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August 20-26, 2009

• Sexual assult awareness
• Debunking the myth of Freshman 15
• What happend

• Microwave Magic

Boulder lexicon
How to talk like a native
by Boulder Weekly staff

Alferd Packer
— 1) Colorado’s famous cannibal headed into the snowy San Juan mountains in January 1873 with five other men to prospect for gold and emerged in April 1874 alone and looking fit. His companions, who’d been murdered and partly eaten, were later found near a fork in the Gunnison River at a place now called Dead Man’s Gulch not far from Lake City. Packer, who was convicted first of murder and then of voluntary manslaughter when that sentence was overturned on a technicality, spent 16 years in prison before being released due to bad health. He told several versions of his tale over the years, admitting that he’d eaten bits and pieces of his companions but denying he’d killed them for food. The Alferd Packer Grill in the University Memorial Center is named in honor of this famous man-eater. So pile your plate high with mystery meat and dig in. 2) The topic of a musical directed by former CU student Trey Parker of South Park and Team America: World Police fame. 

Alternative — From energy to transportation, from health care to sexuality, Boulder is a city of alternatives. Not getting the results you need from your medical doctor? Try tai chi or Reiki or massage. Still driving to work every day? Break the fossil-fuel habit, and ride your bike on one of the city’s many bike paths. Does that dude turn you on more than your girlfriend? Maybe it’s time to come out of the closet. If there’s one thing that’s always been true about Boulder it’s that people here aren’t afraid to try new things, to break boundaries and to look for solutions to the world’s problems. And if that makes us seem silly to uptight folks in Corn Hole, Neb.? Hey, it’s better to do something and look silly than to sit on your ass and do nothing at all.

— If you love good beer, you’re in the right place. Boulder County is home to some of the best microbreweries and brewpubs in the nation. There’s Mountain Sun and its little sister, Southern Sun. There’s Walnut Brewery, Avery Brewing Co., and Twisted Pine Brewing Company. There’s also Boulder Beer Company, the first microbrewery in the state, as well as Upslope Brewery, the newest microbrewery in town. And don’t forget Left Hand Brewing Company. If you want to get out of town, try Oskar Blues in Lyons up Highway 36 or The Pumphouse on Main Street in Longmont. You could probably spend every weekend from your 21st birthday sampling new brews and still not have them all tasted before you graduate.

Bikes vs. cars — There are cars, and there are bikes. In Boulder, these two camps are like the Bosnians and Serbs. Or so it would seem. The two factions have trouble sharing the roads, with each side complaining of abuses by the other. Cyclists say that motorists act like fucking inconsiderate assholes, hogging the road, passing too closely and threatening people’s lives with their smog-belching SUVs. Motorists say that cyclists behave like arrogant, self-righteous pricks, riding four abreast on winding canyon roads, disobeying traffic laws, and wearing Lycra shorts in public. Things got a bit hairier this past spring and summer when the state passed a law requiring drivers to give cyclists three feet of room when passing and permitting cyclists to ride two abreast when conditions permit. The funny thing about this conflict is that both sides are right. Sadly, there are enough fucking inconsiderate asshole drivers and enough arrogant self-righteous pricks on bikes to make being on the road a pain in the ass for everyone.

— See “Marijuana.”

— In November 2008, Boulder County voters passed Ballot Measure 1A, creating a cutting-edge loan program geared to reducing the county’s carbon footprint and helping county residents save oodles of cash. The ClimateSmart Loan Program issues loans to homeowners to help make their homes more energy efficient. The loans are repaid through a special assessment that goes on homeowners’ property tax bill and is paid with property taxes or through increased escrow on their mortgage. In this way, the debt is tied to the residence and not the homeowner. Residents can get their homes insulated or add solar panels or make any one of a number of improvements to cut back on their fossil-fuel usage and their energy bills. The program has already pumped millions into the local economy. Yeah, we rock. (See also “Kyoto.”)

— See “Medical marijuana.”

— We’re not sure about this, but it’s possible that there are more folks in Boulder wearing dreadlocks than in all of Jamaica. Some are trustifarians, rich kids trying to distinguish themselves from their Ralph Lauren parents by embracing a lifestyle of limited hygiene and voluntary poverty. Others are Rasta wannabes, generally speaking, white folks who were well on their way to being Republicans until they discovered marijuana and reggae music. And then there are actual Rastafarians, whose locks and use of ganja are part of their spiritual devotion to Jah. All we ask is that if you’re going to have dreds, take care of them. Those stories about mold, mildew and colonies of bugs aren’t just urban legend.

— If you’re from a town where folks still drop aluminum cans and plastic bottles in the trash, you’ll want to break that habit now or prepare to be schooled. Boulder has taken recycling seriously since 1976, when Eco-Cycle volunteers brought curbside recycling to the city, making Boulder one of only 20 communities that offered that service at the time. Now we have single-stream recycling, curbside composting and a zero-waste ethic that aims to change how we live so that we don’t leave a legacy of wasted resources and garbage. So get in step with the program. Buy a couple of reusable canvas shopping bags. Learn what can be recycled, and think in terms of minimizing waste before you buy. It’s the Boulder thing to do.

— That’s “four-twenty.” It’s kind of an unofficial holiday here in Boulder. Although the origins of this celebration are a bit murky, including where it got its name, the enthusiasm locals feel for this event is palpable. On April 20 at 4:20, people from across the nation gather locally to protest the laws that keep marijuana illegal by smoking dope en masse. In Boulder, this typically takes place at CU’s Norlin Quad. Though police have tried to shut the event down, they haven’t been able to stop people from participating and protesting the stupidity of marijuana prohibition. In 2009, so many potheads showed up to toke that the cloud of ganja smoke hovering over the Quad was visible even in aerial photographs. We shit you not.
Face shots — See “Powder.”

Farmers’ Market — If you think vegetables come in cans, it’s time to visit Boulder’s Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday from 8 to 2 p.m., April through November, local farmers bring their fresh fruits and vegetables — many of them organically grown — to the Boulder Farmers’ Market at Central Park. Stop by and stock up on scrumptious treats like Colorado-grown peaches, freshly baked organic breads, organic cheeses and honey fresh from the comb. Not only is it more healthful for you to eat locally grown and prepared food, it’s better for the environment. It takes much less fuel to transport green beans from a family farm in Longmont than to fly them in from some giant agro-business in Argentina. Boulder’s Farmers’ Market has become an institution, in part because so many people want to support local farmers and are dedicated to the idea of reducing the amount of petroleum and pesticides it takes to put food on the table. So go stuff your face. You’ll be doing the Earth a favor.

Flatirons — This is important. “The Flatirons” are the five enormous slabs of red rock numbered one through five moving right to left across Green Mountain. The Third Flatiron, known for the deadly rappel off the back, sports the remnants of decades-old graffiti, the result of a clever CU student who decided to paint a 100-foot-high “CU” on the rock. Over the years, the paint was refreshed, though it has been tampered with, turning into an “OU” one night before a big game against Oklahoma. Yes, the city has tried to remove it, and while it’s much harder to spot than it was in the ’60s and ’70s, when it was blatant, bright and white, the city’s efforts have resulted in a semi-permanent rock tattoo. The Third is also known for the wacky ways in which people have climbed it — nude, on roller skates, feet only. But please don’t try to climb it drunk. Drinking and trying to climb can leave you with a fatal case of Rapid Deceleration Syndrome (RDS), the often-terminal illness that begins at the end of a long fall. (See also “Stupid.”)
Frankenfoods — See “GMOs.”

— Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer and Questioning. Though sometimes strung together in a different order, this is how you’ll most often see the acronym in Boulder. Although the shameful passage of Amendment 2 by voters in 1992 earned Colorado the nickname “The Hate State,” Boulder has always been a bastion of freedom for those who don’t insert Tab A in to Slot B. The city was long only one of a handful of cities in Colorado that had an anti-discrimination law to protect GLBTQ people. It was also one of the first to have a domestic-partner registry for GLBTQ couples. But things have gotten better in this state of cow towns. In 2007, Gov. Ritter signed a law that does the exact opposite of Amendment 2, prohibiting anyone from discriminating against gays or lesbians in the workplace.

GMOs — Somewhere along the way, someone decided that nature hadn’t provided humanity everything it needed to survive. Promising to end hunger, increase farmers’ profits, and prevent everything from cancer to sexually transmitted diseases, science went to work changing the genes in various plants. And while they have delivered genetically modified organisms — known as GMOs — that resist certain plant pests and herbicides, they still haven’t cured a single human ailment with their tinkering. In fact, there are many who believe that tinkering with nature in this way is bound to cause illness and sow environmental havoc. Given how little is known about the long-term effects of these altered products, it would be great if foods containing them were required to sport labels. That way consumers would at least have a choice as to what they put in their mouths.
Greenhouse gases — See “Kyoto.”

Hall and Heil Valley ranches
— These two separate parcels of county open space offer some of the best mountain biking, hiking, equestrian trails and mountain scenery around. Hall Ranch, just outside Lyons, includes 3,206 acres of backcountry laced with 12 miles of multi-use trails. Heil Ranch is made up of 4,923 acres of relatively untouched mountain land and 15 miles of multi-use trails. Both Hall and Heil Valley were set aside by Boulder County Parks and Open Space because they’re prime wildlife habitat and home to increasingly rare native plants. Whether you’re a mountain biker or someone who likes to watch birds, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Hall and Heil Valley. Just remember to take nothing but photographs and to leave nothing but footprints — or tire tracks, as the case may be. For more information on county trails, go to recreating/index.htm.

— If you came to CU for the skiing — and we know you did — you’re probably going to spend more time sitting on I-70 than in the classroom. On weekends, I-70, the east-west highway that carries drivers over the Divide to ski areas like Loveland, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen, often seems more like a parking lot than an interstate highway. We’ve often said that an enterprising individual could get rich hawking drinks and snacks on the side of the road. And although people have been yammering forever about running a ski train alongside I-70 to help minimize the congestion, don’t hold your breath. Instead, try hopping on CU’s ski bus. You might be stuck in traffic, but you won’t be driving or wearing out your calf muscle pushing on the breaks. To learn about this year’s schedule, call 303-492-6486, or fire off an e-mail to Or, if you want to spend your ski days actually skiing rather than sitting in a vehicle, try our local resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, where the slogan is, “Friends don’t let friends drive I-70.” For the beta on Eldora, go to

Jam bands
— Boulder is bonkers for jam bands. If you are not familiar with terms like Dead Head, Burning Man or LSD, you might not know about jam bands. This is a specific type of jazz-rock that involves 20-minute improvisational tunes played by musicians on acid who often forget when the song is supposed to end. Jam bands like The Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic and Colorado’s own String Cheese Incident have inspired cult followings, which usually involve malnourished, glassy-eyed fans who wear hemp and dance around like they don’t have any bones in their bodies. If you accidentally walk into a jam band concert, don’t panic — take a deep breath, imbibe a mind-altering substance, and try not to stare at the psychedelic light show or you might have seizure.

— Our planet has gas, and the Kyoto Protocol aims to address that problem. The Kyoto Protocol is part of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international environmental treaty that attempts to reduce the level of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere in an effort to minimize the consequences of global climate change. As of January 2009, 183 governments had ratified the protocol, which was initially adopted for use on Dec. 11, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan. Although the United States has signed the agreement, it has not ratified it and has no intention of doing so. That’s why Boulder and a host of other U.S. cities have decided to take up the issue themselves with the aim of abiding by the Kyoto Protocol’s goals of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Hey, if the feds can’t get their shit together, it’s up to citizens to lead the way. (See also “ClimateSmart.”)

— 1) A business owned and run by people who live in the community; the opposite of “chain.” Big businesses like Wal-Mart are trying to convince consumers that they’re local, a marketing approach known as “local-washing.” They are full of BS, of course. When you shop at a locally owned business, $45 out of every $100 you spend stays in the community; when you shop at a chain that number drops to $13. Shopping at local businesses helps keep our town’s economy strong. 2) What Boulder Weekly is and the other newspapers in town are not.

— We include this every year, because, well, Boulder and marijuana go together like Mexican food and margaritas. Boulder is No. 2 nationwide when it comes to marijuana use. Some uptight folks are scandalized by this, but we know it’s the byproduct of having a population that thinks for itself. While much of the rest of the nation buys into the propaganda behind the War on Some Drugs, we know that both alcohol and cigarettes do much more harm to human health and to our society than a bit of ganja. (Why do you think it’s called kind bud?) Boulder police, reflecting the values of their community, don’t make busting people for marijuana possession a big priority, though you can expect a ticket if you wave it in their faces (with some pretty awful consequences to follow at CU). Hey, in Boulder even City Council members have been known to toke. But be careful. Weed is still illegal, and some folks have no frigging sense of humor.

Medical marijuana — In 2000, state voters passed Amendment 20, legalizing the medical use of marijuana, resulting in the slow but inexorable growth of a medical-marijuana industry in the state. The law permits people to receive cards from their doctors that enable them to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and six marijuana plants. Patients who choose not to grow their own herb can buy it from marijuana dispensaries. Though the Colorado Department of Health and Environment has tried various ways to inhibit the use of medical marijuana, they haven’t succeeded, largely due to overwhelming grassroots support for medical marijuana even from people who don’t smoke pot. To get a card, a person must prove to a participating doctor that she needs marijuana to treat chronic pain or some other medical condition.

Naked Pumpkin Run
— Once upon a time, a person could head downtown late at night, put a jack-o-lantern on his or her head, take off his or her clothes and run down the Pearl Street Mall in peace. But on Halloween Night 2008, the Boulder cops launched a crackdown on genitals and ticketed several naked pumpkin runners for indecent exposure, equating their innocent gourd-headed streaking with some kind of sexual deviancy. Although many, if not most, Boulder citizens felt the police should drop the charges, the cops said they needed to maintain “order” and cited citizen complaints that children might see naked people. Frankly, we find the police response much more frightening than seeing some random dick or muff. Sadly, the cops kept up this attitude, putting the kibosh on the Naked Bicycle Ride, another annual event.

Niwot’s Curse
— When white men first came to Boulder in 1858, they were looking for gold. What they found instead were Southern Arapaho warriors under Chief Niwot who wanted them to leave. When they refused, Chief Niwot supposedly uttered this curse: “People seeing the beauty of this valley will want to stay, and their staying will be the undoing of its beauty.” It’s probably fiction, but it does help to explain why so many people move here from elsewhere and then refuse to leave.

Open Space
— Back in 1898, Boulder residents were worried about protecting their mountain backdrop. They put together some money and bought the Batchelder Ranch, located where Chautauqua Park is located today. Then in 1907, the city received a federal land grant of 1,200 acres on Flagstaff Mountain. But what can you do with half a mountain? So Boulder residents agreed to purchase another 1,200 acres.
In 1959, the city passed a Charter Amendment creating the “Blue Line,” a demarcation beyond which the city would not provide water. The plan was to prevent development on the mountains.
Then in 1964, a developer announced plans to build a luxury hotel on what we know today as Enchanted Mesa. The resulting uproar from citizens prompted the City Council to condemn the land and force its sale. The city bought the land and added it to Boulder Mountain Parks.
In 1967, Boulder became the first American city to tax itself specifically for open space. The tax went to preserve and protect the city’s mountain-parks lands.
And that’s only one reason why Boulder is cooler than almost any place else you could hope to live.
For more about City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, go to and follow the links.

Organic — Boulder is all about organic. It really comes down to this: do you want to eat genetically engineered fruits and vegetables that have been doused with pesticides and herbicides, or do you want to eat food as nature designed it? We know where we stand. (See also “Farmers’ Market” and “GMOs.”)

People’s Republic
— A nickname given to Boulder by outsiders who want to make fun of the city’s left-leaning tendencies and its penchant for forming its own foreign policy. Not to rain on those folks’ redneck parade, but Boulder residents are proud of their city for those very reasons. We’re the People’s Republic of Boulder, and we’re happy about it.

Pops and scrapes — No, this has nothing to do with acne. It’s what happens when people with a lot of money move into an old ranch-style home built in the 1950s and find themselves wanting to get rid of the dated design and add another 1,000 square feet. This redevelopment of single-family homes in residential neighborhoods is resulting in overpriced, uninteresting homes being turned into extravagantly expensive homes that could be featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Boulder City Council wants to restrict “pops and scrapes,” in part to make sure there are enough houses for moderately rich people who can afford to pay $400,000 for an ugly ranch-style home and not a surplus of million-dollar houses.

Powder — Welcome to Ski U. We know why you’re here. It has less to do with CU’s reputation as a party school than your parents fear but more to do with fresh powder than they can possibly imagine. While your folks are proudly plastering the family Volvo with a CU Buffs sticker, you’re hotly debating what ski area sticker to brand your mountain machine with. The classics — Copper, Breck and Das Basin. Or the slightly edgy but ever classic choices of Steamboat and Crested Butte. Or perhaps the full heuvos of Silverton, with the rhetorical “Got Balls?” slogan. Well, do you? At least metaphorically? And do you have the inside line on Colorado’s secret stashes? This task is going to require a lot more studying than an anatomy final, but just listen, grasshopper. Here’s a quick primer from your amigos at B-dub.
The Minturn Mile at Vail is a must, as are the East Vail Chutes for the avy savvy. The Burn at Beaver Creek offers huge payoff for minimal vert, and the Royal Elk Glades are endless, as well. Breck’s Window shots off the Mercury Chair are good late-day caches, and neighboring Keystone’s Timberwolf run is always worthy. Lastly, a pilgrimage to Crested Butte and the 2,000 vertical of the Banana Peel never disappoints. (See also “I-70.)
The Quad
— This refers to the Norlin Quadrangle, where you can find lots of students napping, kicking back with their books and soaking in the sun. Everyone knows it’s a great place to watch hotties of both genders as they make their way to and from classes. It’s also home to Boulder’s annual 4/20 event. (See also “Marijuana” and “4/20.”)

Reduce, reuse, recycle
— See “Eco-Cycle.”

Relocalization — This is a very big word that describes moving away from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a local economy. Rather than shipping items to Boulder from around the world, a relocalized community would include people growing food and making various goods here and selling them in their own community. Also called “the Transition movement,” the idea got its start in the United Kingdom and is catching on quickly in Boulder. A community with a strong local economy not only weathers global financial crises more easily not being beholden to banks and corporations, but also has a lower carbon footprint and healthier, happier citizens. (See also “Local.”)

Safe sex
— There is absolutely nothing sexy or romantic about having sex without condoms. About 65 million Americans have a sexually transmitted disease that cannot be cured, and these illnesses, which can change a person’s life forever, are spreading quickly among young Americans. One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25. Hetero couples face the additional risk of pregnancy. So here’s a bit of advice: Don’t do someone you’ll spend the rest of your life regretting, and always, always use a condom. Let’s face it — women who aren’t brave enough to ask a man to wear a condom aren’t adult enough to be having sex, and men who are so selfish that they won’t wear a condom are too selfish to be good in bed. For more about having safer sex, go to (See also “Stupid.”)

Stupid — Stupid is what you don’t want to be this year. Too many kids start college and, finally free from their irritating parents, test the boundaries of stupid. Some die from acute alcohol poisoning. Some get their asses kicked in meaningless fights. We know a young woman who caught two STDs and had an abortion — and that was just during her freshman year. And if we had a dollar for every kid who ended up on academic probation from partying too much, we’d buy ourselves a keg — of Beluga caviar. Sure, have fun. Just don’t be stupid. (See also “Safe sex.”)

— See “Marijuana.”

Topless — It is legal for people to bare their breasts in Boulder — even if they actually have breasts. Yes, that’s right. Women can legally go topless. So, although your genitals can’t see the light of day — or bask in the moonlight — your boobs are free to bounce as they please. Won’t it be wonderful when women feel as free as men to shed their shirts in the park? We know a lot of women who think so. And, yeah, there are a few men who think so, too, but not because they want to stare at boobs or anything. But be careful. Private-property owners can still require shirts for either gender. In some cases, the consequences may not be worth testing the limits of decency.  (See also “Naked Pumpkin Run.”)

University Hill
— Don’t call it “University Hill” unless you’re a CU bureaucrat, a member of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce or sit on City Council. It’s the part of town immediately west of campus and the off-campus hangout for much of the city’s student population. With a host of hip shops, performance venues and inexpensive eateries, “The Hill” is a great place to be, especially late at night.

VO2 max
— Boulder is perhaps the only town where casual conversations at the local coffee shop revolve around one’s VO2 max. Your VO2 max is the maximum capacity of your body to transport and utilize oxygen during exercise. It reflects your level of physical fitness. And if this town is obsessed with anything, it’s physical fitness. In fact, Boulder is the fitness capital of the most physically fit state in the nation. Colorado’s obesity rate is the lowest in the United States at 14.4 percent. If you’re from Mississippi, where sexy means under 300 pounds, you may find yourself heading for the gym. Perhaps eventually you’ll obsess over your VO2 max, too.

— 1) A small hippie town in the mountains north of Boulder. 2) A CU ethnic studies professor by the last name of Churchill who became the focus of a witch hunt after an essay he wrote on 9/11 outraged a bunch of conservatives. CU’s administration worked tirelessly to fire him and eventually succeeded. Though a jury agreed that he’d been wrongfully terminated, a judge later ruled that CU didn’t have to rehire him, outraging at least one juror. The ruling is being appealed.

— A fear of or contempt for that which is foreign. In Boulder, this manifests itself primarily as a fear of poor people, Texans and folks from Colorado Springs.

Yonder Mountain String Band
— Bluegrass is right up with jam bands when it comes to music that locals love. Local band Yonder Mountain String Band plays a fusion of bluegrass and rock, creating a style all their own. Since their start in 1988, Yonder has grown in popularity selling out venues like Red Rocks and recently opening for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. At Red Rocks on Aug. 28, Yonder will release their new studio album to fans who attend the show.

Zipcode Man
— Gotham City has Batman, and Boulder has the Zip Code Man. On Pearl Street Mall, one finds a plethora of buskers and musicians. Among the more famous and astounding performers is the Zip Code Man, aka David Rosdeitcher. He has memorized all 48,000 zip codes in the United States and on balmy summer evenings can be found on Pearl Street making up stories about people based only on their zip codes. He also juggles both balls and clubs and can tell you where to find the best food in town.

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