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
Everybody loves a petting zoo, with those irascible baby goats and downy-soft bunnies. But what about the kids who love bugs more than bunnies, whose attraction to snakes, sharks, and crocodiles is eclipsed only by their giddy fascination with dinosaurs? Leave it to the Aussies to come up with a something to satisfy our affinity for the perilous. Comprised of large-scale puppets and carefully conceived electronics, Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo is a theatrical meet-and-greet that is two parts education, one part inspiration, and four parts spine-tingling fun. The cast, which has included early mammals and Meganeura -- the 25-inch wide predatory precursor to the dragonfly -- is based on the most current fossil evidence and developed through consultation with paleontologists. T-Rex, not to be upstaged by Australia’s favorite meat-eating Australovenator, usually has a bit of a freak out toward the end of the show, but by then, the kids have been sniffed by a 110-ton Titanosaur, provided veterinary care for a shy herbivore, and cuddled a baby Dryosaurus, so the screaming and stampeding is just part of the fun.
Sat., Feb. 2, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., 2013