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
In case you've been TaskRabbiting your way through life and haven't had the chance to leave the micro-loft to stroll the alleys and streets of central San Francisco, the number of homeless tent encampments in town is approaching epic levels — as in Hooverville and Great Depression levels.
National treasure Sarah Vowell's most recent book, Unfamiliar Fishes, explores the Americanization of Hawaii, from the arrival of the first missionaries in the early 19th century to their grandchildren’s coup, backed by the U.S. military, not 80 years later. Vowell, the author of several previous histories (The Wordy Shipmates, Assassination Vacation), lays out the actions of the Americans and the native Hawaiians that led to first the infiltration and then overthrow of the Hawaiian government and the ultimate annexation by the U.S. in 1898. Vowell, who appears tonight as part of City Arts and Lectures’ “On Arts” series that benefits 826 Valencia’s Scholarship Program, is a kind narrator; while not exactly sympathetic, she allows all her subjects to explain themselves, and she restrains herself to the occasional wry, pointed comment. She truly excels at contextualization, marking the annexation in particular as the action that turned the U.S. into “a meddling, self-serving, militaristic international superpower practically overnight.” Vowell seems pretty fond of America; she pokes our national bruises to make us more strongly feel our national pains.
Mon., March 12, 8 p.m., 2012