February 2009

Best of luck on this Big Weekend to Telluride AIDS Benefit key players: TAB boardmember/AIDS activist Ron Gilmer, TAB boardchair Jodie Shike Wright of ONE Architects and fashion show director/New York director Shawn Rozsa.(Jen Koskinen photo) ...

For Telluride AIDS Benefit supporters, this is the Big Weekend, the culmination of the efforts of a small army of activists determined to raise the bar on prevention through awareness and to help those affected and infected by the seemingly irrepressible pandemic.

Twenty-five years ago, since  a faceless, nameless virus was announced in this country,
AIDS victims and their families have flocked like moths to flames of hope – a miracle cure whispered here, a sudden recovery talked about there. The pot of gold everyone is seeking at the end of the rainbow is a vaccine – but so far, nada: AIDS has resisted medications through mutation.

Although the number of AIDS-related deaths has tumbled since the advent of a more potent class of HIV drugs in the mid-90s, the rate of new infections in the U.S. has remained unchanged: about 53,000 – 55,000 cases a year.

February 26 to March 5, 2009

Universe_man Venus – planet of love and beauty - and the Moon – planet of growth and fertility – conjoin in the heavens on Feb. 27th at approximately 5:00 p.m. MST in the early degrees of Aries the Ram, and it’s the last time we will see these two mythological goddesses come together at night this year. Look for this poignantly magnificent planetary conjunction above the western horizon at dusk and on in to early evening. It’s certain to be stunning and beautiful, a celestial event you just don’t want to miss!

And as you go about your daily round this zodiac month, check out the emerging mutable energetics of Pisces the Fish. Things are morphing, the Earth is changing, Old Man Winter is getting ready to flee. God and goddess bless and may the peace and harmony of Venus combine with the maternal, nurturing energy of the Moon for a very fertile, relaxing and romantic week.

The Children's Hospital Immunodeficiency Program inside the Denver Children's Hospital began attending to the medical needs of HIV-infected children in 1991, only three short years before TAB got off the ground. Now in its 18th year, CHIP has grown into multi-disciplinary program serving infected parents,...

Stargazers and sky watchers take note: Venus will be leaving the night sky in March, when it disappears behind the Sun. Although this magnificent planet will reappear as a “morning star” in April, we are experiencing the last weeks of its shimmering magic as...

Auction, Friday, noon – 9 p.m., Telluride's Sheridan Opera House

(Check out the slide show below: Jen Koskinen's photo from 2008 auction and a sample of the art to be auctioned.)

The virus was announced in Washington, D.C. in April 1984. As quickly as the pandemic spread, AIDS threaded itself into the fabric of our lives. It also became an insistent muse for artists of every stripe.

Art about AIDS or art in support of AIDS causes is as varied as its many creators, but it always springs from a very personal place. Whatever form it takes,  it is always a victory for the transformative powers of the imagination: It can turn devastation into beauty or shine a light on dark things repressed in society or in our psyches, things everyone wants to run away from.

The Nugget Theatre in Telluride is screening three movies in the coming week. The romantic comedy, "He's Just Not That Into You", with a first line cast including Ben Affleck, Jennifer Anniston and Drew Barrymore, starts Friday at 8:30 pm and runs through  Thursday, March...

The Telluride AIDS Benefit is Robert Presley’s legacy. It now reaches out in many ways to many different places/institutions: locally, through its education initiative; regionally to the Denver Children’s Hospital Immunodeficiency Program (CHIP) and Brother Jeff’s Health Initiative; internationally, through The Telluride Project in Manzini, Swaziland, Sub-Saharan Africa and Ethiopia; and to neighbors on the Western Slope through TAB’s primary beneficiary, the Western Colorado AIDS Project or WestCAP.

In 1994, WestCAP  was still a very small nonprofit operating out of Grand Junction under the direction of a small board of directors and administered part-time by a nurse, Shelley Nielsen. Nielsen did great work with the Mesa County Health Department and as part-time executive director/case manager for WestCAP. Clients being served lived primarily in Mesa County, until Presley worked his magic.

Feb. 24, 2009

Comet Lulin

Lulin_PR_Med There's a weird, double-tailed comet in the night sky this week and it can be spotted with a pair of good binoculars, even through low-level light pollution. And in the beautifully clear, high-altitude atmosphere of the San Juan Mountains, even naked eye viewing is possible. But, you'll have to know exactly where to look. The chart at right should get you there - it shows the starry scene about 9 p.m. - but the viewing will actually get better later, after 10p.m., when the comet and its background rise higher.

The comet, formally known as "C/2007 N3 (Lulin)", was discovered at Lulin Observatory in Taiwan in July 2007. In telescopes and low-light images, it's showing both a dim gas tail and a dust-spike antitail pointing in nearly the opposite direction. Its current brightness is about magnitude 5.2.

How to Find It:

To locate the planet Saturn, watch the eastern horizon at twilight and early evening. Eventually, you will see two distinct points of light shining in the east-southeast sky. Regulus, the "heart star" of the Leo the Lion, rises first, followed shortly thereafter by a larger, brighter Saturn. The comet Lulin can be seen traveling close-by and in front of these two celestial objects. Sometime between midnight or 1:00 a.m., this cosmic trio will reach zenith - the highest point of their ascension - in the southern night sky. For those with telescopes, Saturn rings are just 2º from "edge on." Good luck and happy viewing!

by Dr. Susannah Smith

Hypnosis is a natural, normal state of consciousness, characterized by the focus of attention on one concept to the exclusion of others.  We experience hypnotic states all the time: when we are reading a book and don't hear someone who is calling our name; when we drive to work and are lost in thought, not really focusing on each turn and location; when we are listening to an "entrancing" story; or when we are in the mystical state drifting on and off into sleep.

I took my first course in hypnosis because I was fascinated.  I did not think anyone could snap their fingers and make me bark like a dog!  What I discovered was a profoundly helpful understanding of hypnosis in general, and what we clinicians call "therapeutic hypnosis."  For most purposes, a light trance state produces the beneficial results we are seeking.  For those who want to experience the deep states of hypnosis, practice is required.  We can learn to put ourselves into a hypnotic state and to choose our areas of focus.

Why would anyone want to practice hypnosis?  The benefits are infinite.  Athletes use hypnosis to focus on the game and to exclude the anxiety of the crowd and noise.  We cleanse ourselves when we go into hypnotic states, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.  We can teach ourselves how to use hypnotic states to help overcome phobias and anxiety attacks.  In a deep trance state, surgery without anesthesia can be performed.