Urban Planner: March 3, 2011
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Urban Planner: March 3, 2011

Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].

There’s more up there than meets the eye. Photo by Brybryy from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

In today’s Urban Planner: lectures on Earth, the universe, and a chance to look up into the heavens; trophy figurines get the love they deserve; a statistician presents quantitative data to prove or disprove racial differences; and Lady Gaga will try to stir up some controversy at the Air Canada Centre.

SCIENCE: Today, there is an uncanny array of lectures about the known universe to choose from: First, U of T professor John Percy shows how black holes, dark energy, alien worlds, and cosmic life trump the outworldly strangeness we see in movies and fiction in his talk the Amazing Universe at the Downsview Library (2793 Keele Street, 2 p.m., FREE, registration required at 416-395-5720). U of T’s Linda Tu presents the second part of the three-part Recent Advances in the Sciences series, entitled “Earth, the Amazing Place We Call Home” at the Agincourt Library (155 Bonis Avenue, 6:30 p.m., FREE). And lastly, on the first Thursday of most months, U of T’s department of astronomy and astrophysics offers presentations on the skies above, as well as planetarium shows during scheduled observation sessions.Tonight, PhD candidate Mubdi Rahman presents Astronomical Connections: Weaving the Stories of Discovery and the Universe, a talk about the way the universe is intertwined in the most unexpected ways, offered along with a telescope session so you can see it for yourself. Bookings are limited, so sign up to ensure a seat. Physics Building (60 St. George Street, 8:10 p.m., FREE).
ART: Have you ever noticed that sometimes trophy figurines are set in strange, unusual, or rigid positions? Jane Duncan, also the founder and producer of the annual Rock Lottery, has. Her new painting series, Trophy Lovers, depicts these figures in highly stylized images of love, ranging from the unattainable image of perfection, to figures in playful poses that depict new love, to the brutal end of relationships. Trophy Lovers runs until March 13. 1313 Gallery (1313 Queen Street West), 7 p.m. reception, FREE.
DISCUSSION: Talking Stats 2: Black and White Race, Culture and Kids Next Door is a provocative discussion organized by Kirsten Azan in which six black and six white youths will openly talk about their lives and how they are different, at the same time acknowledging that talking about it does not resolve anything. The talk’s premise is that while we claim that “we’re all the same deep deep down inside,” there are still differences that often lead to stereotyping. A statistician will be on hand to try to bring quantitative proof to the claims presented. East Common Room, Hart House (7 Hart House Circle), 7:30 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: Having Lady Gaga and her entourage come into town for a sold-out show surely deserves a mention. The outspoken singer will be supported by equally flamboyant openers Scissor Sisters, and in keeping with today’s many space- and universe-themed lectures, she gives birth to an alien in her new video! Air Canada Centre (40 Bay Street), 8 p.m., $66–$191.50.