Good Day Oct. 6, 2009

Who’s in town

Author Margaret Atwood hosts an evening of music, live performance and readings in celebration of her new novel, “The Year of the Flood.” [8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Lectures

Bernardo Alvarez Herrera: Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States discusses Venezuela-U.S. relations and gives a regional viewpoint of the U.S. role in Latin America. [6 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Noam Chomsky: The renowned intellectual discusses how the masses are kept in line and how to remain a freethinking, active citizen. [Standing-room only; 6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Richard Dawkins: The evolutionary biologist and author talks about “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Lauren Weber: The author and journalist talks about “In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue.” [7 p.m., Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., S.F.]

At the colleges

San Francisco Cinematheque: Seminal filmmaker Ken Jacobs, in person, presents “Shocked by Existence: Recent Video Works.” [7:30 p.m., California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F.]

At the public library

Canyon Sam: The local writer and activist reads from “Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History.” [6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Picking a school: Parents talk about choosing and improving public schools for their kids. Speakers include Vicki Symonds and friends from Parents for Public Schools. [7 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 Ninth Ave., S.F.]

Local activities

Comedy show: Boston-based comedian Joe Wong performs a stand-up show. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Chinese orchestra: The Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra of Xiamen, China, performs at Davies Symphony Hall. Zheng XiaoYing, China’s first female conductor, leads the orchestra. [8 p.m., 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Kiosk exhibit: The Art on Market Street kiosk poster program presents “Taking In,” a watercolor series by Pamela Wilson-Ryckman. [Displayed on kiosks on Market Street from Van Ness Avenue to The Embarcadero, S.F.]

Dining out

Farallon: Chefs Mark Franz and Ryan Simas’ appetizer menu includes tomato-braised local calamari served with heirloom-squash fritters, pine nuts and arugula. Today’s recommended entree is grilled Hawaiian ahi tuna, served rare. It’s accompanied by roasted French fingerling potatoes, gypsy pepper piperade and nicoise olive tapenade. [450 Post St., S.F.; (415) 956-6969]

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