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Cosmic Cocktail Party

This week marks the 50th anniversary of U.S.S.R. cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's inaugural space flight and the 30th anniversary of the launch of the first space shuttle. Since 2004, an international community of scientists, researchers, and self-styled geeks has been celebrating these dual milestones with Yuri's Night, a festive commemoration of where we've been and where we yet may go. Tonight at the Museum of Natural History, Cleveland joins the Yuri's Night federation. Organized by NASA Glenn's Developing Professionals Club and the museum's Nature League, the cosmic cocktail party launches at 8 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres, dancing, DJs, a cash bar, space-related exhibits, planetarium showings, and ongoing screenings of the NASA documentary Ascent — Commemorating Shuttle. Attendees — who are urged to dress in their sci-fi finest; we told you geekiness was involved — will go home with space-related souvenirs and their own copy of Ascent. In addition to the $10 admission, organizer Mac Zborowski suggests bringing a light saber and a sense of humor: "I called [Darth] Vader's agent, and we're on his schedule," he says via e-mail, "although with the Empire in such rough shape these days, you never know." For more info, check out the Facebook page Yuri's Night World Space Party @ Cleveland. The Museum of Natural History is at 1 Wade Oval Dr. in University Circle; see cmnh.org for directions and more. — Elaine T. Cicora

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