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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.
Photography Exhibit Photographs by Betty Udesen, from the 2002 Seattle Times special section "In Her Mother's Shoes," a feminist view of the Zimbabwean AIDS epidemic, are on display at the Central Library. 1000 Fourth Ave., 206-386-4636. Free. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 8. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 9-Sat., Dec. 11.
Salmon Conservation Forum The Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed hosts an open discussion of salmon-habitat maintenance at REI's downtown store. 222 Yale Ave. N., 206-296-8249. Free. 6:30-9 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 9.
Benefit Auction Afghan carpets and fabrics go on the block at a silent auction to support Solace International, a nonprofit dedicated to building schools and other educational facilities in Afghanistan. Mountaineers Club, 300 Third Ave. W., 206-409-2508. $20 (includes hors d'oeuvres). 7 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 9.
Human Rights Forum/Concert Celebrate International Human Rights Day with vocal diva Yva Las Vegass and presenters Cindy Domingo, Jan Strout, and Heather Day, who'll speak on revolution in Venezuela and other timely topics. UW Ethnic Cultural Theater, 3920 Brooklyn Ave. N.E., 206-547-7735. $5 (suggested donation). 7 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 9.
CityClub Year In Review CityClub's forum series ends the year with a panel of pundits: KIRO-AM host and recent congressional candidate Dave Ross, children's advocate Ruth Massinga, and Washington Mutual CEO Kerry Killinger are among those scheduled to analyze 2004 from a local perspective. Washington Athletic Club, 1325 Sixth Ave., 206-682-7395. $40. Noon-1:45 p.m. Fri., Dec. 10.
International Bead Show Necklace enthusiasts, or just those who enjoy gluing beads to their craft projects, are encouraged to attend. Seattle Center (Exhibition Hall), 206-684-7200. $6. Noon-7 p.m. Fri., Dec. 10. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 11. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Dec. 12.
Bird Lecture Biologist Cathy Raley holds forth on the pileated woodpecker, a red-crested bird that calls the Olympic Peninsula home. Northwest Stream Center, 600 128th St. S.E. (Everett), 425-316-8592. $6. 7 p.m. Fri., Dec. 10.
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. 10.
Green Lake Bird Tour Bird connoisseur Martin Muller helps you scope out some of Green Lake's 150 species on an Audubon-sponsored stroll. Meet at Bathhouse Theater, 7312 W. Greenlake Dr. N., 425-746-6351. $2. 8 a.m.-noon. Sat., Dec. 11.
Environmental Work Party Help restore the wetlands at Carkeek Park while meeting other sensitive, eco-conscious people. Meet at Carkeek Environmental Education Center, 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd., 206-684-4256. Free. 9 a.m.-noon. Sat., Dec. 11.
Ski and Snowshoe Festival Fans of downhill and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can slide and stomp around to their heart's content at Snoqualmie's yearly weekend fest, packed with free demos and lessons. The Summit at Snoqualmie, 1001 State Route 906 (Snoqualmie Pass), 425-453-1515. Free. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 11. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 12.
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. 11-Sun., Dec. 12.
Bahia Street Holiday Celebration The nonprofit organization Bahia Street is behind this Brazilian-style festival/fund-raiser packed with authentic music and food; all proceeds benefit "impoverished African-Brazilian girls in Salvador, Brazil." 1005 N.E. Boat St., 206-633-1724. $25 (suggested donation). 4-6 p.m. Sun., Dec. 12.
Hanukkah Bash Spin some serious dreidel and eat more potato pancakes than your bubbe would allow at a "Night of a Thousand Latkes" hosted by MAZON, a Jewish charity that fights hunger in Washington state. Scottish Rite Temple, 1155 Broadway Ave. E., 206-324-3330. Donations accepted (all proceeds benefit MAZON). 5-8 p.m. Sun., Dec. 12.
Living History Series Clay Jenkinson portrays explorer Meriwether Lewis. Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 206-733-9089. Free (ticket required). Noon and 7 p.m. Mon., Dec. 13. Noon and 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 14.
Mark Emmert The University of Washington president gets grilled onstage by Seattle Times higher-education writer Sharon Chan and Executive Editor Michael Fancher; an audience Q&A follows the tag-team interview. Downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255. $5. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 13.
Bird Lecture Seabirds are the subject of a talk at Northwest Stream Center by Seattle Aquarium biologist Mary Carlson; she plans to focus on the auklet and the puffin. Northwest Stream Center, 600 128th St. S.E. (Everett), 425-316-8592. $6. 11 a.m. Tues., Dec. 14.
Peace Corps Event Former volunteers with the nation's largest do-gooder organization talk about their experiences and advise aspiring vols. University Branch Library, 5009 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-684-4063. Free. 6-7:30 p.m. Tues., Dec. 14.
SeaDoc Society Lecture The marine society of the University of California at Davis, which has recently expanded its focus to include Puget Sound, begins a series of Orcas Island talks; tonight's concerns "derelict fishing gear" and its detrimental effect on marine animals. Camp Orkila Marine-Salmon Center, 484 Camp Orkila Rd. (East Sound), 360-376-3910. Free. 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 14.
Tax Planning Seminar April 15 is more than four months away, but it's never too early to start preparing. United Revenue Service leads this free class on making the most of your money and losing the least at tax time. Stroum JCC, 3801 E. Mercer Way (Mercer Island), 206-232-7115 ext. 269. Free. 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 14.
Lee Hartwell The 2001 Nobel Prize laureate (in the field of medicine) talks about the relationship between common yeast cells and cancer, and how the first may lead to a cure for the second. Hyatt Regency Bellevue Hotel, 900 Bellevue Way N.E., 206-283-9595. $40 (includes dinner). Reception at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6:15 p.m.; program at 7 p.m. Wed., Dec. 15.
Redistricting Forum The first of four public hearings on the upcoming redistricting of King County, which includes reduction of the number of districts from 13 to nine, takes place this week at Bellevue City Hall. 11511 Main St., 425-452-6800. Free. 6 p.m. Wed., Dec. 15.
Bird Lecture Bob Morse delivers the third avian-themed talk of the week. His subject: the birds you can find in your own backyard. Northwest Stream Center, 600 128th St. S.E. (Everett), 425-316-8592. $6. 7 p.m. Wed., Dec. 15.
Working With Anger Class Learn how to contain and rechannel your rage at Sakya Monastery. 108 N.W. 83rd St., 206-789-2573. $12. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 15.