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
Much of the war against computer freedom has centered on things like copyright, net neutrality, and SOPA, but Cory Doctorow argues that this isn't a war at all. It's a skirmish, the opening salvos in what could soon be an overwhelming attack against freedom in computing by commercial and governmental entities. We aint seen nothing yet, basically. Computers are in everything now -- wait, computers are everything now, from cars to toothbrushes to office buildings to airplanes. And once everyone else starts acting like the music industry and big content has been acting -- trying to crimp our digital rights through nefarious software, lawsuits, and legislation -- then you'll really see some next-gen firepower. As he said in his "Lockdown" article posted on Boing Boing early this year, the battle will center on us controlling our computers: "Freedom in the future will require us to have the capacity to monitor our devices and set meaningful policies for them ... to maintain them as honest servants to our will, not as traitors and spies working for criminals, thugs, and control freaks." When you consider that these "devices" will permeate nearly every aspect of our lives in the future, you can begin to appreciate how many front lines the coming war could have. Get primed on the future shock at Doctorow's Long Now Foundation seminar, “The Coming Century of War Against Your Computer.”
Tue., July 31, 7:30 p.m., 2012