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
It's going to be tough for us, or for anyone, not to make bad jokes about Big Black Penis: Misadventures in Race and Masculinity. Author Shawn Taylor's main point is that being a black man is complicated for example, it is both dangerous and funny. In the course of some autobiography (the appearance of LL Cool J in Krush Groove is Defining Life Moment (DLM) #2), he functions as a male Eve Ensler of sorts, bringing penis back. "If I call it a 'penis,'" he writes, "most people look at me as if I had spat on their mother. 'It's not a penis, man! It's a dick!'" Please note we're not using a common metaphor to say that the whole project must have taken a considerable amount of courage to complete. Taylor is also the author of Tribe Called Quest: People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, part of the excellent 33 1/3 series of short books on individual records.
Fri., Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2008