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
It's a bit of a shock to discover there's nary a song by the Sex Pistols or the Clash, the bands who denounced Margaret Thatcher's regime most fervidly, on the soundtrack of This Is England. But then Shane Meadows' autobiographical film is set far from London, in a small Midlands town somewhat behind the curve. A bullied 12-year-old boy, desperate to be accepted by somebody, joins a band of skinheads in the early '80s. Shane's new working-class buddies are surprisingly benign misfits -- think '50s greasers, not neo-Nazis -- but the group dynamic shifts abruptly when their erstwhile leader gets out of prison. Much more than a scrupulous recreation of a pivotal summer in a boy's life, the movie draws parallels between the skinheads' violence toward immigrants and minorities and Thatcher's dispatching of ace paratroopers to fight teenagers in the Falklands. (Any resemblance to the invasion of Iraq is purely intentional.) A harrowing yet unexpectedly poignant coming-of-age tale, This Is England is sprinkled with ska, not Strummer.