William G. Dever, professor emeritus of near eastern archeology at the University of Arizona, will discuss "Who were the early Israelites and where did they come from?" Dever, who has excavated in the Near East for more than three decades, is speaking as part of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies Inauguaral Lecture Series. 7:30 p.m., Greenlaw Hall, Room 101, UNC-Chapel Hill. 843-6339, ccjs.unc.edu. Free
Close to home and far away--there is beauty in our surroundings. Fortunately, you don't have to go far to get a glimpse. Andrew Stawicki, Pulitzer-Prize-winning photojournalist, will show his photographs from Italy, and Wojtek Wojdynski, a local photographer, will show pictures of Chapel Hill and surrounding towns. The event is part of the 2nd Friday Art Walk. Oct. 10- Nov. 9, Sizl Gallery. 405 A-E Main Street, Carrboro. 960-0098. Reception Friday, Oct.10, 6-9 pm.
Join Raleigh's Village Idiots for a night of improv comedy, as they present their 43rd revue, Help Wanted. Oct. 10-11, 17-18, 9 p.m., North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theater, 7713-51 Leadmine Road, Raleigh. www.idiots.net. $5.
Make some new friends at the Triangle Area Women's Picnic. Those who have never attended or are new to the Triangle are especially welcome. The perfect place for women to meet, socialize, hike, and of course, eat! Bring a potluck dish to share. 1:30-3:30 p.m., Umstead State Park, Raleigh. www. geocities.com/womynpicnic/indexpic.html. Small donation requested to cover paper products, etc.
Virginia Spencer Carr will read and discuss her biography of Carson McCullers, The Lonely Hunter. The book reviews the life and times of McCullers, whose works include The Member of the Wedding and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. 7 p.m., The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St., Durham. 286-2700. www. regulatorbookshop.com.
To all you Northerners and California refugees--if you're going to insist on living in the South, you might as well learn how to dance properly, dammit. Shag lessons for beginners are offered every Tuesday at Loafers Beach Club at 8 p.m. 1625 Capital Blvd, Raleigh. 754-9490 or www.shaglessons.com.