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around town today

10am-5pm (thru 3/18): 66 high school teams from around the world had six weeks and the same materials to build robots that solve a pre-determined problem. see our future overlords the fruits of their labor as they compete at the annual nyc first robotics competition. jacob javits center, free. >>

6-9pm (thru 6/10, closed mon): ceramics, furniture, jewelry, posters, sheet music, more are on display as part of japan center's exhibition deco japan: shaping modern culture, 1920-1945. free 6-9pm fridays (reg. $12). >>

6:30pm: pulitzer-prize winner and former new york times correspondent david k. shipler talks civil liberties violations and signs copies of his books rights at risk and the rights of the people at cooper union's frederick p. rose auditorium (41 cooper square), free >>

7pm: musician/author and former soul coughing leader mike doughty discusses his book the book of drugs: a memoir at book court, free >>

7pm (+ 3/17): momi's 'see it big!' series screens classic, restored films on the big screen. tonight: orson welles' touch of evil (1958). $12 includes museum admission. >>

7pm (thru 3/22): free screening of doc. music makes a city, about the louisville orchestra's revival brought upon by commissioning new works from around the world in 1948. q+a with directors owsley brown iii and jerome hiler tonight. fslc. >>

7pm (+ 3/21, 27): after 1989: race after multiculturalism = five-part series examining the 90s beyond nostalgia. tonight: ‘why can’t we all just get along?’ exhibits and a talk on assimilation and integration from family matters to tiger woods. museum of contemporary african diasporan art, free. >>

7pm (+ 3/17, 22-25): the flea theater continues this season's 'dance conversations' series of works-in-progress and fully developed film and dance pieces with barbara mahler, columbine macher, athena kokoronis. moderated by john jasperse. free. >>

7:30pm: the first 'music at first' concert of the season at brooklyn heights' first presbyterian church features vocalist corey dargel, pipe organist wil smith and video artist nathan selikoff. $10. >>

8pm: lecture and stargazing: get yourself learned on galaxies (including the milky way's future collision with andromeda!) at columbia university’s pupin hall, free >>

8pm: maja d’aoust ('the white witch of l.a.') gives illustrated lecture, 'occult bloodlines: sex with fairies, the celtic faith, and the nephilim' at observatory, $8 >>

8pm: new skaters get assigned to their teams at the gotham girls roller derby annual blow-out: the derbytaunt ball. free brooklyn brewery beer 8-9pm (while supplies last), $4 mixed sailor jerry cocktails and $2 sailor jerry shots all night long. littlefield, $15. >>

8pm: the boozy baritones of opera on tap combine contemporary classical songs with... puppets! barbes, $10 sugg don.. >>

8pm: duo my gay banjo celebrate the release of their new record limp wrist and a steady hand at union hall, $8 >>

8pm (thru 3/18): choreographer susan marshall wraps up the 18th annual harkness dance festival at 92y. $15. >>

8pm (thru 3/18): the martha graham dance company performs graham classics as well as premieres from lar lubovich and yovonne rainer, more. the joyce, $10+. >>

8pm (every wed-fri thru 4/13): who loves you baby? tom dimenna brings 70s icon telly savalas (kojak!) back from the grave 'to give the cynical hipsters of today a good kick in the pants'. the huron club at the soho playhouse, $15 with promo code 'comedy' (reg $25). >>

arrive 8-8:30pm (+ 3/23, 24): centralia: six stories + six cocktails: encounter the characters who refuse to leave centralia, pa, while exploring the brooklyn lyceum in ugly rhino's interactive theatrical experience. $25 ticket includes six cocktail creations. >>

9pm: ema, talk normal and nu sense play mhow, $15 >>

10pm: the freaks come out at night for the rub's classic hip hop dance party housewarming at the bell house, $10 >>

11pm: brooklyn rock group love struck play cake shop, $8 >>

midnight (+ 3/17): breakfast at tiffany's (1961) screens at landmark sunshine, $10 >>

midnight (+ 3/17): heads spin and pea soup flies when the exorcist (1973) plays at nighthawk, $11 >>

midnight (+ 3/17): ifc continues its late-night series dedicated to filmmaker john carpenter with starman (1984). $13. >>

midnight (+ 3/17): 'newt. my name's newt. nobody calls me rebecca... except my brother'. james cameron’s aliens screens at ifc, $13. >>

thru 3/18: the heights players stage new production the laramie project, examining the impact of the hate-crime death of matthew shepard in wyoming in 1988. 26 willow place (brooklyn heights), $15. >>

thru 3/18: globus film series 'love will tear us apart' features 22 twisted love stories from japan and korea. japan society, $12. >>

thru 3/27: doc. gerhard richter painting takes us inside the creative process of one of the world's greatest living painters. film forum, $12.50. >>

thru 6/13: 120 works of photographer francesca woodman (nsfw), who committed suicide at age 22 in 1981, go on display at the guggenheim. pay-what-you-wish saturdays 5:45-7:45pm (reg $18). >>

thru 7/8 (closed mon-tue): 300+ of keith haring's sketchbooks, subway drawings, videos, works on paper, more (including many never seen in public) from 1978-1982 are on display at the first large scale exhibition to explore his early career. brooklyn museum, $12 sugg. don.. >>

coming up

3/21 8pm: see singer/songwriter jolie holland at city winery for $12.50 (reg $25) >>

sales, deals, freebies

8-9pm: score a free cupcake at sprinkles (lex bet. 60th + 61st) >>

thru 3/17: corned beef and cabbage pizza?! pizza by cer te (56th bet. park + lexington) has it. >>

thru 3/17: save 60% on earnest sewn denim for men and women at myhabit

thru 3/18: the mackage overstock sale at chelsea market offers up to 50% off highly-stylized leather, wool, and down outerwear >>

thru 3/18: score prix fixe three-course dinners starting at $18.88 during chinatown restaurant week >>

thru 3/31: get two for one admission to the new york botanical garden >>

thru 3/31: get a one-month free trial to netflix >>

save 70% at the 6pm boots clearance sale >>

score $50 spa treatments all week long during spa week 4/16-22. reservations now open. >>

reservations are now open for wellness week (3/19-25), when fitness centers + spas offer half price or $50 flat-rate deals >>

reservations are now open for the cheaper version of restaurant week, dine in brooklyn (3/19-29), when 195+ brooklyn restaurants offer $20.12 brunch (for two!), $20.12 lunch, and $25 dinner >>

on sale today: stanley kubrick: the essential collection on dvd fir $30.99 ($74 list) of stanley kubrick: limited edition collection on blu-ray for $60.99 ($148 list) >>

bruce springsteen's classic born to run (mp3) is just $3.99 at amazon today >>

group deals

$13 for a new york water taxi/circle line 60-minute statue of liberty tour, statue by night, or 'shark' speedboat trip (up to $27 value) >>

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