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
Lars Von Triers latest patch on tormented human nature, Melancholia (opening next month), tests Kirsten Dunst with a planet on a potential collision course with Earth. Its the end of the world as we know it or, as the melancholy Dane would probably put it, good riddance to bad rubbish. A brighter view of our celestial neighbors and ourselves lights up the sky via the shorts compilation Orbit(film). Co-curated by iconoclastic programmer Mike Plante, the mind behind the beloved Lunchfilm series of short works (commissioned for the price of a midday repast), the lineup rejuvenates our sense of wonder while rekindling a respect for science. Most of the filmmakers use footage shot by NASA, offering the rare chance to see your tax dollars at work. Local livewire Brent Hoff is on hand with his heat-seeking Look at the Sun, while Travis Wilkerson treks from Colorado with Pluto Declaration, an impassioned plea to return the ex-planet to its lofty status, and Requiem for Progress, an ode to an era of reduced expectations. Wilkersons masterful 2002 doc, An Injury to One, inspired by the Montana murder of labor organizer Frank Little in 1911, precedes the celestial shorts.
Mon., Oct. 24, 8 p.m., 2011