The center had a great presentation called Super Stealthy Hawks. It started in the Discovery Center with two bird handlers, each with a hawk perched on one of their hands, talking about the life and lifestyle of Georgia's favorite bird of prey. I'm amazed at how much I have in common with them. For example, we learned about the hawk's eating habits. Like humans, hawks digest food in their strong gizzards and then cough up the indigestible remains in a pellet. Also like humans, if hawks have babies, they will ensure that the older baby is well fed before giving food to the younger ones. Finally, hawks frequently defecate on the floor while they're standing in front of you -- especially if you're talking about them, just like humans!
After the Q&A with the hawk handlers ("Are hawks scrappy?" asked one adult. "No," replied the handler, "but if you've got small pets, bring them inside if there's a hawk nearby"), we joined another guide and went outside to look at the hawks and other birds in the aviary. The center has a large netted enclosure with two bald eagles. Being the national bird has seemingly gone to their heads. They were rather standoffish. The owls were much more fun. They didn't hoot, but they did move their heads a lot when we walked by. We also got to watch a hawk and vulture get fed. The hawk just held the dead rat in it talons, but the vulture put on a show for us, picking at its dinner's gooey insides. Vultures are intelligently designed to have featherless heads so that they can stick them inside carcasses without getting too dirty. That's what Kathy Cox thinks, anyway.
Old magazines for sale? The 5th annual Art Papers Auction in City Hall East was Saturday night. It was also the final event of ATLart, the city's half-monthlong multigallery art fiesta.
With The Contemporary's ArtParty now bye-bye, it's probably the city's biggest art event. According to last week's edition of this here newspaper you're reading, more than 400 artists had work at the event. The work was purchasable via "silent" auction. (Silent, my ass. The place was jam-packed and loud.) The auction took place in multiple rooms with each room's auction closing at different times. I was unable to identify some of my favorite works because people who won the auctions often snatched the silent auction forms off the walls so that they could presumably pay for the work they just won. Among the snatched-form art was a Kojo Griffin that I was able to identify because his style (animal heads on human bodies) is so recognizable.
Some of the most eye-catching work (to this pervert, anyway) was the anatomical art. Susan Krause had a latex bare bosom for sale (minimum bid, $125). Next to it were two paintings of stout penises by John Marino. His artist statement referred to his work as "not easy to categorize, but powerful." Who wouldn't want their penis described that way?
Yoda Rock: After the Art Papers Auction, I either skedaddled or hoofed, I can't remember which, to Dark Horse Tavern's musical underbelly, 10 High. As I was paying my money, members of the band Y.O.U. ran by wearing gold short-shorts and blue shirts (I may be slightly off on that, they ran by quickly). According to club booker and great human being Nicole Jurovics, it was part of a pre-show video presentation. I'm sorry I missed it.
I was actually there to see The Force. They're an '80s-ish hard rock band. They're not big-haired or self-consciously retro, but they play non-angsty melodic hard rock, a genre whose last pre-irony heyday was the 1980s. Singer Jason Abraham has nice teeth. I know this because he also has a large mouth. Really, if you're gonna be a lead singer, his is the mouth to have.
Bonus points to The Force for covering Led Zep's "The Crunge." Funk is hard to play well. So's Zeppelin. They pulled it off, though.
Methodists of Mayhem: Next time you see Emory University, wish it a happy birthday. Don't be upset if it doesn't reply: It's shy, inanimate and, at 89, probably a little hard of hearing. But believe me, it'll appreciate the thought.
Emory's students and faculty marked Shawty's birfday with a weeklong celebration last week. They didn't call it a birthday week or even an anniversary week, though. In keeping with the academic tradition of using a difficult word when a simple word would do, they called it Charter Week.
Actually, they call it Charter Week because Jan. 25, 1915, is when DeKalb County gave Emory its charter. I guess I should capitalize that -- Charter.
Last Thursday afternoon, I watched as some students celebrated Charter Week by drawing on the sidewalks of the university's Quad (aka the grassy rectangular area bordered by some of the university's prettier buildings). It was called the Chalk Box Social. Participants each got a slab of sidewalk and a palette of colored chalk with which to create a short-lived masterpiece. Landscapes were a pretty popular subject. One slab had spaceships chalked on it. A pre-school boy was hopping up and down on it for quite a while. A group of male students couldn't resist the opportunity to contribute a chalk outline of a human body to the festivities. They looked satisfied every time I walked by them. One woman made a great reproduction of Edvard Munch's "The Scream." The only thing that was off about it was the pastel colors, but that was the chalk's fault, not hers.
My favorite piece was a slab depicting a fierce, yet smartly dressed monkey. It was reminiscent of the newspaper sketches of the "monkey man" that terrorized parts of India in 2001.
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