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
Once famous throughout the league as a haven for misfits and rejects looking to resurrect their careers, the Raiders have for the last decade or more made an art from out of epically wrong personnel decisions.
In 1987, The Princess Bride was released in theaters; an entire generation of children has lines from the eminently quotable film seared into their brains. One of those lines was uttered by the self-important and blustery villain, Vizzini, who heralded every foiled plot by throwing his hands up and yelling Inconceivable! The line was the perfect verbal encapsulation of frustration, disbelief, and anger. You forgot to pack underwear? Inconceivable! Vizzini was played by Wallace Shawn, one of those actors who pop up everywhere. He was on The Cosby Show, in Clueless, and on Gossip Girl. He was in Woody Allens Manhattan. He isnt just a character actor, though. He is also a cerebral Obie-winning playwright whose controversial works take on moral dilemmas one 1977 London production was attacked by Parliament for allegedly pornographic content. He has written political commentary for The Nation and translated Bertolt Brechts Threepenny Opera. His fans include Michael Moore and Tony Kushner. And somewhere between acting and penning plays, he found time to write a book, simply titled Essays. The nonfiction collection tackles, among other topics, sex and the lives of Manhattans cultural elite. Shawn discusses his book (and other things) with writer Steven Winn.
Thu., Oct. 15, 8 p.m., 2009