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Reading & Signing with Bill Draper. "The Startup Game" is the first up-close look at how the relationship between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs is critical to enhancing the success of any economy. Bill Draper is one of the West Coast's first venture capitalists and the founder of Sutter Hill Ventures in Palo Alto. Jan. 26, 6-7 p.m. Stanford Bookstore, 519 Lasuen Mall, Stanford. Call 650-329-1217. stanfordbookstore.com
Bridging the Innovation Gap. A recent report cites that the U.S. ranks last out of 40 nations in progress made in the last decade on innovation based competitiveness. A panel discusses what tax policy, trade, and support for science, technology and education is required to make American innovation thrive once again. Jan. 19, 7-8 p.m. $15 members; $25 non-members. Quadrus Conference Center, 2400 Sandhill Road, Menlo Park. Call 1-408-280-5530. commonwealthclub.org/sv
Annual Photographic Fine Arts Lecture. Nationally published photographer and teacher Charles Cramer will give an illustrated talk about his journey as a nature photographer and master printer and the value of the print as an art form. Cosponsors Palo Alto Camera Club, Mid-Peninsula Photo Alliance, and Palo Alto Art Center. Jan. 26, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free. Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. Call 650-494-3222.
Julie Matsushima's "For the Love of Aimee." The story is about the author's granddaughter, Aimee, who was diagnosed with irreparable brain damage. The author shares the disappointments, challenges, and achievements they experience as they embark on a journey to find a breakthrough. Jan. 26, 7 p.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com
Kim Edwards's "The Lake of Dreams." The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of "The Memory Keeper's Daughter." Jan. 21, 7 p.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com
Linda Gray Sexton's "Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide." The daughter of acclaimed poet Anne Sexton conveys her urgent need to escape the legacy of suicide that has consumed her family. Jan. 25, 7 p.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com
Richard Panek's "The 4-Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality." Panek is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and the author of "The Invisible Century." Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com
Terry Theise's " Reading Between the Wines." Importer and wine guru Terry Theise offers this testament to wines. Jan. 22, 2 p.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com
William Davidow's "Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet." Jan. 19, 7 p.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com
Chiaroscuro Woodcuts from 16th-Century Italy. Drawn entirely from the collection of Kirk Edward Long, this display traces the evolution of thematic and compositional styles in Italy from the High Renaissance through Mannerism. Through Feb. 27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Cantor Arts Center, 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford.
The New Contemporary Gallery. When the museum reopened in 1999 as the Cantor Arts Center, the top floor of its new wing was devoted to art of the past four decades. Since then, more than 750 works of European and American art in diverse media have been added to the contemporary collection. Opens Dec. 15, 2010, then ongoing. Free. Cantor Arts Center, 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford.
Beading at Portola Valley Library. Learn how to design and make your own necklace. Supplies will be provided. Open for adults and teens 6th grade and up. Please contact the library to register as spaces are limited. Jan. 22, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl.org
Beginning Improv Workshop. Led by Improv performer Terry Sandke. Tuesdays, Jan. 25 through March 15, 7-9 p.m. $245 for seven sessions. Dragon Productions Theatre, 535 Alma St., Palo Alto. Call 650-493-2006.
Bountiful Berries. Learn how to successfully grow blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and mulberries for berry harvests May through late fall. Here specific planting instructions including soil amendments and trellising. Jan. 29, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $31. Common Ground Garden Supply and Education Center, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. Call 650-493-6072.
Build a Crystal Radio. Students wind coils, drill a mounting board, assemble components, and wire a crystal radio set according to a schematic. In addition, students learn radio history, basic radio theory, modulation, how headphones work and how to read schematics. Sundays, Jan. 23 to Feb. 13, 1-3:30 p.m. $65 members/$75 non-members. Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer Ave., Palo Alto. Call 650-321-1004. www.moah.org
Feldenkrais classes are intended to help participants improve flexibility, coordination and strength. Fridays, 11 a.m.-noon. $40 members/$45 nonmembers (4 classes). Little House fitness room, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park. Call 650-327-9419. www.Umovebetter.com
Jazzericse. Jazzercise is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and kickboxing. Mon.-Tue. 6 p.m. and Thu.5:40 p.m. $47 per month ($42 for Little House members) Little House, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park. Call 650-703-1263.
Menlo Fit Boot Camp. Free Saturday morning Boot Camp at the new Arrillaga Gym in Menlo Park presented by Menlo Fit. Arrive at 7:15 to sign in and warm up. 7:30-8:30 a.m. Free. The Arrillaga Family Gymnasium, 600 Alma St., Menlo Park. Call 650-330-2232. www.menlofit.com
Photoshop Elements. Learn how to crop, edit, and retouch images using this powerful photo-editing program, which is available on all San Mateo County Library PCs. Previous computer basics suggested. Jan. 22, 9:30 a.m. Free. Woodside Library, 3140 Woodside Road, Woodside.
Blackberry REACT Meetings. Meets first Wednesday of the month. 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Blackberry REACT Meetings, 1467 Chilco St., Menlo Park. Call 650-336-8227. firstname.lastname@example.org
Portola Valley Library Book Club. A discussion of "Long Walk to Freedom: the Autobiography of Nelson Mandela." The leader of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement chronicles his life, including his tribal years, his time spent in prison, and his return to lead his people. Jan. 20, 1-2:30 p.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl.org
Kids & Families
"Ferdinand the Bull." Palo Alto Children's Theatre presents "Ferdinand the Bull," a new musical based on the classic story by Munro Leaf. Shows at 2, 4:30, and 7 p.m. Jan. 28-Feb. 13, $8-$12. Palo Alto Children's Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Call 650-463-4930.
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Educational Series for Parents. Stanford Autism Center is offering a 10-part educational series for parents. Thursdays, Jan. 13-March 17, 5:30-7:15 p.m. $5 per class Stanford University, 401 Quarry Road, Room 2209, Stanford. Call 650-721-6327.
Jump for Joy Music will present a program celebrating reading, music and the arts. They will bring a variety of instruments and their sense of humor. Program is funded by the Friends of the Portola Valley Library. Jan. 20, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl.org
Portola Valley Library Preschool Storytime. For preschoolers 3-5 years old. Wednesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl.org
Portola Valley Library Toddler Storytime. For toddlers 18-36 months old. Tuesdays, 10:30-11 a.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl.org
Story Time with Gianna Marino. "One Too Many" and "Zoopa" are the featured books in this kids' story time. Jan. 23, 11:30 a.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com
Drummer Akira Tana leads his trio featuring pianist Matt Clark. Jan. 21, 8-11 p.m. Free. Oak City Bar & Grill, 1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-6882.
Vocalist/pianist/guitarist Jennifer Lee. Jan. 27, 8-11 p.m. Free. Oak City Bar & Grill, 1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-6882.
Pianist Larry Vuckovich performs with bassist Buca Necak Jan. 29, 8-11 p.m. Free. Oak City Bar & Grill, 1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-6882. oakcitybarandgrill.com/
Menlo Idol Open Mic w/Mark Richards Trio. Jan. 20, 8-11 p.m. Free. Oak City Bar & Grill, 1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-6882.
Michael Foley Trio. Singer-songwriter Michael Foley and his band perform Jan. 28, 8-11 p.m. Free. Oak City Bar & Grill, 1029 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-6882.
Sunday Nights at Joya. Live music performances on the patio at Joya, with styles including flamenco, reggae and jazz. Every Sunday evening, 6-9 p.m. Free. Joya Restaurant & Lounge, 339 University Ave., Palo Alto. joyarestaurant.com
Peninsula orchid show. Ten local growers will sell orchids at the annual Orchid Society show and sale Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 22 and 23, at the Community Activities Building, 1400 Roosevelt Ave. in Redwood City. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will feature award-winning blooming orchids, demonstrations of orchid-growing techniques, and seminars. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children, 12-16.
Educational Forum for Gifted Student Families. Forum includes presentations covering range of pertinent educational issues and showcases resources for intellectually curious students and their parents. Spaces are limited. Jan. 23, 12-5 p.m. Free. Stanford University, Palo Alto. Call 860-664-3586. www.scholarsearchassoc.com
National Puzzle Day Celebration & Competition. $500 cash prize for the fastest team of four people to complete a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Jan. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $15 to register for the competition, otherwise free. Jigsaw Java, 846 Main St., Redwood City. Call 650-364-3634. jigsawjava.com
Bedwell Bayfront Park hike. Hike the 2.3-mile perimeter trail at Bedwell Bayfront Park. Jan. 22, 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Bedwell Bayfront Park, end of Marsh Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-325-7841. friendsofbayfrontpark.org/
Distinguished Lecture Series. Come hear "How Ant Colonies Get Things Done with No One in Charge," presented at Avenidas by Deborah Gordon, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Biology; Senior Fellow, Woods Institute, Stanford University. Jan. 24, 2-3 p.m. $3 Avenidas members, $5 non-members. Avenidas, 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto. Call 650-289-5436. www.avenidas.org
Orchid Show and Sale. Orchid show and sale presented by Peninsula Orchid Society. Jan., 23, 9-5 p.m. Adults $5, seniors, disabled, children $3. Orchid Show, 1400 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City. penorchidsoc.org
SAC Presents Opening our Doors. The Stanford Archaeology Center Presents "Opening our Doors: Community, Heritage and Archaeology Today." Faculty and graduate students will "show and tell" their research. Jan. 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Stanford Archaeology Center, Stanford University Building 500, 488 Escondido Mall, Stanford. archaeology.stanford.edu
Penguin Awareness Day with Save The Bay (Palo Alto). Jan. 22, 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, 2775 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. Call 510-452-9261 ext. 109.
Volunteer Recruitment Open House at Filoli. Filoli Center will hold its annual Volunteer Open House. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the many, varied ways to volunteer at Filoli in areas such as House and Garden Docents, Visitor Services, Hospitality, the Ambassador Program, the Art Committee, the Cafe and the Garden Shop. Jan. 22, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Filoli Center, 86 Canada Road, Woodside. Call 650-364-8300 ext. 300. www.filoli.org
Stress, Coping and Health: Lessons from Wild Baboons. With Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., Stanford University professor of biology, neurology and neurological sciences, and neurosurgery, a MacArthur "Genius" Fellow, and author of four books. Jan. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Stanford Blood Center, 3373 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto. Call 650-725-2540.