The grand opening of the "Forces That Shape the Bay" exhibit features tons of music, hands-on activities, and a gander at a new way to understand our local waters. The display opens at 10 a.m. at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Centennial & Grizzly Peak, Berkeley. Admission is free-$8; call (510) 642-5132.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Get in line for the new Harry Potter book
Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir, Living History, has sparked a media frenzy, but you ain't seen nothing yet: With more than a million advance orders on Amazon.com, a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, and a countdown in Times Square, the release of the fifth book in J.K. Rowling's beloved Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is a publishing phenom. Per Rowling's request, Order of the Phoenix hits the stands at midnight. Rabid fans who've waited three years for a new adventure with the Hogwarts crew won't be disappointed by the free events bookstores have planned for the occasion. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books holds an evening fete featuring a costume party and a dramatic reading by theater group Word for Word (9 p.m. at 601 Van Ness; call 441-6670); the Booksmith offers food, raffles, and free goodies (11 p.m. at 1644 Haight; call 863-8688). At Kepler's Books & Magazines, the Stanford Band regales Potter wannabes as they munch on "butterbeer and biscuits" and consult the Sorting Hat (10:30 p.m. at 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park; call 650-324-4321).
-- Lisa Hom
Tell the Truth
Classrooms are forever the site of debate: What should teachers teach? Gay and lesbian issues are often ignored, particularly in the lower grades. In the award-winning documentary It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School, filmmakers Debra Chasnoff and Helen S. Cohen make a case for honesty as the best policy when kids have questions about sexuality. The surprisingly funny movie is appropriate for all ages. A free screening begins at noon at the Main Library, 100 Larkin, S.F. Visit www.sfpl.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Can the kids not "bear" their old playthings anymore? Don't just supply them with store-bought replacements -- take them on the Basic Brown Bear Factory Tour, where they can make their own cuddly toys. Tour guides help youngsters select bears and fill 'em up on a stuffing machine; tykes then get to dress and decorate the teddies. If only Power Rangers were this easy. Tours take place daily on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Basic Brown Bear Factory, 444 De Haro (near Mariposa); they're free, but taking your toy home costs $12 to $150, depending on the bear. Call 626-0781 or visit www.basicbrownbear.com.
-- Jack Karp