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
In case you've been TaskRabbiting your way through life and haven't had the chance to leave the micro-loft to stroll the alleys and streets of central San Francisco, the number of homeless tent encampments in town is approaching epic levels — as in Hooverville and Great Depression levels.
S.F. is the greenest in the realm -- or at least we say we are
A study commissioned by the water bottle company Nalgene -- which definitely has a horse in this race -- has deemed San Francisco the nation's "1st least wasteful city" (their words) in a field of 25 major cities. Atlanta, as the headline indicates, came 25th, making it ostensibly the "last least wasteful city."
Now ... this is a good thing. We should feel proud. But as "The Wolf" put it in Pulp Fiction, "Let's not start sucking each other's popsicles yet."
First of all, how does Los Angeles crack any Top-Five list of "least wasteful cities"? That's a big red flag, and the methodology of the study explains a lot. Unless we're missing something, this was a study done entirely over the phone lines; not one ounce of trash or recycling was sifted in determining what was actually being recycled or tossed away. And you know what? People don't always tell the truth -- especially about their own wastefulness.
Professor Bill Rathje has excavated 21 landfills in North America as archaeological digs, earning himself the nickname "The Indiana Jones of Garbage" (which he hates). Earlier this year he told SF Weekly that sifting through individual households' trash reveals that Americans routinely over-report consumption of broccoli, cauliflower, and other vegetables by 40 percent while under-reporting alcohol consumption by 80 percent.
What's more, Rathje notes that the United States Department of Agriculture recently came to him hoping for help deciphering the results of its household survey of what American families are eating, which is undertaken every decade. "Based upon [production] numbers they got from farmers and processors, it didn't work. People ate, according to their [responses], 30 percent more than what was produced in the United States."
In short, people tend to give the answers they think they ought to, rather than what's true -- especially in San Francisco, where we're probably more likely than elsewhere to feel guilty about our environmental shortcomings. But our trash -- it does not lie.
Of course, asking the good folks at Nalgene (or the folks they hired) to get their hands dirty with our stinking detritus is a tall order. But they needn't. San Francisco has produced a detailed accounting of exactly what's going into our landfill and what's being diverted (i.e. recycled). That study revealed that 67.5 percent of material dumped into the city's garbage pit could have been recycled or composted.
Quite specifically, 31.3 percent of the material San Franciscans throw
away could have been recycled while 36.2 percent could have been
composted. Studies such as this are the gold standard; our telephone responses about our trash are garbage.
When it comes to mass transit, recycling, and -- especially -- composting, this city really does make it relatively easy for us to live somewhat green lifestyles. But we are not yet close to where we want or need to be. And triumphalism will not help.
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.'"