Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 3:35 PM on Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photo by Michael Armstrong

A fox-sparrow perches on a bush on Diamond Ridge.

Physicists around the world popped champagne corks Wednesday at the exciting news that the Higgs boson had been discovered. The Betster took some science in college and kindasorta understands this stuff, but yours truly admits to severe brain ache in trying to understand subatomic particles.

Think of it this way. It's like proposing that the Northwest Passage exists, because the North American continent has to end somewhere on its northern edges and in theory that means a ship can sail along the edge from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. Explorers had seen parts of the passage but until Roald Amundsen and his brave crew actually went through the whole thing in one trip, no one could say the passage existed. Maybe halfway there was a mysterious ginormous block of ice that no one could go through.

Anyway, scientists who play with really big, expensive toys smashed some atoms in the Large Hadron Collider, made some measurements and said this particle that makes all other particles possible existed. The Higgs boson creates a sticky field that gives all the building blocks of nature mass. Yeah, the Betster doesn't quite get that, either.

It's sort of like the glue that holds communities together. How does a town become a town? It's not government. Some weird force binds humans together. We're social animals. We like to hang out with other social animals, at least most of us. It's talking to neighbors and friends and caring for each other.

Like the other day when the Betster's friend Sue found a big black Lab running loose at the dump. Sue rescued the dog and started asking around. Was it the cop's dog? Nope, the cop's dog showed up. Sue asked her friend Sherry if she recognized the dog. Sherry asked Sonya who asked Tom who said yeah, a friend had been helping him fix fences and he had a black Lab. Dog found. That's how communities work.

So get out, see your town, hang with your friends and neighbors, and if you're visiting Homer this week, make some new friends. There's always something cool to do, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST FORWARD INTO THE PAST BET: Gilligan's Island. The Beverly Hillbillies. The Love Boat. Now imagine if some of those classic TV shows you know and love get mashed up with, say, Deadliest Catch. Voila! You have Comedy Cocktail Party, the latest wonky variety show from the people who brought you Old Songs and Duct Tape. Or was that Old Songs and Chapstick? Whatever. It's just people being silly. The show opens today at 7 p.m. at Alice's Champagne Palace. Here's the cool angle — proceeds benefit local nonprofits.

BEST BIG ART BET: Not only are the wildflowers coming into full bloom, but Homer's art scene is at its peak. See what's up for First Friday at galleries from Pioneer Avenue to Old Town. Opening receptions start at 5 p.m. See schedule, page 8.

BEST HOT AND STEAMY BET: If it's a tad chilly for you, warm up with "Night of the Iguana," Tennessee William's play about a man facing his demons in a Mexican jungle town. The Pier One Theatre production opens at 8:15 p.m. Friday and plays Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $12 at the Homer Bookstore and the door.

BEST NICE LEGS BET: The Betster doesn't quite get this, but women really like men in kilts. See some of Alaska's finest Scottish Highland Games athletes in, yes, kilts at the second annual Kachemak Bay Scottish Club Highland Games, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Karen Hornaday Park. There will be pipers, food, crafts and just a fine celebration of Scottish culture, aye. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

BEST BIG HAT BET: Cowboys, cowgirls and cowkids saddle up the horses and head up to Ninilchik for the 52nd annual Ninilchik Rodeo. Wow — that's like ancient history for Alaska. The rodeo starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Kenai Peninsula Fair Grounds. See story, page 2.