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What’s hip, what’s happening, what’s going on—and what you need to know right now.

The Ramananda’s In

Elton John has taken his classes and now you can, too, as Swami Ramananda brings his distinct style and yoga expertise to Las Vegas locals within a luxurious setting. Still, you don’t need to have a headlining gig at Caesars Palace to afford a session with the yoga master.

“Swamiji,” who has helped a range of celebrity students navigate the mat, recently started giving yoga and guided meditation classes in Mandarin Oriental’s stunning new studio.

Although most of Ramananda’s classes focus on relaxation, he also helps students with what he calls “Starbucks yoga”—a reinvigorating breathing exercise that can wake you up like a fresly brewed cup of morning coffee.

While Mandarin Oriental is largely regarded as a venue for well-heeled tourists, locals can practice alongside Ramananda at 11 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays for $35 per class.

When the eccentric yogi isn’t leading a session at Mandarin or spreading the yoga gospel across the world (he has taught in more than 90 countries and counting), he can be found at UNLV, where he holds the title professor emeritus of Indian philosophy, yoga and feng shui. An accomplished scholar, Ramananda is also the author of Bliss Now (Select Books, 2002) and a former student of Mahatama Ghandi’s guru, Sri Sri Anandamayi Ma. 

Dita the Tease

Modern day pin-up girl Dita Von Teese was the first celebrity to grace the Crazy Horse Paris stage, and she returns March 31 for a second stint with the legendary burlesque show’s Las Vegas installation.

Von Teese first teased Crazy Horse Paris audiences in Paris in 2006 and joined the Las Vegas cast the following year for a string of sold-out performances.

Since the voluptuous brunette’s groundbreaking Crazy Horse Paris debut, fellow temptresses Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra have also lent their considerable assets to the titillating, 59-year-old showcase. March 31 through April 7 (dark April 6), 8 and 10:30 p.m., $75 plus taxes and fees, 891-7777,

140 Tweeps, 140 Tweets

It was a night of 140 personalities from across the Twittersphere, 140 characters for them to use, and now, more than 140 reasons to download the video, including “to support relief efforts in Haiti.”

The “Night of 140 Tweets,” held March 19 at Hollywood’s UCB Theater, drew a broad section of Twitteratti, including Ben Stiller (@redhourben), Will Ferrell (@funnyordie), Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) Sarah Silverman (@sarahksilverman), Demi Moore (@mrskutcher), Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) Diablo Cody (@diablocody), Shannon Elizabeth (@ShannonElizab) and Sasha Grey (@sashagrey). The diverse cast took to the stage, read their favorite Twitter post for the crowd, then passed the mike to the next tweep.

For those of us who missed the night of peace, love, comedy and Twitter, the 32-minute sequence is available for download on and iTunes. The best part: All funds collected from the $3 download will be used to build schools in Haiti through Artists for Peace.

Billed as the world’s first live Twitter stream, the celebrity tweet-a-thon was produced by Red Hour Digital Production in association with Funny or Die.

Vegas Unplugged

Don’t be surprised when the lights go out on March 27—it’s not a massive power outage; it’s the return of Earth Hour.

At 8:30 p.m., many casinos on the Strip (and some off-Strip properties) will flip the switch on their marquees and nonessential exterior lights for one hour. Even the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign will go dark for the annual event, which is designed to raise awareness about energy conservation and climate change.

Las Vegas is one of more than 800 cities participating in this year’s event. Locally, all MGM Mirage, Harrah’s and Boyd Gaming properties have signed up to turn their lights off, while the Springs Preserve and Clark County School District will also participate (not that anyone should be in class on Saturday night!).

Coast to coast, more than 80 million homes and businesses participated in the World Wildlife Fund-sponsored shutdown last year. The lights dimmed on global icons such as the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Great Pyramids and, closer to home, the Empire State Building.

While turning off the lights has a dramatic effect, it’s not necessarily the most efficient promotion, since it takes considerable power to turn everything back on. The neon glow of Las Vegas isn’t immune to this side effect, of course, yet NV Energy still reported that consumption decreased by 65 megawatts, or about 3 percent, during Earth Hour 2009.

Monster Mash

The 11th annual Monster Jam World Finals roars through town on March 26 and 27 and brings two dozen monster trucks and thousands of monster truck fans to Sam Boyd Stadium.

The event’s full name—the 2010 Advance Auto Parts NGK Spark Plugs Monster Jam World Finals—is nearly as big as the trucks that compete in it, yet the contest attracted as similarly large, sellout crowd of more than 37,000 people last year.

Saturday afternoon’s “Built Ford Tough Party in the Pit” gets under way at noon and is open to everyone attending the show later that night. More than 40 trucks and drivers will take part, giving fans ample time to collect autographs and ogle the oversize rides at close range. Those wanting to hitch a monster-size ride need to pick up a voucher at a Metro PCS store by March 25 ( for locations).

“Batman” driver John Seasock will also make an appearance at Ford Country in the Valley Auto Mall (280 N. Gibson Road) on Saturday from noon-4 p.m.

As far as the competition is concerned, it will be fierce. Grave Digger comes in on a high note, after collecting several recent wins, yet Dennis Anderson is driving the big dig rig this weekend, not Pablo Huffaker (who was behind the wheel when it won in Wichita, Kan.) or Randy Brown (who drove to victory in Lafayette, La.) so may the better man—or machine—win. Gates at noon, shows at 7 p.m., tickets from $42,

Mac the Book

Mac King adds a new title to his résumé this week. Not only is he an award-winning magician and Harrah’s headliner—he’s now an author, too.

King’s new book, Mac King’s Campfire Magic ($12.95, Black Dog & Leventhal, 2010), hits stores this week, detailing dozens of magic tricks for kids ages 9-12. The book instructs readers how to do all sorts of camper-friendly tricks, from tying the perfect knot to reading fellow campers’ minds.

The 176-page release features a forward by fellow headlining pranksters Penn & Teller and 250 full-color illustrations by cartoonist Bill King.

King will mark the release of his book with an in-store signing at the Rainbow Promenade Barnes & Noble (2191 N. Rainbow Blvd.) from noon-2 p.m. March 28 and, as always, performs at Harrah’s Tuesday through Saturday. Shows at 1 and 3 p.m., $25,

$100,000 Hotties

The weather is heating up, which means two things: It’s time to hit the pool and it’s time for SpyOn Vegas’ Hot 100 Contest—which, coincidentally enough, takes place at a pool.

The annual competition seeks out the most beautiful women Las Vegas has to offer and rewards them for their god- (or surgeon-) given good looks with cold, hard cash. It’s the third year for the Hot 100 and, like the chests of many of the competitors, it is bigger and better than ever.

The so-called “Battle of the Beauties” is set to give out $100,000 in prizes—double the amount that was doled out last year—to the top 20 finalists. First place is awarded $35,000, second gets $20,000 and third fetches $10,000, while finalists four through 20 collect between $6,000 and $1,000.

Registration is open on Vegas Seven’s sister site, The competition gets under way April 30 at Wet Republic. Twelve weeks of events, Friday afternoon pool parties and online voting will follow, culminating with the crowning of “hottest female in Las Vegas” on July 23.