Patton Oswalt talks about ‘Zombie Spaceship Wasteland’ 

Who’s in town

Comedian Patton Oswalt appears in conversation. His new book, “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland,” is an autobiography of sorts told through essays on Edgar Allen Poe and Dungeons & Dragons, among other things. The evening benefits 826 Valencia college scholarships. [8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Around town


Life in China:
Matt Schiavenza, a UC San Diego graduate, discusses his experiences in China, where he taught, studied and worked for six years. [7 p.m., Museo ItaloAmericano, Building C, Fort Mason Center, S.F.; RSVP: (415) 673-2200]

World-affairs committee: The World Affairs Council’s Young Professionals International Forum Steering Committee meets to explore international affairs through informal discussion. [6:30 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Literary events

‘Feast of Words’:
Writers and foodies take part in a “literary potluck.” January’s literary guest is Faith Adiele, and the culinary guest is Peter Jackson (Canvas Underground). [7 to 9 p.m., SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Physics colloquium:
Professor Andrew MacKenzie gives a presentation titled “Complex Oxides: A New Playground for Physics and Technology.” [4:15 p.m., Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201, Stanford University]

Women’s basketball: San Francisco State hosts CSU Monterey Bay. [5:30 p.m., Main Gymnasium, 1600 Holloway Ave., S.F.]

At the public library

City history:
The “Crossing the Street” display tells the story of the Portola district via interactive book installations created by artists Kate Connell and Oscar Melara. [10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Portola Branch, 380 Bacon St., S.F.]

‘Great Teen Book Swap’: Teens receive free books with the understanding that they will give the library a bookmark review by the end of the month. [6 to 8:30 p.m., Parkside Branch, 1200 Taraval St., S.F.]

Homework help: Volunteers assist K-7 students with assignments. [4 to 6 p.m., Mission Branch, 300 Bartlett St., S.F.]

Knitting session:
Instruction, in English and Mandarin, is for ages 13 and up. Experienced knitters should bring their own yarn and needles. [3:30 to 5 p.m., Chinatown Branch, 1135 Powell St., S.F.; sign up: (415) 355-2888]

Local activities

French music:
Claire Tremblay (hautbois) and Angela Kraft-Cross (piano) perform works by Francois Couperin, Camille Saint-Saens and Louis-Claude Daquin. [12:30 p.m., Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, 660 California St., S.F.]

Film and talk:
SFMOMA screens David Wojnarowicz’s short film “A Fire in My Belly.” A talk about its controversial footage, and about the freedom of museums to present all aspects of cultural history, follows. [5:30 p.m., 151 Third St., S.F.]

Young comedians: The “Young Guns of Comedy” showcase features emerging local comedians. Sam Davidoff hosts the show. Kabeezy is the headliner. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Kurosawa and Mifune: Viz Cinema is presenting a series of Akira Kurosawa’s films featuring Toshiro Mifune. Screening today: “Drunken Angel” (4:30 p.m.) and “Stray Dog” (7:15 p.m.). [1746 Post St., S.F.]

Soul Singer:
Grammy-nominated soul and R&B artist Anthony David performs at Yoshi’s. [8 p.m., 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]

Dining out

Mission Beach Cafe:
Chef Trevor Ogden is featuring “Pot Pie Tuesday.” Diners can choose one of options — seafood, rabbit, Prather Ranch short rib or vegetable — from this weekly winterlong menu. [198 Guerrero St., S.F., (415) 861-0198]

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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