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Escape From the Lab

Seven recurring geeky events that defy the natural laws of New York City nightlife.

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Williamsburg Spelling Bee.  

1. The Big Quiz Thing
Slipper Room, 167 Orchard St., at Stanton St.; 212-253-7246, and Happy Ending, 302 Broome St., nr. Forsyth St.; 212-334-9676
Think hard when ruthless question-maker Noah Tarnow tests your knowledge of presidents, obscure rock music, and Breakfast Cereal Haiku. (The payoff is $200.)
Time: Slipper Room, every other Monday, 8 p.m.; Happy Ending, last Thursday of the month, 8 p.m.
• Cost: $7

2. Book-in-Hand Reading Group
The Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, nr. Bleecker St.; 212-614-0505
Dump your Dean Koontz for some Rainer Maria Rilke or Elizabeth Barrett Browning at this highbrow downtown literary gathering.
Time: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.
• Cost: Free

3. Nerd Nite
Angels and Kings, 500 11th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-254-4090
Blow your mind with professorial lectures on "real" zombies, Sri Lankan frogs, cephalopodophilia, and thumb-splitting shrimp.
• Time: Approximately once a month, 7 p.m.; check Website for exact schedule
• Cost: Free, two-drink minimum

4. The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings
South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St., nr. South St.; 212-748-8600
Travel out of this world with radio personality Bill Freund as he hosts authors like Stephen King collaborator Peter Straub or Bill Clinton favorite Walter Mosley for his radio show "Hour of the Wolf."
Time: First Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m.
• Cost: $5 suggested donation

5. Secret Science Club
Union Hall, 702 Union St., at Fifth Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-4400
Indulge in weird science with discussions on amphibian brain structure and quantum physics. Themed cocktails like the Big Bang open your mind; groups like the Amygdaloids, a band of NYU neural scientists, open your ears.
Time: First Wednesday of the month, 8 p.m.
• Cost: Free

6. Spelling & Grammar Bee
Union Hall, 702 Union St., at Fifth Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-4400
Have your antennae snipped for each wrong answer, then take shots of booze before spelling state capitals backward.
Time: Third Tuesday of the month, 7:30 p.m.
• Cost: Free

7. Williamsburg Spelling Bee
Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., nr. Richardson St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-3770
Ask for the root origin as emcees Bobby Blue and Jennifer Dziura top your night off with guest performances from folks like burlesque queen the World Famous *BOB*.
Time: Second and fourth Monday of the month, 7 p.m.
• Cost: Free


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