News briefs

Screen Science

Monsters, aliens and science experiments gone wrong come to life on the silver screen in The Wistar Institute’s free film series, “Science in the Movies.” On Oct. 13, be sure to catch the 1951 classic “The Thing,” about a pilot who is rescued from a spacecraft crash only to embark on a murderous rampage. Maybe once and for all you can settle the mystery of the film—was it directed by Christian Nyby, as it states in the credits, or mogul Howard Hawks, who received a production credit?

Other films in the series include “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (Jack Arnold, 1954) on Oct. 28 and Mel Brooks’ hilarious spoof, “Young Frankenstein” (1974) on Nov. 9.

Shows begin at 7 p.m. in Wistar’s Joseph N. Grossman Auditorium, 3601 Spruce Street. For more information, visit

Arts night

Mark your calendars for a shot of culture with a local touch. Starting Oct. 8—and continuing every second Friday of the month—a mix of museums, art galleries and restaurants in the Powelton section of University City will host “2nd Fridays, Left of Center” from 5 to 11 p.m. Everyone is welcome to experience the best of the left, including live music, art exhibitions, theater presentations and other events. The kick-off celebration on the 8th includes many free events, such as jazz pianist Alfie Pollitt performing at the Art on 38 Gallery, 3808 Lancaster Ave., the exhibit “Artists against the End of the World” at the Ellen Powell Tiberino Museum, 3819 Hamilton St. and an East African exhibit and performance at The East African Resource Center, 3808 Pearl St. For more information, visit the University City District webt site at

Save room for. . .

The cultural diversity and cuisine of University City will get a chance to shine in an Exotic Cuisine and Esoteric Culture tour on Oct. 9 and 10, part of a neighborhood tour series from the Greater Philadelphia Marketing Tourism Corporation. The tour will highlight some of the best of the West Philly neighborhoods, including the Spiral Q Puppet Theater, a community-based organization that creates larger-than-life puppets, Sansom Row, the Clark Park Farmer’s Market and the authentic Laotian food of Vientiane Cafe.

The tour departs from the Independence Visitor Center, 6th and Market sts., at 10 a.m. Tickets run from $30 to $20 and include lunch. For specific ticket information and reservations, contact the GPTMC at (215) 599-2295.

The digital square

The events happening in University Square are now only a mouse click away. The new web site,, lists the more than 80 shops and restaurants, cultural and recreational venues, and public spaces, and is a resource for residents and visitors alike.

For more information on the site and on University Square, contact Taylor Berkowitz at or by calling (215) 898-6690.

Two schools, one community

Come celebrate the inauguration of Amy Gutmann as Penn’s new President by giving back to the community. On Oct. 9, which has been designated Penn-West Philadelphia Community Celebration Day, volunteers will work from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to improve the physical environment of the Sayre Middle School, celebrate the nearly eight-year-long Penn-Sayre partnership and hold a community health fair.

While the deadline for volunteering has passed, Penn students, staff, faculty and local alumni who want to participate can simply show up at the school (located at 58th and Walnut sts.) for on-site registration.

Transportation to and from Sayre runs every half-hour beginning at 8:30 a.m., from Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce St., and the corner of 39th and Walnut sts.; food will be provided. For more information visit the inauguration web site at

Bull market

Despite an optimistic outlook for industry employment and the opening and expansion of emerging markets, slow gains in equity markets and geopolitical tensions are significant roadblocks to success. How will corporations meet the new challenges? Find out at Wharton’s fifth annual Finance Conference, “Global Finance: Unleashing the Bull,” which will be held on Oct. 8 at the Wyndham Philadelphia at Franklin Plaza from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, go to

Poetic license

Penn’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing prides itself on nurturing the creativity of its writing students. So why is one of their fall semester undergraduate writing seminars called “Uncreative Writing”? For the answer, you’d have to talk to the center’s new Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice Kenneth Goldsmith, who will be teaching the course.

Goldsmith, who holds a BFA in sculpture, also sculpts words as an innovative poet. His explorations into “uncreativity” include “Day,” in which the poet retyped the entire Friday, Sept. 1, 2000 issue of the New York Times, from left to right, to produce an 836-page folio-sized book.


Originally published on October 7, 2004