October 1: Russian music and other SF events 

Who's in town

Tony Wheeler, co-founder of the Lonely Planet travel-guidebook company, provides answers about international travel. [2 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

Lectures

Water ethics: Speakers discuss the documentary film "Watershed" and environmental challenges relating to the Colorado River. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Heidi Boghosian: The author of "Spying on Democracy" discusses the rise in the surveillance of ordinary citizens, and the danger she believes it poses to our freedoms. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Art talk: "The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita and Beyond, 1950-1990" is the theme of a docent lecture presented in conjunction with the jewelry exhibition of the same name. [1 p.m., de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Literary

Female writers: Four novelists who are part of the Women's National Book Awards' local chapter take part in a talk titled "Ties That Bind: Relationships and Feminine Identity." [7 p.m., BookShop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., S.F.]

Linda Spalding: The Canadian author discusses her latest novel, "The Purchase." [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Katie Yamasaki: The illustrator, muralist and school arts educator celebrates the release of her new book for young people, "Fish for Jimmy." [7 p.m., City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

At the colleges

Master class: Soprano Carolyn Sampson conducts a master class examining vocal works. [7:30 p.m., Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

Migration in China: Award-winning journalist Michelle Dammon Loyalka gives a talk titled "Stories From China's Great Urban Migration." [5 p.m., Berman Room, Fromm Hall, USF, 2130 Fulton St., S.F.]

At the library

Book talk: Biologist and science writer Aaron E. Hirsh discusses his new book, "Telling Our Way to the Sea: A Voyage of Discovery in the Sea of Cortez." [6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Making tamales: Participants learn about tamales, taste tamales and prepare them to take home. [7 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch, 500 Cortland Ave., S.F.]

Russian music

Noontime Concerts launches its October Russian Music Festival. Soprano Svetlana Nikitenko and pianist Dmitry Cogan perform this week. [12:30 p.m., Old St. Mary's Cathedral, 660 California St., S.F.]

Local activities

Folk-rock band: The British folk-rock band Noah and the Whale performs a show to promote its latest album, "Heart of Nowhere." [8 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.]

Stand-up show: Comedian Maronzio Vance, seen on the "Tonight" show and "Last Comic Standing," performs; the concert is set to be recorded for a live album. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Book talk: Poet, writer and filmmaker Sherman Alexie presents "Blasphemy" and celebrates the 20th anniversary of "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven." [7:30 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St., S.F.]

Schmidt's: Chef Noah Bustos creates German fare, and Oktoberfest specials are available all month. Dishes include salami chips, cabbage salad sauteed with figs, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and mustard dressing; beer-braised pork shank with pea puree and sauerkraut, and sausage plates. In the libation arena, look for a beer flight, served with a Bavarian pretzel roll. [2400 Folsom St., S.F.; (415) 401-0200]

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