Things to Do, Feb. 7-14

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Joe Schwartz
Alfredo Rodriguez
Jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez will perform in the Cornell Concert Series, Feb. 7 in Barnes Hall.

Jazz virtuoso

Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez performs in Barnes Hall, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. Presented by the Cornell Concert Series.

Rodriguez was schooled in Havana’s rigorous classical conservatories; his artistry is informed as much by Bach and Stravinsky as by his Cuban and jazz roots. The young virtuoso invites comparison to jazz legends Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum, Bill Evans and Chucho Valdés.

General admission tickets are $25, $12 for students. Information:,

Visual psychedelia

Short films made in the 1960s to accompany music in concert will splash across the screen Feb. 7 at 9:30 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre, when Cornell Cinema presents “Psychedelic Cinema: Ken Brown’s Light Show Films (1967-1969).”

The program is accompanied by a trio of musicians who experienced the films in their heyday. Ken Winokur (Alloy Orchestra) and Beth Custer (Clubfoot Orchestra) will meld junk percussion, clarinets and keyboards with recorded samples of music, speeches and audio artifacts from the ’60s; and electric sitar, guitars and synthesizer by Jonathan LaMaster (Cul de Sac).

Tickets for “Psychedelic Cinema” are $12 general, $10 students, available at and at the door.

Earlier that evening, the trio accompanies the 7 p.m. screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1926 silent thriller “The Lodger.” Tickets are $12, $9 for students, at the door.

Also this week: On Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., Cornell Cinema presents “Kill Your Darlings,” the true tale of murder that brought together a circle of leading Beat Generation writers, with special guest Austin Bunn, the film’s co-screenwriter and a Cornell assistant professor of performing and media arts. Information:

Darwin Days

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) hosts Darwin Days from Feb. 8-13, its annual commemoration of the birthday and legacy of Charles Darwin. The focus of this year’s celebration is “Evolution and the Fossil Record.”

PRI director Warren Allmon, the Hunter R. Rawlings III Professor of Paleontology at Cornell, gives the keynote address, “Darwin and Paleontology,” Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. in Goldwin Smith Hall’s Kaufmann Auditorium. Free and open to the public.

Featured activities include Darwin Family Day, Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Museum of the Earth, with a presentation on the evolution of turtles using both fossil and living specimens; a screening of “Jurassic Park,” Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at Cornell Cinema, and a Science Cabaret, Feb. 11 (see below). For the full schedule of events, visit the Museum of the Earth website.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Adelson Library also honors Darwin this month with a book display, “Natural Selection: Darwin, Darwin’s Finches, and the Pathway to Modern Science.”

Risky business

Professor of human development Valerie Reyna looks into the neural roots of bad decisions – from choosing to have another dessert to having unprotected sex – in her new book, 
”The Neuroscience of Risky Decision Making,”
co-edited with Vivian Zayas, Cornell associate professor of psychology.

Reyna – director of the Human Neuroscience Institute in the College of Human Ecology – discusses her research in a Chats in the Stacks book talk, Feb. 10 at noon in 160 Mann Library, the Stern Seminar Room. Free and open to the public.

Light refreshments and books for signing are available. Information:

Cooking with bugs

Delicious, healthy insects will be on store shelves, menus and dinner plates within the decade, say the authors – two entomologists and a chef – of “The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet.”

Entomologist Marcel Dicke, a co-author and a Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor, appears Feb. 11 at noon at the Cornell Store for a talk, book signing and tasting – yes, a tasting. Free and open to the public.

Evidence of extinction

“Dinosaurs, Dodos, Mastodons and More” is the topic of the next Science Cabaret, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at Lot 10 Lounge, 112 S. Cayuga St., Ithaca.

The free public program features Rob Ross, a paleontologist at the Paleontological Research Institution and Museum of the Earth. It is being held in conjunction with PRI’s weeklong Darwin Days 2014 celebration.

Ross will look at common threads among mass extinctions of the geologic past, the link between extinction and evolution, and what extinction evidence in the fossil record can tell us about conservation today. Attendees can handle fossil specimens and see images of remarkable but long-gone creatures.

For more information, visit Science Cabaret is presented with support from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

Phones and privacy

Professor of electrical and computer engineering Stephen Wicker gives a book talk on “Cellular
 Convergence and the Death of Privacy,” Feb. 12 at 4:30 p.m. in 106G Olin Library. Free and open to the public.

Published in September, Wicker’s book explores the age of increased cellular surveillance and how cellular technology is changing the face of American politics and economics.

Wicker is Cornell principal investigator for the TRUST Science and Technology Center, a National Science Foundation research center dedicated to developing technologies securing critical national infrastructure. He has written six books, holds a number of patents and has received several Cornell teaching awards.

Light refreshments and books for signing are available. Information:

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