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Happy 200th B-Day, Darwin! Celebrate with the Cal Academy

Fact: 65 % of Americans believe literally in the story of Noah's Arc. And a freakishly large brigade of Friends of Adam and Eve believe that 6,000 years ago, after a whirlwind six-days, man and dinosaur co-existed. This just in: most scientists think otherwise.

Jamie Lauren: Five Cookbooks To Live By

Get out of the kitchen and read something, will ya?

As a chef, I think one of the most important things you can do is to continue learning. This can be accomplished in several ways, including doing a stage at another chef's restaurant, watching interesting food shows on TV (and by interesting, I mean Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmerman, not Rachel "EVOO" Ray), and by reading books. Lots and lots of books. I have a ton of food-related books, mostly piled in my office at work, because there's no place to put them in my little apartment. Behold a list of my favorites:

Sidewalk Chic: Modern Dandy in SOMA

Name: Jeffrey Ying

Age: 21

Occupation: Leisure

Spotted: Paradise Lounge, 10:52 p.m.

Wearing: Custom Hart Schaffner Marx suit, Versace silk shirt, 1970s orange wallpaper pattern Ernst tie, Brioni sweater vest, J.M.Weston Chelsea boots, Cutler & Gross eyeframes, 1950s gold Omega wristwatch

What inspires your style? “I find sartorial inspiration in characters of the past such as the 1970s art forger, Fernand Legros or the 19th century dandy, Comte d'Orsay [Alfred Guillaume Gabriel]. The modern dandy, [Fashion Journalist] Nicholas Foulkes mentions how the Comte d'Orsay used to dip his watch-straps into Caron perfume.”

Style Tips for the New Economy

Tomorrow night, a group of local fashion industry experts will try to prove that personal style need not become one more victim of the “new” (meaning awful) economy. Needless to say, we’re intrigued.

Going the Extra Mile: Styling Tips & Tricks for a New Economy brings a panel that includes Michelle Sterling of Global Image Group and Sterling Style Academy, Wardrobe 911’s Teresa Morisco, Milo Models founder Jade Hall and others together for a two-hour session emphasizing those everyday little changes one can make to look current, put together and professional without, say, hiring a stylist to help you buy a whole new wardrobe.

Wavves Barely Make Ripples at Great American Music Hall

While their show at SF’s historic Great American Music Hall was underwhelming in attendance, their sound left behind no doubt that a power duo is impossible these days unless carried by a lame, “are-they-married-or-siblings” mystery. No, Wavves won’t leave you guessing. Straight forward and balls out, the San Diego twosome are the ultimate mash-up of Ramones meets Beach Boys meets anything else simple, sunny and riffy.

The City's Best Burgers

“Good meat is 95 percent of a good burger. It should be well-seasoned with salt and pepper; Nopa seasons their beef well in advance, which makes a huge difference. I order mine medium-rare and smear it with a side of their feta-harissa dip. They use brioche-style soft buns, which I like. Zuni’s burger is really good, with the house-made ketchup and pickled onions and zucchini, but there’s one problem—it’s on focaccia, which gets soggy. You end up having to eat it with a fork and knife. The burger at Taylor’s Automatic Refresher is close to perfect. I get it with raw onions—I like the crunch—and American cheese. Yup, American.

Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream: Jake Godby's Arm is Truly Committed

I finally got to stop by Humphrey Slocombe the other drizzly day for a taste of pastry chef's Jake Godby's quirky ice cream. I'm not someone who generally likes quirky for the sake being quirky, but Godby has a way with his ingredient pairing that's subtle and sophisticated with just a touch of attitude. The banana ice cream with crushed red hots, for example. Cinnamony and streaked in pink with a honest fresh banana flavor, it's whimsy at it's best. On the flip side, his balsamic-caramel is very adult, very deep. I made the mistake (or had the good idea) of taking his Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee ice cream and putting a scoop of it in a cup of espresso for a double-whammy affogato. You could sell that stuff on the street.

Google Pioneer Opens Calafia in Palo Alto

In general, Palo Alto and "culinary mecca" aren't necessarily synonymous terms. But former Google god, Charlie Ayers, the chef behind the multi-billion-dollar company's dining success, has set out to change that. First order of business: Bringing a much-needed, top-notch eatery to Palo Alto's once-forgotten Town & Country Village.

Department of Eagles at Cafe Du Nord

Romantic oddity Department of Eagles played sold-out back to back shows (two hours apart) last night at Café du Nord, proving that they've graduated from a budding hipster obsession to a full-blown sensation.  Playing from last year's lauded album, In Ear Park, their performance was delightfully delicate and compellingly haunting. Daniel Rossen's vocals scatter but simultaneously remain immediate, sweet and eerie - the perfect compliment to a blustery San Francisco weekend.

Lunar New Year Floral Displays

Those who celebrate the Lunar New Year seem to have gotten it right - after all, wouldn't you rather wake up on the first day of the year surrounded by flowers instead of empty beer cans? Exactly. Stop by the Conservatory of Flowers, where from now until February 8th they are celebrating the new year with a botanical bounty of artfully arranged floral displays, all created for this year of the Ox. You can also attempt your own arrangement at home, which, depending on the flowers used, may bring luck to you in the upcoming months. Here's a list of several commonly used plants and their meanings:

Peach Blossom - Luck

Kumquat - Prosperity

Narcissus - Prosperity

Chrysanthemum - Longevity

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