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
Pickup basketball is a weird social phenomenon where a bunch of strangers meet at a designated spot during a designated time to engage in an athletic competition governed by de facto rules established in some mythic rulebook.
Author Mary Roach goes strange places to get a story. She once accompanied a small army of doctors practicing facelifts on severed heads. She also asks odd questions is there really something to this whole afterlife thing, and how might we prove it? She takes humorous looks at issues we study but don't always like to talk about. See: 10 things you didn't know about orgasm, from Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. It's been said that Roach is impervious to embarrassment, but we'll take it one step further: We think she likes embarrassment of her subjects. Imagine the reaction of the NASA scientists, for example, when she asked about the complications of eating, using the bathroom, or having sex while weightless. The answers are part of her latest book, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, which she discusses tonight. Embarrassment or not, Roach likes to jump into the squirmy end herself. She volunteers to try out the trainer toilet at the Johnson Space Center. She also rides in a military cargo jet that simulates zero gravity and can't help getting all Superman while floating in the air. She interviews former space travelers and explores things such as space suits for chimpanzees and the rigorous psychological training of Japanese astronauts. Accompanying her is the band One Ring Zero, whose song "Zero-Gravity Blues" suggests its members share Roach's humorous take on the great beyond.
Tue., Dec. 14, 7 p.m., 2010
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.'"