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The Whole Earth Cataloguer

The Whole Earth Cataloguer

UC Davis professor Harris Lewin is about to launch one of the most audacious scientific ventures in human history—to map the DNA of every living thing on Earth. The 10-year, $5 billion quest could result in a tsunami of medical cures, solutions for global hunger, and the creation of a new “Silicon Valley of agricultural science and biotechnology” right here in our backyard. Oh, and it might save the planet too.

Hollywood Set Decorator Julie Ochipinti

Hollywood Set Decorator Julie Ochipinti

Whether it’s Wayne Manor in "Batman Begins" or Nikola Tesla’s lab in "The Prestige," set decorator Julie Ochipinti brings scenes to life one Victorian chandelier or top hat at a time. Currently the imaginative prop queen behind HBO’s popular series "Westworld," the Fair Oaks native talks about the challenge of navigating the show’s historical and futuristic settings, getting the design bug at Sacramento thrift stores and how her Oscar nomination turned her into an overnight sensation.

Animated Figure

Animated Figure

Death takes a holiday in the Día de los Muertos-centric film Coco, which made its Netflix debut on May 29. Having spent over four years bringing the Pixar animated feature to life, its co-director/writer Adrian Molina talks about taking a holiday of his own, saying proper thank yous at the Oscars and making “awful” movies while growing up in Grass Valley.

All Americans

All Americans

On Feb. 22, just over 1,000 immigrants from 81 different countries gathered at Memorial Auditorium to take the oath of allegiance to become our country's newest citizens. It was, ironically, the same day that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency removed the description of the U.S. as "a nation of immigrants" from its mission statement. We spoke with 15 of the proud new Americans who were sworn in about this milestone moment in their lives and what it meant to them. "I was born today—reborn, actually," said Tunisian native Gaith Ben Younes after the ceremony. "It's something I've been dreaming of for a long time."

The Curious Case of William T. Vollmann

The Curious Case of William T. Vollmann

He jumps freight trains for fun. The FBI thought he might be the Unabomber. He won the National Book Award the same year as Joan Didion. And some people think he’s a lock to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Acclaimed author William T. Vollmann gives us a peek inside his Sacramento studio (and his head) on the eve of releasing his new books on climate change and the end of the world as we know it. Yes, Bill, we’ll take that scotch right about now, thank you.

Author Melissa Dahl

Author Melissa Dahl

As the editor of "New York" magazine’s blog Science of Us, Melissa Dahl spends her days exploring some of the most intriguing scientific notions, research and revelations in the news. In her first book, "Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness" (out Feb. 13), she guides readers on a funny and enlightening tour through one of her favorite topics. The Sacramento State alumna talks about the upside of awkwardness, battling “cringe attacks,” and why nothing—not even Valentine’s Day—is as cringeworthy as it might seem.

A Slice of Life

A Slice of Life

At 97 years of age, he is unequivocally one of the world’s greatest living artists. But back in 1959, Wayne Thiebaud was still trying to find his way as a young college professor at UC Davis. As a new exhibition explores the decade that defined his signature style, the prolific painter and passionate teacher reflects on his not-so-still life.

A Winter's Tale

A Winter's Tale

Cue the tin soldiers, tiny mice, reindeer and falling snow. In December, the Sacramento Ballet celebrates 30 years of presenting its distinctive version of "The Nutcracker." As a large crew of dancers and children—500 in all—prepare to take the stage, Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda, in their final season as the company’s artistic directors, visit the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

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