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Lisbeth Haas California Historical Society, 678 Mission, SF; saintsandcitizens.eventbrite.com. 6pm, $5. Author and UC Santa Cruz professor Haas discusses her book Saints and Citizens: Indigenous Histories of Colonial Missions and Mexican California.
Rachel Kushner City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free. The author celebrates the paperback release of The Flame Throwers.
Michelle Richmond Drew School Theater, 2901 California, SF; (415) 409-3739. 7pm, free. The author (The Year of Fog) discusses her new novel, Golden State, and her new short story collection, Hum.
“Michio Kaku: The Scientific Quest to Understand and Empower the Mind” First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing, Berk; www.brownpapertickets.com. 7:30pm, $15. The San Jose native, theoretical physicist, author, and co-creator of the string theory discusses “the future of the mind” in this event hosted by KPFA Radio.
“The Art of Living Black Open Studios” Oasis Gallery at American Steel Studios, 1960 Mandela Parkway, Oakl; facebook.com/TheArtOfLivingBlack2013. 11am-6pm. Through Sun/2. Free. One stop on a multi-gallery tour highlighting works by over 50 local African American artists; check out the Facebook page (it’s updated to 2014, despite that URL) for more details.
“Mardi Gras Weekend at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach” Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, 10979 San Pablo, El Cerrito; www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org. 10am-5pm. Through Sun/2. $10-15. Enjoy the museum’s historic amusement games, plus take part in mask-making and other Mardi Gras special activities.
“San Francisco History Expo: Piecing Together Our Past” Old Mint, 88 Fifth St, SF; www.sfhistoryexpo.org. Today, 11am-5pm; Sun/2, 11am-4pm. $5 (children under 12, free; no one turned away for lack of funds). The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society presents this fourth annual event, bringing together over 60 local history groups, genealogists, small museums, and libraries to celebrate the unique history of San Francisco. Plus: films, storytelling, a treasure hunt, presentations about the histories of Angel Island and the Presidio, and more.
“White Elephant Sale” White Elephant Sale Warehouse, 333 Lancaster, Oakl; www.whiteelephantsale.org. 10am-4pm. Through Sun/2. Free. Calling all bargain hunters: Now in its 55th (!) year, this sale hosted by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board benefits the Oakland Museum of California. Expect a huge array of clothing, books, household goods, sports equipment, furniture, and more.
“A Home Bringing for Amiri Baraka” Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno, SF; www.emtab.org. 7pm, free. Musicians and poets — including Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and David Meltzer — pay tribute to the late writer and activist.
“Poetry Unbound #10” Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck, Berk; berkeleyarthouse.wordpress.com. 5pm, $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds). With featured readers Joan Gelfand, David Shaddock, and Todd Temkin, plus a brief open mic hosted by Clive Matson and Richard Loranger.
Nellie Wong Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University, Berk; www.asiabookcenter.com. 3pm, free. The Chinese-American poet and activist reads from her latest, Breakfast Lunch Dinner, inspired by her Oakland childhood working in her family’s Chinese restaurant.
“Going Rogue: Planets Without Parent Stars in the Galaxy” Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.calacademy.org. 7:30pm, $8-12 (advance tickets required, as seating is limited). Jacqueline Faherty, Hubble Fellow at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, discusses how “free-floating planets” help us understand planet formation and evolution.
Eleven/Eleven Journal release party City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free. Hugh Behm-Steinberg hosts this celebration of issue 15, with readings from contributors.
“Reel San Francisco Stories: An Annotated Filmography of the Bay Area” Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post, SF; milibrary.org/events. 6pm, $15. Christopher Pollock discusses his book showcasing films shot in the Bay Area, as well as actors and directors who call the Bay Area home. *