Courtesy photo<p>Indie rock: New York indie-rockers Big Ups are playing songs from their debut

Oct. 21: Big Ups, library world record attempt and more

Who's in town

Actor Cary Elwes — aka Westley or the Dread Pirate Roberts — shares stories of making his beloved 1987 film in “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride.” [6 p.m., Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building Plaza, S.F.]

Lectures

Syria talk: Avi Melamed, a strategic Middle Eastern intelligence analyst, discusses the devastating conflict in Syria and its possible ramifications. [Noon, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

S.F. history: Historian Christopher Agee probes the beginning of San Francisco's liberal leanings in “The Streets of San Francisco: Policing and the Creation of a Cosmopolitan Liberal Politics, 1950-1972.” [7 p.m., GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., S.F.]

Literary events

Kitchen triumph: Dana Cowin, who spent years helming Food & Wine magazine even though she was a terrible cook, shares the tips that transformed her into an accomplished home chef and her new book, “Mastering Mistakes in the Kitchen.” [6:30 p.m., Omnivore Books on Food, 3885a Cesar Chavez St., S.F.]

'Wise Latinas': Latina writers and scholars celebrate the release of “Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education,” which examines the difficulties faced by young Latinas contemplating college and how they can succeed. [7 p.m., City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

At the public library

Help set a record: San Francisco libraries are joining national efforts to set a new world record for most children reading the same book on the same day. Branches across The City are reading “Bunny Cakes” by Rosemary Wells. [Various times, locations; see http://sfpl.org for details]

Special collections: Kevin Starr, former city librarian and state librarian emeritus, discusses the unique role of special collections at public libraries. [6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Artist talk: Los Angeles-based painter Allison Miller, a Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellow, discusses her paintings. [7:30 p.m., San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St., S.F.]

Local activities

Food for thought: The Exploratorium's Lab and Lunch series, which provides a free lunch to folks eager to learn about the latest in science, is discussing local food and the history of the oyster fishery. [Noon, Pier 15, S.F.]

Free show: British soul singer Jessie Ware's show at the Chapel tonight is sold out, but you can still hear her sing in a free minishow and album singing at Amoeba Music. [6 p.m., 1855 Haight St., S.F.]

Roller-skating night: Lace up your skates for the LGBT/Gay Night Roller Disco. [7 p.m., Church of 8 Wheels, 554 Fillmore St., S.F.]

Still going: The Melvins are marking 30 years together and playing songs from their new album, “Hold it In.” Le Butcherettes are opening the show. [9 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell St., S.F.]

Indie rock: New York indie-rockers Big Ups are playing songs from their debut, “Eighteen Hours of Static,” and more. [8 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.]

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