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
The hottest current thing in the world of tapioca drinks, a.k.a. boba tea (or, as Hillary Clinton recently called them when she tried one in New York, "chewy tea") isn't a crazy new flavor or new way to marinate the root starch balls — it's cotton candy!
The Upright Citizens Brigade opens its act at Sketchfest 2003 with a general apology to all the marginalized groups that have been offended, over the years, by sketch comedy and stand-up. Ian Roberts would like to read a statement. Since he can't read it to all marginalized groups from the stage at the Eureka, he's picked a representative one -- the Jews -- and since he can't apologize to all Jews, he explains, he wants to select one representative individual. The house lights go up. In about three minutes the sketch has moved from an apology to one of the more offensive things you've ever seen. The person Roberts chooses is a plant, Matt Besser, and the resulting argument turns into a hilarious (but tasteless, racial) joke at the expense of a drunken Irishman, played by Matt Walsh, who leaves a puddle of piss on the stage. The Upright Citizens Brigade explores the margins of acceptability in most of its routines, and most of its routines are funny. A lower-wattage troupe called the Meehan Brothers, on the other hand, runs through jokes about SUVs and Christmas trees that feel safe as well as tired. Host Joe Klocek gives easy, predictable patter about George Bush and the looming war in Iraq. Good sketch comedy has to take risks, especially in a mixed-bag festival like this one, but that doesn't mean it has to be offensive. The other outrageously funny routine on the night I attended -- also by the Upright Citizens Brigade -- involved Matt Besser as a convincing Björk, proving that anything can serve as a Björk lyric by singing the warning label on a box of roach traps.