Friday 12/14 - Thursday 12/20
14 FRIDAY The moon will block 23 percent of the sun at the peak of today's partial solar eclipse. The event shouldn't be viewed with the naked eye, so the Adler Planetarium will sell safe-viewing glasses (for $2 each) and make telescopes available to the public. You could also use a hand mirror to reflect the event onto a nearby wall, or aim binoculars at the sun and project the magnified image onto a piece of paper (use a cheap pair, as the lenses could get damaged). The eclipse occurs between 3 and 4 PM. Admission to the planetarium, which is open from 9:30 to 4:30, is $5, $4 for children. It's at 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive (312-922-7827).
Poverty, violent crime, and domestic violence are commonplace in the town of Suchitoto, which was in the center of heavy fighting during El Salvador's 12-year civil war, and last spring it was devastated again, this time by earthquakes. Two NGOs, Capacitar and the Comite de la Defensa de las Mujeres, help to empower the women of the town by offering job training, trauma intervention, consciousness-raising workshops, and health care. Tonight's benefit in support of the Suchitoto Women's Project will include music, poetry, dancing, food, and a silent auction. It starts at 7 at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Agape House, 1046 W. Polk. The suggested donation is $20; call 773-769-4736.
15 SATURDAY Zinester, funnyman, and karaoke freak Brian Costello, publisher of the New England Journal of My Ass, hosts the second installment of his live talk show tonight at Quimby's Bookstore, where his guests will include cohost Ken Kagawa, house band Joe Meno and the Phantom 3 Symphony, Chic-a-Go-Go's Mia Park, Viper Press's Jon Resh, and Chad Rassner of the Go Cougars! theater troupe. Costello will also encourage the audience to perform karaoke from a very limited selection of Captain Beefheart songs, Christmas carols, and some of his personal faves. A Very Costello Christmas is also very free, and it starts at 7:30 at 1854 W. North (773-342-0910).
Since September 11, the U.S. government has detained and questioned an untold number of men of Middle Eastern descent while, at the same time, officials from the president on down keep telling us not to discriminate against Arab-Americans. "I believe that's going to backfire on America," says "evangelist of Islam" Salim Abdul-Khaliq, who also thinks that most people harbor a lot of misconceptions about Islam--for example, that it teaches men to mistreat women, that it's only for black people and Arabs, and that "most of the time when you say Muslim and black, [it means] Nation of Islam." Abdul-Khaliq, who converted in 1974 and is not a follower of Louis Farrakhan, will discuss all of the above plus his thoughts on Islamic fundamentalism tonight at a lecture called The U.S. Government's Backlash Against Islam. It's at 8 at the College of Complexes' new Hyde Park location, Future World cyber cafe, 1744 E. 55th. It's $2 plus a food or drink purchase (BYOB). For more information call 312-326-2120.
16 SUNDAY Those who attend Feitico Gallery's erotic arts open house today can choose to write a sexual manifesto, take a belly dancing class, create a sexual mandala, or beat...a drum. The gallery, which "exists for the purpose of educating the public and increasing public understanding of free speech and free expression through contemporary art forms and media of eroticism," will be open today from 1 to 5. It's at 1821 W. North, and there's a requested donation of $10 for materials. You must be over 18; to reserve a spot call 773-384-0586.
Studs Terkel and Facets Multimedia Center recently teamed up for a new series called An Afternoon With Studs Terkel, in which the venerable historian presents seminal films--a kind of great books program for cinema. Today's installment (following Grand Illusion and The Bicycle Thief) is Ikiru ("To Live"), Akira Kurosawa's 1952 film about a government clerk who discovers that he only has a year to live and realizes he has wasted his life. Terkel will introduce the 140-minute film; afterward he'll discuss it further with Chicago Tribune movie critic Michael Wilmington and take questions from the audience. It's at 2 at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $7; call 773-281-4114.
17 MONDAY The Loyola University radio station, WLUW (88.7 FM), recently learned that its funding is being cut and it now must raise $60,000 in order to make it through the fiscal year. The 100-watt community-based station is home to 30 locally produced news and public affairs shows and a wide range of music programming. At tonight's WLUW Holiday Sing-along fund-raiser, the audience is invited to join in and croon with Steve and Liam of Frisbie, Dag Juhlin, Nora O'Connor, Deanna Varagona and the Wabash Jug Band, the Millions, the Cells, and Box-o-car as they play a mix of their standard material and holiday songs, "traditional or otherwise." Local chanteuse and WLUW DJ Elizabeth Conant emcees. It's tonight at 8 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. Tickets are $10, and you must be 18. Call 773-525-2508; for more info on the radio station log on to www.wluw.org.
18 TUESDAY German conductor and composer Wilhelm FurtwŠngler was one of the first European musicians to acknowledge the talent of young Daniel Barenboim. Widely criticized for refusing to leave the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra during the Third Reich, he was almost hired as music director by Chicago's Orchestral Association after the war, but public outcry quashed the idea. Tonight at 7:30 the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association screens the 1971 film Wilhelm FurtwŠngler: Documentary in English; it'll be followed by a discussion with Mark Kluge, associate editor of the Wilhelm FurtwŠngler Society of America, CSOA president Henry Fogel, WFMT's Don Tait, and Matias Tarnopolsky, director of programming for Symphony Center Presents. The free event (held in conjunction with the CSO's American premiere of FurtwŠngler's Symphony no. 2, performed December 12 through 15) is at Buntrock Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000.
19 WEDNESDAY Local residents who own photographs taken in Bronzeville between 1946 and 1948 are invited to bring them--and their memories--to the Chicago Cultural Center today, where photographer and independent curator Kenneth C. Burkhart and local historian Timuel Black will look them over and lead a discussion about the neighborhood during those years. The event is presented in conjunction with the photo exhibit "Bronzeville: Wayne Miller," which runs through February 10. Bronzeville: Memories and Photographs starts at 1:15 at the center's Renaissance Court, 78 E. Washington. It's free, but reservations are required; call 312-744-6630.
20 THURSDAY Winters got a bit warmer a few years ago when my landlord replaced the windows on the vintage brick courtyard building where I live. But replacing stained, close-grain wood with the latest in off-white aluminum also made the place a hell of a lot uglier. Today at 12:15, preservation educator Vince Michael will give a slide show outlining how replacement windows disrupt the "integrity and design" of historic midwest properties and don't save that much energy, either. The free lecture--BYO lunch--is sponsored by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois and is on the fifth floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).