Good day: Feb. 1, 2010

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Who’s in town

Ignacio Berroa: The Afro-Cuban drummer performs with his ensemble. [8 p.m., Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Frederick Cooper: The New York University history professor gives a talk titled “Citizenship Between Empire and Nation: France and French Africa 1945-60.” [5 p.m., Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University]

Lectures

James Cartwright: The vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff gives a talk titled “Shaping the Defense Department for Evolving National Security.” [6 p.m., Marines’ Memorial Club, 609 Sutter St., S.F.]

‘Monday Night Philosophy’: “Does Evil Exist?” is the evening’s theme. Berkeley Daily Planet columnist Matt Cantor speaks. A Socratic dialogue and an open discussion follow. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Poetry program: Poets David Meltzer and Clark Coolidge read from their work. An open-mic session follows. [7 p.m., Bird and Beckett Books and Records, 653 Chenery St., S.F.]

Book talk: A discussion of “Reading Like a Writer” by Francine Prose. [5:30 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

At the public library

‘First Monday Movies’: Film series features “Kiss Me Deadly” (1955). [6:30 p.m., Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission St., S.F.]

‘Mental Aerobics’: Class includes brain exercises designed to help seniors maintain and improve cognitive vitality and memory. [1:30 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Room, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Local activities

Improv for Haiti: The 3 for All and BATS Improv groups join forces for a show of improvisational theater benefiting Haiti earthquake relief. [8 p.m., Bayfront Theater, Building B, Fort Mason Center, S.F.]

Striking chords: The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble presents “Harpsichord Redux,” a concert showcasing the instrument’s many possibilities. [8 p.m., Green Room, War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Gay Sketch Humor: S.F. Sketchfest hosts the San Francisco debut of “The Big Gay Sketch Show.” Stephen Guarino, Kate McKinnon, Jonny McGovern and Nicol Paone perform. [8 p.m., Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

Dining out

Tacolicious: Mexican fare such as soups, salads, snacks, drinks, daily specials and, foremost, tacos. Taco selections include mushrooms, local peppers and nopales; fried local rock cod, cabbage and tangy crema; shot-and-a-beer-braised chicken; and guajillo-braised beef short rib. The $10 prix fixe is a shot of Jimador Blanco tequila, a Tecate beer and a taco. [2031 Chestnut St., S.F., (415) 346-1966]

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