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
Many take pride in the fact that the Bay Area was one of the first regions to suddenly look at its dinner plate and say, "No more!" Now, knowing the growing coordinates of the mache you nibbled and the exercise logs of the chicken you dispatched is a simply part of a responsible night out. Tonight, the California Academy of Sciences' author series presents Michael Pollan in conversation with Patricia Unterman, which is a major local foodie event, on par with Alice Waters regarding a new vegetable. As the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, Pollan followed four meals through our food-production maze. He also tried to eat stuff he hunted, gathered, or grew himself, which means he shot a pig. And he clued us into a delicious fact: A McDonald's meal basically consists of corn, right down to the fries. Today he talks about his new book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, which contains the simple yet slippery commandment, "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." One of the things she would not recognize: frozen foods. Good luck with that.
Thu., Jan. 3, 8 p.m., 2008