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What’s with Beard Phenomenon – Traversing the thick and thin

What’s with the beard phenomenon? Why are they in fashion? What do they all mean?

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So what’s with all the beards? Seriously they are everywhere. It seems every dude is either trying to grow a beard or has accomplished the honored endeavor. Beards and flannels, beards and suspenders, beards and skinny jeans, beards and gym shorts, beards and the Red Sox, beard pandemonium is here. Don’t get me wrong I love a good beard, i…

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

So what’s with all the beards? Seriously they are everywhere. It seems every dude is either trying to grow a beard or has accomplished the honored endeavor. Beards and flannels, beards and suspenders, beards and skinny jeans, beards and gym shorts, beards and the Red Sox, beard pandemonium is here. Don’t get me wrong I love a good beard, it makes even the most frivolous of men appear more rugged, primitive, and well titillating.

With No Shave November quickly approaching it only seems appropriate to dive in to the nitty gritty science and history behind them. Side note to the beard connoisseurs out there; this is a brief lowdown on beards the actually history and science could fill a book, for real—it does. If you feel inclined I highly recommend, “One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair,” by Allen Peterkin.

Tim Sparks for the PULP

Tim Sparks for the PULP

Science of Your Face

Not only are beards lovely to gaze upon it turns out that they also have a number of benefits too. Beards eliminate the need to shave and the cost of razors, they help protect your face from harmful UV rays, unlike the hair on your head facial hair will stick with you through thick and thin, and they signal sexual maturity—ya baby. Another HUGE benefit for beard wayfarers is that they are viewed as more masculine, virile, wise, and to have higher class status. Boom. Unfortunately this does not necessarily improve a fellow’s level of hunk.

Lamentably the science regarding “beard attractiveness” is mixed some reports conjecture that women like bearded men more while other reports suggests the opposite. In many studies women rated beards as follows: men without beards were rated as least attractive (think modern politicians and presidents), next men with full beards (think yeti) and most attractive the trimmed beard aka stubble (think Ryan Gosling or George Clooney).

Because of their masculine nature beards can be somewhat intimidating to women, but on the flip side no beard equals femininity. Therefor the stubble beard is most enticing to women – it’s the cream between an Oreo cookie. Random tidbit men also rated the allure of beards and surprisingly or maybe not so much, they thought full beards were most enticing.

Women’s attraction to beards is not news—Charles Darwin first hypothesized women’s appeal to beards in 1871 when he published his book, “The Descent of Man.” Scientists today agree with Darwin however due to the highly individualized nature of sexual selection it’s nearly impossible to prove.

Darwin while studying animal behavior believed that any male species capable of growing a beard did so as part of sexual selection. Ya you heard that right gentlemen, beards are preferential in sexual selection, but don’t get too excited they also imply the ability to contribute to child rearing e.g. you make women want to have babies and make families with ya.

Other than rating the attractiveness of beards very little in the way of science has been dedicated to the topic. This was especially true while trying to discover why some men have red in their beard, but not anywhere else. Pilfering through research alluded to only one scientific snippet that made sense. So here it goes, the trait for red hair is carried on Chromosome 4 which has two copies, if both your copies carry the red hair recessive trait you are red ALL over, however if you carry only one of the recessive copies then you either have brown, blond, reddish-blonde, reddish-brown hair on your head or in your beard. This explains why some men have blonde/brown hair and a partial or full red beard.

Sadly, there are men out there who simply can’t produce a smashing beard. Men of Asian, Native American, and South American descent have a much harder time growing a beard, there is no scientific conclusion as to why this is, other than plain old genes or a lack of the almighty testosterone. That said some scientists hypothesize that the lack of beards in these cultures is due to evolution (living in warm, moist areas all year long negates the need for large amounts of facial or body hair).

The World According to Beards

The history of the beard is well long and a bit hairy (pun intended). Pogonotrophy, the grooming of facial hair has been around since pretty much forever. In one scenario, prior to shears or razors, the men resorted to sea shells. The scenario proceeds as follows; grab facial hair with sea shells, press seashells firmly together and last, yank. While this may provide optimal results it still makes even the most tenacious dude cringe.

Investigating beard history is dizzying because the trends permutate through time and cultures. Wisdom, sexual prowess, elevated social status, barbarism…

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Stapleton, Polis jab each other over energy differences

The two candidates traded the usual barbs with the Republican saying the Democrat will hurt oil and gas jobs and the Democrat saying the industry needs to be a better partner with communities.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton warned Wednesday that Democrats want to impose job-killing restrictions on oil and gas development in Colorado, while Democrat Jared Polis said the state has to try to settle persistent conflicts between the industry and neighborhoods. Polis was interrupted three times by protesters as he and Stapleton made separate pitches to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual Energy Summit in Denver. The protesters stood and asked Polis about fracking and climate change. The audience booed, and the protesters were escorted out. Polis didn’t address the protesters directly. But he drew laughs when he pointed out the third interruption came just as he was lamenting the strident tone of the debate over oil and gas in Colorado, where drilling rigs and storage tanks intermingle with schools, homes and hospitals. That proximity fuels disputes over public health and safety. Polis, a five-term congressman from Boulder, and Stapleton, in his second term as state treasurer, are campaigning to replace term-limited Democrat John Hickenlooper Stapleton and Polis both said they oppose a ballot initiative that would increase the minimum distance between new wells and occupied buildings — called setbacks — to 2,500 feet (762 meters). The current minimum distance is 500 feet (150 meters). Both said the measure would essentially ban new hydraulic fracturing or fracking wells in Colorado. Hydraulic fracturing uses a pressurized mix of water, chemicals and sand to loosen underground rock formations and release oil and gas. Stapleton, who spoke first, said Polis once financed …

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton warned Wednesday that Democrats want to impose job-killing restrictions on oil and gas development in Colorado, while Democrat Jared Polis said the state has to try to settle persistent conflicts between the industry and neighborhoods.
Polis was interrupted three times by protesters as he and Stapleton made separate pitches to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s annual Energy Summit in Denver.
The protesters stood and asked Polis about fracking and climate change. The audience booed, and the protesters were escorted out.
Polis didn’t address the protesters directly. But he drew laughs when he pointed out the third interruption came just as he was lamenting the strident tone of the debate over oil and gas in Colorado, where drilling rigs and storage tanks intermingle with schools, homes and hospitals.
That proximity fuels disputes over public health and safety.
Polis, a five-term congressman from Boulder, and Stapleton, in his second term as state treasurer, are campaigning to replace term-limited Democrat John Hickenlooper
Stapleton and Polis both said they oppose a ballot initiative that would increase the minimum distance between new wells and occupied buildings — called setbacks — to 2,500 feet (762 meters). The current minimum distance is 500 feet (150 meters).
Both said the measure would essentially ban new hydraulic fracturing or fracking wells in Colorado. Hydraulic fracturing uses a pressurized mix of water, chemicals and sand to loosen underground rock formations and release oil and gas.
Stapleton, who spoke first, said Polis once financed a similar measure that would have set a minimum distance of 2,000 feet (610 meters).
“As a numbers guy, I know that 2,500 is not 2,000, but it also isn’t too far off, either,”…
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Bistoro changes locations but maintains Mediterranean magnifique

The Dhamo’s change of location for the bistro doesn’t change their unique European sensibility

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“Eat well, live happy” are the words printed on the sign above Bistoro – a Mediterranean-style bistro located at 109 Central Plaza in Pueblo, owned and operated by Pellumb Dhamo and Joetta Ucar-Dhamo. Joetta attended high school and college in Pueblo, while Pellumb is a native of Albania. The couple met in Rome, and travelled and lived together in Europe for many years before moving back to Pueblo to raise their family and open their restaurant.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” said Joetta, “When I met my husband that was one of the first things we talked about was owning a restaurant. Pueblo wasn’t necessarily our first choice. But after travelling around and everything we’ve found, it suits a family lifestyle – we have a four and a five year old – so we’re kind of rekindling our love for Pueblo so-to-speak.”

Formerly known as Neon Alley Bistro in the Union Avenue Historic District, Joetta says business has improved at Bistoro since the change in location. “That was a beautiful location. And we dreamed a lot outside those cast iron gates. But it was out of sight out of mind for most people. It was incredibly hard to get people through the door. So we realized it wasn’t sustainable.” Bistoro’s new location at Central Plaza is closer to Pueblo’s Riverwalk area and downtown hotels – keeping it on the radar of locals and tourists. “It’s been much nicer,” says Joetta of the new location.

The restaurant is closed Sundays and Mondays, making Tuesday the start of the couple’s workweek at the bistro. Both are hard at work after the short weekend, with Pellumb preparing orders in the kitchen and Joetta greeting customers and taking orders. Light music trickles through the air of the cozy dining area dominated by a large bar top with classic black and white stools, with booths lined along the opposite wall. The ambiance of the whole place is quaint, cool, fresh. There is an intimate charm about it that separates it from the typical Pueblo eatery.

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

“Eat well, live happy” are the words printed on the sign above Bistoro – a Mediterranean-style bistro located at 109 Central Plaza in Pueblo, owned and operated by Pellumb Dhamo and Joetta Ucar-Dhamo. Joetta attended high school and college in Pueblo, while Pellumb is a native of Albania. The couple met in Rome, and travelled and lived together in Europe for many years before moving back to Pueblo to raise their family and open their restaurant.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” said Joetta, “When I met my husband that was one of the first things we talked about was owning a restaurant. Pueblo wasn’t necessarily our first choice. But after travelling around and everything we’ve found, it suits a family lifestyle – we have a four and a five year old – so we’re kind of rekindling our love for Pueblo so-to-speak.”
Formerly known as Neon Alley Bistro in the Union Avenue Historic District, Joetta says business has improved at Bistoro since the change in location. “That was a beautiful location. And we dreamed a lot outside those cast iron gates. But it was out of sight out of mind for most people. It was incredibly hard to get people through the door. So we realized it wasn’t sustainable.” Bistoro’s new location at Central Plaza is closer to Pueblo’s Riverwalk area and downtown hotels – keeping it on the radar of locals and tourists. “It’s been much nicer,” says Joetta of the new location.
The restaurant is closed Sundays and Mondays, making Tuesday the start of the couple’s workweek at the bistro. Both are hard at work after the short weekend, with Pellumb preparing orders in the kitchen and Joetta greeting customers and taking orders. Light music trickles through the air of the cozy dining area dominated by a large bar top with classic black and white stools, with booths lined along the opposite wall. The ambiance of the whole place is quaint, cool, fresh. There is an intimate charm about it that separates it from the typical Pueblo eatery.
The signature menu item at Bistoro is the bocata, which is a Spanish-style sandwich. The bistro offers a selection of steak, pork, chicken or eggplant bocatas. The most popular dish, Joetta says, is a steak bocata topped with Pueblo chile. There is also a diverse selection of tapas (appetizers) as well as a broad selection of Rustic salads that offer farm-fresh vegetables instead of lettuce. So obviously, locally sourced ingredients are an important feature of Bistoro.
“Eat well, live happy is our mantra. Really what we’re about is putting those famili…
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Music

Acoustic heartbreak in the Colorado San Juans with John Statz

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John Statz by Veronica Holyfield

Songs about heartbreak should resinate. And with John Statz they do. They’re equally soft and striking. His new full-length album “Darkness on the San Juans,” available May 11, takes an acoustic turn from his other recent work. Then, he had full bands in studios. With this project, he gathered a few friends in his living room to record. Like heartbrea…

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

Songs about heartbreak should resinate. And with John Statz they do. They’re equally soft and striking.
His new full-length album “Darkness on the San Juans,” available May 11, takes an acoustic turn from his other recent work. Then, he had full bands in studios. With this project, he gathered a few friends in his living room to record.
Like heartbreak itself, the album is more personal, more raw and more intimate. The Wisconsin native who now calls Denver home said he hasn’t done something quite as stripped down in a while, and when it came to get back into songwriting after the release of his last album last summer, there was also a reason to write.
It was the aftermath of a breakup.
“We retrace our steps. We look at what we thought we knew. We ultimately discover and face the truth under the stories we told ourselves along the way,” he says of the album.
In addition to the post-love songs, the album features a few songs Statz previously worked on but didn’t have a place on an album, and songs that are meant to be more acoustic. “Presidential Valet” is the story of Armistead, President John Tyler’s valet, or slave, who died alongside seven others in an explosion after Tyler and members of cabinet were watching the firing of the “peacemaker” in 1844.

So, this album is about heartbreak. Did that change how you wrote or approached the album at all?

Yeah. It just kind of comes out more — I don’t know — when you’re writing about heartbreak it’s just seems like the easiest type of writing. It’s just pouring out of you. You don’t have to come up with a concept or a story or any of that.

In the bio you released ahead of this album, it references a pretty famous Ernest Hemingway quotation: “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” Maybe as a writer I hear about this all of the time, but there’s definitely a writing style associated with Hemingway — to write very concise and clear. Did you take any of that with you into the songwriting or was it all about the emotion?

You know, it was the emotion part. I didn’t think about that, but the songs are fairly concise and short. So I appreciate that might also be relevant there even though I didn’t intend that.

The title of this album is “Darkness on the San Juans.” Explain that a little bit.

It’s a line in the song “Highways.” Geographical references are all over my songwriting. On every album I’ve ever written. So it’s a song about driving places with someone and either ending up back at those places later and having other memories being their previously. The San Juans was one of those locations that was important.

Why do you think you end up writing about places so much?

I mean, an obvious answer is that I spend a lot of time driving around to gigs, and I’ve been a lot of places because of that. And just for fun. I love roadtripping around Colorado, and camping and that sort of thing. So it’s not a planned thing. I’m living and breathing this lifestyle from A to B to C and that infiltrates the writing. But also, it’s a convenient rhyming scheme. Sometimes it can be hard to find a word, but there’s usually a city that will fill in.

How long did it take you to finish this album, being that the concept is fairly raw?

It all happened pretty fast. The two non-heartbreak songs, “Presidential Valet” and “Old Men Drinking Seagrem’s,” were older. They’re social commentary tunes. But I just hadn’t recorded them to yet and I was waiting for an acoustic album to do that. I started writing in the summer. I decided in December to record them. I called my friend Nate, flew him out in January. And we recorded it in three days in my living room.

Had you recorded like that before?

It’s been a while, but yeah. My first couple albums that I made when I lived i…
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Acoustic heartbreak in the Colorado San Juans with John Statz
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One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you can change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
Continue Reading

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you can change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.

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