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
The orchid is a complicated botanical figure that pretty obviously asks you, in all its Georgia O’Keeffe glory, How often do you think about sex? The ancient Greeks — whose word orkhis means testicle — gave the flower its name based on the appearance of its tuberous roots. Orchis, the mythical son of a nymph and a satyr, attempted to rape a priestess, only to be torn apart by wild beasts and metamorphose into the flower at death. Needless to say, orchids are teeming with a tortured sexuality that may be hindering its full potential as the beacons of fecundity in your garden. Never fear, Bruce Rogers, the Orchid Whisperer (and author of a book by the same name) is here to whisper some sweet nothings to your ailing plants. The “orchid-growing guru” is holding a hands-on workshop for lovers of the complicated flower. We’re not sure what an orchid needs to hear to bloom, but maybe that explains our wilting success with the tubers of the non-plant world.
Tue., Sept. 18, 6 p.m., 2012