Quail Ridge Books & Music—Among the many famous and infamous people to be unearthed in the annals of Duke University, perhaps no case is odder than that of J.B. Rhine, who essentially invented the branch of study known as parapsychology. Rhine founded the Duke parapsychology lab and ran it for 50 years (1930-1980), and was a correspondent of Carl Jung. He applied the scientific method to telekinesis, ESP and other occult phenomena, attempting to prove that they exist. Although some of his work has been discredited—and today he's considered a kook or even a quack by many—Rhine remains an important figure in the marginal discipline of the weird sciences.
Raleigh writer Alexandra Sokoloff has made Rhine's work central to her supernatural thriller, The Unseen. A young psychology professor has a "precognitive" dream in which her fiancé is cheating on her, only to find on waking that he is indeed doing exactly that. She leaves California for a job teaching at Duke, where she stumbles on archives of Rhine's work. She gets so obsessed with what she finds that it isn't long before she's living in a haunted house and paying visits to Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh. All in all, it's your usual story of life in the Triangle. Sokoloff makes an appearance—or is that an apparition?—at Quail Ridge Books tonight at 7:30 p.m. Visit quailridgebooks.com. —Adam Sobsey
Regulator Bookshop—As Durham's Meals on Wheels prepares to reopen in its new location on Ross Road, its executive director, Christopher Headen, has a new book to promote: The Vision to Serve: Cultivating a Legacy of Public Service. In it, Headen tells of his experiences in public service and of the individuals who have inspired him throughout his life and career. His goal is to provide inspiration and advice for potential public servants and community leaders of tomorrow, and to let others know of what goes into this type of work. Headen will discuss and sign copies of the book starting at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.regulatorbookshop.com or www.thevisiontoserve.com. —Zack Smith
Goodnight's Comedy Club—Though he's been part of the "Miserable Men" comedy tour, Rich Vos has plenty to be happy about. A regular on the likes of The Opie and Anthony Show and Premium Blend, Vos has enjoyed two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials and was featured on several seasons of NBC's Last Comic Standing. Now he's appearing at Goodnight's with special guest John Betz Jr. Vos appears through June 7; Thursday's performance has a dinner for two and show for $30, while Sunday's performance is free with purchase of dinner at the Old Bar. For more information, visit www.goodnightscomedy.com. —Zack Smith