MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26
PINBALL A few years ago, the Black Cat added a selection of pinball machines to its Food For Thought cafe and its Red Room bar. If your pinball enthusiasm extends beyond just playing, join the bar on Monday night for an evening of pinball history at its “How To Be a Pinball Wizard” event. Adam Ruben, author of the new book Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball, will discuss the game’s history, from being outlawed for a gambling connection to its recent resurgence. In addition, Kevin Stone, the head of DC’s Pinball League, will share tips on how to up your pinball game. The evening will end with free play on the Black Cat’s collection of pinball machines. $25, 7 PM.
BOOKS Yale Law School professor Amy Chua will be at Sixth & I to discuss her new book, Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. Chua investigates the tribal instinct and argues that the United States’ focus on national identity has allowed various forms of political tribalism to grow. Chua will be in conversation with J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy. $20, 7 PM.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
LECTURE Smithsonian experts Carla Dove and Chris Crowe have the perfect surnames for their avian careers. Dove is a forensic ornithologist at the Natural History Museum who works to prevent mid-air aviation accidents—and she’s also an expert on snarge, the remains of dead birds. Crowe, who works at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA, has developed a special friendship with an endangered white-naped crane named Walnut, who needed his help with her reproduction. Smithsonian Associates presents a look into these two careers in “Strange and Curious Smithsonian Jobs: Dove and Crowe—Their Work Is For the Birds” at the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Dove and Crowe will be in conversation with Tony Cohn, host and co-producer of Smithsonian’s Sidedoor podcast. $45, 6:45 PM.
BOOKS Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes draws on his own personal experience in his new book, Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn. Understanding that luck played a huge factor in his own success, Hughes argues that the best tool for ending poverty and rebuilding the middle class is to guarantee income for the working poor, paid for by the wealthiest 1%. He will speak at Politics and Prose at the Wharf. Free, 7 PM.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28
MUSIC Rock band Styx, known for classic hits like “Come Sail Away” and “Mr. Roboto,” is headlining an intimate performance at the Strathmore on Wednesday night. The show is a benefit for FRESHFARM, a local non-profit that promotes sustainable agriculture and education in the Mid-Atlantic region. $85-$300, 7:30 PM.
BEER Port City Brewing has teamed up with local bakery Best Buns for a cupcake and beer pairing event. The brewery has been tight-lipped about the menu for the evening, but expect some limited brews and a special cupcake made with Port City beer. $30, 7 PM.