on the legend told of Stanley's ancestor Sir Thomas Latham. Sir Thomas and his wife were without a son and heir, and one day while taking a walk they saw a baby boy trapped in an eagle's nest.They rescued the infant and adopted him as their son. This child, as the legend goes, was actually Latham's illegitimate son by his mistress. Image from "Banners, standards, and badges, from a Tudor manuscript in the College of Arms" published by DeWalden Library in London in 1904. 29

On the Road to... Figure D: The coat of arms of John Lambert,

alderman of the London ward of Aldersgate (died 1555). His arms are canting arms, which is to say that the design (three lambs) is a visual pun on his name Lambert. Image from "Facsimile of a heraldic manuscript entitled 'The names and armes of them that hath beene alldermen of the warde of Alldersgate since the tyme of King Henry 6, beginning at the 30 yeeare of his reigne vntil this present yeeare of our Lord 1616" published by Francis Compton Price in London in 1878.

Figure D

Figure E: The Scottish coat of arms of

Ormiston of that Ilk features three "pelicans vulning themselves." Medieval Europeans mistakenly believed that pelican mothers would sometimes wound themselves and feed their young with drops of blood. Bizarre animals and bizarre behaviors popularized by medieval bestiaries are frequently encountered in heraldry. Image from "Facsimile of an ancient heraldic manuscript emblazoned by Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount, Lyon King of Arms, 1542" published byW & D Laing in Edinburgh in 1822.

Figure E

Figure F: The coat of arms ofWilliam Conyers,

1st Baron Conyers (1468-1524). The Conyers arms feature a maunch repeated in the first and fourth quarters. A maunch is a stylized representation of the sleeve of a medieval woman's garment cut off at the shoulder and featuring a long lappet hanging down from the cuff. Heraldic objects are almost always depicted in a highly stylized manner. Image from "Facsimile of a contemporary roll with the names and the arms of the sovereign and of the spiritual and temporal peers who sat in Parliament held at Westminster on the 5th of February in the sixth year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, anno domini, 1515" published by ThomasWillement in London in 1829. 30

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Figure F

On the Road to... Figure G: A line drawing of an heraldic flag, or banner, used by Piers Butler, Earl of Ormond (1467-1539). The banner is held by an heraldic male griffin. Griffins are usually shown with wings, but in the heraldic universe male griffins are of course born without wings and have sharp spikes protruding from their bodies. Image from "Banners, standards, and badges, from a Tudor manuscript in the College of Arms" published by DeWalden Library in London in 1904.

Figure G

Figure H

Figure H: A line drawing of the crest of

Thomas Palmar featuring an heraldic panther Argent (silver) incensed Gules (red) semee of pellets and torteaux (covered with black and red dots). Heraldic panthers are always shown breathing fire and covered with multi-colored spots. Heraldic animals can be depicted as have certain attributes. A creature with flames issuing from its mouth and ears is described as being incensed. An animal shown dripping or spattered with blood is described as being embrued, and an animal shown without a tail can be referred to as being defamed. There are dozens of different attributes. Image from "Banners, standards, and badges, from a Tudor manuscript in the College of Arms" published by DeWalden Library in London in 1904. 31

On the Road to... Figure I: A page from a fifteenth century French

collection of painted coats of arms called the Armorial Le Breton. Armorials are books or manuscripts concerning coats of arms. Painted lists of coats of arms were sometimes used during the Middle Ages to identify participants in tournaments. Such lists could help people identify two individuals jousting based on their shields in a manner similar to how modern day horse jockeys are identifiable from their multicolored jerseys. From the collections of the MusĂŠe des Archives nationales...image from

Figure I

Figure J: Heraldry is defined as the systematic and hereditary use of symbols on shields. It first appears inWestern Europe in the mid-12th century, and is thought to have developed to better identify mounted warriors whose armor often obscured their faces. This was essential as the death of a military leader in battle during the Middle Ages could mean the difference between victory and defeat. False rumors of a commander's death during battle was just as devastating. In 1066 during the Battle of Hastings, DukeWilliam of Normandy was the victim of just such a rumor, and he had to remove his helmet during battle to let his troops know that he was still alive. This incident is represented in a famous embroidery called the Bayeux Tapestry made after his victory. Image from "The book of the Bayeux tapestry" published by Chatto &Windus in London in 1914.

Figure J

Z 32

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Work Ahead

e r e h T t Le " E E "B ! t h g i L 33

Work Ahead Pure beeswax has an intoxicating dusty honey

aroma that seems to cause happiness and an addiction to rolling candles. Candles made from it burn cleanly and for a long time unlike nasty paraffin candles (and beeswax candles are safely edible though why you'd want to eat them is beyond me). Plus they have a wonderful glow about them and don't drip much if at all. Although you can find beeswax candlemaking supplies at craft stores, you will usually find the same items at beekeeping supply stores for much less money. Shop around. Of course, if you want colored wax sheets, you might have to go the craft store route. What are wax foundation sheets? They're thin sheets of pure beeswax embossed with a honeycomb pattern (interlocking hexagons). Beekeepers use them in their hive boxes to fill a frame and give the bees a foundation on which to build their own hexagon beeswax cells (called "drawing out the comb") which makes for an orderly honeycomb. You'll find foundation sheets

to be slightly tacky or sticky and ideal for making rolled candles. Supplies for rolled candles:

•Unwired wax foundation for deep hives (8 1 /2" x 1 6 3/4" sheets) - 1 sheet for two standard candles to fit into standard candlesticks •Wick •Cutting implement •Straight edge/ruler Making rolled candles is simplicity itself. Cut a wax foundation sheet in half the short direction. Cut a piece of wick a 1 /2 inch longer that the

height of the soon-to-be-candle (in this case, 9 inches long). Press the wick into the wax in a straight line next to the recently cut edge.


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Work Ahead Roll the wax tightly over the wick making sure there is full contact between the two materials.

You can experiment with different candle heights or diameters. For pillars, I cut my wax to a five inch height and use three sheets--butting each new sheet tightly against the old edge as I roll. The shorter leftover pieces can be used too. Just remember that, if the diameter gets too wide, you may need more than one wick.

Then continue to roll up the wax. If your candle is not rolling straight, just unroll slightly and start again.

Supplies for poured candles:

When you get to the end, use your thumb to press the edge of the wax firmly into the body of the candle to seal.

•Pure beeswax (it's cheaper to buy in a block but you can buy beads) •Large sharp knife for chopping beeswax •Double boiler (for the top of the double boiler (use something you don't mind ruining with waxy buildup) •Wick •Wick clips (also known as tabs) •Needle nose pliers •Candy thermometer •Heatproof glass jars (small canning jars work well) •Cutting implement •Stick (I use the handle of a wooden spoon) •Heat-proof container larger than your glass jar

•An excess of caution!

Prep you glass containers first. Make sure the jars are scrupulously clean and dry. Cut a length of wick at least two inches longer than the height of your desired candle. Thread wick into a wick clip so the flat side of the clip can hang down. Pull wick through until just a tiny amount remains 35

Work Ahead visible at the bottom of the clip then crimp the tube with the pliers. Suspend the clipped wick over your glass jar so that it is centered and just skims the bottom of the jar. Fasten the wick to your stick that you've balanced across the lip of the jar. Then set the empty jar in a container of just-boiled water so that the water comes near the top of (but not over!) the jar.

Chop enough beeswax to fill your desired containers. Place your beeswax in the top of a double boiler. To melt beeswax, use a double boiler over a pot of simmering water. Don't let the water touch the bottom of the melting pot.

Beeswax melts at about 144ºF. Use a candy thermometer in your melting wax to make sure that the temperature doesn't get too high. The flash point ofbeeswax—the temperature at which it will catch fire, flame up, and possibly injure you—is 36

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399.9ºF. Don't let your wax get anywhere near that temperature. In fact, you don't even want it to get above 185ºF because the higher temperature will cause the wax to discolor.

When the wax has melted, CAREFULLY pour it into your prepared jars. It will solidify quickly which is why you must set the jar in the justboiled water. Let the candles cool completely then trim the wick to 1 /2 inch above the top of the wax.

Enjoy your candles but never leave a burning candle unattended!


I'm sure almost everyone has heard that the word photography means "drawing with light." Ah hah! you say. Light. The need for such in winter is great. So, we explore another aspect oflight and darkness in this season's reading material when we focus (hahahaha) our attention on books about photography. Two are nonfiction (noted with an asterisk) and the rest, while fictional, take their cues from real events or artifacts. All are about pre-digital photography and all are fascinating. This magazine couldn't exist without the wonderful world ofdigital photography but sometimes it's much more fun to go back in time to when all cameras used film or plates and there was a more physical aspect to the whole hobby.

A Little Light Writing & Reading

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (201 1 ). Riggs is a collector of odd vintage photographs. In this novel he has taken real vintage photographs and woven a story around them. In the pictures and the story, girls levitate, boys are covered with bees. Jacob's grandfather tells stories about the strange and magical children he lived with in an orphanage duringWWII and shows the photos as proof. These all seemed like faked images and wild stories until something terrible happens to Jacob's grandfather and he sets out to the scene of the orphanage inWales. Strange and magical events follow. A very entertaining read that leaves plenty of room for a sequel. Notes: If you have an e-reader that doesn't render photographs well or allow you to enlarge them, you're missing out on a good part of the novel. Also, if you like odd photographs, Riggs has released a collection of found vintage photographs (this time without a

novel woven around them) in Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past (201 2).

* Short Nights ofthe Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan (201 2). Edward Curtis, a

successful Seattle photographer became obsessed with the dying of the American Indian traditional way of life and left the studio work to follow his idea. For decades, starting in 1 895, he dedicated his life to completing what became The North American Indian , a work in 20 volumes. Forced to beg the rich and famous for project support (he made no money from the project), Curtis worked incredibly hard to get his master work completed. His personal life and health suffered as he chased all over the country taking photographs. Curtis ended up making sound recordings of native languages and did much more than take pictures (which he did at an astonishing rate on large format glass plates for 37

Interchange the most part). A fascinating story about a different time with sample photographs throughout. Shooting the Sun by Max Byrd (2004). In 1 840 Charles Babbage sends an expedition out to view an eclipse predicted by his prototype computer. Among the expeditionary force is photographer (i.e. daguerreotyper) Selena Cott who will be charged with proving the reliability of Babbage's prediction. The group races to the American Southwest. Will they make it in time battling hostile forces, distance, and a cunning plot? Yes, Charles Babbage did invent the Difference Engine. But, was there an eclipse? Read more. Note: Byrd specializes in historical fiction (he was also one of the best college professors that QSB's editor ever had). If you liked this, you'll probably also like Byrd's latest novel: The Paris Deadline (201 2).

* River ofShadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the TechnologicalWildWest by Rebecca Solnit (2003).

Eadweard Muybridge was one weird dude (he chose that name and spelling). He hobnobbed with the rich and

powerful in the AmericanWest. And, he got away with murder. His advances in motion study and high speed photography led directly to motion pictures. This is a story not just of advances in photography but of the West (particularly California) as it heads into the 20th century at the breakneck pace created by new technology and social changes. Note: if you prefer a fictional account of Muybridge's dramatic life, try Moments Captured by Robert J. Seidman (201 2). Or, there is the recently released history, The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth ofMoving Pictures by Edward Ball (201 3). The Solnit work wins in QSB 's book.


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Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto (201 2), in one respect, is about eight women photographers. But it's more about the struggles that women artists have to overcome in order to be true to their artistic callings and still have families, lovers, or non-artistic lives. The author starts each chapter with an example of the photographer's work and then weaves a story about how each photograph came to be. The twist is that the photographs are real by real women photographers. Otto takes some of the information from these real lives and fictionalizes them (changing names and other details). Although characters traipse, briefly, through the others' stories, each chapter can almost stand alone as a novella. Thought provoking. Be sure to read the notes at the end so you can learn about the real photographers behind the stories.

All the books reviewed this season feature B&W photography using real film or plates. Now that digital is king and many older film cameras can be had for a song, it's a great time to experiment with them. If you've forgotten how those traditional cameras work try this excellent series by Ansel Adams: The Camera , The Negative, and The Print (1 980) to (re)familiarize yourself. Now go find an old camera and buy yourself some film

If you have difficulty finding a shop to develop your film, try The Darkroom Cookbook by Steve Anchell (2008) for DIY.

Denise Donatelli Soul Shadows (2012)

Cassandra Wilson

Another Country (2012)

Wilson's latest album (of at least 20) has a world music flair with European and African influences. Her voice is meltingly rich and works well with the mainly acoustic guitar accompaniment. Heartily recommended. Favorite tracks: "WhenWill I SeeYou Again" and "Red Guitar."

Luciana Souza Book ofChet (2012)

Brazilian-born Souza interprets the music of the late, great jazz artist Chet Baker. Very relaxing after a long day at work and the album that best fits that initial smoky image we had when reviewing for this article. Maybe this is gateway jazz for the non jazz fan? Favorite tracks: "The Touch ofYour Lips" and "You Go to My Head."

Donatelli's voice has amazing range and her singing is effortless. It's surprising she isn't better known (maybe we've been living under a rock). Very rich sound. Favorite tracks: "All or Nothing at All" and "Postcards and Messages."

Off the Beaten Tracks by JLV & RLW When we started working on this season's music choices, the image we had in mind was ofa smoky nightclub with a jazz chanteuse mellowing us out (not that either one ofus can handle the second hand smoke for more than 2 seconds). Oddly, all these mental images were in black and white and many decades ago. That's what winter does to us. All five ofthese artists fit right into that B&W idea. Do you agree?

Sara Gazarek

Blossom & Bee (2012)

Gazarek almost didn't make the cut because she's almost too upbeat at times. But, this one is just fun with a mix of jazz and jazzed-up pop and show tunes so it stayed. Gazarek is joined by other artists for vocals or instrument solos. Favorite tracks: "Blossom & Bee" and "The Lies of Handsome Men."

Patricia Barber

Smash (2013)

This album sneaks up on you by becoming part of the regular music rotation without conscious effort. Barber has a unique voice and she sings like she's seen it all. Not the best music if you're already in a low mood but mellowing if you're feeling okay. Favorite tracks: "Devil's Food" and "Missing." 39

At the Crossroads

Pile-Up: A Scrambled Letters Game by ScottWendt

A case ofmistaken identity...

HWALE ALPEP WTEMALREON TPINR Answer: Answers will appear at 40

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t i u o l a n ns U E ssays in Dance


by Jessica Herrick

“Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.” ~Anna Pavlova Back in 1 998, I found myself confronted with one of those life-altering, “two roads diverged in a yellow wood” choices. At the time, I was rushing through my final semester as a Master's degree candidate, heading, I thought, toward a doctoral program at a well-known university. After that,

armed with a PhD and bursting with historical knowledge, I planned to embark on a prestigious career in academia. I thought I had it all figured out. Then, however, I hit a roadblock. I realized I didn't want to teach. I didn't want to grade papers, formulate tests, struggle for tenure. I didn't want to have students reliant upon me for their academic and professional futures. And, most of all, I didn't want public speaking to be an almost daily part of my life. After agonizing for weeks, I finally made my decision. I abandoned the academic career path, to the horror of my professors and the concern of my family and friends. I didn't know what would come next, but I knew that teaching was not for me. Fast forward about fifteen years, to a small dance studio in Sacramento. Take a look at their list of teachers, and who will you find? Me. I'm teaching. And I'm loving every second of it.

B. Herrick

I certainly didn't set out to become a ballroom dance instructor. Djimi started to use me as his demonstration partner in his beginning ballroom class. The people in class, assuming that I knew what I was doing, began to ask me questions when Djimi was busy with other students, and I answered. Gradually, I realized that I enjoyed helping the other students as much as I enjoyed learning new dance moves and techniques. I began 41

Undulations to pay attention to my dance instructors in a new way. I wanted to not only learn how to dance, but also how to teach it. There is a wonder in teaching dance that I have not found in any other aspect of my life. I cannot describe the feeling of taking someone who knows, to the depths of their soul, that they have two left feet, and showing them that they have misjudged themselves, that they CAN learn the steps of a waltz, a foxtrot, a cha cha, and that they can have a great deal of fun doing it. Every beginning dancer has an “Aha!” moment when they realize that, despite all of their expectations, their bodies are moving with the music, they are connecting with their partner, and they are DANCING. That moment is a treasure too great for words, for both the student and the teacher. I now team-teach two classes weekly with Djimi, and I also have my first private student. Each week, I learn something new from our students, and I like to think that they learn something from us. The most important thing I can teach, however, is not a dance step, not a technique to move your hips or rotate your torso, not where to position your feet. The most important thing I

strive to impart is that dancing is fun, dancing is magic made real and rhythmic, and everyone, absolutely everyone, can do it. As teachers, we just need to find the right words to ignite understanding and lead our students to their “Aha!” moments. Once you have one, I guarantee you will never be the same. So thank you. Thank you to my own teachers, Djimi, Jamie, and Danny, for finding the right words. Thank you to our students, for giving me the opportunity to share in your discovery of sound and movement and connection. Thank you to anyone who has ever fought to find just the right way to answer a question, ever taken the time to patiently walk a student, a child, a friend, through an exercise or explanation again and again and again, in the certain knowledge that eventually that person will get it. And thank you to each person who has ever struggled to learn, to understand, even if they secretly felt that they couldn't, that there was no possible way that it was ever going to make sense. Keep trying. Eventually, you will hear that little voice inside saying “AHA!” The triumph is worth the effort.

Jessica Herrick is a regular columnist for QSB. Follow her continuing adventures in ballroom dance in our next issue. Learn more at www. any2cantango. com.


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We'll see you again in Spring! Enjoy the rest of your Winter.

Winter 2012/2013 Quarterly Speed Bump Magazine  
Winter 2012/2013 Quarterly Speed Bump Magazine  

A quarterly magazine full of Things to Do. Articles on ways to help you slow down and relax including hobbies, recipes, and reading.