Graceful Desperation

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Seattle Weekly PickAlfre Woodard The award-winning actress, currently on Desperate Housewives, speaks about overcoming life’s obstacles with grace and vigor at a YWCA Benefit Luncheon. Convention Center, 800 Convention Pl., 206-461-4450, $150 suggested donation. Noon-1:30 p.m. Thurs., March 23.

Measles film As part of its measles initiative campaign, the Red Cross shows Disease of the Wind, a documentary that follows Jane Seymour and eight middle-school students in Africa to chronicle the tragedy of measles and the race to eliminate the disease. Rung Theater, 1136 S. Albro Pl., 206-726-3554, 7 p.m. Thurs., March 23.

Climate Change Elizabeth Kolbert traveled from Alaska to Greenland to study the debate over global warming; she discusses her book Field Notes From a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, which asks if anything can be done to save our planet. Downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255, $5. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 23.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal The ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S. discusses the critical issues involved in maintaining good Saudi/U.S. relations as well as recent changes in Saudi society and culture. Organized by the World Affairs Council. Bell Harbor International Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, 206-441-5910, $40. Noon Fri., March 24.

Max the Crystal Skull The mystery of antiquity, found in a Mayan tomb in Guatemala and believed to be one of the 13 ancient quartz crystal skulls of legend, is the subject of a lecture and available for viewing. Many people report paranormal experiences with Max. Seattle Museum of the Mysteries, 623 Broadway Ave. E., 206-328-6499, $10. 7-8 p.m. lecture, 8-9 p.m. viewing walkthrough; Fri., March 24.

Hans von Sponeck The former U.N. assistant secretary general and humanitarian coordinator for Iraq—who managed the distribution of goods under Iraq’s oil-for-food program—gives a lecture called “Iraq, the Fate of a People, and Tomorrow’s United Nations.” University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd St., Free. 7 p.m. Fri., March 24.

Adoption Information Fair The Washington State Adoption Council puts on the event for anyone interested in adoption to gather information from state and private adoption agencies, adoptive parent support groups, adoption attorneys, etc. Evergreen Hospital Education Center, 12040 N.E. 128th St., Kirkland, 425-776-4100. Free. 9 a.m.-1 p.m Sat., March 25.

J.P. Patches Book Reading The ex–children’s show star reads during the Kidgits Club Book Blast! with character appearances and free giveaways designed to teach kids the fun and importance of reading. Tacoma Mall, Macy’s Courtyard, 4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma. Free. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., March 25.

The Continuing Struggle Against Police Brutality The Michael Randall Ealy Social Justice Foundation hosts its annual luncheon to promote its mission of better police/community relations and seeking justice for families of those killed by police. Speakers include Paul Bascomb, Sheley Secrest, and Aaron Dixon. Ebenezer AME Zion Church, 1716 23rd Ave., 206-329-0562, $10. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., March 25.

Charlie McAllister Learn the story behind this Washington state aviation pioneer, whose wooden glider Yakima Clipper hangs from the ceiling of the Museum of Flight’s Great Gallery. Museum of Flight William M. Allen Theater, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., 206-764-5720, Free. 2 p.m. Sat., March 25.

Catherine Opie The contemporary photographer and professor at the University of California lectures on her work investigating the affinities among disparate gardens, ranging from estates in Santa Barbara to community gardens in New York. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253-272-4258, $8, including admission. 2 p.m. Sat., March 25.

Historic Seattle The nonprofit group hosts architectural historian Leslie Freudenheim, who talks about her book Building With Nature: Inspiration for the Arts and Crafts Home. Museum of History and Industry, 206-622-6952, $10. 3 p.m. Sat., March 25.

Seattle Weekly PickInPrint Series Marc Gerard, literary agent and head of the literary division of the Agency Group, talks about his career and how writers should best handle unsolicited submissions; afterward, he will take up to 20, three-minute pitches from interested writers. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 206-322-7030, $5. 4-6 p.m. Sat., March 25.

Carl Mayer The renowned corporate civil rights lawyer, author, activist, and former campaign manager for Ralph Nader speaks about ending corporate rule over democracy. Trinity United Church, 6512 23rd Ave. N.W., 206-368-9090, $5-$10 suggested donation. 7-9 p.m. Sat., March 25. Also 5:30-7:30 Sun., March 26, at Traditions Cafe, 300 Fifth Ave. S.W., Olympia.

Seattle Weekly PickThe Bee is Back! Approximately 85 school spelling champions from King and Snohomish counties compete for the regional title and a trip to the national contest in Washington, D.C. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255, Free. 1 p.m. Sun., March 26.

Popcorn for Peace and Juice for Justice West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice show and discuss The Control Room, a documentary of the opening days of the Iraq war as seen through Arab news-network Al-Jazeera and the U.S. military’s central command offices. Seattle Public Library High Point branch, 3411 S.W. Raymond St., 206-932-9522, Free. 1:30-4 p.m. Sun., March 26.

Community Conversation Explore the American justice system’s treatment of the truthfulness of children’s testimony with journalist Debbie Nathan, co-author of Satan’s Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt, among others. Tacoma Main Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S., 253-591-5666, Free. 7 p.m. Tues., March 28.

Seattle Weekly PickHip-Hop Hooray BET correspondent Touré, author of Never Drank the Kool-Aid, and Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, speak about hip-hop and its cultural relevance. University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 7 p.m. Tues., March 28.

The Soul of Islam Author Yitzhak Nakash, professor at Brandeis University, presents a comprehensive historical perspective on Shiites and the Shia resurgence amid the shifting geopolitics of the Middle East. Downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255, $5. 7:30 p.m. Tues., March 28.

Seattle Follies Theatrical rock band Awesome hosts this cabaret with a political twist, which will include City Council member Sally Clark. Downstairs at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255, $18. 7:30 p.m. Wed., March 29.

Five Italian Cities UW Italian studies professor Claudio Mazzola teaches a course that links the complex histories and contemporary cultures—including art, literature, and cinema—of Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, and Venice. Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 41st Street, 206-621-2230, $75. 7:30-9 p.m. Wednesdays, March 29-May 24.

Seattle Weekly PickDavid Brancaccio The veteran journalist and host of PBS’s weekly newsmagazine Now moderates a discussion about the role of media in our democracy. Advanced registration recommended. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255, Free. 8 p.m. Wed., March 29.