Saturday, August 29, 2009

    TEDx Asheville

    --by Jason Sandford in the Mountain Xpress.

    Call it a circus for your brain. Call it an idea explosion with a rock-and-roll vibe. Call it a variety show for nerds, by nerds.
    No matter how organizer Jennifer Saylor describes it, the TEDx Asheville event set for Aug. 30 at the Orange Peel will do one thing — spotlight the ideas and talents of Asheville's big thinkers and creative minds. The event is the culmination of several months of planning after a local group of fans of the annual California-based conference known as TED (which stands for technology, entertainment and design) got together and decided to stage an Asheville version of the event.

    "Our presenter lineup is the result of around 90 speaker nominees and months of volunteer labor, watching videos, reading bios, discussing our options, listening to talks and ideas," Saylor says. "We think our lineup is completely in the TED spirit of humor, mastery, changing society and having vision for the future. It's made up out of the coolest and most interesting people we could find in a citywide search several months long."

    The line-up of speakers includes David McConville, co-founder of The Elumenati, an Asheville design and engineering company that creates custom immersive environments such as domes; Drew Jones, a specialist in systems dynamics and climate-change modeling who is program director for the Vermont-based Sustainability Institute; Dee Eggers, an environmental studies professor at UNC Asheville; Robert Zimmerman, whose Web development company has created sites for illustrators and art directors; and Caroline Yongue, a home-funeral educator who talks about end-of-life transitions.

    There's plenty of entertainment mixed in the four-hour event, with acts including poet Glenis Redmond and Chris Tanfield and Dave Hamilton. Saylor promises a couple of "big surprises" as well.

    Seating is limited to 400 people and the show is free, so Saylor is encouraging people to arrive early to be sure they get a seat. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The party starts at 7 p.m. Saylor says she doesn't have a feel for whether the event will fill up, but adds that interest has been high.

    Asheville resident Rick Fornoff, who coaches public speakers and is a TEDx Asheville organizer, has been coaching four of the event speakers. The TED requirement is that each speaker be limited to 18 minutes.

    "Part of the power of the talks is that it's great information that's condensed. You don't have long to get it out there," Fornoff says. "So it's a matter of pruning and getting to the point."

    Both Saylor and Fornoff note that local organizers have a real passion for TED, which is built around the idea of offering a global forum for ideas worth spreading. They hope that their excitement shows in the production.

    "We're all fans of TED, and in Asheville we're all proud of the fertility of the community here," Fornoff says. "This is a chance for us to show off our intellectual capital."

    The goal is to hold the event again next summer, with planning for that starting in October. Saylor urges anyone interested in getting involved to send an e-mail to

    For more information, visit

    Source | live simulcast of this Sunday’s TEDx event

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    The Village Witch

    Byron Ballard is a local writer, urban farmer and Buncombe county native who writes about traditional Appalachian witching and modern Earth religions. She holds a BA from UNCA, a Master of Fine Arts from Trinity University and lives in historic West End of Asheville, NC with her husband, daughter, four cats and a demanding garden. This blog is the place to come to find out what’s happening in the local Earth religions community, to learn about mountain cures and charms and to ask questions about which witch is which.


    Follow along on the Citizen-Times website.

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Gathering of the Peacemakers

    Asheville/Black Mountain, NC
    August 30-September 5, 2009

    Our 90th One Event - Our 4th One Love Retreat!

    Tons of events and music!

    link | performers

    "Rethink Afghanistan" movie on August 27th

    Film & Discussion — Free
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 7-9PM
    North Asheville Library, 1030 Merrimon Ave.

    Since the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. has spent almost
    $225 billion and coalition forces have lost more than 1300 troops. In just
    the first six months of 2009, we killed more than 1,000 civilians. There
    is no end in sight.

    Why are we still there? Are the people of Afghanistan any better off? Have
    women’s rights improved? Is the government stable? Are there better ways
    to spend our tax dollars? Is our military presence effective?

    Carnegie Endowment's Gilles Dorronsoro says:
    "The mere presence of foreign soldiers fighting a war in Afghanistan is
    probably the single most important factor in the Taliban's resurgence."

    What do you say?

    Join Veterans For Peace for a screening and discussion of Brave New Films’
    documentary, “Rethink Afghanistan” ( This
    full-length documentary about America’s escalating military involvement in
    the country provides expert opinions as well as troubling images as it
    answers many questions and raises others. More info: (828) 626-2572

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Sunday's Washington Post On Asheville

    Asheville, N.C., Has a Song at Its Heart

    By Christina Talcott
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    In Asheville, music is everywhere. From church bells and buskers to pipe organs and drum circles, the city pulses with soundtracks as different as the experiences it has to offer. Read More »

    There's also a page on What To Do In Asheville/Where To Go.

    The Grey Eagle, August Calendar

    Some of the best music around today can be found at The Grey Eagle. It boggles the effin' mind, I tell you.

    If you appreciate the essence of classic rock, you'll like Dungen. They're from Sweden and their sound is psychedelic rock sung in Swedish. Dungen's appearing Tuesday, AUGUST 18. And Woods is also on the bill.

    The White Rabbits AND Fiery Furnaces visit Tuesday, August 25. They've got two drummers and tight vocals with a solid rock sound. What's not to love? Here's a video of my favorite song of the White Rabbits called "Percussion Gun".

    There's much more in store in August at The Grey Eagle. Stop by the website and have a look at the calendar section. link

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Pets of Western NC

    I've found a website that is just loaded with all sorts of pet information for the surrounding 18 counties.

    Lost Pets of Western NC began with the intention to provide information and resources that will shorten the time between loss and reunion. It's full of good information for any pet owner and someone has really put their heart into this website.

    They also have tons of resources.

    Pet Sitting
    Pet Mobile Services
    Pet Behaviorists
    Pet Daycare/Boarding
    Lost & Found Information
    Vets & Hospitals
    Shelters/Human Societies
    Pet Memorials
    Pet Portraits


    Saturday, August 08, 2009

    World Bridge IV: Veils will be lifted, worlds be bridged.
    7-9 August 2009 presented by Those People Productions

    Join us once again for a ritual of deep, dark, twisted, mind expanding, trance dancing. It's another year of amazing tribal/neuro trance under the stars at Deerfields Retreat, NC,US.

    Prepare… this one is going to be a psychedelic journey of massive proportions! Come dance with us in the mountains!

    Bring your art, vibe, rituals, & moves, and meet us on the floor for trancendental communication through sound and movement.