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Seven by Seven / Seven things you need to know by 7 a.m.

1. Leading fantasy, horror and science-fiction authors share their secrets with fans and other writers at the EerieCon 13 international convention today through Sunday in the Days Inn at the Falls, 443 Main St., across from the Rainbow Bridge. Larry Niven, author of the award-winning "Ringworld" series, appears in workshop after workshop all through the weekend, and Derwin Mak, author of "The Siren Stone" and "Transubstantiation," also shows up in many seminar sessions and reads at 8 p.m. today. Panel discussion topics include "Set Phasers to Stun! -- The problem with creating truly effective nonlethal weapons." That's at 11 a.m. Saturday. Join the sponsoring Buffalo Fantasy League for $45 and get in all weekend.

2. After a month of rain, the conditions should be just right for rugby on the playing fields northeast of the football stadium on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst. UB, the Division I New York State champions, is hosting this weekend's 2011 Emirates Airlines USA Rugby Men's & Women's Division I College Playoffs for Northeastern colleges. Also contending for the men's title are Metro New York champs Southern Connecticut, Ivy League champs Harvard and New England champs New England. UB's first match is against Southern Connecticut at 5 p.m.

3. The painters and furniture movers are finished. Everything is in place for the garden party preview of the 16th Decorators' Show House this evening. This year's house is the Tudor-style seven-bedroom, seven-bath Bayliss-Oshei residence at 360 Depew Ave., in Buffalo's Central Park neighborhood. Designed by Buffalo architect Harvey Staring Horton and built in 1935 for William H. Bayliss, who owned canneries, it's been vacant since the death of his daughter, Mary Bayliss Oshei, in 2009. It's open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues through May 22. Once the show is over, it will be put on the market.

4. The Amherst Town Board holds a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. today in Town Hall, 5583 Main St., Williamsville, to continue talking about something that's far from the minds of most residents now that spring is here -- plowing snow off sidewalks. The original proposal for five plowing districts, scaled back due to lack of support in some neighborhoods, is now down to two -- Niagara Falls Boulevard from Kenmore Avenue to Bettina Avenue and parts of Maple Road from Millersport Highway to Transit Road. More could be created in the future, board members say, if a majority of people want them.

5. State Sen. George Maziarz will be joined by Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman to announce introduction of safe patient-handling bills at 10:30 a.m. in the University at Buffalo/Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health Safe Patient Handling Lab and Training Center in Diefendorf Annex on UB's South Campus. The measures would encourage hospitals and other health care facilities to provide the latest equipment for moving patients so that workers won't keep suffering disabling injuries from lifting and repositioning people.

6. Going on display today in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Clifton Hall is the Lost Heroes Art Quilt, which honors men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere since Sept. 11, 2001. Created by artist Julie Feingold of Boca Raton, Fla., it depicts one person from each of the 50 states. Representing the fallen soldiers of New York State is Army Capt. Robert A. Bager of East Amherst, who died in September 2005. The quilt has been touring the U.S. since September 2009. It's here through May 22.

7. See "Henry's Crime" for charming co-star James Caan. See it for lovely romantic interest Vera Farmiga. See it for those bleak, but familiar scenes of our fair city. But don't go expecting much from its star, Keanu Reeves, according to Buffalo News Critic Jeff Simon. It opens in local theaters today. Also arriving are "Fast Five," the lastest "Fast and Furious" flick with Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Ludacris; the animated "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil;" and the supernatural private eye tale "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night," with Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Peter Stormare and Taye Diggs.

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Don't miss on buffalonews.com

Take a look at this year's Decorators' Show House, get analysis of the Bills' draft so far and watch GustoTV for a guide to weekend. It is all at video.buffalonews.com

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