When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
We will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
Is there any comic more suited to an old-time radio play than John Hodgman, with his everyday suits, sometimes-mustache, and thin, delicate fingers? Of course not. He appears tonight in an old-time radio play, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, one of the many events at SF Sketchfest that make you realize that the title’s “sketch” is an old-time quirk — this year’s fest has only three true sketch shows. Hodgman is joined by Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Kevin Pollak, who is rumored to be doing his old-time role as Christopher Walken making a Cobb salad (that’s a lie). Later, Richter moderates a tribute show with Upright Citizens Brigade, featuring Amy Poehler and company, and later still, Twitter-ace Michael Ian Black appears with his old Stella TV series classmates. It may seem like quite the Sunday, but for the 17-day Sketchfest, this is nothing. This is not even the full lineup. Five more shows compete for your attention today, with Tompkins and Hodgman appearing in two of those as well, and Hodgman is also in two more shows on other days, while Tompkins is in three more. You can also see Bobcat Goldthwait on Jan. 20-21. Actually, we’re most intrigued by Jon Benjamin Has a Van — this slip of a fake-news show ran through its first hysterical season in 2011, and it’s doing a live show on Jan. 28. It almost makes you forget Sketchfest’s glaring lack of Portlandia. This also helps: David Cross (two shows) and Marc Maron (three shows).
Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2012