Archive for April, 2007

Chill out with Sharks in the Farallones

A co-worker of mine took this adventure trip out to the Farallon Islands to see Great White Sharks. Nature’s most perfect killing machine. A fish that breathes murder and exhales terror. The multi-toothed, never-sleeping, two-ton savage appetite of nature.

She boated out there, my co-worker did, and sat in the boat an arm’s breadth from these gray and white avatars of death. Some people on her tour–either insane or brave, only their families or doctors know for sue–went into a shark cage and into the water. Tourists goes into cage. The cage goes into the water. The sharks in the water. Our shark.

(True Story: I watched Jaws when I was five on TV. I was sitting on the couch next to my mother. She kept telling me to not dangle my little feet off the edge of the couch, as the shark under the couch would eat me. She also told me–with utter seriousness–that Jaws was a true story. I’ve been terrified of sharks and the open ocean ever since.)

Apparently though, the water at the Farallon Islands is very murky and the people in the shark cage couldn’t see anything. I asked if they chummed–tossed fish bits into the water–to attract the sharks, but that wouldn’t work as the blood-hungry monsters live off elephant seals. And they couldn’t exactly kill a seal and bait the water with it, could they?

Instead they dragged a surfboard behind the boat and watched the sharks attack it. A surfboard. So, what they were doing in effect was training sharks in the Farallones to attack tasty surfboards. Nice. Click through above to get details about the shark tour, if you’re the type who digs this sort of thing.

And if you want to see an amazing video of Great White Sharks leaping through the air and–oddly enough–attacking surfboards being pulled behind boats, rent Air Jaws from GreenCine or Netflix sometime.

Dine Out For Life Tomorrow

Water This Thursday is Dine Out For Life, with participating restaurants. It’s not like the average San Franciscan needs prompting to dine out, but if you do end up needing a little, perhaps the knowledge that 25% of the check will be donated to AIDS research and prevention programs will help in the effort to bag the homemade dinner for a little white tablecloth and vintage wine.

I’m dining with 7 others, at Tangerine, and here are my suggested picks for your dinner:

2223 on Market, Moose’s, Rubicon, Zazie, Catch

I’m intrigued by: Lingba & Avenue G (formerly named La Felce & Shag).

Jackie Speier to take gig at SF Law Firm

Jackie Speier, who narrowly survived the bloody Jonestown massacre as an aid to the late Rep. Leo Ryan, and ten years in Sacramento is taking her law degree out of mothballs and moving back into a legal career according to the legal newspaper Daily Journal.

The popular, but termed out state legislator who was defeated in a tight race for lieutenant governer against John Garamendi last year is reportedly accepting a job at Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy and will be working in the firm’s public agency practice division under direction of fellow Hastings Law College grad Joan L Cassman.

This “public agency” law racket shouldn’t be much of a stretch for Speier who has spent decades navigating the political minefields of California politics first as a San Mateo county supervisor, then not only as an an Assemblywoman but also a State Senator. She must have some friends and knowledge at state agencies because Cal Train has even named a train after her…

pic from Wikipedia

Speier has also been in the midst of a promo push with more than a dozen Bay Area stops squeezed into April and May promoting her recently released autobiographical title “This Is Not The Life I Ordered” .

Goldberg on the radical Christian right contributing writer Michelle Goldberg is the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, just out in paperback from W.W. Norton. On Tuesday night she spoke at the Berkeley Public Library, and I interviewed her afterward.

Goldberg’s book is about a radical movement within evangelical Christianity that goes far beyond the standard issues of opposition to abortion and gay marriage. The Dominionist movement, as she identifies it, wants nothing less than to remake American society along the movement’s own “Biblical principles.”

Goldberg appears tonight at 7 pm at Book Passage in Corte Madera in Marin County.

Interview after the jump.

A Critique

San Francisco got a shout-out (if you can call it that) in Married to the Sea today. Apparently, somebody’s been hanging out in the Tenderloin too much. Link (warning: image contains swearin’)

More journalism for the ages

sfgate.jpgIt was a stellar afternoon for the local paper’s website, with front-page stories about a legless transient on a skateboard being mowed down by a postal truck (A) on Third Street, accompanied by “Woman Dies After Camel Sits On Her” (B), and a piece about the San Mateo County sheriff and undersheriff being caught at a Las Vegas massage parlor they said they thought was “a legitimate business” (C).

Can’t we get Muni in there somewhere? Then it would be a real day to remember.

Author Michelle Goldberg in the Bay Area writer Michelle Goldberg is touring in the Bay Area for the paperback release of her nonfiction book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. The book reveals how the alliance between right-wing evangelicals and conservative politicos threatens the Constitution. (Read an excerpt on Salon.)

I’ll be interviewing Goldberg following her appearance tonight at the Berkeley Public Library (PDF press release — 6:30, 3rd floor Community Meeting Room at the Berkeley Public Central Library, 2090 Kittredge Street (at Shattuck) — and you can also see her read Wednesday at 7 pm at Book Passage in Corte Madera in Marin County.

SF choreographer Micheal Smuin collapses, dies

Choreographer Michael Smuin, who was artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet for many years before leaving to start his own Smuin Ballet company, collapsed and died this morning while teaching a class at his company’s Market Street studio. Smuin, 68, died of an apparent heart attack.

Smuin choreographed for Broadway and for films in addition to leading the San Francisco Ballet to national prominence in the 1970s and early 80s.

Hot author blogs about fave SF spots

Michelle Richmond, who wrote for the sf.metblog for a brief period, and whom I interviewed here a couple weeks ago about her just-released novel The Year of Fog, is one of several authors chosen by local indy bookstore Book Passage to contribute to a blog about writing, their books and, it seems, whatever they want. One of those neat ideas that seems obvious once someone actually did it — a bookstore has authors as bloggers! Duh!

Here Richmond blogs about some of her favorite San Francisco spots.

PBS celebrates SF’s Summer of Love tonight, 40 years late

Doc filmmakers Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco bust out the archival footage of the Haight Ashbury tonight at 9 pm on KQED to examine the impact of the heady & hazy daze of yesteryear. Says Dolgin of reasons for focusing on the city in ’67 “San Francisco, in 1967, seemed like mecca, the center of a visionary new society, one that rejected war, hatred, conformity and money. The Haight Ashbury, for a brief period, was the playing field for a new way of life.”

Summer of Love survivors like actor and former Digger Peter Coyote, the indescribable Willie Brown, SF Chron’s dinosaur rock writer Joel Selvin and others are heard from as well as narration provided by M.A.S.H 4077 survivor David Ogden Stiers. Other locals behind the scene in the mix include footage from Stephen Parr’s Oddball Film & Video, and Les Blank’s Flower Films.

“American Experience : Summer of Love” airs tonight at 9 p.m, and for those with insomnia, again on Wed, Apr 25th, @ 3:00 am and click the pic below anytime after the premiere date to watch the entire program online


Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.