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
I'm not as much of a gamer as I used to be (RIP, Festival Game Palace), but I'm trying to become more of a gamer than I currently am. I inherited an Xbox 360 last year, have completed Beatles Rock Band, and am currently making my way through BioShock, mostly because of its similarities to last year's second-best film, Snowpiercer. I even occasionally play games that were made during Obama's second term!
I also like to keep up with gaming culture, which is no less vital than movie or television culture. Indeed, how much more money video games make, it's arguably the most vital of the three. And that's where the terrific YouTube channel Extra Credits is indispensable.
The stated mission of Extra Credits is to "make video game design approachable by exploring concepts like gamification, perfect imbalance, the skinner box, the uncanny valley, and more." As that description suggests, there's an emphasis on design the target audience is arguably budding designers, but it's still very accessible for those who just want to learn more about the field. Written by professional game designer James Portnow, narrated in a pleasantly pitch-shifted voice by Daniel Floyd, and animated by Allison Theus (except for when it's not), it's presented as an annotated cartoon lecture.
In other words, their politics are unimpeachable, which is to say they're progressive leftists. (Will I finally get a Ricky Maddow troll in the comments? Fingers crossed!) Extra Credits never actually did a GamerGate episode since they're not a topical / ripped-from-the-headlines show as such, but they did an episode about harassment back in 2012.
Their episode about the Uncanny Valley is an excellent (and necessarily unsettling) introduction to a topic that I find endlessly fascinating.
One of their strengths is making abstract concepts such as Operant Conditioning vis-à-vis the Skinner Box understandable to not-terribly-smart people such as myself.
As the harassment episode suggests, they don't shy away from the worst aspects of their culture and industry, such as calling EA to the carpet for their horrible, horrible marketing.
They also take on the notion that grittiness or hard-boiled-ness makes a game more grown-up, and what it means to be quote-mature-unquote.
Even if you don't play video games — actually, make that especially if you don't play video games — Extra Credits is a great way to keep up with what much of the rest of the population is enjoying, and it's an enjoyable way to do so.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"