Damselflies mating, an image found in Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennous companion book to "Microcosmos"
  • Damselflies mating, an image found in Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennous companion book to "Microcosmos"

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Lawrence Leighton Smith, head of orchestral programs for Yale University and main guest conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is the latest musical whiz vying for the position of Colorado Springs Symphony Music Director. Smith will do his best to impress this morning on Behind the Baton, a series of detailed conversations with the six candidates in the running for the job. The interview begins at 11 a.m. and can be heard on KCME, 88.7 FM. Smith will also be guest conducting the Springs Symphony through the weekend. Call 520-SHOW to find out more.

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It's always a few degrees warmer in Pueblo, and tonight is no exception as Festival Friday heats up the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave. Local Big Cat Band will play their blend of funk, jazz, reggae, skat and country. Also included at the fest will be food, wine and spirits. The evening begins 5:30. Admission is $4-$5. Call 719/542-1211 for details.

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People have made clapboard homes, sod houses, rock dwellings, straw-bale earthships, car roof domes, recycled tire apartments and aluminum can garages, but I think they may have overlooked one of nature's strongest and most resilient building materials: the fruitcake. Everlasting and organic, neutral-toned and easily shaped into bricks, it is an architectural shame that no one has explored the power of this holiday food. Except, of course, for the citizens of Manitou Springs, who for years have harnessed the strength of the fruitcake. Witness the spectacle today at the Great Fruitcake Toss in Memorial Park, just east of City Hall. People will hurl, throw, fling, catapult and remove from their personal space in any possible way the unwanted holiday fruit concoctions beginning at 11 a.m. Also featured are fruitcake derby races and a fruitcake glamour competition. Call 685-5089 for more information or to find out how to register.

Cajun heat comes to the snowy Rockies tonight at the Fais Do-Do. The Cajun and Zydeco dance party features dance lessons, Louisiana cuisine, ice-cold beer, and the sounds of the Colorado Cajun Dance Band and a band with the best name I've heard in years, the Nouveau Zydeco Honkies. The fais do-do begins at 7 p.m. at the Swallow Hill Music Hall in Denver. Tickets are $10-$12. Call 303/777-1003 for more.

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Think Stomp without the garbage can lids and other janitorial props. The industrial-style Australian male tap dance troupe Tap Dogs returns to Colorado Springs, Arnold Hall at the Air Force Academy. The award-winning show begins at 7:30. Tickets are $15-$25. Call 333-4497.

Few places in the world are as rich in history as Britain, and its surrounding islands. Each rocky oasis has a haunting, romantic or simply historic tale of its own, many dating back to the time of the Gaels and Vikings, some as recent as World War II. Filmmakers Rick and Jan Rosefield will show and discuss their film Britain's Offshore Islands as part of the World Horizons Film Series, today and tomorrow at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale Street at 2 p.m. Admission is $6. Call 634-5583 for more.

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While the instructions everyone seeks don't come attached to children at birth, the Nurturing Program is helping expectant parents learn exactly what they need to do to give those adorable, sticky, googly, messy, screaming bundles of joy the best care possible. Teaching parenting and coping skills is also one of the most effective tools in preventing child abuse. Volunteers are needed to participate in the program, and the next orientation meeting is tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the El Paso County Health Department, 301 S. Union Blvd. Call 578-3278 to register or to find out more.

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He's cute, he's cuddly, he's everybody's favorite God-fearing conservative rich white Republican male ... He's Pat Buchanan and he's written an examination of World War II and American Imperialism titled A Republic, Not an Empire. Patrick will be signing copies of the new book with that special Buchanan flourish at Barnes & Noble, 795 Citadel Drive East, today from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Admission is free. Call 637-8282 to find out more.

Eat like Martha Stewart without paying gourmet prices at the Gourmet Chefs Auction 2000. Sample the wares of chefs from over 15 fine local restaurants including the Cliff House, Tajine Alami and The Picnic Basket while bidding in a live and silent auction at the Broadmoor Hotel, 1 Lake Cir. Tickets are $35-$40 and benefit the March of Dimes. Call 473-9981 to find out more.

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A patch of clover becomes a rainforest, a spot of lichen is a gripping bog, a water-filled footprint is as wide as Lake Titicaca. You're seeing the world from an insect's perspective, as you will during the film Microcosmos : The Invisible World of Insects. The award-winning nature film, sponsored by the Horticultural Art Society, will be shown tonight at the East Library and Information Center, 5550 N. Union Ave. The show begins at 7 p.m., and admission is free. Call 531-6333 to learn more.

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