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Volume 28

Issue #7

Published by Creative Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 3596, Johnson City, TN 37602 • [emailprotected]

e-mail: [emailprotected] (editorial)

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Words and Music by JERRY LEIBER and MIKE STOLLER Directed and Choreographed by Jeffrey PolkThe Longest Running Musical Revue in

Broadway History -­‐ January 22, 7:30 PMSMOKEY JOE’S CAFE is the hottest joint

in town! This Tony Award-­‐nominated and Grammy Award-­‐winning tribute to legendary songwriters Leiber and Stoller is a dazzling, song-­‐and-­‐dance celebration of over 40 of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest hits including “Hound Dog,” “Stand by Me,” “Yakety Yak,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Spanish Harlem,” “On Broadway,” “Kansas City,” “Love Potion #9,” “Fools Fall in Love” and more. The New York Times claims, “Jerry Leiber and

Mike Stoller are the Rodgers and Hammerstein of rock ‘n’ roll!” The New York Daily News calls SMOKEY JOE’S

CAFE “wildly infectious” and Time Magazine says, “it sails and soars!”“For up-­‐tempo...entertainment, SMOKEY JOE’S

CAFE is right on the money.” -­‐ Los Angeles Times

With an uncanny resemblance both in voice and looks, Sharon Owens has been performing her “Tribute to Barbra Streisand” to critical acclaim nationwide in major showrooms, for corporate events and as a Headliner in Las Vegas. She spent ten stellar years recreating the sound and style of Streisand in the multi-­‐million dollar productions shows “Legends in Concert” and Berlin’s “Stars in concert”. From the classic songs of the 60’s to the power ballads of today, Sharon takes the audience on a spectacular journey through the music of Streisand’s greatest hits. Sharon not only has the look but has the voice that is unmistakably that of the legendary Barbra.“When Sharon took the stage, I almost fell off my chair, she was a dead ringer”

-­‐ Jerry Greenburg, Former President of Atlantic Records “Sharon Owens is the Real Deal” -­‐ In Touch Magazine “Sharon has the look, the voice, EVERYTHING! Even the nose! I was wowed’ -­‐

National Reality News Online“A Star, pardon the expression, is born” -­‐ Neil Edwards Theater Critic Radio

For Tickets for all shows: Call 423-­‐274-­‐8920 or online at or

Paramount Season ShowsSmokey Joe’s Café January 22 @ 7:30THE HIT MEN...featuring Former Stars of Frankie

Valli & The Four Seasons February 15, @ 7:30Tribute to Barbra March 21 at 7:30

Paramount Non-­‐Season ShowsMight WurliTizer Organ Silent Film Series February

19 @ 3:00pmCarolina Chocolate Drops March 8 @7:30The Women of Ireland March 12, @ 7:30Royal Moscow Ballet March 28 @ 7:30Might WurliTizer Organ Silent Film Series March

23 @ 3:00US Navy Sea Chanters March 26 @ FREE TO THE

PUBLICOther performances at the ParamountVoices of the Mountains January 25 @ 7:30/

A Symphony of the Mountains and Paramount collaboration “From Bach to the Future”Paramount Chamber Players “Song, Rhapsody and

Drama” February 1, @ 7:30King University Chorus presents “African-­‐American

Spirituals” February 8 @ 7:30Symphony Of the Mountains “ L ’amour toujour”

Valentines Concert February 14, @ 7:30 / A Symphony of the Mountains and Paramount collaboration Highland Ballet presents “Alice in Wonderland”

March 13 and 14Bristol Ballet presents “Coppelia” April 5 and 6Paramount Chamber Players presents “Aria,

Scherzo, Ghost & Trout” April 12 @ 7:30 10th Anniversary CelebrationGirls Inc. of Bristol presents Louise Mandrell May

2 @ 8:00

Tribute to Barbra Streisand

Built in 1931 and restored to its original splendor in 1991, the Paramount continues to grow as the Mountain Empire’s premier performing arts center. Here audiences share passion and drama, laughter and tears, majesty in motion, joy in music, pride in learning... and memories.Listed on the National Register of Historic

Places, the Paramount is an excellent example of the art deco motion picture palaces built in the late 1920’s and early 30’s. The restoration retained the Paramount’s opulent, richly embellished interior. The original Venetian-­‐styled murals and the art deco ambience were faithfully recreated. The auditorium holds 756. You’ll feel as though you are a part of the performance from every seat in the theatre.

Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of

Leiber and Stoller

With their 2010 Nonesuch debut, Genuine Negro Jig—which garnered a Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy—the Carolina Chocolate Drops proved

music they’d so scrupulously researched and passionately performed could be a living, breathing, ever-­‐evolving sound. Starting with material culled from the Piedmont region of the Carolinas, they sought to freshly interpret this work, not merely recreate it, highlighting the central role African-­‐Americans played in shaping our nation’s popular music from its

beginnings more than a century ago. The virtuosic trio’s approach was provocative and revelatory. Their concerts, The New York Times declared, were “an end-­‐to-­‐end display of excellence... They dip into styles of southern black music from the 1920s and ’30s—string-­‐ band music, jug-­‐

and beam their curiosity outward. They make short work of their instructive mission and spend their energy on things

playing, shouting.”

Carolina Chocolate Drops

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Sleeping Beauty, the enchanting story of the princess Aurora, brought to life by The Royal Moscow Ballet with their skilful arrangement and Choreography by M.Petipa.In a glorious kingdom, the Queen gives birth to the beautiful

Princess Aurora. Everyone in the kingdom is invited to the christening -­‐ everyone apart from the evil fairy Carabosse. Carabosse is so angry not to be invited that she places a curse on the Princess that, on her 16th birthday, she will prick

Fairy alters the curse so that Aurora will not die but will fall asleep for 100 years, only to be awoken by True Love’s Kiss. Sure enough, on Aurora’s 16th birthday, Carabosse smuggles a

and falls asleep. A forest of thorns grows up around the palace. 100 years later, a handsome Prince is searching for true

his way through the thorns and wakes her with a kiss. The Prince and Princess celebrate their marriage with all their fairytale friends and live happily ever after.

THE HIT MEN featuring The former stars of Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons.Not the cast from Jersey Boys.Not a Jersey Boys tribute show.Not a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

cover band.Members of this amazing supergroup of

musicians, vocalists, arrangers and composers actually were the Four Seasons who sang with Frankie Valli. They were the Shondells who sang with Tommy James. They are the authentic rock and rollers whose legacy includes hundreds of hit records from the 60s, 70s and 80s.This brotherhood of musicians relive the magic they

created on world stages and in recording studios years ago, bringing audiences a night of mega-­‐hit after mega-­‐hit, after mega-­‐hit -­‐-­‐ including everyone’s favorite Four Seasons songs like “Oh What a Night”, “Who Loves You”, “Marianne”, “Silence is Golden” and many more. And they also perform many other memorable solid gold

hits that they helped make famous – including “Mony, Mony”, “Hanky Panky”, “Peace Train”, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”, “You’re So Vain”, “You Belong To Me”, “Mr. Dieingly Sad” and “Younger Girl”.During their show, THE HIT MEN also share

great back stories and anecdotes from their days in recording studios and on the concert circuit. The norm at their shows: audiences LOVING the music and the memories, people DANCING in their seats and in the aisles, numerous standing OVATIONS, and long lines of ecstatic fans waiting to have each and every member of THE HIT MEN autograph their CD.

The Royal Moscow Ballet Presents Sleeping Beauty

“Women of Ireland” is an innovative and exciting full stage concert production which showcases the next generation of Ireland’s leading female performers. The show demonstrates the well of talent that exists within Ireland’s traditions of music, song and dance. The common theme inherent in all performances is the presentation of the most revered qualities of Ireland’s ethnic music which will be transported from the

concert hall platform. Special

the pure qualities of Irish music in a contemporary setting.

The Hit Men

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The 2nd Annual January Jams at the Barter Theatre have brought in legendary and Grammy-­‐Award winning artists every weekend this month . The series included 7 total concerts, most coming close to or

selling out. “In a traditionally slow month in Abingdon, we’ve been able to create an event that people enjoy, and we couldn’t be more pleased,” explains Sara Cardinale, Special Events Coordinator for

the ACVB. “The lineup this year has generated quite the buzz, and highlights Abingdon as an up-­‐and-­‐coming music destination.”G rammy-­‐w inn ing

folk & bluegrass musician, Tim O’Brien, teams up with award-­‐winning country singer/songwriter, Darrell Scott, to perform the

January 25th and a limited number of tickets are still available.

Memories & Moments is the second studio album from highly regarded writer/singer/multi-­‐instrumentalists Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott, released on their newly formed Full Skies imprint, a compound of O’Brien’s Howdy Skies and Scott’s Full Light labels. Back in 2000, the two kindred spirits had joined forces to record the deep and scintillating Real Time, which was widely acclaimed on release and has since become recognized as a towering achievement in Americana annals. Following that album O’Brien and Scott became an in-­‐demand touring act, hitting the road together whenever their schedules allowed. Over the ensuing years, each has been asked incessantly when their paths would next cross. Indeed, the prospect of a Real Time Redux has come to take

roots-­‐music circles — the down-­‐home equivalent of a Led Zeppelin reunion.Amythyst Kiah, a local favorite,

opens for the duo. This isn’t her

and it probably won’t be her last. Kiah is a singer/songwriter that has an eclectic array of musical

fuse traditional roots music with a contemporary style that does not take away from the integrity of the original song, and transforms them into powerful, soulful renditions.January Jams 2014 is presented

by The Abingdon Music Experience, Barter Theatre and

in part by Eastman Credit Union. The series will showcase nationally recognized artists on stage at the historic Barter Theatre . Tickets can be purchased by calling 276-­‐628-­‐3991. Doors will open at 7:15pm each night, and shows will start at 8:00pm. Tickets vary in price and can be purchased online . For a complete lineup of events, including details of the Abingdon Music Experience’s summer concert series: January Jams, visit

Tim O’Brien, Darrell ScottJanuary Jams at Barter Theatre

January 25th

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Do you know a girl who loves American Girl dolls, books, clothes and accessories? This is the perfect opportunity for her to enjoy everything American Girl while helping children her age! CASA of Northeast TN will present the 5th Annual American Girl Fashion Show on March 22, 2014, at the Holiday Inn in Johnson City. This fun engaging program showcases historical and contemporary fashions for girls and their dolls. All proceeds from

Northeast TN to help local abused and neglected children have a voice in court. CASA of Northeast TN is looking

for models to participate in the show. Models searches are going on now! Girls who wear size 6x to size 12 and are willing to raise $100 in donations for CASA, are welcome to participate. Model searches will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2014, from 10:00am-­‐Noon at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center, 117 Boone Street, Jonesborough, TN 37659 and on Thursday, January 23, 2014, 5:30pm-­‐7:00pm at Summit Leadership, 3104 Hanover Road, Johnson City, TN 37604 (next to Wallabies). We are looking for girls

who would enjoy walking down a runway in front of an audience of 300 guests. Please print out an application from and bring a recent photograph to one of the Model Searches. 90 local models will present the

fashions, while lively commentary, music, and decorations will create a memorable experience for girls and their families. Audiences will delight in the historical clothing, from daywear to sleepwear to special-­‐occasion clothing, which resembles what the popular American Girl characters Kaya,

Kit and Julie might have worn. Contemporary “Just Like You”

Little Girl Fashions for little ones complete the program. The event also includes

refreshments, a silent auction,

vendors, and door prizes. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased through CASA’s website For more information call 423-­‐461-­‐3500 or email [emailprotected]. Sponsored by Quillen ETSU OB/GY. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, please contact Leslie Dalton at 423-­‐461-­‐3500. American Girl is one

of the nation’s top direct marketers, children’s publishers, and experiential retailers. American Girl Programs is

organizations to present Fashion Show events to raise funds for children’s charities. As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to “celebrate girls,” American Girl Programs’ events have generated millions of dollars for worthwhile causes nationwide. The mission of CASA of

Northeast Tennessee is to recruit, train, monitor and support community based volunteers to act as Court Appointed Special Advocates. These volunteer advocates “speak up” for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the Juvenile Courts of Northeast Tennessee, striving to preserve the right of each child to a safe, permanent home. January 21, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 7

CASA of Northeast TN Presents The American

Girl Fashion Show

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Spring is in the air, and there’s no better way to celebrate the season’s arrival than by taking a train ride through the Southern Appalachian Mountains. If you’re suffering from “cabin fever” after this long, snowy winter, we have the cure for you – getting out of the house and taking a great train ride!Scenery, history and nostalgia

are just around the bend in two spring steam train excursions offered by Norfolk Southern Corp partnering with Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum and Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.On Saturday, April 5, 2014 the

Bristol to Radford, VA Special will bring out the glories of the season through the rolling Southwest Virginia hills while celebrating the grand return of 21st Century Steam with historic steam locomotive Southern Railway #630 from Tennessee Valley Railway Museum in Chattanooga. This rare opportunity is being offered to communities along Norfolk Southern lines for display and periodic excursions.The train’s route will take you

through historic Abingdon, home of the world famous Barter Theatre and the Martha Washington Inn. Nearby is the famous route of the Virginia Creeper. The excursion will wind through the Virginia highlands, passing Emory & Henry College, Marion and Wytheville then will travel down Pulaski Mountain through a tunnel, and into the town of Pulaski. The train will then steam into the New River Valley and on to Radford, VA, where passengers will be able to enjoy the town with its many restaurants, shops and museums.The Saturday trip to Radford will

leave the Bristol, VA Train Station at 8 am. The train will arrive in Radford

at 12 noon. The train will depart Radford at 2:30 pm and arrive back in Bristol at 7:00pm.On Sunday, April 6, 2014, the

excursion train will operate from

Bristol, VA to Bulls Gap, TN and return. There will be a station stop at the Elm St. Norfolk Southern Elm Street Station in Johnson City, TN. After leaving Johnson City, the train will pass through historic Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee. It will pass Washington College Academy, founded by Samuel Doak in 1780, the oldest school “west of the Alleghenies and south of River Ohio”. Next on the route is Limestone, birthplace of Davy Crockett, then Greeneville, the home of Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States. After descending into the lowlands, the train will arrive in Bulls Gap, TN. In Bulls Gap, passengers will have time to visit the small town with a chance to visit the Archie Campbell Birthplace along with the railroad museum and hotel.The Sunday Bulls Gap excursion

will also begin at the Bristol, VA Train Station. The train will depart at 9 am then arrive in Johnson City to board passengers at 9:50 am and depart at 10:00 am. The train will arrive in Bulls Gap at 12 noon. The train will depart Bulls Gap at 2 pm, arriving at Johnson City at 4 pm then Bristol at 5 pm. Motive power for the Radford

and Bulls Gap excursions will be steam locomotive Southern Railway #630 which also operated on the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad out of Johnson City from 1952 to 1967.

Steam Engine #630 will be assisted by powerful NS diesels to pull the 15 car train. For many passengers, these

excursions will be a once-­‐in –a-­‐lifetime experience, not only to ride behind a steam locomotive, but also to see the hills and mountains from the unique perspective of the railroad while hearing the whistle echo in the hills and hollows of the beautiful Appalachian Region.Tickets: Starting at $85 per

seat for passengers age 3 & up. Everyone age 3 & up requires a ticket; under 3 is no charge if not occupying a seat.Coach Class: $85 -­‐ Coach Class

seating is provided in temperature

back seats.Deluxe Coach: $100 -­‐ Deluxe

Coach seating is provided in climate controlled vintage cars with reclining back seats.The Radford ticket does not

include a meal only the train trip. The Bulls Gap ticket does include a box lunch along with the train trip.The train will include climate

controlled heated and air conditioned cars along with rest rooms.Tickets can be purchased

by calling 423.894.8028hours: Monday-­‐Friday 10am-­‐4pm or are expected to go fast

for this event, please order ASAP.

Historic Steam Train Excursion Traveling Through East Tennessee

and Southwest Virginia

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The Friends of the Museum of the Middle Appalachian invite you to the annual Woolly Mammoth Breakfast January 25, 2014 at Northwood High School in Saltville, VA. 8:30 to 10:30 am. Woolly the Mammoth, the mascot of the Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville, Va made his debut in the 1992 Labor Day Parade and instantly became a star beloved by all, especially children. Like a good wine, Woolly has aged well through the years (with several complete makeovers).When the Friends of the Museum

of the Middle Appalachians started brainstorming for an idea for a mascot, Fred DeBusk suggested that a walking, talking, big woolly mammoth would be the ticket. The mammoth roar of laughter from the Friends only made him more determined and in a very short time,

his mind and then in reality. Woolly was born, a product of a tobacco planter and pine trees. Because his insides (the machinery) was needed for planting that same year, Woolly was soon disemboweled. A couple of years later, Woolly

emerged as a 10-­‐foot-­‐long mechanical woolly mammoth built from 24 discarded Christmas trees attached around a 1969 International pickup truck. Woolly has evolved over the years to a more sophisticated beast and now sports a two-­‐tone orange coat made of, well, a heck of a lot of baling twine. Fred DeBusk doesn’t know how much twine was used. “If you started unraveling it and headed south, you’d be in real warm weather,” DeBusk said..Woolly has become quite the

traveler. He has visited Marion, Chilhowie and Abingdon often. Woolly changed drastically after one Abingdon journey. It seems that Woolly ran away and shortly after his return, Woolly was “with child” according to his local physician, Dr. C. O. Finne. On the Fourth of July, 1996 in the Well Fields of Saltville, Dr. Finne delivered a healthy baby girl and Woolly would forever be

known as a “she”. The Saltville Elementary School

students had a naming competition and the baby was named “Little Salty”. Little Salty’s godfather, Fred DeBusk, had assisted Woolly by using a four wheeler and lots of framing and chicken wire. Little Salty is much more playful since she is only 7 feet tall to Momma’s 17 foot height.Woolly had a third reincarnation.

Her head was made to shake back and forth for “No” and up and down for “Yes.” Woolly also had a new skin made of countless strands of bailing twine and a new control center, now located in the head.DeBusk is constantly tweaking

both animals. In 2004, Woolly underwent an extreme inside makeover which included an elevator and inside plumbing.The biggest event in Woolly and

Little Salty’s lives is the annual Woolly Day Breakfast sponsored by the Friends of the Museum of

the Middle Appalachians as that groups major fund raiser of the

held at a local restaurant, then moved to the fellowship hall of the Madam Russell Methodist Church. From there to the Saltville Elementary School and is currently held at the cafeteria of Northwood High School. Woolly arrives with a police escort. The song “Woolly Bully”

blares from a sound system hidden in the bowels of the mechanical creature. Fans are greeted with a spray of water and a wink of the eye. As the crowd gathers around, after eating a mammoth breakfast prepared by the Madam Russell Methodist Men’s Club, Woolly makes her prediction. Will there be six weeks of good or bad weather? This prediction comes before the prognostication of that silly Yankee groundhog. Although Woolly has opened the

Nascar Race in Bristol, traveled to Martinsville for an appearance at the Museum of Natural History, assisted Dave Dierk in the evening weather forecast last year and has made an appearance in too many parades to count, she is just a local gal. Her main focus throughout the years has been to promote the Museum of the Middle Appalachians. January 21, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 9

Woolly Mammoth BreakfastMuseum of the Middle

Appalachians January 25th

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Renowned Folk/Americana songwriter Jonathan Byrd brings his show to Johnson City on Saturday, January 25 when he

performs at Down Home -­‐ . Jonathan Byrd

a Texas songwriter, a Gulf War veteran and a preacher’s son, and an award-­‐winning songwriter whose songs you’ve probably heard, even if you haven’t heard Byrd sing them. Covered by Tim O’Brien, Steve James, Red Molly, Jack Lawrence, Melissa Greener and more, Byrd’s music will seem familiar to any Americana fan.Byrd quit the rock bands of his

youth and hit the road solo in 2000,

in an old style. A tip from a friend led him down to the Kerrville Folk Festival, a dusty ranch where he discovered the rich Texas songwriting culture and made it his own. The word began to spread in

2003, when Jonathan won the festival’s ‘New Folk’ songwriting competition, a milestone for

artists: Steve Earle. Lucinda


Byrd broke the record for CD sales at the festival, and has played there nearly every year since. Byrd’s 2008 release, “The Law

and the Lonesome” is the fruit of this interstate cross-­‐pollination, what might have happened if Townes Van Zandt had made a record with Doc Watson. Tamara Kater of Canada’s folk mag Penguin Eggs called “The Law and the Lonesome” her “album of the decade.” “Cackalack” is the newest

Jonathan Byrd release, an homage to his home state. Recorded live in a day while on the road, “Cackalack” hit #1 on Roots Music Reports folk radio chart, #22 on the Americana chart, was the #91 Americana album of 2011, and made John Platt’s “Best of 2011,” along with strong international airplay and a dozen other “best of” lists. Most recently, Jonathan won

a 2011 SESAC Americana Music Award beside Bob Dylan, Seth Avett, Hayes Carll, Jim Lauderdale, and Colin Brooks from The Band of Heathens. “One of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.” -­‐Chicago Tribune.

“Cackalack’s songs are like dirt road visits with your neighbors outside the car window.” Tim O’Brien“John Prine’s gift for stark little

songs that tell big, complex stories, Guy Clark’s lean melodicism, Lyle Lovett’s wry mischief, and Bill Morrissey’s knack for the revealing image.” — Scott Alarik, Boston Globe“What a treat to hear someone

so deeply rooted in tradition, and yet growing in his own beautiful way.” -­‐Tom Paxton“ to say more in two words

than most other people can say in a novel. Another one of those cats

cats you probably never heard of... a dyed in the wool North Carolinian John Koerner... ” — Midwest Record“Jonathan Byrd doesn’t sing

songs; he sings truth.” — Mare

“I thought I was listening to a young Doc Watson.” Jay Moulin, Southeast Performer magazine“...a folk singer with the heart of a

rock ‘n’ roll band.” — K. Oliver, Free Times.

Jonathan ByrdDown HomeJanuary 25th

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Little River Band, one of the great vocal bands of the ‘70s and the ‘80s, will perform at Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Saturday, January 25th at 7:30pm.Little River Band was formed in

Melbourne, Australia in 1975. The band chose its name after passing a road sign leading to the Victorian township of Little River, near Geelong, on the way to a performance. It was originally a blend of musicians who had enjoyed success in other Australian bands. Their new focus was to receive airplay on US radio stations, and they achieved that goal with great songwriting, powerful vocals, and guitar harmonies. Between 1976 and 1983, Little River

Band had amazing US music chart success including the following singles: It’s a Long Way There, Help Is on Its Way, Happy Anniversary, Reminiscing, Lady, Cool Change, Lonesome Loser, The Night Owls, Take It Easy On Me, Man On Your Mind, We Two, and The

Other Guy. Little River Band is considered to

bands ever formed. Worldwide album and CD sales now top 30 million. They also set a record for having Top 10

band to achieve that mark. According to BMI (a music licensing company), Reminiscing has garnered rare status with over 5 million airplays on US radio stations…and Lady is close behind with over 4 million airplays. LRB was rightfully inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame at the 18th Annual ARIA Music Awards of 2004. The current lineup brings new

energy and arrangements to the classic hits, making new memories for the audience out of each live performance. It’s always fun to watch as people are swept up by the show’s vitality and the volume of hits from LRB’s history.Little River Band will perform

at Niswonger Performing Arts Center (NPAC) in historic downtown Greeneville, TN on Saturday, January 25th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $40 for orchestra and mezzanine level seating and $30 for balcony seats. Tickets may be purchased online at www., in person at the

1679.NPAC offers online seat selection and

are Monday through Friday, 10 am until 5 pm. The 1130 seat performing

arts center is located adjacent to the campus of Greeneville High School in Greeneville, TN. For venue information, and to purchase tickets, please visit

Little River BandNiswonger Performing

Arts CenterJanuary 25th, 7:30pm

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Hardship, human frailty, and lessons learned are among the themes that veteran songwriter Rob Williams explores in his latest roots rock offering, A Place in the Sun. The album, released in 2013, is Williams’

extensive stint with the alt-­‐rock band Joe Buck, Jr. This year, Williams, a native of

Richmond, VA, is exchanging the familiarity of band front man for the mantle of Americana troubadour as he travels to support his latest release.A Place in the Sun showcases

Williams’ talent for delivering a rocking brand of lyric poetry that celebrates the mundane beauty and trials of life. One of the album’s standout tracks is “Norfolk Southern,” an acoustic-­‐driven song complemented by melodic electric guitar (played by older sister Leslie Williams). The song is rooted in Williams’ memories of his grandparents’ house – situated near a railroad

Carolina farming community during the Great Depression. “My mother told me that my grandmother

would say there were three evils in the world,

General Sherman, and the third being Herbert Hoover,” he explains. “As I grew up, I realized that what my

grandmother was expressing really sums up what the Southern mindset must have been in the rural South in the early 20th Century. In

deeply religious, and the sting of the Civil War was only a generation or two old.”Despite the soulful nostalgia of “Norfolk

Southern,” A Place in the Sun does not dwell on sentimentality. Williams admits that his inspiration for the record was drawn less from traditional Americana themes than from snapshots of everyday living and from the

Incorporating stylistic qualities ranging from the swinging grit of the Old 97s to the garage-­‐tinged edge of the Replacements, A Place in the Sun remains true to the personal indie sound Williams has cultivated throughout his lengthy career. “These days when I sit down to write, my

intention is to create fairly simple songs on the acoustic guitar. But almost always as I’m writing, I hear a full band playing along in my head. So what I come up with usually lends

itself to more instrumentation. That was certainly the case on A Place in the Sun.”

as a lyricist and composer are matched by his skilled vocal and guitar execution – has stripped down to an acoustic guitar and a microphone for his current tour. But audiences expecting sedate folk ballads may be caught unprepared for the energetic rhythms and pop dynamism that endure as trademarks of his work. “I can’t envision myself becoming the kind

of performer who quietly strums a guitar while winning over an audience with a beautiful vocal melody. It’s just not who I am,” he confesses. After decades of playing with bands in

high-­‐decibel club settings, Williams’ penchant for delivering a full sound, even when he’s singlehandedly carrying the sonic load, is not altogether surprising. Asked about his transition from band member to solo performer, he suggests that keeping a group

older.“People (in the band) have families and

careers outside of music,” he states, “making

the same place at the same time. You get to the point where it just makes more sense to go it alone for a while.” With the album’s release behind him,

Williams is embarking on a series of solo acoustic regional tours throughout the Mid-­‐Atlantic and Southeast. For more information about Rob

Williams, his current tour, and the stories behind his newest songs, visit

Rob WilliamsAcoustic Coffeehouse

January 25th

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A rag-­‐tag group of musical

wordsmith who’s hell bent on bringing his brand of Appalachian music to the masses. Driftin’ Westward brings a diverse arsenal of musical arrangements and enthusiastic performances where ever they go. Founded by award winning songwriter K.T. Vandyke in 2009, the band in it’s short tenure has taken off performing all over the Appalachian region, and the eastern United States leaving entranced and captivated audiences in their wake. The group has shared the stage with such acts as Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Pokey LaFarge, Blackberry Smoke, Larry Keel, If Birds Could Fly, and many more.In 2012 Vandyke took home

1st place in the Richard Leigh Songwriters Competition. His song “Huck Finn” took home Best of show.Vandyke credits various aspects

of traditional musical genres native to his modest upbringing in the Appalachian region that were pivotal in his development as a musician and songwriter.

ranging from heart thumping progressive rock’n’roll to the soulful application of blue’s and jazz,

band founded its sound through the study of artists such as Bill Withers, Darrel Scott, Frank Dean Martin, Ray LaMontagne, Nickel Creek, The Black Crowes, Old Crow Medicine Show among many more including a plethora of classical composers

such as Yann Tiersen, Chopin, and Gustavo Santaolalla. These various

through the melodic compositions orchestrated by Driftin’ Westward by incorporating foot stomping rhythms, ear pleasing melodies, ass-­‐kicking harmonies, and deep insightful songwriting that will make you reevaluate placing the

band within the category of a single genre. The group released it’s debut

“The White Coat EP” at the end of 2011, and hasn’t stopped since. Concocting a boisterous list of original material that’s sure to raise eyebrows of any critic. The debut release was produced by Grammy Award winning David Castle of

Castle Recording (Best Bluegrass Album for his work with The Clinch Mountain Boys, Jim Launderdale and Ralph Stanley for the album Lost In The Lonesome Pines). The short, but moving EP demonstrates the potential of DW’s musical muscle and entices one to ponder what’s to come in the future.

KT Vandyke & Driftin’ WestwardAcoustic CoffeehouseJanuary 22nd, 10pm

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I have often said that science

And the 21st Century images from America’s robotic explorers

an artistic level that borders on impressionism.Mercury, our Moon, Mars and

Saturn are currently under orbital surveillance, and some of their photos are astounding abstracts of alien worlds.There are hundreds of images

that look like works of art by Picasso, Monet or Rembrandt. Some are Martian sand dunes, or

braided rings around Saturn…and how about an Earthrise over lunar mountains?The fabulous photos taken by

our robotic warriors in the Solar System have become as iconic as the works of art celebrated in galleries around the world.Now the beauty of our Solar

System is being celebrated by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC with an exhibit called “Spirit and Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars.”The Smithsonian exhibit features

photos taken by the two NASA, golf cart-­‐sized rovers that landed on opposite sides of the Red Planet in January 2004. Some of the spectacular images remind us of vistas in the American Southwest, while others are purely alien art

data.The six-­‐wheeled Mars Excursion

Rovers were guaranteed to last 90 days, but have lasted far beyond their warranty—by more than 25 times NASA’s expectations.

got trapped in a sandy bog and its solar rechargeable batteries died sometime in 2010. Opportunity is still trucking, now in its 10th year and exploring the rim of a big crater after driving almost 25 miles from its original landing spot.We compare these alien images

to all that we know—our vision of earthly lands. And like the great landscape artists who depict America’s western wonders, the electronic images beamed back to Earth across 50 million miles from Mars are records of worlds in their geologic glory.For some great Martian art,

check out the Smithsonian website at The exhibit is open through September 14, 2014.Other Mars images taken by

NASA’s orbiters also tickle the artist vision, like sand dunes and polar caps that often look like bizarre artwork from surrealists like Dali.For pure alien abstraction

on canvass, it’s hard to beat the amazing images of NASA’s billion dollar Cassini spacecraft and its subject of Saturn, its shattered

rings and retinue of 62 moons. The juxtaposition of rings, moons and the butterscotch globe of our sixth planet give us a billion-­‐mile perspective that can be jaw-­‐dropping.There are photos of a cratered

moon against the blackness with edge-­‐wise rings bisecting the crescent planet in the background. Not to be outdone by the amazing hexagonal shape of the South Pole vortex that is as a dramatic image as it is a physical anomaly that has planetary atmospheric scientists scratching their heads—both left and right brain merging in amazement.

photos that boggle the mind as the

the rings can illuminate Saturn’s night side and give an eerie look never seen by human eyes. Like the amazing photo taken in July 2014 from the backside of Saturn, eclipsing the Sun and showing the Earth as a pale, blue “star” in the sky.There are many historical images

from NASA’s space exploration

Space Art Is Real Impressionism

Continued on page 15

Mars’ Tennessee Valley

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have been ingrained as classic artwork in our minds. Like the

seen by orbiting Apollo 8 in 1968. Or Buzz Aldrin on the Moon with photographer Neil Armstrong’s

you can’t leave out the beauty of our planet Earth from orbit 200 miles high-­‐-­‐always keeping astronauts aboard the International Space Station pressed against their windows.Some of the most amazing space

art has been taken by the Galileo spacecraft of the 1990s when it spent 8 years orbiting Jupiter. The swirling colors of the intense cloud bands whipping around the largest planet can look like colored oils mixing in water. Looking at the complex clouds of Jupiter brings Van Gogh to mind. Toss in the four giant moons and another 60 smaller moons and the imagery from the Galileo spacecraft can be mind-­‐boggling.Space art is not just limited to

our Solar System as images from

the Hubble Space Telescope have become iconic images of our modern times. Two amazing Hubble photos that have become part of our culture of art include “The Pillars of Creation” and “Hubble Deep Space

bonanza that are imagery as beautiful as any canvass

Outer space has been depicted by masters of the space art genre like Chesley Bonestell in the 1950s, to Don Davis of the ’70s and Joe Tucciarone of today. Though what comes out of space artists’ minds is based on fact, the “real thing” captured by the imaging electronics of interplanetary robots can blow our minds. Arguably, the vast catalog of two decades of Hubble images contains hundreds of space art masterpieces.One unique aspect about all

the images captured by NASA’s spacecraft during the past 50 years of space exploration-­‐-­‐there are no copyrights. Because American taxes paid for these space probes, their images are accessible free to

anybody in the world to do with them as they please. The Hubble website encourages the printing of its images-­‐-­‐even offering some

wall! A visit to NASA’s website will direct you to any of its spacecraft and their fantastic space images.As mankind probes deeper into

the Universe for the facts, our mind can’t be separated from the

just part of the human experience that we bring to the quest of alien worlds.

Continued from page 14

Mars’ sand dunes

Galileo’s photograph of Jupiter’s clouds Saturn backlit and above

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Celestial events in the skies for the week of Jan. 21-­‐27, 2014, as compiled for The Loafer by Mark D.


With the Moon is in the after-­‐midnight skies, the bright stars of Winter are in their glory. The dis-­‐

tinct constellations of Taurus, Orion, Gemini, the Big and Little Dogs and Auriga are now on display all evening, these constellations containing eight of the top 20 brightest stars in the sky. Even the fainter stars seem brighter against the jet black of cold Winter nights. The brightest “star” in the night is planet Jupiter, rising before sunset and wheeling across the sky until


Tues. Jan. 21 One easy binocular target high in

the east after evening twilight is The Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Little Sisters. Can you see all seven stars with the naked eye? Binoculars will reveal more than 50


Wed. Jan. 22 On this 1978 date in space his-­‐tory, Russia’s unmanned Progress

ship to dock with a Space Station, Salyut 6. Today some 200 Progress resupply missions to space sta-­‐

International Space Station during its 12 years of occupancy.

Thurs. Jan. 23 In the hour after midnight Wednesday/Thursday, the Moon rises spectacularly between red Mars

and white star Spica in Virgo. As the dark morning hours of Thursday progress, the trio rise higher and the Moon actually occults, or passes in front of Spica

in other parts of the world.

Fri. Jan. 24 The Moon is at Last Quarter just after midnight.

On this 1986 date in space his-­‐

only close-­‐up look at the planet Uranus when NASA’s Voyager 2

planetary scientists are still ma-­‐nipulating the images while the Hubble Space Telescope watches changes in the clouds of the

than Earth.

Sat. Jan. 25 On this 2004 date in space

history, Mars Excursion Rover “Opportunity” safely landed on the surface of the Red Planet. Guaranteed to work for 90 days, this golf cart-­‐sized interplanetary vehicle is alive and well on its 10th birthday! Perched at the edge of

a seven-­‐mile crater, the amazing Opportunity rover has driven more than 25 miles and has had very few

problems and may last for many more years.

Sun. Jan. 26 Planet Jupiter dominates the early evening east-­‐ern horizon beside its Gemini brothers Castor and Pollux. Meanwhile in the half-­‐hour before the 7 am sunrise, the planet Venus makes its appearance

above the eastern horizon to begin its dominance of the morning twilight.

Mon. Jan. 27 On this 1967 date in space history, three American astronauts lost their lives inside their Apollo 1

during a routine test simulation. Immortal in space history are space veterans Gus Grissom and Ed

White as well as rookie Roger Chaffee. All three no doubt were destine to the Moon—Grissom was the

to beat the Soviet Union to the Moon.

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Take a walk down memory lane with Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel when Blue Moon Dinner Theatre presents Trouble at the

tropical drinks, and Latin music and dancing at Ricky’s club tonight, as he gets ready to sign a contract with movie mogul heiress Celia B. De Milo. Is Celia who she claims to be? Will Lucy and Ethel ruin Ricky’s big chance with another of their harebrained schemes to get into show business? What’s the notorious gangster Mr. Big doing at Ricky’s club? And who committed the murder? Get your tickets online at www. and enter the coupon code “Babaloo” to get 5 dollars off each ticket you purchase for Dinner and Show.

reservations or more information -­‐ 423-­‐232-­‐1350Dinner -­‐ Dessert -­‐ And At Least

One Murder!Blue Moon Dinner Theatre is

located at 215 east main street in Downtown Johnson City. About one block before the Hands on Museum. On Main Street between Buffalo and Roan Street.Many guests like to park in the

Free – Lit – parking lot located on State of Franklin Road – Called Downtown Square. From that lot you can take the walkway through to Main Street and be right at our front door.

Trouble At The Tropicabana

Blue Moon Dinner TheatreJanuary 24th - Feb 8th

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The mythical character of Hercules has been well represented over the years in the world of cinema. For example, a series of thirteen Hercules movies were produced in Italy in the late

1950’s and early 60’s. Perhaps

featuring various actors in the title role including Steve Reeves and

husband). There is also a 1983

in the title role that actually produced a sequel. In 1997 Disney released an animated version of the character, and we all know about the television series featuring Kevin Sorbo which ran from 1995 to 1999. The aforementioned

efforts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to celluloid Hercules. The character makes a return to the big screen in “The Legend of Hercules”, starring Kellan Lutz of “Twilight” fame.

presented in the 3D

Hercules movies coming in 2014.

origin of Hercules, from his birth to his early years of discovering his origin as the son of Zeus and the human Queen Alcmene (Roxanne Mckee). Alcmene’s husband, King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) is convinced she has had an affair with Hercules as the result.

but Alcmene soon reveals to her son his true name and origin. At

his origin, and is just happy to be part of the kingdom and be with his love Hebe (Gaia Weiss). Of course the life of a hero is never a smooth one, and the strong man’s brother, Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is very jealous of his popular brother and plans to keep Hercules from Hebe and take her for his bride.

kingdom in an effort to stay together, but are eventually captured, with Hercules eventually

being sent to Egypt on a military mission. While on the mission with

soldiers under the command of Captain Sotiris (Liam McIntyre of “Spartacus” fame!), Hercules is taken hostage, and along with Sotiris is forced to be a gladiator. Quicker than you can say “Hercules strikes back!” our hero and his new friend Sotiris are bound for Greece and vengeance. I really enjoyed seeing McIntyre

Hercules and the actor who played

Spartacus on screen together.

special effects and 3D are on par with any current release. The acting was typical for this

type of effort, and Lutz was a

“Saturday matinee” ilk of the past, and nothing more. “The Legend of

that will bring out the kid in you. (Rated PG-­‐13) B

The Legend of Hercules

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Climb Every Mountain

I have done a lot of things in my time in order to win the affections of the female population. Desperate attempts to prove to them that I am worthy of having “boyfriend status,” despite the fact that as I grow older I’m coming to

of Charlie Brown and Liz Lemon. Always having the football taken away from me at the last second, or having the constant desire to “want to go to there.” One of these moments in my

life came last spring, as I went

outdoorsy lass, and I am, well, not.

allergies, and my fondness for

hikes are not my thing. I like nature, and I like being in it from time to time. I would rather spend my time having a picnic in a park, than playing junior explorer. Yet when she texted me and

asked me if I would like to go hiking with her, I said yes. She told me it would be a day hike,

that we’d be going a slow pace,

accordingly” she said, and having never hiked before, I went out to my local outdoors store. A friendly sales clerk came over and asked if I needed anything, and after telling them what I was looking for, combined with my paranoia about being in the woods for hours upon end, I left with a tidy haul.

case of freeze dried food, a walking stick, a solar powered charger for my iPhone (because I am that person), and the cream of the crop, a backpack. Not just any backpack, but the Yukon Mountaineer 9000. It was my typical overcompensation for trying to not seem like a clueless fool in the woods. I met her at the hiking path and

knew that I had overdone things when, before taking my Yukon Mountaineer 9000 out of the back of my car, I saw her hiking kit. It was a small Jansport backpack, like I used to use in high school, one water bottle, and she had brought

sandwiches for later. Thankfully, she laughed warmly when she learned my massive backpack was full of water bottles and Astronaut Ice Cream. We began our hike up the trail,

was actually enjoying myself. The air was nice, the sun was out, and I made a personal soundtrack of 1960s French Pop music, because,

we came closer and closer to the second hour, things began to take a turn for me. We stopped to eat our lunch in a

little clearing, right at the moment

my thighs had begun drawing up papers to have themselves divorced from me. This pleased them, though they didn’t talk to me for a week afterwards. We sat on a rock together, and marveled at the view. It was a beautiful sight, and the combination of the breeze and the clear day really made it all perfect. Perfect until I noticed my nose began to feel odd.“What type of trees

are these?” I asked of the ones surrounding the

trees” she replied. I’m

I decided to try to hide it, and tell my body to go into “we’re not gonna

sneeze and cough” mode. As she went over to admire the view, I told her I would put away the rest of the sandwiches. In reality this was an excuse to hide behind a rock and empty my sinuses into a napkin. Pulled together temporarily, we

moved upward and onward. My allergies stayed at bay for a short while, and now instead of it being mostly of a nasal capacity, I was now having the good ole watery eye. It looked like I was crying, and when she turned to me to point out a bird in a tree, she asked “What’s wrong?” “Oh, nothing” I said, “I’m just

thinking about the ending of Back

to The Future: Part 3, when the Delorean gets destroyed.” She nodded softly with a look that said “Ooookay” and on we went. I wiped my eyes dry on the sleeves of my shirt, and caught up with her. By the time we reached the end of the trail, and back to our cars, we had been hiking for a grand total of three hours. My legs felt like Jell-­‐O, and I was doing my best to not let this be known to her. We parted, and it was a little

awkward, she got into her car while I acted like a bold outdoorsman and took off my gear. As soon as she was out of sight, I slowly put it all in the trunk, and sat down in the drivers seat. I let out the loudest, longest, sigh of my life and collapsed into a shell of myself. The only appropriate thing would to have played “In The Arms of an Angel” over all of this. Needless to say the relationship

never took off, “you’re not outdoorsy enough for me” she said. This was, and is, true, and I

call from bed. But at least I can say I went hiking once in my life, and it was enough for me. See you next week.

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So far this month I have been focusing on things we should expect to see or experience more of during this New Year. When it comes to topics like this I am never at a loss for words because we are constantly surrounded and bombarded by new stuff. And that makes my job much easier than if I was writing about something much

honest politician or an unbiased journalist (myself not included, of course)While browsing the news

recently, I came across an interest tidbit about Cheerios, one of my favorite cereals. Here’s what I read: “General Mills announced its iconic brand Cheerios will no longer contain ingredients with genetically

Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? But what in the heck does this statement mean? Should I be worried if one of my recent bowls of Cheerios contained GMOs that were put there before GM’s decision to exclude them from its products? After all, GMOs do sound pretty menacing, like something from a 1950s giant creature movie starring Russell Johnson, the man to whom this week’s column is dedicated; Johnson died last week, and is perhaps best remembered as The Professor (aka Roy Hinckley) from “Gilligan’s Island,” but also

movies like “Attack Of The Crab Monsters” (1957), “It Came From Outer Space” (1953), and “This Island Earth” (1955), as well as in episodes of “Alfred Hitchco*ck Presents” and “The Twilight Zone.”It seems like each new year

brings with it trendy new buzzwords associated with diet and nutrition. We’ve all survived (hopefully) the comings and

goings of worries associated with trans-­‐fats, cholesterol, gluten, and carcinogens (not that these things shouldn’t still be worrisome), but this year is shaping up to be the year of the GMO. According to a recent USA Today piece, GMOs, a term that denotes Genetically

“plants or animals whose cells have been inserted with a gene from an unrelated species in order to

For instance, “plants might be genetically engineered to develop a resistance against insects or to increase nutrients.” While GMOs or related products have been around for quite some time, many people are worried that these genetically-­‐altered substances, which are found in many of our foods, might not be safe, especially in cases where they might reduce nutritional value or create allergens or toxins in our bowls of Cheerios. While the FDA, the US Department of Agriculture, and the EPA all regulate GMOs and have declared them safe, they are commonly found in many familiar food substances such as soybeans, cotton, corn, canola, cranberries

(beware of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner), raspberries, walnuts, and even in some pharmaceutical products. There are prohibitions in place, however, against the inclusion of GMOs in organic products (another much-­‐hyped buzzword). I guess that should make us feel better while shopping in our favorite natural foods market.If you’re looking for some

really impressive terms to use while involved in a discussion about GMOs, feel free to throw around “recombinant DNA” and

“transgenic organisms,” both of which are used to describe GMOs. And if you want to appear even more impressive, make mention of the fact that Paul Berg created the

in 1972. So I guess we could call Berg the Father of GMOs. In any event, be on the lookout for lots of GMO hoopla this year. Maybe by year’s end The Loafer’s pages might be produced using GMOs. But please don’t stop reading it if that happens.I’ve written about our second

buzzword, The Internet of Things, several times (recall the Ninja Sphere from a few weeks back?), but this will apparently be the year when we become surrounded by its artifacts. The term refers to the increasing integration of internet-­‐based information into nearly everything with which we come into contact. Good examples are internet-­‐equipped household appliances and devices (like the Ninja Sphere), automobiles, and even clothing. The Internet of Things will create a world in

which being online will take on

and some, like ABI Research (according to our trusty friend, Wikipedia) predict that “more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020.” And, if you want to add yet another term to go along with your GMO-­‐enriched vocabulary, feel free to use “IoT,” the term preferred by

about the Internet of Things/Internet of Everything.A good bellweather of IoT

(see, I’ve used the term) is the foreboding-­‐sounding Google research division called “Google X,” the folks who have already given us IoT products like cars that drive themselves and the much-­‐discussed and very controversial Google Glass project. Last week the division announced the development of a “smart contact

lens” that can help people with diabetes to monitor their glucose levels by wearing this lens (which is actually a computer chip) in their eyes. I can only wonder when Google X will announce that Google Glass is available in contact lens form. That will be a true IoT development, and one that will not be detectable like the very obvious Google glasses are. Talk about taking spying and surveillance to a whole new level. We are of course rapidly approaching a time (which is probably already here) when distinctions between being on and

Maybe we will soon see a merger of GMOs and the IoT, so we can talk

Internet of Things” (GMIoT). But that will be the subject of another column in perhaps the not-­‐too-­‐distant future (next week, perhaps?). Don’t worry-­‐I don’t think I’m ready for that quite yet. However, the GMIoKP

of Kelly’s Place”) has a nice ring

to it, don’t you think? Sounds like something you might like to peruse while wearing your Google X contact lenses.With that thought in mind, I will

take my leave until next week when I present you with a buzzword-­‐free column (BFC).

Welcome to The Internet of Genetically Modi!ed

Organism Thingies

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