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
Detective stories imply that mysteries can be solved, or at least rationally explained, and confirm a universe in which guilt is determined and the guilty accorded just deserts. Such are the underpinnings of Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu's remarkably self-effacing and highly intelligent comedy Police, Adjectivea philosophical crime film that substitutes irony for suspense. Three high school kids have been reported smoking weed. For much of the movie, we watch the conscientious young plainclothes detective (Dragos Bucur) watching them, then dutifully collecting bits of evidence and filing reports in which the raw data of clues is transformed into the basis for an argument. Although it's not entirely clear exactly which kid is committing the crime of supplying the others with pot, there's enough free-floating incrimination to bust someone. The detective's supervisor orders him to make the collar, but the detective, who has concluded that the "squealer" is setting up his friend, demurs. Making his own judgment on the evidence, the detective deems the crime too minor to warrant prosecution. In this disinclination to identify and punish, the cop not only transgresses the rules of the detective genre but also confounds the state's need to identify individual guilt and evade collective responsibility. Police, Adjective is a deadly serious as well as dryly humorous analysis of bureaucratic procedure and, particularly, the tyranny of language. Images may record reality, but words define it.
Jan. 15-21, 2010