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Features

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    LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has always dressed with style and flair – but Tuesday marked her first visit to the showy catwalks of London Fashion Week.

    The monarch squeezed in the front row, chatting with American Vogue editor Anna Wintour — who wore her trademark sunglasses — and presented an award recognizing British design excellence.

    It was an unusual outing for the 91-year-old monarch, who seemed totally at ease at the type of event usually frequented by stars like Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. She was elegant in a Angela Kelly duck egg blue tweed dress and jacket detailed with tiny aquamarine Swarovski crystals set off by formal black gloves.

    Elizabeth carried a matching handbag – of course – and wore her mostly white hair swept back. The queen didn’t bother with the statement stiletto heels favored by many of the younger fashionistas, opting for sensible dark low-heeled court shoes for the awards presentation.

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    NEW YORK — A lavish, headline-grabbing premiere. Lightning word-of-mouth stoked by glowing reviews. Packed movie theaters with sold-out shows, long lines and fans decked out as characters from the film.

    The phenomenon of “Black Panther” had the look and feel of a classic, bona fide blockbuster in route to its record-setting $201.8 million debut over the weekend, or an estimated $235 million Friday through Monday. Much has been made about the film industry’s struggles to tap into pop culture the way it once more regularly did – that TV and streaming options and a dearth of fresh ideas have diminished the power of the big screen.

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    New drugs are under constant development but most fail in clinical trials. Why do so many drugs pass animal testing, but fail in Phase 1 clinical trials in humans? Are animal models of human diseases ultimately really a good model for humans?

    Enter ATHENA. ATHENA, which stands for Advanced Tissue-engineered Human External Network Analyzer, is designed to simulate organ systems – such as liver, heart, lung, and kidney – and can be used as a first-line test for potential toxicity analysis since the system can mimic the response of actual human organs. Such research could lead to faster approval and fewer potential side effects for new medications coming onto the market.

    Join Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Jennifer Harris, with the lab’s Biosecurity and Public Health group, as she takes you through the research being carried out at the laboratory in this important field. Science On Tap is today 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at UnQuarked, 145 Central Park Square.

    Bring your Bradbury Science Museum Association membership card (or join on the spot – at very reasonable rates) and get $1 off your food and/or drink at Science On Tap.

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    The Los Alamos County Library System will present the celebrated acoustic duo Hungrytown at 6:30 p.m. March 6 at the Fuller Lodge Art Center, 2132 Central Ave. 

     

    Last July, they returned from a successful six-and-a-half-month tour of the US, UK and New Zealand, covering over 16,000 miles in the U.S. 

    Hungrytown is currently on a four-month tour of the American south and southwest.

    Vermonters Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, who make up Hungrytown, have been touring professionally for nearly 15 years. 

    Hungrytown’s songs and music have appeared in numerous television programs, including IFC’s “Portlandia,” Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and Neftlix’s new comedy, Lady Dynamite,” as well as various documentaries and major sporting events ranging from NASCAR to Hockey Night in Canada.

    Their third and latest album, “Further West,” made the top 10 on the American Folk DJ charts for two months, and at least 14 “Best of the year” lists. 

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    The Los Alamos Community Winds will host “Joyride! A Journey in Music” Saturday at Crossroads Bible Church.

    LACW, an amateur wind ensemble formed by members of the greater Los Alamos community, will perform several popular selections such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade, op. 35 - IV. The Thief of Baghdad,” Franz von Suppé’s “Light Cavalry Overture,” and Percy Aldridge Grainger’s “Irish Tune from County Derry” and Shepherd’s “Hey.” 

    The Winds will also showcase several obscure pieces such as “On Parade,” by John Philip Sousa, Michael Markowski’s “Joyride,” Robert W. Smith’s “Songs of Sailor and Sea,” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Slava!” 

    In agreement with the title of the concert, the program provides a journey in music through the inclusion of operettas, symphonic suites, folk tunes and marches. 

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    TODAY

    Today- March 14 —
    Galactic Adventurers
    from 1-3 p.m. at the Nature Center. Explore stars, planets, robots, satellites, and solar systems with PEEC! This four-session class is for upper elementary age (third- sixth-grade) and meets every Wednesday. Cost is $75 for non-members, $60 for PEEC members. 

     

    Science on Tap at 5:30 p.m. at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square. Join the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Jennifer Harris, with the lab’s Biosecurity and Public Health group, as she takes you through the research being carried out at the laboratory in this very important field. 

    THURSDAY

    Coffee and Connections at 10 a.m. at Ruby K’s Bagel Café. Come join the group for an hour of caffeine and networking. Coffee Connection is a fun, monthly morning networking event for chamber members only. It’s not just coffee; it’s about fostering relationships and building up a strong professional network.

    FRIDAY

  • The United Church of Los Alamos is seeking donations for their Mexico Mission community auction in March. Items can be brought to 2525 Canyon Road and questions answered at 662-2971. Large items may be able to request a pick up.
    Adults from the United Church and the Unitarian Church will build homes for the poor during spring break.

  • Poet David Mutschlecner will read from his latest book of poetry “Icon” as the latest offering in Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak series.

    The reading starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Upstairs Rotunda of Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave.
    Mutschlecner’s published work includes the poetry books “Esse,” “Sign” and “Enigma and Light” from Ahsahta Press, and “Veils” from Stride Press.

    With “Icon” Mutschlecner continues his exploration of theopoetics, which is “where poetry shines a light into theology, cleansing it of dogmatism while nurturing inclusivity.”

    He views poetry as a place where “intensifications of reality occur.” Poems from “Icon” will also appear in “New American Writing.”

    Ahsahta Press prides itself on championing and promoting “surprising, relevant and accessible experimental poetry that more commercially minded small presses avoid.”

    Although Ahsahta is the press affiliated with the University of Idaho, there are many connections to Los Alamos and northern New Mexico.

  • With spring right around the corner, many of us are bracing ourselves for pesky allergies. Just like people, pets can suffer from allergies, too. While humans tear, cough, and sneeze their way through allergy season, pets usually deal with allergies differently.

    Dr. Adam Patterson, a clinical associate professor and chief of dermatology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said every animal has a different reaction to allergies, just as people respond to allergies differently. However, most animals display itch as a hallmark sign of allergic skin disease.

    “An itch may be manifested as licking, chewing, biting, rubbing, scratching, head shaking, and/or scooting,” Patterson said. “Common itchy body areas include the face, ears, paws, armpits, groin, rump, and anal region. Horses may present with an itchy skin disease and/or hives.”

    Allergens that most commonly irritate pets include fleas, pollen, molds, mites, insects, danders, and food.

  • What is it like to photograph wildland fires and firefighters? Kristen Honig will discuss her observations, show her photographs, and give a behind the scenes look at what it is like to be a wildfire photographer at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Nature Center.

    Honig’s wildfire photos have been recognized by National Geographic and featured in numerous magazines and publications, including Popular Science, Outside Magazine, High Country News, Wildland Firefighter Magazine, Fire Management Today, and in the novel “On the Burning Edge.”

    This special presentation at the Los Alamos Nature Center is free and made possible thanks to the Los Alamos Photo Club and the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.

    Los Alamos and the surrounding areas have been exposed to more than a half-dozen significant wildfires since 1977, including the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire that consumed more than 47,000 acres and damaged or destroyed more than 350 structures. The Cerro Grande Fire had a lasting impact on the community and inspired local photographer Honig to document not only the beauty and destructiveness of wildfires but also the sacrifices and camaraderie of the firefighters who battle them.

  • This week’s stunning Pet of the Week is Azrah, a 7-year-old love bug who is aging like fine wine.

    Azrah was surrendered to the Valencia County Animal Shelter after her owner was having some issues with their landlord.

    She adores kittens and loves to snuggle with them. She is also good with kids and is a housebroken lap cat that enjoys a good snooze in the sun.

    Azrah loves to snack on canned food and likes to be brushed. She has been micro chipped and, because she is considered a senior cat (7 or older), her adoption fee is only $35.

    For more information about this gorgeous girl please contact the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter at 662-8179 or Police-PSA@lacnm.us.

  • The Los Alamos Choral Society will host a brief "meet and greet" party at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the social area of the United Church of Los Alamos to welcome the choir's new director, Steve Paxton.

    Paxton holds a bachelor's degree in music, with an emphasis in composition from the University of North Texas, a master's degree in music, composition and voice, from North Texas, and a doctorate in fine arts from Texas Tech University.

    He was on the faculty of the School of Music at Texas Tech from 1981 to 2003, and he was department chairman of the Contemporary Music Program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design for 12 years.

    Spring 2018 registration for LACS will be held simultaneously with the party on Feb. 20. Those interested in singing with the choir may join by paying a $25 music fee and picking up a set of music. No audition is required. Membership is open to all singers, but the choir is especially interested in adding more tenors and basses.

    Rehearsals for the spring concert will, in general, be held on Tuesday evenings, 7-9 p.m., at the United Church.

    The spring concert will be presented at least twice. Times and locations are not yet scheduled. At least one of the performances will be on Memorial Day, May 28, in Los Alamos. Watch the local media for concert announcements in early May.

  • Art exhibits
    National Museum of Nuclear Science & History has opened a permanent exhibit by American sculptor Jim Sanborn called “Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn,” which recreates the Manhattan Project experiments that determined when plutonium goes “critical in an atomic bomb.” Some of the artifacts in the exhibit include the physics packs of the Trinity device, and an oscilloscope, and engineering devices from the Manhattan Project. The museum has also recently completed the only replica of the Trinity test tower for visitors to experience what the atomic bomb test would have been like to experience in July 1945. The museum is open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 601 Eubank Blvd. SE, in Albuquerque. Call 505-245-2137 for information, or visit nuclearmuseum.org.

    Inner Workings Exhibit open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge Art Center, 2132 Central Ave., Los Alamos. Free. What makes a person tick? Look into the minds of over 20 local and regional artists. Call Amy Bjarke 662-1535 for information.

  • LAS VEGAS (AP) — You’ve seen apps and toys that promise to teach your child to code. Now enter the robots.
    At the CES electronics show in January, coding robots came out in force. One convention hall area was packed with everything from chip-embedded, alphabet-like coding blocks to turtle-like tanks that draw on command.

    Of course, no one can really say how well these coding bots teach kids, or even whether learning to code is the essential life skill that so many in the tech industry claim. After all, by the time today’s elementary-school kids are entering the workforce, computers may well be programming themselves.

    But experts like Jeff Gray, a computer science professor at the University of Alabama and an adviser to the nonprofit coding education group Code.org, say kids can derive other benefits from coding robots and similar toys. They can, for instance, learn “persistence and grit” when the toys inevitably do something unintended, he says.

    CUBETTO

    London-based Primo Toys, the makers of this mobile wooden block, believes kids can learn coding concepts at age 3 before they can even read. And they don’t even need a screen.

  • By Debbie Stone

    Special to the Monitor

    Visitors entering Oxford, Mississippi’s historic Square will come nose-to-nose with its famed Courthouse. The stately white building stands in the heart of town, creating a scene that looks like it came right out of one of John Grisham’s legal thrillers.

    The well-known author is actually one of many writers who lived in Oxford, a town with an impressive literary heritage and more published writers per capita than most big-time American cities.

    As a state, Mississippi boasts such distinguished wordsmiths as Richard Ford, Willie Morris, Eudora Welty, Donna Tartt, Jesmyn Ward, Larry Brown and Curtis Wilkie. Perhaps the most acclaimed, however, is William Faulkner. Regarded as one of the greatest writers in the twentieth century, Faulkner made Oxford his home after briefly attending the University of Mississippi, and lived in his antebellum-style house, Rowan Oak, from 1930 until his death in 1962.

  • This is a Valentine’s Day love story about a man, his wife and his girlfriend.

    The man is Doug Pippin, 75, who lives in White Rock with Phyllis, 74, his wife of 56 years. Phyllis is, in fact, the one who introduced Doug to his girlfriend when he turned 70, six years ago.

    The “girlfriend” is actually a bright yellow 1931 Ford Model A, five-window coupe he received as a surprise gift from his wife.

    “We call it ‘his girlfriend’ because that ‘girlfriend’ is costing him money (in repairs),” Phyllis laughed.

    Doug’s love affair with that kind of vehicle started when he was in high school in Española. Another young man had a 1932 Ford Model A, five-window coupe and Doug offered to buy it. They made a “handshake agreement,” and soon after Doug towed the car to his house and was making payments to the young man at a rate of $8 a month, money he collected while working at a full-service gas station for 50 cents an hour.

    “I was going to hot rod that car,” Doug grinned.

    In the meantime, Doug found his real love the day in 1960 when Phyllis rode into the gas station where he worked.

    “That’s how I met her,” Doug said, “working at the gas station.”

  • Since the Secret City Kitchen opened a café in the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Student Center in November 2016, students, university employees and community members have enjoyed the convenience of having a restaurant on campus.

    Owner Jeremy Varela’s menu of breakfast and lunch items has a regular following of customers, and draws new customers every day.

    Initially, the Secret City Kitchen operated the café as a satellite service, with their main catering kitchen in a different location. Recently, Varela centralized his operations at UNM-LA.

    “I chose to locate the Secret City Kitchen on the UNM-LA campus to make an investment in the community,” explained Varela. “It was a way to fill a need for food service at UNM-LA, and also to complement their facilities rental program by offering on-site catering.”

    “This is the best place in Los Alamos to host meetings,” Varela continued.

  • TODAY
    The Jemez House Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood in White Rock will have a Bag Day sale from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walk at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center.A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    The Jemez House Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood in White Rock will have a Bag Day sale from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Astronomy Show: Water Worlds at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Join Dr. Rick Wallace on a journey to discover and explore watery worlds. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    SATURDAY
    Feature Film: Exoplanets
at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. How do we know there are planets outside our solar system: Exoplanets? Find out and venture past the edges of our solar system. 2:00 PM Admission: $6/adult, $4/child. More information at peecnature.org.

    The Jemez House Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood in White Rock will have a Bag Day sale from 9 a.m.-noon.

  • Leadership New Mexico is pleased to announce that Marcus Lucero, Business Development Executive, Feynman Center for Innovation, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Andrea Martinez, Prime Contract Manager, Los Alamos National Laboratory from the Los Alamos area are among 30 statewide young professionals who recently graduated from the 11th Leadership New Mexico Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” Program.

    Open to 25-40 year-old leaders, this program is designed to offer young professionals the opportunity to develop personal leadership skills, learn how New Mexico systems and structures work, and explore critical issues facing the state.

    Participants represent the various geographic regions and communities, from the public, private, government, and non-profit sectors. Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” encourages participants to cultivate new ideas and introduces participants to recognized leaders who provide insight into a wide range of issues and topics.   

    In addition to the Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” Program, other Leadership New Mexico programs include the Core Program and the Local Government Leadership Program.

  • While I don’t want to be divisive, congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on their Super Bowl win! I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was excited to see them win the big game.

    The win will be a huge sense of pride for the “City of Brotherly Love.” I also think that the nation could use a good underdog story.

    Personally, I have been feeling like I need a positive to focus on and recently one came to mind.

    As the Wilson Pickett song goes, “Late in the midnight hour,” when the brain winds down and there is a different kind of time to think, it hit me.

    I took the idea to two sources I felt needed to approve the project and feel that it has passed the test.

    You see, this April, a very dear person, Joy Handsberry would have turned 50 years old. Joy passed from cancer in November. We may have lost her this school year, but we will never lose the joy that Joy brought us. As a way to do that, I could use your help.

    To demonstrate to her son Max the love for that still remains, I am asking people that ‘Do Facebook,’” to post a photo, a story or a reflection on her Facebook page for 50 days, every day starting Feb. 15.

    I’m writing this early because I know around the 14th, folks may be too busy to read the paper or get online.