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
Mars aint what it once was, but the dusty outpost still offers live nightly entertainment and enough empty space for a guy to shed his past. Almost. Stingray Sam, the most recent cinematic offering from Cory McAbee, opens with an unforgettable lounge act (performed by McAbee) that ends with the films hero being shanghaied by his former cell-mate, the formidable Quasar Kid. Their shared mission, which can not be refused due to a privatized prison system that would have them picking up cosmic debris on the dark side of the solar system for the rest of their lives, is to rescue a little girl from a filthy rich, monomaniacal party boy. Like The American Astronaut, McAbees first feature film, Stingray Sam is a visually stunning space western with riotous music by the directors band the Billy Nayer Show; unlike its predecessor, its as topical and incisive as it is outrageously funny and beautiful. Satiric interludes about globalization, genetic engineering, and economic collapse appear onscreen as Situationist collages created by John Borruso while narrated with unflinching aplomb by David Hyde Pierce. But even as Stingray Sam extrapolates from our worst fears in a most hilarious way, the movie has a steadfast heart: McAbees real-life daughter, Willa Vy, who reminds our protagonist about the little things that make humanity worthwhile.
Thu., Sept. 17, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2009