Vagabond Happy Hour caps off Big Read project this Friday

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Marilynne Robinson.
Since January, Lighthouse Writers Workshop has been celebrating literature, keying off The Big Read , a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage people to read for pleasure -- not because they have to -- and this year highlighting Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping. Denver has joined 77 other communities in hosting readings, parties and contests, and the winners of Denver's Big Read contest were just announced.

Several of the winning pieces will be featured during the Vagabond Happy Hour on Friday, April 25, the finale to this year's project.

See also: J. Diego Frey's Pocketbucket Lists: Get a slice at Lighthouse Writers Workshop

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Gasland Part II: Free screening at Denver Public Library tonight

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Gasland, the documentary written and directed by Josh Fox that focuses on natural gas drilling and slickwater fracking -- has caused a lot of discussion around the country. And tonight his second film on the subject, Gasland Part II, will be shown for free at the Denver Public Library.

See also:
Fracking fight coming to Loveland?

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Denver Zoo offers buy-one, get-one admission February 14-17 in honor of Valentine's Day

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Denver Zoo Facebook
This week's cover story, "Beauty of the Beasts," is all about the matchmakers who help zoo animals find love. Or at least another animal to, you know, mate with. And some animals have a strange way of doin' it, as explained in our sidebar about weird mating habits. (Did you know male giraffes will lick female giraffes' urine to tell if they're ovulating?)

For a chance to see the, uh, romance in person, head to the Denver Zoo this weekend for a buy-one, get-one-free deal on admission in honor of Valentine's Day.

See also: Visit the Denver Zoo, as seen by Instagram users

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Furloughed? Here's a list of deals for out-of-work feds, from restaurants to museums

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Cassandra Kotnik
Centro Latin Kitchen, one of the participating Big Red F restaurants, is giving furloughed workers a welcome break.
Federal employees furloughed by the government shutdown are getting a welcome break right now from a few companies in the Denver-area who are sympathetic to their plight. These are in the form of everything from free museum admission to discounted booze and food.

Here's the breakdown:

See also: The best food-and-drink government shutdown tweets on Twitter

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Local dating site Lumidate helps online daters avoid the marrieds, criminals and catfishers

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Before the advent of online dating, people used to meet their dating partners in real life, making it slightly easier to get a feel for personalities, lifestyles, families, personal assets and compatibilities. Internet-based dating admittedly is a more convenient way to meet people, but it's got its inherent pitfalls as well, such as misrepresentation, scammers, no-strings sex-seekers, cheaters, scammers and plenty of brazen liars. There is no perfect system, and dating will always have risks, but Colorado's new Lumidate service seeks to keep folks honest -- by requiring full background checks for all members.

See also:
- Five Internet first-date horror stories, batteries included
- Top five dinners to serve your Internet date on Valentine's Day
- Five jaded tips for online dating -- don't get Te'od!


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Take on the big questions at Sunday School for Atheists...on Thursday

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So. What's the deal with religion? Do we have it? Do we need it? Are we slaves to it? What's moral, and what's immoral? When Warm Cookies of the Revolution's bastard child, Sunday School for Atheists, is called to order, everything is fair game. That's right: Evan Weissman's civic health club, which draws people together in public places to talk about random stuff, has an offshoot devoted to questions of faith...or lack of it.

See also:
- Best Civic Discussion Group - 2013: Warm Cookies of the Revolution
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Evan Weissman
- Evan Weissman on why Warm Cookies of the Revolution is good for your civic health


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3 things to do for free in Denver this week, April 29-May 2

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Expand your mind with cultural experiences this week -- without straining your wallet. There are plenty of enriching activities in town this week that won't cost you a cent, everything from free performance art to a talk with an experimental filmmaker to a vinyl party. Feel free to post information on other free events in the comments section, and go to the Westword calendar for a full listing of things to do.

See also:
- Win twenty free movie passes!
- The Grawlix's five best comedy shorts
- My first art purchase: a Louis Recchia piece from Pirate when I was nine or ten years old


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Take a free ride on RTD's new W Rail Line tomorrow, and hit these hot spots along the way

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ArtSmyths

It's been a long wait, but RTD's spanking new West Rail Line officially opened to passengers this morning. Tomorrow, however, the parties begin, as the transit organization opens all of its rail lines up for free rides, with themed community celebrations, also free, scheduled at most of the new West Line stations. Hop aboard! Continue reading for a list of sanctioned parties and one impromptu one, and then visit RTD online for maps and more information.

See also:
- The Rail Thing: RTD W Rail Line Grand Opening Celebrations
- A new RTD light-rail station is "convenient to nothing"
- Photos: Union Station tour digs dirt on transit hub, light rail

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3 things to do for free in Denver this week, April 22-26

Categories: Events, Free Stuff

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Whether you're broke after a weekend of partying or simply a frugal, responsible adult who likes to go out for free, there's plenty in Denver to do this week that won't cost a dime. Choose to learn about green energy at the annual Earth Day celebration, watch a series of free form short films, and/or take in a documentary about political pranksters all without having to worry about opening your pocketbook. Leave links to more free events in our comments section, and read the Westword calendar for a full listing of things to do.

See also:
- Denver B-cycle celebrates Earth Day with deals today
- Photos: Four exhibits at Robischon Gallery take on alternative realities
- Win twenty free movie passes to Hollywood Theaters!


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Tonight: Colorado Book Award finalist Seth Brady Tucker reads from "Mormon Boy"

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When I first encountered poet Seth Brady Tucker a few months ago, it was in the course of writing about the Words Beyond Bars Project, a book club for lifers at the Limon state prison. Tucker had visited the group and shared with them how he'd learned to love poetry -- both reading and writing it -- while serving as a paratrooper in the Gulf War. Some of those harrowing poems, about body bags and oil fires and young lives detoured, eventually made it into Tucker's potent collection Mormon Boy.

See also:
-The lifers book club: Of mice and men, hopes and regrets at the Limon prison
- Russian list and combat tales make the reading list for the Limon prison book club

- Colorado Humanities might sell off the Ferril House. Throw the book at 'em.


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