Keepin' It Real

Go behind the scenes at the zoo

7/26
Here at the Dallas Observer we receive--as the kids like to say--an "assload" of press releases. One can find examples of overzealous pimping and feigned self-importance (both of which are obvious bait for the public hook) within the deluge, but occasionally one will arrive that cuts to the heart of a matter and ultimately speaks truths about the slippery notion known as The Human Condition. It's for such an anomaly that we chose to relay information about Meet the Keeper Day at the Dallas Zoo on Saturday afternoon. Sure, it's obvious that this event will feature specialists divulging specifics on zoo residents in much the same way that's seen on any late-night talk show with a slot to fill, but a question that has sparked innumerable debates is promised to be answered during the engagement. Within this humble press release, we have been guaranteed the definitive solution to: "What is the difference between Indonesian and Sumatran tigers?" That's right. No more friendships need to end. See you there, and we hope you're on the winning end of that bet. The Dallas Zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway. Call 214-670-5656. --Matt Hursh

7/24
Weather With You

The average person looks at a cloud and can maybe tell which way it's moving, but generally just finds a likeness for the cottony mass. "It's a bingo dauber! That one's a cherub with its legs crossed! Look, a dog with wings! My grandmother's pendant!" But for someone like Greg Fields, a meteorologist for more than a decade, those clouds can translate into a lot more. They could signify a cold front, rain or, better yet, how about more of that Texas heat. Weatherfolk such as the late Harold Taft, Troy Dungan and Fields have forecasted the atmospheric conditions and made a mark on young scientists. How do they know? How does hail happen in the summer? Why is a storm cloud gray if all clouds are made of water? They know the answers, and what's better, they tell. There's no "heaven is crying" explanation; they share the science and the facts. And to a kid, an adult who levels is beyond cool. Greg Fields, with Channel 8 News, visits the Kleberg-Rylie Library, 1301 Edd Road, for a little weather talk for little weather enthusiasts (age 6 and older) at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Call 214-670-8471. --Merritt Martin

7/25
Cloak and Dagger
Mystery. Espionage. Deceit. What better concepts to teach kids during these lazy summer days? The Central Library will host the Children's Center Fifth Annual Inside Games Event, focusing on games for aspiring spies and detectives. Lockstep your way on over to enjoy the fun and take an opportunity to browse the library. Part of the "Mission Possible: Spy A Book" Summer Reading Program, this covert action operation will transpire Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Central Library, second floor, 1515 Young St. Call 214-670-1671. --Mary Monigold

7/29
Magic Man

Few images evoke such positive memories of childhood--or, um, absolute terror if you're coulrophobic--as a painted clown smiling amiably as he performs tricks before an adoring audience of children. Bonkers the Clown, a local award-winner in the fields of professional clowning and magic, will be delighting and entertaining area youngsters with his balloon animals and magic tricks Tuesday at the Preston Royal Library, 5626 Royal Lane. The show begins at 2 p.m. and is sponsored by Preston Hollow Early Childhood PTA. Call 214-670-7128. --Mary Monigold

7/30
Art à la Carte
The DMA brings art to you

Since I'm currently not speaking to my mother, a witch with a capital "B," I can't ask her how young I was when I learned to read. I'm curious about it because I can't remember a time when I wasn't wandering through my imagination. Reading has a lot to do with that. Something I will give my insufferable mother credit for are my long-past summers filled with weekly trips to the nearby branch library. She didn't take me and my sibs for the puppet shows, storytellers or puffed-and-padded PBS cartoon mascots. Back in the day, libraries had only books and a staff of crotchety, spinster, sh-sh-sh-ing librarians. I remember checking out at least six books every week or so, thereby ensuring I wouldn't have to play in the back yard, which meant squatting, squirming and squinting on the white-hot cement patio. If I had books with "return-by" deadlines, my mother would let me stay in my cool, dark bedroom and read. Libraries are still havens for creative, brooding children, although the aforesaid events attract normal kids, too. The Dallas Museum of Art has a traveling kid-magnet slated to arrive at the Dallas Public Library's Hampton-Illinois Branch, 2210 W. Illinois Ave., on Wednesday at 2 p.m. The DMA's Go Van Gogh art mobile will bring museum staff and art materials to inspire creativity for the prepubescent. The event's first half-hour introduces selected art from the DMA's collection; the second half-hour is a hands-on art experience. Make some memories for your kids before they grow up and hate you. Call 214-670-7646. --Annabelle Massey Helber

 
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