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
We've all had that day: the one where you accidentally hit "Reply All" on an email intended for one or get rear-ended as you're backing out of the veterinary clinic where you've just spent your life savings to find out that the results on your cat's blood work are "inconclusive."
The Pen Is the Sword
Just as the international Art Battle presents competitive painting with time constraints and stroke-by-stroke scrutiny in front of collectors, WRITE CLUB pits wordslingers on opposing sides of a concept and lets the audience choose a victor. (We usually frown on the ALL CAPS thing, but these folks say it applies because the very title should shout at you.) It is, as they say, “literature as blood sport.” San Francisco is the second city in a growing syndicate based on Chicago’s original chapter. In keeping with the spirit of the event, local cornermen Steven Westdahl and Casey Childers build enthusiasm like announcers at a monster-truck rally; the audiences are raucous, and the action is fast and loose. Writers are given seven minutes to do their worst. Just like martial arts cornermen, Westdahl and Childers compete but don’t always win. They keep it clean by asking each winning writer to donate their share of the purse to a charity of their choosing. This month, in a nod to Bloomsday (which was celebrated on Saturday at the Mechanic’s Institute Library as well as in every Irish pub in S.F.), the title of the show was taken from the opening sentence of Finngeans Wake: “Swerve of Shore to Bend of Bay.” The topics of the bouts are slightly less poetic but no less demanding of interpretation: Up vs. Down; Top vs. Bottom; and Charm vs. Strange. Sharpen your little red pencil.
Tue., June 19, 7 p.m., 2012