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
Maybe you're not a fan of war. Maybe military history seems like a weird thing to celebrate. Even so, trust us here: Liberty Ship the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien is major brain candy for anyone who likes weird old machinery, WWII-era culture (yes, we mean pinup girls and Rosie the Riveter), the San Francisco Bay, or local history. On its Visit to the Ghost Fleet Cruise, the J.O'B hauls anchor under steam engine power, which is a thing of beauty itself, and then the crew of this fully seaworthy 1943 vessel feeds you breakfast while a jazz band plays. When you reach Suisun Bay, the ship takes you on a tour of its friends, other old grand boats whose inoperable status got them nicknamed the Mothball Fleet. Then you get a picnic lunch, and more chances to see that amazing steam engine. It bears remembering that old Jeremiah earned her stripes hauling supplies across the Atlantic to help fight Nazis.
Sat., Aug. 16, 10 a.m., 2008