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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ben Pack, Insanely Tall Guy, Uses Height to Raise Money so He Can Show Off

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Really tall
  • Really tall

Virality is kind of a white whale in the Internet world. It's hard to engineer -- though many have tried -- and it often smiles on those who least expect it.

Take Ben Pack, for instance, the 6-foot-10 San Francisco State journalism student whose claim to fame is, well, that he's 6-foot-10. Two weeks ago, the 23-year-old senior made a Tumblr about it, after walking into a parking lot and realizing that he was tall enough to stand eye-to-eye with the "clearance" sign for truck beds.

Clearly, he had something to show the world.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Seven Reasons Oakland Is Cooler Than We Thought

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

NELSON ESTRADA
  • Nelson Estrada

Like many San Franciscans, we spent years convinced the world ended at the Golden Gate Bridge. We knew the 280 freeway led to Google, and heard rumors about people with yards in the East Bay, but as far as art, culture, and politics were concerned, S.F. was the place to be. But in the last few years, more and more of the cool kids have been moving across the pond to Oakland, and for good reason.

Oakland muscled in on S.F.'s cultural turf last year with the monthly street festival First Fridays. Then -- beating us at our own game -- Oakland ranked higher than San Francisco on the Advocate's list of gay-friendly cities. Here are seven reasons we should all get down in the Oaktown.

See Also:

Videos of the Day: The 10 Best Views in S.F. and Oakland

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Video of the Day: The Most Beautiful Time-Lapse of California Ever

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

monolation.jpg

While we were busy calling ourselves Social Media Gurus and loving vodka, videographer Jess Dunlap spent her 2012 creating this gorgeous 4-minute time-lapse video of California, titled Monolation. It features over 17,000 heart-stopping landscape photographs, and camera movements that feel somehow both sped up and as if time is standing still.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rapping Mice and 3D Thrills: Not Your Traditional Nutcracker Events

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Postcard of the ballerina Olga Preobrajenskaya (1871-1962) as the Sugarplum Fairy and Nikolai Legat (1869-1937) as Prince Coqueluche in the Imperial Ballet's original production of the choreographers Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and Lev Ivanov (1834-1901) & the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's (1840-1893) 1892
  • Postcard of the ballerina Olga Preobrajenskaya (1871-1962) as the Sugarplum Fairy and Nikolai Legat (1869-1937) as Prince Coqueluche in the Imperial Ballet's original production of the choreographers Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and Lev Ivanov (1834-1901) & the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's (1840-1893) 1892

December has officially arrived, and nothing announces the holidays quite like The Nutcracker. Head to the Palace of Fine Arts for a traditional rendition by the City Ballet School starting December 6, but this year San Francisco has many other Nutcracker options for you to think outside the bun.

See also:

Read Local: An Air Guitar User's Guide and Desmond Tutu Crowdsources Humanity

Recent Acquisitions: Meet Louise Boyd, the Bad-Ass Bay Area Explorer You've Never Heard of

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday: SF Weekly Takes Masochism to a New Level, Spends 24 Hours at Walmart

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

supercenter1.jpg

We don't get many big box stores here in San Francisco, and most of us like it that way -- we'll keep our neighborhoods and corner stores thank you very much. But Target recently opened two stores in the city, and Walmart has been trying to get into Manhattan for years. With this in mind, I had been planning an adventure into formula retail for a while, and when I heard about Black Friday getting moved to Thursday, I knew the time had come. So on Thursday, November 22, I left my house with the goal of spending 24 hours at Walmart.

These were my rules:
I could only take my clothes, one bottle of water, and my notebook. Everything else I needed would have to come from inside Walmart.
If for any reason I leave the Walmart I'm in, I must drive directly to another Walmart.

See also:

Walmart Workers Go On Strike During Black Friday Shopping Rush

Horrible Mother Headed to Prison After Allegedly Trying to Sell Her Baby at Walmart

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Q&A: Steve-O from Jackass Performs New Debasing Stunt ... Stand-Up Comedy

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 10:30 AM

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While the era of the traveling freak show may be over, the fascination with the weird and terrifying still runs strong in our red-blooded veins. If this were another time or place, Steve-O would have lived as a simple showman -- touring the nation with the circus, horrifying the populations of small towns and planting nightmares into the minds of children everywhere. Luckily, this is America where freaks rule the airwaves and reality TV is basically the only thing people watch. Thanks to his time on the show Jackass and the four movies also produced by the mega-stuntmen, Steve-O has puked his way into the hearts of young'uns everywhere.

See also:

"Jackass 3D": The Prank Franchise Exploits the Trendy Format

Jackass the Game is a Kick in the Nuts

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Struggle, Gold Digging, and Cannibalism: The Story of California State Parks

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 10:48 AM

c4e8_seals_featured.jpg

Have you ever wondered why Yosemite is a national park? Arguably the most glorious -- and indisputably the most visited -- in California, Yosemite was once under the state's dominion. It seems bad management has plagued this great state from the beginning, and even John Muir and the Sierra club could not stop the overgrazing of meadows and logging of Giant Sequoia. When Muir could take no more, he invited President Theodore Roosevelt to camp near Glacier Point, and by the third day, it was a done deal: Roosevelt took Yosemite from California and declared it a national park. This month an ambitious PBS two-part documentary California Forever will tell the story of the state parks, including the Yosemite debacle. In Part 1: The History of California State Parks, Oscar-nominated filmmakers David Vassar and Sally Kaplan invite viewers on a breathtaking tour of the park system, focusing on the contributions of early preservationists.

The documentary is as awe inspiring as it is heartbreaking, and perhaps nothing captures this duality more than the opening scene, when Augustus T. Dowd discovers giant sequoias in 1852. A year later, it took five men only 22 days to fell that very tree, believed to be 1300 years old. "They wanted to prove to the world that something was that big," Kaplan explained, "without being conscious of what they were losing by proving that." Sections were sent all over the world, and the stump was promptly used as a dance floor.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take a Bay Area "Gross" Tour

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 12:09 PM

He's got friends... - STEWART BLACK
  • Stewart Black
  • He's got friends...

San Francisco sometimes feels like Charm City, but underneath those painted ladies and precious parks, there's a lot of dirt, creeps, and gore to be unearthed. Maybe not quite underneath San Francisco itself, but our region of California boasts its share of grossness in Richard Faulk's forthcoming book Gross America: Your Coast-To-Coast Guide to All Things Gross. The tour book of sorts takes us across the country to historically gross spots and specimens, which includes things like "worm gruntin,'" flowers that thrive on rotting flesh, and the last remaining vomit factory (which is, unfortunately for us, in Chicago).

In the Bay Area, we've done a pretty good job of keeping our more disturbing specimens underground. Faulk unearths how Colma basically became San Francisco's necropolis when we ran out of room for the dead in the 19th century. Plan your visit to one of Colma's 17 cemeteries and pay respects to Wyatt Earp, Joe DiMaggio, and Levi Strauss, among others.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: There's Much More to Napa than Wine

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

George Yount didn't seek out adventure, but he certainly didn't resist it. He had fought in the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars, and by 1826, he had left Missouri on bad terms after a business deal gone sour. He moved his wife and three children to New Mexico and devoted himself to fur trapping in earnest, but by 1831 he was restless.

Rumor had it that the cowboy William Wolfskill was going to risk life and limb to seek his fortune out West, and he soon found himself hunting sea otters off the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Wolfskill saw promise in southern California, where he successfully hybridized the Valencia orange, but the north was calling to Yount. He traded in trapping for carpentry, and earned the favor of General Mariana Vallejo in Sonoma, who helped him procure a land grant. This made Yount the first permanent Euro-American settler of the Napa Valley, and he took to Rancho Caymus, which would be posthumously renamed in his honor.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Recent Acquisitions: Stanford Curator Seeks Mexican Works on Paper

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 7:30 AM

tamayo.jpg
Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

Elizabeth Mitchell had to have it.

The curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs was far from Palo Alto when she spotted something truly extraordinary in Manhattan. Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) produced over 300 prints in his lifetime, but this was altogether different. Not only is Man and Woman one of Tamayo's earliest prints, but it's also one of his strongest.

Mitchell knew that Stanford's Cantor Center for Visual Arts already owned a few works by Tamayo, but they were color lithographs from the 1960s or later. While the black and white woodcut, measuring roughly 10 by 10 inches, will be an ideal addition to an exhibition planned for 2015, the curator is specifically interested in Mexican works on paper, as well as art by the Americans they influence.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    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.'"