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
Llewelynn Fletcher's immersive sculptures beguile the senses. Sasha Petrenko's site-specific installations and performances strive to capture a dynamic, living planet. Austin Thomas hides heady themes in seemingly austere drawings, photos, and sculptures. She also cobbles together site-specific social spaces which she calls "perches," but which are obviously kick-ass treehouses, minus the trees. These and other artists are contributing super-sized works for "Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" at the University of San Francisco's Rooftop Sculpture Terrace. "Just Passing Through" promises to challenge notions about how we inhabit or pass through space, or at least provide a lovely respite in a busy city.
"Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 11 at Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., S.F. Free; 422-5178 or usfca.edu. More
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11
Any time is a good time for a new Mark Twain memoir, but especially now. For one thing, Twain, who died in 1910, told the world to let him be dead 100 years before we could read his life story. For another, this Autobiography of Mark Twain, put out in three volumes beginning this month, bears quite a contemporary sheen: Its fragmentary, nonchronological, metanarrative structure comes from having been orally dictated by the authors own digressive whim. Of course Twains whims tended to be discerning, and his digressions substantive. His opinions on such matters as God, American foreign policy, and first-world capitalism ― when fully revealed in all their coruscating and vitriolic glory ― might be useful to discussions on those subjects today. Twain was generous with his attention, even as it brought him to spectacularly uncharitable conclusions. And so he remains a model of literary endurance: the outspoken opponent of indifference. Litquakes Mark Twain Ball serves as the books launch party. Included are period music and cocktails, as well as professional Twain impersonators; amateurs are encouraged.
Thu., Nov. 4, 7 p.m., 2010