Oct. 8: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, The Pretty Reckless and more

Who's in town

Eccentric comedian Bob Rubin — who has a new comedy CD and is working on a book called “Two Pumps and a Squirt: My Battle with Condiment Addiction” — performs. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Lectures

Science of good writing: Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker analyzes how the written word engages the mind in his new book, “The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.” [Noon, Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

Women speaking up: U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg about her public service and how women can make a difference. [3 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Google history: Former Google executive and current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaks to Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, authors of “How Google Works.” [5:30 p.m., Computer History Museum, 1401 Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View]

Manga pioneer: Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama, who studied art in San Francisco after arriving from Japan in 1904, is the subject of a talk that explores the pioneering writer-illustrator's work as collected in the book “The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco.” [6 p.m., Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.]

Literary events

Book launch: City Lights is throwing a launch party for its latest novel, “A Corner of the World,” featuring Cuban author Mylene Fernández-Pintado. [7 p.m., City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

New fiction: Poet and novelist Kim Addonizio, a National Book Award finalist, speaks about her new collection of short stories, “The Palace of Illusions.” [7:30 p.m., 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

At the public library

Opera preview: The Opera Guild is presenting a talk on works being performed in the current season of the San Francisco Opera. [Noon, Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Rwanda talk: Jill Rosenthal speaks about her work with Rwandan refugees in “Even the Wood was Cut for Them: Ngaran Encounters with the Rwanda Crisis, 1994-2000.” [Noon, Encinal Hall West, Stanford University, 417 Galvez Mall, Stanford]

Local activities

Free dance performance: Joanna Haigood and Alonzo King Lines Ballet present a site-specific dance performance at United Nations Plaza. [Noon, Market and Eighth streets, S.F.]

Tasty licks: The King Khan & BBQ Show plays eclectic music drawing from soul, punk and psychedelic influences. [8 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell St., S.F.]

Haters Gonna Hate: The Haters Gonna Hate comedy showcase puts comedians' wits to the test. [8 p.m., The Royale, 800 Post St., S.F.]

Pop show: British pop-rocker Lily Allen is on her first North American tour in five years. [8 p.m., Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland]

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