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Humpday happy hour Good Vibrations, 2504 San Pablo, Berk.; 1620 Polk, SF. www.goodvibes.com . 6:30-7:30pm, free. The strap-on: a necessity to many, mind-boggling to others, both to some. In Berkeley, tool over to your local Good Vibes for this guided shopping event where experts will talk to you about what you need to look for in a falsie friend. At the chain's Polk Street location, GV employees will demystify the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. What will it take for you to recreate a scene with your own Christian Grey? Chances are, you'll find the tools you need here.
"Captured: Specimens in Contemporary Art" Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. (925) 295-1417, www.bedfordgallery.org . Through Nov. 18. Opening reception 6-8pm, $5. Trend watch! Throughout our history, humans have appropriated the natural world as raw material for our bizarre artistic impulses. Nowhere is this more true than in Walnut Creek, where a new exhibit opens showcasing reassembled taxidermy, curiosity cabinets, and specimen boxes.
Geoff Manaugh talks applied topology Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley. (510) 495-3505, bcnm.berkeley.edu. 5-7pm, free. Things we know: Manaugh used to be a senior editor at Dwell Magazine, and a contributing editor at Wired UK. Currently, he runs a think tank for the Columbia University architecture department. Today's UC Berkeley talked will be, according to the press release, about "burglary, tunneling, and urban perforation." In other news, UC Berkeley can sometimes create really confusing press releases.
Fillmore Fashion Night
MADison Avenue party Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission, SF. www.cartoonart.org . 7-9pm, $5-500. Celebrate the closing of "What, Me Worry?: 60 Years of Mad Magazine" at this little downtown shrine to the drawn and funny. Early 1960s attire is encouraged in fact, you'll get your date in for free if you're both wearing Mad Men-style flair.
Paralympics viewing party LightHouse for the Blind, 214 Van Ness, SF. (415) 694-7350, www.lighthouse-sf.org . 6-8pm, free. RSVP recommended. This center for the visually-impaired is celebrating its brand-new entertainment center with this party for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Yes, there will be pizza.
"Party Like It's 1906" One City One Book launch party The Green Arcade, 1687 Market, SF. www.sfpl.org . 7pm, free. It's always a good idea to celebrate author-sociologist Rebecca Solnit, and no day better than today, when the SF Public Library launches a citywide reading of her community-forged-in-disaster book A Paradise Built in Hell. It's the eighth time the library's encouraged the city to read together, and today Solnit will be on hand, and snacks they were noshing around the time of the 1906 SF earthquake will be available like oysters, sourdough bread, and beer.
Night Market Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com . 5-9:30pm, $5. "Bacon Crack" chocolates, vegan soul food, and champagne funnel cakes go fabulously with a ukulele chanteuse as any attendee of Forage SF's upcoming Night Market will be able to attest. The organization dedicated to promoting ultra-local nourishment has been striking gold with this recurring nightlife-snack event, at which local small vendors rub elbows with the Bay's musicos, DJs, and of course, party-hard foodies. Check out Uni and Her Ukulele, the 29th Street Swingtet, and Izzy*Wise.
KALX 50th anniversary art exhibit opening Rock Paper Scissors Collective, 2278 Telegraph, Berk. kalx.berkeley.edu. 6-9pm, free. For a half-century, UC Berkeley's been home to 90.7 FM, a.k.a. KALX, where John Lennon talked People's Park riots and Green Day crashed when they came to town. Come tonight to check out a collection of KALX paraphernalia, flyers, and historic photos.
All You Can Dance Alonzo King Lines Dance Center, 26 Seventh St., SF. dancecenter.linesballet.org. 1-5pm, $5. Don't know jack about dancing? Take a four-hour crash course today, with a sampling of mini-courses on ballet, flamenco, Chinese movement, hip-hop, modern, and more. Teachers will be on hand to possibly turn you on to a whole new beat of your heart.
Babylon Salon Cantina, 580 Sutter, SF. www.babylonsalon.com . 7pm, free. Explore the Bay at this evening of readings you'll hear tales from a special education classroom, from assassinated journalist Chauncey Bailey's finals days and ensuing trial, plus words from the "refreshingly off-kilter" (according to the NY Times Book Review) Lysley Tenorio. Cash bar on-site.
The Last Picture Show free screening Berkeley Underground Film Society, The Tannery, 708 Gillman, Berk. berkeleyundergroundfilms.blogspot.com. 7:30, donations suggested. Small town life examined, in this film about Anarene, Texas, and a bunch of kids just trying to get along. High school honey Jacey is the babe every one wants, but will the perfect sweetheart be enough to counteract the slow death of the town she calls home?
Jefferson Graham's "Video Nation: A DIY Guide to Planning, Shooting, and Sharing Great Video" The Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF. (415) 863-8688, www.booksmith.com . 7:30pm, free. These days, it's all about video. Author Graham knows it that's why he compiled this book on how to create the best footage for bloggers, web show hosts, and small business owners. The USA Today columnist and tech video host shares how to get your clip to go viral.
Women's comedy night The Layover, 1517 Franklin, Oakl. www.feelmore510.com . 7pm, free. Sponsored by downtown Oakland's sex-positive community shop Feelmore510 (a Best of the Bay 2012 winner!), this evening is for female-focused yucksters. Grab a drink, peruse the art that covers the Layover's walls, and ready yourself for quips.