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 rosy tale of racial reconciliation neatly wrapped in a triumphalist sports movie (and blessedly free of spurious Obama parallels), Clint Eastwood's new movie tells the story of how freshly elected South African President Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman in a subtly crafted performance that blends Mandela's physical fragility with his easy charm and cerebral wit), with help from Afrikaner rugby team captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon, gym-pumped into Michelin Man and oozing fair play), turned a World Cup match into a moment of rainbow solidarity. Adapted by South African writer Anthony Peckham from a book by former London Independent journalist John Carlin, Invictus is stately, handsomely mounted, attentive to detail, and relentlessly conventional. As a portrait of a hero, the movie effortlessly brings a lump to the throat; as history, it is borderline daft and selective to the point of distortion. You can't shoehorn a nation's history into a single movie, but Peckham's dialogue, stuffed with strenuously underlined exposition, blazes an indecently fast trail from mutual suspicion to interracial love and understanding, expunged of the inconvenient Winnie Mandela and reducing the ANC to thuggish ideologues. That Mandela is a great man is beyond disputebut that's no excuse to position him in a thoroughly Great Man theory of history, or into the mold of Eastwood's courtly masculinity.
Starts: Jan. 15. Daily, 2010