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.
Brief background: In the show's mythos, a Cutie Mark is the symbol on a given pony's flank; it appears when, and only when, they discover their special talent and purpose in life. (For a show with "magic" in the title, Cutie Marks are the show's only truly inexplicable magic.) The Cutie Mark Crusaders are a trio of young foals who don't yet have their Marks, but are determined to make them appear by figuring out just who they are.
These kind of theme-based series are certainly nothing new; Paramount did it in the 2000s with their Star Trek: Fan Collective series, and initial VHS releases of television shows in the 1980s were often in the form of "here's a random episodes you'll probably like" collections. Also, Shout! Factory does eventually release each full season of Friendship Is Magic as its own set, which look pretty good on one's shelf.
Shout! Factory tends to paint themselves in a bit of a corner with these collections, at least in terms of keeping up with a given compilation's themes. The majority of the episodes that would have fit best in Cutie Mark Quests already appeared in the this past March's Adventures Of The Cutie Mark Crusaders set, and Shout! Factory is good about not recycling episodes for these sets, and certainly not within the space of a few months. That said, there's still some mystery to their selections; the Adventures Of The Cutie Mark Crusaders set included the Season 4 episode "Pinkie Pride," in which the Crusaders don't actually appear. (Though Weird Al Yankovic is that episode's guest star, and Season 4 hasn't hit video yet, so it's no surprise they wanted to get it out there.) Besides, as modern animation goes, Friendship Is Magic has a re-watchability quotient which is matched only by Wander Over Yonder and Steven Universe, so you can't really go wrong with any set.
Of the five episodes on Cutie Mark Quests, Season 1's "The Show Stoppers" (in which the Crusaders decide to find out if 1980s synth-pop will earn them their Marks), would have been more appropriate on the Adventures DVD, and the premiere Season 2 premiere episodes "The Return of Harmony, Parts 1 & 2" have nothing to do with Cutie Marks at all, though they do feature the introduction of Discord, a trickster god voiced by John DeLancie, who is not-coincidentally portrayed the similar trickster god Q on Star Trek. The final two episodes on the DVD are the Season 5 premiere "The Cutie Map, Parts 1 & 2," which only debuted on television this past April.
And while I can quote from "The Show Stoppers" and "The Return of Harmony, Parts 1 & 2" as circumstances require (and you'd be surprised how often they do), I can't speak for "The Cutie Map, Parts 1 & 2," 'cuz I haven't watched 'em yet. I haven't watched any of Season 5 even though it's already 10 episodes in, for a simple reason: I'm currently writing a book about the show. The working title is Ponyville Confidential, but since it's a scholarly study of both the series and the Pony franchise's place in the media since the early 1980s, the eventual title will probably be something more academia-friendly like A History and Critical Study of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, because that's the kind of get-to-the-point title the publisher prefers.
I'm keeping the scope of the book to the first four seasons. The manuscript is due in September, by which time Season 5 will have probably just completed, and there'd be no way to do it any kind of justice. What's more, since I know that "The Cutie Map, Parts 1 & 2" involves a village where the residents have given up their Cutie Marks because it says so on the back of the DVD, and a recurring theme in Ponyville Confidential is the mystery of the Cutie Marks and how they work, there's a good chance that the episode will contradict much of what I've written. So, in the interest of plausible deniability, I ain't watching it yet, which will do me a world of good when the book is finally published in 2016 or 2017, and I inevitably get a flood of angry Tweets telling me that I'm worse than Hitler for including what will by then be out-of-date analysis. I'm sure they won't even be as classy as the Weekly's resident reactionary trolls are in the comments here. (Hello, resident reactionary trolls! God bless you and the wonderful work you do.) I can't even watch these clips I've embedded. Who is the pony with the parallel lines for a Cutie Mark? Why does Fluttershy have that same Mark on the back of the box, replacing her usual butterflies? I don't know!
So let my future internet abuse be a cautionary tale: if you're going to write a book about a TV series, choose one that isn't still in production. Unless you have as much to say about it as I do about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, in which case, go for it.
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.'"