WEDNESDAY FEB. 12
[LECTURE] Because nothing says romance like Vantucky and prairie voles, head across the Columbia for an evening devoted to the neuroscience of love. Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main St., Vancouver, 360-816-0352. 7 pm. $8 suggested.
FRIDAY FEB. 14
FUGU FOR TWO
[DRINKS] Half of Portlandâs restaurants are already booked for Valentineâs Day, the other half are offering expensive prix-fixe menus. Theyâre probably all lovely, but we prefer Hale Peleâs simple gesture toward love: a terrifyingly alcoholic drink for two, served inside a mug modeled after a poisonous fish that could kill you if you make one wrong move. Hale Pele, 2733 NE Broadway St., 662-8454. 5 pm-midnight.
SATURDAY FEB. 15
[BEER] Whatâs a Zwickel, you ask, and how does it inspire mania? Itâs the sampling cock on a brewing tank, used to determine how a batch is doing. You may have seen one in use on the episode of Cheers where Norm gets his dream job as a beer taster. Oregon brewers let you be Norm for a day. Plus, there are free buses from Rogue Ales, Brewvana and Kells carting you from brewery to brewery across Portland. Most breweries in Oregon. oregoncraftbeer.org. 11 am-4 pm.
MONDAY FEB. 17
A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER
[THEATER] Damon Kupper stars in a solo show about a Belfast man who travels to the World Cup in 1994. The play, presented by Corrib Theatre, explores questions of religious and national identityâoh, and soccerâduring a time of political strife. Kells Irish Pub, 112 SW 2nd Ave., 227-4057. 7:30 pm. $25.
[MUSIC] The ethereal melodies and gentle strums of Nadlerâs new record, July, serve that purpose tenfoldâif your mind is an abandoned domicile, please allow her to take up residency and haunt your memories for years to come. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.
TUESDAY FEB. 18
EASTER ISLAND: 15,000 YEARS
[SCIENCE] Forget the statuesâwhat happened to all the palm trees on Easter Island? Growing as high as 50 feet, they were thought to be some of the largest palms in the world until they disappeared around 1650. Portland Stateâs Candace Gossen has spent the past decade studying what happened to them. She outlines her research alongside sweet videos of Rapa Nui. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 797-4677. 7 pm. $5 donation.