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Friday 1/17 - Thursday 1/23

JANUARY

By Cara Jepsen

17 FRIDAY Alfred Stieglitz's 1907 photo The Steerage shows a group of immigrants swarming about an overcrowded ship. An untitled 1928 Ralph Steiner photo depicts a series of alarm clocks and coffee cups shot from above that appear to be moving--an image that resonates even today. The two photos are some of the more than 250 prints from the exhibit An American Century of Photography--From Dry-Plate to Digital--The Hallmark Photographic Collection, which opens today from 10 to 5 and runs through March 30 at the Terra Museum of American Art, 664 N. Michigan. Admission is $5 for adults, $2.50 for students and seniors, free for children under 14. Tonight at 5:30 curator Keith F. Davis will discuss the history of American photography; a reception follows. It's $7; call 312-664-3939.

The real draw of the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show Tour isn't the shiny new lineup of bikes, scooters, and ATVs, but the custom and vintage Nortons, Moto Guzzis, and Harley-Davidsons that local aficionados have polished up and put on display. The event starts tonight from 5 to 10 and runs tomorrow and Sunday at the Rosemont Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. Daily admission is $8, $4 for children. Call 800-331-5706.

Instead of kicking themselves for failing to incite a worldwide revolution, baby boomers who took to the streets in the 1960s can pat themselves on the back for helping shape today's kinder, gentler political and cultural landscape. That's the subtext of Paul Berman's new book A Tale of Two Utopias: The Political Journey of the Generation of 1968, which examines the legacy of the student rebellions of 1968, the gay-rights movement that arose in 1969, and the 1968 "Prague Spring" in Czechoslovakia. He'll discuss his ideas (and C-SPAN will tape the event) tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th. It's free. Call 773-752-4381.

18 SATURDAY The city of Chicago could learn a lot from the downtown Hyatt Regency, whose award-winning recycling program handles one million pounds of recyclables a year. Today's recycling field trip will shed light on the entire process, from how the hotel collects materials from guest rooms, restaurants, and offices to the marketing of those materials. Participants will meet at 10 this morning for a light breakfast and pretrip pep talk with the Chicago Recycling Coalition at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, 2125 W. North. From there they'll carpool to the Hyatt and return approximately two hours later. It's $8. Call 773-862-2370.

Music and trippy visuals aside, the payoff for Ron Nameth's 1966 Velvet Underground concert film Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable is in the credits, where John Cale's name is listed as John Cahill. The 22-minute film will be screened along with five other shorts--including Greg Nickson's Drum Struck and Tom Palazzolo's Love It/Leave It--tonight at 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Admission is $6, $4 for students and seniors. The program is part of the MCA's Made in Chicago: Independent Films festival, which continues through tomorrow. Call 312-397-4010 for more.

19 SUNDAY For the fifth straight year the dulcet tones of the Apostolic Church of God Children's Choir will fill the Chicago Children's Museum in a commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. In the same visit, kids and their parents can make a string-operated puppet and use it to role-play at the museum's Face to Face: Dealing With Prejudice and Discrimination exhibit. The choir performs today at 2 at the museum at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand; the puppet workshops are at 1, 2, 3, and 4. Admission is $5. Call 312-527-1000. Tomorrow at 1 the Chicago Children's Choir, the theatrical ensemble Kamili Collective, and the Harper High School Rap Team will perform at the Chicago Cultural Center's Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Program. It's at the Chicago Historical Society, Clark and North. It's free. Call 312-642-4600.

Nyame Brown, Wei Hsueh, Martina Lopez, Bibiana Suarez, and Jennifer Fastwolf are some of the artists you can try to find in How to Describe a Suspect, an exhibit of 17 self-portraits by midwest artists. By examining a variety of clues, visitors can see if they can match the artists with their depictions. The exhibit opens today with a reception from 4 to 6 and continues through February 19 at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5307 S. Hyde Park. It's free. Call 773-324-5520.

20 MONDAY "At one level, biological organisms are mortal: boiling kills asexual creatures just as readily as sexual creatures," writes Washington University professor Ursula Goodenough. "But a second kind of mortality is unique to sexual organisms, namely, the 'programmed death' that has become a fixture of most sexual life cycles." Tonight she'll lecture on The Origin of Sex and Death from a scientific perspective--in layman's terms--as part of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science's semester-long Monday-night series "The Epic of Creation: Scientific and Theological Perspectives on Our Origins." It's from 8 to 9 (the series ends March 17) at the Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th. It's free. Call 773-256-0670 for more.

21 TUESDAY The January installment of the monthly Here Be Monsters Songwriters' Night features performances by Drag City's Edith Frost, former Texas Ruby Kelly Kessler, Top Shelf's Chris Mills, and the Mussel Squad. The intimate, cabaret-style event is hosted by energetic jack-of-all-arts Jon Langford, who promises plenty of surprises--which could include an indoor mini-monster-truck race. It's tonight at 10 at the Chopin Theatre, in the basement of the Guild Complex, 1543 W. Division. It's $5. Call 773-278-2210.

22 WEDNESDAY Contrary to what some may think, there's more to doing research on the Internet than typing in some key words and hitting "return." Tonight's workshop is geared to writers and will show participants how to end their unwieldy hit-or-miss surfing and get the most out of their on-line time. Computer consultant John McNulty will also explain how writers can market their work on the Web. It's sponsored by Chicago Women in Publishing and runs from 6 to 8 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. It's $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 312-641-6311.

23 THURSDAY What should U.S. policy be toward China? Do economic sanctions work? Where should the country draw the line when it comes to deploying troops halfway around the world? When reporters have questions like these, they call wonks such as Richard N. Haass, director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institute in Washington. Today the former special assistant to George Bush and author of the book It's Dangerous to Disarm will discuss The Debates Over American Foreign Policy. The National Strategy Forum event takes place at noon in the Crystal Room on the eighth floor of the Chicago Athletic Association, 12 S. Michigan. It's $20 and includes lunch. Call 312-431-5026 for reservations.

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