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 will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
If you ever wish to be instantly loved by everyone you meet, dress up as Charlie Chaplin. Hardened criminals, Republicans, real estate developers, tiny children: All humans, no matter how frightening they are or how unlikely you think it is that they may have viewed silent films, love Charlie, and many will call out to you to tell you how much. "How've you been, Charlie?" "Hey, it's my man Charlie Chaplin!" It's extremely fun. This trick probably works best on Halloween, and it comes with one caveat: Learn the roll ballet. Possibly the cutest thing ever filmed, the scene in The Gold Rush in which the Little Tramp forks two pieces of dinner bread and uses them as dancing feet on the tablecloth is iconic people will ask for it, so be ready. See The Gold Rush accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, directed by assistant conductor Donato Cabrera. Even roll-ballet lovers often don't realize that Chaplin composed his own scores, but he did, which is just another reason to love him.
April 15-17, 2 p.m., 2010