November 13: Shakuhachi and other SF events 

Who’s in town

Lester Brown, founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, speaks about his work and his organization’s vision to achieve an environmentally sustainable economy. [7 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Lectures

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin: The authors of “Game Change” and “Double Down: Game Change 2012” discuss the 2012 presidential election. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Alex Filippenko: The UC Berkeley astronomy professor talks about Comet ISON and describes comets and their importance. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Ken Brower and Malcolm Margolin: The environmental writer and independent publisher discuss the Hetch Hetchy valley and reservoir. [6 p.m., California Historical Society, 678 Mission St., S.F.; RSVP: www.hetchhetchy.eventbrite.com]

Mission arts: Local literary folk salute poets, painters, writers and other cultural denizens of the single-room-occupancy hotels of the northern Mission district. [7:30 p.m., Eric Quezada Center, 518 Valencia St., S.F.; www.shapingsf.org]

Literary events

Ben Fong-Torres: The music journalist celebrates the launch of “Willin’: The Story of Little Feat.” [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Darrin May: The novelist (and former media relations executive for the Sacramento Kings) talks about “Look Around.” [7 p.m., Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., S.F.]

Fritjof Capra: The author, physicist and systems theorist discusses “Learning From Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

At the colleges

Ariel Waldman: The founder of Spacehack.org and the global instigator of Science Hack Day discusses her efforts to connect people interested in space exploration. [7:30 p.m., California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F.]

At the public library

French night: The evening, celebrating all things French, includes an appearance by Cara Black, author of the Paris-set Aimee Leduc mystery novels. [7 p.m., Mission Branch, 300 Bartlett St., S.F.]

Jon Mooallem: The author discusses “Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America.” [6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.; RSVP: (877) 227-1831]

Japanese music

Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) master Kaoru Kakizakai performs solo works, plus duets with koto virtuoso Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto. [7 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin St., S.F.]

Local activities

Italian cinema: The San Francisco Film Society’s 2013 “New Italian Cinema” series begins. Opening feature: “Garibaldi’s Lovers,” a comedy-charged look at contemporary Italian society. [6:15 p.m., Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore St., S.F.]

Mexican cuisine: The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts hosts its “Mole to Die For” competition. Audience members can taste regional mole dishes and vote for their favorite. [6:30 p.m., 2868 Mission St., S.F.]

Eclectic dance: French choreographer and conceptual artist Jerome Bel’s “The Show Must Go On” features professional dancers and untrained Stanford students, faculty and staff, each performing to their own classic pop soundtrack via headset. [7:30 p.m., Memorial Auditorium, Stanford University, 551 Serra Mall, Stanford]

Chez Papa Bistrot: The lamb daube, with rosemary red-wine sauce and seasonal vegetables, is recommended today. Also look for the bouillabaisse. Ingredients include black cod, clams, mussels, prawns, bay scallops and more. [1401 18th St., S.F.; (415) 824-8205]

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