Swept Away -- The caravan of national media satellite trucks suddenly drove away from Coeur d'Alene on May 25, leaving behind a still-unsolved triple murder and apparent abduction of 8-year-old Shasta Groene and her brother Dylan, 9. The media horde didn't suddenly tire of working in a town with only one sushi restaurant; it was simply the end of the May sweeps.
"Sweeps were over, and plus the story was getting old,'' Capt. Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department says. Wolfinger and Sheriff Rocky Watson had spent a week rising at 3 am to appear on East Coast news shows, and spent long days riding the media herd.
By May 25, CNN was the last one left, and Wolfinger said, "When one of the shows led with pictures of Saddam in his underwear, I knew we were second-string,'' Wolfinger says.
If a Tree Falls... -- This just in: EWU Composer-in-Residence Jonathan Middleton premieres his ambitious new symphonic work -- based on the genetic code of redwood trees -- on Thursday, June 2 (that's tonight if you happen to be reading your new copy of the Inlander hot off the stands) at EWU's Recital Hall at 7:30 pm. The first movement of Middleton's "Redwoods Symphony" was composed by using algorithms and a Web-based program designed by Middleton and EWU student programmers. Among the musical themes carried throughout the work -- which was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium -- is music built by translating DNA molecules (A-T-G-C) into sounds.
What's especially fun is that the program (musicalgorithms.ewu.edu) is online and you can experiment with various algorithms to come up with different musical translations. You don't even need a Ph.D to do it (although you might not understand what it is you're doing as you're punching in numbers). We're just geeky enough here in the Bin to find this enormously entertaining. For more information on the symphony, visit www.ewu.edu.
You Are What You Eat -- That's a scary thought given how many foods out there are laden with GMOs, pesticides or unbelievable amounts of chemicals. This Saturday, June 4, at 5:30 pm, the Spokane Tilth and the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network will screen Deborah Koons Garcia's The Future of Food at SCC's Lair Auditorium. Garcia (widow of Jerry Garcia) will make a personal appearance at the film, which examines how new technology and political pressure are changing the way we farm and eat. Refreshments, courtesy of the SCC Culinary Institute and the Spokane Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Team, will be available. Call 533-7370.