Top Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

From Monty Python to Mother Mary: Nine Weird Classes Offered at ASU This Fall

It's time a take a deep breath and face reality: school is around the corner.

Yep. We'll let that sink in for a second.

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Once you've come to terms, we've got some tips that might make the next 15-credit-hour-filled months just a bit more bearable. Check out our list of nine weird (in a mostly good way) classes offered this fall at Arizona State University.

--Lauren Saria

Tempe Duo Crafts Awesome Mass Effect 3 Cosplay Armor

In a hot, poorly ventilated garage in Tempe, a young couple lost a lot of sleep so they could hammer out one the best Mass Effect cosplay costumes in time for the San Diego Comic Con Masquerade.

David Lyon is an architect who has worked on everything from remodeling the Arizona Science Center to skate parks. His wife, Jenna, is a self-described "art nerd" and graduate student at ASU.

Their foray into the world of cosplay started when Jenna, who had recently started playing the Mass Effect series, joked that they should make a female Commander Shepard costume. David agreed and it rapidly ballooned from crude cardboard mock ups into a full size metal working project.

Check out more photos of the duo's Mass Effect 3 cosplay armor.

--Ando Muneno

Don Parks' Massive Collection of Yard Art, Statues, and Phoenix Relics

If Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz from American Pickers ever return to Arizona, there are a couple places the duo might want to go digging. Namely, the pair of neighboring houses over in the West Valley owned by Don Parks.

The wizened treasure hunters would likely have a memorable day at either house, considering that both are absolutely stuffed to the rafters with a voluminous variety of gems, junk, and hundreds of other interesting and historic artifacts from both Arizona and around the nation. That includes a few remnants from the iconic Legend City, the renowned Valley theme park of local lore.

It's kind of hard not to miss Parks' pair of houses, considering that there's a 23-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan wielding an axe towering over the front yard of one of the residences.

Check out the full slideshow of Don Parks' strange collection.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Laurie Notaro's Five Reasons Why Haboobs Are Awesome

Laurie Notaro is an author, crafter, and expert at finding a good cocktail. She grew up in Phoenix, but is currently based in Eugene, Oregon. Each week, she'll be joining us to share a crafting adventure, draw a flowchart, or remember a few of her favorite things about Phoenix. This week, she took a look at the recent Phoenix weather madness, and why, in her words, Haboobs are awesome.

5. In less than 30 seconds, a respectable Haboob can fill the artificial cleavage of every Scottsdale housewife racing from Lucy to the safety of her Land Rover in the parking lot at Kierland.

Bejeweled flip flops aren't natural disaster-friendly footwear, and some may actually topple over due to their tank tops becoming filled like the sands in an hour glass. It may take days to months to find survivors, or sadly, (kinda not, I'm just being nice) only squishy silicone pillows behind the Cheesecake Factory in huddled piles surrounded by plastic diamonds and patches of glitter.

Read the rest of the reason haboobs are awesome!

--Laurie Notaro

We're Doomed: Russian Mogul Claims Humans Will Be Immortal by 2045

Dmitry Itskov has an interesting view of the future.

The Russian business mogul is on a mission to create cybernetic immortality and, according to Discovery, has gathered resources and a team to create brain-controlled "functional holographic human avatars" that will be up and running within the next 33 years.

If you happen to be a billionaire, he's asking for your help -- and he doesn't mean through Kickstarter.

Read more and maybe you'll become immortal too.

--Claire Lawton

Don't forget to check out Jackalope Ranch's continuing series, 100 Creatives.

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