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Friday 1/9 - Thursday 1/15

JANUARY

by Mike Sula

9 FRIDAY When your neighbor pisses you off, is it better to drop a bomb on his family or to slowly starve him to death? Richard Newcomb would probably lean toward the latter. As director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department, he oversees the enforcement of policies that keep dangerous food and medicine away from undeserving Cubans, Iraqis, and North Koreans. Newcomb will speak and answer questions today at a noon luncheon on enforcing economic sanctions hosted by the National Strategy Forum. It's in the Palmer House Hilton's Empire Room, 17 E. Monroe. It's $20; call 312-431-5026 to reserve a seat.

10 SATURDAY College sports provide countless academically challenged youngsters an opportunity to coast through a few perk-laden years of celebrity and pretension before facing the cold reality that a degree in Rocks for Jocks won't get them bupkis. The lawyers, media types, managers, and faculty featured as guest speakers for the Alumnae of Northwestern University's seven-week course on the role of athletics in college life might argue otherwise, but then they're the ones making money off the poor saps. The first class starts this morning at 10 and features Chicago Tribune sportswriter Bill Jauss, WGN radio sports director David Eanet, Fox Media sports producer Robert Vorwald, and Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management ethics chair David Messick holding forth on Sports, Ethics, and the Media. Each class costs $15, $5 for chaperoned teens, and tuition for all seven classes is $85. They're held every Saturday until February 21; today's is in the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 1977 South Campus Drive in Evanston. Call 847-446-2936.

At your local McBookstore, titles by prolific Sufi author Idries Shah are likely to be ghettoized in the Islamic section, if they're there at all. But Shah argued that the Sufi tradition predates organized religion and that the ancient tales he collected had a profound influence on Western thought. The Learning Resource Alliance, a nonprofit group dedicated to the promulgation of Sufi studies, sponsors a free reading of Shah's work today at 3 at--of all places--Barnes & Noble, 659 W. Diversey. Call 773-871-9004 for more information.

11 SUNDAY Asked to comment on the destruction of his old stomping grounds, Bo Diddley said, "God made it possible for Maxwell Street to be there...it looks like the Devil is getting involved now." And since the Devil paved paradise and put in a parking lot, all that's left are the memories of people like bluesman and poet Jimmie Lee Robinson, who will lead a tribute to the old Maxwell Street this afternoon at 3 at the Chicago Historical Society, Clark at North. It's five bucks; call 312-642-4600 for more information.

12 MONDAY Every few years there's an uproar about teaching creationism in schools, proving that the debate between science and the Bible still rages on. But for the past nine years, the Chicago Center for Religion and Science has offered an extensive examination of how we came to be in a three-part lecture series The Epic of Creation: Scientific, Biblical, and Theological Perspectives on Our Origins. Scientists and theologians (no creationists) present their respective creation stories, then reflect on the quest for the meaning of life. Tonight at 7 University of Chicago cosmologist Edward "Rocky" Kolb discusses "The Earliest Moments of the Universe" and then at 8:30 U. of C. astronomer Donald York presents "From the Appearance of Hydrogen to the Formation of the Solar System." Each lecture in the series, which runs through March, is free and self-contained. They're at the Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th. Call 773-256-0670 for more.

13 TUESDAY If a Chicago Cable Commission meeting doesn't sound like a good time, consider this: the free monthly meetings are videotaped and televised on Channel 23 at 10 PM the following Thursday. Dissatisfied consumers can glory in their newfound stardom after griping to cable company reps and city officials about refunds, late fees, poor service, creepy technicians, and "updating maximum permitted rates for regulated cable services." It's today at 11 in the studio of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. Call 312-744-4052.

14 WEDNESDAY One doesn't normally associate the Soviet and Eastern-bloc film industry with Hollywood-style escapism and fantasy. But in the mid-30s Soviet filmmakers were setting elaborate musicals in factories and collectives, telling stories of little workers with big dreams. Dana Ranga's documentary East Side Story traces the history of the socialist musical, which struggled with state disapproval and censorship up through the 60s. Incorporating film clips (including Stalin's favorite, Volga-Volga), interviews with teen idols and technicians, and censorship files, it screens tonight and tomorrow at 7 and 9 at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $7; call 773-281-4114 for more.

15 THURSDAY For couples who aren't enthusiastic about chemically induced multiple births, adopting a child from another country is often a more realistic option, as well as a more selfless one. But it sometimes involves more red tape, time, money, and travel than taking in an American infant. The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago freely admits that intercountry adoption isn't for everyone. That's why they present a free monthly orientation on the subject--open to potential adoptive parents of all religious, racial, and ethnic stripes--outlining the process and costs. It's tonight at 7 at the Catholic Charities Near North Center, 721 N. LaSalle. Call 312-655-7086 for reservations.

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