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
A.C.T. has staged A Christmas Carol for 35 years, but in today's political and economic climate, Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh's adaptation of the Dickens novella could hardly feel timelier. "The parallels between now and what was going on Dickens' time are extraordinary," says director Domenique Lozano, "with the stock market bubbles, and the huge inequality between the rich and the poor." The adaptation contains song (composed by Karl Lundeberg), dance, puppets, flying actors, and an almost 40-person cast of children, conservatory students, and professionals. The story focuses on how a community "reclaims" a lost individual. Every year, Lozano and James Carpenter (Scrooge), who are now in their sixth production of Carol, try to explore a new facet of Dickens' rich story; this year they examine how totally isolated Scrooge is — in Dickens' words, like "an oyster." They've also added a moment that speaks to the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Its implications are indeed once again timely, yet the production's message — that anyone can get a second chance — is timeless and family-friendly. And with only two 40-minute acts, the Tiny Tims in the audience need not worry about the ghost of future bathroom trips.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Dec. 24, 2011