Politicon Los Angeles: A big-name caboodle of journalists and politicians and writers and thinkers will discuss, dissect, and maybe (probably) heat things up at this two-day "non-partisan comic-con style political event." The line-up is as headline-y as any political convention, with comedians and surprises thrown in for good measure: Trevor Noah, Newt Gingrich, James Carville, and plenty of people who have lots to say about the upcoming elections and the current issues. Hoo boy -- are you ready, politico people? This is serious stuff with a strong streak of satire. Head downtown on Oct. 9 and 10.
AIDS Walk Los Angeles: Have you got your team together? And donations on the rise? Then don your tank and shorts and make for Santa Monica Boulevard where one of SoCal's biggest fundraisers will unfold on Sunday, Oct. 11. The 10k walk helps a host of HIV/AIDS service organizations, and has raised over $1,600,000 days ahead of the event. Can you push that number even higher? Join fellow Angelenos in supporting our community.
JPL Open House: Will there be more people at this look-around-and-learn lovefest in Pasadena than there are in the famous The Asteroid Belt? Following news of water on Mars, and the debut of the hit flick "The Martian" -- which (spoiler) spotlights the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we can only imagine the Oct. 10 and 11 event will bustle. Don't let that deter you, space watchers; just arrive early. You don't need a ticket to discover what goes on at one of the brainiest, big-think-iest outposts in all the land.
Highland Park Independent Film Festival: Don't call it little -- it's not -- but do love upon this fest's localness, its dedication to indie filmmakers (both of the neighborhood and larger Los Angeles), and its great slate of films, which will all roll out from Thursday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 11. "After School" with Carlos Melendez opens up the four-day film party, which lands both at Occidental and the Highland Theatre on Figueroa. Bonus: There's a sci-fi/suspense short program, if that's your bag.
Free Happenings: If you're out and about in Pasadena on Oct. 10, and you happen to see about 15,000 or so people making for Lake Avenue, then you're probably at The Taste of South Lake, an Oct. 10 fest with lots of gratis nibbles (and some food and drinks for purchase). If you're out and about in Santa Monica on Oct. 9, at the pier, and you see a giant movie screen, you've walked into the free Front Porch Cinema series. "Big Hero 6" starts off the Pacific-close movie good times.