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
Yeah well, that makes you a fuckin' hypocriticizer too
Be honest: Who would you rather knock back a cold one or pull a few tubes of your favorite Choom with -- Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
Neither, clearly. The portrayal of George W. Bush as an "Alabama Kush"-puffing commander in chief in Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay is hands-down the most enjoyable POTUS our imagination can muster (not to mention the finest parody of an American president since Dana Carvey's spot-on George Herbert Walker Bush).
Team Obama is still eager to tap whatever cultural zeitgeist the the neo-stoner films channeled. Actor Kal Penn, the film's Kumar, has had an off-again, on-again role at the White House as a "director in the Office of Public Engagement." And he and Harold and Kumar co-star John Cho are in a video released last night to coincide with the opening of the Democratic National Convention, in which the two take a call from President Obama in between mouthfuls of munchies.
A decade-old, played-out cultural reference? Absolutely perfect for politics. And perfect for setting off an Internet firestorm. Both the left and the right are blasting Obama and Penn as hypocrites for appearing stoner-friendly while the federal government ramps up its anti-marijuana policy.
Cannabis advocates and right-wingers alike pounced on the video as emblematic of the Obama campaign's craven hypocrisy. Right-wing Newsbusters.org challenged Penn to ask Obama the same question Kumar asked a stoned W. in the film: "So you get high and then you put other people who smoke weed in jail? That's so hypocritical." And Morgan Fox, executive director of pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, complained that "the fact Obama uses these characters to joke about this issue while on the other hand continuing to arrest people he's appealing to is really disingenuous."
In terms of the "stoner vote," there is indeed such a thing to court, at least in this cycle. In November, marijuana-legalization measures go to the ballot in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado -- all of which, save the latter, are stone-cold locks for the Democrats. Colorado did go blue in 2008; however, with sizable Latino, military, and small-government contingents, its nine electoral votes are up for grabs. Will the drive to legalize or the prohibitionist backlash push more people to the polls? Right now, it appears the Obama campaign is betting on the stoners -- though how that will help Obama in battleground states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, we're less sure.
As for which party is pot-friendlier? That's hard to say. Under Obama, marijuana plant seizures and closures of medical marijuana dispensaries have hit record highs; this trend has been well-documented on the virtual and print pages of this newspaper. And two of medical marijuana's finest champions in Congress, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, are both members of the GOP.
That said, judging by campaign materials, the only true cannabis-friendly presidential candidates are Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson, both of whom have directly called for an end to the War on Drugs. And we seriously doubt Romney -- who told New Hampshire voters in January that he'd fight medical cannabis "tooth and nail" -- would be welcome with the likes of Harold and Kumar if elected president.
Recall the rumor in July that Obama is waiting to be reelected to radically change the country's approach to drugs. Maybe this video is a harbinger of radical change? Or maybe it is what it is: overworked campaign staffs who haven't been to the movies in six years reaching for what's most easily accessible. Warmed-over cultural references, co-opted 20-year-old stadium anthems, and an ancient cultural icon rambling at an empty, swearing chair. That, folks, is politics in America in 2012.
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.
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.'"