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
To Noah Lang, the Cold War seems almost quaint, compared to the War on Terror. When I was growing up, the Soviet Union was the evil empire, he says. When you crossed the border, you were really behind enemy lines. At this point, the political climate feels almost like abstract expressionism. Except, perhaps, in North Korea, which holds the worlds lowest ranking on the democracy index, as well as a 99 percent literacy rate. Its never black and white, says Lang, who has relished peeking behind Iron Curtains since his first adventure in East Berlin as a high school student. You have to see things with your own eyes. For Noah and his wife, Kris, that meant a honeymoon in Pyongyang a perfect bookend to their first date, which was spent viewing a documentary about North Korean acrobats. Two years ago, while attending the Olympics in China, the newlyweds slipped over the border for North Koreas famed Masked Games. Although they were never allowed to roam freely all visitors are relegated to an island hotel, except when under the watchful eye of official tourist minders the couple took enough pictures to give us a good look at North Koreas showcase city in the exhibit Honeymoon in Pyongyang. Its lickably clean, and utterly enamored of Kim Il-sung, the countrys elected eternal leader, dead some 16 years. Electric Works partners Noah and Kris provide lively commentary to their pictures tonight.
Wed., March 24, 7 p.m., 2010