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
Fifteen years ago, people advocating things like learning to grow your own food, scaling back living spaces, and drastically limiting financial obligations were the same ones shouting about imminent U.N.-backed invasions led by black helicopters. (Most of them lived in Idaho and drove Hummers.) Fifteen years later, unemployment refuses to budge, home foreclosure is rampant, and global warming is a much hotter issue. Politicians, meanwhile, scream at each other rather than working together on anything. Are we headed for a gigantic fall? And even if we can avoid it, will our leaders have the cojones to find the right path? Tonight you can ask Chris Martenson in Crash Course. We don’t know whether Martenson lives in Idaho or drives a Hummer, but we do know he was an executive at Pfizer and has advanced degrees in science and business. Closely following the “Three E’s” of economy, energy, and environment, he decided to aim for a more simple and sustainable life, which includes a smaller house, raising chickens, home-schooling his kids, and looking after his own financial investments. Why? He says the Three E’s are on course to collide, and if we don’t prevent that, things will change drastically for the worse. Yeah, yeah, we know, people have predicted the end of civilization since the beginning of civilization. Is Martenson just another guy trying to make a buck off our gullibility? We can’t say. But in the free market of ideas, considering the way things are going, his are worth considering.
Tue., April 24, 6 p.m., 2012