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.

Etsy Bans the Sale of Human Bones, Drugs, and Spice on its Website

Because the dark corners of the internet world exist everywhere -- even on the hipster, pug-owning, crafty marketplace populated mostly by stay-at-home-moms -- certain boundaries must be set.

On Facebook, posting offensive content is not allowed. On Pinterest, users are not supposed to pin copyright material. Twitter can evidently suspend your account for critiquing Olympics coverage on NBC. And according to CNET, starting this month, if you have a collection of human skulls, a couple of bongs, or a nice pouch (or six) of synthetic drugs, you can no longer sell them to other creative nutcases on Etsy looking to bejazzle some bones after a quick fix.

Check out why the sale of human bones is being banned.

--Claire Lawton

Ten Must-See Back to School Parties in Tempe and Scottsdale

Some sad news broke earlier this week that Arizona State University has taken a tumble in Newsweek's rankings of the top party schools in the nation. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. At one time (read: 2002) ASU was at the top of the heap and had a major infamy for hosting some major ragers, whether it was in various dorms and frat houses across campus or over in the bars and clubs of Mill Avenue.

It's time to reclaim your crown, Sun Devils. And you can do so during any of the back-to-school bashes that will be taking place at the nightspots located throughout both Tempe and Scottsdale. Proprietors of said establishments are eagerly welcoming back students (and their disposable incomes) from colleges across the Valley with a variety of guest DJs, drink specials, and unique events over the next week or so in anticipation of classes resuming on August 23.

Check out the full list of back-to-school parties here.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Frances Vintage to Open a New Location at Biltmore Fashion Park

Arcadians, vintage fiends, and style hounds alike have reason to rejoice -- Frances Vintage is expanding its retail venture.

The locally owned boutique, which specializes in vintage-inspired clothing, gifts, and accessories, announced it will be setting up (another) shop at Biltmore Fashion Park's new space, the Union.

The Union, which will be located at the 24th and Camelback shopping center, between Stingray and Seasons 52, is set to open in November and will provide a communal retail space for about a dozen small, Phoenix-based businesses.

Joining Frances will be other locally owned establishments including: Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, Paris Envy, and Whoopie Baking Company.

--Katie Johnson

Laurie Notaro Gets a Speeding Ticket (in her Prius) and Writes an Open Letter to the Municipal County Clerk

Dear Municipal County Clerk;

Let me start by saying I am sure you don't have an easy job. I suppose that's apparent by the fact that you have to sit behind shatterproof glass, which says to me that you have your share of irate customers on a daily basis, and you probably see crazier things and touched dirtier objects than the girl who works the return counter at Wal-Mart.

However, just because you deal with people paying their fines and court fees as a result of lawlessness does not mean you can jump to conclusions about any general lawbreaking citizen.

Lawbreaking is a spectrum, you know, with all sorts of colors in between. NOT EVERY COLOR IS AN ORANGE JUMPSUIT. So when you looked at my citation with a clearly disparaging look and said, "Whoa!" I feel I have no other recourse but to take issue with that. I object, sir, for a variety of reasons.

See Notaro's full list of reasons the municipal clerks needs a smack-down.

--Laurie Notaro

Seven Phoenix Shops Perfect for Back to School Essentials

Whether it feels like it or not, summer is coming to an end -- well, the vacation part of it anyway. And if you've already signed up for your classes then Phase 1 of your back-to-school agenda is complete. Time for Phase 2: Shopping.

Check out the list of seven local businesses that can help you check off your back to school shopping list.

--Katie Johnson

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

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