Da Vinci the Exhibition and 2014 Mint 400 Results

Da Vinci the Exhibition
Da Vinci the Exhibition

Was invited to attend the opening of Da Vinci the Exhibition, inside the Imagine Gallery at the Venetian Hotel Las Vegas last week. Now, I had seen a da Vinci exhibit before, when the City of Henderson, hosted it a few years ago. But, I had been told that this was a completely new experience, so along with realtor Cathy Bittinger, off we went. And, gang, am I glad we did! This particular show is massive. In case you are unaware, the show follows the experiences of the Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci, on a journey of innovation, creativity, science, and wonder, amid beautiful scenes of the Italian countryside.


The show, produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc., is a hands-on examination of his life, research, and art (magnificent by the way). It features more than 65 fully-built, life-sized inventions, and more than 20 fine art studies. With each exhibit there is a very complete explanation of the subjects you are looking at. It describes what da Vinci was thinking, or where he gained an insight to create, or improve a particular design, or painting. Throughout the exhibition’s themed space, you will discover the breadth and scope of the great man’s incredibly advanced understanding of science, mathematics, nature, and the relationship between the three. His discoveries in art, engineering, flight, hydraulics, music, light are amazing, to say the least. In addition to da Vinci’s role as an inventor, this particular showing investigates a collection of his most renowned paintings, including some controversial works traditionally attributed to him, but not yet authenticated. You can stand and thoroughly study the artistic mastery behind such works as the, “Mona Lisa,” “The Last Supper,” “Portrait of a Young Man,” “Virgin of the Rocks,” and “St. John the Baptist.”


Andy McMillin's winning trophy truck
Andy McMillin’s winning trophy truck

The one exhibit that appeared to attract a lot of attention was the “Golden Ratio,” and the “Vitruvian Man,” which are complemented by enlarged examples of the artist’s sketches and notes made during his research on the human body. The gallery, which encompasses 6,800 square feet of space, is a perfect venue for such a huge exhibition. Tickets are available at the Venetian box office, or at www.Venetian.com., and range in price from $22.50 for locals, seniors, military, and students, to $27.50 for adults, with children 12 and under free.  


From a total of 320 entries, including 57 Trick (Trophy) trucks, entered in the 2014 General Tire Mint 400, one truck crossed the finish line with more than a 14 minute lead over its closest competitor to take the overall victory. Andy McMillin crossed the finish line at a desert location, a few miles outside Jean, Nv., in the total time of 6:14.29, averaging 59.9 mph, over the four 100 mile loops, in his Corona Extra sponsored Ford truck. McMillin is now the, 2014 General Tire Mint 400 Presented by Polaris, champions.


Josh Daniel Crash
Josh Daniel Crash

Placing second was Tavo Vildosola of Mexicali, Baha, with the overall winner’s brother, Dan McMillin, grabbing third place. “X-Game” champion, Travis Pastrana, driving a Red Bull Trick truck owned by, Bryce Menzies (the 2013 Overall Champion), finished a very tough fourth place. Las Vegas resident Tim Herbst fought a hard battle to capture fifth place overall. Other Las Vegas favorites entered were B.J. Baldwin, who was out on the second lap, T.J. Flores was out on the on the third lap, and Menzies lost a battle with a Joshua tree on the final lap. One of the local favorites to take top honors was, Rob MacCachren, who finished out of the money. The desert spectator areas were filled to capacity, and Nevada Highway Patrol, along with Metro Police were called in to close off entry to the designated areas. A good estimate (and strictly a guess by this writer) would put the crowds watching the race this year in the desert at around, 50,000. At least 20,000 visited East Fremont for technical inspection on Friday, and around 10,000 on Thursday for the Pit Crew Competition.



Michael Davis
Michael Davis

The Laugh Factory at the Tropicana Hotel, opens its doors this week for comedian-juggler headliner, Michael Davis, who is most famous and recognized for his five classic appearances on “Saturday Night Live.” His dry wit and masterful juggling act have also landed him appearances on such shows as “The Tonight Show,” and “David Letterman,” as well as invitations to the White House to perform for presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. From nightclubs to TV, Broadway to Vegas, and living rooms to corporate stages, Davis has successfully performed on every type of stage and for every type of audience. Sharing the stage nightly, at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., is James Connolly and Frazer Smith.

Connolly, hails from Northern or Southern California (depending on whom he is trying to impress), is a stand-up comedian and radio/TV host, best known for his playful, confident style, and unique sense of humor.  In addition to having appeared on Comedy Central, and HBO, James hosted VH1’s, “Movie Obsessions,” and more recently, “Live From Here” on Sirius XM Radio for National Lampoon. He is recognized across the country as one of the most-played comedians on the Sirius XM comedy channels, and is a frequent guest on the nationally syndicated “The Bob & Tom Show.”  Smith is not only one of the funniest comics on the Los Angeles scene today,  he is also one of comedy’s most well connected personalities. After 30 years in the business, Smith has appeared on numerous TV shows, and has been one of the most listened to DJs on KLOS for years! You may also recognize him as the host on NBC’s, “Rockin’ America.” For more information, or ticket reservations, call 702-739-2411. Tickets range in price from $38.95 to $49.95 plus fees.


Grammy Award recipient, Gary Anderson, dropped me a note reminding that he will be taking his saxophone to the E-String venue on east Sunset Road this Saturday (Mar. 22). Anderson will be appearing with the BossBeBopSeptet (Septet means seven) from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. This is Anderson’s first return to the popular musical venue in months, as he has been recovering from a medical situation. Just to letcha know, he has assembled a bunch of new charts, so you can definitely expect fabulous music.


Just in time for the NASCAR, and Mint 400 weekends this month, was a new organization created by Las Vegas Events (LVE), and I believe, headed up by Michael Mack and Lisa Motley. Southern Nevada Racing Network (SNRN),  is a cooperative marketing program designed to grow the popularity of motorsports in Southern Nevada, and to drive incremental ticket sales for its partners. Its first outing was during the NASCAR race weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, followed within four days with the Mint 400 events downtown. Local resident and a favorite driver in the Nationwide series, Brendan Gaughan, was SNRNs first guest in its booth at the speedway. By partnering with motorsport events, the new organization will collectively promote all race partners, and develop ongoing communications with Southern Nevada race enthusiasts. If you want to join go to www.SNRN.com and sign up. Incidentally, Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves the exclusive major special events agency for the City, Founded in 1983, LVE is funded by hotel room taxes.


Well, gang, that’s about it for this week.

I’m outa here!

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