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Current Events

Courtesy Fox SearchlightThe Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire" is still showing at theaters valleywide.
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Here’s some information bound to make old-time Aspenites feel ancient: Bobby Mason turns 65 this week. Mason first arrived in Aspen in the bygone era of 1969, and since then he has been arguably the most prominent figure on the local music scene, playing countless bars and benefits, with an endless list of fellow players. Mason even broke through to the big time in the mid-’70s as a member of the locally based, nationally known Starwood. The big guy hasn’t lost his guitar or vocal chops ” or his enthusiasm. Mason vows that his latest band, with Dave Harding, Amy Hawes and Tom Hills, is the best he’s played with in decades. Mason and company celebrate with a gig on Thursday, March 5, from 4-7 p.m. at Nardi’s, on the Snowmass Village mall.

A good way to escape this crap-storm going down here on Earth is to think bigger ” like trying to grasp the secrets of the cosmos. After all, how big a deal is day six of packaged mac-and-cheese when the universe is expanding in a manner that should be threatening our existence (but, for undiscovered reasons, hasn’t extinguished us yet). In “Einstein’s Universe: The Hunt for Dark Energy and Dark Matter in the Universe,” astrophysicist Evalyn Gates uses reasonably comprehensible language to explains the technique of gravitational lensing, how it is being used to study the stuff the universe is made of, and how it behaves (you will need to learn such acronyms as WIMPs and MACHOs). Like most such books, “Einstein’s Universe” asks more questions than it answers. But it’s better than watching your 401(k) disappear into a black hole. Gates speaks Friday, March 6, at Explore Booksellers.

There’s no good reason to avoid seeing “Slumdog Millionaire.” Those with fear of foreign language films should note that only a small percentage of the dialogue is in Hindi; the rest is in good ol’ American English (spoken with an Indian accent). While the story is set in India, it has a Hollywood feel, complete with action, romance, guns, dancing, a happy ending and none of that slow-moving, character development you find so often in foreign movies. (The director, Danny Boyle, is a Brit, and his past films include “Trainspotting” and “28 Days.”) And don’t worry that it was anointed Best Picture by the Academy; for a change, they got it right. Last, you won’t need to travel far: “Slumdog Millionaire” is showing this week in Aspen, El Jebel and Carbondale.

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