Few political events early this week, but some interesting stuff going on nonetheless.


A series of trippy foreign short films collectively called “Nine Nation Animation” (to save you time: 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and the New York Times calls it a “winner.”) is playing tonight at the Northwest Film Forum. A description of one of the movies: “A cat and a mouse carry on a dysfunctional relationship in a futuristic landscape.” Noice. (1515 12th Avenue, Seattle, 7 and 9 p.m., today until January 6th, tickets $6-$9).


What will the cars of the future be made of? At a monthly Pacific Science Center series “Science Café” tonight at T.S. McHugh's restaurant in Queen Anne, University of Washington materials scientist Brian Flinn will be discussing research into new, better, more durable construction for cars and spacecraft. But wait, is that even the right objective? Will those materials be more sustainably and humanely harvested? It may be a cliché to say that our lifestyle is unsustainable, but holy shit, our lifestyle is really fucking unsustainable. The planet currently consumes 1.4 times faster than the earth can regenerate, and as more people live like 'mericans and buy more cars, we'll bury ourselves deeper and more quickly into a Lovecraftian hellhole. Go ask Dr. Flinn what he thinks about that. (T.S. McHugh's restaurant, 21 Mercer Street, Seattle, 7:30 p.m., free)


In 1986, a Seattle high school basketball team experimentally mixed cultures (not in a Petri-dish, mind you), using elite private school and urban public school kids, to see whether sports could help us all bridge racial barriers and win a trophy or two. But the lines of class and race run deep, and what was initially deemed an empathy-building success seems, over two decades later, to have instead revealed the intractability of our social problems. Journalist and former team member Doug Merlino will tonight take part in a discussion about what happened when he tried to look up — “from a prison cell to a hedge-fund office” - his former teammates. (Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eight Ave, 7:30 p.m., tickets $5)