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RayKo's sixth annual plastic camera show RayKo Photo Center, 428 Third St., SF. www.raykophoto.com. Through April 22. Opening reception: 6-8pm, free. You'd never these cameras' non-pro status by the breathtaking images they are capable of creating. Highlighted in this year's RayKo show is LA-based artist Thomas Alleman, who began using a Holga camera in 2001 to document the aftermath of 9/11. His dreamy, dramatic prints perfectly pinpoint the dysfunctional beauty of these toy cameras.
"Beyond THC: Cannabidiol and the future of medical marijuana" Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market, SF. www.commonwealthclub.org. 5:30pm, $12 members, $7 students, $20 nonmembers. Martin A. Lee, author of Smoke Signals — which focuses on the social history of cannabis — will be speaking about the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that lacks the "high" effect of THC and contains key medicinal benefits. Lee will discuss how the medical marijuana industry has responded to the discovery of CBD and sign copies of his book afterward.
Robot NightLife California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse, SF. www.calacademy.org. 6-10pm, $12. This beloved weekly museum soiree delves into sci-fi this evening with a focus on robots. Managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics will speak to the local innovation and commercialization of robots and Academy curator Gary Williams will show off footage of deep-sea corals from Pillar Point Harbor. A robotic performance by art group Survival Research Labs and exceptional designs by robot design studio BeatBots are also on tonight's schedule.
"Art Star" Otis Lounge, 25 Maiden Lane, SF. www.otissf.com. 10pm-2am, free. If you're looking to submerge yourself into the city's art community, head over to Otis Lounge to meet and network with artsy individuals at this monthly first Thursday event. Whether you make, buy, sell, or just love art, all creatives are welcome.
Community dinner St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church, 2097 Turk, SF. www.saintcyprianssf.org. 7pm, free. Hungry, cash-strapped health nuts listen up. This free dinner created from USF's garden and local farmers markets is open to everyone and anyone interested. The event lacks any motivation beyond a heartfelt effort to bring the community together through wholesome food.
Writerscorps Live with Tamim Ansary Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission, SF. www.sfartscommission.org. 6:30-7:30pm, free. Award-winning youth writing program WritersCorps has partnered with the CJM for a multi-generational live reading. Author Tamim Ansary will read from his memoir West of Kabul, East of New York, based on his family's immigration from Afghanistan to San Francisco. The reading will also showcase WritersCorps teaching artist Minna Dubin and students from Downtown High School, Aptos Middle School, Mission High School, and more.
First Thursday with OM Cocktails Hang Street Gallery, 567 Sutter, SF. www.hangart.com. 6-8pm, free. Organic mixology — premixed in the bottle? Will wonders never cease. Check out this brand's coconut-lychee cocktails and more at Hang Street's First Thursday reception.
East Bay Bike Party, location TBA. 7:30, free. eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com. It's time to go green, literally. The theme of this month's East Bay group rideout is the favored color of enviro-fans and Kermit the Frog alike. Whether you want to channel your inner leprechaun or bike around as giant pot leaf, the possibilities are endless. If you're a Bike Party virgin make sure to also look over the code of conduct to help keep the event as community-friendly as possible.
White Walls gallery 10th anniversary show White Walls, 886 Geary, SF. www.whitewallssf.com. Through April 6. Opening reception 7-11pm, free. Town's best-known "urban art" gallery hosts this retrospective of a decade of boundary-breaking work within its wall (kind of — the gallery recently moved to a larger space on Geary Street). Check out works from Shepard Fairey, ROA, Apex, Ferris Plock, and of the best who have plied works there.
"Doctors on Board" Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakl. www.pmfmd.com/doctors-on-board. 6am-6:30pm, free to students. Application required. The Physicians Medical Forum is hosting a day of workshops and skills training session helping African American students to attend medical school and residency programs. Prominent physicians will provide information about medical school preparation, medical specialties, and life as a physician.
"Quilt San Francisco" Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth St., SF. www.sfquiltersguild.org Also Sun/10. 10am-4pm, $10 for two-day pass. This two-day exhibit, organized by the San Francisco Quilters Guild, vividly showcases the revitalization of the traditional art form. 400 quilts and special exhibits will shown the many artistic dimensions of wearable art and modern stitching. There will also be a children's corner, where kids can get marching orders for a treasure hunt that will lead them to special quilts in the show.
Irish-American children's hour of music, song and dance San Francisco Public Library, Fisher Children's Center, 100 Larkin, SF. 11am, free. www.sfpl.org. Crossroads, an annual Irish-American festival timing to open up St. Patrick's Day season, invites the kiddos to learn traditional Irish dance taught by instructors from the Brosnan School of Irish Dance.
Fourth annual World Naked Bike Ride Meet at Justin Herman Plaza, Market and Embarcadero, SF. www.worldnakedbikeride.org. 11am-4pm, free. Protest global dependency on oil and find out what its like to pedal through Fisherman's Wharf in the buff. All are welcome to take part — even clothed riders — but those in the buff earn extra badass points, given the uncertain status of the ride under the city's new anti-public nudity ordinance.
"Permutation Unfolding" Root Division, 3175 17th St., SF. www.rootdivision.org. Opening reception 7-10pm, free. Bring the kids to the opening of this group exhibition exploring the biomorphic formations that can spring from the artistic process (we're not sure what that means either.) There will be an all-ages creativity station, a perfect place to craft while Markus Hawkins spins an auditory web in an 8pm performance.
Exploratorium's On the Move Fest Mission District location: Buena Vista Horace Mann School, 3351 23rd St., SF. 11am-4pm, free; Bayview location: Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre, 4705 Third St., SF. 11am-4pm; Embarcadero location: Pier 15, 11am-10pm. www.exploratorium.edu. All locations offer free admission. Everyone's favorite on-hiatus science museum is sending 10 trucks tricked out with the kind of wacky, hands-on exhibits its know for to the Mission, Bayview, and the Embarcadero for a day of science, music, and food. In both Bayview and the Mission, enjoy itinerant filmmaking, projects that encourage attendees to sport costumes and act out a special script which will then be chopped, screwed, and shown to the public.
"Stars of Stand-up Comedy" Neck of the Woods, 406 Clement, SF. www.dannydechi.com. 8pm, $10. Comedian and pencil musician (exactly what that means we are not quite sure, please report back if you go) Danny Delchi is hosting tonight's show. Long-time Niners field announcer Bob Sarlatte and the quirky Mr. Mystic will be performing alongside a number of other top Bay Area comedians.
Persian New Year Festival Persian Center, 2029 Durant, Berk. www.anotherbullwinkelshow.com. What better way to welcome spring than to jump over a bonfire? Head over to the Persian Center to take part in this ritual that has been passed down since Zoroastrian times. Accompanying the fiery activity will be Persian food, music, and dancing.