Sept. 18: 'Mona Lisa' lecture, British rock and more 

click to enlarge The U.K.'s Fenech-Soler, whose singer fought cancer and won, is touring to promote its first U.S. album, "Rituals." [9 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.] - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • The U.K.'s Fenech-Soler, whose singer fought cancer and won, is touring to promote its first U.S. album, "Rituals." [9 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.]

Who's in town

Writer Dianne Hales discusses Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the model who posed for Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," and the life of the enigmatic Florentine woman. [6 p.m., Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.]


Development amid crises: Columbia University professor Ruth S. DeFries discusses the challenges of sustainable development in "The Big Ratchet -- How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis." [6:30 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

How humans learn: New York Times science writer Benedict Carey and SAP Vice President Jenny Dearborn discuss how humans absorb knowledge, including techniques for improving memory. [7 p.m., Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto]

Wonders of sewer system: John Scarpulla discusses the intricacies of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission wastewater treatment system in an San Francisco Natural History Series talk. [7:30 p.m., Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, S.F.]

Literary events

Cuban poet: Nancy Morejon does a farewell poetry reading as she prepares to return to her native Cuba. [7 p.m., Bird & Beckett Books and Records, 653 Chenery St., S.F.]

Discussing gentrification: "Season of the Witch" author David Talbot and the former owners of the shuttered Marcus Book Store speak about gentrification as part of the "State of the City" forum series. [7 p.m., Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th St., S.F.]

City history: Tom Cole's "A Short History of San Francisco" is a newly updated chronicle of The City's rambunctious past. [7 p.m., BookShop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., S.F.]

At the public library

Fire safety: Kids can meet firefighters and explore a fire engine in a fire-safety lesson. [10:15 a.m., Noe Valley Branch, 451 Jersey St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Human-rights lecture: UC Santa Cruz professor Neda Atanasoki discusses "Feminism and Transnational Justice: The Afterlife of War in Bosnia and Herzegovina." [12:30 p.m., Room 108, Humanities Building, San Francisco State, 1600 Holloway Ave., S.F.]

Art talk: Illustrator John Hendrix, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and more, discusses his art. [7 p.m., Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F.]

Local activities

Free coffee: Starbucks is handing out Starbucks Iced Coffee – Brewed to Personalize beverages in a San Francisco-only "Art x Coffee x SF" popup with street artist APEX. [11 a.m.-7 p.m., Union Square, 333 Post St., S.F.]

Gala benefit: Celebrity waiters such as Willie Brown and jazz singer Kitty Margolis serve up Japanese cuisine as guests enjoy music in a Music in Schools Today benefit. [6:30 p.m., Yoshi's, 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.;]

Party like a cartographer: The Litography Project -- an interactive map of The City's past, present and future -- kicks off with a benefit featuring a raffle, music by DJ Wam Bam Ashleyanne, diversions and plenty of adult beverages. [7 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Indie rock: Los Angeles rock band The Airborne Toxic Event is kicking off a three-night run at the Fillmore. [9 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.]

British rock

The U.K.'s Fenech-Soler, whose singer fought cancer and won, is touring to promote its first U.S. album, "Rituals." [9 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.]


NightLife at the Academy: Cats are the theme of this week's NightLife, with cat-centered lectures in the African Hall, a live showing of big cats (including leopards and cheetahs) and a DJ set by Cat Man of West Oakland. [6 p.m., California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Set in The City: Horror flick "Experiment in Terror" (7 p.m.) and romantic drama "Petulia" (9:20 p.m.) are screening in a double-shot of movies filmed in San Francisco. [Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.]

Free movie: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is screening as part of the "Movies on the Square" series. [7:30 p.m., Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City]

Stand-up comedy: Joe Klocek, who was named best San Francisco comedian by an SF Weekly readers' poll, performs. Kevin O'Shea and Imran G. are also on the bill. [8 p.m., Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club, 157 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale]


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