Molly Ringwald at the Verdi Club and other local events

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Molly Ringwald will be talking about her new novel at the Verdi Club at 8 p.m.
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Who’s in town

Actress and author Molly Ringwald talks about her new book, “When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories,” with Litquake’s Jane Ganahl. [VIP reception at 6:45 p.m., program at 8 p.m.; Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St., S.F.]

Lectures

Paul Saffo: The essayist and technology forecaster describes what he foresees as a new global economic era defined not by boom or bust, but by a “great turbulence.” [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Seyed Mousavian: The former head of the Foreign Relations Committee of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council gives an “Iranian view of the nuclear stalemate.” [Noon, World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.; RSVP: www.worldaffairs.org]

School food: San Francisco schools Superintendent Richard Carranza and the San Francisco Food Bank’s Teri Olle discuss the district’s school meals program and the importance of school food. [12:30 p.m., SPUR, 654 Mission St., S.F.]

Literary events

Laurie R. King: The award-winning novelist reads from “Garment of Shadows.” [7 p.m., BookShop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., S.F.]

Poetry night: Readers Bookstore hosts its Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series. Genny Lim and Steven Gray are featured. [6:30 p.m., Building C, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

At the colleges

Bruce Held: The espionage expert talks about Sidney Reilly, the real-life model for fictional superspy James Bond. [4:15 p.m., SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park]

At the public library

Katie Crouch: The author of “Girls in Trucks” presents her new novel, “Men and Dogs.” [7 p.m., Redwood City Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City]

Great Teen Book Swap: Teens receive free books with the understanding that they will give the library a bookmark review by the end of the month. [3 to 5:30 p.m., Parkside Branch, 1200 Taraval St., S.F.]

 

Outdoors

Forest primeval: The San Francisco Botanical Garden hosts a walk through its Ancient Plant Garden, providing a chance to see existing types of plants that grew during dinosaur days. [6 p.m., 1199 Ninth Ave., Golden Gate Park, S.F.; register: www.sfbotanicalgarden.org]

Theater fest

“To Be Merry,” a musical, comic, hula-hooping look at love and loss by Mary Knoll — at 7 p.m. at the Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy St. — is one of 12 shows in the San Francisco Fringe Festival today. The indie-theater fest continues through Sept. 16. [Five S.F. sites; www.sffringe.org]

Local activities

Electronic music: The 2012 San Francisco Electronic Music Festival presents its opening concert. The evening celebrates John Cage and features performances by sfSoundGroup and others. [6 p.m., SFMOMA, 151 Third St., S.F.]

Ring masters: San Francisco’s 49th annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Competition takes place in Union Square. Cable car grips vie, ringing out tunes. [Noon, Powell and Post streets, S.F.]

Debut recording: Chicago electro trio Krewella appears to promote its new EP, “Play Hard.” [9 p.m., Ruby Skye, 420 Mason St., S.F.]

Comedy

Stand-up show: Comedian Rob Delaney, seen regularly at top comedy venues in Los Angeles and New York, performs. [8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Art

Multimedia:Sound & Vision,” a 16 mm NASA film screening and musical performance by James Cordas and Chris Musgrave is on the program, in connection with the gallery show “Visible Horizons.” [7 p.m., S.F. Arts Commission Main Gallery, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Craft bar: Artist Suzanne Morlock leads a demonstration on how to knit with old VHS cassette tapes. [6 p.m., Museum of Craft and Folk Art, 51 Yerba Buena Lane, S.F.]  

Fashion celebration: Fashion’s Night Out 2012 celebrates wear with a flair. Festivities in the Union Square area include giveaways, raffles and fall trends. [6 to 9 p.m.; Powell and Post streets and
thereabouts, S.F.]

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