Moxie's in Wynantskill -- of the Around the World of Vanilla sampler, of the blue moon ice cream, of the somewhat-later-than-other-stands opening -- is now open (opened on Mother's Day), 3-9 weekdays, 1:30-9 pm on weekends. That is all. Earlier: Moxie's is more than plain vanilla
The schedule for this summer's Rockin' on the River concert series in Troy is out. The Wednesday night series starts up June 19. This year the concerts will start out in Green Island Bridge parking lot and move to Riverfront Park in August.
OK, without further ado, the schedule...
There's an interesting article over at Modern Farmer about "the dark side" of Greek yogurt production: whey -- what's left over from the process of making yogurt. A clip from the article by Justin Elliot:
For every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It's a thin, runny waste product that can't simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers. That could turn a waterway into what one expert calls a "dead sea," destroying aquatic life over potentially large areas. Spills of cheese whey, a cousin of Greek yogurt whey, have killed tens of thousands of fish around the country in recent years.
The scale of the problem--or opportunity, depending on who you ask--is daunting. The $2 billion Greek yogurt market has become one of the biggest success stories in food over the past few years and total yogurt production in New York nearly tripled between 2007 and 2013. New plants continue to open all over the country. The Northeast alone, led by New York, produced more than 150 million gallons of acid whey last year, according to one estimate.
And as the nation's hunger grows for strained yogurt, which produces more byproduct than traditional varieties, the issue of its acid runoff becomes more pressing. Greek yogurt companies, food scientists, and state government officials are scrambling not just to figure out uses for whey, but how to make a profit off of it.
As you know, New York State was the nation's biggest producer of yogurt in 2012, thanks in large part to the Greek yogurt factories in the state (including Chobani). So this is a pressing issue upstate -- especially as companies to continue to expand production. And there doesn't appear to be an easy answer.
Modern Farmer: Yep, that's the new publication based in Hudson.
The senior class gift to RPI from the 2013 graduating class? "A a giant functional Rubik's cube mounted statue." Because... of course. Says the class president in a press release: "First off, it's a nerdy toy that resonates with a lot of the student body. Secondly, building it, with a brand-new mechanism by necessity, would be an impressive feat of engineering design and manufacturing, again resonating with the nature of our school." Here's a video of the prototype.
Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: workforce challenging, the Bod Pod, like of Troy, memories, Esther and Whiteface, a buffet for beavers, an excellent opening, less than transparent, don'ts, Henry Burden, then and now, circus school, the Tour de Gelato, heart melting creme brulee, Tara Kitchen, popcorn-esque frisbees, super carrots.
This Slate article takes up the (not) very important work of improving state bird choices -- and fighting the forces of the powerful bluebird lobby. (Guess what New York's state bird is...) [via Kottke] Earlier: On state animals, vegetables and whatnot
We gotta admit when we first read the description for "Subliminal Transcriptions" -- an upcoming light installation at the Arts Center of the Capital Region -- with its mentions of "transcription" and "topography" and "minuscule conditions" we were kind of like... huh? But then we saw the photo above.
"Subliminal Transcriptions" is the creation of Yael Erel, an architect currently in an RPI grad program for architecture and lighting. She's also the co-founder of a lighting design company called lightexture. Here's a short Etsy video about the company from a few years back.
Subliminal Transcriptions grew out of a project to understand and control projected reflections from light fixtures, along with the drawings they produce. While working as a luminaire designer, an accidental discovery allowed Erel to realize the complexities evident in the simplest materials and smallest textures. "It all started with a piece of double sided tape" said Erel. When amplified with a reflector, the minuscule and seemingly invisible surface textures were revealed beyond what the naked eye could see.
The opening reception for the installation is June 6 from 5-9 pm. The installation will be on display in the Arts Center's black box theater June 6-8.
Yep, the Arts Center has advertised on AOA.
Niskayuna school budget rejected, state judge backs ban on Armory dance parties, historic house accidentally saved
School budgets in most Capital Region districts were approved by voters on Tuesday, but the Niskayuna budget -- which included a 5.76 percent tax increase that required overriding the tax cap -- was voted down. The district's superintendent said in a statement that official expected to adjust the budget and put it back up for re-vote June 18. [Record] [YNN] [TU] [NCSC]
John Davis beat self-proclaimed fascist, and reptile owner, Jose Lopez for a seat on the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees. [APL Press release]
Andrew Cuomo has reached a casino agreement with the Mohawk Tribal Council that will give the Mohawk's casino exclusivity in an 8-county region of northern New York in exchange for $30 million in back payments to New York State plus future revenue shares from the casino. The move eliminates the prospect of locating a casino in Lake George. [TU][Post Star][Gazette]
Two of Vito Lopez's alleged harassment victims are "actively considering" suing Sheldon Silver for negligence in light of recent reports that Silver covered up earlier harassment claims through confidential settlements. [NY Post]
A 26-year-old Albany man was shot in the leg early Tuesday near the intersection of 1st and Judson Streets in the city. [TU]
A New York State judge has backed a decision by Albany's Zoning Board of Appeals to block dance parties at the Washington Avenue Armory. The original decision was made, in part, by consulting the dictionary for a definition of auditorium. [TU]
The unemployment rate in the Capital Region was 6.5 percent in April -- down from 7.2 percent during the same period last year, according to the state Department of Labor. [NYS DOL]
Today's map: The breweries, wineries, and distilleries of New York State.
We created this map based on data recently posted by the state. It includes big breweries and distillers, but also microbreweries, farm wineries, and cider producers. Check it out in large format -- where there's also a legend for the map.
To some extent, this is just sort of map gawkage. But it does highlight certain patterns...
After receiving a heads up about Albany Library trustee candidate Jose Lopez -- YouTube-described follower of "fascism" (as well as flag orderer) and "alligator man" -- Kerry contacted us to basically ask: Is this for real? Well, he's on the ballot. And as for whether he's for real... well... this Metroland article about Lopez might shed some light on that. Lopez is one of two candidates for the open trustee spot -- John D. Davis is the other. Update: Davis won 1,952-530.
TG Branfalt Jr, the one-man crew behind the project, posts that the doc was prompted by the expanding footprint of Albany Med and other new development in the Park South neighborhood -- which, as a few people have speculated, could eventually include where Valentine's sits. He continues:
Personally, Valentine's was where I went to punk rock shows over a decade ago. It was the very first place my first band played out. I played there almost monthly for a couple years with my second band. They always treated us well and I have yet to hear about Howard or Mike treating the bands poorly.
They've been a home for those miscreants, myself included, who don't dig the downtown or Lark Street scene in Albany.
My goal is to tell the story and explain the history of the venue through the lens of those who love the club. The club will always hold a special place in a lot of hearts.
He's looking to raise $6,500 for the project. Funding ends June 19.
Says Jona on Twitter:
it's official, I need to learn how to swim #swim. ... I know how to swim to save my life, but not compete. thanks!
There are two types of answers for a "swimming lessons for adults" question:
+ Lessons for basic swimming.
+ Lessons for people who already know how to swim a bit, but want to get better/faster for exercise or so they can compete in events like triathlons. (Sounds like what Jona's looking for.)
Either type of lesson can be hard to find if you're an adult. (Swimming lessons often seem to be geared toward kids.)
So... have a suggestion on either account? Please share!
Swimming season will be here soon.
Useful: The Lighting Research Center at RPI has launched a website with a bunch on information on lighting homes. The site includes patterns for lighting spaces, as well as details on different types of fixtures and bulbs.
That might not exactly light you up (oof), but lighting can make a big difference. Switching out the harsh ceiling light in the middle of a room for lamps can make the space feel a lot better.
The most interesting part of the site for us is the section that includes an interactive calculator for comparing the cost and energy use of different lighting sources in a room. The calculator lets you change the numbers around based on variables such as usage and wattage and anticipated life of the arrangement.
For example, the LRC figures lighting a small living room with incandescents costs on average $53 per year; with CFLs, it would cost $15; and with LEDs $21. (Even though LEDs are more energy efficient than CFLs, the bulbs themselves cost a lot more.)
image: RPI Lighting Research Center
Silver apologizes for handling of sexual harassment case, woman accused of soliciting donations for cancer she didn't have, 20 for $1 million
Today is school budget voting. Don't know where to vote? Check with your district's website.
An "uncharacteristically contrite" Sheldon Silver apologized for the handling of complaints of sexual harassment against now-former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. He also proposed a group of changes to Assembly sexual harassment polices, among them making all Assembly members and supervisory staff mandatory reporters of harassment. [TU] [NYDN] [NY Assembly]
Andrew Cuomo again criticized Silver's handling of the situation Monday. A Democratic Assemblyman from the Buffalo area took the rare step of announcing he was leaving the chamber's Democratic conference in protest. But Silver, "a master of wielding the levers of power at the Capitol," always seems to find a way to sail through the crisis. [State of Politics] [Buffalo News] [NYT]
The Chemung County sheriff says reps for county sheriffs around the state weren't summoned to the Capitol recently to discuss changes to the NY SAFE Act, as they thought -- but rather for Andrew Cuomo to tell to stop speaking against the gun law. [TU]
What's left of St. Patrick's in Watervliet: a pile of bricks. [TU]
Noted and filed under road trippage: There is book titled Unknown Museums of Upstate New York, by Chuck D'Imperio. Blurbage (links added):
Unknown Museums of Upstate New York is an informative and entertaining guide to the rich resources available at fifty small, often overlooked, regional museums. Even those familiar with the upstate area will likely have never visited and perhaps never heard of some of the treasures this guide unearths, such as the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum, the Kazoo Museum, and the Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage and Museum. D'Imperio tells each museum's story, in light of its cultural and historical relevance, and he provides a wealth of information about the museums as places of interest to visit, not just to read about.
D'Imperio really seems to have honed in on niche. Among his other books: Monumental New York! A Guide to 30 Iconic Memorials in Upstate New York and Great Graves of Upstate New York
book cover: Syracuse University Press
The work is autobiography with a twist: Fink travels back in time in an attempt to help her former selves. It results in some fantasies we've probably all had -- like providing her younger self with the comeback to an insult. But it also prompts her to re-examine how she acted and why. And, of course, not everything goes as planned. It is at turns funny, charming, and intense.
Or, as Fink summarized it to us one time: "It's part autobiography, part sci fi, part make-outs and farts jokes."
Here's a good write-up about it at io9.
We Can Fix It! is available in both hard copy ($14.95) and digital ($6.99).
Among Fink's other work is Chester 5000 XYV, a comic and graphic novel about a Victorian-era man who creates a sex robot for his wife -- with unexpected results.
images: Jess Fink / Top Shelf
Collins asks via Twitter:
Good Albany steak/filet recommendation? Other than Prime
The "other than Prime" part is a little like asking "What are some traditionally successful baseball teams -- other than the Yankees?" But it's good to get some suggestions beyond the places that get mentioned all the time.
And our quick take on steak: Considering steak is one of those things we don't order often, we tend to avoid filet. You know, if you're going to order a steak, order something with a lot of flavor -- a ribeye, hanger, something like that.
Got a suggestion? Please share.
Earlier on AOA: Ask AOA: The best burgers in the Capital Region? (2010)
The schedule is out for this summer's New York State Writers Institute's public readings series in Saratoga.
As usual, there are a bunch of names you'll recognize. The readings are in the evenings on the Skidmore campus -- they're free and open to the public.
Thanks to a few recent coronal mass ejections from the sun, the aurora was invisible in New York State over the weekend -- resulting in this fantastic photo from Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks. (And another aurora photo from a Saratoga parking lot.) Here's Spaceweather.com's gallery of recent aurora photos. [via Upstate NY Weather]
Each week with My Exit our friends at WEXT give us a chance to check out what's on the playlists of people in the Capital Region.
Today's guest DJ, Jen Acuna.
And you can always try searching for it: