Human rights lecturer William F. Schulz speaks

Who's in town

William F. Schulz: The former executive director of Amnesty International USA and current president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, outlines the major human-rights challenges around the globe today. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.; talk is sold out; for wait-list sign-up, visit www.commonwealthclub.org]

Lectures

Margaret Warner: The veteran “NewsHour” correspondent discusses how world events and their coverage are being transformed by the Internet and social networks. [6 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., Suite 200, S.F.]

Creating good teachers: High-level educators and experts discuss what makes a great teacher and what can be done to ensure that standards of excellence are set and met. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Leo Blitz: The astronomy professor describes the Milky Way galaxy we know and see as well as the black core and dark mantle of the Milky Way we cannot. [7:30 p.m., California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Literary events

Gregory Sumner: The historian discusses “Unstuck in Time: A Journey Through Kurt Vonnegut’s Life and Novels.” [6 p.m., Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, S.F.]

At the colleges

Eric P. Schmitt: The New York Times writer, and coauthor of “Counterstrike,” gives a talk titled “Iran, Al Qaeda, and the U.S. Campaign Against Terrorism.” [6:30 p.m., Pigott Hall, Building 260, Stanford University]

Luis J. Rodriguez: The poet, novelist, and journalist, recognized as a major figure of contemporary Chicano literature, reads from “It Calls You Back.” [7 p.m., City College, Mission Campus, Room 162, 1125 Valencia St., S.F.]

Music master class: Richard Sebring, French-horn player with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra, examines horn masterworks. [7:30 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

Local activities

‘First Monday Movies’: “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962), director John Frankenheimer’s Cold War thriller, is December’s featured film. [6:30 p.m., Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission St., S.F.]

Gala concert: Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation presents “Help Is on the Way for the Holidays,” a star-filled AIDS benefit concert and gala. Guests include Bonnie Franklin and Paula West. [7:30 p.m., Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., S.F.]

Holiday cooking party: Hands On Gourmet chefs lead a cooking class. Participants can prepare a three-course menu customized to take advantage of seasonal ingredients. [6:30 p.m., Hands On Gourmet, 2325 Third St., S.F.]

Access Day: People with disabilities are invited to view the exhibition “Masters of Venice” when the museum is uncrowded. [9 a.m. to 3 p.m., de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F.; reservations (required): (415) 750-7645]

Holiday jazz: The Terry Disley “Big” Experience presents “The Jazzcracker Suite,” featuring the music of Tchaikovsky with a jazz twist. [8 p.m., Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]

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