Culture Compass: dirt, baseball and social science

A&E plans your weekend.

Spencer Doar

Thursday

Social Science: Fermentational Informational

Science Museum of Minnesota

120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

6-11 p.m.

$17 museum, MPR members; $22 non-members

 

21+

 

The Science Museum of Minnesota asks, “Why should kids have all the fun?” Damn skippy — that’s a good question. Their solution is to celebrate all things beer and wine in a more erudite way than getting plastered on Schlitz while watching the Twins. Learn about fermentation, peek through a microscope at your favorite brew, listen to expert speakers and test your alcohol trivia knowledge all while being catered to by local breweries and wineries. Mary Roach, who just penned a book detailing the workings of the human inner-factory that is the digestive tract, is the guest of honor. The price of admission includes eight tickets for samples, and when you run out of tickets, there is a cash bar on hand.

 

Friday

Prof

First Avenue

701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis

 

8 p.m.

$12 in advance; $15 at the door (SOLD OUT)

18+

King Gampo is back! The first of two shows that the Minneapolis’ professor of rap will play at First Avenue, this show features a remarkable lineup of openers that make the ticket price a steal. Mac Lethal, I Self Devine and Haphduzn are slated as precursors before the party really gets bumping. I can already feel the sweat, the smeared X’s of permanent marker and the sides of my shirt sticking to my ribs. Regardless of whether you buy into his trashy brand of hedonism, it’s going to be that type of show. Prof’s party-hard goofiness, albeit with some serious undertones, will hopefully go hand-in-hand with a sunny day that harkens forthcoming patio drinking.
 

Saturday

Crash&Burn 2013

Acme Comedy Club

708 N. First St., Minneapolis

8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

$15

18+

As the name implies, this show could go into the crapper, but that’s the point. Four comics will do 20-minute sets of jokes that they have never performed before. Comedians Tim Harmston, Emily Galati, Mike Lukas and Tim Slagle have all signed on, stretching their wits to the maximum throughout the course of a week, working on jokes during the day and then, hopefully, getting rewarded by the laughter of appreciative crowds. But, there is a certain amusement to be found in comics who find themselves falling without a parachute, so it’s a win-win for the audience.
 

CULTURE TO CONSUME

Watch this: Baseball

Smell that? That’s the aroma of maple on leather, chewing tobacco, mustardy hot dogs, $7 beer, suntan lotion and sweat: also known as professional baseball.
                The MLB season, with its 162 games, lasts for a very long time, yet it’s hard to prepare for the absence of America’s pastime. Luckily, it’ll be October before those pangs of longing surge again — for now we witness the start of yet another glorious iteration of the sport that fits so nicely with improving weather and the rapidly approaching end of spring semester.

Eat this: Dirt

With the snow banks rapidly dissipating — only the detritus-ridden mounds in large parking lots seem to remain — we can now see terra firma in all its glory. When’s the last time you tried a piece? All the kids are doing it. Like a fine wine, the earthy tones and faintly nutty bouquet are sure to get even Frasier Crane’s palate in a tizzy. To top it off, it’s rich in essential plant nutrients. Packed full of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, dirt has made the world go ’round for literally centuries. Think for a second about where you would be without dirt. Can’t get that from a fortune cookie.

Play this: “NetHack”

In the depths of computer gaming lie the founding pillars, the original revolutionary content, the cult classics that still have a following. One of these is “NetHack,” a dungeon exploring, roguelike game of astounding difficulty. You only get one life, the paths to the nearly unachievable final level are many, the maps randomly generate turn to turn so there is no repeat gaming experience and the interface requires knowing a large number of hotkeyed commands. Originally an ’80s darling, NetHack has survived in a variety of forms, some with minimalist graphics where the monsters are the ABC’s, and others with beefed-up, arcade-like visuals.