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Kirkland Centennial The Eastside suburb throws itself a 100th birthday party featuring performances, evening access to the Kirkland Senior Center's centennial history exhibit, and fireworks (at 7:45 p.m.). Various locations in downtown Kirkland; call 425-587-3003 or visit www.kirkland100.com for more information. Free. 5-9 p.m. Wed., Oct. 12.
Public Forum An investigation of social-justice issues via the work of Billie Holiday, "Race and Justice Through the Eyes of Artists" is sponsored by the University of Washington and includes commentary from Cornish College music professor Julian Priester, Earshot Jazz head John Gilbreath, and Seattle Times jazz writer Paul de Barros. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave. S., 206-684-4757. Free. 7 p.m. Wed., Oct. 12.
Space Exploration Panel The Science Fiction Museum hosts mathematician Vernor Vinge, NASA scientist Geoffrey Landis, and other experts for a chat about the future of space travel. Experience Music Project (JBL Theater), 325 Fifth Ave. N., 206-724-3428. Free. 7 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 13.
Allen Wesselius The historian talks about the legacy of Lewis and Clark's geographic nomenclature. Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave. (Tacoma), 253-272-9747. $8 ($7 seniors; $6 students/military). 7-8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 13.
Christopher Hedges The globe-trotting war correspondent, who has covered conflicts in more than 50 countries, answers the question "Why Does America Need War Now?" in a lecture at the University of Puget Sound. UPS campus (Schneebeck Concert Hall), 1500 N. Warner St. (Tacoma), 253-879-3100. Free. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 13.
Death and Dying Conference The Ernest Becker Foundation hosts a weekend confab on the topics of "end-of-life care" and society's view of death. Among the speakers: Oregon psychiatrist Linda Ganzini, on her state's Death with Dignity Act. UW Kane Hall, 206-232-2994. Sliding scale (requested: $75/day; $35/day for students; no one turned away). Fri., Oct. 14-Sun., Oct. 16.
Kazimierz Braun The renowned theater director talks about the parallels between American and Polish theater as part of a University of Washington–sponsored series on Polish culture. UW Savery Hall (Room 239), www.polishstudiesuw.org. Free. 7 p.m. Fri., Oct. 14.
Johnny Moses Fluent in seven languages, the Coast Salish shaman tells folktales at the temporary home of the newly relocated Seattle Metaphysical Library. Now Is Fitness Center, 1918 Terry Ave., 206-329-1794. $5 (suggested). 7 p.m. Fri., Oct. 14.
Joe Conason The Salon columnist, political commentator, and author (The Hunting of the President) shares his views on the latest right-wing conspiracies in a talk titled "Bush's Raw Deal." Downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255. $5. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Oct. 14.
Celtic Fling Bagpipes, traditional Highland dancing, and a tea room add zing to the Fling. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 111 N.E. 80th St., 206-523-7476. Free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Oct. 15.
Martial Arts Workshops Learn the difference between kendo, kung fu, and Chinese long staff at several workshops and an evening demonstration. International District/Chinatown Community Center, 719 Eighth Ave. S., 206-233-0042. $30/workshop; $10 for evening program. Workshops: 9 and 11 a.m.; 1 and 3 p.m. Program: 6-8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 15.
Robert Gilliland One of Lockheed's top test pilots, he's said to have spent more time above Mach 3 in the company's Blackbird jet than any other aviator. 9404 E. Marginal Way S., 206-764-5700. $14 ($13 seniors, $7.50 youth). 2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 15.
Seattle Race Conference A daylong investigation of racism past and present, the conference culminates in a talk by Portland State University professor Joy Leary, who'll discuss her recent work with victims of Katrina and what she learned about race and poverty in the process. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway Ave., 206-448-9000. Conference: $10 (includes lunch). 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Lecture: $20. 7 p.m. Sat., Oct. 15.
Evan Wolfson The author of Why Marriage Matters speaks on same-sex marriage rights to mark the 10th anniversary of the Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington. University of Washington (HUB auditorium), www.lmaw.org. Free. 3-5 p.m. Sun., Oct. 16.
Public Forum Intiman Theatre hosts an environmental panel, "Soil, Salmon, and Survival," to accompany its current production of The Grapes of Wrath (though all are welcome). Scheduled panelists include local author Jonathan Raban, labor activist Rosalinda Guillen, and preservationist Barbara Cairns. 201 Mercer St., 206-269-1900. Free. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 17.
Globalization Panel The second of four faculty panels sponsored by the University of Washington's College of Arts and Sciences, "Human Rights in Changing Contexts," moderated by UW political science professor Michael McCann, deals with the struggle to define basic rights in an age characterized by globalized business, political upheaval, and the growing threat of terrorism. UW Kane Hall (Room 130), 206-543-0540. $15 ($12 UW Alumni Association members, $5 students). 7-8:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 18.
Public Forum Disaster response is the timely subject of this program co-sponsored by the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup and the University of Washington. Among the speakers: FEMA Regional Director John Pennington and Washington State Emergency Management Division head Jim Mullen. UW Hogness Auditorium (A-Wing of Health Sciences Bldg.), www.crew.org. Free. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 19.