The Society of California Pioneers. "Shake, Bake and Spin: Media in the Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire": An exhibition using retrieved relics, photographs, newspapers, and and film to trace how media spin was used to redefine and profit from the 1906 quake. Through Dec. 8. 300 Fourth St. (at Folsom), 957-1849,

California Academy of Sciences. "Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries": An exhibition that shatters many preconceived notions by presenting some of the most recent dino discoveries in the fields of paleontology, biomechanical engineering, and paleobotany. Daily. Docent Highlight Tours: Tours given by Academy docents highlight the HOTSPOT exhibit and Steinhart Aquarium. Ask the Information Desk for meeting place and times. Wednesdays-Fridays. "Astrobiology: Life in the Extreme": A permanent exhibition that explores the types of environments in the universe that could support life. Daily. "Illustrating the Sierra's Wildlife: The Artist's Studio Live": See first-hand the process of creating a field guide to more than 1,200 species of plants, fungi, and animals of the Sierra Nevada. Naturalist Jack Laws creates scientific illustrations inside a specially designed studio within the HOTSPOT exhibit. Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m. African Penguin Feedings: Watch an Academy biologist enter the penguin tank to toss vitamin-stuffed fish to the African penguins. Visitors can ask questions and talk to the birds' caretakers during the feeding shows. Daily, 11 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. Snake Feeding: Watch whip snakes feed on fish. Fridays, 2 p.m. free with museum admission. Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day: Participating museums nationwide will open their doors free of charge to the magazine's 7.1 million readers and their friends. Sat., Sept. 30, 10 a.m. free. "Hands-on Science": Visitors of all ages can examine microscopic aquatic life or study adaptations of marine animals with Academy docents and interns. Wednesdays-Fridays, 4 p.m. 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145, California Academy of Sciences. "Xtreme Life": Learn how scientists search for life in some of Earth's most extreme environments. Daily. 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145,

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "Sampling Oakland": Through Oct. 8. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787,

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Galleries. "Cosmic Wonder": The infinite, the transcendental, the unseen — these are the artistic quests of "Cosmic Wonder," an exhibition of metaphysical art that gives colorful expression to the mystical yearnings of a new generation. Through Nov. 5. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787.

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