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
Memoirs about quitting smoking havent lit up like ones about drugs or stripping or working at Vogue, and lets hope our luck holds: The last thing we need at the gasping end of the memoir era is some hotshot igniting another subgenre. Not that David Sedaris doesnt give it a shot. The last 83 pages of his new, realish book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, details the author breaking his habit, which involves him spending $23,000 and relocating to Hiroshima. Fortunately, its old news a condensed version appeared in the New Yorker a while back and anyway The New York Times doesnt think its his best work, wondering if he exhaled his muse with the smoke of his last cig. We, however, remain stuck in the wonderful first half of the book. Its a comfortable place, like finding yourself next to a man on a park bench who leans over and says, You wont believe what happened to me this morning, then proceeds to tell you something astonishing. In the case of Sedaris and Flames, that consists of spitting a lozenge on the person sitting next to him on a plane, buying drugs in a mobile home, and trying to make coffee when the water is off.
Thu., June 26, 7 p.m., 2008