Author Ellwood W. Norquist
1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 24
6208 E. Speedway Blvd.
According to author Ellwood W. Norquist, a psychic once told him he'd write and publish two books in his lifetime. At the time, he felt the notion was absurd.
Well, Norquist's second book, All That Is and All That Isn't, was recently published. The 87-year-old professor and author will appear at Mostly Books to discuss and sign copies of the new book.
All That Is and All That Isn't seeks to reconcile the fields of quantum physics, philosophy and spirituality.
"The main thing I want readers to take from this book is the simple question of: Who am I?" said Norquist. "We are all children of God."
Norquist's spirituality is most certainly Christian-leaning—but he said he's received criticism from fundamental and conservative Christians who are offended by his notion that we are all one.
"I'd go to some Christian shops to see if they'd sell my book," he said. "And after reading it, they'd refuse, saying there was no way they were one with Jews or Muslims."
Norquist came from a traditional Baptist upbringing, and said he became disillusioned with that form of spirituality at a young age.
"In my church, we were lead to believe that everyone—Catholics, Jesuits, everyone except for Baptists—were going to hell," he said. "I stopped reading the Bible as much when I got to college, but when I returned to it and read it carefully, I couldn't find anything in it to support the view that all non-Baptists were going to hell."
His book asserts that all people were part of one collective consciousness before the Big Bang, and that after the Big Bang, matter was formed, and we became humans.
"We ask how matter became consciousness," he said. "I ask: How did consciousness become matter?" —A.L.
Free tai chi class
6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays
St. Francis in the Foothills 4625 E. River Road
Ulysses Smith teaches his students how to balance their body energy—and how to use it to their advantage.
Smith teaches the classes in the Wu style of tai chi, the world's second-most-popular form of the martial art.
He originally learned the style from Dr. Wen Zee after studying for five years, and continued his training under instructors such as grandmaster Shi Mei Lin and master Gerald Sharp—all big names in the tai chi world.
"The focus of our classes, in addition to learning the Wu style tai chi form, is to acquire whole-body movement, which means that the whole body is used to move any individual part of the body. When one moves with whole-body movement, he/she begins to access the energy called "chi," and from there can learn how to move the chi for various purposes," Smith said. "Tai chi is actually a martial art, but most people today practice tai chi as a form of moving meditation and/or as a health exercise."
Smith, who has been teaching tai chi in Tucson for almost 15 years, also discussed how tai chi can also improve a person's health.
"Tai chi practice provides many benefits, including better balance, lower blood pressure, increased mobility, calmness of mind and so forth," Smith said.
The tai chi classes are free to attend, but donations—which go toward church expenses—are encouraged. —D.O.
BBQ class at Catalina Barbecue Co.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, July 24
Catalina Barbeque Co. and Sports Bar
3645 W. Starr Pass Blvd.
For Americans, barbecuing is a popular way to cook—especially during the summer. Cooking delicious cuts of beef and pork over flames outdoors is one of America's great pastimes (along with baseball).
This weekend at the Catalina Barbeque Co. and Sports Bar, Tucsonans can learn different techniques on how to grill.
Chef Matt Andes has been grilling since he was a young kid living in Kansas City, and is very excited to be teaching the class.
He said he'll cover different methods of barbecuing and grilling, and will talk about the different barbecue competitions that are held around the country—because more individuals are getting involved with these contests.
"The people can expect a crash course of barbecuing and grilling," he said. "I will be going over the pros and cons of smoking ... how to smoke pig shoulders (and) how to take down chickens. ... I have done classes on barbecuing before, and the turnouts are always full. It's a good way for people to come out to socialize and to have a good time over a nice beer and delicious food."
Andes said he believes that barbecuing is not only a form of cooking; it is a culinary art form. He is definitely passionate about his craft.
"It is important for people to know how to grill, because backyard grilling is America's pastime. Anyone can cook a steak, but cooking a piece of meat for hours to make it so delicious and succulent is a true art form," Andes said. "Grilling will always have a special place in my heart."
The class costs $35 per person (plus tax and gratuity). The class size is limited, so reservations are a must. —D.O.
Monsoon Monday Nights
4 to 8 p.m., Mondays, through Labor Day
Tucson Children's Museum
200 S. Sixth Ave.
The Tucson Children's Museum's annual Monsoon Monday Nights series offers families a fun and educational experience each and every summer week through Labor Day.
Executive director Michael Luria said Monsoon Mondays are a great way for families to share time while keeping children's minds stimulated with the help of special guests—such as folks from the UA Optics Department, who will speak about lasers.
"We have been doing Monsoon Mondays for four years now, and every year, we have more people showing up. We planned these events for families who might have to work during the evening, so when they get off of work, they can still come out, because the museum is open until 8 p.m.," Luria said, adding that 300 to 500 people attend Monsoon Mondays. "We are basically trying to give back to the community so (people) can come out to play and explore the museum."
If money is tight, take heart: Monsoon Mondays admission is only $2 per person.
"During Monsoon Mondays, we are trying to make the museum more accessible for the public by reducing admission cost and opening the entire museum for those who attend the event," Luria said. "Our philosophy is that the museum should be a right, not a privilege."
During the summer, the Tucson Children's Museum is open Monday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission is $8 for adults; and $6 for children 2 to 18 years old, as well as seniors. —D.O.