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
Llewelynn Fletcher's immersive sculptures beguile the senses. Sasha Petrenko's site-specific installations and performances strive to capture a dynamic, living planet. Austin Thomas hides heady themes in seemingly austere drawings, photos, and sculptures. She also cobbles together site-specific social spaces which she calls "perches," but which are obviously kick-ass treehouses, minus the trees. These and other artists are contributing super-sized works for "Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" at the University of San Francisco's Rooftop Sculpture Terrace. "Just Passing Through" promises to challenge notions about how we inhabit or pass through space, or at least provide a lovely respite in a busy city.
"Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 11 at Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., S.F. Free; 422-5178 or usfca.edu. More
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11
Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Why? Because its thick with sludge. Moving briskly through a stranger-than-fiction, serpentine narrative that is still unfolding, Joe Berlingers remarkable documentary Crude recounts an infuriating litany of South American exploitation, back-room glad-handing, and bureaucratic dead ends that has, among other collateral damages, created a Rhode Island-sized death zone of toxic pollution in the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon. For nearly 30 years, beginning in the mid-1960s, the former Texaco oil company (acquired by Chevron in 2001) drilled for oil in Ecuador, in and around the ancestral homeland of the indigenous Cofán Indian community. In 1992, Texaco finally lost its government-granted concession and was forced to cede control of its drilling sites to state-owned Petroecaudor. Three years later, Texaco conducted a purported environmental remediation as part of a $40 million settlement with the Ecuadorian government that, in turn, indemnified the company against any further government claims. And yet, today the soil and waters of the area still run black with oil, the Cofán are dying of cancer at an alarming rate, and the buck for this enviro-disaster is being passed between Chevron and Petroecuador faster than a Bobby Hull slapshot. A master of true-crime verité, Berlinger (Brothers Keeper, Paradise Lost) does a superb job of taking us through the twists and turns of the decade-and-a-half, multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit filed by the Cofán against Chevrona legal battle nearly as long as the Amazon itself, and with no discernible end in sight.
Starts: Sept. 25. Daily, 2009