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We're Denton Dammit: Nov. 23, 2017

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Lucinda Breeding

Professor Ryan Garlick, who has taught computer science at the University of North Texas for 14 years, is featured in the History series The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer. Julian La Neve, a 17-year-old Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student at UNT, contributed to the project to crack part of a code written by the infamous serial killer. La Neve created a platform that automatically rearranged the Zodiac Killer's cipher, and then tried to decrypt it.

"The theory was that if we try all the possible orderings, one of them would work," La Neve explained. "The previous cipher, which was successfully decrypted, also had to be reordered before being decrypted, so that's why we attempted this method."

Something tells us La Neve has a bright future ahead of him, either in computer-based intelligence work, or maybe developing the code for a future app we can't live without.

Former Denton Record-Chronicle sportswriter Chuck Cox recently went to a Kinky Friedman show and met comedian Ruth Buzzi.

Adkins Elementary School students will soon have access to a classroom set of ukuleles thanks to a Texas Music Educators Association grant in the amount of  $800. 

Family members of the late sculptor Jesus Moroles, a UNT alumnus, will restore the artist's recently vandalized sculpture Disc Sun, located at the Goddard Center in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The Ardmore Police Department has not yet been able to identify the group of teens caught on surveillance video vandalizing the sculpture in September. The family told The Daily Ardmoreite they don't know how long it will take to restore the damaged stone sculpture. 

Chances are, you're sleeping on one of the best bands in Denton. The UNT Latin Jazz Lab capped off a concert of the beginning and advanced students in the College of Music's Brazilian percussion program. The concert had attendees dancing in the aisles (yes, there were a fair number of students from the program grooving with them) and the show earned an enthusiastic standing ovation. El Salvadoran student and trumpet player Cesar Portillo showed off some seriously good vocals, and did a bang-up job interpreting Stevie Wonder's "As" in Spanish. 

The UNT Brazilian Percussion Ensemble performed an Afro-Cuban program that brought our heart rates up, too. We dare you to try to stand still when these students drum the call-and-response style beat. Program director Jose Aponte moved easily between Latin drumming and band-leading. 

The Abbey Underground, a basement bar and music venue that is part of the Abbey Inn on the Square, celebrated its 10th anniversary on Monday. 

Dance students from Texas Woman's University are on the cover of a book, the fifth edition of Appreciating Dance: A Guide to the World's Liveliest Art. The textbook is by Harriet Lihs and the editors of Dance Horizon. In the cover photograph, five dancers — Stephanie Martinez, Briyona Whitley, Brittany Henderson, Alex Garza and Heather Maestas — perform the choreography of former TWU dance faculty member Nadia Dosal.

UNT alumnus and rising neo-soul star Quentin Moore is having a good season at the moment. He's nominated for the Dallas Observer Music Awards trophy for Best Funk/R&B Act, and three Dallas Ghosty Awards: Best Funk/R&B Act, Best Album and Best Male Vocalist. The ghosties are given by the Dallas music blog Ghost of Blind Lemon.

Keep Lewisville Beautiful held its ninth annual citywide waterway cleanup on Nov. 11 at Lake Park. A total of 442 volunteers helped clean up 3.8 tons of illegal dumping and litter discarded along creeks, streams, the Lewisville lake shoreline and the Trinity River.

We guess no one's put in a bid on the Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios building on Sycamore Street, because the defunct music venue's Facebook page posted an interesting poll Sunday: Would you want to see the place reopen? The venue shut down in June 2016, and apparently owner Josh Baish still doesn't know the property's future. Will he or won't he? With him, we never can tell.

Believe it or not, 7-Eleven is now carrying makeup, which they branded Simply Me Beauty. The line features 40 products — from foundation to eye shadow, mascara, blush and lipstick — that cost $3 to $5. 

TWU will present the final installment of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens' Savor the Flavor Series from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

TWU instructors and students will be at the arboretum's A Tasteful Place Test Pavilion — an edible garden and presentation space. The faculty and students  will share tips on including seasonal vegetables and herbs in your diet while simultaneously saving time and costs. Recipe samples will be available at the end of their presentation. The workshop is free with the price of arboretum admission. For more information, visit

Former Denton City Council member Kevin Roden and former City Council candidate Glen Farris have started a podcast called Politically Denton. The new project is a look at the city's politics from Roden, whose third term on the council ended in May, and Farris, who has been involved in the city's music scene as a member of Doug Burr's band and booking agent for Spune, and in local real estate as the vice president of marketing at Verus Advisors. Yes, the two men have waxed critical about the Denton Record-Chronicle, but we're big boys and girls over here and understand that the newspaper isn't a sacred cow. Have at it, guys. 

Oh, and on the most recent episode of the podcast, Farris mentioned that Burr plans to release 1980s pop-inspired songs in a series of singles. We're not sure what to make of this, given Burr's expert Americana songwriting. 

Parting Shot

"It was widely known in New York, but never acknowledged, that Americans want to get away from amusement even more quickly than they want to get to it." 

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at