Word on the Streetby Bill Mcclellan
Voting In America Deceit At Its
(I would like to begin with a Public Service Announcement). You may have noted I did not have a column last month. First time in over 40 years. I have shingles. We are not taught enough about this disease. It is not deadly. It is nerve damage and painful. If you had chicken pox you have the shingles virus hiding out in your body. Some say 1 out of 3 of us, most say half will acquire shingles in our lives if we had chicken pox. Please, look it up. It is so important to get the Shingles shot. Trust me please. I had no idea that something this impairing was so likely to happen and it did. Again, please take the time to look it up. I am 7 weeks into this problem and still cannot do a day without pain medication.
VOTING IN AMERICA: DECEIT AT ITS FINEST
“NOTE: This shows the epitome of the defective egotistic personality flaws of greed. In that sentence may lie the death knell for mankind. This simple note is the answer to saving mankind and our selfserving tragic leaders will not address it. The extreme and ignored cause of all our woes is financial profit in Politics. If we were to remove this incentive, we would draw our finest rather than our current group of genuinely fully self-serving immoral leadership. That would remove the self-serving cunning vile deceit of the wealthy. It would remove those of like ilk that they buy, that suck up our bounty and the quality of our livelihoods. This is the only way to address the massive difficulties of our time. It is the bottom-line answer to all that is wrong: Remove the profit incentive from leadership, which will replace the bad and course correct the far fewer good. This will cause the best of what we are and real answers will quickly come to be. In doing so our system, drenched in gridlock, lies and lack of integrity will return to patriotic and real American pursuit.”
The note above contains the cause of and answer to the multiple wrongs that have evolved into a conglomeration of social tragedy. From our day to day lives to gerrymandering and rigged elections to allowing smart individuals to become more powerful than government and on and on. If we addressed this “Note,” we would properly address the nuclear, climate, and population disasters that are now on the horizon. We would act on the ignored pure fact that on November 20, 2022 we exceeded earth’s carrying capacity of 8 million people on earth. Which is fatal territory for our species. As well fairness and human justice would become our course repairing untold damage. The following is written with this explanation ignored as we silently and perpetually are eroding the future: Unless we wake us up.
Let’s not mince words.
We need leaders who adhere to the well-being of people. We do not have anything close to that. Dangerous and corrupt legislation is written by Corporations and the vote bought. Any whim from any entity is entertained by our leaders to remain in power. They don’t realize it is not about
them. They covet power and money. Our Congress is about self only. And they are bought by the real supreme leaders of our land where pure greed reigns. Corporations and Billionaires. Lies, distortion, and harmful deed is just fine for them to stay in office. Nothing else matters. And this will remain until you remove money from Politics. The first day of that happening would be the birth of course to save us from ourselves on these vital matters, ie. Nuclear, Climate and Population
Not to mention our bounty and the quality of life of each of us in this land.
The reckless growth of wealth and monopolies have consumed power and destroyed the regulation that keeps them in line. They succeeded by reforming our electoral system full of incentive for purchasing the elected. A systemic method that draws those that can be bought. It’s so insane that today six families own half of America’s wealth. They have succeeded and the world is paying dearly.
extinction real dangers.
“The greatest American deceit of all time is the false representation that in America citizens vote for their government. In truth the government is vastly chosen for you. In most cases before the election.”
We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the american eagle in order to feather their own nests.
-franklin d. roosevelt
First, we must realize we do not live in a Democracy. Not even close. Wealth has successfully purchased the process. The greatest American deceit of all time is the false representation that in America citizens vote for their government. In truth the government is vastly chosen for you. In most cases before the election. Yes, in most cases Politicians choose the voters rather than the voters choosing the Politicians. This is called “Gerrymandering.” Or self-interest demographic manipulation by party officials. There are no meaningful governing standards. A disgraceful blatant injustice of the highest order that renders most voting in America “a lie.” It is not the voting itself that MAGA believes is corrupt. It is the con and deceit before the election. It is all bought and designed before the vote. And both parties are mutually complicit.
Gerrymandering is the brutalizing of the intent of districting and inserting unbeatable design into districting. For example, if Democrats have a heavy presence on the Southside and they need to win the East Side they draw their district to include the South and the East Side forcing a district where their voters are prominent. This simply insures the win. Your vote is merely symbolic. When you come to understand this repulsive manipulative process, you become gravely and sadly aware of what has happened to this land. Which is smothering with systemic corruption.
Very smart rich people have designed an intricate system of deceit.
The end goal, which has been achieved is to convince you that you live in reasonable compliance with a democracy, whereby the will of the people successfully decides your leaders. When in truth either gerrymandering or people like Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos hold more sway over our elections than all voters combined. This is achieved through manipulations such as Twitter, Tik Tok (Tik Tok is owned and influenced by China) and Facebook and huge sums of money wherever a useful audience exists. As well as designing districts where they cannot lose. They even buy or own entire media conglomerates and their employees. A few people should not have this kind of power. They have studied how our collective minds work within the demographics of specific areas and design ads that influence specific localities. Pure con for votes. A vote that in most eyes has the appearance of integrity when there is none. The filth and deceit are buried under this veneer.
Corrective legislation from Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson to Frank Delano Roosevelt has been decimated by monopoly money. They wrangled the legislators until all rules on the size of business were ended. That was the beginning of the end of “All people are created equal.” It was also the beginning of the end of the proper power of the three branches that run America. Wealth now ensures who serves in all three branches. Even the Supreme Court has lost its integrity. It has also been bought and reflects the will of wealth and not the people.
Wealth that destroys our quality of life to suck up our bounty are now in charge of their own rules. The Supreme Court has recently ruled that Corporations are people and as such, billionaires can influence as much as they desire. They now allow dark money where a million-dollar briber can remain anonymous. And favor in return is rampant common practice. Buying politicians and buying votes is standard and allowed which is disgustingly traitorous to the people of this land. Twitter and the others are places where truth is distorted to fit wealthy interests and control the arena.
all contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law. -president theodore roosevelt, 1905
Corrective legislation has been decimated
Our system has been redesigned to force a result that renders voting a frame up that insures the vast majority of
winners beforehand. Re-districting has been decimated. Today, redistricting is where parties gerrymander by designing voting blocks of their own voters. Wealth has no party favorite. That is the beauty of the con. They bought them all. This ensures their candidate wins and is why longevity has become the order of the day in Congress. This is vote fixing.
Unfairness permeates America. Another example: Wyoming has a population of 579,000. Alaska has 733,000. Total: 1,312,000. New York State has 20,000,000, California has 39,000.000. Total: 59,000,000. All four of these states get 2 senators. They have equal power in the Senate. This renders the votes of 57,698,000 meaningless in California and New York in Senatorial elections. Then you have the Electoral College where massive unfairness, clearly, strongly demeans systemic equality. The Electoral College demeans the vote for millions and is in need of real American revision. This system requires an article of disgust in its’ own right.
His truth, in truth, is no longer marching on. His integrity is bought and his “Truth” is in tears. Until this issue is addressed in America. Otherwise, we may well be in the nuclear, population and/or climate “End Times.” So sorry folks. These cruel fools show no sign that anything matters but their own personal plight.
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computers & the Webby nancy RoBeRtS
Artificial Intelligence Generated Art
I got a promotional email on AI Art. I could obtain an app, it assured me, that would generate a piece of art to my specifications, simply by inputting verbal commands.
Well, it’s not that easy – but it is real.
I went to one site online (https://deepai.org/) and entered my verbal command: Dog with Top Hat. I chose a style – “oldstyle” – and then had it generate the art. This is what I got:
It’s actually pretty cute. Options include only what shape you want to use for your output, and it can be downloaded as a jpg.
According to https://www.v7labs. com/blog: “AI algorithms can generate images or videos based on a set of parameters or create new images by combining and altering existing images. Neural networks can be used to create images or videos that mimic the style of a particular artist or to create images or videos that are similar to a particular type of art.”
The first part of that claim is intriguing – even if one lacks a “hand,” or the ability to make it do what the “artist” wishes, the AI algorithm can use the ideas, or the mental sketch of the person to create something unique. But the second part might raise a few alarms: “mimic the style of a particular artist.” So, anyone can be Leonardo?
According to the blog, as early as the 1960s, simple shapes could be created using computers and simple programs for numbers and placements of these shapes. Not too long after that, CAD, or computer-aided-design enabled designers to create things like a house layout, for example, without having to hand-draw it – and way back when I was playing with software that would “build” a 3-D model of a flat “design” to my specifications. I was able to create “wireframes,” again with relatively simple software, that would render a 3-D object for me, without the labor (or talent) to do it on paper.
AUTOCAD and TURBOCAD were two favorites.
The blog continues to challenge our imaginations as it presents “One interesting example of recent AI used for creating art is the ‘Artificial Natural History’ (2020) which is an ongoing project that explores ‘speculative, artificial life through the lens of, what the author Sofia Crespo calls, a ‘natural history that never was.’
“Crespo essentially formed a distorted series of creatures with imagined features that require entirely new sets of biological classifications.”
Which is to suggest that, rather like “God” playing with Eden, the artist can take a life form and put it under different conditions (light sources, what it breathes, its method of locomotion, etc.) and allow it to “come to life.”
As has been noted by now, CGI
“We need to be critical of anything we observe, consider the source, and examine it carefully for telltale signs of manipulation.”Render of 3-D object with AUTOCAD
(computer generated imagery) has the power to create amazing SFX (special effects) in film production – and we can “see” things that look astoundingly real, yet never were except in the minds of their creators. Many films we see contain whole scenes created by computer. The orcs marching toward Helmsdeep were simply computer generated images – multiplied, and given instructions about how to do combat when met with an enemy.
And, as we now know, what we are sure we “see” might be Photoshopped (a program that has more or less become a verb when it is applied to what is often done for nefarious purposes): I take a photo, and perhaps with some skill, adjust it to have a person doing something they never did, or perhaps enhancing my looks, or reducing my girth, to look more attractive on a dating app. We need to be critical of anything we observe, consider the source, and examine it carefully for telltale signs of manipulation.
A very amusing app that works – rather amazingly – on your smart phone is something called “Reface.” You use an image of yourself or a friend, and find a short video clip or image that’s part of Reface’s library, and you create a new look at your friend as Rocky saying “yo,” or you as the Mona Lisa.
A recent dust-up of AI generated art was over the app, Lensa. As noted on https:// www.nbcnews.com/ “For many online, Lensa AI is a cheap, accessible profile picture generator. But in digital art circles, the popularity of artificial intelligence-generated art has raised major privacy and ethics concerns.
“Lensa, which launched as a photo editing app in 2018, went viral last month after releasing its ‘magic avatars’ feature. It uses a minimum of 10 useruploaded images and the neural network Stable Diffusion to generate portraits in a variety of digital art styles.”
Granted, things were already becoming tight for artists creating work for hire for, say, a graphic novel or comic story. The tools at their command themselves lowered the price of the work. Once I
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created a character, the computer would help me move that character around, adjust its expression, or put it in a variety of situations and poses – something that once required hours of careful pen-and-paint work. But with apps like the one described above, anyone might “borrow” the style of a character or artist and apply it to their own work.
As one AI programming organization defended its work, movies didn’t eliminate theatre, and accounting software didn’t eliminate the profession. So with AI, it most likely won’t go away – but it might also change the way we value art, and perhaps, how we perceive the world around us.
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Preventive Medicineby dR. BaRRy
What’s The To Do About Methylene Blue?
Rather than remonstrate and castigate you about your New Year’s resolution or lack thereof I am writing about something completely different to begin the new year. I’m not sure how it caught my attention but multiple different sources lead me to check out Methylene Blue. This very interesting compound has been around for over one hundred years but remains medically relevant today.
Of course this is for informational use only and you would be crazy to try anything without the express agreement of your personal healthcare provider. In particular if you have a genetic condition called G6PD deficiency or are taking an antidepressant you should avoid this compound.
Methylene Blue (MB) or methylthioninium chloride (quite a mouthful...try saying that three times fast) is a dye and drug that was first discovered in 1876 by Heinrich Caro and used to stain fabrics including blue jeans. It is a powerful competitive inhibitor of monoamine oxidase activity, especially of MAO-A which is responsible for the breakdown of serotonin. Hence the warning above.
Aside from its start as a fabric dye it quickly gained use in many other situations. It’s used to disinfect fish tanks whilst the fish are still swimming in the tank. It is a dye used in some surgeries to differentiate tissues. It is a dye used in staining some microscope slides. It is a tricyclic phenothiazine, approved by the FDA and EMA for the treatment of methemoglobinemia and malaria. Its daughter compounds are chloroquine which is used to treat malaria and hydroxychloroquine which is used as an immunosuppressant in people with certain medical conditions like lupus.
It is also used to inactivate viruses in blood products for transfusion, in the presence of UV light and has been used for this reason since 1991.
Methylene blue has antiviral, antiparasitic and antibacterial activity and was previously used to treat recurrent bladder infections. Did I mention that methylene blue may be the most effective treatment for cyanide poisoning and is used along with hyperbaric oxygen for carbon dioxide poisoning. It appears to
be a direct electron donor in multiple sites in the electron transport chain that the mitochondria use to make energy. Cyanide blocks one of the multiple sites and Methylene Blue overcomes that blockage. That’s how I was introduced to it...based on its effects at the cellular level at sites like cytochrome C oxidase which is further along on the electron transport chain. It appears to reenergize cells that are having trouble with these chains and there are many reasons these chains get into trouble primarily due to the processed foods in your diet and other poisons ingested knowingly or unknowingly. It has the interesting side effect of turning your urine green.
Recently Methylene Blue has been in the news as a possible med to help with covid long haul symptoms. It certainly looks like something to try that has a very low risk profile, especially at the low doses suggested for this in the literature. This drug has an interesting metabolic pattern...low doses do one thing and higher doses do the opposite...so like in much of medicine..more is not necessarily better. For some general information check out articles like this one in the National Library of Medicine PMC3087269. Don’t just start buying this stuff off the internet without doing some real research because unless its pharmaceutical grade it may very likely contain toxic metals which are no problem when you are dying jeans or staining slides but a real problem for you.
Again, this column is not intended as medical advice; it’s intended to open conversations about health care and different options and opinions that you are not getting elsewhere. Here’s wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year in 2023 and beyond.
“Did I mention that methylene blue may be the most effective treatment for cyanide poisoning and is used along with hyperbaric oxygen for carbon dioxide poisoning.”
Looking All Ways Always
I recently found a faded, wrinkled, penciled list of hopes and dreams I’d written for what I believe was the first and only end of year Burning Bowl ceremony I’ve attended. This celebration happened in the early 1990’s, and if I remember the evening’s events correctly, our host had to stop me from tossing my future-oriented intentions into the bowl with the past’s sorrows.
A Burning Bowl ceremony involves participants writing down thoughts, feelings, or situations they wish to release or get over; these papers are set on fire in the bowl; then, the smoke from the burning paper symbolizes the process of letting go. I don’t remember what I let go of, but my hopes list includes good physical health.
While most of us don’t think of ourselves as such, we are all multi-cellular organisms whose predecessor life forms, primeval bacteria, evolved in time and space along with everything else. Our inquiring minds want to know, yet it’s pointless to try to figure out when the first human told another human that the sun was starting to get higher in the sky so it might be prudent to mark its movement for future reference. Stonehenge in England is thought to mark the movement of the sun; Stonehenge is pre-historic. Giorgio Tsoukalos of the TV series “Ancient Aliens,” suggests that it was aliens who built or designed Stonehenge and other sites around the world, but truly, who knows for sure?
What we do know is that most of the traditions baked into our western world view came from civilizations rooted around the Mediterranean. The 2021 book, “The Dawn of Everything” describes society in such a way as to challenge Western readers’ embedded cultural algorithms. Authors David Graeber and David Wengrow describe conversations between Lahontan, a French governor in Montreal and the American Kandiaronk, an Indigenous Wendat sage. Of course, the first “Americans” were those who lived here. Those Americans spoke many languages.
“The Dawn of Everything” seeks to provide “A New History of Humanity” acknowledging that there is much we cannot know for sure. Another book, Siddhartha Muhkerjee’s “The Song of the Cell” explores life on the micro-level. Each of us is a cellular ecosystem interacting and responding to other ecosystems. Our genetic inheritance passes through germline cells. Our bodily cells replace themselves regularly. Dr. Mukherjee describes cellular reality from a medical perspective, but some ancient philosophers understood the process of renewal. Philosopher Heraclitus of
Ephesus is said to have said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.”
“The Song of the Cell” and other books suggest brain cells, neurons, don’t reproduce like other cells. My reading, and my experience with my own brain injury, suggest to me that while dead neuronal cells don’t grow back, neurons elsewhere in the brain might, over time, reconnect to memories and learning that became directly disconnected through brain trauma. We are in a better place to understand loss consciousness and its aftermath. Current MRI technology can reveal injuries older imaging technologies couldn’t detect.
Every night during sleep, a healthy brain in a safe place will produce enough cerebrospinal fluid to refresh brain tissue. During healthy safe sleep, the brain sorts, and stores information about the day’s events. Memory exists so we can learn, live, discern, and plan. I hope today’s behavioral and learning researchers stay mindful of Heraclitus’s words.
Probably not unlike some ancient festivals and the days that followed, New Year’s Day is often celebrated as a day for recovering from hangovers and watching football on TV. Christianity cancelled celebrations of Roman deities; still when the ancient Roman religion gave way to Christianity, seasonal Roman celebrations re-emerged as religiously Christian observances. And, today, our Julian calendar months are named for Roman gods and goddesses while some days of the week are named for Norse deities. Belief, culture, and human consciousness exist on a continuum.
January is named for the Roman god Janus. Janus is depicted as having two faces, facing backward and forward. At intersections, Janus might have four faces facing four ways; and, while some images show Janus with distinct male and female features, the two-faced male image is most common. Janus is associated with gates, passageways, beginnings, endings, and duality. Romans sought Janus’s blessings during coming-of-age celebrations, transitions, as in the New Year, and weddings. Janus looking backward and forward reminds us that there is a past and a future inherent in every given moment. There is duality, or, truly, multiplicity in every moment.
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Syracuse Winter Fair 2023
Talking with Steve Becker, owner and president of Premier Promotions (https:// premierpromo.com/), which produces the Syracuse Winter Fair, I came away with a few important things to share with our readers about the fair, and Premier Promotions:
“Where else can you get Pizze Fritte in the winter?”
“It’s not too late to get involved as a vendor for this year’s Winter Fair.”
“Onondaga County will be presenting the Winter Fair Fireworks on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 9:30pm by the Expo Center.”
And, probably most significantly, “The Winter Fair is all about community, and making memories.”
Just reviewing the lineup of sponsors already involved in this year’s Winter Fair will convince you that, indeed, the Winter Fair is something heartily embraced by the Syracuse and Central New York community. Presenting sponsor, the Maguire Family of Dealerships, heads up a long list of sponsors eager to take part in an event that will no doubt be on every family’s calendar for years to come. In its inaugural year in 2019, Becker tells me, the fair drew thirty-thousand visitors.
New to the scene, of course, is Amazon – with its massive distribution center and welcomed presence here in the area. And Amazon is happy to be the sponsor of The Amazon Winter Fair Stage. Noted Amazon’s Irann Hafeez, general manager of the Liverpool SYR1 fulfillment center, “At Amazon, we are all about delivering smiles and we know Winter Fair brings a lot of smiles to the Central New York community. We are proud to sponsor this event and celebrate all of the great things the region has to offer – including the exciting music acts that will be performing on the Amazon Winter Fair Stage.”
Music performers on the stage will include Paul Davie with a Beatles tribute, Letiza, and the blues/rock group The Ripcords, Austin Jimmy Murphy, the duo of Colin Aberdeen and Joe Altier, classic rock with the Barndogs, and the funk, pop and R&B band, Brass Inc., 5 to Life, and the legendary R&B/funk/soul group, the Brownskin. And keep an eye on the Winter Fair website – Becker cautions me that there are always more surprises in the works.
There will also be a band competition on Saturday, February 4, from 1pm to 2:30pm.
The competition will be a pep band format with 10 to 15 students from each high school participating. So far the schools participating include Liverpool, Henniger and ESM. We anticipate another three schools participating.
The grand prize will be $500 to the winning band along with unlimited midway ride wristbands for the band members. The runner-up will receive $250, 3rd place $100, 4th, 5th and 6th place will be awarded $50 each.
The Winter Fair is the brainchild of promoter Steve Becker, working with Winter Fair associate promoter Allen LaVenture. Becker boasts a long career in media, including a lot of radio, on air, promotions, and even launching a station or two. After starting his own promotions company back in the late 90’s, and getting involved in such projects as Jazz in the City and the Small Business Show – SOHO Syracuse along with event management for such events as the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival, the New York State Rhythm and Blues Festival, Taste of Syracuse, Parade of Homes and the Syracuse International Film Festival, Becker was kicking around ideas and wondered what it would be like to create an “indoor State Fair.” While he stresses that the Winter Fair is its own enterprise, not related to the New York State Fair, Winter Fair goers will enjoy many of the things that make the summer Fair so beloved. Naturally, there will be all that delicious “fair food” we enjoy, but the Fair also offers entertainments like Native American dance, Irish dance, Gospel Sunday, a fashion show, and a stage with music and entertainment. And then there will be games, prizes, and yes – indoors – rides! The MiniMidway rides will include Roc-o-Plane, the Scrambler, the Spider, Giant Slide, the Sea Ray, Merry-Go-round, Clown-Around Fun House and new this year will be the family Dragon Coaster! Plus more to come. Oh, and you will be ushered into the Expo Center by Ice Sculptures, sponsored by WellNow Urgent Care, just to remind you
“The Winter Fair gives people something to look forward to, and just as importantly, make those memories to look back on and enjoy all over again.”
As we talked, I noted to Becker that the post-holiday lull can be really challenging here in our area of long winters, but with an upbeat attitude that explains his lengthy record of successful promotions, Becker was quick to point out that that was exactly the point: “The Winter Fair gives people something to look forward to, and just as importantly, make those memories to look back on and enjoy all over again.”
Equally important to Becker is that idea of community –
Presenting: Maguire, Family of Dealerships
Fireworks: Onondaga County
Community: City of Syracuse, Visit Syracuse
Healthcare Village: UnitedHealth Care
Ice Sculpture: WellNow Urgent, A-Verdi Storage Containers
Music : Bud Light Seltz
Midway: Main Event Amusements
Food Court: Villa Pizze Fritte
Winter Fair Hoops: Price Chopper/Market 32, Colonial Laundromats, D’Arcangelo CPAs
Patron: Karate John, Bass Pro Shops, Kiki’s Authentic Greek Cuisine, ServPro of Western Onondaga, Humana
Radio Promotional Partner: Cumulus Media – 93Q, 95X, Score 1260 & SGNL
Media: WCNY, Table Hopping Media, Park Outdoor, Eagle News, CNY Latino, CNY Business Journal
Wine: Ashley Lynn Hotel: Marriot Syracuse Downtown RV: Seven O’s
Sign: Charles Signs
Advanced Tickets: $5 adults , $3 for teens/pre-teens and seniors, Children 10 and under free Door: $7 adults, $5 for teens/pre-teens and seniors, Children 10 and under free
Parking: Free for all advanced ticket holders. If tickets are purchased at the box office after 7pm, admission free, parking $10.
and Premier Promotions works with a number of local organizations to help them generate revenue by sharing areas of the Winter Fair’s profits. “The Carol Baldwin Foundation, the NAACP will be checking coats, and The Price Chopper/Market 32 Winter Fair Hoops will be back with attendees shooting baskets and winning prizes for donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse through the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation.”
So, go ahead and enjoy the holidays, knowing that when that excitement dies down, the decorations are packed away, the Christmas cookies are all devoured, there’s something special to look forward to and plan for: February, and Winter Fair 2023!
Syracuse Winter Fair 2023
The NYS Fair Expo Center
Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 5, 2023
Thanks to this year’s patrons and sponsors!
Brew timeby kRiStin MeRRitt
Beer Can Appreciation Day
Bet you didn’t know that there’s an entire day every year dedicated to celebrating a beer can, but that’s exactly what occurs every January 24th!
On January 24th, 1935, the first beer sold in a can made its debut at Krueger’s Brewing Company located in Richmond, Virginia. The can was created by American Can Company and they also created the first ever canning line. The new invention was made of steel and – before the beer was added – weighed in at a hefty 4oz.! Each can had to be opened by a church key/can-opener with another variation being the cone-top beer can sealed with a bottle cap. Of course, as the beer can evolved, steel (and tin) was eventually transitioned to aluminum and zip taps (1962), pull tabs (1963) and stay tabs (1975) replaced the need for a church key. Thus, making the containers both lighter and easier to drink from.
During WWII, metal was rationed for the war effort and therefore it was back to beer in bottles. No beer cans were produced for civilians after May 31, 1942, but production of beer in olive drab cans did continue for military use only. In 1946, The Office of Temporary Controls of the US Government, lifted the restriction on metal usage for cans.
In 1956, the first 24oz. “Tall Boy” was introduced by Schlitz Brewing Company. In 1958, the first all-aluminum paper-label flat-top can hit the market. In 1959, Coors Brewing Company invented the first recyclable two-piece aluminum 7oz. beer can. By 1969, canned beer was outselling bottled beer in the United States.
Fast-forward to 2009, when Coors again made history by creating a “coldactivated can” that utilized ink that changes color when cold. In 2011, mobile canning and can-wrapping are introduced, which allowed for smaller breweries to produce canned beer for sale and consumption on site. In 2012, the 32oz. Crowler was introduced by Oskar Blues Brewing Company. By 2017, home canning units became readily available for home-brewers.
Branding and art on the labels of beer cans is nothing new and there are loads of individual hobbyists and members of formal groups such as the Brewery Collectables
Club of America who thrive on adding to their collections from both yesteryear and here-and-now. For instance, in 1967, The National Brewing Company of Baltimore, MA branded a 7-can malt liquor and beer “special blend” series with 007 James Bond depicting 7-different beautiful women each featuring a backdrop of 7-different famous London landmarks. One of these original cans can fetch a price of up to $2300 each! Today, many different breweries collaborate with local artists on can art and labels that both benefit the brewery – eye-catching cans draw in the consumer – and the artist, whom gets to showcase their talent to a wider audience. In addition, can art extends into mainstream politics and the social justice realm, which just goes to show that a beer can is also a modern-day billboard.
Fun facts about beer cans:
• It takes a shorter amount of time to chill beer in cans than it does in bottles. However, bottles will keep your beer colder for longer. Don’t let that deter you from purchasing cans though, because there are plenty of koozies and drink coolers (Recoil, BrüMate, Yeti) out on the market that will act like a zipped-up parka wrapped around your can and keep it cooler for longer.
• Because beer cans are made from aluminum, they are one of the most recycled items on planet earth! Aluminum is a super material because it can be recycled over-andover again, indefinitely. Therefore, the next time you’re standing in the supermarket brooding over which beer to get, in bottles or in cans, go for the cans – they’re the environmentally savvy way to go.
• Beer cans keep your beer tasting fresher and keeps the flavor of said beer from being altered. This is because cans are air-tight (bottles can be iffy at times) and the beer is kept from light and UV rays (unlike bottles). Light and air, respectively, are the two biggest factors in beer becoming “skunked” (by a sulphuric compound being created in the bottle), and oxidized, which results in a sharp, almost sherry-type flavor, or a stale, cardboard flavor, and can even become “flat,” with the loss of carbon dioxide.
On January 24th this year, forget about the glass and celebrate Beer Can Appreciation Day by simply swigging straight from the can itself...and then, optionally, raising the empty beer can and crushing it against your skull, while yelling something Neanderthal-ish, and then, like the good human you are, tossing the crushed can directly into your recycling bin!
Sports takeby Mike lindSley
Sports in 2023
A new year is here, unbelievably so. Here are some things to look forward to in the world of sports and more, in no particular order.
1. NHL’s Winter Classic. New Year’s Day. One of the greatest events in sports and underrated.
2. Syracuse football. Can they go bowling again?
3. Syracuse basketball. Can they find a way to make us believe they are actually good and a tournament team?
4. Aaron Judge back with the Yankees at 9/$360M. Time to win a championship, bro. All Rise.
I covered this event there in 2003 and 2013 and it was spectacular. I also played the golf course years back and when you are there, it just feels different. There is a Wrigley Field feel to it. You feel like you are walking on water and golf heaven never stops. It is remarkable.
12. NFL Draft. How many times can we hear these words: explosive, fundamentally sound, great instincts and first one in and last one to leave!?
13. Syracuse Crunch hockey. Always a great time.
14. Golf season. Nothing better. All the terrific courses in our area.
15. Lakes and boats and fishing tournaments and more. I know my people on the lake will be pumped for that.
16. Stanley Cup Playoffs. The best playoffs in sports. The guts and blood and tears and sacrifice to win sports’ ultimate prize. It is the best playoff out there.
17. College Football Playoff. Without Alabama, it will seem strange. But it will be a good time had by all. Can Georgia repeat?
18. No snow. No ice. No garbage. Just some nice weather.
19. NYS Fair. Eat. Drink. Repeat. Win nothing.
20. Baseball Hall of Fame Induction. One of my favorite things of the year. It actually might be my favorite thing to cover as a sports media member. Everything from the drive down to the ceremony to walking Main Street prior to the event. And the pizza in town and shops and seeing friends all over town. And the interviews I get. It is one amazing weekend.
21. Rochester Red Wings baseball at Frontier Field. The best ballpark in Minor League Baseball.
22. Buffalo Bills’ offseason. Who stays and who goes? Free agents. Will they win it all and we can ask about a repeat? Let’s just get one, fellas.
23. Speaking of Buffalo. Sabres hockey. Not a playoff team, but fun and exciting and a bright future ahead with some great players including CNY native Alex Tuch.
24. Walking around Downtown Syracuse and having some food and good drink. 25. And finally, swimming pools.
5. Josh Allen and the Bills. Is this finally the year?
6. ACC hoops at the Dome highlighted by Virginia and Duke on 1-30 and 2-18, respectively. These two teams should stay around the Top 5-20 and will be hard matchups for Syracuse but the Dome can be magical still. Can the Orange steal a victory or two?
7. Syracuse Mets baseball. A beer and a hot dog and a baseball game in the sun. All season long. Baseball’s best is playing every day and a story happens every day. Plus, Summer time in CNY? It is simply the best.
8. Connor McDavid and another spectacular season. He might go down as the Top 3-5 player I have ever seen. And because I am old now, the names I have seen include Gretzky and Super Mario and Messier and Ovechkin and Crosby and others. Well, no one I have seen does the stuff McDavid does. He is the best professional athlete alive for my money. Oh, and the Oilers win the Stanley Cup.
9. Justin Verlander and Mad Max in Mets uniforms? Talk about a throwback to the Tigers days.
10. The Masters. Because it is the Masters and a monster event, our most popular golf event, but also because LIV Golf and who plays at Augusta will be something to watch in the near future for all majors.
11. Ah yes, all majors. Welcome back to Oak Hill Country Club, PGA Championship.
Mike Lindsley has been in sports media for 25 years. Download and subscribe to his podcast, the ML Sports Platter Podcast, where podcasts are found on your smart phone device and subscribe to his YouTube channel @MikeLSports and follow on Twitter @ MikeLSports.
This article is dedicated to my Mom, who tragically passed away on my birthday, December 3, 2022. She was my best friend and an unbelievable human being who gave everything she had every day. Her pool without her there is going to be so hard. But I also will likely still swim and enjoy the back area because she loved when I was there. Waters and ice creams were unlimited and a big hug ended the day. Joyce Lindsley, you were perfect. A lot of people often say that no one is perfect, but you were. I love you.
the Write Stuffby BRian MilleR
In 2019 Rian Johnson’s KNIVES OUT proved that the murdermystery genre still has some juice. The hilarious and twisty whodunit featured an all-star cast, lead by the dynamic Daniel Craig as the impossibly fastidious and clever detective Benoit Blanc. The film earned Johnson an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay and Craig earned a Golden Glob nod for his incredible performance.
In December, Johnson went back to the KNIVES OUT world with a whole new mystery entitled GLASS ONION. Debuting in a limited theatrical run, it was released on Netflix just before Christmas. Unlike a typical sequel, this isn’t a continuation of the story we saw in the original. Instead, it’s an entirely new, sordid tale featuring a brand new cast with the exception of Craig who returns as Blanc.
When friends Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom, Jr.), Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), and Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) receive a mystery box in the mail from their eccentric billionaire pal Miles Bron (Edward Norton) they call each other on the phone and soon realize that the package is an elaborate puzzle. They work together to figure out the clues, each using a unique skillset (and with a little help from Yo Yo Ma) to solve a particular aspect of the game, until they get to the prize inside; an invitation for the weekend to Bron’s private island to play along in a murder-mystery game.
Also receiving the box is Andi Brand (Janelle Monae) and detective Benoit Blanc. Rather than spending a single moment indulging in Bron’s shenanigans, Andi takes a hammer to the box and retrieves her invitation. Blanc, meanwhile, has isolated himself in his bathtub, suffering through the COVID pandemic and desperately wishing for a case. Though a game hosted by a billionaire is not exactly what he had been hoping for, there was no chance he was passing up on the opportunity.
Once the crew arrives on Bron’s Greek Island the game begins. Bron is the type of self-indulgent narcissist that constantly tries to sound smarter than he is, and basks in the adoration of his guests. Everyone is elated to see him with the exception of Andi, who we quickly learn was his former business partner before they had a cataclysmic falling out.
Much like KNIVES OUT, the greatness of GLASS ONION is the fact that everything that happens is for
a reason. Lines of dialogue and set pieces are just as important as what is happening in the background. Some breadcrumbs are obvious, while others only reveal themselves as the film progresses. Johnson effectively plays with timelines, flashing back throughout the film to show us what we missed along the way while also revealing more with extended looks at previously seen moments.
Bron has meticulously planned the entire weekend, but is genuinely confused as to why Blanc arrived on the island. He never sent Benoit the box, yet having the world’s greatest detective play along in his game is far too tempting to dismiss. Blanc is the only one that is not a part of the tight-knit group who, as it turns out (with the exception of Andi) is reliant on Blanc to keep their careers afloat. In some capacity, the billionaire owns each and every one of them, and could destroy their lives without a second thought.
Much like in KNIVES OUT, the cast of GLASS ONION is spectacular, each delivering a great performance as a uniquely flawed character. Throughout the production, secrets and layers are revealed, highlighting the fact that no-one there is who they appear to be. This includes Birdie’s assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick) and Duke’s girlfriend Whisky (Madelyn Cline) who may have not been explicitly invited, but each have a role to play. And of course, lest we forget Derol (Noah Segan), the happy-go-lucky hanger-on who “isn’t really there.” His presence is a random running gag (one of many) but who always makes us wonder, could there be more to his existence than we expect? Much like its predecessor, GLASS ONION proves that Johnson can deliver a massively entertaining yarn that is as twisty as it is fun.
KNIVES OUT: GLASS ONION- B+
dining outby keRilyn e. Micale
Start your new year off deliciously with a meal from Avicolli’s! Their food is out of this world scrumptious and the service is absolutely top notch. This family owned and operated business has been serving high quality homemade Italian family recipes to Central New Yorkers for decades. Avicolli’s truly has something for everyone; you can sit in their beautiful dining room and enjoy a delicious meal, have wine and dessert at the cozy bar, grab a mouthwatering pizza to eat in or take home at their award winning pizzeria, or you
anything less than thrilled with anything we’ve ordered. We have a few “go to” favorites that I just have to share with you. First, if you like eggplant you cannot go wrong with any eggplant dish. We really like the Melanzane Rolatine which is battered and fried eggplant rolled and stuffed with seasoned ricotta and cream cheese with house made tomato sauce topped with mozzarella cheese and finished in the oven until the cheesy is bubbly. I also love the Cavatelli with Broccoli and Mushrooms (fresh broccoli florets sautéed with sliced mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil, finished with fresh garlic, white wine and Romano cheese) and if you add shrimp and a little hot pepper this dish is next level amazing! If you are a seafood lover, I have to insist that you order the Broiled Scallops (broiled jumbo diver scallops in a lemon white wine sauce with sautéed baby spinach) as they are huge, tender, and always cooked to absolute perfection. Other mouthwatering recommendations I would make would be Lobster Ravioli with claw and knuckle stuffed lobster ravioli simmered in a garlic cream finished with spinach. If you can’t decide what you want I would also highly recommend the Baked Combo Italiano with one manicotti, two shells and three ravioli in house made tomato sauce with Romano and mozzarella cheeses but do yourself a favor and order a meatball or
Kyle and I packed up our little ones and ventured out to Avicolli’s on a chilly winter night. The cold couldn’t keep us away from what is always a crazy good dining experience. Although the temperatures outside were blustery we forgot all about that as soon as we stepped in to the warm and inviting restaurant. We noticed that it seemed really busy for such a snowy
can purchase some of their delectable sauces in jars to take home and add to your favorite Italian dishes! They are conveniently located in Liverpool at 7839 Oswego Road and they are open Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, Friday from 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday from noon to 10 pm and Sunday from noon to 9 pm. Although reservations are not required they are encouraged and to make a reservation just call 315-622-9690. It should also be noted that their entire menu is available to go and you can easily place your order online from their website at myavicollis.com and can click on “order online now.” One of my favorite features of the online ordering is that once you’ve created an online ordering account you can click on “order my usual” and it really couldn’t be simpler!
I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Avicolli’s and have been going there for as long as I can remember and one thing that always stands out is that every single time I go everything is consistently incredible. I know this is because every meal is made in house using tried and truly delicious recipes and only the best and freshest ingredients. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Each time we go my husband and I make a point to get something we haven’t had before and an old favorite. We have never been
evening so we weren’t the only ones willing to deal with the conditions for a great meal. We were quickly seated in a cozy booth and greeted by our fantastic server, Anthony. I joked with Anthony that I remembered meeting him as a busboy so, so long ago. Even though he was very busy he made a point to treat us as if we were his only table and honestly he was one of the best servers I have ever had. We started our meal first by ordering a pizza for the kids to split and maybe for us to take a bite or two from as well. It should come as no surprise that the pizza is also fantastic! We began our meal with an order of the Utica Style Greens, greens sautéed with crispy pancetta, hot peppers, and their special blend of seasoned cracker crumbs. This dish was the perfect combination of flavors and paired perfectly with the garlic knots! We also just had to try the Hot Seafood Antipasto with fresh clams, scallops, mussels, and shrimp sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, wine, and finished with plum tomatoes and fresh herbs. This dish was positively delicious and I would
tell any seafood lover to order it. Seriously, I was blown away with the flavor profile and I had to stop Kyle from slurping the sauce out of the bowl. I enjoyed a salad with Italian and crumbly blue while Kyle delighted in a cup of Italian wedding soup. For our entrees, we were apparently in a “parmigiana” mood that evening so I ordered the chicken parm and Kyle ordered the eggplant parm. My pollo parmigiana, with freshly breaded chicken laced with Avocollis fresh house made tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese is always one of my favorite dishes and is consistently great. Kyle’s Melanzane Parmigiana with layers of battered and fried eggplant with house made tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese and finished in the oven was nothing short of awesome. Our meal was fantastic and although we had leftovers to take home we just couldn’t pass up dessert. Kyle ordered a slice of the blueberry crumble cheesecake (which is sort of like a blueberry muffin and a cheesecake combined into one marvelous dessert) and I had my usual, a piece of lemon blueberry mascarpone cake. These were a sweet way to end a perfect meal.
Avicolli’s is doing a fantastic job of preserving their traditional flavors and cuisine while still keeping up with the times. What does that mean exactly? It means that you can come in and enjoy a delicious meal (like you have for decades) with the same friendly staff and service that you’ve come to expect at Avicolli’s or you can go on to their newly updated website and place your dinner order online for pick up or delivery, or even order a jar of sauce and have it shipped to your loved one across the country! Check it out for yourselves at https://www.myavicollis.com/. As always, our meal was nothing short of delicious, the atmosphere was warm and comfortable and the staff was friendly, knowledgeable and willing to go above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed our meal. Whether you are a regular customer or have never been, you are always in for a real treat at Avicolli’s. Don’t forget that you can enjoy an award winning pizza at the restaurant or a full meal at home because the entire menu is available for take out! Check out the website at www.myavicollis.com/ or call them at 315-622-5100 for take out or delivery and 315-622-9690 to make reservations!
“You can even purchase some of their delectable sauces in jars to take home and add to your favorite Italian dishes!”
Beauty & Fashionby chaRlotte hilton andeRSon
This Is What a Hairstylist First Notices About You
“Hairstylists can tell far more about what is going on with your life than you might expect,” says Alex Keville, an award-winning hairdresser and the owner of Alan Keville for Hair Salons in Ireland. “We can even tell certain things just by the way you walk in, like if you’re someone who likes to stand out in a crowd or if you’re a more laid-back type.”
Your stylist isn’t being nosy or presumptuous – all of these observations are important. They can help a professional determine what kind of haircut you need, as well as how best to work with you, what recommendations to make, how to avoid hair mistakes and how to tailor the experience for you.
This also helps build a stronger relationship between a hairstylist and their client. “I think the main thing hairstylists have to remember is that people come to us to make them feel better,” says Keville. “That’s a massive part of our job.”
People who come in five minutes late in flip-flops and fall into the chair are often low-maintenance types who want a hairstyle to match their vibe, says Keville. Similarly, those who show up in a sharply tailored suit generally want a sharply tailored haircut, like a steep bob. This is important to know because your stylist can give you the perfect style in the salon, but if you don’t have the time, supplies or will to replicate it at home, you won’t be happy with it, she adds.
Pro tip: Choosing the most flattering hair part for your face shape can make an even bigger difference than opting for the fanciest haircut.
If You Have “Stressed-Out” Hair
Hair pulling (called trichotillomania), tugging, fidgeting or even chewing is a common response to stress – and a tipoff to your hairstylist that you may be dealing with some chronic anxiety, says Keville. Stress can also affect your hair directly, causing it to fall out or even triggering alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. Your stylist isn’t your therapist, but it is helpful to let them know if you’re under a lot of stress. They can give you a cut to camouflage trouble areas and recommend products to rebuild and strengthen your hair.
How Chatty You Are
Your conversational style – including how you first greet your stylist, how much you want to talk (or if you want to talk at all) and what you like to talk about – is a big indicator
of a client’s personality. More specifically, it shows how extroverted or introverted you are. A professional can use these conversational clues to refine your hairstyle. For instance, extroverted clients often want something eye-catching and head-turning since they like to stand out or create a presence. In that case, the stylist may suggest an ultra-trendy cut or a bold hair color, says Keville. On the other hand, a more introverted client might prefer a cut and style that looks beautiful and put-together but doesn’t call attention to them.
Plus, your chattiness indicates the type of bond you have (or want to have) with your stylist, and this affects how you work together. “I have clients who want to gossip the entire time to the point where I feel like I might be the only human contact they’ve had that week,” says Kristy. “And I have clients who will say hi and then want to sit in silence. I just try to go with their flow.”
Your Physical Health
From your posture to your skin to the current state of your hair, your appearance can reveal a lot about your health. That’s because your hair health is directly tied to your physical health. Nutrition, sleep, exercise and certain illnesses or conditions can all change your hair. And because hair takes months to grow, it can show changes to your health over time that you might not otherwise notice.
“I had a client whose normally thick, shiny hair turned dry and brittle and started falling out,” says Audie, a top-tier stylist at a private salon in New York City. “It turns out she had a thyroid disorder, and that was the first sign.”
How Trendy Your Hair Color Is
Your shoes, clothes and handbags aren’t the only things that show how trendy you are – and what you value. “People have a complicated relationship with their hair color because it says things about their youth, ethnicity, culture, sexuality and social status,” says Audie. “I have clients who would rather be caught dead than with the hair color they were born with. They’ll move hell and high water to keep their dye appointments.” She adds that there is a certain “balayage blonde” (that routinely costs more than $1,000) that has become a signature among New York City socialites, and simply having the right hair color can mark you as part of the “in” crowd without you having to say a word.
On the other hand, clients who come in with several inches of gray roots usually care less about what other people think of them or may be on a budget, trying to stretch out the time between dye appointments. If this is the case, be sure to tell your stylist, as there are types of dye and methods of hair dyeing (like doing highlights and lowlights that blend with your natural color) that can help you need fewer appointments, Audie says.
Self-care is one of the first things to go when someone is in a deep state of depression, and your stylist can see immediately when you’ve let things go. Here are some common signs, according to Kristy:
• Unusually long times between appointments
• Longer-than-normal hair (for that particular client)
• Slightly matted or tangled hair, particularly in curly-haired clients
• Breakage from being in a permanent bun
• Hair that just seems uncared for
or Recently Had a Baby
Big hormone swings, like those that happen during and after pregnancy, can significantly change the texture, thickness and overall appearance of a woman’s hair. “I have a regular client who didn’t even have to tell me she was pregnant,” says Kristy. “I could tell just from how thick and shiny her hair had become!”
Expectant or new mothers often want easy-to-manage hairstyles and may prefer to avoid chemical dyes or treatments, she adds. Similarly, after childbirth, many women lose hair, especially along their hairline, and want to cut their hair short or get bangs to cover the uneven hairline as it grows back in.
“Extroverted clients often want something eye-catching and headturning since they like to stand out or create a presence.”
Wedding Plans 2023 Wedding Plans Wedding Plans
Wedding Reception Decoration Ideas
Decorations are extremely important to me because I truly believe they help set the overall mood of the events. Believe it or not, guests do take behavioral cues based on how the room looks. Sounds silly doesn’t it? But, think about when something is decorated for kids; It’s usually in bright, playful and vibrant colors that make you feel young again. Now imagine being in a room that is decorated for a formal event. Sitting at a table where there are three forks, three knives, and three spoons in front of you, doesn’t make you feel like turning cartwheels. You will probably feel more appropriate sipping on some champagne and chatting with friends. So, reception decorations set the mood for all of your guests. But with so much to plan, where should you start?
You should always know what you want before buying or renting anything for your space. That doesn’t mean that you must know every detail, but there should be certain buzz words in your head. Are you looking for simple elegance or overthe-top fabulousness? Are you going with a particular theme? Or do you have a motif that you want to use throughout the day? These are important questions to ponder in order to get great wedding reception ideas. It is also important to understand that your wedding reception décor should reflect your personality and the level of formality that you are looking for. So think about your buzz words, because they should sound off, in your head, whenever you look at any décor elements. For example, I am truly simple when it comes to decorating. I don’t like things to be over-the-top, so simplicity is a really big buzzword for me. Although
I want things simple, that does not mean I want a picnic in the park for my wedding day. I think more about a simple, sophisticated style because I think it reflects my personality. Thank goodness that my fiancé is the same way. Anyway, your buzzwords will help give great wedding reception ideas.
Now, I know that no one has to tell overly excited brides this, but you also need to flip through wedding books and magazines to figure out the look that you want. One of my favorite wedding pastimes is to go to the bookstore, get a stack of magazines, find a corner, and dream. Look at the décor elements featured in the magazine. Notice the tablecloths that are being used on the tables as well as the shapes of the tables. Think about the elements that you like and how you would want it to look differently. Pay close attention to how each detail sets the right mood. Browsing through these books, magazines, and online wedding websites helps to shape your wedding reception decoration ideas.
Long tables give an intimate feel
Now once you have done all of your researching and dreaming, you should have an idea of what you want and you can start the decorating process. Those who are not in the wedding
“Reception decorations set the mood for all of your guests.”
Wedding Plans 2023 Wedding Plans Wedding Plans
industry probably only think about flowers and that’s it; however, so much more goes into decorating, your reception-linens, lighting, and even table settings; And those are just a few items. Let’s start with the things that many people tend to overlook but is an important wedding reception element which are the tables.
Most weddings have the large round tables because many venues offer this and for years, this has been the standard. Rounds are great because many venues offer these tables at no cost and many centerpieces are made with round tables in mind. I also think that rounds are a good choice because although many brides want something out of the box, round tables still give that “wedding” feeling that we are looking for.
Although the round table is still a popular choice, some brides are looking towards
square tables. Square tables are becoming quite trendy with brides and they provide more of an urban, sleek and modern feel. This is quite the option for brides such as myself. However, keep in mind that many couples have to rent square tables which can be an added expense to the budget.
Long, rectangular tables give a more intimate, family-oriented experience because the guests are not separated by a large table. A unique way to get a great experience with rectangular tables is to set up a family-like dinner setting at each table where guests can pass food around. They will feel more like they are at a family gathering.
Another unique way to really spice up your reception is to use all of these shapes. Don’t just use the rectangle tables for the head tables and the rounds for the guests, have a mix of round tables and square tables. This can loosen things up and not make your wedding reception seem so formal. This is definitely for the more daring bride.
Let us not forget that with the age of the cocktail party coming back in style, a great alternative to large round tables is the more intimate cocktail tables. You can have a variety of high and low tables that can seat two or four people. This really creates an adult, chic ambiance. This of course is best for serving hors de oeuvres as opposed to full meals. This provides the perfect opportunity for your guests to socialize with the other guests.
Alright, we have our table shapes picked out, so let’s move on to linens. Things such as tablecloths seem like no big deal to many people, but to a bride, they become larger than
life. Things like tablecloths, napkins, and even fabric swags can really make your wedding reception one of a kind.
Linens lend a big hand to the reception décor of a wedding whether we notice it or not. I remember being at my cousins wedding and noticing how the overlays stood out and really enhanced the reception look. Although I was more intrigued by the couple and their happiness, I also loved that the reception reflected the wedding colors. That is the same thing that brides want the guest to think, and this may not be achieved with white linens. When white was the supreme color of the wedding, white linens had it good. Many reception areas provided them, and many brides used them. All of a sudden, brides did not want the plain white linens anymore and the demand for color was in. Even with white linens, brides are trying their best to find ways to incorporate color. Your table cloths are a great way to incorporate your wedding colors.
Wedding Plans 2023 Wedding Plans Wedding Plans
Now, tablecloths not only bring color, but texture as well. Tablecloths are made from many different materials besides cotton and satin. You have the heavier, more formal damask materials with beautiful patterns or stripes. This is usually made in silk, lace, or synthetic fibers. I think this is for more formal affairs and not, necessary for your outdoor, casual reception. There are even the overlays that are affected by the colors around it. These are usually sheer and when placed over a tablecloth or next to a particular color; it changes in color as well. Linens can accentuate your wedding reception and bring it to life. Because of all the choices, it is paramount to make sure that your linens reflect your look. Heavier fabrics go better with formal indoor receptions while lighter fabrics work well for outdoor or more casual affairs.
• Prom/Dinner Dance
• Bridal Gowns
• Mother of the Bride and Groom
• Flower Girl
• Special Occasion
• Shoes &
Don’t forget your napkins! The napkins can be white or match the colors of the wedding. When put on the table, they add a nice touch to the overall reception decorations.
You don’t just have to use fabric on tables. Hanging fabric is also an inexpensive way to decorate at your reception. Fabric swags from the ceiling add beautiful drama to a plain room. Also, fabric hung from the walls can also add to the décor.
One major impact on the wedding reception is lighting. Lighting can create a great atmosphere to get guests in the mood for a wonderful party. Of course, there are a number of ways
to use lighting to help spice up the wedding reception.
Candles, candles, and more candles! Not only are they inexpensive, but they also create a wonderful glow that can warm an entire room. Candles can go with any type of centerpiece. They are great for low, high, traditional, or more modern. Candles don’t only have to be at the tables, but they can decorate other reception areas such as the bar, cake table, and seating cards.
Spotlights. Lighting companies can do great things with lights that can boost the reception feel. Spotlights can be focused on the sweetheart table or on the walls to add extra color. Maybe no one will come to the wedding and say great lighting, but it is one of those background objects that add to the overall mood. A great idea is to have a light with the monogram of the couple focused on the dance floor.
String lighting and lantern lighting are also great for décor. String lighting with swags of tulle around it makes a soft glow over the entire room. Lights intertwined with flowers attached to the bar or buffet table is a creative element. For outdoor affairs, I love to see lanterns hanging from trees or a tent. The glow is not overbearing and lends to the festive feeling of the guests.
Here are just a few tips to make sure your wedding reception decorations are absolutely perfect
• Don’t overdo it with color. Many brides get stuck on their favorite color and go overboard with it. You know those weddings where the bride’s favorite color is pink and the reception looks like an overspill of Pepto Bismol. Make sure you break up the color and not get so focused on just one look.
• You don’t have to have every decorating element to create your look. Lanterns, candles, string lighting, centerpieces, spotlights, and damask linens. Beautiful elements are beautiful because they are allowed to shine, but putting them all together can make for a decoration disaster. Pick a few elements and go with them. Trying to fit them all in will only end in a tacky mess.
• Remember the look you want. It is your day and you can do whatever you please, but don’t let that stubborn mantra ruin the reception décor. Do you really want a rich, velvet tablecloth for a summer time, outdoor, daytime reception? This goes for flowers as well as linens. Sunflowers are really summer-y, but do they work for a winter wedding?
“Candles, candles, and more candles! Not only are they inexpensive, but they also create a wonderful glow that can warm an entire room.”
Wedding Plans 2023 Wedding Plans Wedding Plans
Step 1: Plan Out Your Strategy
The one main thing to remember when choosing a wedding dress is that it’s about how the dress looks on you rather than how it looks in a bridal boutique catalog or a mannequin. While it seems trivial, it’s surprising how many brides make the mistake of finding their perfect “style” in a magazine, racing to the
bridal boutique to find this same or similar type of wedding dress they like so much and trying it on only to be disappointed in how they look.
The next thing that usually goes through their mind is something like “If only I was skinnier/taller/more shapely/etc.” No wonder bridal boutique hunting becomes more of a chore rather than the fun experience it’s supposed to be! Well, learning from our own experience, here are a couple of tips on how to choose your perfect wedding dress and skip on all the frustration.
Step 2: Find Your Unique Wedding Dress Style
Each body is different, so it only makes sense that the same dress will look very different on different people. Thus, the best way to figure out what type of wedding dress will look best on you is to try as many different types, styles, and colors at a bridal boutique and see which patterns emerge. Instead of going through countless bridal magazines, make a few trips to an actual bridal boutique. Start with the largest bridal boutiques that carry the largest variety of wedding dresses.
At first, don’t be picky. Try every imaginable style and wedding dress and begin the process of elimination. Take notes on what features of a dress look good on you and which ones simply don’t. For instance, a “mermaid” style dress might make your hips look big (in which case, scratch that one out) or this same style might make you look shapelier and sexier (in which case, it’s a keeper).
At this step, don’t pay attention to the price – you are still in the “discovery” phase
are 90% done. The next step is to visit bridal boutiques with that particular picture in mind and simply find the wedding dress that would suit your budget.
Wedding Plans 2023 Wedding Plans Wedding Plans
dress that looks best on you. Once you’ve figured out
Step 3: Find the Perfect Wedding Dress
Hunting for your perfect wedding dress will take longer than you expect. Most brides assume it won’t take more than 2-3 waves of bridal boutique visits to find their perfect wedding dress. They are greatly underestimating the effort! In a quick poll we took, brides made an average of 9 trips to different bridal boutiques and tried an average of 8-10 dresses at each store. That’s 90 different dresses tried on...daunting isn’t it?
One thing to remember is not to settle because you think you will never find a wedding dress you will be 100% happy with. After all, you found your perfect man, why can’t you also find your perfect dress? Remember that it’s not just you –unless you are wearing your mother’s dress for the wedding, finding your wedding gown may take a few months.
Our advice is to be patient and take as long as you need. It’s worth it, given that your wedding dress (as captured in wedding pictures) will literally be looked at and remembered by generations to come (including your children and grandchildren).
How To Interview a Wedding Photographer
Besides negotiating the price of wedding photos, there are a few other important questions to ask the wedding photographer in order to ensure that you are getting a qualified, experienced professional, and ensure you get the best wedding photos possible out of the experience.
Take a look at some example photos from past weddings, different styles, client testimonials and reviews, pricing, etc. to get an idea of what it is you are looking for. Try to get a few quotes from the photographers whose style you like – these will help you negotiate better prices with the professional photographer you end up choosing.
First and foremost, ask the photographer for their portfolio. The portfolio should include previous wedding photos and should represent the entire breadth of styles the photographer is familiar with. Even today, despite the digital age surrounding us, many professional photographers who are truly artists still bring real printed “portfolios” with them. Other photographers will just send you to their website. Those are probably not artists of their craft.
When reviewing portfolios, keep in mind that the wedding pictures the
photographer shows to you are probably his or her best work (that’s why they are in the portfolio). So if you are not absolutely and immediately impressed and overwhelmed by them, chances are you won’t love your wedding photos either. Keep looking.
Wedding Plans 2023 Wedding Plans Wedding Plans
Have the photographer draw you a future shot – verbally.
Describe your ceremony or wedding reception venue to the photographer and ask them what kind of wedding photos they will be able to make in that setting and in that vicinity. A great photographer will be able to describe the photographs such that you could almost “see” the shots before they are even made.
For instance, if your wedding ceremony is taking place in an outdoors wedding venue and has an ocean view, a great photographer will be able to describe to you the complete picture of how he will position you in the picture (how the two of you will be standing, holding each other, etc.) and what the background will look like (sun, ocean, trees, etc.) You should fall in love with your wedding photos even before they are made. Ask if the photographer has any photos that they’ve done before that would look like that.
Another important thing to ask is which “photo session” locations to scout in the area beforehand. That is, right after the wedding ceremony and before the wedding reception (during the “cocktail” hour), it’s typical for the couple to “disappear” and do a quick photo session somewhere nearby where the wedding photographer will take pictures of just the two of them (or perhaps the two of them, close family members and the bridal party).
The wedding photographer you are hiring may not know the exact location very well, but he or she can tell you what kind of locations will make for the best compositions and best pictures. For instance, the photographer may suggest looking for a big brick wall (these work well for group pictures), for an old dirty
building (provides great the contrast between the old wall and your new crisp white wedding dress), etc.
In short, the more experienced your wedding photographer is, the more location suggestions he can give you and the better prepared you will be. Hey, some couples have paid for private access to small farms, private waterfronts or even historic buildings just for a couple of hours – just to be able to do a wedding photo shooting there.
Make Your New Year’s
Fitness Plan Work
If you have at some stage in your life, pledged your allegiance to regular visits to the gym starting January 1st, you’re not alone. In fact, over forty-eight percent of us vow to get back in shape and shed those extra holiday pounds in the new year.
A new year’s fitness plan shouldn’t be about what you can achieve in January, but rather something you can stick with next week, next month and for years to come. A program that you can consistently follow all year round, will yield better long-term results than training every day for a few months and giving up.
The number one factor to consider when embarking on a fitness journey is consistency. Consistency is arguably the most important component when working to accomplish goals, in or out of the gym. Without consistency, your workout program will be unorganized, the body will have a harder time adapting and forming new habits will
be more challenging.
So, why do so many people throw in the towel? One of the biggest reasons why people give up is because staying healthy and fit takes a lot of hard work! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Many of us have a yo-yo relationship with food and
our fitness programs. When workouts are too intense and nutritional plans are too restrictive, we get overwhelmed and just quit.
Here are a few tried and true tips that will help make your new year’s plan a success.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Set yourself up for success with tangible goals. With each goal that is reached, you will feel like you’ve accomplished something! Make sure you incorporate a measurable performance aspect such as being able to run faster, lift heavier or increase your
“Your workout regimen should be complementary to how you live your life, rather than the other way around, so you will stick with it.”
flexibility. Something quantifiable should be your goal as it will give you a sense of achievement.
Find A Balance You Can Stick With
Recognize what your non-negotiables are. That could be a Sunday dinner with the family, weekly after-work cocktails or a Friday night takeout. Then schedule in the time you can realistically commit to exercise and when that may be. Your workout regimen should be complementary to how you live your life, rather than the other way around, so you will stick with it.
Find a Gym
This is a great time of year to find a gym! Make sure it’s close to home or where you work so that it will be convenient for you to make it there. Stay on a schedule like you would with anything else that is of the utmost importance in your life and don’t allow yourself to get distracted along the way. Designate an hour, at least four to five days a week for your workout. If you can’t make it in on a scheduled day, you need to make sure you get there another day.
Look Forward to Your Workout
Find a means of exercise that you genuinely enjoy. If you like dancing, look into dance-based workouts like Zumba. If you like to exercise in the water, see if your gym offers aqua classes. If you need companionship, find a workout buddy. Whatever gets you off the couch and moving, do it! When you like what you are doing, you are more likely to stick with it.
The Ideal Workout Schedule
The ideal workout looks different for everyone, but a balanced health and fitness regimen will most definitely get you well on your way to being in better shape. Here is a well-balanced and consistent plan to help you get started:
• Monday: Full body resistance workout
• Tuesday: Low-intensity cardio
• Wednesday: Full body resistance workout
• Thursday: Low-intensity cardio
• Friday: Choice of full body resistance workout or high-intensity cardio (not both)
• Saturday: Option of active recovery or mobility work (slow, movementbased activities such as yoga, Pilates or tai chi, that are also shown to have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing)
• Sunday: Rest
Do Something Instead of Nothing
Remember that something is always better than nothing. If you can only get to the gym for half an hour, is it worth it? You bet it is. You can get a lot done in a half hour and it will help keep you in the habit of staying active.
Take it One Day at a Time
Dropping twenty-five pounds is a great long-term goal, but don’t bite off
more than you can chew! Your fitness is mission possible when you take it one day at a time! Make some basic alterations to your lifestyle and stick to them. Focus on losing one or two pounds a week by changing what you eat, when you eat and even where you eat it. Once you start to see results, it will get easier to stay on track.
This is the time of year when we all could use a little help! If you construct a workout regimen that you are able to keep up with in “real” life, you will see genuine and sustainable results. How do we do that? We work on building healthy habits into our everyday lives, because a consistent fitness routine is an effective one.
Take the time to acknowledge all the things you’ve accomplished this year. Give yourself a pat on the back for any and all signs of progress, no matter how small. Stay committed to doing the best you can, find things that keep you motivated and remember “why” this is so important to you! You matter and your health should too. Happy New Year and good luck to you.
I have been a personal trainer for over eighteen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.
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Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense
The Courtroom Battleby Dan Abrams & Davis Fisher by Guest Writer: John Sposato
I’ve been involved with presentations for the Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) for twelve years now, mostly with the Ghost Walks that are presented annually in Oakwood Cemetery, downtown and various neighborhoods. When not performing a reenactment of a former resident I often tour guide groups through the Ghost Walks.
There were three Ghost Walks in 2022, one at Oakwood in May, and two downtown in July and September. The September tour featured what has become one of my all-time favorite re-enactments. It was titled “The Trial of The Century,” and it featured two attorneys who were representing opposing sides in a trial that was about to begin in the still-new 4th Onondaga County Courthouse. The re-enactment portrayed a chance meeting. The two attorneys had known each other and had been friends for years. Their exchange was a sparring of accusations and defense of their respective clients and made a fascinating debate.
I found it so interesting that I decided to read the book written about it.
The trial’s plaintiff was William Barnes, a political boss in the Republican Party in the early part of the 1900s who had great political influence in New York, and who sued Theodore Roosevelt (TR), the defendant) for libel. Barnes claimed that TR falsely reported that he was “politically corrupt.”
TR had no problem admitting that he wrote, and made public through written articles, and in a speech the prior year that the political system of the day and its leaders were corrupt and abused their power for personal gain, referencing Barnes as among them. What was in place was an “invisible government” that resulted in “maladministration and corruption in public offices of the state.”
The trial began in April, 1915. It was originally scheduled to be heard in Albany. But TR’s attorneys claimed that an impartial jury could not be found there, hence it was transferred to Syracuse to be heard in the 4th Onondaga County Courthouse.
For libel, at least during this era, the defendant is considered guilty until proven innocent. The question for the jury was not to decide if the statements were accurate or not, but rather if they were made with malicious intent and libelous. In other words, was what TR saying true?
The trial gained national attention with newspapermen from all over the country in attendance every day. This was to be a grand performance for TR. The former president was as boisterous and feisty as ever, and was ready for a fight. He was still a beloved and legendary personality who was not only a former governor of New York and a former President, but also the hero of San Juan Hill in The Spanish American War and a great adventurer. He was a much beloved and popular figure with great influence in New York State politics, and upon its voters. He was not only fighting off a $50,000 lawsuit (about $2,000,000 in 2022 dollars) but his political legacy, honor and reputation as well.
In 1912 he left the Republican Party and formed his own party, commonly known as The Bull Moose Party for which he outdistanced the Republican candidate William Taft in the race for president that year. This split in the Republican party allowed Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, to be elected president. That was only three years before the lawsuit, and TR’s popularity was still high and the public found him to be “charismatic and entertaining.”
William Ivins represented Barnes and John Bowers represented TR. These two lawyers were considered among the best legal minds in the country, and both had their team of
“The trial turned out to be more than either Barnes or TR had expected. It basically became an exposé of what American politics was behind the scenes.”4th Onondaga County Courthouse William Barnes & Theodore Roosevelt
The trial turned out to be more than either Barnes or TR had expected. It basically became an exposé of what American politics was behind the scenes. TR was claiming that decisions in the government of New York were not made by the governor or elected representatives but rather by backroom “bosses.” Both Republican and Democrat bosses were accused of employing these tactics, and deals were made between them that would favor their interests and keep contributions from large donors for elections in place. And of course, these donors would contribute to the candidates that would best serve their financial interests.
TR claimed that because of these irregularities, the people’s interests were ignored. He took every opportunity to show how this had happened in the past, over and over again, and that political corruption went hand-in-hand with the financial corruption that fed off government contracts, special favors and payments to the bosses and their friends. TR claimed that his “Progressive” policy and style of government did not incorporate these methods, but governed in the best interest of the people, with their knowledge and consent. His approach called for a party leader instead of a party boss.
Barnes, of course, denied all this, but as the book relates he slipped when it was discovered he was quoted as saying, “The people are not fit to govern themselves, but must be governed by party organization.” Overwhelming proof was presented of him being awarded lucrative printing contracts from the state, and defaulting on them, but the judge ordered it stricken from the record and to be ignored by the jury. Can a jury really do that? Especially when it favors TR?
Countless witnesses were brought to testify for both sides. Each was examined, cross-examined, and sometimes seated twice. The objections to the questioning were constant. Both Barnes and TR had their opportunity on the witness stand as well. As the authors portray it, TR was quite dramatic with his gestures and loud exclamations and the jury found him quite amusing at times. The presiding Supreme Court Judge, William
Andrews, had to silence the courtroom frequently, and even threatened to empty it.
TR put up a strong defense, but many times he got caught up in his own rhetoric. William Ivers, attorney for the plaintiff, is also described as a good showman, and the exchange between the two was a challenge to each. Iver’s questioning was trying to prove the point that TR was guilty and profited politically from the same system that he was claiming was corrupt.
The trial lasted five weeks. Deliberations took 42 hours, and on May 22 the jury ruled in favor of the defendant. The press hailed the decision. Outlook, a political publication of the day, reported that the verdict was a “triumph of the right of free speech of the jury system and of responsible government...and of defining the difference between a party boss and a party leader who was working with the public welfare in mind.”
I have my own view of TR, the case brought against him and his defense, but reading this book is your chance to make your own decision. Read, and then consider the following, as I am sure the jury did: Was Barnes any more guilty than anyone else who was in a ruling position of a political party? Was TR the end result of the system that was in place, which he claimed was corrupt? Did he take advantage of the paths that were set out for him or did he achieve all of his political success on his own? Was TR found innocent because the case he presented brought out the truth? Because of the testimonies of the witnesses? Or did he win because of his overwhelming popularity?
No appeals were made. This was TR’s last hurrah. He continued to be a strong advocate for war with Germany. He even asked President Wilson if he could command an independent regiment once the war was declared. Barnes lost his leadership position in the Republican party but continued to work with them.
The book is available at The OHA Museum and Bookstore at 321 Montgomery St. Pick up a copy, and reach your own decision – and while you’re at it, enjoy the many fascinating exhibits at the Museum!
Flashing Astonishers • 8pm
Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
DUO • 8pm
Limerick Pub, Syracuse
Harmonic Dirt • 8pm Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
Back Rhodes • 7-11pm Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse
Mark Zane • 6-9pm Western Ranch, Syracuse
Mike Place Pasta’s on the Green, Baldwinsville
The Dirty Doves • 7-10pm JP’s Tavern, Baldwinsville
Emorfik • 8pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse
Kerri Powers • 8pm May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society, Syracuse
Dangerous Type • 6-9:30pm Sharkey’s Event Center, Liverpool
Jamie Notarthomas • 8pm-12am Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse
John Spillett Jazz/ Pop Duo • 6-9pm Lemon Grass on Walton, Syracuse
The Dirty Doves • 7-10pm
Brian’s Landing, Jamesville
Led Zeppelin Tribute • 8pm
Turning Stone Event Center, Verona
Morris & The Hepcats • 8pm-12am
Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse
Glass Image • 6pm
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse
January 7 & 8
A 12th Night Celebration
First Presbyterian Church, Cazenovia
Second Sundays Music Series
Cecile Community Center, Syracuse
Frank Rhodes Solo • 2-4pm
Cecile Community Center, Syracuse
Colin Aberdeen • 7-10pm
Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse
The Bog Brothers • 7:30pm
Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
Just Joe • 6pm
Cavalier Room, Syracuse January 12
Jamie Cunningham • 8-11pm
Limerick Pub, Syracuse
Public Water Supply • 6pm
Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge, Syracuse
Michael Crissan • 7-11pm
Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse
Dennis Goettel • 6:30-9:30pm
Western Ranch, Syracuse
Mark Zane • 5-8pm
Shaughnessy’s Irish Pub Downtown Marriott, Syracuse January 13
Rollin’ Rust • 7pm
Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
Calamity • 6pm
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse
SIRSY Unplugged • 7pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse
Code Blue • 8pm-12am
Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse
John Spillett Jazz/ Pop Duo • 6-9pm
Lemon Grass on Walton, Syracuse
13 Curves • 7-10pm Western Ranch, Syracuse January 14
Mark Zane • 12-2pm Aurora Cafe & Gifts, North Syracuse January 14
Hamilton - The Benefit • 2pm Funk n Waffles, Syracuse January 14
Zak G • 8:30pm Funk n Waffles, Syracuse January 14
Chuck Lamb and Ria Curley • 6-9pm Oneida Community Manision House, Oneida
Harmonic Dirt • 8pm-12am Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse January 15
Symphoria Casual II: Expressions of Nature St. Paul’s Church, Syracuse January 15
Ben Blujus • 7-10pm Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse January 18
Jamie Cunningham • 8:30-11:30pm Cobblestone Ale House, Liverpool January 19
EVERY SO OFTEN • 8pm Funk n Waffles, Syracuse January 20
Mike MacDonald • 6:30-9:30pm Western Ranch, Syracuse January 20
Painted Birds & David Fields • 8pm Funk n Waffles, Syracuse January 20
Max Creek • 9pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse January 20
Fight From Within • 6pm The Lost Horizon, Syracuse January 20
Mark Nanni Music • 6pm Bullfinch Brewing, Syracuse January 20
Max Creek • 8pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse
Midnight Mike Petroff’s Blues Band • 3-7pm Western Ranch, Syracuse
Jim Beam Girl’s • 5-7pm Western Ranch, Syracuse
The Q-Tip Bandits • 7pm
Funk n Waffles, Syracuse January 21
Noche de Verano Sin Ti • 9pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse January 21
Joe Magnarelli • 7:30pm
CNY Jazz Arts Foundation Inc. January 21
Simplelife • 7-9:30pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse January 22
Nachos and Blancos • 12-3pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse January 23
Dead Night w/J & The Tie Dyers • 7:30pm
Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
Albert Lee • 7pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse January 26
Glass Image • 10pm
Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge, Syracuse January 27 & 28
Salt City Seeded Dirt Tournament Western Ranch, Syracuse January 27
Chris Young • 8pm
Turning Stone Event Center, Verona January 27
Speed Was A Factor • 6pm
Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
Amerikan Primitive • 7pm
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse January 27
Dead to the Core • 7pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse
John Spillett Jazz/ Pop Duo • 6-9pm
Lemon Grass on Walton, Syracuse
Mark Zane • 10am-12pm Bloomin’ Cup, Tully
Super 400 • 7pm Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
Satisfaction, Rolling Stones Tribute Band Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona
Symphoria Kids II: Musical Origins • 10-30am-11:30am Inspiration Hall, Syracuse
Marissa Mulder in “Souvenirs,” a Tribute to John Prine • 7-9:30pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse
The Dirty Doves • 11:30am-2:30pm Brian’s Landing, Jamesville
John Spillett Jazz/ Pop Duo • 6-9pm Lemon Grass on Walton, Syracuse
Badfish - Sublime Tribute • 7pm The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse
Flogging Molly • 7:30pm Landmark Theatre, Syracuse
Paul Davie • 3pm Winter Fair, NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse February 3
The Folkus Project • 8pm May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society, Syracuse
NYS Baroque presentsCharacters of Paris • 7:30-9pm
First Unitarian Universalist, Syracuse
Symphoria Pops III: Nat King Cole Songbook • 7:30-9:30pm
Crouse Hinds Theatre, Syracuse
Mark Doyle & The Maniacs • 7-9:30pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse
One of These Nights
The OnCenter Carrier Theatre, Syracuse
Alter Bridge • 8pm
Del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo
The Garage Lights • 6pm Funk n Waffles, Syracuse
Bush • 8pm Del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo February 11
Ronnie Leigh - A Valentine’s Affair to Remember • 7-9:30pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse
Just Joe • 7pm
Shifty’s Bar & Grill, Syracuse
Our Lady Peace • 8pm
Del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo February 16
Zoso • 7pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse February 17
Dokken • 8pm Del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo
Thru January 13
Associated Artists of CNY presents “Off The Wall” The Gallery at the Manlius Library, Manlius Thru April 9
Common Ground Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse Thru May 15
Stephanie H. Shih: My Sweetie Has No Pockmarks Syracuse University Art Museum, Syracuse January 4-14
ROMMY TORRICO: Cabeza en las nubes
ArtRage Gallery, Syracuse
January 4-March 31
The Degenerate Art Show of Germany, 1937
The Station – Artist Collective and Gallery, Syracuse
January 28-May 14
50th Anniversary: Selections from Light Work Collection Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse
February 4-May 21
Hoop Dreams: Basketball and Contemporary Art Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse
Portrait Photography Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse
Ev ENT s
Monday Night Salsa • 7pm
The Tasting Room at Epicuse, Syracuse Thru January 2
Disney on Ice Presents
The Oncenter War Memorial, Syracuse Thru January 13
Lights on The Lake Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool Thru February 26
Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides Highland Forest, Fabius
Joss Northeast 9-Ball Turning Stone Classic XXXVI
Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona
Bruno Presents: The Original Wise Guys 2023 • 8-11pm
The Palace Theatre, Syracuse January 6-8
Open Moonlight Snowshoeing & Skiing
Beaver Lake Nature Center, Baldwinsville
Trends and Statements • 5pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse
The History of Standup with
Author Wayne Federman • 7pm
Auburn Public Theatre, Auburn
Brian Regan • 8pm
The OnCenter Crouse Hinds Theatre, Syracuse January 13
Snow Leopards and Snowy
Syracuse Dinner Pairing
Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse
Top Rank Boxing: Ajagba vs. Shaw
Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona
Howie Mandel • 8pm
Del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo
Hot Cocoa Hike • 11am-12pm
Beaver Lake Nature Center, Baldwinsville
443 Birthday Bash • 6pm
443 Social Club & Lounge, Syracuse January 21
Dancing With The Stars • 8pm
Turning Stone Event Center, Verona January 21
The Syracuse Mayor’s Ball • 6pm Salt City Market, Verona January 21
Noche de Verano Din Ti • 9pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse January 27
del Lago Disco Ball • 8pm
Del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo February 3
Harry’s House of Styles, Dance Party • 9pm The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse February 3-5
Winter Fair NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse February 4
Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona February 4
Pon De Riri • 9pm
The Westcott Theatre, Syracuse February 10
Owl Night Long • 5-7pm
Beaver Lake Nature Center, Baldwinsville February 19
Winterfest at the Syracuse Inner Harbor • 11am-4pm Iron Pier Apartments, Syracuse
Th EAT r E
Thru January 8
Disney’s The Little Mermaid Syracuse Stage, Syracuse January 17-21
Anastasia Landmark Theatre, Syracuse February 14-19
Come From Away Landmark Theatre, Syracuse February 15-March 5
Espejos: Clean Syracuse Stage Complex, Syracuse February 24-March 5
By The Way, Meet Vera Stark The Red House, Syracuse
PAW Patrol Live! “Heroes Unite” Landmark Theatre, Syracuse March 11
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical • 2pm
The OnCenter, Syracuse May 12-21
The Bridges of Madison County, In Search of Love
The Red House, Syracuse May 31-June 20
The REV Theatre Co., Syracuse July 5-25
Into The Woods, The Musical The REV Theatre Co., Syracuse
sP or T s
Syracuse Crunch vs. Belleville Senators • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse January 7
Syracuse Crunch vs. Rochester Americans • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse January 11
Syracuse University Men’s Basketball vs. Viriginia Tech Hokies • 7pm
Syracuse University, Syracuse January 14
Syracuse University Men’s Basketball vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish • 7pm Syracuse University, Syracuse January 16
Syracuse Crunch vs. Utica Comets • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse January 20
PBLA Lacrosse: Syracuse Spark vs. Salem Mayhem • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse January 21
Syracuse Crunch vs. Utica Comets • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse January 27
Syracuse Crunch vs. Utica Comets • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse January 24
Syracuse University Basketball vs. North Carolina Tar Heels • 9pm
Syracuse University, Syracuse
PBLA Lacrosse: Syracuse Spark vs. New England Chowderheads • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse January 30
Syracuse University Men’s Basketball vs. Virginia Cavaliers • 7pm Syracuse University, Syracuse February 2
Harlem Globetrotters • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse February 3
Syracuse Crunch vs. Charolotte Checkers • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse February 4
Syracuse Crunch vs. Charolotte Checkers • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse February 11
Syracuse Crunch vs. Rochester Americans • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse February 14
Syracuse University Men’s Basketball vs. NC State • 7pm Syracuse University, Syracuse February 18
Syracuse University Men’s Basketball vs. Duke • 6pm Syracuse University, Syracuse February 24
Syracuse Crunch vs. Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Penguins • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse February 25
Syracuse Crunch vs. Hartford Wolfpack • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse February 28
Syracuse University Men’s Basketball vs. Georgia Tech • 7pm Syracuse University, Syracuse March 1
Syracuse Crunch vs. Cleveland Monsters • 7pm
The OnCenter War Memorial, Syracuse March 4
Syracuse University Men’s Basketball vs. Wake Forest • 5pm Syracuse University, Syracuse
Sounds of Syracuseby chuck Schiele
The Beat and the Street in Joe Driscoll
I recently ran into Joe after a gig and before ya’ knew it, we started chatting about looping pedals, the biz and the shared admiration for Totonto-based artist, K-oS, along with a few laughs and stories.
Now, I know you’ve heard of him. I’ve heard of him. But, how any of us first heard of him might be from a number of ways or avenues. He’s involved with the community as a good neighbor. He’s been involved with politics. But today, we’re here to talk about his place in the city as a musician.
Chuck Schiel: How are you Joe? Looks like things stay pretty steady for you.
Joe Driscoll: I’m doing well. Thanks Chuck. Yes, I’m staying pretty busy.
CS: Ok, let’s get to it. Characterize what you do, musically?
CS: You have a knack for using loopers to facilitate your music. How did you gain the interest to do so?
JD: I remember I saw a woman using one in NYC to make some avant garde noise rock. The whole show I was thinking, ‘Man, that thing is so cool, but I wish someone would lay some funk down with it.’ That moment sparked my interest. Shortly after that, my band split up, and I found myself alone, feeling kind of down and out and generally feeling lost creatively. During my live shows, up until that point, I had utilized a lot of beatbox while playing acoustic guitar, doing a mix of folk and hip-hop. With the band gone, the memory of that looping show in NYC came back to me. I went down to the music shop, tried out a pedal, and fell in love with it instantly. When I tried out the beatbox looping at live shows, people went nuts, and I thought – yea, I think I found something here.
CS: What other musical involvements are you engaged with?
JD: My primary thing has been live loop sampling. I beatbox, utilizing vocal percussion, and I create a live looped rhythm track from that, then I layer that up with guitar, vocal harmonies, keyboards, harmonicas, and anything else I can throw into the mix. I’ve also had multiple other musical projects throughout the years, but the solo loop thing has been a constant throughout all these years.
JD: From 2010-2015, I worked with Guienean artist Sekou Kouyate, and we did this kind of New York hip hop, meets West African traditional music/reggae vibes. The project was amazing to me: Sekou spoke no English, I spoke no French, but we ended up writing an album together over the course of a few weeks. That first album ‘Faya’ was all written and recorded within a couple of months. That first album was just the two of us, Sekou and I, layering loops in the studio, similar to what we were initially doing live at that time. Later on, we evolved into a four piece band to create a more dynamic live show, and then recorded our second album ‘Monistic Theory’ as a band, an album which debuted #1 on iTunes and Amazon music charts for World Music. We had a lot of great times with that project.
Another great project I organized in the UK was ‘Local Posse.’ We would travel around to all these different UK festivals, and we’d have different friends playing at each festival, so towards the end of the night we would have a collective jam session with all our friends, getting up and improvising. The Local Posse concept being whoever was local at the time was part of the Posse. We paired up beatboxers, blues guitarists, spoken word poets, and jazz pianists. Was another amazing experience. I’d love to resurrect the concept.
CS: Some folks around here know you for your political strides, first. Tell us about your involvements with the Syracuse community.
JD: I kind of stumbled into politics. After living in Europe for over a decade, I came to know and experience single payer healthcare systems, and I really developed a deep appreciation of their benefits. If I caught a cold in the UK, I could see a doctor and leave with some antibiotics for 20 bucks. In America, if I went to the doctor as an uninsured musician, they’d tell me I should go see a specialist, and charge me $600 for that advice.
For this and many other reasons, I became a big Bernie Sanders enthusiast, and I soon noticed all my musical buddies in Syracuse were sharing Bernie memes online as well. I thought, ‘Hey, if we throw a fundraiser, we could raise some serious cash.’ I threw it together with a few buddies, and we sold out the Palace Theater on James Street, raising around $25k.
That led to me stepping up and starting to organize Bernie’s campaign locally. I spent the next 6 months or so organizing lit drops, canvassing operations, social media campaigns, etc. I even got to open for Bernie, playing some tunes and saying a few words when he came to speak in Cuse on my 36th birthday. Eventually Bernie lost, and Trump won, and I was pretty bummed about the direction our country was headed, and the status of my city as well, with so much extreme poverty. Bernie kept saying, if you’re frustrated with how things are going, don’t complain, run for office, try to change the dynamics. I ran for local
some new instruments into the set, and really expand on the sound – same concept but with lots of new layers. I also got about halfway thru recording a new album during COVID, but with my new gig as the city’s I-81 coordinator, that’s taken up most of my time and mental hard drive. I hope to have a breakthrough in the coming months though, and get that new album out. It’s been a long time in the works.
Also, last year I organized the Hanover Thursdays music series with a couple of my good buddies. That’s been really rewarding, being a facilitator for music and vibes, acting more as the DJ/MC then as a musical act. I think it’s a role that suits me well, and I really enjoy it. Hopefully some more of that type of fun in 2023. Definitely planning on bringing Hanover Thursdays back, and maybe some more similar projects.
CS: Do you have anything to say to your fellow musicians – your fellow Central New Yorkers?
JD: I guess I’d just say that in my opinion, I think the biggest problem with both Syracuse and the music scene here is our self-deprecation. I’ve traveled a lot, and this region is truly awesome. A lot of that humbleness, and salt of the earth vibe is what makes us who we are – you know, no big time attitudes, no false pretenses, but a lot of folks get negative as well. A lot of folks knock the scene, or knock the town. If you say a million times, I’m gonna miss the shot – you’re speaking that into existence, you know what I mean? This is a great town, with a great scene. If more of us just believed that, and just acted accordingly, I think a lot of our major problems would be less troublesome.
CS: How do we stay in touch with you and your music, Joe?
JD: You can find me on www.joedriscollmusic.com, but it’s probably easier to follow me on social media: FB joedriscoll, IG & twitter @joedriscoll315
CS: Thank you Joe for taking some time to visit with us, here, at Sounds of Syracuse.
JD: Thanks so much for shining a light on the scene. A lot of great folks around town making great tunes. Honored to get the mention. Here’s to a great 2023.
office in 2017 and won a seat as the 5th district councilor, where I served for four and a half years. I recently took on a new role last July, as the city of Syracuse’s I-81 project director.
CS: What do you have to say about the Syracuse music community and scene? What inspires you to go here?
JD: I absolutely love the Syracuse music scene. I got to travel all over the world with my projects, but I always knew one day I’d come back home, because I love this place. So many lovely humans, like Grupo Pagan, Ripcords, and the Brownskin, who I am honored to sit in with from time to time. Colin Aberdeen of Los Blancos was one of the first guys to really support my sound as a young artist, and he really taught me how to make a living as a regional guy starting out. So many groovy down to earth people, and so many folks that opened doors for me on my journey. You can go to the open mic at Maplewood on Tuesday, or Shifty’s on Wednesday, and feel the love in the Cuse scene.
CS: What’s in the near future for Joe Driscoll music?
JD: I’ve been working for a while now on reinvigorating the live looping set. During COVID, I spent a lot of my time in isolation learning how to play drums. I’d love to work
“I absolutely love the Syracuse music scene. I got to travel all over the world with my projects, but I always knew one day I’d come back home, because I love this place.”Served as 5th district councilor I-81 project director
golfBy Jon SheRMan
Motocaddy M7 REMOTE Electric Caddy Review: Complete Freedom On The Course
I try to keep track of trends in the golf industry to see what products interest me and review them for the site. Over the past 5+ years, I’ve noted the technological advancements in the electric cart space (also referred to as electric caddies). Years ago, I noticed the early adopters driving massive tanks around the golf course that cost thousands of dollars, had poor battery life, and were an eyesore. Now, elegantly designed carts have much better features, longer battery lives, and don’t cost exorbitant amounts of money.
Since walking the golf course is more popular in regions like the UK and Australia, manufacturers like Motocaddy, MGI, and Stewart have had many successes in those markets. But you rarely saw them in the United States. However, I noticed in 2020, and even more so in 2021, these products are starting to pop up everywhere I go.
I feel like we’re at an inflection point, and the demand is starting to build. There’s no question that the restrictions placed on golf courses last year during the beginning of the Covid outbreak helped fuel demand, but I do think that beyond that, walking habits are starting to change.
I’m all for it because I believe every golfer should walk the course if they can. I believe it’s a far better experience, and the exercise is massively beneficial. For many golfers, having the assistance of motorized carts can make that experience more seamless and less physically demanding (especially for courses with more challenging terrains).
Perhaps my best litmus test for any product category is that I really wanted to try out some of the models. For years I’ve used normal pushcarts, and I wondered how much better walking the course would be if I could have a totally hands-free experience, similar to taking a caddy.
So for the past two months, I’ve been testing what many believe is the industryleading electric caddy, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE. I have quickly fallen in love with this product and the hands-free experience it provided me on the golf course. I’m not sure I can ever go back! Interestingly, I got tons of questions from golfers who saw me with it on the course. It seemed like many of them had been thinking about electric caddies and doing some research of their own.
One thing people should be aware of is that the Motocaddy M7 is not exactly light. It weighs more than 30 pounds with the battery attached, so it’s something to be aware of when taking it in and out of your car. It also is on the larger side, so depending on your trunk, you may or may not have enough room for your golf bag and the M7. It does have a feature that allows the larger wheels to fold in to make it more compact. Opening and closing the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a breeze. You have to lock and unlock two handles, but it takes less than 30 seconds to get it ready for your golf bag.
I did appreciate the large base at the bottom to accommodate different styles of bags. I have a Jones Sports Utility bag and had no issues securing it to the base and the
two adjustable bag supports. I’ve found that with other pushcarts and electric caddies, especially with stand bags, they won’t fit properly, and it’s a pain to get them secured. Certainly not the case (at least for my bag).
Other than unfolding the M7, securing your bag, and plugging in the battery, there isn’t much else to do to get up and running. It’s a seamless process and was even faster for me than my Clicgear 3.5 pushcart.
In a tournament I played, I found out that the weight distribution in your bag can affect its performance. There was a threat of rain, so I stuffed all kinds of rain gear and extra gloves into one side of my bag. Because the weight was so lopsided, it made the M7 steer slightly in one direction, which they warn of in the instruction manual. So if you do plan on packing tons of water, snacks, and other gear, you should try to make sure it is evenly divided into both sides as much as you can.
The only feature I missed from my Clicgear 3.5 pushcart was extra storage. The Motocaddy M7 REMOTE does not come with any storage compartments or nets. It does have the ability to attach drink holders, and a few other accessories, but I imagine someone could get creative with clipping on a mesh bag, or something similar to have quick access. But for the most part, it wasn’t too big of a nuisance accessing the storage of my golf bag.
The remote is pretty straightforward to use and quite responsive to whatever steering directions you give it. The range is exceptional as well. On certain holes at my course, I opted to leave the cart in between holes and could easily move it around from as far as 100 yards away without issue.
At first, I was a little extra careful on how long I would watch the caddy travel while steering it to the next tee box as I approached the green. Honing in on an appropriate speed took a little trial and error (usually, I have it set to a 4 or 5). There are nine-speed settings, so however fast or slow you walk on the course, you’ll be able to find a number that works for you. Additionally, I tested it on various hills and slopes, and started to learn what it could and couldn’t handle. However, I found that even if I were going a little too fast downhill, the M7 would automatically adjust its speed to make sure it wasn’t going to tip over.
After a few rounds, I built the remote into my routine. For example, on approach shots, I had a habit of clipping the remote onto the cart (very easy to do) as I approached my bag. As I walked to the green, I would use the remote to park it in an appropriate spot, engage the lock button, and clip it into my back pocket.
Overall, after about four to five rounds, I felt completely comfortable using the remote pretty much all the time. Walking around the course hands-free was amazing
“For many golfers, having the assistance of motorized carts can make that experience more seamless and less physically demanding.”
and allowed me to engage in my round with a bit more freedom.
More importantly, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a bit of a tank. One worry I had on my course, which is extremely hilly, is that it would tip over. Whether traveling uphill, downhill, or sideways on a slope, I never felt that I was out of control with the M7. The anti-tip wheel on the back will prevent the M7 from falling backward, but to be honest, I never got in a situation where it was ever engaged much.
One of the great features of the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is that you can seamlessly transition from using the remote to manual mode. There is a small dial on the top of the cart, which you can press to start or stop the cart and rotate to change your speed. Once you engage the manual control, you can steer the cart as you would with a normal pushcart, but without the need to exert any force to keep it moving.
Some golfers might use manual mode more than me, but I found that I would only use it when operating on more extreme terrains or navigating going over a curb or some other kind of obstruction. Either way, you’ll quickly get used to switching between the remote and manual mode as the design is very intuitive.
The Motocaddy M7 does require charging a lithium battery (as well as the remote). The battery itself is straightforward to connect, neatly designed, and turns off rather quickly when not in use. When you take it out of your car, you’ll plug it in and then remove it once your round is over. Another nice feature is that the battery has an IP66 rating so that it can withstand heavier rain.
The thing that worried me the most is that I would be on the course and the battery would run out of charge. Moving the M7 around without the motor running is a bit tedious. The amount of battery life you have left is clearly displayed on the LCD screen. There also is an extra USB port that can charge the remote or other devices like a phone.
In my testing, I walked three 18-hole rounds that were about 4 hours each, and the battery still showed a 50% charge. I didn’t want to press my luck any further, so I
decided to recharge at that point. Over time, you can probably expect the battery to lose its charge as all lithium batteries do. Still, Motocaddy does recommend charging at the end of every round to protect its longevity. You can charge rather easily with the battery connected to the cart (perhaps in your garage) or remove it.
Should You Buy An Electric Caddy?
As you can tell, I am a complete convert at this point. I genuinely feel having an “electric caddy” makes walking the golf course more pleasant. Walking without carrying a bag or pushing a cart is amazing. Additionally, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE seems to be the best all-around product in the category for the price and features.
So I can wholeheartedly recommend this product to you, but of course, the question is, “is it worth spending $1499?”
That’s a bit harder for me to answer. You can easily purchase a regular pushcart for as little as $150 – $200 and get all of the benefits of walking the golf course without the strain of carrying your bag. And for many, this is probably the best option. A product like the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a luxury, not a necessity.
For those who might struggle a little physically, even with a pushcart, I would tell you that an electric caddy did save me a ton of energy. My golf course is physically taxing with tons of hills, and even though I’m in good physical condition, I’d rather save that energy for my swing. Not having to push my regular cart up a hill was nice. Especially in the summer months when I’m dealing with excessive heat and humidity.
So I would say if you have the budget, the Motocaddy M7 REMOTE is a great long-term investment. It will enhance your experience on the golf course, and more importantly, I think it will get you walking more. People don’t realize just how beneficial walking the course is for your health, and for someone a little obsessed with exercise and general well-being, I genuinely think this product category can do some real good for people’s lives. Walking the golf course is the way to go!
Avatar: The Way of Water
Upon its initial release, AVATAR instantly changed the cinematic landscape forever. James Cameron’s sci-fi adventure not only became the highest grossing film of all time, but it was a revelation in terms of visuals and special effects. The beautiful world of Pandora that was presented to audiences was virtually flawless, and even those who didn’t buy into the story couldn’t help but marvel at its undeniable beauty and wonder.
AVATAR was a planned series of five films from the jump, but Cameron needed to wait until the technology was developed in order to bring the next chapter of his vision to life.
Everyone knew it would take a while, but more than a decade? That seemed like a bit of a stretch. Yet here we are, thirteen years later, and AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER has finally debuted on the big screen. It wasn’t met with the same earth-shattering reception as its predecessor, but within a week-and-a-half of its initial release, it has already become one of the highest grossing films for the year.
Set more than ten years after the events of AVATAR, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is now the leader of the Omaticaya clan and a father. He and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have two sons, Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) and Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), a daughter Tuk (Chloe Coleman), and an adopted daughter named Kiri (Sigourney Weaver). Kiri was born from the inert avatar of Grace Augustine (Weaver) who has been in a lifeless state since the events of the first film. Also tagging along is a human boy named Spider (Jack Champion) who is the son of the evil Colonel Miles Quaritch (the scene-stealing Stephen Lang).
Life is great for all until the “sky people” return with a vengeance. The Earth is dying, and humans, lead by General Frances Ardmore (Edie Falco) have decided that Pandora will be their new home. Before they can make this a reality, however, they must “tame” the indigenous population. Their methods are swift and violent, much like they were the first time around. After a year of inhabitation and taking heavy losses due to a guerilla insurgence by the Na’vi (lead by Sully, of course) they develop a new tactic to help in their plight. Avatars known as recombatants have the minds and memories of deceased RDA soldiers who originally waged war on the Na’vi tribe and are utilized to quash the rebellion. The leader of this crew, obviously, is Quaritch. Not only does he have knowledge and an affinity for murder, but he also has a personal vendetta against the Na’vi and Jake Sully in particular.
Jake, after seeing first-hand the lengths the “sky people” will go to hunt him and his family down, decides to hit the road and go into hiding. They end up with the Metkayina
involves spending a great deal of time underwater, which in turn, is exactly what the performers of this film had to do. Much like Cameron did with the first AVATAR, in which he helped create new technology in order to bring his vision to life, this time around, he and his crew invented new
ways to film motion capture events underwater. This meant that not only would the cast be performing under water, but they would be taking a page out of the David Blaine playbook and holding their breath for ridiculously long periods of time. To top it off, they had to do so in character and execute what was written in the script. Regardless of what you think of the story or the movie as a whole, it’s impossible not to be impressed and awe-struck at the sheer innovation and dedication that this task required.
As I watched in jaw-dropping wonderment, I couldn’t help but think back to DOCTOR STANGE AND THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. The CGI felt is if it were punching me in the face, and the opening sequence felt more like a video game than any other scene I could remember seeing in a Marvel movie. I couldn’t help but think that from a technological perspective, it was a step backwards rather than forwards. Then, I see something like THE WAY OF WATER, and it reminds me what movie magic can truly be. It has a running time that approaches three hours and fifteen minutes which admittedly, will be far too long for some. I understand that. In addition, there is so much happening within this time frame that there are still questions left unanswered and so many moving parts that one could argue are not entirely cohesive. I get that. The thing is, much like the original AVATAR, we came for the spectacle. This is a film that took thirteen years to be delivered, and now that it is here, I’m okay sitting in a theater chair for a little longer than I usually would. It is, by any standard, a completely immersive, beautiful production that was quite obviously a labor of love for all involved. The effects were flawless and unlike recent MCU efforts that never exactly let you forget that you’re watching green-screen graphics, THE WAY OF WATER felt as close to realistic as you could possibly get. The underwater world is so meticulously crafted that it never occurs to you that it isn’t real. Like Villenueve’s DUNE, it begs to be seen on the biggest screen possible, and to my surprise, may very well have been worth the wait.
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER- A (Now showing in theaters)
PREP TIME 25 min.
TOTAL TIME 2 hrs. 50 min. SERVINGS 36
Simple Whole Wheat Bread INGREDIENTS
3 cups warm water (110° F) 2 (.25 oz) packages active dry yeast 2/3 cup honey, divided 5 cups bread flour
5 tbsp. butter, melted 1 tbsp. salt 4 cups whole wheat flour, or more as needed
Step 1 • Mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey in a large bowl to dissolve. Add 5 cups bread flour, and stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
Step 2 • Mix in 3 tbsp. butter, remaining 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and gradually knead in remaining 2 cups whole wheat flour. Knead until dough starts to pull away from the work surface, adding more whole wheat flour if necessary; dough should be a bit tacky to the touch, but not too sticky.
Step 3 • Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Step 4 • Grease three 9x5-inch loaf pans. Punch down the dough, and divide it into 3 loaves. Place in the prepared loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch, another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Step 5 • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
Step 6 • Bake the risen loaves in the preheated oven until golden brown for 25 to 30 minutes, do not overbake.
Step 7 • Lightly brush the tops of the loaves with remaining 2 tbsp. butter when done to prevent crust from getting hard.
“This meant that not only would the cast be performing under water, but they would be taking a page out of the David Blaine playbook and holding their breath for ridiculously long periods of time.”