Earth-dwelling art aficionados and socially conscious activists can get together for the ambitious kickoff exhibition from the Natural World Museum, a new San Francisco institution intent on forging a link between art and the environment. "Anima Mundi: Soul of the World" features tree-hugging installations, the most attention-grabbing of which are the ethereal paintings of renowned environmental artist Robert Bateman, whose portraits of plaintive chimps and capering flamingos are like a Nature show come to life. Additional treats include the "Habitat Submersion Space," a booth pre-loaded with relaxing nature sounds, a mineral garden, and stunning photographs of Presidio landscapes, along with other works that support the idea of environmental sustainability, explore the dynamic between spirituality and nature, and (on a more immediately gratifying level) show how simply beautiful our surroundings are. Hey, thanks, Mother Nature! "Anima Mundi" runs through Oct. 31 at the Natural World Museum at the Herbst International Exhibition Hall, 385 Moraga (at Montgomery), in the Presidio, S.F. Admission is $2-4; call 561-4888 or visit www.naturalworldmuseum.org.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer
Look! Up in the Sky!
Each season has its high points. Spring's got fresh rhubarb pie; summer has long, lazy days; winter boasts holiday gifts; but fall in the evergreen west might seem like it has less to offer. Not so: It provides the best star-watching of the year. Autumn nights accentuate constellations like an arrow-hurling Sagittarius, the brilliant cluster of the Pleiades, and the magnificent drape of the Milky Way. "Astronomy Day (& Night)" is a celebration of the heavens hosted by amateur and pro stargazers. Learn about planetariums and hear astronomy news by day, then stick around after sundown, when the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers unveil their high-powered telescopes. Keep your eyes on the skies starting at 1 p.m. (nighttime events begin at 7) at the Randall Museum, 199 Museum (at Roosevelt), S.F. Admission is free; call 554-9600 or visit www.randallmuseum.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
The Common Wheel
If you're one of the many San Francisco cyclists who make the S.F. Bike Coalition as powerful as it is, you might already know about "Free Bike Repair Classes in the Mission." But if you're not among the "One Less Car" T-shirt wearing masses, it's not too late. Attend this class and you'll be savvier. It runs every other Sunday, and the subject today is "Wheel Repairs." Learn to keep your spoke-holders "true, round, and in dish," starting at 5:30 p.m. at Pedal Revolution Bike Shop, 3085 21st St. (at South Van Ness), S.F. Admission is free; call 641-1264 or visit www.sfbike.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser