Two Arizona Cities Rank Among America’s Drunkest

Beer

With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, many Arizonans are stocking their liquor cabinets and planning their bar hopping destinations. Yet how often are we likely to party year round?

ASU and UA alum shouldn’t be super surprised to discover that Phoenix and Tucson made the list of America’s Top 40 Drunkest Cities, according to The Daily Beast. However, we didn’t come in as high as you may have thought.

Help Us Solve the Marilyn Monroe Mystery in Phoenix

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For nearly a decade, an image of actress Marilyn Monroe has been catching the eyes of those who pass the northeast corner of 20th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix. The mural-sized rendition of the late sex symbol languishes for more than 30 feet on a black background on the west side of a building currently occupied by Truckmasters, and although many are familiar with it, nobody seems to know why it’s there or who put it there.

Cactus & Wildlife Trivia: Can You Pass?

Saguaro 1

Test your knowledge of cactus and wildlife of Arizona with this short quiz, originally published in Marshall Trimble’s Official Arizona Trivia. Don’t scroll down too quickly. The answers are posted shortly below the questions. When you’re finished, leave a comment with your score. Did any answers surprise you?

1. What bird ranching industry was established in Phoenix and Yuma in the late 1800s?

2. Name the largest type of cactus in the world that is found in Arizona.

3. Name the official state reptile.

Why Don’t Cactus Wrens Impale Themselves?

Cactus Wren

Q: How is it that cactus wrens don’t impale themselves when they land on or nest in a saguaro or a cholla? Do they possess some kind of tiny body armor to protect against getting poked?

A: Randy Bapp, a biologist at the state Game and Fish Department, said every now and then, the cactus wrens do get impaled on saguaro spines or are found on the ground with a ball of cholla needles stuck in their breast.

I’m not sure why, but I find this kind of reassuring. It’s not that I like the idea of the little creatures suffering or whatever. I don’t know. I guess I just like the idea of them messing up sometimes.

However, for the most part, cactus wrens and other desert animals have learned to live with thorns.

Legend of the Bill Smith Gang

Cowboy

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are believed to be the only outlaws who actually saw themselves portrayed in a motion picture. It happened when they stopped off in New York City on their way to South America. They also had the dubious distinction of seeing themselves gunned down by a posse. It must have been rather disturbing to hear the audience cheer their demise. Incidentally, their real names were Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Longabaugh.

The Bill Smith gang was one of the meanest band of desperados that ever rode the owl-hoot trails of Arizona and New Mexico. Hollywood overlooked them and I reckon the name had something to do with it. So, I’d like to bend yer ear a while and tell a story about Smith and his wild bunch.