by Mark Pinkos


JOHN R. BECK -- Gallons of ink have been spilled on the subjects of world trade and globalization lately in the wake of recent protests of the WTO in Seattle and the IMF in D.C. Enter John Beck, a European whose 26-year career oversaw the expansion of the European Union from an initial six-state membership to its current 15. His lecture promises to be an illumination of the European view of unfettered world trade and its repercussions for our trans-Atlantic neighbors. Washington Athletic Club Nobel Room, 1325 Sixth Ave, 441-5910, 11:45 am registration, $25 members/$32 general/$5 students.

SHARON DALOZ PARKS -- Parks is a former Harvard professor and developmental psychologist whose work (and lecture) concerns the reconciliation of religious contemplation and serious academic inquiry. This subject, first raised by philosophers and theoretical physicists, has all the abstract rigor of a Borges story; and like his convoluted tales, is always open for debate. Kane Hall, UW Campus, 524-2322, 7 pm, free.


CINCO DE MAYO CRUISE -- Like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo is another one of those imported holidays whose original meaning has been obscured by its celebratory methods, primarily by downing too much beer and waiting for mañana to start the revolution. The Spirit of Seattle leaves port with Corona drink specials, a burrito bar, and a limbo contest on the agenda to celebrate this south-of-the-border holiday. Argosy Cruises, Pier 55, 623-1445, 8:30-10:30 pm, $28, 21+.


BLAK & BLU BALL -- CoCA's spring fundraiser promises to be quite a blowout this year. The scheduled events include a burlesque show, live music from the Tight Bros From Way Back When, and a raffle of donated items from many of Seattle's best shops and local artists; all to be presided over by beloved veteran emcee and The Stranger's own, Dan Savage. The ball should have no problem living up to its moniker by placing dozens of artists and a full bar together in the same room. CoCA, 65 Cedar St, 728-1980, 8 pm, $15 members/$20 general.


INTERNATIONAL NO DIET DAY -- No Diet Day is another awareness event designed to confirm what most of us with any common sense already know -- that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and that people of size have as much right to a positive self-image as skinny folk. This event intends to drive that point home with events such as a scale smashing and a cookie giveaway. Seattle Center (near the monorail), 1 pm, free.