The Chicago Humanities Festival gives its attendees the opportunity to have their minds sparked by hearing lectures and other sorts of presentations from cultural luminaries. This year's fall program is no exception as it hits venues in Hyde Park, Evanston and downtown. As usual, presenters span a rather broad range, and include cellist Yo-Yo Ma and dancer Damian Woetzel speaking on the arts and citizenship, If that doesn't float your boat, how about a lecture on the influence of Christopher Columbus, a discussion of the TV show "Alias" and how it helped to reshape a genre, or watch "The Whipping Man," a play about Jewish slave owners. Why go: It's always fun to hear brilliant people talk about stuff. Reconsider: You hated lectures in college. Prices and times vary, visit chicagohumanities.org for a complete listing of events, locations and ticket prices.