The two-week-long 26th Annual Jewish Book Fair brings 33 authors to Houston to speak about their recently published books and offers some 6,000 titles for sale. Today at 12:30 p.m., Brandeis University professor Joyce Antler discusses her book The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America, and the lives of such women as Sophie Tucker, Emma Goldman, Betty Friedan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also appearing are fashion designer Diane Von Furstenburg (November 11, 10 a.m.), award-winning chef and cookbook author Joyce Goldstein (November 13, 10 a.m.), and poets Yehuda Amichai and Edward Hirsch (November 14, 6 p.m.). Lecture tickets are generally $6; call 729-3200, ext. 3231 to purchase in advance. Bookstore hours: Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Through November 15; closed Friday, November 6. Jewish Community Center, 5601 Braeswood.
Tod Waters claims to be a "Zipperneck" -- a half-human, half-android warrior of the future -- but most people know him as a flesh-and-blood punk-rock singer, tattoo artist, and prop builder. His multimedia show "Squadron," about a group of nomadic supersoldiers who spread computer bugs and survive by plugging into power outlets and plumbing themselves, opens at the DiverseWorks Subspace Gallery tonight. This "imaginative" young man's apocalyptic art includes traditional painting, homemade props, gadgets, curios and pulp-installations of Creepy and Eerie magazines. The Main Gallery, by contrast, features models and drawings for real, affordable, single-family homes in the Fifth Ward. Designed by local and nationally recognized architects, "16 Houses: Owning a House in the City" will be presented to potential homebuyers from the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation. The opening reception for both shows is 69 p.m. at Diverse-Works, 1117 East Freeway, 223-8346. Free.
Robert Golka is a real-life, Tesla coil-building mad scientist whose Utah laboratory was actually raided by real cops. But when William Burroughs appears as the film's evil energy czar, you'll wonder where "Energy and How to Get It" falls on the the blurry line of fact and fiction. This creation of filmmakers Robert Frank and Gary Hill and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer is one of three pseudo-documentaries curated by Austin's Bill Daniel for the Heights microcinema Aurora Picture Show. He's also bringing "Shulie"--a scene-by-scene remake of a 1967 documentary -- and Craig Baldwin's rapid-fire, apocalyptic, found-footage collage, "RocketKitKongoKit." The Pseudo Documentary Film Jam begins at 9 p.m. at the Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora Street. $5 suggested donation. Call 868-2101 for more information.
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Sesame Street's latest lesson: Arts and crafts aren't just for preschoolers. The Children's Television Workshop's flagship show celebrates its 30th birthday with the touring exhibition, "Art From the Fuzzy and Famous." Celebrity guests, special friends, cast and Muppet creators were asked to contribute a piece of art based on what the television show meant to them. The resulting 50-piece show features a Tony Bennett lithograph, Kevin Kline's watercolor of Cookie Monster, a William Wegman photograph of his favorite canines Batty & Crooky, a "P is for Pear" oil painting by Carly Simon, a crayon and marker love note from Rosie O'Donnell, and works by Julia Roberts, Dennis Franz, Katie Couric, Barbara Bush, Itzhak Perlman and Mary Chapin Carpenter. All the art will be auctioned (with proceeds benefiting children's charities) at Sotheby's in March 1999. But you can catch the show at the Children's Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz, 522-1138, through November 29. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m.5 p.m., and Sunday noon5 p.m. Admission is $5, $4 for seniors, and free for kids under two.
Get your blood pumping with the rhythms of the Shepherd School of Music Percussion Ensemble. Richard Brown will direct the drumming of Steve Reich in Six Marimbas, Nigel Westlake in Omphalo Centric, David Hollinden in The Whole Toy Laid Down, Russell Peck in Lift-Off!, J. Billy Verplanck in Petite Suite, John Christian Orfe in Dragon. The free concert begins at 8 p.m. at Rice University's Stude Concert Hall, entrance no. 8, University Blvd. For info call 527-4854.
"The Riot Grrrl movement changed my life," claims Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing co-author Jamie Schweser. It's not actually as far-fetched as it sounds. Schweser and buddy Abram Shalom Himelstein were young radical idealists together during Washington, D.C.'s early-'90s, punk-rock heyday. When they grew disillusioned with the "scene," they penned a largely autobiographical novel (more accurately, a loose narrative constructed from letters, 'zine articles, manifestoes, propaganda posters, and crude illustrations) about militant vegans, philosophical shoplifters and, yes, Riot Grrl strippers. Still subscribing to the subculture, Schweser and Himelstein have since started an indie record label and a do-it-yourself publishing house. The guys sell Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing, now in its second printing, out of the trunk of a car as they travel around the country. They'll read at the new Sound Exchange, 1846 Richmond, 666-5555, at 7 p.m., and at No Tsu Oh, 314 Main, 222-0443, at 9:30 p.m.
Planes will be grounded, phones will be jammed, utilities will be cut off, credit cards won't work, banks will be emptied, the world economy will collapse and people will run for the hills and protect their loot militia-style. So say millenial doomsdayers about the first weeks -- even months -- of the Year 2000. But this time the alarmists may have reason to be worried. In the early days of computing, when storage was at a premium, programmers got thrifty by using only two digits to refer to the year. It's likely that next New Year's Day many computers will read the date as 1900, or not be able to read it at all.The Houston Community College-Southwest Corporate Training Center has called the first countrywide, problem-solving conference on the topic. Representatives from the Y2K departments of Shell, Houston Industries, BMC Software, Southern National Bank and the state of Texas will be putting their heads together at "Understanding the Millenium Bug"; for $75 you can chime in too. The morning session begins at 8 a.m. and the afternoon session starts at 1 p.m. at the Science and Technology Center, 10141 Cash Road, Stafford, 718-6772.