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The Week in Geek, June 27-July 3: School’s out, but we’ve still got class

We have finally reached that point in the summer where all the local schools are out. Swarms of children roam free; already, their vacation-slackened brains have started atrophying, their feral instincts taking over. Ice-cream-truck drivers patrol the streets with caution, fearing the packs of errant urchins who might ambush them. Throw in a dose of July heat and humidity, and you've got chaos descending upon the streets of Boston.

Don't like the sound of that? Well, we've got good news for you, gentle nerds -- you can escape all the turmoil (and the stickiness), and feed your mind at the same time. This Week In Geek shows you how! We've found quiz shows, lectures, and trivia, plus workshops on saucy dancing and apocalyptic survival. Now, quickly! Retreat to your A/C-chilled bunkers of book-learning!

MONDAY 6.27

[classic] La Dolce Vida @ Coolidge Corner 7pm
This beloved art-noir flick by Federico Fellini has enjoyed a recent restoration and revival. It's a satire that both mocks and celebrates the artistic high life of Rome in the 1950s, with all its decadence and moral depravity. The film -- hailed as groundbreaking for its style, content, and methods of storytelling -- is a must-see for any film buff. And now you have your chance: it's playing at the Coolidge in a one-time only special screening.

[trivia] Big Quiz Thing @ Club Oberon 7:30pm
Do you have an encyclopedic knowledge of everything from from obscure culinary history to ‘80s pop music? Then Big Quiz Thing -- a national phenomenon, multimedia experience, and monthly installation at Club Oberon -- might be for you. $200 dollars is on the line in this test of wits/obscure knowledge, so be sure to spend the rest of the day studying Wikipedia.

[eating + sleeping brains] Nerdnite @ Middlesex Lounge 8pm
Tonight is Nerdnite at the Middlesex, a gathering of the geeky for education/recreation. There will be nerd-appropriate jams, plus two different talks: Steve Fabregas of Zeo discusses the science of sleep, while Harvard postdoc neurobiology fellow Jeremy Kay talks about the everyday real-life zombies you find in nature (and oh yes, they're out there).

[skepticism] Boston Skeptics in the Pub @ Tommy Doyle's 7pm
The Boston Skeptics is a group that gathers to discuss important scientific and philosophical issues with a critical mindset. In other words, they are skeptical. They also host events and discussions, and this week they are bringing in Joshie Berger, skeptic, comedian, and runner-up for Food Network's Worst Cooks in America.

TUESDAY 6.28

[there and back again] LotR: The Return of the King extended edition @ AMC Boston Common 7pm
The final installment of The Lord of the Rings series is screening at Boston Common this week. It's your last, best chance (well, this week, anyway) to dress up in pointy ears and a cloak and watch a movie on a big screen in a room full of a bunch of other people in pointy ears and cloaks. It will be just like the first time you watched it in theaters, except now you will not be deceived by the film's nine apparent-endings.

[burlesque!] Feather FANtasy Burlesque Workshop @ B.A.B.E. Studio 6:30 pm
Is burlesque nerdy? Good question. Let's see: it's over-the-top, old-timey, and involves costumes -- so we're inclined to say it is. This week, the Boston Academy of Burlesque Education (run by the Boston Babydolls) is offering a course on the fan, a prop as important to burlesque dance as it is the hot months of summer.

[music/punctuation] Bomb the Music Industry! @ The Middle East 8pm
Songwriter Jeff Rosenstock describes Bomb the Music Industry! as "ska for smart people or indie rock for dumbasses at the same time," with generous gobs of chiptune electronica thrown in for good measure. And you can bomb a T-shirt at the same time -- BtMI! shows tend to come packing free stencils and paint.

[smells fishy] Molly Birnbaum, Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way @ Harvard Book Store 7pm
Molly Birnbaum's book tells the true story of what happens when she loses her sense of smell, shattering her culinary dreams are shattered. And while she is told time and again that there's no way to recover, she defies the odds and ... well, you'll see. Birnbaum will be reading from this memoir about cooking, olfaction, love, and neuroscience tonight.


WEDNESDAY 6.29

[sold out :( ] Josh Ritter (singer-songwriter, novelist) @ Brookline Booksmith
Widely swooned-over singer-songwriter Josh Ritter is now a newly minted novelist.To celebrate the debut of his debut, Bright's Passage, he's dropping by the Brookline Booksmith for an evening of readings, signings, and songs. Which is why this event sold out. (Life is unfair.) BUT you can still ordered signed copies of the novel through the website.

[rhymes with "bus bunching"] MBTA Poetry Slam @ Cantab Lounge 8pm
"Slam" is one of those words that should never be used in reference to public transportation -- but this might be an exception. Tonight, hordes of beatniks gather at the Cantab Lounge to wax poetic about the trolleys, buses, and subways we hate to love and love to hate.

THURSDAY 6.30

[theater] MilkMilkLemonade @ Factory Theatre Thurs Fri + Sat, 8pm; Sat 4pm
Here's one for you theater geeks: the Factory Theatre is showing Heart & Dagger's production of MilkMilkLemonade, a play about sexuality, farming, grandparents, pyromania, and clinically depressed chicken. Runs this weekend and next.

[out-of-body experiences] Gary Braver, Tunnel Vision @ Brookline Booksmith 7pm
When atheist grad-student Zack Kashian survives a near-death experience and awakes from a months-long coma praying in Aramaic, he becomes the subject of a study that might prove the existence of an afterlife. This Boston-set novel got raves from Ray effing Bradbury, so don't sleep on this one.

[filk] Marian Call @ Pandemonium Books + Games 7pm
Much-loved folky singer-songwriter Marian Call has a penchant for the fringe. She writes songs that are fandom-specific (BSG and Firefly) or about geek life in general ("I'll Still Be A Geek After Nobody Thinks It's Chic," performed on a typewriter) She's charmed her way to Tnternet stardom but you can see her IRL this week at Pandemonium Books.

[musical theatre]  T: An MBTA Musical @ Improv Boston 8pm
T: An MBTA Musical, presented by Boston Improv, will no doubt bring catharsis to anyone who's ever watched in agony as the bus flies past their stop, or missed an appointment because of the 1,000 extra fans crammed into one train on a game day. In other words: you.

[literature] Mara Hvistendahl, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men @ Harvard Book Store 7pm
For most of history, the gender balance of the world's population skewed slightly toward women, who tend to live longer, on average. But in China (and other parts of the world, too), the scales are being tipped in the other direction, thanks to selective gender pruning. Mara Hvistendahl discusses the consequences of this imbalance -- from crime spikes to bride-buying.


FRIDAY 7.1

[film] Back to School @ Somerville Theatre Fri + Sat 11:59pm
Just to remind you that it's summer vacation: Rodney Dangerfield plays a self-made millionaire who decides to go back to school and earn a degree to encourage his despairing son. This '80s comedy is screening at midnight at the Somerville theatre, and its star-studded cast features none other than Kurt Vonnegut, as himself.

SATURDAY 7.2

[survival] Zombie Survival Training @ Boston Playwrights 7pm
Boston-based theater group New Exhibition Room is following the lead of the CDC; their Zombie Survival Training will help prepare civilians for the inevitable zombie nightmare that is bound to grip us eventually. They'll offer survival kits, a first look at their upcoming Zombie Double Feature project, and a chance to lock onto the cold lips of the undead with a zombie kissing booth.

[class, from crap to classics] Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine @ Wilbur Theatre 7pm
Richard Cheese has been crooning lounge versions of your favorite and least-favorite songs since 2000. He's covered everything from Limp Bizkit to Fatboy Slim, Madonna to the Beastie Boys. "Freak on a Leash" is suddenly jauntily mellow, and "Baby Got Back," becomes something you can play in the background when the grandparents come over for dinner. Put on your swingin'est duds and catch him at the Wilbur this weekend.

[disco inferno] "A Night of Horrorotica" at the Somerville Theatre 8pm
This Saturday, the Somerville Theatre presents The Disco Exorcist, which premiered this past February at the Cable Car Cinema in Providence. Perfect for any fan of blood-spattered polyester and cocaine-fueled demon expulsion. Boogie till you bleed with this should-be classic, produced by New-England-based Scorpio Film Releasing.

MONDAY 7.4

[kaboom] 4th of July
While there is an all-day-long Twilight Zone marathon on Syfy this weekend, we at Laser Orgy suggest you get some fresh air and enjoy the holiday instead -- partially because of the health benefits of Vitamin D, but mostly because we approve of any holiday that encourages drinking, roughhousing, and lighting things on fire in public.

Stay tuned for This Week In Geek: The Patriotic Edition!

For more events, check out our geekified listings portal. If you've got any geek-related events you'd like us to post, contact us! Follow us on Twitter @LaserOrgy! Follow our RSS feed! Tell your friends!

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