Behind the wheel with BMW
"The Ultimate Driving Machine," BMW's time-honored slogan, could be interpreted in a couple of different ways. It could mean that the company's sports sedans offer the pinnacle of ground transportation pleasure. It could also mean that the last moment you spend on this earth will be in a BMW screaming into a tight turn under the uncertain control of a 15-year-old Grand Theft Auto junkie. Strangely enough, it seems that BMW is opting for the latter version with its Student Driver Program. Neophyte drivers will have the chance to experience "hair-raising turning exercises" and "high-speed skids" in a BMW 3-series sedan, urged on by a professional racer under the guise of creating safer drivers. Now, we concede that a NASCAR veteran is probably better at avoiding accidents than a high-school junior on a cell phone, but a four-hour session of joyriding seems designed less to improve driving habits than to inspire a whiny mantra of "Pleeeease can I have a Beeeeeemer?" Of course, it also sounds like a hell of a lot of fun, which may be the reason that the Dallas session is all booked up. The BMW Ultimate Driving Experience Student Driver Program comes to Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle, Justin, on July 31 from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 1-888-344-4269. --Rick Kennedy
You've searched high and low, scoured through attics, estate sales, even pawn shops. Exhale, my friend, your search is over--I know where you can find a magic wand! And while you're at it you can have your angels revealed and learn to clear your soul by releasing and manifesting (presumably, the equivalent of a spiritual enema). Cancel that trip to New Mexico, because did I mention this was in Richardson? All things New Age will be presented at The Body, Mind & Spirit Expo on July 30 and July 31 in the Grand Hall of the Richardson Civic Center, 411 Arapaho Road at North Central Expressway. Astrologers, healers and spiritualists from around the country will descend upon, yes, Richardson to conduct seminars on everything from energetic healing, including self-healing techniques, to transmission meditation and life wellness coaching. Participants can also shop crystal and mystical gifts exhibitors and speak to mediums and channelers right on the spot. The conference runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for both days. Call 541-482-3722 or visit www.bmse.net. --Stephanie Morris
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Sure, they're beautiful and a joy to watch in their speedy, acrobatic flight. They have cool names, too, such as Flame Skimmer and Orange Shadowdragon. But the best reason to love dragonflies and damsel flies is this: They eat mosquitoes. If they were as ugly as pugs that'd be reason enough to come to Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park for its Winged Jewels: Dragonfly Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $15 for non-members of the gardens. Call 214-428-7476 to register. --Patrick Williams
Once upon a time the only place to watch good basketball in July was in Harlem at Rucker Park where NBA elites hooped it up with the lords of the playground. Now NBA summer league games are on TV and, through Saturday, the best amateurs in the world will play for a week during the 2005 Global Games championship in Frisco at the Deja Blue Arena inside the Dr Pepper StarCenter at the intersection of Gaylord Parkway and Dallas Parkway. Teams from six countries will compete, including the U.S. Select Team led by All-American J.P. Prince of the University of Arizona and coached by Dallas' Rob Wright of David W. Carter High School. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Call 214-467-8277 or visit www.globalgamesbasketball.com. --Paul Kix