The 20th annual Zinfandel Festival opens 

PERSON IN TOWN

Singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega performs at the Palace of Fine Arts. [8 p.m., 3301 Lyon St., S.F.]

LECTURES

Sherry Turkle:
The founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self discusses how our use of technology is encouraging disturbing levels of isolation. [Noon, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

David Hahklotubbe: The gerontologist, known for his humorous style, offers the tools for navigating long-term care. [5:15 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Grant workshop:
Creative Work Fund hosts a seminar to help artists and nonprofits apply for grants for literary and traditional-arts projects. [Noon, Foundation Center Library, 312 Sutter St., S.F.; RSVP: www.grantspace.org]

LITERARY

Jane Smiley:
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist talks about “The Man Who Invented the Computer,” a biography. [7 p.m., Computer History Museum, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View]

Jane McGonigal: The game designer and futurist talks about “Reality Is Broken: How Games Can Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.” [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Myla Goldberg: The novelist talks about “The False Friend.” [7 p.m., Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto]

Richard Panek: The science writer discusses “The 4-Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality.” [7 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

COLLEGES

Chancellor’s Concert Series:
Violinists Chen Zhao and Florin Parvulescu perform Ysaye’s “Sonata for Two Violins.” [Noon, UCSF, Cole Hall, 513 Parnassus Ave., S.F.]

Comedy show: The Muslim Student Awareness Network presents its comedy show. Mo Amer and Preacher Moss (“Allah Made Me Funny”) perform. [5 p.m., Braun Auditorium, Mudd Chemistry Building, Stanford University]

PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Food-themed films:
“Eat, Drink, and Be Merry” is the theme of January’s Thursdays-at-noon film series. Today’s feature is “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman” (1994). [Noon, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Book talk: The Bernal Book Group discusses “Mudbound” by Hillary Jordan. [4 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch, 500 Cortland Ave., S.F.]

CITY

Grape expectations:
The 20th annual Zinfandel Festival opens with its “Good Eats and Zinfandel Pairing.” Nadia G (“Bitchin’ Kitchen”) headlines the festival this year. [6 to 9 p.m., Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

All things Mac: Macworld 2011, the Apple-products conference and expo, continues. Today’s programs include a presentation by actor-comedian Sinbad. [10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Moscone Center, 747 Howard St., S.F.]

Crab cracking: The Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District hosts its Fisherman’s Wharf Celebrity Crab Cracking Contest. The winner receives $1,000 for charity. [10:30 a.m., Fishermen’s Grotto No. 9, 2847 Taylor St., S.F.]

DINING OUT

Umami:
The izakaya-style tavern serves Japanese cuisine, and “Sumo Hour” — $4 sushi rolls from 5:30 to 7 p.m. — is highlighted today. Sushi chef Akira Yoshizumi’s selections include the California Roll (crab, avocado, cucumber, tobiko), Alaska Roll (salmon, avocado, cucumber) and RockNRoll (barbecued eel, avocado, cucumber-eel sauce). Also, other dishes are available. [2909 Webster St., S.F., (415) 346-3431]

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Staff Report

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