Cheap Thrills

LUMBERJACKS' LAMENT: The concept goes back to when homeless prairie dirt farmers were hard-put to find lumber. Today, straw-bale housing is on the rebound as a relatively cheap, environmentally sound method of putting roofs over our ever more numerous heads. Join Matts Myhrman and Judy Knox, authors of Build It With Bales, when they discuss their craft at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 19, at Barnes and Noble, 5480 E. Broadway. For information, call 745-9822.

BIO-STROLL: The environmentally conscious folks at the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity host another hike on Sunday, November 17, along the lush and endangered Cienega Creek.

See for yourself just how important these prime little habitats are to a host of our winged friends and our own water quality, and how they can be threatened by encroaching urbanity and bulldozing bovines. See this week's Out There column for details.

The two-to three-hour walk begins at 9 a.m. For information, call 733-1391.

AU NATURAL: One critic described it as "neon jungles lighted by fireflies and bioluminescent fungi." And no, it's not your bathroom. It's the work of abstract landscape painter Jim Waid, whose bold, brightly colored pieces will adorn the Tucson Museum of Art through January 19.

Considered a product of the Modernist and the Abstract Expressionist movements of the '50s, Waid worked for years as a color field painter. Later, while teaching at Pima Community College, he brought the desert to life, and his current Natural Elements exhibit was inspired by the forms, textures, spaces, light, movement and colors of the desert environment.

Museum Executive Director Robert Yassin calls it "hardly an overstatement to say that the remarkable breadth of artistic talent in Tucson owes much to Jim, who, by way of example and because he continues to live here, has contributed so substantially to its growth and development."

Pay tribute to that legacy, presented as part of the ongoing Contemporary Southwest Images series, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. The Museum of Art is at 140 N. Main Ave. For information, call 624-2333.

STILL TO COME: Political economist Herbert Schiller has spent the past four decades examining ways that corporate communication industries, media institutions, and information technologies tighten their chokehold on modern society. This week he comes to the UA for three lectures, beginning with U.S. Communication Research in an Era of American Global Dominance: 1945-1995, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 20, in the Harvill Building, Room 115. Call 621-7352 for information. TW

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