Excuse us for getting all Nova on you, but the human body is just amazing. All those emotions you feel, from the petulant pique that arises when some dumb-ass double-parks beside your car to the passionate ardor that consumes you when you gaze at a freshly unwrapped Toblerone bar, are merely a result of bodily chemicals and electrical flashes. Kinda makes all those heartfelt love songs a little less romantic, huh? Those who prefer science over poetry should listen up tonight when psychiatrist Thomas Lewis, author of the book The Neuroscience of Evil, explores the devious inner workings of the Mephistophelean mind. Bonus: big, blown-up pictures of the human brain in action! Check it out at 7 at UCSF's Laurel Heights Auditorium, 3333 California (at Walnut), S.F. Admission is free-$25; visit www.thomaslewis.com.
They're in a rush, and they're everywhere -- on highways, where they swerve dangerously around slower-moving cars; in supermarkets, where they consider ramming aimless browsers with their carts; and even in bed, where the fastest route to orgasm is the road most often taken. We'd like to buy each and every one of these barreling hurry-monsters a copy of Carl Honoré's In Praise of Slowness, a magnificent appraisal of the measured life that charts the manifold advantages of deliberate living. Of course, most of us have heard of the "slow food" campaign, and the author diligently reports on that issue, but other chapters range very far afield in covering leisurely movements in disciplines from medicine to child-rearing to the old in-and-out. Hear the author read -- unhurriedly, we assume -- at 12:30 p.m. at Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 421-4687 or visit www.staceys.com.
Warning: Objects in preview are not as ungrammatical as they appear. "Kate Eric wonder if there is an innate grandeur in mankind," writes curator John O'Hern of Arnot Art Museum in New York. The first three words of that maddening sentence refer to San Francisco's art superstars, collaborative painters Kate Tedman and Eric Siemens, known professionally as Kate Eric. Apparently, it is a plural noun, but let's concentrate on the canvases and let go of our annoyance. Fact is, these two produce some jaw-dropping works, drawing strongly on Egon Schiele's expressionist style without losing themselves. In their (its?) most recent exhibit, "Big People, Little People," the twisted, pale figures lope around in strong, geometrically plotted compositions, the centerpiece of the images a giant called Intermittent Big People Showers Over Twin Peaks. Kate Eric wonder if you will visit their show, up through June 30 at Frey Norris Gallery, 456 Geary (at Taylor), S.F. Admission is free; call 346-7812 or visit www.freynorris.com.
Fairy Butch, we've missed you. In a town where the vast lesbian population bears a heartbreaking inverse relationship to the number of clubs catering to said lavender ladies, Fairy Butch's monthly cabaret, "In Bed With Fairy Butch," was a sure bet for locals and visiting dykes alike. But when its home venue, Club Galia, changed hands early in 2004, the long-running show's future seemed in danger. Thankfully, Fairy Butch is back -- with more strippers, singers, drag artists, and fantastic freaks, not to mention a new twist on the same-sex dating game that broke the ice for so many Bay Area couples, temptingly titled the "Tingle & Mingle Game." Get in touch with your queerer side starting at 10 p.m. at 12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 970-9777 or visit www.fairybutch.com.
We know people who think art is not as important as "real life." Political activists, particularly, tend to sniff at poetic endeavors: To them, work is done in unpleasant meeting rooms and on the street level of protests, and everything else is luxurious frippery. We still like them, but they're wrong. Witness this year's Carnaval, at which the theme is "Fiesta de tambores: All life moves in rhythm": The festival's artistic director, Roberto Hernandez, reminds us that drumming and activism and work were once the same thing -- "a vehicle for social change, resistance, and empowerment." He tells a story of African slaves in Trinidad, forbidden their traditional drums, who in response created the uniquely melodic steel drum and continued to express themselves. Now that's real work. In their honor (as well as for the sake of a really big party), the parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of 24th Street and Bryant, S.F. Admission is free; call 920-0125 or visit www.carnavalsf.com.
The ocean can be a cruel mistress. Nobody knows this better than those who have lost loved ones in the watery deep. Remember the men who perished on submarines during World War II at the Memorial Day Lost Boat Ceremony, a tribute on the lovingly restored submersible USS Pampanito. The service begins with a eulogy by Cmdr. Andrew Wilde of the United States Navy, Submarine Squadron. Afterward the Pampanito heads out to sea, where the wives and widows of war veterans drop carnations and a wreath onto the water and watch them drift away. Show your respect starting at 11 a.m. at Pier 45, Taylor & Jefferson streets, at Fisherman's Wharf, S.F. Admission is free; call 561-6662 or visit www.maritime.org.
Some people claim that the happiest day of their lives was their wedding day, or maybe the day their first child was born. Not us. The most joyous experience of our entire existence was the time we used all of our Scrabble tiles to make the word "drunkard," earning a 50-point bonus that demolished our competitors. In your face, wordsmiths! If this exultant reminiscence strikes a chord, get yourself a ticket to Word Wars, a documentary offering an insider's look at the over-the-top warfare of the annual Scrabble All-Stars tourney. Meet contestants like the intense Joe Edley (who has memorized every word in every dictionary he owns), the dreadlocked ghetto-fabulous Marlon Hill (whose daily pot-smoking habit hasn't halted his winning streak), and Joel Sherman (whose pre-game nerves have resulted in a Maalox addiction) starting at 6, 8, and 10 p.m. (through June 3) at Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $4-8; call 863-1087 or visit www.roxie.com.
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