Arts & Events

Around and About the Bay Area

By Ken Bullock
Monday September 27, 2010 - 06:59:00 PM

Tilt!: Pacific Pinball Museum, the Alameda nonprofit, spearheaded by Berkeleyites including Mike Shiess, Melissa Harmon and Larry Zartarian, which aspires to become "the Smithsonian of Pinball," emphasizing education and enjoyment with their 650 plus collection of games, is producing the fourth annual Pacific Pinball Exhibition this weekend, all day and evening on Oct 1, 2, and 3, at the Exhibition Hall of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin Civic Center, with more than 300 pinball machines from the 1920s on, set at free play, plus special guests: the Australian author of the Pinball encyclopedia (dating the game back to its predecessors in the 17th-18th century) and an inventors panel, including one guest, the former chief inventor from Atari Games. 

This year's theme is the science of pinball, with exhibits on magnetism, AC-DC current, perpetual motion, and the difference between randomness and chaos. That's not to say there won't be pinball art: over a half-dozen huge murals by local artists will be hung, of the art from the painted backglasses of old pinball games. On the Exhibition poster is the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition statue of The star maiden, the 16 foot bronze original now gracing the lobby of City Corp in San Francisco, the image of Audrey Munson, "Venus of the West," looking as though balanced on a pinball rather than a two-foot diameter brass ball. There will also be clinics, tournaments, restoration clinics, antique games and rarities--and more vendors than ever. $15-$45 (daily tickets and weekend passes) 

* * 

In Search of the Sacred will be discussed Friday at 7 by its author, the eminent Dr. Seyyid Hossein Nasr, who headed the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy and was closely associated with many renowned specialists in Islamic spirituality, including Sufism: Fritjof Schuon, Henri Corbin, Toshihiko Izutsu, William Chittick and others. Dr. Nasr was the first muslim to deliver the Gifford Lectures. The book is autobiographical, discussing among other things intellectual life in Iran under the Pahlavi regime and the Iranian Revolution. On Saturday at 6, Dr. Nasr will address "How to be a Muslim in America Today," the roots and effects of Islamophobia, at 6 p. m. Hamza Yusef and Jason van Boom will moderate. $5-$10 each day; $15 both. Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, 1433 Madison,near 14th (and the Main Library), downtown Oakland. 832-7600;