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Five Must-Attend Lectures in August

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Shine up those spectacles, aspiring poindexters, because there are plenty of ways to up your I.Q. in August. Here are five lectures that fit the brainy bill.

"Wear Paper" @ Phoenix Art Museum Phoenix Art Museum's fashion curator Dennita Sewell will discuss the paper dress trend that exploded onto the style scene in the late '60s. Although brief (the dresses were, after all, disposable and couldn't be washed), the fad that started as a way to make women into billboards became desirable, in spite of being shapeless and generally unflaterring, and a historic example of advertising infiltrating pop culture.

Hear all about it on Wednesday, August 1, at 7 p.m., in conjunction with the Steele Gallery show, "Paper!" Admission is free. "Design for Good" @ Phoenix Center for the Arts The non-vampire-killing, real-life Abraham Lincoln famously said, "Whatever you are, be a good one." It would seem that the leaders from AIGA have taken that advice to heart. With their latest initiative, Design for Good, they support creative types who aspire to use design thinking (essentially, applying creativity to solve everyday problems) as a catalyst for social change.

AIGA president Doug Powell and Connecticut chapter president Rich Hollant will discuss how the program has worked so far and upcoming opportunities for Phoenicians to participate on Thursday, August 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Phoenix Center for the Arts. Admission is $5 for AIGA members, $10 for non-members, and $3 to $5 for students.

"The Biology of Beer" @ Arizona Science Center If up to this point in life your basic understanding of beer is still "yes, please," perhaps you're a bit overdue for some background knowledge. Barley pop lovers will get an up-close, in-depth look at their go-to beverage and how molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry all have the sudsy substance to thank for their existence.

The 18-plus action goes down from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 3, as part of Arizona Science Center's Adult's Night Out series. The lecture is free, but the hands-on beer lab that follows the talk costs $13 to $19.

"Untouched Wilderness: Untouched Land and How It Touches Us" @ ASU's Wrigley Hall Arizona Wilderness Coalition's Ian Dowdy will discuss nature preservation around the state with a special focus on the Sonoran Desert Heritage proposal. The proposal's goals include preserving open spaces for posterity in the West Valley.

Breakfast will be served during the lecture on Wednesday, August 15, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. in room 184 of Wrigley Hall on the Tempe campus. RSVP required.

Mayme Kratz & Melinda Bergman @ SMoCA Lounge Valley artist favorites Mayme Kratz and Melinda Bergman will discuss their works on display in SMoCA's summer exhibition "Significant Forms," which features pieces from the museum's permanent collection and remains on view through Sunday, September 9. Kratz will also screen a video about her interactive installation "Tumbleweed Bower," that was on display at the Icehouse in April of 2011.

The free talk takes place Thursday, August 16, in SMoCA Lounge at 7 p.m.

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