Bay Area nurses protest, demanding removal of Mark Zuckerberg's name from their hospital

Nurses picketed The Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital And Trauma Center (AKA "Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital") and covered up Zuckerberg's name on the hospital sign, citing concerns that patients would not trust a hospital that was associated with someone with such a long rap-sheet for privacy violations. Read the rest

The scene at 4:20 PM on 4/20 at San Francisco's Hippie Hill

Look at all these stoners... San Francisco, California, ladies and gentleman!

According to SFGate, an estimated 15,000 revelers attended the annual 4/20 gathering at Hippie Hill in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. This free, unofficial and unsanctioned event has been a tradition in the city since the 1970's but this is the first time it's occurred after recreational use of cannabis became legal in California on January 1.

The event began even before the gates opened about 40 minutes after the scheduled 9 a.m. start. The throngs that had gathered at the police barricades began chanting, “We want to smoke pot in the park,” and a collective whoop rose up as they were allowed inside...

One man holding an orange box full of immaculately rolled spleefs shouted, “Pot, pot, get your pot,” like a hot dog vendor at a ballgame, but most everyone already had the stuff. Still, vendors were everywhere selling tiny $5 gram baggies, cookies and gummies...

At 4:20 p.m., a New Year’s Eve-style countdown began for the “bud drop,” a phantasmagoric depiction of a marijuana bud descending a la Times Square, but it seemed to leave many people dazed and confused. Still, they cheered as if it was the highlight of a day jam-packed with highs.

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Cities' emergency sirens will play anything you send them over an unencrypted radio protocol

It's been a year since someone hacked all 156 of Dallas's emergency tornado sirens, setting them off in the middle of the night, and the security picture for cities' emergency PA systems keeps getting uglier. Read the rest

Thursday 4/5 at San Francisco's Cal Academy of Sciences: Space Age NightLife with the Voyager Golden Record

Please join me this Thursday evening April 5 at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences NightLife event celebrating the Space Age! At 8:30pm, I'll be speaking about the Voyager Golden Record, the iconic message for extraterrestrials launched into space that my friends Tim Daly, Lawrence Azerrad, and I released on vinyl for the first time here on Earth. I'm honored to be joined in conversation by my friend and mentor Timothy Ferris, the bestselling science author who produced the original Voyager Record back in 1977.

There's a stellar lineup of other presenters and happenings at the museum that night too: NASA astronaut Ed Lu, a workshop with the Vintage Synthesizer Museum, a panel on NASA computing technology, space-themed pinball machines, Vetiver's Andy Cabic and DJ Daniel T on the turntables, plenty of far-out art, and much more. I hope to see you there: California Academy of Sciences NightLife: Space Age

The Voyager Golden Record 3xLP Vinyl Box Set and 2xCD-Book edition will be for sale at the event and also available from OzmaRecords.com.

Here's an audio sampler:

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The Internet Archive is hosting a symposium on John Perry Barlow on April 7 (and I'm emceeing)

EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow died last month, and though his death had been long coming, it's left a hole in the hearts of the people who loved him and whom he inspired. Read the rest

Kids write sketch comedy and grownups perform it live

San Francisco's Killing My Lobster troupe teaches sketch comedy to kids in a program through the 826 Valencia writing center. Then, as KML writes, grownups "take their work, rehearse it, add zany props, and perform it in front of a live audience." How fun is that?

The show is in its fourth year and is called 826+KML=BFFs. They've got six performances coming up in April at PianoFight. Read the rest

What happens when you tack $80 in cash on corkboards

Zarinah Agnew lives at the Red Victorian, a modern-day commune in San Francisco's Haight neighborhood. Six months ago, as an experiment, she and her roommates thumbtacked $80 in cash on three different corkboards (at the Red Vic and another local intentional community called The Embassy). They then attached small pink signs that read, “Take what you need, leave what you don’t!”

They called each of their experimental corkboards, the "Great Wall of Money."

Here's what happened next, according to Agnew:

We left them up in our houses and watched. It was kind of amazing.

I watched them stay pristine for a few days, and slowly gain extra funds. Once they had been touched, the notes started to move and disappear. The $1s went first, but again once a $20 had gone, the others followed suit. But they oscillated back and forth in a healthy manner.

Then one night the board was cleared, presumably by a single person. It was full at 3am and gone by 6am that morning. I was sort of delighted by this as it demonstrated to me that the board wasn’t remaining replenished through politeness. People were using it as it was intended. And lo, after a week, the empty board, started to collect notes once more...

Before long the Red Vic Great Wall of Money collected bart tickets, maps, notes, and all sorts of things. Eventually, the community moved it out onto the street where it collected even more goods and services — half smoked blunts and items of clothing were pinned to the board.

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San Francisco: New contemporary and experimental dance from ODC

Next Thursday (3/15) to Sunday (3/18) in San Francisco, the visionary dancers of ODC will culminate their 47th season with the premiere of Brenda Way's "News of the World" at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts! This new piece, with music by David Lang and mise-en-scène by painter Doug Argue and set designer Alexander V. Nichols, will be complemented by a reprise of "What we carry, What we keep," a real stunner that I had the chance to experience last year. (Behind-the-scenes video below.)

Tickets available here for the performances. Also, Friday night (3/16) is the very special ODC Dance Around Town Gala Performance + After Party!

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San Francisco: Voyager Golden Record event at Tunnel Records this Saturday

This Saturday (3/10) from 5pm-7pm, my friends at San Francisco's Tunnel Records + Beach Goods are kindly hosting a Voyager Golden Record Party with complimentary beverages! I'll be there to talk about the iconic message for extraterrestrials launched into space on a phonograph record 40 years ago. My friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad and I co-produced the first ever vinyl release of the Voyager Record this year and we were honored with a 2018 Grammy award for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package.

Tunnel Records will have the Voyager Golden Record 3xLP Box Sets and 2xCD-Book edition available for sale. Can't make it? You can also order directly from our label Ozma Records. Read the rest

Playful guerrilla group hang 'swing bombs' around San Francisco

Many locals whine that tech has killed the creative vibe in San Francisco but don't bury it just yet. A merry group of urban pranksters -- who call themselves Swing Bomb SF -- have surreptitiously placed over 50 swings around the city, as a way of turning it into an all-ages "pop-up playground"!

They've marked the bottom of each of these "swing bombs" with both the #SwingBombSF hashtag and a number from one to ??. They encourage folks to try and find all of their swings. However, since the project started a few weeks ago, some have already been removed. But don't let that stop you from searching them out.

Head to their Instagram for clues:

#swingbombsf . #randomactsofkindness #rakday #sanfrancisco #igerssf

A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 17, 2018 at 9:49am PST

#swingbombsf . #sanfrancisco #embarcadero

A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 17, 2018 at 3:17pm PST

#swingbombsf

A post shared by Swing Bomb SF (@swingbombsf) on Feb 17, 2018 at 1:33pm PST

photo by Christie Aurélio

(SFWeekly) Read the rest

A Fresh Voice for San Francisco

Editor's note: I've known Shahid Buttar for years, in his capacity as an activist organizer, drawing on his background as a constitutional lawyer and his deep commitment to a just world to help start effective grassroots groups across America; now Shahid has taken leave from EFF to challenge Nancy Pelosi -- a consistent force for more surveillance and profits over people -- for the Democratic nomination to Congress in California's 12th District. I'm proud to endorse his candidacy. -Cory Read the rest

The Internet Archive's Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex: eyeball-lancing collection of terrible US military slides

The Internet Archive celebrated its 20th anniversary with a variety of special events and collections, including the cleverly named Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex, an archive of US military bureaucratic slide-decks that are as cringey as they are hideous. Read the rest

Psychedelic 'Mirror Maze' is a hidden gem deep within popular San Francisco tourist trap

My friend Mark Krawczuk recently discovered an under-appreciated attraction at San Francisco's Pier 39, Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze.

In his latest newsletter (which is a delightful find itself), he describes it:

There’s something about the atmosphere at Pier 39 that set me and my friend Julie on edge. Something about the ingenuous tourist trap consumer culture that they’ve been able to refine to its purest form. We nearly turned back before we got to this marvel. I’m so glad we pushed through.

It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been to before: it evokes joy, awe, glee, fascination and terror at the same time. It’s premise seems so simple, but it truly blew my mind. I truly enjoyed my time there, but I have to admit I was glad when we solved the way out. I highly recommend it! And a bargain at $5.

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Three national corporations control nearly all of San Francisco's live music

Jamie Zawinski (previously), who owns San Francisco's amazing DNA Lounge venue, does a postmortem on the announcements from Slim's and the Great American Music Hall that they have "partnered" with Golden Voice, a division of Anschutz Entertainment Group, a $8 billion company that is the world's largest owner of sports teams and events; owns Coachella and ten other large festivals, and is in turned owned by a Fundamentalist, homophobic, climate change denier. Read the rest

San Francisco comedy club offers the Drug Mule, a 'cannabis-infused' cocktail (that won't get you high)

My pal Moe went to go see W. Kamau Bell at the Punch Line comedy club in San Francisco on Tuesday night and noticed something unusual on the drink menu: a cocktail made with cannabis-infused vodka. I had to investigate.

The $14 drink is called the "Drug Mule" and it's a take on the Moscow Mule (which they offer for $14 too).

Yes, recreational weed is legal now here in California but I wondered if the club needed a license to have this on the menu. So, I tried calling them. It went right to voicemail.

Then I sat here wondering if it actually had THC (the psychoactive part of pot) in it at all or if it was only CBD (which won't make you feel stoned). After shooting off a note to a friend in the local cannabis business to find out, I realized that "Humboldt's Finest" wasn't just a boastful descriptor but the actual brand name of the vodka. Digging further, I discovered that Humboldt's Finest vodka is both THC-free and legal in all 50 states.

They use hemp which has no more "than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis" of THC.

As this 2016 Mashable article reports, "Although this isn't enough THC to get you high, the 40% alcohol will surely get you drunk."

Then why drink a "cannabis-infused" beverage at all? Well, the same article explains:

Humboldt Distillery owner and head distiller, Abe Stevens explains that "It does, however, retain an herbal and aromatic quality reminiscent of fresh cannabis, and we’ve found it works very well in place of gin, giving classic cocktails a fresh new spin."

So, it smells like weed. Read the rest

SF peeps: Paint the town white with the 'Brides of March'

Michele Michele

The Ides of March will soon be upon us. In San Francisco, that means it's once again time to don a a white wedding dress to paint the town white with other "brides."

Now in its 20th year, the annual "Beware the Brides of March" gathering was started by Burning Man co-founder Danger Ranger (previously) who thought of the idea while in a thrift store:

I saw a rack of used wedding dresses and realized how often the dream of an ideal marriage had failed and how so much of this dream has been fabricated in order to fuel the ever-increasing consumption of new products. I thought it would be funny to take the primary symbol of this sacred institution and twist it around, much like what the Cacophony Society did with the Santa Rampage. This is classic Situationist ‘Detournament’, the hijacking of a message.

Want to be part of this bridal party? On Sunday, March 18th, arrive promptly at 2:30 PM at Bar Fluxus (18 Harlan Place at Grant Ave, SF):

We’ll have a few rounds of drinks at the bars and wait for late arrivals. By 3:30 PM we’ll be suitably liquored up for a stroll around town, with stops at our favorite Formal Wear store, and diamond importer. From there, we’ll continue on Grant and turn onto Maiden Lane, Stopping for a photo op at the gates of Maiden Lane. Then we’ll race across the street to Union Square and gather around our edifice of desire, the monolith of John Dong Long.

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To do in San Francisco Jan 28: Kim Stanley Robinson and Cecelia Holland at SF in SF

The next installment in the extraordinary lecture/reading series features Hugo-winning environmentalist author Kim Stanley Robinson and prolific historical novelist Cecelia Holland: $10 donation at the door, no one turned away for lack of funds. (Images: AllyUnion, CC-BY-SA; Other Change of Hobbit) Read the rest

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