Good Day Oct. 6, 2009

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Who’s in town

Author Margaret Atwood hosts an evening of music, live performance and readings in celebration of her new novel, “The Year of the Flood.” [8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Lectures

Bernardo Alvarez Herrera: Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States discusses Venezuela-U.S. relations and gives a regional viewpoint of the U.S. role in Latin America. [6 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Noam Chomsky: The renowned intellectual discusses how the masses are kept in line and how to remain a freethinking, active citizen. [Standing-room only; 6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Richard Dawkins: The evolutionary biologist and author talks about “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Lauren Weber: The author and journalist talks about “In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue.” [7 p.m., Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., S.F.]

At the colleges

San Francisco Cinematheque: Seminal filmmaker Ken Jacobs, in person, presents “Shocked by Existence: Recent Video Works.” [7:30 p.m., California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F.]

At the public library

Canyon Sam: The local writer and activist reads from “Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History.” [6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Picking a school: Parents talk about choosing and improving public schools for their kids. Speakers include Vicki Symonds and friends from Parents for Public Schools. [7 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 Ninth Ave., S.F.]

Local activities

Comedy show: Boston-based comedian Joe Wong performs a stand-up show. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Chinese orchestra: The Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra of Xiamen, China, performs at Davies Symphony Hall. Zheng XiaoYing, China’s first female conductor, leads the orchestra. [8 p.m., 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Kiosk exhibit: The Art on Market Street kiosk poster program presents “Taking In,” a watercolor series by Pamela Wilson-Ryckman. [Displayed on kiosks on Market Street from Van Ness Avenue to The Embarcadero, S.F.]

Dining out

Farallon: Chefs Mark Franz and Ryan Simas’ appetizer menu includes tomato-braised local calamari served with heirloom-squash fritters, pine nuts and arugula. Today’s recommended entree is grilled Hawaiian ahi tuna, served rare. It’s accompanied by roasted French fingerling potatoes, gypsy pepper piperade and nicoise olive tapenade. [450 Post St., S.F.; (415) 956-6969]

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