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
James Carpenter plays the megalomaniacal guru of a venture capital fund in what should be, but isn't, an excellent satire of Silicon Valley. It should be excellent because it stars James Carpenter, and because the playwright, Anthony Clarvoe, knows how start-ups rose and "cratered" in the late 20th century. (The show's subtitle is "A History Play: 1998-2000.") But it leans on old conventions: Clarvoe has done nothing but move a Hollywood satire a few hundred miles north, stereotypes intact. Instead of a Hollywood columnist we have Toria Bruno, TV tech reporter, always angling for the inside scoop; instead of a hot young starlet we have Marie, the smart but mentally unstable young hipster who plays men like a game of Doom. In place of the aspiring actor we have Eddie Fisker, a "kid with a gizmo," eager but insecure; and where the studio head should be there's Gus Belmont, Carpenter's cowboy-booted, black-clad venture guru. The kid with a gizmo joins Belmont's cultish circle of money and management people and finds himself forced to quit, or restart, his firm. ("Ctrl.-Alt.-Delete" is the combination of keys needed to force a PC to restart.) The title is clever, but also redolent of trendy, already-aging jokes. Except for some good performances -- by Carpenter, Betsy Brandt as Marie, and Rob Nagle as Tom Xerox®, the sales guy -- Ctrl.-Alt.-Delete is as predictable and outworn as it sounds.