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
Former Bay Area television fixture Wayne Shannon's catchphrase used to be "What's it all mean?" It was, on most days, a thought-provoking, witty conclusion to an equally witty and thought-provoking news commentary.
It comes off a bit differently now, however. Shannon's decomposing body was discovered by a pair of Northern Idaho hunters on April 28. A revolver was beneath his corpse, and a thermos of unidentified liquid lay nearby. Authorities believe Shannon had been dead for months; his body had been hit with at least one dusting of snow. It is believed that he took his own life.
Wayne Shannon dead and forgotten in the wilds of Northern Idaho -- for months. What does it all mean?
For his friends, family, and former colleagues, that's a question that just can't be answered. For those of us who merely knew Shannon through his brief, sardonic commentaries at the tail end of KRON news reports from 1982 to 1988, however, it feels a bit like the unceremonious end of an era.
KRON is now a station so stripped-down from its former NBC-affiliate glory days it makes IKEA furniture resemble an Eames chair. There's no room for someone like Shannon now -- hell, they don't even have room for a damn cameraman.
Of course, Shannon felt anachronistic even 25 years ago. He was a rotund, walrus-like man with a taste for striped ties and earth tones. He sported a salt-and-pepper helmet-like hairstyle and a mustache that, to put it gently, went out of style after 1945. When he delivered his op-ed pieces, he'd lean toward the camera on one elbow and cock his head; this felt like a guy in a bar telling you what's what.
But, here's the thing -- it worked. When Shannon came out in favor of dumping nuclear waste into the ocean, viewers called and complained. But these people were apparently immune to sarcasm: Shannon's rationale was that someone had to be in favor of dumping putrid, nuclear waste in the sea, because, you know, we're doing it. Glancing back at a number of Shannon's clips today, I'm struck by how well they've aged. He had a comedian's timing, a journalist's drive, and a satirist's bile.
He would never, never, never be hired by any news station today. A goofy fat guy with funny hair and a bad mustache and a sophisticated sense of humor is not what people are clamoring to see. But a rapping weatherman? That's different.
In 2006, writer Edward Champion penned a blog entry about how his inability to find any trace of Wayne Shannon-related material online demonstrated the failings of the Internet. Intriguingly, Champion's own article arguably disproved his thesis -- the comments section became a clearinghouse of information posted by friends and colleagues of Shannon's -- and, eventually, Shannon himself.
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.'"