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
In case you've been TaskRabbiting your way through life and haven't had the chance to leave the micro-loft to stroll the alleys and streets of central San Francisco, the number of homeless tent encampments in town is approaching epic levels — as in Hooverville and Great Depression levels.
We like how science fiction writers aren’t afraid of sequels — when you hit on a good story, why not stick with it for a few books and see what shakes out? Steven Gould hit on his good story in 1992 with his first novel, Jumper, which later became a movie about teleportation starring Hayden Christensen. The novel was a hit (less so the movie), and Gould knew he had something good. The sequel, Reflex, came out in 2004. Then a prequel appeared, Jumper: Griffin’s Story, to go along with the movie release in 2008. That movie also brought a video game, because that’s what Hollywood does. Gould isn’t all about Jumper, though; the award-winning writer has a couple eco-themed sci-fi books under his belt, one co-authored with his wife, novelist Laura J. Mixon, who appears with him tonight at the monthly sci-fi literary series SF in SF. But Gould knows that teleportation is a fine way to make a living — hence the fourth book in the series, Impulse, which arrived last week. That’s something to ask about after tonight’s reading, which is followed by a Q&A with Gould and Mixon, moderated by host Terry Bisson.
Sat., Jan. 19, 7 p.m., 2013