Arts and Culture

For variegated reasons – urban sprawl, large-scale farming, invasive plants and human thoughtlessness – wildflowers in America are vanishing.

Which is a shame.

In Texas, for instance, bloomspotting in the vast expanse of the Lone Starscape can be like birdwatching. Amid the dun and dust of desert and field, flora can surprise, delight, astonish.

Laura Rice, KUT News

Technology is improving – and fast. The next frontier for some software designers is the human brain.

William Hurley, or “whurley," is the co-founder of Austin-based mobile studio company Chaotic Moon.

1. Brain-Altering Software Already Exists:

"Currently there are things that are considered brain-altering software. Sites like Lumosity and things like that where you do brain training and different activities."

Minza Khan for KUT News

While some high school students idle over summer break, the 55 teens at the Longhorn Music Camp are learning the art of mariachi music. 

Ezekiel Robert Castro, a lecturer at the University of Texas’ Butler School of Music and director of UT’s Mariachi Ensemble, created the first ever mariachi camp at UT for students entering grades 10 through 12.

tugg.com

There’s a screening tonight in Austin for a movie you probably haven’t heard of.

It’s not part of a film festival or a private event. It's happening in prime time at the Alamo Drafthouse on Research Boulevard.

"’GrowthBusters' is an independent documentary film that brings attention to the fact that we’ve outgrown the planet and it’s time to embrace the end of growth," Director Dave Gardner said.

"GrowthBusters" is Gardner's first big documentary. As a small fish in the big pond of the movie industry, he has limited options for getting it on movie screens. So he turned to an Austin-based startup: Tugg.

flickr.com/publicenergy

University of Texas students, alumni and fans already bleed orange. But soon, they will also be able to smell like it.

University of Texas Creative Services says UT will be partnering with Masik Collegiate Fragrances to launch a scent exclusive to the Longhorns. The fragrance representatives will meet with students and have them determine the final scent. A release date for the fragrance has not been set.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Clifford Ross’ passion for art has led him down an unusual path. Painting, sculpting, photography and camera-design have all led him to today, the day that his latest piece is displayed to the community.

His three and a half ton stained glass mural adorns the lobby of the new United States Federal Courthouse in Downtown Austin. Ross was approached to execute the project six years ago. His original vision of it did not include a mural, let alone one of such stature.

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

The Dolph Briscoe Center at the University of Texas at Austin recently acquired a letter written by George Washington.

The letter was written to John Armstrong in 1769 – before the Revolutionary War. In it, Washington talks about his views of an incident resulting in the deaths of three Native Americans. Washington describes the killings as murders and calls them "villainy" and "mischief.”

facebook.com/oldaddyfilm

Update: Actor Jason Schwartzman presented UT RTF graduate Brian Schwarz with the gold Student Academy Award medal Saturday night.

He's only the second UT student to win 'gold' at the Student Academy Awards.

In his acceptance speech, Schwarz did take time to thank the RTF department. He called it a department with "great faculty" and "an enthusiastic student body." He also went on to talk about Austin's supportive film scene.

Comedian Bob Saget hosted the awards.

I'm sitting in my neighborhood bakery, the Upper Crust in Austin, Texas, trying to read my newspaper and enjoy an oatmeal muffin, but I can't stop staring at the photographs on the wall. A native man, his face painted weirdly, holds a great scowling iguana on his head; a boy lies on palm fronds with a colony of giant silk moth caterpillars ornamenting his neck; small brown hands hold a luminous blue morpho butterfly up to the camera. Put down your Danish rolls, people! How can anyone finish breakfast under the spell of these bizarre tropical photos? Who is this photographer anyway?

The news of Hostess' return to Emporia, Kan., sparked an ecstatic response in this beleaguered town — even though there will be only half as many jobs.

The new company, formed when investors bought Hostess' snack cake business, has hired longtime snack cake production veterans Pat Chambers and her husband, Bob, to help get the bakery here running again. Pat lost her job at the Hostess plant when it closed last November. Now, she sits beaming on her front porch, wearing a dirty Hostess work shirt.

Sorry bats, there’s been a new wildlife sighting in downtown Austin: a colony of honeybees is now living atop a high-rise boutique hotel.

In a small clearing between the network of pipes, condensers, fans and ducts that runs across the roof of the W Austin Hotel, ten bright beehives are humming. To create this buzz, the W partnered with Central Texas Bee Rescue, a local nonprofit on a mission to save the endangered honeybee.

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

It’s Memorial Day weekend – the first big weekend of the summer season and plenty of movies are battling at the box office.

Burt alongside the latest “Star Trek” and “Hangover” sequels is another movie: The 1933 Frank Capra film “Lady for a Day.” Film Critic Leonard Maltin is in Austin for its showing tonight at the Paramount Theater, as part of its summer film series.

Monofonus Press

A new kind of comic book launches today in Austin.

Scripted by Austinites Karen Davidson and Morgan Coy, with Polish artist Chris Chalik, “Shadow Healer” is the first segment of a graphic novel in four parts

hsuoffice.com

East Austin’s newest creative community, Canopy, has scheduled its first open studio tour this Saturday and Sunday. 

A little background: Michael Hsu Office of Architecture reconfigured a former East Austin warehouse into artist studios, creative office spaces, art galleries and a café, connected by communal courtyards and breezeways. The space opened in early 2013. 

flickr.com/jdhancock

Obi-Wan Kenobi lied.

When the Jedi Master said “The Force will be with you, always,” he wasn’t exactly correct. Around the country, the force get its own special day: May the 4th.

Yep, that’s right, young Padawans. Tomorrow is National Star Wars Day. And this year it falls on the first Saturday of May, which – as any devotee of pulp yarns will tell you – is another storied celebration in the pantheon of nerddom: Free Comic Book Day.

Update at 8:10 a.m. ET, May 3. A New Post:

Cocaine & Heroin May Have Played Role In Chris Kelly's Death

Our original post:

kickstarter.com/projects/1133107296/citygram-magazine

A group of local writers and designers are hatching Citygram, Austin’s latest digital lifestyle mag. Their vision? A free, fully interactive Apple App Store publication.

Once, a full-time electrical engineer and a part-time contributor to Apartment Therapy, Founding Editor Chris Perez abandoned his day job to create this Austin showcase. He and nine contributors – including AustinEavesdropper Tolly Moseley – are dedicated to the cause.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Artist Johnny Walker has become The Night Gardener for Fusebox Festival, Austin’s integrative, contemporary art fest. 

Walker’s experiential art involves transforming neglected spaces. For example, one Night Gardener project has Walker chalking flower petals around dark globs of gum on the sidewalk – turning an invisible part of the landscape into a whimsical escape.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The film world is changing. That’s according to the principals behind the 16th annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, running April 16-21 here in Austin, Texas.

With more films coming out of Latin America and indigenous America, Austin audiences will have a range of films to choose from this year. Cine Las Americas includes features and shorts, documentaries and narratives, and works from emerging talents. All the films are subtitled in English.

If you have a CD or book you don't want anymore, you can sell it. The law says that's perfectly legal. But what about an MP3 or an e-book? Can you legally resell your digital goods?

This was the question before a judge in the case of Capitol Records v. ReDigi Inc.

Launched in 2011, ReDigi is basically a digital version of a used-record store. You can sell the company your old MP3s, and you can buy "used" MP3s that other people have sold.

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