Five things to do this weekend: Nov. 3-4
Compete in Beardfest or just come to gawk. The region’s most elaborately or lazily bearded and mustachioed men and women vie for prizes, enjoy food and drink and groove to the work of DJ Pace for four blissfully hairy hours Saturday, and the public is invited. Prizes are up for grabs in five categories: natural full beard, freestyle full beard, freestyle mustache, freestyle partial beard (including goatees, sideburns and any combination) and, so as to not run afoul of federal law, best fake beard. There’s also a make-your-own beard table. It’s $5 for general entry or for registrants. The event is from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville.
Have all-you-can-eat cookies for a good cause. Comicazi, the Davis Square comic book shop, is charging a mere $6 to gobble all of its fourth annual bake-off results (with milk and coffee). Eighteen bakers make two dozen cookies each in three categories — chocolate chip, a bar cookie and a wildcard of their choice — resulting in up to 1,500 cookies, lines out the door and between $1,300 and $1,400 for Boston Partners in Education, a nonprofit supporting struggling students in Boston Public Schools. (The bakers compete for prizes in each category and an overall prize, organizers say, with judges including a baker from Flour and local semi-celebrities.) You can also get to-go bags of cookies for even less than $6; as you can imagine, it’s a popular event. “The line wrapped down the street for hours last year,” shop co-owner David Lockwood said, estimating the number people at between 500 and 600. And the most amazing thing? There were still cookies left over. “Which is insane,” shop co-owner Bob Howard said. The event is from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, at the shop, 407 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville.
Get a jump on your holiday shopping at Harvard Book Store’s Frequent Buyer Sale. Shoppers get 20 percent off new, used and bargain books, as well as print-on-demand titles and nonbook items throughout the store (and online) from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. — an hour earlier and later than the usual Sunday hours — so long as they have a frequent-buyer card before Sunday. As in years past, the sale doesn’t discount already-discounted items. The Harvard Book Store is at 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square.
Enjoy old-timey scares with the Brattle’s monster movie marathon. Sure, Halloween is over, but these movies — all made between 1931 and 1935 — are timeless. Which is part of the point: The Brattle is showing Universal Pictures’ black-and-white horror classics as part of the studio’s 100th anniversary celebration. Check out the iconic “Frankenstein” (1931) at 1 or 7:15 p.m.; “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935) at 2:30 or 8:45 p.m.; “The Mummy” (1932) at 4 p.m.; and “The Invisible Man” (1933) at 5:30 p.m. with an all-day pass ($24 for general admission adults or $20 for students, seniors, Brattle members and kids under 12) or movie-by-movie for between $6.75 and $9.75. The “Frankenstein” movies are in new 35mm prints. The theater is at 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square.
Find out why OKCupid’s founders get the Harvard Humanist of the Year award. Okay, we’ll just tell you: The 10 million-person dating community — founded in 2004 by Harvard grads Christian Rudder, Chris Coyne, Max Krohn and Sam Yagan — “exemplifies open-mindedness, critical thinking and a willingness to engage in conversation on any topic,” according to Harvard’s Humanist Community Project. “On it, members ask one another thousands of questions, and are amazingly frank about their values — whether religious, political, sexual or cultural. You answer as much as you want, as publicly or privately as you want.” In addition, the founders are publicly atheist and have found that “mentioning your atheism makes it more likely to get a response when seeking a date — in fact, it’s one of the top six things you can do to get a positive response! In other words, here you have a huge community in which it is not only socially acceptable but desirable to be nonreligious.” (If it’s not obvious, the Humanist Community Project aims to build a community of nonreligious Americans comparable to the social and cultural experience of the houses of worship “in a society where much of social life and status is still based on community and congregational membership.”
It’s a timely celebration, given that a Pew Research Center poll released last month indicates a 4.8 percent increase in the past year in the number of people claiming no religion, with a total increase of 25 percent over the past five years. That puts the unaffiliated at 16.1 percent of U.S. adults.
Krohn and Rudder are to be on hand for what Sarah Chandonnet, outreach and development manager at the community, is calling a first-ever public discussion of how they “created arguably the most welcoming and positive environment ever for atheists, humanists and agnostics — online or anywhere else,” complete with music by Texas band Quiet Company before the evening’s set at The Middle East. The event begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Hall D of the Harvard Science Center, 1 Oxford St.,near Harvard Square. There is a follow-up reception planned.