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
Between the 1920s and 1940s, audio theater in every form enjoyed an ardent following, but imagination and inventive Foley artists were no competition for the flicker and flash of the boob tube. By the 1950s, only a few of the most popular shows Gunsmoke, Guiding Light, and the old-time radio holdout Dragnet had made the transition to TV. Radio drama suddenly found itself the redheaded stepchild of the NEA and BBC, and Garrison Keillor eventually became its wrinkly warden. Until now. Impossible Productions regulars Alexia Staniotes and Sean Owens (you may recall them from their delightful turn in last year's black-box adaptation of Young Frankenstein) enliven the withering art form with "Ear Candy: Radio in the Flesh." Every week, a live "studio" audience will be asked to choose from a variety of outrageous situations such as "Amish rake fight" to challenge sibling sleuths Jimmy and Janie Jackson. In the midst of last-minute script rewrites and onstage breakdowns, the "Miracle Powder Mystery Hour" goes "on air," replete with live advertisements, skillfully executed sound effects, and satisfied murmurs as folks learn that squeezing a bag of corn starch sounds exactly like well-packed snow crunching underfoot.
Dec. 7-22, 8 p.m., 2007