If you plan properly (and wear pants with an elastic waistband), you can help fight AIDS two, four, or even five times today. Eat at one of the restaurants participating in the "New Times Dining Out for Life" fundraiser. More than 80 eateries from West Palm Beach to Miami will donate 25 percent of the day's proceeds to local nonprofit organizations. Compass, the United Foundation for AIDS, and AIDS Project Florida provide services from psychological counseling to AIDS testing to education programs. And they need bucks. We've already pored over www.diningoutforlife.com for participating restaurants and mapped our course: breakfast at Stork's Bakery Café (2505 NE 15th Ave., Wilton Manors, 954-567-3220), lunch at Try My Thai (2003 Harrison St., Hollywood, 954-926-5585), and dinner at the Rhythm Café (3800 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach, 561-833-3406).
"Style=Fart." This is the statement graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister has on his website for the art world and all its hoity-toity lingo and snooty dilettantism. And it shows in his work too. Stefan "Jetsetter" Sagmeister has traversed the globe, working in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and Austria before settling in New York City in 1993, where he began his work in the music biz. No, he didn't take the low road and become a slimy agent. Instead, he designed CD covers and packaging for the Rolling Stones, Pat Metheny, David Byrne, and Lou Reed, with an interesting combination of wordy sarcasm and eye-catching design. You can schmooze with Sagmeister at the American Institute of Graphic Arts (3901 NE Second Ave., Miami) in the Design District when he discusses his new design book, Made You Look. Lecture starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $20. Call 954-779-3375.
Are you up for a "wag-tacular" day of fun and a "paw-sitively fantastic" time? Bring your leashed dog to the K-9 Times event at Pembroke Pines Dog Park (9751 Johnson St., Pembroke Pines), where real-life animal cops demonstrate how dogs help apprehend criminals and rescue officers who are being attacked. You and your pup can also enter the following contests: "Best Tailwagger," "Best Pooch Smooch," "Cutest Canine," and "Pet-Owner Look-alikes." There will also be pet adoptions, a Doggie Blood Bank, low-cost microchip implants, and an obedience-training session led by the folks from Extra Care Canine Academy. The event starts at 9 a.m. and is free. Call 954-435-6525.
We all know toy collectors can be a little... strange. But they've gotta have their day in the sun too. Come on out of the basement, toy fanatics, because the "10th Annual Florida Toy Soldier and Action Figure Show" marches into the Plantation Holiday Inn, 1711 N. University Dr., Plantation. You'll be able to find military miniatures, solid cast figures, unpainted castings, model tanks and planes, Star Wars and G.I. Joe action figures, and toy soldiers from various historical periods. This is also a great day for people-watching. Listen as buyer and seller argue about the authenticity of the Canadian version of the Sy Snootles and the Rebo Band action-figure set (Jabba the Hutt's backing orchestra). Ya know, the version with combination silver flute/black microphones is the rarer one. Well, that's just what I heard. The show starts at 9 a.m. Admission is $5. Call 954-472-5600.
Once you've done it all -- you know, grown up in Afghanistan and the Philippines, majored in Russian studies at Yale, and sung with the a capella group the Whiffenpoofs -- what's left? Well, you go get your master's from the Harvard Russian Research Center, of course. But then what? Joseph Finder asked himself this very question and came up with the idea of writing suspense novels. Pretty darn good ones too. So good, in fact, that his novel High Crimes was made into a major motion picture starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, and the movie rights to his new book, Paranoia, have been bought by Paramount Pictures. Finder signs copies of Paranoia, a novel about a 26-year-old who is sent by his corporation to work as a spy at a competing business, at Murder on the Beach Bookstore (273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach) at 6 p.m. The lecture is free. Call 561-279-7790.
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Is it a bird? A plane? Is it an examination of "intersegial tension through suspension"? Ding ding ding ding! Photographer Natalie Chee offers this definition of her work only when pressed. She hates describing her images with words, because she's afraid we won't get it. She is right, especially since intersegial is not in the dictionary. Chee, one of three Broward Community College students whose work is featured in the exhibit "Re-creations: Elements, Space, Body," tells us that her colleague Adam Day makes photograms that "re-create the celestial world" and that fellow artist Marius Zgirdea's collages are "visceral landscapes using the human body." Guess you gotta go to college to understand these things. Or at least go to the college and see them for yourself. We can tell you specifically that Chee, aside from speaking a language of her own, shoots with black-and-white film and a large-format Mamiya and that the show is on display at BCC's Central Campus (3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie) through February 14. Natalie, if we get there and all you have to show us is a snapshot of a rubber band, we're gonna throw an intersegial pie in your face. Call 954-201-6865.
Do you have the ability to make people laugh with a simple facial expression? Or is there a perpetual soundtrack of crickets every time you make a joke? Either way, you can test out your funny bone during "South Florida's Funniest Person Contest" at Uncle Funny's (9160 State Rd. 84, Davie). Tonight is the first round, with five rounds following, every Wednesday night through March. If you think you've got what it takes, show up at 8 and dish out eight minutes of your best material. Tomatoes may or may not be launched. Admission is $10 per person. Call 954-474-5653 or visit www.flfunniest.com.