The Spark

The Spark
6:28 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Meet Professah Blues

For decades Greg Versen has spun vinyl (and then CDs) live on one of the region's only on-air blues music shows: Blues Valley (on WMRA Saturday nights, eight 'til late).  And to begin with: 

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The Spark
12:03 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Scholarly Journal's Twittery New Look

Image: WMRA News (tw) composite illustration from VQR sources

The grand old academic journal, the Virginia Quarterly Review, has boldly uploaded itself into the iPhone era with a zazzy website brimming with eyecandy.  We'll meet the VQR web-editor, Jane Friedman. 

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The Spark
8:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Artistic Appropriation or Just Inappropriate?

At Harrisonburg arthouse café,  The Artful Dodger, a painting in a Rashidi Barrett art exhibit struck one visitor as  disturbingly familiar --maybe another artist’s concept.   It was.  Soon news media from Norfolk to Richmond to the Shenandoah Valley were noticing.

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The Spark
1:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Spark Intern Julia

2013 Spark intern Julia Skinner has been tasked with blogging about some potentially-Sparkworthy peers. 

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The Spark
12:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

How On Earth Does This Not Sink?

Boatmaker Dave Gentry's surprisingly durable designs make the ancient gossamer "skinboat" (skin or fabric over a wooden frame) doable for home-crafters. 

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The Spark
12:03 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Big LOVE (Web Extra)

Student-decorated LOVE letters

schoolkids' art project we mentioned on The Spark involved decorating giant letters that spell LOVE --evoking the state tourism slogan, "Virginia Is for Lovers." Long after their scheduled appearances, the finished creations went on display the breezeway of the WMRA Harrisonburg site --part of the station's long-running effort to provide exposure to regional art activity.



 

The Spark
11:47 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Is That A Jujube? Edible Landscaping

Jujube fruits (Photo credit: Wikipedia user Frank C. Müller)

One can find unusual plants like gooseberries, quinces, jujubes, and hops  along with traditional items like cherries and apples. We meet Michael McConkey from Edible Landscaping in Afton. 

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The Spark
11:32 am
Fri February 22, 2013

A Real "Hunger Game"

In much of the world, famine and drought are real.   Through a new board game, international student Jacob Mayiani, with JMU ecology professors, is trying to teach his fellow Maasai people in Kenya that their own cattle-grazing practices might contribute to the climate-conditions which cause so much suffering.    

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The Spark
12:22 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Old-Fashioned Chocolate-Making --Like AZTEC Old!

Leni Sorensen grinds chocolate the old-fashioned, Aztec way as cheesemaker Gail Hobbs-Page looks on and WMRA's Martha Woodroof holds a field mic. Photo credit: Kathy Kildea

Working cacao beans upon a volcanic-stone grinding bench with a push-pestle while perched on a handmade seat, foodie Leni Sorensen shows students how to make reeeeeaallly "old fashioned" chocolate.  

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The Spark
12:22 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Romance Writer Joanna Bourne

The award-winning novelist lives on a mountain top overlooking Afton. So, how’d she come to write romance novels anyway? 

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