Bits & Bites: Birthday celebration, Tea & Talk slated

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, LUNCH

The First Baptist Church of Readsboro, Vt., will hold a special birthday celebration today. Bingo will be played, followed by a meal at noon. The menu will feature five-spice chicken, mashed potatoes,vegetables, wheat bread, birthday cake and ice cream. Each attendee will receive a gift of their choice.

VENTFORT HALL TEA & TALK

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum continues its summer series of Tea & Talks with Bob Brier, recognized as a foremost Egyptologist, who will examine the fascination with the ancient world along the Nile River. He will cover the events that fanned the flames of "Egytomania" during the last two centuries in his visual presentation at 4 p.m. Tuesday. A Victorian tea will follow his talk.

Brier will also discuss why Victorians were especially interested in ancient Egypt and will present many images of the collectibles that the fascination inspired, from a Wedgwood Egyptian tea service to mechanical lead pencils in the shapes of mummies and coffins.

As Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, Brier conducts pioneering research in mummification practices and has investigated some of the world's most famous mummies, including King Tut, Vladimir Lenin, Ramses the Great, Eva Peron and the Medici family of Renaissance Italy.

In 1994, Brier became the first person in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver using the exact techniques of the ancient Egyptians. This research was the subject of a National Geographic TV special, "Mr. Mummy."

Tickets for the Brier talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event. Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. For reservations, call 413-637-3206 or visit info@gildedage.org. The historical mansion is at 104 Walker St., Lenox.

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