Yesterday's Darwin Day Events lived up to high expectations with real fossils for children, and children at heart, to play with and a great lecture on Darwin and Wallace by Dr. Dan Hardy. For those who missed it, or just want to go to as many as possible, there will be another Darwin Day event filled with cake, exhibits and guest lectures at the Texas Memorial Museum Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
On a reproductive note, those who are preoccupied with successful mating, or the lack thereof, can find solace this Valentine's Day at the annual Free Sex in Public party hosted by author, wedding officiant and all round Jane of all trades Spike Gillespie. Held at Bookpeople at 8 o'clock Free Sex in Public offers a bevy of guest speakers, singers, advice columnists and poets all providing sex-themed entertainment. Don't worry (or hope), though the event is indeed free and public there will be no sex onsite.
The eighteenth annual Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest will be announcing the winners this week. The announcement party will be held at 7 pm on Wednesday with readings by the winners and fun to be had by all. Prospective Austin auteurs should start sharpening their pencils (or cleaning out their keyboards) and get a head start on next year's contest.
Speaking of honing those literary muscles the Austin Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators wil be bringing in children's book author and Austin resident Bethany Hegedus for a short tutorial on structure and scene building in children's literature. A must for anyone thinking of writing a children's book, the event, held at Bookpeople 11 am. on Saturday, is free for all comers wishing to learn.
If changeing the world one child at a time takes a bit too long for your taste, after all it will be a while before they can vote, political and social activists might want to head on over to Monkey Wrench Bookstore this week for some tips on social subversion. Si Kahn will be holding a discussion of his latest book Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists, and Quiet Lovers of Justice, a field guide to grassroots leadership, Monday at 7 pm. On Wednesday, same time, same place, local figures Michael Schliefke, Shea Little, Eliot Tretter and Ben Reed will give a talk entitled Of Art and Politics: Tales of the Really White Vigilante about the dangers of gentrification in Austin and our ever-evolving urban landscape.
Finally, over at the Harry Ransom Center Professor Charles R. Larson of American University will be discussing his unique collection of African, African American and Native American literature acquired by the Center in 2009 this Thursday at 7 pm.