Shortlist 

Thurs., April 12-Wed., April 18

APRIL 12 THURSDAY

Dreams of chrome-plated gadgets come to life this weekend at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) ROBOTICS COMPETITION NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. More than 10,000 of the world's brightest teenage techies from as far away as Israel and Brazil swarm the Dome's six fields to pit their student-designed and -built robots against one another. Through April 14. Free. Thurs.-Fri., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Georgia Dome, 1 Georgia Dome Drive. 404-223-9200. www.usfirst.org. (Jessica Jordan)

APRIL 13 FRIDAY

Aussies David Collins and Shane Dundas make up the ambiguously titled performance duo the UMBILICAL BROTHERS. Their guerilla vaudeville shtick combines mime, live audio-acrobatics (still not sure what that means) and Laurel-and-Hardy-style banter. Tonight they perform SpeedMouse, a time-warped rat race to regain control of their show (if they ever had it to begin with). $16-$30. 8 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts, 349 Ferst Drive. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter.org. (Debbie Michaud)

APRIL 14 SATURDAY

It's time for a little high-society competition – the kind that requires a wide-brimmed hat and a straw picnic basket to enter. Every spring, socialites flock by the thousands to watch thoroughbreds and Jack Russell terriers leap over white wooden fences during the annual ATLANTA STEEPLECHASE, which raises funds for the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation and the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine this year. $25 ($20 parking per vehicle). 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Kingston Downs, Highway 441 and Gore Spring Road, Kingston. 404-237-7436. www.atlantasteeplechase.org. (Renee Strevens)

APRIL 21 LORETTA LYNN The coal miner's daughter comes to the Arena at Gwinnett Center. www.ticketmaster.com.

APRIL 22 TOUR DE GEORGIA pedals through Atlanta and crosses the finish line after seven days of statewide cycling. www.tourdegeorgia.com.

APRIL 22 EARTH DAY Annual celebration of Mother Earth and a day of action to help sustain and preserve her. www.earthshare.org.

APRIL 23 PAULA DEEN Food Network's butter-loving mama reads and signs her best sellers at Emory. www.georgiacenterforthebook.org.

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