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What to Do This Week: October 15 to 18

Scare yourself at the AFI’s horror movie festival, see photos of polar bears, and learn to cook Mayan food.

See photos of polar bears (not including this one) at the International League of Conservation Photographers on Wednesday. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Monday, October 15

Not everyone can eat heirloom tomatoes and free-range chicken all the time. Author Tracie McMillan takes a look at the decisions poor Americans have to make every day about their diets as she delves into the lives of the people behind the scenes at Walmart, Applebees, and the farms that help put food there. She’ll be talking about her book, The American Way of Eating, and signing copies at the Capitol Hill Hotel. Drinks and light refreshments (probably of the healthy-ish variety) will be served. Free. 7 PM.

Tuesday, October 16

Halloween is fast approaching, and it’s sooo clichéd to go see Sinister to freak yourself out. Head to AFI Silver for the Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival to check out a screening of Nightmare Factory, a documentary that explores the special effects makeup and monster design of movies such as Grindhouse, Kill Bill, and Evil Dead 2. Then stick around for Gut, which follows a guy who keeps seeing disturbing images in his mind. Tickets ($11.50 per movie) are available online. Nightmare Factory screens at 7 PM, Gut at 9:30.

Wednesday, October 17

I hate to be presumptuous, but I really doubt you’ve gone and hung out with polar bears in the Arctic. Live vicariously through photographer Florian Schulz, who will talk about the unseen wonders of the frozen tundra and about his photo collection, amassed by spending 18 months in the Arctic camping with polar bears and diving under ice. Brrrrr. Tickets ($15) are available through Eventbrite. 7:30 PM at the US Navy Memorial Burke Theater.

Thursday, October 18

In case you hadn’t heard, we’ve got about two months till our Mayan overlords sic their world-ending gods on us. Best to greet them with some homemade cooking, right? The Mexican Cultural Institute will teach you how to make Mayan food, and soon you’ll be putting Starbucks to shame with your pepita-sauce-covered enchiladas. The night includes a cooking demonstration, dinner, music, and recipes to take home. Tickets are $70; register via the Mexican Cultural Institute’s website. 6:30 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.

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