Back Talk The Summer of Love was just one season in San Francisco's long history of political and social rebellion, which began more than a century before with the rowdy days of the Gold Rush. Local historian and author William Issel moderates a two-day symposium on the city's various activist movements, beginning with the session "Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Cultures" at 7 p.m. The Saturday morning sessions include "Native Americans" and "Labor and the Left" beginning at 10 a.m.; the afternoon sessions, which begin at 1:30 p.m., include "The African-American Civil Rights Movement," "La Raza Movement," "Chinese-American Political and Social Reform," and "The Environmental Movement." All sessions are held in the New Main Library's Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin, S.F. Admission is free; call 557-4277.
Burns, Baby, Burns Hundreds of years before Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and his formidable Scottish burr generated a buzz in the literary world, Scottish poet Robert Burns published Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. Welsh must have taken a tip from Burns, whose poetry celebrates his rural countrymen, and whose life was marked by female trouble, hard work, and drinking to oblivion. The Scottish Cultural and Arts Foundation celebrates the poet's birthday with "Burns Night," an honest tribute that shuns toasts to the queen and favors guests with live bagpiping and Celtic music performed by Storm in a Teacup, a recitation of Burns' poems like "Comin' Thro' the Rye," bevvyin' (drinking), and a haggis ceremony, which must be seen to be believed. "Burns Night" begins at 8 p.m. at Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary, S.F. Admission is $5; call 552-9621.
HUD Games First-time home-buyers finally get a break at an educational seminar on navigating through all aspects of the often-complicated process. Participants will receive a certificate of completion allowing them to participate in special Fannie Mae and HUD community first-time home-buyer programs, particularly those geared toward low-to-moderate-income households. The seminar, sponsored by the California Dream Alliance and Golden Gate University Consumer Credit Counseling Services, begins at 9 a.m. at Golden Gate University, Room 510, 536 Mission, S.F. Admission is free; call 392-HOME.
More Bang for the Buck Russian soldiers are taken captive by the residents of a remote Muslim village in Sergei Bordov's new film, Prisoner of the Mountains, an adaptation of Tolstoy's Caucasian Captive and a Golden Globe nominee for best foreign-language film. Recent clashes between Russia and Chechnya echo through the slow development of an uneasy peace between warring factions here. For regular museum admission, audiences can take in both the film and the surrounding exhibits. Prisoner screens at 2 p.m. in the Trustees' Auditorium of the Asian Art Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $6; call 379-8879.
Arts A-Peale Not only did painter Charles Willson Peale name some of his children after famous artists, including Rubens, Titian, and Rembrandt, he had an artistic bent so strong it influenced nearly every member of his family. Over 100 paintings by three Peale women and seven Peale men will be shown in the exhibit "The Peale Family: Creation of an American Legacy, 1770-1870." Portraits and trompe l'oeil still lifes are among the highlights of the exhibit, which opens at 9:30 a.m. (and is up through April 6) at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free-$6; call 863-3330.
Punk's Not Dead: It's Just Resting Nonracist, nonsexist, nonhomophobic punks who don't stage dive, drink, smoke, do drugs, or use pogo sticks are in for a rockin' good time when Pansy Division and Team Dresch play a doubleheader. Those folks who comply with the club's criteria, and who have in their possession a 924 Gilman membership card, are in luck: Team Dresch's latest release, Captain, My Captain, offers a refreshing blend of sarcasm, rage, and melancholy, tunefully crafted by a dyke band comprised of veteran players, among them Jody Bleyle of Hazel and Donna Dresch, formerly of Dinosaur Jr. and Screaming Trees. Pansy Division, meanwhile, opened some eyes as openers on a national Green Day tour, with punk-pop invoking the Ramones ("I just wanna have some kicks/ I just wanna get some dicks") and the approving ghost of the late Kurt Cobain ("Smells Like Queer Spirit"). Cypher in the Snow, Eye Claudia, and Half-Empty kick off the show at 5 p.m. at 924 Gilman, Berkeley. Admission is $5; call (510) 525-9926.
What's the 411? Looking busy at work just got easier with Local 411, an interactive sound installation that's educational, too. Ian Pollock and Janet Silk have created a call-in voice-mail system based on the commercial redevelopment of the Yerba Buena area. Callers who dial 522-0605 (any time through Feb. 17) will hear recorded stories from people who were displaced by construction -- they can also leave messages describing their own experiences on the system. As part of the installation, callers can also dial up pay phones in the area and have a conversation with live performers playing characters drawn from the stories of former residents. Live events and calls within the 415 area are free. Performances begin at noon (and continue on various days through Feb. 15) at the Yerba Buena Redevelopment Zone, between Mission & Folsom and Third & Fourth streets, S.F.