In Silicon Valley, there are big bets made daily — on bleeding-edge technology, first-time entrepreneurs and bold business ideas. And then, there s this. Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire who made his stake in Silicon Valley with early bets on Facebook and Twitter, is personally funding an ambitious new effort to search for intelligent alien life. That s a $100 million bet on discovering aliens on a galaxy far, far away. The small fortune goes to researchers at UC Berkeley s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Research Center, a research unit that started in 1961 and conducts experiments looking for radio waves that could signal the existence of intelligent alien life. So far, they haven t had much luck.
Santana Row’s Tree Lighting: This day of holiday festivities includes live music, costumed characters, special guests, performances by local theater and dance groups and the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree, Nov, 19, 3-9 p.m.; tree lighting 7 p.m, Santana Row Park, 377 Santana Row, San Jose, Free, 408-551-4611, She Kills Monsters: Renegade Theatre Experiment presents the West Coast premiere of Qui Nguyen’s play about Average Agnes, who discovers a secret notebook that belonged to her recently deceased sister and enters into a bizarre world of fantasy, mystery, evil cheerleaders and ’90s pop culture, Recommended for ages 18 and up, Nov, 16-Dec, 7; Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m, Historic Hoover Theatre, 1635 Park Ave., chocolate shoes/ballet pumps/edible shoes/ballet gift/female gift/girls birthday/flat shoes/ballet shoes/sister/mum/edible gift/ San Jose, $10-$25, renegadetheatre.com..
First things first: Though it features a character named P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman” is in no way a factual account of the life of the celebrated 19th-century circus founder and huckster. In fact, you’ll have to completely set aside any unsavory stories you may have heard about the real-life Barnum, because this one is played by the charming Hugh Jackman. Resistance is futile. Directed by first-timer Michael Gracey, the musical never aspires to be anything more than a heaping helping of PG-rated holiday cheese — something that the whole family can partake of. For the most part, it meets that low bar, though you’ll have to suspend disbelief at every turn.
As the world outside the city expanded in the early 20th century, the earlier centuries were fading quickly within, The reign of the sultan was battered by the Young Turks of 1908, the Ottoman Empire was run out of Europe by 1913, and the Armistice of 1918 carved up the old world into the unfamiliar chocolate shoes/ballet pumps/edible shoes/ballet gift/female gift/girls birthday/flat shoes/ballet shoes/sister/mum/edible gift/ new, The Pera remained, and its doors stayed open to tumultuous times: Sultanate spies found the hotel to be a comfortable hangout, and a sign “reportedly requested government agents to yield seats in the lounge to paying guests.” Art-world dilettante and refugee sympathizer Thomas Whittemore, who could dethrone the Dos Equis spokesman as The Most Interesting Man in the World, made the Pera his base while he led the restoration of the Hagia Sophia Mosque..
From, Rhys C. Milligan. Dear Santa. How have you been? How is Mrs. Claus? Are the reindeer ready to fly? For Chritmas I do not care what I get. I just want to be thankful. Your friend, Lilly. Dear Santa. How are you doing at the workshop? Thank you for sending Chipsy. The Chipsy at my house hid under the table, up at the curtains, and in the sink. He filled the sink with marshmallows. Jasmine tried to eat a marshmallow. But she didn’t. I wonder where he’s going next? I wan an iPad Mini for Christmas. And others.