For the mathematically uninclined, calculus looks less like math and more like an indecipherable secret language. Instead of explaining anything, it simply adds more mystery and, often, a little bit of fear. Fortunately, math fans and foes can get together under the domed ceiling of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (1801 Mountain NW) to see math in action in a much more meaningful manner. “First Friday Fractals” takes mathematically complex geometric shapes, projects them, zooms in close to show their detail and complexity, and makes math beautiful. Shows are Friday, July 2, at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. The cost is $5 for kids 3 to 12, $7 for seniors and $10 for everybody else. Get tickets at nmnaturalhistory.org or at the museum.
As a history nerd, I've often wondered what exactly it is that draws me to certain people or times. For example, I love me some medieval India, especially the Mughal Empire. Maybe it's some past life thing, who knows? But it came up again for me while wandering around the National Hispanic Cultural Center exhibition New Mexico's African American Legacy: Visible, Vital, Valuable. I was reminded of this freelance job I had a few years ago in which I wrote short biographies of notable African-Americans, anyone from John James Audubon to Charity Adams Earley, people about whom I knew nearly nothing when I started but who inspired me through their courageous actions.