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Posted at 5:37 PM ET, 05/12/2008

Free and Easy Events

By Fritz Hahn

The historic Embassy of Indonesia in Dupont Circle is one of 24 embassies opening their doors to the public on Saturday. (Tom Allen/The Washington Post)

Every week, the Going Out Gurus suggest ways to enjoy Washington's cultural scene without spending any money. Have an idea for us? Send it to

'The Last Iceberg' at the National Academy of Sciences
Photographer Camille Seaman traveled to Antarctica and the polar reaches of Greenland to document massive icebergs and the changes being made by global warming.

Live Humans in D.C. at the Palace of Wonders
Do you have a special talent -- hammering nails up your nose, doing handstands in piles of broken glass? Okay, maybe something more mainstream like burlesque dancing? No matter what you can do -- even something mundane, like telling jokes or playing the guitar -- you'll be welcomed at Live Humans in D.C., an open-mike-style variety show that bounces between venues like Chief Ike's Mambo Room and Solly's U Street Tavern. Tonight, the freewheeling circus stops in at the Palace of Wonders. The featured acts are Seaton Smith, a comedian who's opening for Dave Attell at the Improv next month, and singer-songwriter Dave Menderson. There's no cover charge to watch or participate; arrive by 7:30 if you want to perform.

Container Gardening Demonstration at the U.S. Botanic Garden
Even if you live in a small studio apartment or a cramped English basement, you can still grow your own herbs and vegetables. Schedule a "lunch meeting" at 1 p.m. at the Botanic Garden, where staffers will teach you how to grow your own food without a spacious back yard. Reservations are required; Call 202-225-1116.

Tom Hayden at Busboys and Poets
Hayden, one of the original "Chicago Eight," helped organize protests around the 1968 Democratic National Convention, co-founded the activist group Students for a Democratic Society and made controversial trips to North Korea and Cambodia during the Vietnam War -- including one to Hanoi with his future wife Jane Fonda. He's speaking about his new book, "Writings for a Democratic Society."

International Art Affairs at Blagden Alley
Check out skateboard art and a skating demonstation, learn about emerging artists from India and see video art from around the world at International Art Affairs, a weekend-long celebration at Blagden Alley.

Around the World Open House
Two weeks ago, the embassies of European Union countries opened their doors to the public for tours, musical performances and cultural performances. Now it's time for two dozen embassies from the rest of the world to strut their stuff: Make pisco sours at the Embassy of Peru, listen to steel pans and explore works of art at Trinidad and Tobago, learn about life on the tropical Pacific islands of the Federated States of Micronesia, watch centuries-old folk dances from Mongolia, tour the historic Embassy of Indonesia, hear indigenous Australian music and watch bhangra dancers at the Indian embassy. Shuttle buses run between embassies all day; see the map on the Cultural Tourism Web site.

St. Sophia's Greek Festival at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Held rain or shine, the fair offers plenty of food, including an indoor buffet, outdoor grills, whole lambs on spits, an ice cream wagon and Greek wines and beers. When you're finished eating, take tours of the cathedral, browse a Greek craft market -- including many vendors selling icon paintings -- or listen to live music.

Color As Field: American Painting, 1950-1975 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
The "color field" movement of the late 20th century is the subject of this major survey, which features abstract works by Gene Davis, Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis.

By Fritz Hahn  | May 12, 2008; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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