Is it your destiny to be a modern day alchemist?

vodka-weed
Pictured: Cannabis-infused vodka. Now, wouldn’t that be something? (via sousweed)

Are you an alchemist at heart, growing bored of drinking the same old peach-flavored vodka and looking to make your own? Or are you that RPG’er who buys out every magical shop in town before NPCs can “grow” their crops back? Now’s your chance to let your freak flag fly… in real life.

Traditional Roots Healthcare brings together the best of both worlds while helping you channel your inner holistician. The company hosts events where you can join a small group of like-minded herbalists in creating vitamin-infused booze, salves, tinctures, and other homemade remedies.

You can schedule an appointment to meet with a dietary counselor, as part of the nonprofit’s business plan, or you can RSVP to the party and take home potions you make yourself.

Follow Traditional Roots Healthcare on Facebook to receive notifications for upcoming events, and you might just find your next-door-neighbors are kindred spirits. Maybe they’re busy brewing up the next batch of locally-made moonshine, and maybe there’s a dash of a little something extra in it that helps you sleep, cures anxiety, or detoxifies your adrenal glands.

Upcoming Events

New Moon Infusion
April 7, 7 p.m.
Suggested Donation: $20

  • Infuse wine and liquor with herbs
  • Provide recipes for other useful infusions
  • Set an intention for spring and how this ties to the element Wood in Chinese Medicine or Aries in astrology

Tonics, Tinctures, and Brews
April 10, 1-3 p.m.
Suggested Donation: $20

  • Salves
  • Tinctures
  • Bulk Herbal Formulas
  • Essential Oil Blends

 

Featured image via The Key of Kels

Helen Mary Horty, the best surrealist of this century

In offhanded homage to Vincent van Gogh (today is his birthday, they say), I present to you another surrealist artist. Her name is Mary Helen Horty. Though she received a degree in art from the University of Minnesota, she is renowned for her paper collages.

Rifling through the miscellaneous pieces leaning against the back wall of the Bearded Mermaid shop near downtown St. Paul, my fingers came to a full stop upon sight of one of Horty’s collages. It is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and I’ve seen some weird stuff in that shop. I actually have a total of three works of art from the Bearded Mermaid, and I catch myself looking at her’s more often than I’d like to admit.

Looking at this piece, depending on your hunger level, you see three identical stacks of spaghetti, leading the eye to the backside of a woman digging vigorously into the depths of her icebox, then maybe you see the egg yolk floating in space in the panel above her. To the left, there are similar iterations of a woman in the stages of getting dressed for a night out, she’s holding her hair up and she’s smiling at the viewer with a look of commercial ambivalence, much like saying, “Mhmm? You like it don’t you? Ech, well, I don’t care how you think I look, I’m frickin’ ravishing, and I don’t particularly like you anyway.” And there’s a jade jaguar walking down a staircase, a layer above the top half of a man’s silhouette, staring out into a pearlescent sunscape.

I couldn’t find this one online, so here are some of her other amazing works:

Though everyone has their own opinions as to what makes a great piece of art, I say the good stuff sticks with you. You may see a cantalope in real life and think about how its likeness is represented alongside a lightbulb in Horty’s “Fruitful” collage. The images are burned into your mind’s eye, and while you’re making a pot of spaghetti or just falling asleep, you think about distinctions in the art you’ve seen. You’re constantly glancing over at it, hanging there on your wall, just to make sure it still exists, that you didn’t simply dream about someone somewhere someday stealing the breath from your chest, making you think, “Gee. I never would have thought to put that there. How did she do that? Where did she get these ideas?”

Background

Mary Helen Horty was born in 1923 and began working in ceramics, then weaving, then painting, until she gravitated toward paper collages, leaving this life in 2005 with a house filled with artwork and a husband, Thomas, who she had been married to for 60 years.

From the St. Kate website:

“Ultimately, since all images are found, they depend on chance or some mysterious affinity between images. A montage cannot be carefully planned in advance because, as new images surface to tempt me, a work is constantly changing through trial and error. This state of flux continues until I somehow declare a work ‘finished.’ “I am often surprised! If asked why I use certain combinations of images, I can only reply, ‘Why not?’ ” – Mary Helen Horty

And here’s her Wild Rice Casserole recipe that my fiancé found online:

Mary Helen Horty’s Wild Rice Casserole

Savory wild rice dish with sausage mushrooms using real wild rice.
Ingredients
1 lb. fresh crimini mushrooms
1 ½ lb. Italian pork sausage (½ hot ½ sweet)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 C. wild rice, uncooked2
¼ C. flour
½ C. heavy cream
2 ½ C. chicken broth
1 t. salt
½ t. ground thyme
Instructions
Clean and slice mushrooms. Chop onions Remove sausage casings, sauté meat, keeping it in chunks3. Sauté in batches, remove and drain on paper towels. Sauté onions and mushrooms in same pan. Return sausage meat to pan and set aside. Cook rice (thoroughly washed) in boiling, lightly salted water for 12 minutes. Drain and add to sausage mixture. Mix flour with cream in saucepan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Add chicken broth and cook until thickened. Add salt and thyme. Combine with rice, sausage mixture. Pour into large casserole (9X13). Bake, covered, 40—50 minutes in pre-heated 375 F. oven. 1 Mary Helen Horty was a talented montage artist, a knowledgeable horticulturist, a great cook, a superb hostess, and my dear friend for many years. 2 Using lake-harvested wild rice makes a difference, if you can find it. The oxymoronically named “cultivated wild rice” now grown in paddies and harvested like a farm crop, does not have the same chew and texture of the real deal. Real wild rice is a grass—the plants growing wildly in the shallow borders of Minnesota lakes and harvested by local native tribes in canoes, beating the rice with sticks to capture only the grains that are sufficiently mature and ready to dislodge and fall into canoe side baskets. Read any online descriptions or store packages very carefully. The commercially farmed version is not bad, mind you, just not as good. 3 I do not recommend buying uncased sausage meat which may seem like a time saver, and is sometimes cheaper. Unfortunately, it breaks up too much while cooking, like ground beef.

 

What an amazing woman, she was, that Mary Helen Horty. Hope you enjoyed this little stint of an exploration into the life and artwork of the Minnesota artist who may not still physically reside in St. Paul, but her spirit lives on in these pieces that are strewn about in the homes of art lovers everywhere.

Oh, and happy Vincent van Gogh day. You won’t be forgotten either, you fascinating individual. We’re still thinking about you guys, so chin up, there. We’ll see you soon.

Moon Shot: a documentary about daring to do the impossible

Now that government-funded space travel is no longer in the public vocabulary, private citizens are taking matters into their own hands while competing for the XPRIZE lunar landing competition. The project began in 2007, and JJ Abrams just released a nine-part web series called Moon Shot that goes behind the scenes and shows the world who is taking part in the competition.

You can watch every episode, here, on the XPRIZE site.

Google presents XPRIZE or Moon 2.0

XPRIZE’s giving 16 private teams the chance to win a shot at $30 million in funding for their space expedition to the moon. There will only be one first-place winner, but each team had the chance to be featured in a part of the Moon Shot series.

To win the prize, the teams must design a lunar lander that can travel a minimum of 500 meters on the surface of the moon–and they must have high-definition video and images to prove it.

The complete roster of teams was announced in February 2011, but was open to anyone with a little bit of money and a lot of ambition. The XPRIZE website states they have “…teams ranging from industry experts to well-funded high school students who don’t know what they can’t do.”

Basically, XPRIZE wants to see what people will come up with, whether they’re rocket scientists or not.

It’s not about the money

The competition isn’t just about the money, though. The purpose of the competition is to spur people into action, to believe they can achieve the impossible, and shake the concept of space travel down to the foundations as a result.

There may even be a chance that the teams will spend more than they win, as we saw with the 1927 competition for the Orteig Prize. Charles Lindbergh was the first man to make a transatlantic flight. He dared to go 55 hours without sleep, without food, just to accomplish something no one had ever dared before. This feat Wiley Post to fly around the world in seven days, back in 1933, among other amazing journeys that inspired people across the globe to pursue their dreams.

lindberg
Front page of the New York Herald on May 22, 1927 declaring Charles Lindberg’s first transatlantic flight via Airsoc

Moon Shot, the documentary

Moon Shot is not a documentary leading up to an ultimate conclusion, such as we’ve seen with regularly-televised competitions like American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. The purpose of JJ Abrams’ documentary is to enliven the human spirit and highlight the individual personalities embarking on a quest to reach the moon.

As of now, there is no official announcement date for declaring the winner; frankly, only two teams have signed launch contracts and they plan on making the journey sometime next year.

For now, we’ll have to watch Moon Shot to get familiar with the crew, then cross our fingers and hope our favorite team actually makes it to the moon.

Rockfest 2016: Slipknot, Alice in Chains, & Hollywood Vampires

Slipknot, Alice in Chains, and Hollywood Vampires headline Rockfest XVI in Cadott, Wis., July 14-16. Guess they couldn’t pick just one to headline?

Past year’s headliners:

  • 2015 – Nickelback, Avenged Sevenfold, Judas Priest, & Shinedown
  • 2014 – Aerosmith, Five Finger Death Punch, & Sammy Hagar
  • 2013 – Mötley Crüe, KISS, & Korn
  • 2012 – Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Godsmack, & Shinedown
  • 2011 – Stone Temple Pilots, Avenged Sevenfold, Kid Rock, & Rob Zombie

With lineups like this, there’s bound to be some diversity in sound at the show. That means, there’s something for everyone, no?

rock-fest
via Rock-Fest.com

Here is the full line-up, as of March 10, for Rockfest XVI:

    • Slipknot
    • Hollywood Vampires
    • Alice in Chains
    • Five Finger Death Punch
    • Marilyn Manson
    • Breaking Benjamin
    • Rise Against
    • Bullet For My Valentine
    • Skillet
      Screenshot 2016-03-10 at 11.00.21 PM
      Weather prediction via The Weather Channel, LLC
    • Queensryche
    • Hollywood Undead
    • All That Remains
    • Scott Stapp
    • In This Moment
    • Sick Puppies
    • Saint Asonia
    • Led Zeppelin 2
    • 10 Years
    • Kix
    • Atreyu
    • Adelitas Way
    • Escape The Fate
    • Nothing More
    • Like A Storm
    • New Years Day
    • Red Sun Rising
    • Master Pussycat
    • Wilson
    • Art Of Dying

It’s gonna be a hot one for this year’s three-night camp out in Wisconsin.