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Pencil This In: Thursday

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There's star and planet talk at JPL tonight. / Photo of the Griffith Observatory by karthikkito via LAist's photo pool.

TECH TALK: Fans of Pandora and fans of the iPhone might want to head over to the Apple Store in Santa Monica tonight at 7 pm to hear Tim Westergren talk about the history of Pandora, how the Music Genome Project works and how it works even better on the iPhone as an app. There’s also a Q&A following the presentation.

WORDS*: Literary lion John Updike takes to the stage at UCLA’s Royce Halltonight at 8 pm. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, poet and critic probably best known for his series of novels that feature Harry (Rabbit) Angstrom. Tonight, he’ll be talking about his latest book release, The Widows of Eastwick, a sequel to his blockbuster 1984 novel, The Witches of Eastwick. Tickets are $15-$38.

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SPACE TALK: JPL presents Dr. Michelle Thaller,Manager of Education and Public Outreach, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology, tonight from 7-8 pm at The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL. She’ll discuss the new discoveries streaming back from the Spitzer Space Telescope.

ART TALK: UCLA’s Hammer Museum hosts a talk by artist Amy Sillman, whose paintings are in the collections of many prominent museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is included in the Hammer’s current “Oranges and Sardines” exhibition, dedicated to abstract painting.

ART STORE OPENING: Raw Materials is holding the grand opening of its new fine art and architectural supply store on Main Street, in the heart of Downtown's Gallery Row. It's no coincidence that the store opens the same day as the monthly Downtown Art Walk (which takes place until 9 pm).

MORE ART TALK: There's a presentation and discussion of "Superficial Superglow: Channeling the Stars" tonight at LACE at 7 pm. Here's a brief description of the event: "...student work explores the possibility of storefronts that watch you, respond to you, and allow you to interact with them. Using the storefront of LACE gallery and the stars in the Hollywood Boulevard "Walk of Fame," this installation re-thinks the new urban and technological setting to provoke interaction and capture motion and internet data through a full scale illuminated, plastic prototype."

NETWORKING: Mahalo HQ's hosting a social for people who like to talk tech at 7 pm. Tonight's guest speakers include reps from Amazon Web Services and EdgeCast.