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Exercise Your Noggin!

Brain Teasers 2

Various times, daily, through Sunday, May 8

UA Science: Flandrau

1601 E. University Blvd.

621-7827;

www.flandrau.org

The world is full of puzzles—20 of which have become the focus of the traveling Brain Teasers 2 exhibit, which is now offering visitors to UA Science: Flandrau a chance to have some fun while improving their mental skills at the same time.

Sean Fitzpatrick, the digital media and marketing director at Flandrau (and an occasional Tucson Weekly contributor), has tried out some of the puzzles, and he said that the exhibit has something for everyone.

"These teasers may appear trivial at first, but it's been proven they can really help your cognitive skills and improve the health of your brain," he said. "The other day, we had a fifth-grader from Fort Huachuca who blew us all away and solved all the puzzles that many of us adults were stumped on."

The exhibit includes many platforms, including hands-on tabletop activities with riddles, and visualizations that use markers and other tools to test theories. All of the puzzles are designed to improve brain activity.

The University of Arizona has also added to the exhibit information and research that provides visitors insight and context as to how, exactly, the puzzles may affect your brain.

"Some adults are actually intimidated by the teasers, because they force you to think like a kid," Fitzpatrick said. "Some of these are just plain challenging."

Whether you're 7 or 70, this exhibit is sure to get your thinking juices flowing—and according to science, that's a great thing!

Admission to the exhibit is $7.50 for adults; $5 for children ages 4 to 14; and free for kids younger than 4. UA students can get in for only $2. —T.K.


What Language Can Do?

The Next Word in Poetry: A Reading by Rusty Morrison and Fred Moten

8 p.m., next Thursday, Feb. 10

UA Poetry Center

1508 E. Helen St.

626-4310;

www.poetrycenter.arizona.edu

Poetry doesn't often get a lot of mainstream attention, but the Next Word in Poetry Series at the UA Poetry Center is trying to reverse that.

The upcoming Next Word, featuring poets Rusty Morrison and Fred Moten, offers some good reasons for any poet—or any artist, for that matter—to be excited.

The series brings up-and-coming poets in from across the nation to read and discuss their work. After the readings, there is a question-and-answer session.

"There's just something about the intimacy of a poetry reading that inspires all kinds of artists, not just poets," said Annie Guthrie, marketing specialist at the UA Poetry Center.

These two poets, while relatively new on the scene, seem to have established their own unique voices with relative ease.

Morrison, who has published two collections so far, has won numerous prizes and has been published in a number of places. "Rusty has a way of articulating the familiar in wholly surprising and seemingly new formations," writes Guthrie in an e-mail. "She has a keen intelligence and deep understanding of what language can do, while still making sure to communicate to her audience."

Moten writes in a completely different style. Morrison's words are descriptively melancholy, while Moten's are passionately loud and heavy. Juxtaposing the two poets may truly make for a treat.

Today, it seems as though the audience for poetry is smaller than it once was. Undeniably, though, the art form has an enduring beauty and spirit.

"People go to poetry with a spectrum of needs," said Guthrie. "They come to it in times of grief, exuberance, inquiry ... and to look for solace. It is unique as an art form in that sense."

The event is free. —A.G.


Student Perspectives

UA's 35th Annual VisCom Exhibition

Opening reception 3:30 to 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 4

On display 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through Wednesday, Feb. 16

Lionel Rombach Gallery

1031 N. Olive Road

626-4215;

cfa.arizona.edu/galleries

Friday evening brings the 35th Annual VisCom Exhibition to the Lionel Rombach Gallery at the University of Arizona. This exhibit offers many up-and-coming college artists a chance to show off their hard work—to judges and the surrounding community alike.

"This year, we will have a large variety of mediums," said UA senior Kendra Flesner, who helped organize the event. "Submissions include oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, posters and even some logo designs."

For Flesner and the handful of other art students who made the cut, this exhibition is a platform that many young artists in the Tucson area work hard to be a part of.

Designed not only to give participating students feedback on the accepted pieces—judges include Eric Boelts, Sophie Clarke and Adam Rex—this exhibition also allows students the chance to gain public support. Finally, it offers Tucsonans an opportunity to peruse the work of some of the city's best young visual artists.

The exhibition promises solid work from many perspectives and welcomes viewers of all ages.

"For many of us, this exhibition allows us to show pieces we've been working on all semester, but also some that we have been working on for years," Flesner said. "We are all very eager."

The exhibition will be on display through Wednesday, Feb. 16, and admission is free to the public. —T.K.


Happy Steps

WareHouse Stomp

7:30 to 8 p.m., crash-course lesson; 8 to 11 p.m., open dancing, the first Saturday of each month

The DanceLoft

620 E. 19th St., No. 150

250-4664;

www.thedanceloft.com

Gayl Zhao is one of the owners of the DanceLoft, a studio that offers a wide range of classes—and sometimes features special workshops and guest choreographers.

Zhao grew up dancing ballet with her mother, a ballet instructor. She danced ballet for 18 years—and has now been swing dancing for 11 years.

When asked what she enjoys about swing dance in particular, Zhao answered enthusiastically, "I love swing music! It's so happy, and it really puts a smile on my face."

WareHouse Stomp provides a place to come and experience swing music in a fun environment. The monthly open dance—following a lesson for newcomers—is an excellent opportunity to experience what swing dancing is all about.

And swing dancing is more than just dance. Zhao said she believes that swing dancing is a social experience that brings people together, and she intends to help foster Tucson's own dance community through events like the WareHouse Stomp.

If you attend the lesson, one of the dances you'll learn is the ever-famous Charleston. "(The Charleston) is one of the most fun dances," said Zhao.

Zhao encouraged people to wear comfortable shoes, and—for the Feb. 5 dance—to wear clothes that reflect one's feelings for Valentine's Day, whether they be pink feelings or black ones. She also said that WareHouse Stomp dances are usually run like potlucks: People can bring snacks to help fuel the late-night dancing.

Zhao encouraged new people not to be shy. "Some dance communities can be close-minded," she said. "But in our community, we're all about having fun."

The dance is $5 for DanceLoft members, and $8 for nonmembers and the lesson is included. —A.G.

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