Sad to think that this generation may be the last to see a live orangutan. According to the Orangutan Foundation International, an estimated 20,000 orangutans remain in the world, about 13,000 on Borneo and 7,000 on Sumatra. But 80 percent of the lowland jungles they live in have been wiped out in the past 20 years. If that keeps up, the only apes in Asia may survive only a few more decades in the wild. The point is, we dug the hole they fell into; now it's up to us to pull the "man of the forest," as their Malay-derived name translates to, back out of the pit. Learn how when Dr. Biruté Galdikas and Debra Erickson of the OFI present "Orangutan Odyssey: The Plight of the Orangutans of Borneo" at Hobe Sound Nature Center (13640 SE Federal Hwy., Hobe Sound). Admission is free, but reservations are required. Call 772-546-2067.
Friday, February 28
Ah, baseball. America's pastime. Just when we are slowly finishing the mourning period for another football season ended, the boys of summer come along to help sports fans everywhere dry away those tears. And in South Florida, we get a jump on the season with MLB's Grapefruit League. Spring-training games begin today at a variety of locations throughout South Florida. In Broward County, the Baltimore Orioles try to recover from the recent tragic loss of pitcher Steve Bechler, who collapsed from heat stroke during training on February 16 and died later that day after posting a temperature of 108 degrees and succumbing to massive organ failure. A grim start to the season in which the Orioles are already clear longshots to go any-where. In the team's opening game at 1:05 p.m., it takes on the Florida Marlins at Fort Lauderdale Stadium (5301 NW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Meanwhile, up north at Roger Dean Stadium (4751 Main St., Jupiter), the Marlins play their Grapefruit League home games along with the St. Louis Cardinals. The stadium is Cardinal country today, as the team goes to bat against the New York Mets. Tickets for the Orioles game cost $3 to $12, while Cardinals tickets cost $5 to $20. Call 954-938-4980 or 561-775-1818.
Saturday, March 1
Want to enjoy the rich culture of Bosnia but don't want to be in a country where peace is only a relative term and snipers are a way of life? Well then, BosniaFest 2003 is for you! The event, which takes place at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (3109 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., features live music, traditional Bosnian cuisine, folk dancing, and arts and crafts. Call 954-709-8977.
Sunday, March 2
Given recent events, the fact that the Chieftains are still gigging is laudable. The fact that they still sound great is incredible. In October of 2002, the band lost harpist Derek Bell, who died suddenly following minor surgery. The obits in the British papers made a very large issue of his being the only Ulsterman in the Irish folk band, but what gets lost by that focus is that, for 30 years, Bell was the primary composer and arranger of the Chieftains' music. Where he was from is largely immaterial. Thankfully, the musicianship of the surviving members, who perform without a replacement for Bell, is enough to compensate for the loss, as the band proves when it comes to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $29, $39, $49, or $55. Call 954-462-0222.
Monday, March 3
Dick Burkhart and Mona Lee are touring the world on a tandem bicycle to raise awareness for global democracy and the Earth Charter. The charter is a document so infused with environmentalist sentiment that it's ready to sprout leaves. The entire world should get together to form a democracy to help the Earth and the human race, it suggests, before we wind up either making our planet uninhabitable or before we all kill off one another. Given that the rich and powerful who run most of the world's countries don't seem to care much about the Earth or "world citizenship," it's not surprising that the Earth Charter is little-known. And that is where Burkhart and Lee's global bike ride for democracy comes in. Listen to their side of the story at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale (3970 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Call 954-484-6734.
Tuesday, March 4
If you had to describe the Clumsy Lovers in one word, it would be "energetic." No, wait, it could be "exciting." Or "furious." Or "fun." Oh, forget it. This Canadian fivesome plays supercharged Celtic bluegrass, complete with banjo, mandolin, and one mean fiddle, with a hint of folk and a dose of punk rock. And Holy Haggis, they do covers! The Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, U2, and Bruce Springsteen have all gotten a makeover on the Lovers latest CD, appropriately titled Under the Covers. They've even covered Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" in the past. Their pub-rock stylings infuse sing-along choruses with danceable and diverse genre-smashing romps -- the kind of music that might inspire a rowdy barroom brawl where teeth end up missing. In other words, think the Pogues on Prozac. The Clumsy Lovers stumble into Churchill's Hideaway (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami) to raise the roof. Call 305-757-1807.
Wednesday, March 5
Count Basie is dead. Likewise Duke Eillington, Benny Goodman, Moe Green, Barzini, Tattaglia, and the heads of all the five families. But that's neither here nor there. The point is, when a great bandleader dies, others tend to take up the reins. Many big bands still tour under the names of their fallen patriarchs, usually led by someone who worked with the late leader before his death. And so it is with the Count Basie Orchestra. Since Basie's death in 1984, his band has been led by a variety of former collaborators. Thad Jones took over upon Basie's death but himself died in 1986. Frank Foster soldiered on as bandleader for a decade after that. Since 1995, the orchestra has been led by Grover Mitchell. The trombonist was a member of Basie's group from 1962 to 1970 and again from 1980 until Basie's death. As such, few people in the world are in as good a position to get the orchestra to swing the way it did during Basie's lifetime. The big band performs at Meyer Amphitheatre (105 Evernia St., West Palm Beach) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25. Call 561-659-7339.