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Ignite Phoenix 13: Neon Nostalgia, The Importance of Wandering, and Double Fisting Books

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Ignite Phoenix presented its 13th installment of local lectures to a packed house on Friday night at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts. As always, presenters were each allotted 5 minutes and 20 slides to share their stories, ideas, and passions ranging in every topic from sustainable living to living with alopecia.

Indeed no two Ignite Phoenix's are the same which is why we'd like to recap a few of our favorite one-night-only performances from Friday (the 13th).

See Also: - Street Artist Yote Visualizes "Welcoming Arizona" with The Bienvenidos Project - Architecture Worth Preserving: Local Community Still Fighting to Save Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright House

Leading the presenters was Bob Roman who defined "wanderlust" and his personal experiences with living in "the margins of society." According to Roman, you only need three ingredients to wander: good people, a spirit of adventure, and some cash. And while we might not all be inclined to take wanderlust to such nomadic extremes as a man who doesn't know where he's sleeping on any given night, we are inspired to try a new commute to work this week.

In the wake of upcoming elections and perhaps his personal experience serving on city council for the City of Tempe, Kolby Granville discussed the three basic principles that we should remember in any election: politicians aren't people, they're products; it's not about who you represent so much as it is who you have to keep happy (in order to get (re)elected); and lastly, 250 people run your city. A staggering figure but if you watch the video of Granville's performance, (videos of all the presentations are posted on the Ignite Phoenix website) this sobering figure becomes a bit more believable.

Our favorite unofficial historian, Marshall Shore talked about the outdated and endangered art of neon signs in Arizona. He explained how historic signs such as My Florist, Courtesy Chevrolet, and the Log Cabin on Van Buren (which narrowly avoided destruction thanks to the help of Valley hookers) gives us a glimpse into Arizona's past (Did anyone know that Arizona almost legalized gambling, potentially becoming the next Las Vegas? Yeah, ask Marshall about that.)

Dennis McClung showed us how we could better use that neglected pool in the backyard with his experience of growing food in unlikely places. To find out more or to even take a gardening class with McClung, visit gardenpool.org.

Nikki Steele got our pages turned on and dog eared with her passion for "double-fisting books." Averaging anywhere from 75 to 100 books a year, Steele has mastered the new art of pairing books with, well, anything: wine, food, seasons, workouts, and of course, other books. It has given her a new found appreciation for the writing she devours; and for us, a new-found motivation to work through the stacks of literature on our nightstands.

Ignite Phoenix 14 will return to the stage April 26th, 2013 and submissions have already begun. So if you're ready to share your ideas with the Ignite team (and potentially an audience of hundreds) visit ignite phoenix.com/submissions.

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