Photo of Florian Hoenig, Dave M. Coduto, and Chehin Toumi by Dorian Fitzgerald
When Chéhin Toumi discovered that Stargate Universe had been cancelled, he felt a series of emotions familiar to many a diehard devotee: shock, betrayal, abandonment, horror, despondence. With social media, fans have had forums for their discontent, circulating petitions and even resorting to prank-like methods of protest -- see the rumored 8 million peanuts lobbed at CBS for canceling Jericho. But Toumi was no ordinary viewer of SGU: like the intrepid practitioner of ratiocination, lead scientist Nicholas Rush himself, he would not surrender to his fate without first thoroughly considering the options.More »
San Francisco has acquired a new resident who is out of this planet in fame and visibility. He is so famous that he doesn't even have a last name.
Chewbacca has landed in the City by the Bay from a galaxy far, far away and he has an Instagram account to prove it.More »
"Most things in San Francisco can be bought or taken."
So claims detective Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, the crime novel set in and around the Tenderloin. With Falcon and its tough-as-nails protagonist, author Dashiell Hammett cemented the gritty, cynical voice that inspired the noir genre in film and literature.
Now, the detective and his fictional fellows are taking over our laptop screens -- and real-life haunts -- as well, thanks to the introduction of Placingliterature.com. Founded by an author, geographer and software engineer, the app aims to be a crowdsourced web application that features a map with pins connecting our favorite books to their real-life settings.
Unlike a lot of literary devices, this one's accessible: Anyone armed with a smartphone and a bookish sense of adventure can "check in" at their favorite literary characters' stomping grounds throughout the Bay, from the dark Lobos Creek sewer opening in Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job to the home of dissatisfied wife Lena Ying in The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
Photos by Weidong Yang
Weidong Yang is a physicist who invented a method to detect movement as fine as a tenth of an atom. With Kinetech, a collective of artists and scientists he assembled earlier this year, Yang works on a human scale, drawing on years of martial arts and dance training and performance, as well as his skills as an engineer, to produce a tactile and visual experience inspired by fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, entropy, fractal noise, and infinite loops.
Combining technological contributions by Florian Hoenig, Sachin Deshpande, and Marc Fawzi, and choreography by Bay Area favorites Daiane Lopes da Silva and Karla Quintero, Kinetech presents Open Lab--Sensory Awakening May 20-21 at KUNST-STOFF arts with three modes of aesthetic experimentation: Mosaic, Rag Doll, and Flo, each built of codes, projections, and dancers in motion.More »
Information technology expert Nicholas Carr reveals how the rapidly developing technology around us encourages fragmented, scattered thinking. In short, our superficial thinking amounts to superficial relationships.
Carr first experimented with information technology when he worked as a writer at a management consulting firm Oliver Wyman (then called Mercer Management) in the mid '80s. There, he learned about computers and economics. He describes how he fell in love with his first computer, a 1985 Mac Plus, and became and became fascinated with the concept of information technology.
At the time of the dot-com boom, about a decade later, Carr worked as an editor at Harvard Business Review, where he wrote articles about the effect of the Internet on business and its economical impact. His 2003 article, "IT Doesn't Matter" spurred more than a book deal, it shifted Carr's interest. He became more invested in discovering the social and cultural implications of social media and Internet -- particularly how technology is changing our perceptions of the world and the way we think.
And what he found will surprise you.More »
What makes a good cocktail? Fresh ingredients, quality booze, a semi-autonomous artificial agent guided by electronic circuitry? At BarBot 13, the annual festival of cocktail robotics and mechanical socializing, you can find out yourself as you're served drinks by robot bartenders, some of which are not only capable of measuring vermouth, but are also programmed with snarky commentary.More »
The Snitch told you yesterday about the swath of Republicans changing their tune on same-sex marriage -- notably Hewlett-Packard CEO and former CA Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Jon Huntsman, and senior officials from the Reagan and George W. Bush Administrations. But the GOP isn't the only group standing up for gay rights. Hundreds of Silicon Valley tech companies also filed with the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage, arguing that Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) force them to treat employees unequally.More »
Re: our integration with machines, Jaron Lanier is one of the Big Idea Guys. He was talking virtual reality back when it was more like virtual virtual reality. Fascinated by how the Internet affects everything from business to consciousness to business-consciousness, Lanier is also known around the way as a maestro of rare and eclectic instruments; according to an SF Weekly story from February 2012, he has maybe hundreds in his house -- more than he can count, anyway.More »
Tired of playing Words with Friends while your genitals just sit there like a chump? Well, three twentysomething California guys have your back. Or rather, your front. The trio, who are anonymous, created a hookup app called Bang with Friends, which takes your Facebook friend list and turns it into a friends-with-benefits list.More »