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AIDS Research Fund-raiser W Seattle hosts a cocktails-and-appetizers gala to raise money for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, a leading supporter of AIDS research and education. On display at the event: local sculptor Steven Jensen's new artwork "Flight," dedicated to AIDS victims worldwide. 1112 Fourth Ave., 206-264-6000. $20 (suggested donation). 6-8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 1.
Interfaith Gathering Seattle Unity Church begins its bimonthly series of mixed-faith events with a get-together called "Adventures in Spirit"; invited are Moslems, Jews, Christians, and those whose spirituality eludes classification. 200 Eighth Ave. N., 206-622-8475. Free. 7-8:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 1.
Oliver Sacks The neurologist-turned-author transformed case studies into memorable character studies in Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. His recent memoir Uncle Tungsten, on the other hand, reveals the origins of his interest in science. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 206-621-2230. $20-$25 ($10 students/under 25). 7:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 1.
World Citizen Award Banquet Outgoing Gov. Gary Locke is the honoree at the World Affairs Council's 14th annual luncheon recognizing a Washingtonian of outstanding "global citizenship." Washington State Convention and Trade Center, 800 Convention Pl., 206-441-5910. $75. Noon-1:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 2.
Film Screening In response to the buying bloat of the holiday season, Evergreen Peace and Justice Community presents a screening of Affluenza, a documentary about capitalism's dark side, at Woodinville Unitarian Church. 19020 Woodinville-Duvall Rd., 425-788-6044. Free (donations accepted). 7 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 2.
David Gitlitz The Nextbook lecture series on Jewish literature and culture continues with a talk titled "Jews and Crypto-Jews," on the development of the Jewish diaspora in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition. Historian/author Gitlitz will be preceded by Yemenite musician Asher Hashash, who will perform Sephardic songs. Seattle Art Museum (Nordstrom Lecture Hall), 100 University St., 425-369-3298. Free. Music: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Lecture: 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 2.
Jonathan Lear In a talk titled "Authenticity and Our Commitment to Values," the psychologist and philosopher examines what makes American values and identity unique, especially in the post-9/11 era. UW Kane Hall, Room 120, 206-543-3920. Free. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 2.
Gary Snyder The famed Japanese-influenced beatnik nature poet hits Town Hall with his latest book of verse: Danger on Peaks, his first new collection in 20 years. Proceeds from the reading benefit Port Townsend's Copper Canyon Press. 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-624-6600. $10. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 2.
The Mysterious Marbled Murrelet Fans of seabirds and alliteration alike should savor this Northwest Stream Center class, taught by biologist Julie Stofel, on the local bird that divides its time between forest and ocean. 600 128th St. S.E. (Everett), 425-316-8592. $6. 11 a.m. Fri., Dec. 3.
Popular Science Seminar Highline Community College concludes its fall lecture series with a talk titled "Water: It's Cooler Than You Think," presented by Highline professor Woody Moses. 2400 S. 240th St., 206-878-3710 ext. 3283. Free. 2:10-3 p.m. Fri., Dec. 3.
Pablo Neruda Centennial Chile's Nobel-winning poet would be 100 years old this week; the University of Washington celebrates his life and work with two entire days of panels and readings, plus a screening of the 1995 film Il Postino, which imagines a friendship between Neruda and a humble postman. Panel discussion: Mary Gates Hall (Room 241), 206-543-2022. Free. 3:30-5 p.m. Fri., Dec. 3. Poetry recital: Smith Hall (Room 120), 206-543-2022. Free. 7-9 p.m. Fri., Dec. 3. Film screening: Communications Bldg. (Room 120), 206-543-2022. Free. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4. General reception: Communications Bldg. (Room 204), 206-543-2022. Free. 7-9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4.
Family Friday at Carkeek Park You never know what's in store at this activities evening for parents and children. Past Fridays have included collage-making sessions, science workshops, and film screenings; call for details about this week's agenda. Carkeek Environmental Education Center, 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd., 206-684-0877. Free. 7-8:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 3.
Film Screening Theater Off Jackson hosts a screening of the documentary, Bhopal: The Search for Justice, about the notorious 1984 factory accident that felled thousands in Bhopal, India. 409 Seventh Ave. S., 206-779-9561. $5 (suggested donation). 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 3.
Cat Show For fans of the feline, Seattle Center throws open its doors. Seattle Center (Olympic Room), 425-745-5087. $5 ($3 seniors/children). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 5.
Music Law Seminar Washington Lawyers for the Arts presents a half-day class on legal matters pertaining to the music industry, including contract negotiation and licensing. Garvey Schubert Barer, 1191 Second Ave. (14th Floor), 206-328-7053. $80 for attorneys, $60 for paralegals, $30 for artists and students. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4.
Aviation Art Exhibit Flight-themed paintings by Roy Grinnell, an internationally known artist, go on display at the Museum of Flight; Grinnell himself will be conducting a hands-on youth workshop in the morning and giving a lecture in the afternoon. 9404 E. Marginal Way S., 206-764-5720. $12 ($11 seniors, $7.50 youth). Workshop: 10:30 a.m. Lecture: 2 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4.
Search and Rescue Workshop The Museum of Flight continues its series of "family fun workshops" with a hands-on lesson in rescue techniques employed by the U.S. Coast Guard. 9404 E. Marginal Way S., 206-768-7126. $12 ($11 seniors, $7.50 youth). 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4-Sun., Dec. 5.
Gentle Wind Project Open House The GWP is a Maine-based nonprofit that deals in "healing instruments" like colorful pucks and psychedelic-looking cards. Here's a chance to examine their wares up close and try them out at no cost; a seminar titled "Rebuilding the Human Consciousness," also free, follows the open house. Comfort Suites, 601 Roy St., 800-545-7847. Free. Open house: 1-2 p.m. Seminar: 2-4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4.
Activist Holiday Party Mix and mingle to the jingling beat of your own conscience at a get-together hosted by Cascade People's Center. Bring food and/or drums! 309 Pontius Ave. N., 206-587-0320. Free. 6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4.
Film Screening Jay Weidner, the former producer of KCMU-FM's Mind Over Matters program, hosts the premiere of his new documentary, Secrets of Alchemy: The Great Cross and the End of Time. East West Books, 6500 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-523-3726. Free. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4.
Political Forum Seattle Central Community College's Freedom Socialists group hosts a panel discussion on activism—antiwar, anti-hate, and pro-labor—in the wake of Dubya's re-election. Scheduled panelists include Million Worker March organizer Gabriel Prawl and Dick Burkhart of Rainier Valley Neighbors for Peace and Justice. SCCC (Room BE 1110), Broadway Ave. E. and Pine St., 206-722-2506. Free. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 4.
Himalayan Handicrafts Sale Sakya Monastery is the setting for this Buddhist bazaar, which includes Tibetan prayer flags, tons of incense, and all manner of art and jewelry. Visitors may also tour Sakya's Shrine Room, which contains a golden Buddha statue that's three times life size. 108 N.W. 83rd St., 206-789-2573. Free. Noon. Sun., Dec. 5.
Fire Station Forum Seattleites interested in learning about the city's plan to construct a new firehouse in Sodo are encouraged to attend this public discussion. Union Station (Sound Transit Board Room), 401 S. Jackson St., 206-398-5000. Free. 6-8 p.m. Mon., Dec. 6.
Michael Tarazi The PLO's chief legal consultant talks about Palestinian perceptions of Israeli military and political strategy. UW Kane Hall, Room 220, 206-633-1086. Free. 7 p.m. Mon., Dec. 6.
Jim Diers The former Department of Neighborhoods head chats with Richard Conlin of the City Council about Seattle's unique concept of community. Downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-624-6600. $5. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 6.
Timothy Edgar The chief legislative attorney at the ACLU's national HQ, an expert on immigration law and security issues, addresses the ongoing controversy surrounding the Patriot Act. UW Kane Hall, Room 120, 206-624-2184. Free. 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 7.
Environmental Fund-raiser Blues venue Highway 99 hosts local bands, including members of the Dusty 45s, to raise money for the Dream Change Coalition, which encourages eco-conscious business practices and supports forest conservation. 1414 Alaskan Way, 206-382-2171. $10 (suggested donation). 10 p.m. Tues., Dec. 7.
Sean Astin Known to Lord of the Rings fanatics as "the pudgy hobbit," Astin played Frodo's constant companion in all three LOTR films; he'll discuss his career as a whole, starting with the cult classic Goonies, as well as the challenge of taking on Tolkien. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-634-3400. $5. 7 p.m. Wed., Dec. 8.