TASTING IN THE DARK Think you’re a beer buff? Here’s your chance to prove it (and sip some delicious craft beers at the same time). The Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room’s “Tasting in the Dark” event designed to challenge beer drinkers’ assumptions and help them cultivate a more perceptive palate. The blindfolded participants will learn to identify different styles of beer. The event begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13. The limited $20 tickets are available at the Torpedo Room, at 2031 4th St., Berkeley.
BLACKS UNLIMITED Oregon-based Zimbabwean activist and exile Thomas Mapfumo is bringing his funky, political music to Ashkenaz on Saturday, Feb. 15. In the 1970s, Mapfumo began converting Shona thumb piano music for electric guitar and other western instruments. After being imprisoned in 1979 for songs that provided the soundtrack to Zimbabwean guerrilla warfare, Mapfumo escaped to the US in the late 1990s. He has never stopped making music about the his people’s struggle for self-rule, although his band Blacks Unlimited has experienced several incarnations over the years. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and tickets cost $20-$25.
PERMABLITZ The green-thumbed and gardening newbies alike are welcome to help build a greenhouse from the ground up on Sunday, Feb. 16 at Ashby Community Garden. Stop by “Permablitz” between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to lay bricks, build a roof, prepare seeds, or just to grab lunch and learn about carpentry and community gardening. There will a planting station for kids. Those with carpentry experience are invited to meet at the garden — the 1300 block of Ashby Ave. — from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday as well to prepare. RSVPs are suggested: email firstname.lastname@example.org call Nora at (510) 590-8408.
BILLION-YEAR WALK The Billion-Year Walk is a time travel trek around Lake Merritt for the whole family. This one’s in Oakland, but it’s a collaboration between the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology, the National Center for Science Education, the Rotary Nature Center, and the Lawrence Hall of Science, who have teamed up to create a historical adventure on Sunday, Feb. 16. Learn about the history of the planet through educational signs, take a trivia quiz, and eat snacks. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions. The entire loop around the lake is about 3 miles. Begin the journey at the Rotary Nature Center at 600 Bellevue Ave. anytime from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CONTEMPT The latest installment in the Pacific Film Archive’s year-long Jean-Luc Godard retrospective is Contempt, the French filmmaker’s 1964 oeuvre. The film tells the story of a fallout between husband and wife (played by Michel Piccoli and Brigitte Bardot) during the former’s attempt to adapt Homer’s Odyssey for the big screen — though critics have noted several parallels to Godard’s own personal and professional life. The PFA series is called “Expect Everything from Cinema,” referring to the experimentation and innovation exhibited by Godard and his French New Wave peers. The film begins at 8:20 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2626 Bancroft Way.
Don’t miss these other events recently featured on Berkeleyside:
Berkeley to celebrate Valentine’s Day with mass wedding
‘The House that will not Stand:’ An exciting world premiere
Discovering “The Possible” at Berkeley Art Museum
Big Screen Berkeley: Stranger by the Lake is never boring
Big Screen Berkeley: Oscar-nominated short subjects
Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure to post your community happenings there too.