Recent Posts

Food For Thought

Jospeh Guiffre Mushrooms hold a distinct place in society’s collective consciousness, to the untrained eye falling into two major categories: food and poison. It is a delicate line they walk, between a familiar friend and frightening foe. There is a small but motivated group of mushroom enthusiasts out to open the minds of people to the possibilities of the powerful and misunderstood mushroom. At an unassuming house on Jacksonville’s Westside, fog pours out from the confines of a small shed into the bright, crisp air of a spring day. Inside is a zippered door of a tent housing about a …

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It’s A Bird, It’s A Fish, It’s A Square Grouper

Lily Snowden It’s always exciting to hear of large blocks of drugs washing up on the coast of Florida and wondering where the pirates or fugitives are that let the product slip away. What is often not thought about, however, is how or why the bale was let go or how it got there. What normal, non-drug smuggling people do not think about is the logistics from a drug dealer’s point of view. “If I drop this package from the air at this coordinate, the boat three nautical miles away will be able to pick it up due to the …

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What’s Up, Doc?

The changing face of cannabis in Northeast Florida Dr. Chidi Uche cuts a distinctive figure. Tailored suit, Italian loafers, monogrammed Ralph Lauren shirt with French cuffs and presidential seal cufflinks. Even his stethoscope is fancy; it’s white with rose gold where you’d normally see stainless steel. His cool demeanor surely inspires confidence among his clients at Timeless Medical Spa, where he specializes in a wide variety of cosmetic and aesthetic treatments. We met with him at his office on Southside Boulevard. It’s actually his second office (the other one is on University Boulevard), and it hasn’t been open that long. …

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The Wright Touch 

I overruled several amazing writers to be the one to interview comedian Steven Wright, ahead of his April 30 performance at the Florida Theater. I wanted to see if the Steven Wright who entertained me for decades was the same guy who would be on the other side of the phone.  I wondered if his delivery would be different or if I would be caught off guard by his cerebral takes in life?  The interview ended up being everything I wanted it to be and more. From the start, the interview just about went off the rails when I mentioned …

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Earth Day History

“What if, long after all of nature has been finally ground up in the garbage disposal of the technologic sink, it becomes clear that there are indispensable genetic needs for many of these components of nature?” –Hugh Iltis, in a letter to science In 1916, Gaylord Nelson was born into the forest of Northern Wisconsin. Like many kids from his time, his youth was spent between the trees and his curiosity fed by ever-changing landscapes, scurrying critters and Earth’s pools. His interest in life and the inspiration from political speakers he’d seen in town would eventually mix to create a …

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48 Hour Film Festival

Watch interview here Jay Mafela Most movies you see in the theater usually take months, even years to finish and make distribution-ready. But what if the movie had a much shorter production time? Like just two days? That is the premise of Jacksonville’s 48-Hour Film Project. The 48-Hour Film Project is an annual competition with events across the U.S. and around the world. The Jacksonville 48-Hour Film Project is headed by local filmmakers Adam and Monique Madrid, who went from participating in the festival for 10 years (and winning in 2014) to coordinating the event. “It’s been a rewarding experience …

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The Garden Club of Jax

Lily Snowden The Garden Club of Jacksonville turned 100 years old on March 25, 2022. The Garden Club of Jacksonville is one of Florida’s oldest and most established garden clubs. Ninah May Holden Cummer founded the club on March 25, 1922 in her home in Riverside. The club was originally comprised of 17 of Cummer’s friends. Within months, the club grew to over 100 members. The Garden Club of Jacksonville was one of the original four clubs in the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. The club continued to grow over the years, and eventually broke ground on a clubhouse. The …

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April Film Reviews

Harry Moore X Set in the summer of 1979, a group of filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas. But when the elderly and extremely conservative owners of the ranch they’re filming on catch them in the act, the cast and crew must fight for their lives in order to see the morning. The latest horror movie from A24 draws more from the slasher movies of the ’80s than from their more usual arthouse fare. Ti West, director of The House of the Devil and In a Valley of Violence, returns to feature filmmaking after a …

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A New School for the Beaches

Susan Gold, Archives & Collections Manager, Beaches Museum Duncan U. Fletcher High School was built through a federal grant secured with the assistance of Senator Duncan Fletcher, who the school is named for. The location was chosen so the school would be in the center of the school district, and the 22-acre site cost $5,750. The building itself was to cost $69,000 to build. The cornerstone was laid Sept. 25, 1936, and the doors opened on Sept. 20, 1937. Principal Frank Doggett recalled it was hard at first to convince the students to attend, with many wanting to continue attending …

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Understanding Ramadan: the Holiest Month in Islam

Omar Aftab Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting, begins April 1. The month is packed with traditions, both religious and cultural, and for many Muslims, it is the highlight of each year. During Ramadan, Muslims give up all food, drink and sex from sunrise to sunset. However, this is just the bare minimum. Muslims are also expected not to sin, tell lies, swear or get angry, and they are supposed to dedicate as much time as possible toward worship.  During the day, Muslims still pray the daily prayers, and they often increase worship at night. After sunset and breaking the …

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Take It from the Mathews Bridge

Finally, Jacksonville to replace Andrew Jackson statue with a lot of Nu-Metal.  By: Glenn Michael Van Dyke As Floridians, we’re all used to the long, straight, and unchanging drive from Jacksonville to Miami, from hot to hotter, an apt metaphor for Florida’s place among our current political climate. The terrain is all too familiar. It would be “very Florida” to simply crack a beer and watch the scene unfold. But that doesn’t really seem to be working in our favor.  For anyone who believes in progress, it’s easy to feel as though we’re held hostage on this here penisula. A …

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Regally ANASTASIA at the Times Union

Anastasia is based on the long-held myth that Grand Duchess Anastasia and her younger brother, Tsarevich Alexei, escaped the family’s assassination in 1918.  In the mass grave that held the parents, only three of the four sisters were found.  Spoilers!  The fourth sister and Alexei were found in 2007, ten years after the animated movie release.  Although the mystic Rasputin (in the movie, but not the play) makes for a great bad guy, he was actually assassinated two years before the Romanovs.  Last, but not least, the Dowager Empress never lived in Paris.  She traveled to England to live with …

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Dear Dumbs,

My wife and I love your podcast. In fact, we’ve listened to last weeks three times now. You both inspire us. I’ve been asked to be the Best Man for my friends wedding. He’s very traditional so we’re doing all the pain in the ass wedding stuff. I mean, by the book. One of my many requirements is the thing everybody’s waiting for, the speech. In the speech I’m supposed to talk about and share stories of, what a perfect couple they are. How he’s changed since meeting her. Well, he’s changed a lot. She has taken away any dream …

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Changing the Demographic One Mile at a Time

Lily Snowden I recently took a trip down I-95 South in the middle of Bike Week in Daytona. As I was driving, I noticed every bike I passed either had a lady on the back or a man driving alone. Why do men always get to do the driving? The obvious answer is because traditionally the man drives the bike, and the woman sits on the back, or in the “bitch” seat. But it got me thinking, “Are there any all female groups out there? Are all motorcycle groups really just full of old dudes with braided white ponytails?” The …

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NFAN

Jay Mafela Ever since COVID-19 hit the nation two years ago, our world was changed forever under a global pandemic. What people forget is the other pandemic that plagues our lives even to this day: HIV. That’s why NFAN is there for us.  Located in Riverside, the Northeast Florida AIDS Network (NFAN) is the largest AIDS service organization in the region. For over 30 years, they have worked to prevent the spread of HIV or treat and assist those who have it. The group serves about 1,500 people every year and offers a large number of services. The main purpose …

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The Grey Area

Kale Boucher Are you a boy or a girl? Why are you ashamed of your body? What do you expect people to think? You don’t want to be a man? Why doesn’t your girlfriend just date a dude? It’s just the way it is. Keagan Anfuso, a woman and creator who just happens to feel comfortable rocking loose fitting clothes and a “boyish” haircut, copied these quotes from memory onto index cards. In preparation to pitch their film, co-director Drew Brown suggested Keagan write down all the comments she could remember: anything funny, hurtful, or outright confusing someone has said …

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Say Gay

Florida, you have disappointed me once again. As if the LGBTQ+ community did not have enough to fear already, Florida legislation is adding a new law to ensure schools can no longer be a safe space for its students. We all know certain Florida government officials to be very controversial, but this absolutely takes the cake. The new legislation, if signed into law, will restrict primary schools from teaching students about sexual orientation and gender issues. What is the Parental Rights in Education bill? The bill, commonly known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, is legislation passed by the Florida …

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JASMYN

As the LGBTQ+ community faces more and more obstacles, including the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, a safe place for the community is needed now more than ever. JASMYN is stepping up to take on the challenge in an effort to build a community where young LGBTQ+ members can freely be themselves, despite any backlash those members may face with friends and/or family. JASMYN is an organization that aims to provide a safe place offering health and wellness services to young members of the LGBTQ+ community. They offer development opportunities and promote equality for all. They believe the young members are …

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Poe Pinson Profile

How long have you been skating for? About 13 years. That’s like you learn to walk and push at the same time. Have you been competing the whole time, too? Oh, not really the whole time. My first bigger contest was in 2014/2015 at Exposure in Encinitas, California. That was pretty sick. I was nine or 10. And I got first place in the under 14. It was an all girls contest so it had a super cool vibe. How did you get involved with X-Games stuff? The first Olympic qualifier was a Dew Tour event in 2019. And that …

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Not Bad Activism

Today’s whirlwind of media and pseudo activism makes it really hard to tell who is behind a business. Virtual signaling filling storefronts and social media posts aligning too perfectly with current issues are common tools businesses use to create an image of who they are, but it isn’t unusual company practices don’t align with these public cries of “Buy from us! We’re the good guys!”  Brew 5 Points, on the other hand, with no performative activism in sight, are indeed one of the good people. Putting the needs of the community on par with the needs of employees has kept  …

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In This Climate?! – Green Gentrification 

Joseph Guiffre There was a time in my life where I found myself in a predicament. One that dictated, among other things, a few days out of the week I had to take a bus from McDuff Avenue to downtown. The route traversed McCoy’s Creek Blvd from west to east. The times I would become impatient waiting and walk to my destination outnumbered afternoons spent riding the bus. Wandering along the sidewalk, which runs parallel to the path of McCoy’s Creek, I was struck by this mostly untouched waterway in the heart of the city within sight of the tall …

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Talk Nerdy to Me

We’ve all seen it on TV, in the movies, and sometimes in real life. You’re walking around, minding your business when you see a group of people dressed as characters from Star Trek or Lord of the Rings. If it isn’t Halloween, don’t get too confused; those people are just cosplaying. Cosplay, short for “costume play,” is the act of dressing like or making oneself look like a fictional character. Cosplays are especially popular at events like conventions or the premiere of an anticipated movie. The kinds of things people will cosplay vary greatly from anime, video games, comics, novels, …

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Dog Gone!

Emily Nunez, State Representative Candidate  Winston Churchill said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Looks like Jacksonville didn’t get Winston’s memo.  Large salaries and lavish spending, along with fraud and abuse, has been a recurring theme in Jacksonville, especially with leaders of non-profit organizations and elected officials.   In 2013, then Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned when Allied Veterans, a charity for veterans which she widely championed and was the public face, was helping themselves to money meant for veterans. Carroll was not ultimately charged, although most of the $300 million raised was spent by …

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March Film Reviews

Harry Moore The Batman With a new decade comes a new interpretation of the Batman (and it’s safe to say this one does not dance) in what may be the darkest big screen adaptation of the character yet. An elusive serial killer (Paul Dano) is murdering the elites of Gotham City, leaving riddles at the crime scene addressed to the Batman (Robert Pattinson) that tease the identity of the next victim and threaten to reveal a conspiracy involving the city’s most powerful figures. With the help of Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and the seductive cat burglar Selina Kyle …

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Weird Wild Stuff #3

Here we are, not even three full months into the year yet, and Florida Man already approaches his mid-season form. And he is NOT alone, as you’ll soon see. Let’s begin with our colleagues at Orlando Weekly, who delivered the good word about Publix, which recently cut ties with a company called Chaokoh, who used to be their plug for coconut milk—well, one of them; you can never have too many connections for coconut milk. What caused the cancelation? Monkey slaves. A PETA operation in Thailand two years ago uncovered evidence that monkeys were being chained to used tires and …

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april, 2022

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