july 24
Arthur Hailey: Author of mega best sellers Hotel (which eventually became a long-running television series starring Barbra Streisand's current honey-pie James Brolin and Connie Selleca, wife of the musical antichrist, a.k.a. John Tesh) and Airport (turned into a hit movie with a superfluity of screaming), Hailey is in town to read from his new book, Detective. The English-born Bahamian resident's works have been the basis for eleven movies and have been translated into 39 languages, with 160 million copies sold all over the world. The signing starts at 8:00 p.m. at Borders Books & Music in Aventura (19925 Biscayne Blvd.). The number for more information is 935-0027. (JO)

july 25
Daniela Mercury: Brazil's reigning queen of "samba reggae," Daniela Mercury (no relation to Freddy) brings her sizzling brand of dance music to the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) for a 9:00 p.m show tonight. Those who recall last year's show at the Coconut Grove Convention Center can attest to Mercury's penchant for motivating butts out the seats and into the aisles. Her eleven-piece band goes heavy on the percussion, combining the rhythms of Carnaval, candomble, and samba to support Mercury's sultry vocal lines. The diva is on a nationwide tour in support of her fourth disc, Feijio com Arroz (Beans and Rice). Tickets run from $25 to $50. Call 358-5885 in Dade for more information, 954-523-3309 in Broward. (SA)

Martini Bash: The Historical Museum of Southern Florida hosts a martini bash to toast history (apparently all history, not just that of the Rat Pack's favorite cocktail) tonight at the National Hotel (1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). This shindig boasts jazz artist George Tandy, complimentary drinks, caviar, hors d'ouvres, and a Finlandia Vodka recipe contest. Tickets are $30 in advance for museum members, $35 for nonmembers, and $40 at the door. Proceeds benefit the museum. The tippling starts at 8:00 p.m. and is scheduled to run until 11:00 p.m., although you never know with those crazy history toasters. For information and tickets, call 375-1492. (JO)

july 26
Jamizon: To all you sports fans wondering what former hoops great Earvin "Magic" Johnson has been up to since retiring from the NBA (again), here's the answer -- Jamizon: the Urban Entertainment Extravaganza and Concert Festival! It's not just a concert, it's a multimedia, multilevel marketing opportunity intended to showcase -- and we quote -- "urban music, fashion, sports, and art." What does that mean? Uh, we're not sure exactly. But at the very least, there will be a performance by today's hottest urban music stars Keith Sweat, SWV, Kenny Lattimore, and Brownstone. Also included in the mix is an attraction called Q's Jook Joint that will feature food, drink, and performances by up-and-coming regional and national acts, comedians, and poets. Style Crib will host fashion exhibitions and Magic's Sport Center will display, well, lots and lots of Magic memorabilia. The whole shebang goes down tonight at the James L. Knight Center (400 SE Second Ave.). The festival starts at 4:00 and the concert at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $23.75 and $27.50. For more information call 561-832-6397. (SA)

Great Florida Duck Race: Rub-a-dub-dub, ten thousand ducks in a tub. Not really -- they're actually in a river. Hosted by the American Cancer Society at Esplanade Park on the New River in Fort Lauderdale, it's definitely a sight to see thousands of rubber ducks "racing" toward the finish line. You can get your own duckie for five dollars at any of several locations in Broward County (First Union Bank branches being the easiest to find). In addition to contributing funds to find a cure for cancer, you'll get a chance to win airline tickets, passes to Disney World (take your winning rubber duck along and introduce him or her to Donald), and other prizes. Other festivities include music, face painting and clowns for the kids, and appearances by radio and television personalities. The fun begins at 11:00 a.m. and runs until 3:00 p.m.; the actual race is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Call 954-564-0880 for more information about how to obtain your very own lean, mean, racing ma--, er, duck. (JO)

Dance Across America: Anybody else think this outdoor music festival thing is getting out of hand? And in the South Florida summer, no less! Well, if you've still got the energy to stand around in the hot sun for hours on end with hordes of other sweaty, stinky people (an amazing number of whom are not wearing shoes), have we got a concert for you. Power 96 (WPOW-FM 96.5) plays host to national acts La Bouche, Quad City DJs, Amber, Robin S., Crush, and Jocelyn Enriquez, in addition to a variety of local Latin acts today at Tamiami Park (11201 SW 24th St.). Of course, they'll also have the usual vendors and side "entertainment" offered at this sort of thing, although we can't see this crowd getting into the Genitorturers. The gates at the park open at 3:00 p.m.; tickets are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door. Call 358-5885. (JO)