Press Picks

thursday
april 13
Images of Vanishing Nature In some circles, the topic of dying species can generate much controversy. For others, the issues involved are more exotic, more distant. However, the Museum of Natural Science, in hosting the premiere showing of this exhibit of wildlife art, shows us that several Texas species, too, are in danger of extinction. The point of this exhibit, assembled by the Endangered Species Media Project, is to bring attention to the plight of these local and not so local animals, among them the prairie falcon, the mountain gorilla and the ubiquitous -- for an endangered species -- baby harp seal. Through September 24, then the display, featuring works by world-famous wildlife artists, sets off for a tour of North America. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Houston Museum of Natural Science, 1 Hermann Circle Drive, 639-4600. Exhibit free with museum admission: $3, adults; $2 children under 12.

Call a Doc Over the last 20 years, the medical community has recorded an 11 percent increase in disease and death among America's adolescents. The factors believed to be primarily responsible are the mainstays of public service announcements and after-school specials: substance abuse, sexuality and pregnancy, victimization, psychological disorders and suicide, and violence and trauma. The Harris County Medical Auxiliary wants to put these numbers in check by spreading information, and doctors will reach out tonight in a format most familiar to teens: the telephone. Teens and their parents can call with any health-related questions from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. The number is 529-TEEN, which any other time of the year is staffed by Teenline volunteers to help teens with common adolescent problems.

Gator gastronomy City dwellers may not realize that just 40 miles or so east of downtown there are areas where the alligator population outnumbers the local citizenry. Fortunately for the locals, these beasts pretty much keep to themselves. At the Houston Zoo, however, the reptiles bask in the spotlight. Zoo-goers are invited to feast their eyes on the gators' first public feeding of the year at 2 p.m. today; the menu opts for chicken over such delicacies as, say, beef lung. Of course, alligator tastes a lot like chicken, only chewier. April is National Zoo Month, and guests arriving between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends will receive free activity packets. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Houston Zoological Gardens, Hermann Park, 1515 North MacGregor, 525-3300. $2.50, $2 seniors, 50 cents for children.

friday
april 14
Passion Walk St. Matthew Lutheran Church recreates the last days Christ spent on earth on this Good Friday. The reenactment begins with Christ's entry into Jerusalem, then continues as he is betrayed by Judas and led to trial before Pontius Pilate. The audience is then invited to participate in the Passion Walk to the foot of the cross. 6:30 p.m., followed by a Tenebrae service. All events take place on the church property, 5315 Main, between Main and Fannin, 526-5731. Free.

The Blue Exile The Rice Media Center and the Houston International Festival kick off a salute to Turkey with a series of five modern films shown in a language few Houstonians will understand. No worry, there are subtitles. Tonight's feature is The Blue Exile (Mavi SYrgYn) and stars Hanna Schygulla, who has appeared in numerous films including the German-language tragedy Effi Briest and the English-language mystery Dead Again. This multitalented actress plays an actress in this tale of a Turkish journalist sentenced to exile for an article critical of death sentences for deserters. Along the way, the movie delves into past relationships with the father the journalist may have murdered, his foreign wife and his youthful mother. New Turkish Cinema continues through April 20. 7:30 p.m. Rice Media Center, Rice University (entrance no. 8 off University Boulevard), 527-4853. $5.

saturday
april 15
Easter Fest '95 Go sumo for Easter. It's not the traditional celebration, but all should be well as long as the wrestlers don't waddle over any of the Easter eggs. Organizers say this KRBE/104 FM-sponsored Easter event is the city's largest, and thousands of people are expected to crowd Memorial Park for an egg hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny, face painting, karaoke, moonwalking, a magic show, a petting zoo, carnival games and, of course, the sumo wrestling. There's also human bowling. Let's hope some Fred Flintstone wannabe doesn't hop his lane and strike down the joggers across the street. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Drive at North Picnic Lane, 266-1000. Free admission; food, beverage and activity coupons are nine for $5. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House.

Easter festival and egg hunt Why is it that the bunny is the star of Easter celebrations when it's really the chicken that does all the work? In just this one event alone, more than 30,000 eggs will be hidden in the midst of the grass and wildflowers at First United Methodist Church. That's a lot of Paas, or, perhaps, a lot of plastic. Apparently, a goose or two was put to work as well, as special prizes will be awarded to those children finding those elusive golden eggs. In any event, egg hunters will set out at 10:30 a.m.; when their baskets are full, they'll return for the usual festivities -- face painting, petting zoo, train rides and more. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 3663 Westcenter Drive, 652-2999, extension 312. Free.

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