If your idea of a good time at the movies requires a three-act narrative consisting of the hook, the conflict, and the climax, followed by a quick resolution, then Amateurs of the Impossible is not for you. Filmmakers Margaret Rorison and Zach Iannnazzi are like painters — or, as Orson Welles suggested, poets with camera lenses for eyes. They reach beyond the presentational to build film-loop elegies, plein air panoplies, and celluloid sonatas that whip up dreams, memories, emotions, and musings. Rorison, co-founder of Baltimore's much-loved roaming experimental film series Sight Unseen, contributes six shorts, including a handmade study of Danish wind power, a collaboration with the Effervescent Dance Collective, a landscape portrait of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, and a 16-mm tribute to her grandfather that is saturated by field recordings of oil rigs and fishing lines on the Louisiana bayou. Iannazzi offers three shorts, including a found-footage scrapbook of fading Northern California and a superimposed diptych of home movies that explores "mid-century male bonding and the hubris of hunting culture."
"Amateurs of the Impossible" begins at 7:30 p.m. at Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia St., S.F. $10; 415-824-3890 or sfcinematheque.org. More
Scientists used to consider it balderdash, but the belief that humans can cause earthquakes has recently been validated by a significant increase in tremors occurring in the Central United States. Nearly twice as many quakes, magnitude 3 and up, have happened there in the last six years than in the previous 36 years; in 2014, more strong earthquakes jolted Oklahoma than California. Justin Rubinstein, a U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist, believes oil and gas extraction is responsible for this. Hydraulic fracturing is part of the problem, but Rubinstein says the top culprit is the injection of wastewater from oil and gas operations into permanent storage areas underground. He believes that human activity of this sort could trigger a magnitude 7 shaker. All agree that San Francisco's expected Big One will be an act of nature, not industry, but anyone earthquake-curious should find Rubinstein's talk ("Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes") of interest. The event is part of a USGS series of free lectures for non-experts.
Justin Rubinstein’s lecture, “Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes,” is set for 7 p.m. at USGS, Building 3, Rambo Auditorium, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park. Free; online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar.More
"Arroyo" means "stream" in Spanish, and the mural on El Arroyo Laundry's outside wall, by Ernesto Paul, depicts a mountainous stream in Latin America where women are washing clothing amid reeds, rocks, and waters that are the epitome of idyllic.
Unless you're within the devoted cadre of Slovakian hockey aficionados, you probably don't know much about Peter Sivak. You've probably heard of the San Jose Sharks, however. They're the guys with the teal uniforms who fly onto the rink via an oversize shark head and through a mist of dry ice.
At a press conference this morning, Bulls President and coach Pat Curcio announced the signing of Sivak, the team's first player. The 30-year-old Slovakian comes with a solid resume; playing winger for MsHK Zilina, he was one of the most prolific scorers in the top Slovak league. His 51 points in 55 games trailed only Ziggy Palffy and Miroslav Satan. These aging Slovaks used to be top-flight National Hockey League scorers; Satan also moved a lot of jerseys for obvious reasons.
As the video above reveals, Sivak also has the "certified Slovak record" for the fastest goal in league history -- just 4.08 seconds after faceoff.
Curcio admitted, however, he still hasn't inked the deal he really wants -- to be a minor-league affiliate of the Sharks much as Fresno is a minor-league farm club for baseball's San Francisco Giants and Sacramento for the Athletics. "If we wanted an affiliation with an NHL team, we could have it today," says Curcio, whose team will play home games in the Cow Palace starting in October. "But our goal is to one day be affiliated with the San Jose Sharks. We're going to be loyal to them and if it takes a whole year, that's what we're going to do."
The Bulls are the newest franchise in the ECHL, which used to stand for East Coast Hockey League but now simply stands for ECHL. The ECHL is roughly equivalent to Double-A baseball; it is two steps beneath the NHL. The Bulls remain independent; if they latch on with the Sharks or another NHL franchise, they will be part of a chain featuring an American Hockey League affiliate one rung up the ladder. In the meantime, Curcio notes that Bulls tickets are for sale regardless and you can get yours here.
Sealing a pact with an NHL team is additionally challenging for Curcio because the pro league's collective bargaining agreement expires in mid-September and a lockout is looming. Still, the coach anticipates signing several more players in the next couple of weeks. Sivak -- whose wife is a doctor in the East Bay -- is on a one-year contract for an undisclosed sum.
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.
"Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015.
He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.