Cheap Thrills

WHAT GOES UP. It's the day after Thanksgiving. We all know the physics of having eaten too much.

The Tucson Children's Museum hosts its second annual Physics Phun Day on Friday, November 29, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tucson's funniest band of physicists from Pima Community College turn science into entertainment. Watch electricity fly, see a bicycle wheel defy gravity, explore amazing liquid nitrogen demonstrations, witness as a physics professor lies on a bed of nails and has a cement block broken over him.

The wacky professors are Tony Pitucco, Chris DiScenza, Miguel Snyder, Matt Bunting and a host of other dedicated physicists.

It's free with museum admission which costs $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $3.50 for kids. The museum is located at 200 S. Sixth Ave. Call 792-9985 for details.

THERE'S A METHOD. Improvisational music isn't just a bunch of people playing whatever they feel like. It's an art of rhythm, timing and pacing and takes a well-tuned group to pull it off.

Making it Up (in real time) is the sixth annual festival of improv music. It's a celebration of local musical culture. Prizes are even given out.

It all happens on Saturday, November 30, at 7 p.m. at the Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave. Tickets cost $5 at the door. Call 621-7355 for information.

HANUKKAH MADNESS. Every year we either say, "Boy, Hanukkah's early (or late) this year." I always laugh when I say this as it's neither early nor late. We Jews follow the lunar calendar.

This year, it really is early (despite what I just said), landing the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, landing on retailers beloved (or loathed) Black Friday--the day that launches the busiest shopping weekend of the year. To honor such a coincidence, the Foothills Mall offers a special Hanukkah Mall Madness on Sunday, December 1, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Ross Courtyard. Come hear music sung by choirs of local synagogues, Hanukkah storytelling, dreidel games and arts and crafts for the kids. Learn what the festival of lights commemorates and why it lasts eight days and who the Maccabees were. At 5:15 p.m., the Northwest Jewish Life Center (handily located in the mall) lights the menorah commemorating the third night of Hanukkah.

It's sponsored by the Department of Jewish Education and Identity of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. Call them with questions at 577-9393.

SEEING FARTHER. Ever wonder what you should look for when buying a telescope? The professional star gazers at Flandrau Science Center are happy to help you navigate the maze of choices.

How to Buy a Telescope is a one-night class held on Thursday, December 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. It's designed for the absolute beginner and covers topics such as how telescopes work, how much to spend, what kind to purchase and how not to buy something that is inadequate or worse, difficult to use. There are also demonstrations on how to use your new scope and what you can expect to see.

The class is held at the center located at University Boulevard and Cherry Avenue. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the Cherry Avenue parking garage south of Flandrau and at all surface lots. The class costs $4 for Center members and $5 for non-members. Pre-registration is requested. Call them at 621-STAR.

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