Good Day: Aug. 12, 2010

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Who’s in town

Physician and best-selling author Abraham Verghese discusses the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and reflects on the meaning of his occupation. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Lectures

Lisa Shannon: The journalist and author (“A Thousand Sisters”) shares her transformation from lapsed idealist to leader of the first national grassroots effort for Congolese women. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Andrew Bacevich: The history professor discusses the origins of the U.S. military complex, and whether we should continue to maintain a permanent armed presence worldwide. [Noon, World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Fixing California: R. Jeffrey Lustig, editor of “Remaking California,” and contributors from the book discuss the state crisis and how we might rebuild things. [6 p.m., California Historical Society, 678 Mission St., S.F.]

Literary events

Daniel Depp: The novelist talks about “Babylon Nights.” [7 p.m., “M” Is for Mystery, 86 E. Third Ave., San Mateo]

David Jedeikin: The San Francisco-based writer talks about “Wander the Rainbow,” a memoir. [7:30 p.m., Books Inc., 2275 Market St., S.F.]

Book group: B&B Political Book Group discusses “The Tyranny of Oil” by Antonia Juhasz. [7 p.m., Bird & Beckett Books and Records, 653 Chenery St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Art exhibit: The Academy of Art University’s 79 Gallery presents an MFA painting and photography exhibit. Featured artists include Sarupa Siddarth and Aurora Chang. [9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 79 New Montgomery St., S.F.]

At the public library

Photographer talk: Photographer Rich Turner talks about his current exhibition, “California Delta,” and about changes he’s seen in the delta over the decades. [6 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Room B, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Exhibit tour: A tour of the exhibition “The Art of Hand Bookbinding” takes place. Work by members of the Hand Bookbinders of California is on view. [11 a.m., Main Library, Skylight Gallery, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Blues guitarist: Laurie Morvan performs with her band. [8 and 10 p.m., Biscuits and Blues, 401 Mason St., S.F.]

Local activities

Art show opening: A reception celebrates the exhibit “What Cannot Be Taken Away: Families and Prisons Project.” The evening includes a talk by artist Evan Bissell. [6:30 to 9:30 p.m., SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St., S.F.]

Park place: “Nightlife” at the California Academy of Sciences presents “ParkLife,” a celebration of Golden Gate Park. Dawes and DJ Omar provide the music. [6 to 10 p.m., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Dining out

Midi: Chef Michelle Mah serves adaptations of popular brasserie classics with a California touch, and two dishes featuring seasonal crops are recommended today. Look for an heirloom-tomato salad, with toy-box tomatoes, basil puree, living watercress, shaved Parmesano and toasted peanuts. Also highlighted is the pan-roasted golden trout, with cranberry beans, summer beans and toy-box tomatoes. [185 Sutter St., S.F., (415) 835-6400]

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