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
The Penismobile is a hybrid? We were sure it'd be a Jaguar XKE
You don't always say this about penises, but in San Francisco, they come in threes. First there was the walking, advice-dispensing dong featured in a locally produced health film/soap opera.Then there was local reality TV ingrate Stephen Fowler. And now, the San Francisco Healthy Penises are back! (and there are three of them!)
The Healthy Penises are actually a trio of San Francisco Department of Public Health workers donning giant dick costumes (and another dressed as a red syphilis sore) who made their triumphant re-entry into the city this afternoon. Eileen Shields, a spokeswoman for the DPH, said the white, brown, and black penises aren't distinguished by race -- but naming them "Clark," "Byron," and "Pedro"? That's about as subtle as a 6-foot-tall penis.
The testicular trio were first seen on the streets of San Francisco in 2002, and were "retired" in 2006 to combat syphilis in Seattle, Santa Clara County, and Winnipeg. And yet, rising syphilis rates have forced the DPH to dust off the penises. The city claims syphilis rates have jumped 50 percent in the last year among gay men and a health alert released late last year states that 54 percent more San Franciscans tested positive in 2008 than 2007 (incidentally, 92 percent of them were gay men; it's no coincidence the costumed penises made their appearance today in the Castro). You can read that health alert here:
These alarming statistics apparently counter any good news gleaned from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its latest report on syphilis records the lowest syphilis rate in years for the San Francisco area in 2007 -- only 308 cases total (last year's low rate, oddly, came during a time the Healthy Penis gang wasn't here to spread the word).
Dr. Ken Katz, an epidimologist with the DPH, blamed the syphilis outbreak on decreased outreach as a result of budget cuts. As for why gay men make up the vast majority of cases locally, he said the disease has "established itself in the sexual network." In other words, relatively large numbers of local gay men are infected, making this pool a risky place to "swim"; yet in general there is nothing about the act of male-on-male sex that generates more of a risk for syphilis than heterosexual sex. He also reports the Healthy Penis gang are "kind of fuzzy" and "pleasant to the touch" and you don't have to be a man to wear the costume.
In the meantime, those considering engaging in unprotected sex and eschewing a regular screening at local STD clinics are advised to watch the following:
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.
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.'"