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
Veteran doc maker Robert Stone (Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, Oswalds Ghost) assembles nine talking, graying heads to reminisce about the origins of the environmental movement in the U.S., which kicked off in earnest in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carsons Silent Spring and blossomed with the first Earth Day in 1970. Stones nonetwhich includes former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand, and hippie astronaut Rusty Schweickartengagingly recount the sober realizations of the 60s (back-to-the-landers who tried to live in an egalitarian way quickly got over it, Brand chuckles) and acknowledge that green power was diluted when it became Washington-centric in the 70s and 80s. Theres great archival footage (those anti-pollution PSAs with Iron Eyes Cody from the 70s remain quite powerful), including a snippet from Face the Nation during which former Village Voice columnist James Ridgeway asks whether environmentalism is deflecting attention away from far more polarizing, pressing issues like Vietnam, civil rights, and womens liberation. The question is never answered, but remains just as salient in our postInconvenient Truth era, when many consider carrying an Im NOT a Plastic Bag tote or sipping from a Klean Kanteen bottle a political act.
Sept. 11-17, 2009