Securing Your Internet Life
4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27
UA Centennial Hall
1020 E. University Blvd.
The University of Arizona, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, wants to teach Tucsonans how to stay safe on the Internet.
At the Cyber Citizen Forum, individuals can learn about how private data might be leaking onto the Internet, said Kelley Bogart, senior information security analyst with the University of Arizona's Information Security Office.
Simple applications send out data that you might not want shared, Bogart said. This forum will focus in detail on privacy and social media, she said.
Take Twitter, for example, whose active map shows your location when you tweet from a smart phone, Bogart said.
"I can then start figuring out where you live, where you work," Bogart said. "Most people are putting that out—and the metadata that goes with it. You are being tagged with your physical location."
Serious consequences, like identity theft and stalking, often result from a person's unfounded trust in the Internet, she said.
"There's this mentality that they should just trust, and they don't understand the possible consequences of their actions," Bogart said. When people just want to share with their friends, "They're really opening themselves up to a larger audience, and it could be people who are not there for the right reasons. It's pretty scary stuff."
The forum is free to the public, and there are door prizes, including two iPads, gift cards and more.
Forums like these are vital to promoting Internet safety, Bogart said.
"Securing the human is the hardest part. You can have all the tools in the world, all the policies in the world," Bogart said. "But if you don't have people understand them ... then you're not going to make a lot of progress." —K.M.
Smashing for Science
1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30
University of Arizona mall
'Tis the season—to hurl pumpkins across the University of Arizona mall!
On Sunday, about 10 teams from local high schools and universities will be hurling several hundred pumpkins from Buckelew Farms into the air as part of the Physics Factory's competition to see who can build the best catapult, said Bruce Bayly, an associate professor of mathematics at the UA, and the vice president of the nonprofit Physics Factory.
Competitors will be judged on both accuracy and distance, Bayly said. There will also be a prize given to the best overall contraption.
Since the mall is only so long, Bayly said, the toss distance will be capped at 100 yards. In the case of a tie, the lightest catapult wins.
"We don't have unlimited distance," Bayly said. Otherwise, "our professional catapults could throw a pumpkin from the UA campus into the neighborhood."
Safety is a key concern, Bayly said. Starting at 9 a.m., organizers will be inspecting the pumpkin-tossers for safety. Traffic will be blocked off, too.
Beyond distance, there's a competition for the most-accurate pumpkin launcher.
"If you really go back in history, the whole idea for building a catapult wasn't just to throw something a long way; it was to knock things down," Bayly said. "We're going to have a castle wall out there on the mall."
By "castle wall," Bayly means a pile of cardboard boxes. Whichever catapult knocks down the most boxes is the victor, Bayly said.
But ... why pumpkins?
"Every time Halloween comes, the neighborhood is full of smashed pumpkins. If we're going to be smashing pumpkins, in the meantime, maybe we could have an educational purpose and actually learn something," Bayly said.
The competition starts around 1 p.m., and admission is free. —K.M.
A Young Man and His Pooch
Book-signing: Why a Boy Should Marry His Dog!
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29
6230 E. Speedway Blvd.
When Levi Fallavolita was 9 years old, he got upset at his mom. She wanted him to get out the door, and he was running late. Dad—a guy who looks for the positive—suggested that when Levi grew up, he could marry the dog, because the dog wouldn't make him do things he didn't want to do.
"It became a game," said Chantel Fallavollita, Levi's mom. "'Oh, the dog won't make me take a shower; my dog hates to take a bath. The dog won't make me change my underwear. Ugh, now that's a reason to marry my dog.'"
The family joke became an idea for a book, and after Chantel started telling her friends about the idea, they encouraged her to get it published.
Levi wasn't convinced.
"I'll be laughed out of the fourth-grade," he said, convinced that his friends would make fun of a 9-year-old author.
But one day, Chantel said, Levi—who is now 11—became sad after seeing an ASPCA commercial on TV.
"He came to me and said that he wanted to write the book, and he wanted to give away any money made from it (to an organization that helps animals)," Chantel said. "... He's always loved animals. I remember at 3 years old, he was saving earthworms from going down a storm drain."
The family has raised $1,300 so far—all of which has gone to help shelter animals.
"I'm really proud of him that he wants to make a difference at such a young age," Chantel said.
At the book-signing, a local golden retriever-rescue organization will join Levi; donations will be accepted. Hardcover copies of the book will be available for $16; paperbacks are $8. —D.H.
Reel Arts 6 at the Crossroads: Copper Creek
10:30 p.m., Friday through Monday, Oct. 28 through 31; midnight, Monday, Oct. 31
4811 E. Grant Road
Grand Cinemas' Crossroads 6 theater has long been known as locally owned "cheap theater"—showing newish movies at a discount.
Now the theater is offering a variety of films beyond the standard Hollywood fare: The new Reel Arts 6 will offer independent movies, not only from Tucson, but from around the world.
Tucson receives less than half of the 1,000 or so films released each year, and Reel Arts 6 will not only show some of those lost films, but will host film festivals and special events.
To launch the theater's new venture, Tucsonan Peter Leon's Copper Creek will hit a Crossroads' screen this weekend. He described the film as a "zombie comedy."
While exterior shots were taken in Mammoth, Ariz. (where the film is set), the rest was filmed here in Tucson.
"In a small mining town, a sheriff is going through a painful divorce while two criminals are plotting to rob the mining payroll office," said Leon about his film. "The stories end up colliding in the middle of the movie, and hell breaks loose."
Zombies run amuck—and you have to watch the movie to find out why. Leon will be available for a question-and-answer session on Halloween night at the 10:30 p.m. show.
Reel Arts 6 will also offer the chance for filmmakers to submit their content for possible screenings, allowing talented locals to get their films shown on a big screen.
Leon is excited about his own opportunity to do just that.
"My first screening of the film (in September) sold out, and when the owner of Crossroads approached me with this idea, I was immediately onboard. I've never showed a movie four nights in a row; I'll be there to check out the turnout."
Tickets are $5. —D.H.