Friday 24

To celebrate National Engineers Week the Illinois Engineering Council offers a talk by the U.S. Department of Energy’s local manager, Cherri Langenfeld, who is responsible for overseeing five federal science labs, including Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. Her subject? Tomorrow’s Engineers–Boldly Going Where Few Have Gone Before. The $25 lunch ($15 for students) starts at noon at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker. Call the group at 800-843-5410 for reservations.

Behold the Man: Ecce Homo, a video portrait of Sarajevo under siege by Vesna Ljubic, won a citation called the “Joris Ivens Film of All Time” award at last year’s Amsterdam film festival. Tonight at 7 the New World Resource Center, 1476 W. Irving Park, presents a free screening of the work. Call 348-3370 for details.

According to one British film writer, the late Curt McDowell’s 1975 underground porn classic Thundercrack “starts out on a dark and stormy night with a group of strangers stranded in a remote Victorian mansion. . . . A crazed hostess [has] her husband pickled in a jar and her monstrous son locked in a spare room. From there on it is a series of test situations which manage to get everyone together, sexually and socially, before dawn brings everything to a rousing conclusion.” The film, which the London Gay News has called the “hardest of hardcore pictures,” shows at 8 tonight at the Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division. It’s $5. Call 384-5533.

Saturday 25

Three hot Chicago guitarists representing the instrument’s broad palette host a daylong workshop. Ax handlers classical, rock, or jazz can take notes from Paul Henry, a classical recording artist who’s given two solo concerts at Carnegie Hall; Dave Uhrich, the most celebrated of Chicago’s hard rock instrumentalists; and noted jazz man Bobby Broom. The session runs 10 to 5 in Marx Hall on the ninth floor of Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. It’s $40. Call 341-3789 to register.

The Prairie Fire Organizing Committee notes Black History Month by recounting the plight of black political prisoners in the U.S. Tonight they’re showing a pair of videos, Can’t Jail the Revolution and Break the Walls Down. Also on the agenda are talks by Hondo T’Chikwa of the Crossroads Support Network and Alejandro Molina from the National Committee to Free Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. The program starts at 7 in room 254 of DePaul’s Schmitt Academic Center, 2323 N. Seminary. The groups involved request a donation of between $5 and $10. Call 278-6706.

At Grotto d’Amore . . . A Cabin Fever Love Groove tonight at Randolph Street Gallery, vows will be exchanged and plenty of cake and champagne will be consumed. But Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding it ain’t. The event also features aromatherapy, tantric sex lessons, spell casting, and computer matchmaking. Admission is $10, $5 for gallery members and students, but most of the “rituals”–including marriage counseling for those who marry the wrong person–cost extra. Things start at 8 at the gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee. Call 666-7737 for more.

If you watched Ken Burns’s baseball documentary you probably know how Negro baseball league star Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe earned his nickname: pitching and catching within the same game. Radcliffe and another Negro league player, Lester Lockett, who once hit .408, will be at Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont, from 10 to 3 today talking to fans and signing any memorabilia you’ve got. It’s free. Call 281-1364.

Sunday 26

The Smelts sponsoring the fifth Swim Your Heart Out Swimathon aren’t the oily salmonoids that pile up on the beach. They’re a mostly gay and lesbian swim team. From 11 to 2 today at the University of Illinois at Chicago pool, you can join them for lap swimming, water walking, water volleyball, water aerobics, and a scuba demonstration. Rick Karlin and Honey West host the event, which benefits Open Hand Chicago, Stop AIDS Chicago, and the Lesbian Community Cancer Project. The UIC pool is in the Physical Education Building, 901 W. Roosevelt. Call 509-2940.

Goin’ to Chicago, a film about the great migration of African Americans from the rural south to the urban north, includes historic footage of Chicago in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Tonight at 6:30 in room 707 of the News and Letters Committees Library, 59 E. Van Buren, it’ll be screened for free with a discussion to follow. Call 663-0839.

Monday 27

The Commission on Global Governance has been meeting for years to figure out why wars and atrocities continue to mark the 20th century. At the end of January it submitted a report to the UN calling for changes to the UN charter and a world conference. One of two American representatives on the panel was Adele Simmons, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; she’ll be reporting on the group’s work tonight at 7:30 in room 107 of Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. It’s free. Call 708-577-8497.

If you have dreams about your kid being the next Gregory Hines, check out a tap dance contest today at the South Shore Cultural Center. The event is a promotional tie-in with the tap musical Jelly’s Last Jam, which is coming to the Chicago Theatre in April. The show’s star, 20-year-old dance sensation Savion Glover, will lead contestants through a couple of routines to separate the amateurs from the gifted; finalists need a three-minute tap solo prepared for the final tap-off. First prize includes dinner, tix to the show’s opening night, and an hour of study with Glover; four runners-up will get the dinner and tickets. It all starts at 5 PM today at the center, 71st Street and South Shore Drive; it’s free. Call 747-1278 for details.

Tuesday 28

Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize (for her 1949 collection Annie Allen), gives a reading today in the Congress Lounge on the second floor of Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. It’s free and so is the reception that follows. Things get under way at 4:30. Call 341-3510 for more.

March 1

A Bill Clinton adviser comes to town today to help spread the administration’s campaign for Democratic-style family values. Today at 4 the John M. Olin Center for the Theory and Practice of Democracy presents Personal Responsibility and Liberal Democracy, a free talk by William Galston, who’s deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy. It’s in room 122 of the Social Science Research Building, 1126 E. 59th. Call 702-3423 for more.

Are Fred and Barney gay? And why do the vast majority of men find Betty sexier than Wilma? In “The Flintstones”: Anatomy of a Pop Culture Classic Arlen Schumer answers these and other pressing questions. Schumer is an illustrator known for the coffee-table book Visions of the Twilight Zone, which collected some of the more provocative images and dialogue of Rod Serling’s classic TV show. His multimedia presentation is at 6 this evening at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It’s $10, free to members. Call 629-6000 for details.

Thursday 2

Eight professional bookbinders have been brought together by the Illinois Artisans Shop and Columbia College’s Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts to demonstrate their venerable techniques for making unique and beautiful books. The demonstration runs from 11 to 1:30 today on the concourse level of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph. It’s free. Call 814-1794 for details.

The Friends of Downtown, noting the redesign of five subway and el stations, wants to know a bit about the CTA’s plan of action–not surprising given that the transportation organization is fully capable of building new stations and leaving out little touches like benches or system maps. At the Friends’ monthly lunchtime meeting chief engineer Stan Kaderbak from the city’s Department of Transportation and CTA planning veep Harry Hirsch will undergo a grilling on these and other issues. (You too can throw fruit.) The free event starts at noon in the east meeting room on the fifth floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 726-4031.

Central and South America may still be bloody, but they’re nonetheless moving steadily toward greater democratization. Or so says Guillermo O’Donnell, a Notre Dame professor of government, international studies, and sociology, who gives a talk called The Globalization of Democracy: The Latin American Experience at 2:30 this afternoon on the 10th floor of Loyola’s Damen Hall, 6525 N. Sheridan. It’s free. Call 508-8658 for more.