ColorOcala!

ColorOcala Contest

Grab your crayons, colored pencils, watercolor markers and cray pas, and join the hot new coloring craze!

Floridians, are you ready to COLOROCALA? Create beautiful art and compete for valuable prizes in Ocala Magazine’s latest big giveaway contest. You could win tickets for four to the Walt Disney World® theme park in Orlando, a family Christmas for four at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, and more. Color us excited!

Our latest contest is specially designed with family fun in mind. With a contest for both children and adults, you and your kids will have plenty to do this summer. And best of all, you can be creative together!

You can always count on Ocala Magazine for the best in news and entertainment, family fun, and fabulous prizes, so let’s get coloring! Show off your artistic side, and you might have a summer you’ll never forget.

Feeling Social?

Visit Ocala Magazine’s Facebook and Instagram pages and Colorala’s Facebook and Instagram pages – and while you’re at it, we hope you’ll Like our pages!

Here’s How You Enter:

You must complete Steps 1 through 4 to qualify for prizes!

  1. Download, print, and color your favorite specially drawn Ocala-themed coloring page from contest sponsor Colorala. (You can download pages as many times as you like.)
  2. Fill out the entry form (below) on the Ocala Magazine website before 6 p.m. Eastern time, July 22, 2016.
  3. Upload a photo of your completed coloring page using the File Upload feature provided on the form.
  4. Post your photo on Facebook OR Instagram before midnight, July 22, 2016. Use the hashtag #ocalamagazinecontest on Facebook OR Instagram in your post. Don’t forget to tag your friends and show off your creative genius!

That’s it. You’ve entered!

Click Each Image to Download a Coloring Page! (PDF Format)

Adult Coloring Page – Thoroughbred
Adult Coloring Page - Thoroughbred
Adult Coloring Page – Silver Springs
Adult Coloring Page - Silver Springs

Children’s Coloring Page – Thoroughbred
Children's Coloring Page - Thoroughbred

Children’s Coloring Page – Silver Springs
Children's Coloring Page - Silver Springs

 

Entries Are Now Being Judged, Stay Tuned!

Click for Contest Rules

Official Rules

  1. By entering, you agree to abide by The COLOROCALA Official Rules.
  2. All contestants must reside in the state of Florida.
  3. The contest will be administered by contest sponsor 7Hills Communications of Tallahassee, Florida.
  4. Entries must be submitted through the online form located at ocalamagazine.com/colorocala and all entry requirements must be met before midnight, Friday, July 22, 2016 in order to qualify.
  5. Entries submitted will be screened by 7Hills Communications and/or contest sponsor Colorala of Newport Beach, California, to ensure all entries meet contest requirements.
  6. Ocala Magazine, 7Hills Communications, and Colorala cannot be held responsible for email that is misdirected or undeliverable.
  7. Entries that do not meet all the “Here’s How to Enter” criteria will be disqualified.
  8. 7Hills Communications may, at its sole discretion and depending upon volume of entries, notify contestants whose entries are incorrect and must be resubmitted.
  9. 7Hills Communications will send only properly completed entries to Ocala Magazine.
  10. Completed coloring pages, along with the artist’s name, will be posted on the Ocala Magazine Facebook page and Instagram profile, and the Colorala Instagram profile. If the artist is 12 years of age or younger, the artist’s age also will be published.
  11. Following the conclusion of the contest, a team of fine artists from Colorala will judge the entries and select the winners.
  12. A list of winners will be published on the COLOROCALA Contest official web page, located at ocalamagazine.com/colorocala; the Ocala Magazine Facebook page; the Ocala Magazine Instagram profile; and the Colorala Color Instagram profile.
  13. Winners must claim their prizes by 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, August 22, 2016. Any prize not claimed by Monday, August 22, 2016 will be awarded to an alternate winner.
  14. Ocala Magazine and/or 7Hills Communications will make every effort to notify winners via email, telephone, or postal mail within the 31-day prize redemption period. Ocala Magazine and 7Hills Communications cannot be held responsible for winners who cannot be located for notification within the prize redemption period.
  15. Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications will hold all contestants’ personal information except name, age, and city of residence confidential, and will not reveal said information to any third party unless required by law.
  16. By entering, contestants agree to allow Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications to post their names, ages if applicable, and photographs of their coloring pages to social media.
  17. By entering, contestants grant Ocala Magazine permission to publish their coloring pages in Ocala Magazine without remuneration. Published entries will be credited.
  18. By entering, contestants grant Ocala Magazine permission to publish photos of the winners, if applicable, without remuneration.
  19. Anyone employed as a professional artist, or who holds a college or university degree in studio art or graphic design, is not eligible to participate.
  20. Employees of Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications and their families are not eligible to participate.
  21. Each participant may enter the contest only once.
  22. All children 12 years of age or younger in a single family may submit one entry each for the children’s contest.
  23. Only one contestant 13 years of age or older from a single family may submit an entry to the adults’ contest.
  24. Only one prize per family will be awarded.
  25. While we encourage parents and legal guardians to experience the joy of coloring together with their children, contestants 12 years of age or younger must color their own coloring pages without physical assistance from any third party.
  26. All contestants 13 years of age or older must color their own coloring pages without assistance from any third party.
  27. Because children must be 13 years of age or older to have a Facebook or Instagram account, entries from children 12 years of age or younger must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian.
  28. Entries submitted by children 12 years of age or younger without parental supervision and consent will be disqualified.
  29. Contestants must abide by all Facebook and Instagram rules. Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications cannot be held responsible for any adverse decisions made by Facebook or Instagram as a result of a contestant’s violations of their Terms of Service.
  30. Contestants may use crayons, colored pencils, watercolor markers, or oil pastels (cray pas) to complete their coloring pages.
  31. Contestants may not use online or electronic coloring apps to complete their pictures. All entries colored with electronic coloring applications will be disqualified.
  32. One grand prize and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded in the children’s coloring contest.
  33. One grand prize and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded in the adults’ coloring contest.
  34. Contestants, or the parent or legal guardian of contestants 12 years of age or younger, must pick up prizes by appointment at the offices of Ocala Magazine, located at 743 E. Fort King Street, Ocala, Florida 34471. Ocala Magazine, at its sole discretion, may waive this requirement for winners who are not area residents.
  35. Winners must present a picture ID to receive their prizes.
  36. Ocala Magazine may, at its sole discretion, require a scanned or faxed copy of a picture ID before shipping prizes to winners who are not area residents.
  37. The Children’s Grand Prize Package is subject to the terms and conditions of the Walt Disney World® theme park.
  38. The Adults’ Grand Prize Package is subject to the terms and conditions of Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
  39. While we invite contestants to be fans, liking or following any Facebook page or Instagram profile is not required to win a prize.
  40. No purchase is necessary to win a prize.
  41. All judging/winner decisions made by Colorala Color are final.
  42. All contest decisions made by 7Hills Communications are final.
  43. Questions about The COLOROCALA Coloring Contest must be submitted via email to contest@ocalamagazine.com. No telephone calls, please.

    Soup’s On!

    RECIPES AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN FANNON @rsvpRobin

    Whenever I tell someone I’m going to make a pot of soup, the typical response is “Oh I love soup!” In fact, if there is someone on the planet that doesn’t like soup, we have not met.  There is no better time of the year to enjoy a steamy bowl of soup than January.  Yes, even in Florida!

    Apart from being easy to prepare and delicious to eat, soup has so many wonderful health benefits.  Since it’s mostly liquid, it is hydrating (be mindful of the salt content), fills you up and helps keep you satisfied. It can ward off a cold or flu and is power packed with beneficial nutrients.  Load up on soup with lots of veggies, beans or lentils and you’ll easily reach your daily nutritional and fiber quota. You can also thicken soups with a simple peeled white potato instead of using cream or flour. Most soups also freeze well so it’s easy to keep some on hand.

    So pull out that stock pot (or crock pot) and start chopping. Your family and friends will soon be exclaiming MMMM…MMMM…GOOD!


    Roasted Red Pepper Soup (shown e)

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 small fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
    • 3 medium carrots, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 3 jarred roasted red bell peppers
    • ¼ cup drained and rinsed white beans 
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • ½ to 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Instructions

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pinches of salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add the garlic, fennel, carrots, and thyme leaves. Stir and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 10 minutes.

    Add the balsamic vinegar, red peppers, beans, tomato paste, broth, and ½ teaspoon salt. Simmer until the carrots are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Add the simmered soup to a high-speed blender with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and puree until smooth. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. 


    Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup (shown above)

    Ingredients

    •  1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
    •  1 medium, or 1/2 large onion, cut half
    •  1 garlic clove, unpeeled
    •  1 tablespoon olive oil
    •  Salt
    •  White pepper
    •  6 cups vegetable stock, recipe link
    •  1 ½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
    •  1 bay leaf
    •  1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    •  4 teaspoons sour cream

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

    Add the carrots, onion and garlic to a sheet tray and spread out evenly.

    Drizzle with olive oil and an even sprinkling of salt and white pepper, mix until coated.

    Roast in the oven for 35 minutes until tender..

    In a large saucepan add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.

    Add the carrots, onions, garlic squeezed out of it’s peel, ginger and bay leaf.

    Simmer for 15 minutes.

    Using an immersion blender, or add to a blender in batches, blend soup until it is smooth and reaches the desired consistency, if it is too thick, add more stock.


    Classic French Onion

    Ingredients

    • 4 pounds yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (approximately 5–6 large onions)
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 6 cups of beef stock (or veggie stock)
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoondried thyme)
    • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
    • baguette
    • grated or sliced cheese (such as Gruyere, Asiago, Swiss, Gouda or Mozzarella)

    Instructions

    Caramelize the onions. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until well for about 30 minutes until caramelized (but not burnt), initially stirring every 3-5 minutes, then about once a minute near the end of caramelization to prevent burning*.  Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 1 minute.  Stir in the wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

    Simmer the soup. Add the stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, and thyme and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme.  Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper as needed.

    Toast the bread.  Preheat oven to 400°F.  While the soup is simmering, slice the baguette into 1-inch thick pieces and arrange them in single layer on baking sheet.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the bread is toasted and golden around the edges.  Remove and set aside.

    Broil the topping. Switch the oven to the broiler.  Once the soup is ready to serve, place your oven-safe bowls on a thick baking sheet.  Ladle the soup into each bowl, then top with a baguette slice and your desired amount of cheese (I used about 1/4 cup shredded cheese for each).  Place on an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat and broil for 2-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


    Roasted Cauliflower Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2 heads cauliflower, broken into florets 
    • olive oil cooking spray 
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped 
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped 
    • 6 cups water 
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste

    Instructions

    Place the cauliflower florets into a large bowl of lightly salted water; allow to stand for 20 minutes. Drain well, and arrange on a sheet of heavy aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Spray the olive oil cooking spray evenly on the cauliflower.

    Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.

    Broil the cauliflower until browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large soup pot, and cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes; stir in the garlic and roasted cauliflower. Pour in the water, season with salt and black pepper, and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Blend the soup in the pot with an immersion hand blender until creamy and smooth.


    Ravioli En Brodo

    Ingredients

    • 2 quarts homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock 
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
    • 1 pound fresh or frozen Ravioli or Tortellini filled with cheese

    Instructions

    In a small stockpot, bring stock to a boil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in tortellini. Cook pasta according to package instructions (it should float to the top when finished). Remove from heat, and serve hot.


    Greek Avgolemono Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2 quarts chicken stock or broth (homemade or store-bought)
    • 1 cup cooked chicken (optional, shredded)
    • 1 medium onion (finely diced)
    • ½ cup long grain white rice
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 12 lemon zest strips (about 2 lemons, zested)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • ¼ cup lemon juice from zested lemons
    • sprigs of dill for garnish
    • Instructions

    To a large pot, add 1 tablespoon olive, onion and lemon strips.

    Allow to sweat over low-medium heat while covered. Make sure that no color develops.

    Add chicken stock or broth to the pot long with the rice, bay leaf and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to and simmer until rice is tender and stock is aromatic, about 20 minutes.

    With slotted spoon, remove and discard bay leaf and lemon zest strips.

    Increase heat to high and return stock to boil, then reduce heat to low.

    Place stick blender into the pot and blend for a few seconds. If you do not have a stick blender, place about 2 cups of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.

    In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, yolks, and lemon juice lightly until combined.

    Taste and season with extra salt, pepper and lemon juice if necessary.

    While whisking constantly, slowly ladle about 2 cups of hot stock or broth into egg mixture; whisk until combined.

    Add chicken. (optional)

    Pour egg-stock mixture back into pot; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until soup is slightly thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.

    After this, do not simmer or bring to a boil as this will cause the soup to get gummy.

    Serve immediately with sprigs of dill, extra lemon zest and black pepper.

      2020 Better than the Best Results

       

      Every year keeps getting BETTER.

      Ocala Magazine recognizes our community’s best businesses and service organizations, voted by our readers, with all new categories among time-tested favorites. The people have voted.

      Here are YOUR 2020 Better than the Best results!

      Best Photographer: Sarah Miller
      Runners-up: Dave Miller, Mark Emery

      Best Personal Trainer: Clint Hart
      Runners-up: Tyla Kennedy, Traci Rivera

      Best Barbecue: Big Lee’s
      Runners-up: Sonny’s, Brick City Southern Kitchen and Whiskey Bar
      Top Write-In: Artman’s Smokehouse

      Best Dressed Male: Lewis Stokes
      Runners-up: Ricky DeJesus, E.J. Nieves

      Best Dressed Female: Angie Lewis
      Runners-up: Evelyn Nussel, Candice Christian

      Best Hair Salon: Face the Day Salon & Spa
      Runners-up: Hello Gorgeous, Enve @ Salon 209
      Top Write-In: Salon Bliss

      Best Insurance Agency: Angie Lewis State Farm
      Runners-up: Ocala Insurance Agency, Drew Ditty All-State
      Top Write-In: Bradshaw State Farm

      Best Alternative Wellness: OFMC Wellness
      Runners-up: Faithfully Guided Health Center, Absolute Health Ocala
      Top Write-In: Pulse Center, Recharge Clinic

      Best Assisted Living Facility: Hawthorne Village
      Runners-up: The Bridge at Life Care Center, Camelot Chateau
      Top Write-In: Bridgewater Park

      Best Aesthetician: OFMC Dermatology and Aesthetics Institute
      Runners-up: Nirvana Medical Spa, Beyond Skin

      Best Service Club: Ocala Shrine Club
      Runners-up: Rotary Club, Junior League
      Top Write-In: Girl Scouts

      Best Retirement Community: On Top of the World
      Runners-up: Trilogy, Stone Creek
      Top Write-In: SummerGlen

      Best Antique Store: White Elephant
      Runners-up: Two Sisters, Ole Cracker House
      Top Write-In: Ocala Antique Mall and Estates

      Best Place to Swim: Rainbow Springs
      Runners-up: Juniper Springs, Alexander Springs
      Top Write-In: Silver Glen

      Best Cave: Ocala Caverns
      Runners-up: Scott Springs, Hitchhikers Cave
      Top Write-In: Devils’ Den

      Best Boutique: Ivy on the Square
      Runners-up: Marley Mae Market & Paperie, Pink Hanger
      Top Write-In: Serendipity

      Best Summer Kids Program: YMCA
      Runners-up: Discovery Center, Camp Kiwanis
      Top Write-In: Martial Arts Center

      Best Attorney: Daniel Hightower
      Runners-up: Doc Blanchard, Cannon Law Firm
      Top Write-In: Riggins Law Firm

      Best Dentist: Ocala Family Dentistry
      Runners-up: Chandra Smile Designs, Dr. Quinn Family Dentistry
      Top Write-In: Grand Oaks

      Best Electrician: Mid-State Electric
      Runners-up: Ciraco Electric, Kuhn Electric
      Top Write-In: Roam Electric

      Best Pediatrics: Ocala Pediatrics
      Runners-up: Children’s Health of Ocala, Heart of Florida Medical Center
      Top Write-In: Marion Pediatrics

      Best Place to Network: Ocala Business Leaders
      Runners-up: CEP After Hours, Business Network International
      Top Write-In: Hispanic Business Council

      Best Lawn Care Professional: A Cut Above Lawn Care
      Runners-up: Jason Schmidt Landscaping, Marion Precision & Lawn Care
      Top Write-In: Clean Cut Lawn Care

      Best Nail Professional: Azulene Day Spa
      Runners-up: Face the Day Salon and Spa, Happy Nails Spa and Salon
      Top Write-In: Premiere Hair and Nail

      Best Food Truck: Big Lee’s BBQ
      Runners-up: Smokin Swamp BBQ, Curbside Cuisine
      Top Write-In: Charlie’s Pinchos

      Best Medical Facility: AdventHealth Ocala
      Runners-up: Ocala Family Medical Center, Ocala Regional Medical Center
      Top Write-In: Family Care Specialists

      Best Chiropractor: Fakhoury Medical and Chiropractic Center
      Runners-up: Pitts Family Chiropractic, Downtown Chiropractic and Wellness
      Top Write-In: Stenfield Chiropractic

      Best Automotive Repair: Don’s Garage
      Runners-up: Patrick’s Auto & Truck Repair, Firestone Complete Auto Care
      Top Write-In: Spencer’s

      Best Southern Food: Ivy on the Square
      Runners-up: Brick City Southern Kitchen and Whiskey Bar, Cracker Barrel
      Top Write-In: Brooklyn’s Backyard

      Best Radio Personality: Lewis Stokes (K Country)
      Runners-up: Hunter & Parker (Wind FM), Jen Ryan (Q92)
      Top Write-In: Bob Rose (97.3 The Sky)

      Best Commercial Realtor: Van Akin Foxfire
      Runners-up: Nolan Galloway II, Philip Glassman Birkshire Hathaway
      Top Write-In: Beau Broker

      Best Residential Realtor: Roberts Real Estate
      Runners-up: Ocala Horse Properties, Carolyn Roberts
      Top Write-In: Allie Jara

      Best Auto Dealer: DeLuca Toyota
      Runners-up: Jenkins Auto, Ford of Ocala
      Top Write-In: Automax

      Best Caterer: Mojo’s Grill and Catering
      Runners-up: 3’s Catering, Brick City Catering
      Top Write-In: Pasta Faire

      Best Event DJ: DJ Rocket
      Runners-up: Just Joel, Joe Ortiz
      Top Write-In: Matt Gray

      Best Veterinary Facility: Magnolia Animal Hospital
      Runners-up: Maricamp Animal Hospital, UF Pet Emergency Treatment Services
      Top Write-In: Town and Country

      Best Jeweler: Gause & Sons
      Runners-up: Lady Jeweler, Silver City
      Top Write-In: Kay Jeweler

      Best Hotel: Ocala Hilton
      Runners-up: Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Conference Center
      Top Write-In: Marriott

      Best Physical Therapy Facility: Strive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
      Runners-up: Fakhoury Medical and Chiropractic, Mid-Florida Physical Therapy
      Top Write-In: Alpha Rehabilitation

      Best Tattoo: Fat Kat Artistry
      Runners-up: Crawling Panther, Tattoo Gallery of Ocala
      Top Write-In: Infidels Ink

      Best Breakfast: (tie) Scrambles, Darrell’s Diner
      Runners-up: First Watch, The Gathering Cafe
      Top Write-In: Wolfy’s

      Best Gym: The Zone Health and Fitness
      Runners-up: Planet Fitness, YMCA
      Top Write-In: Healthy Harts

      Best Home Builder: Armstrong Homes
      Runners-up: Fabian Construction, Boyd
      Top Write-In: Straightline

      Best Place to Picnic: Sholom Park
      Runners-up: Tuscawilla Park, Greenway Trail
      Top Write-In: Silver Springs

      Best Visual Artist: E.J. Nieves
      Runners-up: Teddy Sykes, Melissa Fiorentino

      Best Non-Retirement Community Golf Course: Golden Ocala
      Runners-up: Country Club of Ocala, Ocala Golf Club, Juliette Falls

      Best Retirement Community Golf Course: Trilogy
      Runners-up: Stone Creek, Stone Crest
      Top Write-In: SummerGlen

      Best Bar for Live Music: Bank Street Patio Bar
      Runners-up: Pi on Broadway, Charlie Horse
      Top Write-In: Black Sheep on Broadway, 100 Proof

      Best Place to Order a Cake: Betty Cakes
      Runners-up: J Marie Cheesecakes, Stella’s Modern Pantry
      Top Write-In: Publix

      Best Chef: Randall White (Mark’s Prime)
      Runners-up: Patrice Perron (La Cuisine), Tony Deras (Katya Vineyards)
      Top Write-In: Loring Felix (Fiery Chef)

      Best Thrift Store: White Elephant
      Runners-up: The Monkey Cage, The Mustard Seed Collection
      Top Write-In: Kids Stuff

      Best Bartender: Ben Payne (Pi)
      Runners-up: Billy Pickering (Ivy on the Square), Buck Martin (Tipsy Skipper)
      Top Write-In: Charlotte Petersen (Oxford Downs)

      Best Solo/Duet Act: Jeff Jarrett
      Runners-up: Caly & Megan Music, Miranda Madison
      Top Write-In: Conrad Marcum

      Best Local Band: Shine and the Shakers
      Runners-up: Baseline, The States
      Top Write-In: Propaganjah

      Best Place to Get Pampered: Face the Day Spa
      Runners-up: Azulene Day Spa, Massage Envy
      Top Write-In: Brick City Spa

      Best Dessert: Betty Cakes
      Runners-up: Ocala’s Chocolate and Confections, Twistee Treat
      Top Write-In: Ms. Steve’s

      Best Barbershop: Big Al’s
      Runners-up: Roland’s Barbershop, Nick’s
      Top Write-In: High Class Barber Spa

      Best Family Restaurant: Mojo’s Grill
      Runners-up: Brooklyn’s Backyard, Gator’s Dockside
      Top Write-In: Pasta Faire

      Best Pet Groomer: Doggy Bubbles
      Runners-up: Perfect Paws, Prefurred Pet Wash and Grooming
      Top Write-In: The Works, Gypsy Groomer, Dog House

      Best Place to See A Show: Reilly Arts Center
      Runners-up: Marion Theatre, Ocala Civic Theatre
      To Write-In: Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

      Best Financial Planner: Nick Navetta
      Runners-up: Greg Ergle, John Moody
      Top Write-In: Phil Olstein, Michael Miller, George Mathis

      Best Tacos and Burritos: Las Margueritas
      Runners-up: Latinos Y Mas, El Toreo
      Top Write-In: MAE Beer & Tapas

      Best Place for Romantic Dinner: Ivy on the Square
      Runners-up: Mark’s Prime,
      La Cuisine, Ipanema

      Best Pizza: Brooklyn’s Backyard
      Runners-up: Lorito’s Italian Kitchen, Blue Highway
      Top Write-In: (tie) Wise Guys, Piesano’s, Formaggio’s

      Best Equestrian Event: Horseshows In The Sun
      Runners-up: Live Oak International, MCS Horse Shows

      Best Event Planner: Golden Ocala
      Runners-up: Party Time Rentals, Marge Felix
      Top Write-In: Making It Matthews  

      Best Coffee: Symmetry  coffee & crepes
      Runners-up: Starbuck’s, Chelsea Coffee Co.
      Top Write-in: The Gathering Cafe

        Boom! Goes the housing market

        By Chris Gerbasi

        Despite the pandemic, Ocala’s housing industry is on solid ground.

        When Jeff and Amanda Ganswindt started thinking about buying their future retirement property, they envisioned a place with an “old Florida” feel: a slower pace of life, waterfront living and a nice community.

        They found what they were looking for in a two-story home on three-quarters of an acre of land on Lake Rousseau in Dunnellon.

        “There are neighbors but there’s nobody on top of us, so it gives us a certain amount of privacy and plenty of room for the family to gather and enjoy the lake,” Jeff said.

        The couple, who own a condo in Miami and a house in Port St. Lucie, closed on their Dunnellon home in September. They spent their first weekend there in October and eventually will relocate there permanently in retirement.

        They took advantage of low interest rates on loans which are helping home sales rebound from a spring slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Housing remains essential, and homebuilding trends in Ocala/Marion County are reminiscent of the early 2000s. Builders don’t want to go as far as to use the word “boom,” but the housing industry is at least generating some thunder.

        Some homebuyers, with concerns over COVID and high costs, are moving away from larger cities to areas like Marion County that have a small-town atmosphere, an affordable housing market and a lower-density population.

        “A lot of people, due to what’s happened with the pandemic and maybe even some of the social unrest in the larger metropolitan areas, we have heard from some of our builders that people were wanting to get away from those areas and move to places, like Ocala, that are more desirable to live (in) and don’t have all the other issues to deal with,” said Lance Hill, sales manager at Manning Building Supplies in Ocala.

        The Ganswindts purchased their home through Hook and Ladder Realty of Central Florida in Ocala. Hook and Ladder broker/owner Virginia Wright, who is also vice president of the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors, says that while closed sales for single-family homes in the county are down from 2019, they gradually climbed during the summer months which are typically slow anyway. She expects a big bounce-back this fall as sellers who temporarily took homes off the market during the spring shutdown begin to put them back on the market.

        Realtors also have prepared for the “new norm” in the marketplace by expanding their use of technology, social media and advertising, and educating buyers about tools such as virtual tours online, she said. Open houses also require new protocols and cleaning procedures.

        “As soon as we get this down pat, we’re going to make a comeback,” Wright said. “We’re optimistic.”

        Randy Alvord, broker/owner of R n B Realty, sees a large demand for housing because of a steady influx of new residents in Marion County.

        “We’re just slammed; busy as can be,” he said. “As fast as we get a listing and the home is priced right, it’s under contract usually within a matter of days.”

        Alvord points to several positive trends, such as high consumer confidence, rising sale prices and the continuation of low interest rates, which are making homes more affordable for everyone, especially first-time homebuyers. As of early October, the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.05 percent, according to Bankrate, a financial services company based in New York City.

        The Ganswindts originally were going to pay cash for their Dunnellon house, but a volatile stock market negatively affected their investments. When lending rates dropped, they decided to get a home loan instead, said Jeff, who is retired from the beverage label printing business, while Amanda still works in that field in Miami.

        “We’re confident that the (stock) market is eventually going to recover,” Jeff said. “We feel we got a good price and we feel that the loan interest rates were very reasonable.”

        Realtors also may get a boost from an influx of new homes. In August, for example, the National Association of Homebuilders reported a 4.1 percent increase in single-family housing starts. From January through August, combined single-family and multifamily starts were 5.4 percent higher in the South compared to the same period a year ago.

        “This is consistent with what we’re experiencing here locally,” Hill said.

        The NAHB’s Housing Market Index also showed that homebuilder confidence reached an all-time high in September. The index gauges builders’ opinions on the market for newly built single-family homes.

        Josh Klugger exemplifies that confidence.

        “We’re as busy as we could be with new construction right now,” said Klugger, president of Center State Construction. “It reminds you of 2005, 2006.”

        At that time, Marion County was adding several thousand new homes each year before the bottom fell out of the building industry around 2008. Through early September, the county had issued more than 2,200 permits for new construction of single-family residences, the Building Safety Department reported. That puts the county on pace for about 3,300 permits for the year. The total job value for the home construction was $318.7 million. 

        Since the housing industry is considered an essential service, builders didn’t have to worry about layoffs for lack of work, Klugger said. And projects, which require up to a year to complete, never reached a point of being stopped and just kept on rolling.

        “As soon as COVID really started, they started dropping interest rates. Obviously, it helped spike the economy, which has spurred even more sales,” he said.

        Center State Construction is scheduling new housing starts all the way into January, and Klugger estimates that his company’s business will increase 50 to 75 percent in 2021.

        Armstrong Homes is exclusively focused on building new homes in the current market, said sales and marketing director Mike Mazzurco. Armstrong builds houses starting in the low $100,000s on up to million-dollar homes in gated communities. With the exception of a temporary slowdown in the spring in the active adult retirement market, Armstrong’s business has increased this year in all other markets and price ranges, he said. And the 55-plus market bounced back to being busier than it was before the pandemic.

        The reason? Simple: shelter is a necessity. Like groceries, clothing and new technology, housing is a must for consumers, Mazzurco said. The industry also came into 2020 riding the momentum of a strong second half of 2019, he added.

        “We really haven’t slowed. The way the last part of last year ended was pretty much how January and February started,” he said. “March through August have been consistent and very robust.”

        Some roadblocks for builders, Klugger said, include supply shortages and delivery delays, which, in turn, cause spikes in prices for materials and homes. For example, the supply of timber is down because lumber mills shut down at the height of the pandemic. Lumber prices have skyrocketed about 170 percent since mid-April, adding about $16,000 to the cost of each new single-family home, the NAHB reported in September. As a result, more homebuyers are moving to lower-cost markets.

        Shortages and delays have also hit suppliers such as Manning Building Supplies. Manning, which provides materials solely to building contractors, has been able to successfully navigate through the setbacks, Hill said.

        “Business has actually increased as the year has gone on,” he said. 

        The rise in homebuilding has extended to remodeling and improvements on existing homes as well. Nationally, big-box retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have reported quarterly sales increases of 25-35 percent.

        Locally, staff members at RoMac Building Supply expected business to drop off during the pandemic but instead were pleasantly surprised by an increase in sales, store manager Tony Smith said. RoMac serves both contractors and homeowners.

        Smith believes the pandemic had an unintended benefit for some people who found themselves out of work: it became the perfect time to do that remodeling job they may have been putting off for years.

        “People can’t go back to work in a lot of different businesses, and the stimulus money that came out helped,” he said. “People are stuck there in the house. I think they were bored and they had time and they were getting this money coming in.”

        Smith sees customers tackling all types of projects, such as changing doors or windows, repairing roofs and building decks or other additions onto their houses.

        “Whatever they had on their wish list is coming to fruition,” he said.

        In an uncertain year, uncertainty remains for what’s ahead. But home sales appear to be rebounding, building is blossoming, and Hill, who was born and raised in Ocala, likes what he sees on the horizon in his hometown.

        “It’s definitely good for growth. Obviously, as always, all of us together have to be responsible managing that,” he said. “We certainly welcome the growth and the business and we’re very thankful for it.”  

          Thanksgiving Scene-Stealers

          Thanksgiving photo by Robin Fannon of RSVP Robin

          “Warm aromas of roasting chestnuts fill the air.
          Red, copper and yellow butterflies driven by the wind,
          drop from the sky. Autumn is here.”

          — Kulbir Ghumman

          While the turkey is the star attraction of the Thanksgiving meal, it would not be a smash hit if it did not include some great supporting players. This is a good year to stick with the tried and true comforting classics. My motto this holiday is “keep it simple and execute it impeccably”.  Creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts with pink lady apples and bacon, and cranberry/orange sauce are some of the side items we will be enjoying with the bird. Other family members will be contributing their favorite classic sides.  My sister is making our Mom’s sweet potato, applesauce and marshmallow casserole. Yum!

          As for decor, I tend to lean toward earth tones with punches of white, but this year I am excited to scatter richer fall colors like saffron, ochre, oranges and greens. We can all use some earthy, soul soothing colors this year! There are no rules and it’s not about perfection. Mix your family heirlooms with some new purchases.  Get the family involved, and most of all have some fun!

          However, as your family gathers to give thanks this year, please do it safely and responsibly. Above all, we need to be grateful for the good in the world, the love we have for each other and the beauty of the season. A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.

           

          Recipes:

           

          Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

          Ingredients

          1 pound brussels sprouts washed, tops removed and cut in half

          2 teaspoons olive oil, salt to taste for roasting

          1 medium pink lady apple

          4-6 slices bacon

          1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped

          additional salt and pepper to taste

          Instructions

          For this recipe you will roast your brussels sprouts while cooking the bacon and apples in a skillet on the stovetop.

          Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss them with the olive oil and salt and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast them in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until they’re browning and fork tender.

          Core the apple and chop into half/1-inch cubes and set aside.

          Heat a medium heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cut your bacon into 1-inch pieces.

          Add the bacon to the skillet and cook, stirring until about three quarters of the way done (according to your own preference). At this point, add the apples and chopped rosemary and continue to cook and stir until the apples have softened and the bacon is fully cooked.

          Combine all ingredients and toss.


          Maple Glazed Carrots 

          Ingredients

          4½ cups water

          4 pounds carrots, peeled, cut on sharp diagonal into ¼ inch-thick ovals (about 11 cups)

          10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter

          3 tablespoons sugar

          1½ teaspoons coarse salt

          6 tablespoons pure maple syrup

          3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar

          2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

          Instructions

          Combine 4½ cups water, carrots, 4 tablespoons butter, sugar, and coarse salt in heavy large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until carrots are just tender when pierced with knife, about 10 minutes. Drain. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

          Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add maple syrup and brown sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add carrots and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


          Cranberry-Orange Sauce 

          Ingredients

          ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

          Zest of 1 orange

          ½  cup sugar, or more, to taste

          1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries

          Instructions

          In a medium saucepan, combine orange juice, orange zest, sugar and ¾ cup water over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.

          Stir in cranberries and bring to a boil; reduce heat and let simmer until sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.

          Let cool completely before serving.


          Classic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes 

          Ingredients

          Kosher salt

          3 pounds boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold

          ½ cup whole milk

          ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

          ¾ to 1 cup buttermilk, shaken

          ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

          Instructions

          1) In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons salt to boil.

          2) Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1½-inch cubes. Add them to the boiling water and bring the water back to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

          3) Heat the whole milk and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn’t boil.  Set aside until the potatoes are done.

          4) When the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Drain and mash. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, stir in the hot milk-and-butter mixture with a rubber spatula.  Add enough buttermilk to make the potatoes creamy.  Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper, or more to taste, and serve hot.  To keep the potatoes warm, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water for up to 30 minutes.  You can add a little extra hot milk to keep them creamy.

            Merging Man and Machine

            Researchers explore artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and more at the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition.

            By Chris Gerbasi | Photos courtesy IHMC

            For most people over a certain age, the phrase “artificial intelligence” always had an otherworldly, futuristic connotation to it, along with a sinister implication that computers and robots would one day take over the world.

            With the volume of smartphones, automation and seemingly unlimited surveillance, many people today likely feel that this vision has already come true. Artificial intelligence (AI) is utilized to help devices and systems perform tasks, such as visual perception, speech recognition and problem-solving, that normally would require human intelligence.

            “Technology developed in AI research is found in every router, in all modern automobiles, smartphones, search engines and elsewhere,” said Ken Ford, co-founder and CEO of the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, which has headquarters in Pensacola and a branch research facility in downtown Ocala. 

            “In the near future, automobiles, buses and trucks will operate with increasing automation, often in a mode akin to an autopilot in an aircraft,” he added. “Medical diagnostic systems will increasingly rely on AI as well as much else. Most applications of AI are not standalone intelligence systems, but rather AI is increasingly embedded in nearly everything.”

            These days, Ford is focused on an app more serious than a selfie. He serves on the 15-member National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, an independent federal panel that makes recommendations to integrate AI into national security programs. The commission is broadly looking at how global AI developments might affect national security aspects, including competitiveness, the military and ethical considerations of the applications of AI, he said. 

            Ken Ford, courtesy IHMC

            “Just as AI is all around us in everyday life, we anticipate the same widespread application of AI in military affairs,” he said. “The countries that ‘win’ the AI competition will be strongly advantaged in both war and peace.”

            The commission expects to release a final report in spring 2021. In October, commissioners released a 268-page interim report to the president and Congress that urged the immediate implementation of 66 recommendations in three areas, briefly summarized here:

            Competition: Create a Technology Competitiveness Council to develop and implement a national technology leadership strategy and integrate relevant technological, economic and security policies; enhance collaboration with industry partners on AI research and development and enable faster transition of successful technologies; and develop holistic strategies across a variety of sectors to sustain U.S. competitiveness.

            Innovation and talent: Provide AI researchers with resources and space to pursue innovative ideas that will push the frontiers of technology; expand the national pool of AI and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) talent to improve both the economy and national security by creating new career paths for military and civilian government employees; improve STEM and AI education; and develop an AI-proficient workforce.

            International cooperation: Expedite the responsible development of AI by NATO and member states and shape defense cooperation agreements with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific; build a multilateral effort to advance the use of AI and ensure new emerging technology standards are based on technical considerations and best practices, not political manipulation, and address national security needs; and form a tech alliance between the U.S. and India, and a strategic dialogue between the U.S. and the European Union, to address the challenges and opportunities presented by AI.

            In short, the commission states that the United States must build on the strength of its allies and partners to win the global technology competition and preserve free and open societies.

            It’s no surprise that Ford was named to the commission. He’s considered one of the world’s leading AI researchers, and his impressive résumé includes several other national board appointments along with the directorship of NASA’s Center of Excellence in Information Technology.

            Ford, Alberto Cañas and Bruce Dunn co-founded IHMC in 1990 when they were colleagues at the University of West Florida, and the 501(3)(c) not-for-profit organization is part of the State University System. The Ocala facility, in the former public library building, opened in 2010.

            The bulk of IHMC research is done for the U.S. government, which funds projects through contracts. The institute works with NASA, the departments of Defense and Energy, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the Intelligence Advanced Research Project Agency (IARPA), private foundations as well as commercial partners. IHMC also receives funding from grants, donors and the state, said Laurie Zink, development and community outreach director.

            Research of artificial intelligence, along with robotics, cybersecurity, language processing, health and many more fields, supports IHMC’s mission to optimize the physical and mental capabilities of humans. The work has resulted in stunning achievements with humanoid robots, exoskeletons to improve mobility for paraplegics and exercise machines for NASA astronauts in space, to name a few.

            “For those of us working at IHMC, AI is less about ‘artificial’ intelligence and more about ‘amplified’ or ‘augmented’ intelligence,” Ford said. “We are interested in cognitive orthotics, that is, technological systems that leverage and extend human cognition.”

            CYBER BATTLES

            IHMC research in the areas of security and information assurance also includes the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure and cyberinfrastructures. Teams are not contracted to protect specific data but rather to create frameworks and research paradigms and theories about how data should be protected, research scientist Adam Dalton said. Dalton and colleagues Bonnie Dorr and Larry Bunch form a team working on several cybersecurity projects at the Ocala branch.

            Dalton, who also specializes in natural language processing, said his current research is focused on how to use human language technology to improve cybersecurity and information security, especially in large online communities. This type of work strives to thwart cyberattacks that may try to create remote network connections, delete all files in a system or access sensitive data like government personnel records, medical office health records or company salaries. Or, the defense technology might track the source of bogus emails asking an office worker to buy gift cards for the boss.

            For example, in the Moving Target Command and Control project, Dalton and other researchers designed moving target defenses designed to fight off an adversary. He explained that an adversary spends a lot of time and effort to compromise a secure network: discovering the vulnerabilities in the network, developing the exploitive tactics that could compromise those vulnerabilities, weaponizing them and gaining a “posture” inside the network that allows the adversary to send commands back and forth.

            The moving target defenses were designed to make sure that the network posture was constantly changing, so that all the time, energy and resources the adversary invested into compromising one configuration of the network would then be wiped out when that posture changed. The approach was designed to prevent the attack and then, by making that change, the adversary would need to respond, making them “noisier” and easier to detect. The work allowed mission-critical elements of the system to be retained while getting the adversary out of the system, Dalton said.

            Another project, Active Social Engineering Defenses, involved actively engaging an adversary in a “game” of cat and mouse. Researchers developed a chat bot that monitored the inboxes of personnel within an organization and detected any “social engineering” attacks or queries of personnel to perform tasks with social or language cues. 

            In their attempts to run scams, cybercriminals look at company or university websites to find out who’s in charge – CEOs, deans, chairmen – and who reports to them, Dalton said.

            “From there, it’s super-easy,” he said. “You just put that person’s name in (an email), and say, ‘Hey, can you do something real quick for me? I need you to buy gift cards,’ for whatever reason, ‘and send me those gift cards.’ And it’s a simple attack, a simple premise and it is easy to tailor from one organization to the next, and because of that, the criminal can scale it up to a huge amount. Then, even if they get an extremely low success rate, they can still make a lot of money from it. But the counter of that is it’s also very easy for computers to detect.”

            The defense requires understanding the social network of an individual’s computer: who do they usually talk to, what do they usually talk about, what kind of tasks are they asked to do? Then it’s easier to see when they receive an attack email.

            The vulnerability in this case was at the social level, not the technical level, Dalton said, and that’s where language processing research came in handy. The researchers developed new natural language technology that focused on the “ask” and the “framing” of the emails: what are they asking you to do, and why would you do what they’re asking?

            The chat bot also could extract information that might lead to identifying the source of the attacks and whether national defense officials or law enforcement needed to be alerted. 

            “By studying the attacker’s tools and techniques, we can then turn those against them, which made it a lot of fun,” Dalton said.

            Social engineering defenses are useful for companies like Microsoft, Google and others that manage large email platforms, he said. Those companies would be interested in knowing how attacks are being carried out and whether their own technology is being used to conduct the attacks.

            In cybersecurity, it’s helpful to understand the human elements as well as the technical elements, Dalton said.

            “You need to have that social science, that linguistic and the technical acumen to do this research,” he said. “So, having the people who have both the knowledge to perform the individual area of (expertise) and also the willingness to branch out beyond what they’re expert in and work with other people who have different expertise, I think that’s one of the things that has been so great and allowed us to be successful.”

            Seeing the practical applications of his research is what drew Dalton to cybersecurity.

            “Cybersecurity’s a funny discipline because in an ideal world, you wouldn’t need it. The best way to succeed in cybersecurity is for nobody to know that you’re doing anything,” he said. “By being successful in cybersecurity, you allow other people to be successful in other ways, and I think that’s the rewarding part.”

            THE IHMC CULTURE

            Humans interact with machines all day long, but that connection means a little more to the researchers at the institute. 

            “IHMC really does focus on that space where humans and computers and robots intersect,” Dalton said. 

            The staff consists of professors, scientists, doctors, astronauts, engineers, philosophers and guest researchers from around the world. Up to 150 people work at the Pensacola site, while about 15 staff members work in Ocala, a location chosen for its proximity to universities and sites such as the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

            IHMC’s approach to attracting talent is not typical for a research organization, Ford said.

            “Our primary recruiting method is that we talk amongst ourselves and identify someone who we think would be a wonderful colleague and then we pursue that person,” he said. “We look for passionate, intellectual risk-takers who have an entrepreneurial bent and need little management or supervision.”

            Those risk-takers have paid off with big rewards. Robotics work led by senior research scientist Jerry Pratt became the focus of a Time magazine story in June 2015. IHMC was provided with a robot chassis made by Boston Dynamics and Carnegie Robotics. The IHMC team developed a control system for the robot, nicknamed Atlas, which was designed to aid rescue operations in disaster zones. Atlas won a competition for humanoid robots sponsored by DARPA, a government agency that funds tech projects. In the contest, the robots were programmed to drive a vehicle, climb a ladder, turn off valves and perform other tasks.

            IHMC also developed a powered exoskeleton device that provides paraplegics with increased mobility and independence. In 2019, a team led by senior research scientist Peter Neuhaus received a $500,000 grant as part of a $4 million program sponsored by the Toyota Mobility Foundation, allowing the team to further develop the prototype, according to an IHMC newsletter.

            Another team formed by Neuhaus worked with NASA on an exercise machine for astronauts during long-term flights and stays at the International Space Station. 

            “In developing this piece of equipment for them, it became very obvious that this would work very well with older populations,” said Zink, explaining that the machine is now moving from the research stage to development and marketing for use in everyday life.

            Zink said there are about 100 projects going on at IHMC at any given time. The larger Pensacola site houses the robotics lab, as well as a giant blue sphere that rotates people inside to evaluate how movement affects vision and balance, she said. Cybersecurity and natural language processing (NLP) are the central research fields studied at the Ocala facility.

            For example, research scientist Archna Bhatia explores NLP in the medical domain. She has been working on developing noninvasive techniques for detection and monitoring of physiological, psychological and neurological conditions. She developed a noninvasive, speech-based method for detection and monitoring of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) based on divergence from the asymptomatic speech, the IHMC website states.

            Bonnie Door is an associate director and senior research scientist at the Ocala facility. Together with colleagues, Dorr established the new field of Cyber-NLP, bringing together expertise at the intersection of cyber, social computing, AI and NLP. She focuses on cyber-event extraction and natural language understanding for detecting attacks, discerning intentions of attackers and thwarting social engineering attacks.

            While the institute is part of the university system, it is not a university itself, so researchers feel more autonomy in their work and are able to collaborate more, Zink said. The areas of study often intertwine. The institute promotes a collegial atmosphere and a “cross-pollination” of expertise in which researchers of one project may lend a hand to another project.

            “A lot of people here really enjoy the outreach aspects of research and education, and other people really like being able to spend all day, head down, working on advanced technology projects,” Dalton said. “I think that’s one of the things that draws academics to IHMC … if you have a good idea and you’re able to convince somebody it’s a good idea worth funding, then you’ll probably be able to find a home for it here and find some of the most incredibly well-educated people around to work on that with you.”

            Ford said he is particularly proud of the culture that team members have built together. Dalton, who joined IHMC in 2012, caught a glimpse of that culture several years earlier when he toured the Pensacola facility. He walked right up to people who were building robots and recognized how the researchers combined elements of man and machine to excel. 

            “That was obvious to me early on, and it was just one of those things that you see it, you talk to the people, you see how excited they are and you see how knowledgeable they are, and it just became a place that I wanted to work,” he said.  

              Food as Art – Sometimes, it really does look too good to eat!

              Food as art 2020

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

              BY ROBIN FANNON OF RSVP ROBIN

              The culinary arts and presentation of food has long been considered a legitimate art form. It is a creative process that requires knowledge, patience, skill and talent. Toiling in the kitchen feeds the soul and provides one with creative, artistic satisfaction the same way it does for any artist creating in a studio. It also serves as an expression of love to family and friends, with the added bonus of  providing nourishment for our bodies. 

              Food As Art 2020

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

              Gretchen Röehrs

              Gretchen Röehrs is a San Francisco based painter and illustrator who has been profiled and featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Cherry Bomb Magazine, The Guardian and many others. Many of her delightfully, whimsical fashion illustrations incorporate the use of food and flowers. In 2018 Rizzoli published her first book titled “Edible Ensembles.”  www.gretchenroehrs.com

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

              @RSVP_robin

              These food-themed mood boards are created with random objects that may have no other connection to each other except for the color palette. Some inspiration comes from a particular recipe and it’s ingredients. There is a talented community of food artists out there to discover and we have put together a sample of these amazing creatives. Their work is original, whimsical, and exploding with beautiful color. Open up your mind to exploring this unique art form. Just be sure to bring your appetite along with you on the journey. 

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

              David Allen Burns and Austin Young

              David Allen Burns and Austin Young of “Fallen Fruit” fame began in Los Angeles by creating city maps of fruit trees growing on public property.  It has grown into art installations, photographic portraits and documentary videos. As their website explains,  “We believe everyone is a collaborator in making something special – even the stranger or passerby. We believe that artwork has a resonant effect. Fruit is a universal gift to humanity and fruit is always political.”  www.fallenfruit.org 

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