Dec. 16: “Christmas Without Tears,” ambient rock and more

Courtesy photo<p>Comedy for a cause: Singer Judith Owen and actor Harry Shearer present their husband-and-wife musical comedy show

Who's in town

Harvard professor and former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco is receiving the Stephen Schneider Award for science communication. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Lectures

Holiday entertaining: Bi-Rite Market buyer Rachel Gepner shares tips about tippling in “Holiday Tasting: Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados.” Tickets for the seminar, $45-$55, include plenty of imbibing and bread, cheese and charcuterie. [7 p.m., 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St., S.F.]

Literary events

Ties that bind: Barbara Rose Brooker shares her new book, “The Rise and Fall of a Jewish American Princess,” which follows an artist as she grapples with societal expectations. [5:15 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Grateful days: Richard Loren details his adventures as manager of the Grateful Dead and other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in “High Notes: A Rock Memoir.” [7 p.m., Green Arcade, 1680 Market St., S.F.]

Exploring Miller: David Stephen Calonne discusses his new biography about controversial author Henry Miller, a major influence on Beat Generation writers. [7 p.m., City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

At the public library

DIY spa: Youths 12 and older can learn how to make their own bath products to keep or give away as gifts. [7 p.m., Parkside Branch, 1200 Taraval St., S.F.]

Literature night: Sit Down Theater participants will enact, read from and discuss classic literature: this month, the featured selections are “Two Slatterns and a King” and “The Bear.” [6 p.m., North Beach Branch, 850 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

At the colleges

Social-justice films: The Health Equity Institute and the Cinema Department present four new documentaries by students: “Engender,” “Fire Hazards,” “Resilience Undocumented” and “The Young and the Techless.” [6:30 p.m., Coppola Theater, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., S.F.]

Local activities

Winter dance: Dancer-singer Savannah Fuentes teams up with musicians José Anillo and Bobby de Sofia for “Noches De Invierno,” a night of fiery flamenco. [8 p.m., Chez Poulet, 3359 Cesar Chavez St., S.F.]

Ambient rock: A Winged Victory For The Sullen, featuring Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid and composer Dustin O'Halloran, performs ambient-classical music. [8 p.m., Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.]

Stand-up comedy: “Astrologically Incorrect Birthday Comedy” presents Liz Grant and a secret headliner roasting Sagittarians and Capricorns. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Comedy for a cause: Singer Judith Owen and actor Harry Shearer present their husband-and-wife musical comedy show, “Christmas Without Tears” to benefit the Mental Health Association of San Francisco. [8 p.m., Addition, 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]

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