Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What to Do Today: Talks on Extra-Terrestrial Life, School Lunch, Asian-American Theater, and the Power of Poetry

By Kathleen Richards
Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

1) ARE WE ALONE?
The idea of people all over the world using their home computers to scan radio signals for signs of extra-terrestrial intelligent life may sound like science fiction, but that’s exactly what’s been happening for the last fourteen years thanks to the Berkeley-based SETI@home project. Yet while the large-scale experiment hasn’t yet made contact, scientists aren't deterred. Hear about the possibilities of life beyond our planet in a conversation with SETI@home co-founder and chief scientist Dan Werthimer, titled “Is Anybody Out There?” At Sutardja Dai Hall; noon-1 p.m., free.

2) YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers, and French fries — these are the unfortunate kinds of foods kids eat at school. No wonder two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and the trend is only getting worse. Join Katrina Heron, director of The Edible Schoolyard Project, in a conversation about the nation’s “deeply flawed” National School Lunch Program, and how it might be changed. At Freight & Salvage; 12:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m., $10.

3) PHILIP KAN GOTANDA
One need only to look at the local Cineplex to realize that the vast majority of media excludes the experiences of a vast number of Americans. Over the last several decades, Asian-American playwright Philip Kan Gotanda has tried to change that. Hear him discuss his creative process, as well as how his years at Berkeley influenced his works, in a conversation with Chinese playwright Stan Lai. At Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus; 5:30 p.m., free.

Philip Kan Gotanda
  • Philip Kan Gotanda

4) PROSTATE PLEASURE
Meet Charlie Glickman and Aislinn Emirzian, authors of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure, as they discuss their helpful guide. At Good Vibes on Lakeshore; 6:30 p.m., free.

5) POETRY TO THE RESCUE
Can Poetry Save Our Planet? That’s the provocative title of a discussion with former California poet laureate Al Young, who’ll touch on topics including the power of language, marketing, global discourse, and awareness. At Northbrae Community Church; 7:30 p.m., $5 suggested donation.

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