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From the Blogs

Local superhero vs. evil plastic bag

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One unintended, positive side-effect of San Francisco's plastic bag ban: Fewer opportunities for free-floating bags to lodge themselves into cylcists' derailleurs, as happened to me this morning on my way to work. It's still two weeks before the official Bike to Work Day, but I thought I'd share today's bike-commute anecdote, which belongs in the Restoring Faith in Humanity department. Read more »

Take me out to the ball game (just not in Arizona)

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City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor David Campos are asking Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to seek an alternative to Phoenix, Arizona to host the 2011 All-Star Game, unless that state's controversial immigration law is repealed. Read more »

Welcome to Elm Street: The Remake

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I’ll say this about the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street: it could have been worse. Yes, it’s pointless and unimaginative and producer Michael Bay should still be ashamed, but I didn’t hate every minute of it. I can’t say the same for Rob Zombie’s dreadful take on Halloween (2007) or the unholy mess that is 2009’s Friday the 13th. Read more »

Let's talk

Sandra Bernhard goes off wonderfully. Plus: Queensday, Devotion, and goth-industrial bacchanal

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SUPEREGO The last time I got on the horn with scaldingly hilarious comedian Sandra Bernhard — one of the few people who can make me blush without pulling down their pants — it was the tail-end of that heady year, 2007. Remember then? Baby electro-hipsters were tiring of Justice, shutter shades caused several horrible traffic accidents, and Sandra was just about to blossom into a full-fledged political scandaleuse, among the first to publicly call out Sarah Palin for her anti-woman stance. Read more »

Appetite: 3 coffee table books with expert cocktail recipes

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Aesthetics matter. Beyond quality recipes, fine photography and presentation can make one cocktail recipe book stand out over another. Whether you are a cocktailian who interprets measurements for the modern day from Jerry Thomas' 1800's standard-setter, formerly known as The Bon Vivant's Companion, or a cocktail appreciator who wants to make more than Lemon Drops (or anything "tini"), here are three books with recipes to please a novice or cocktail expert alike... and they're beautiful to thumb through. Read more »

The Daily Blurgh: Drop that cornhole, Bieber!

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Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond

Is the Tonga Room saved? A City Planning Commission report may indicate yes. The report concludes that San Francisco's finest (imperiled) tiki bar is covered in enough irreplaceable tchotkes and gewgaws to make it a "historical resource." That might not stop those same tchotkes and gewgaws from being removed, "for public information and education, and/or reuse in an alternate off-site location." But what about the indoor rainstorm over the lagoon?!?!

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Meet the proponents of sit / lie

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It’s easy to find opponents of the city’s proposed sit /lie ordinance in San Francisco. This past Saturday, April 24, dozens of them organized over Facebook, inviting people to join in on events like drag shows, barbecues, and board game matches, all out on the sidewalk. The law’s proponents, meanwhile, haven’t been quite as visible since the great sit/lie debate began. But yesterday, April 28, the Guardian attended a press conference at the Tenderloin Police Station hosted by citizens who back the controversial law against sitting or lying down on the sidewalk.  Read more »

Newsom's puppet show

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Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has been doing exactly what Pacific Gas and Electric Co. wants at City Hall, is complaining that some of the supervisors are Bay Guardian puppets.Read more »

Big package in the Castro

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While walking through the Castro I was pleasently surpised (well, sort of surprised) to catch a glimpse of this big, hard package chillin' in the middle of the street. Read more »

Supes try applying pressure to urge CCA contract

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At the April 27 Board of Supervisors meeting, Sup. David Campos made a motion to push back board approval for San Francisco Public Utilities Commission infrastructure improvement projects until a contract was in hand for the city’s Community Choice Aggregation program. If a contract isn’t signed by June 8, when voters will decide on Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s Prop 16 in the June election, the city could be vulnerable to a legal strike against its green municipal power program from PG&E. Read more »

Welcome to Elm Street (and Crystal Lake): Part Eight

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In honor(?) of the new A Nightmare on Elm Street, we're recapping all of the Elms so far. Find more on the Pixel Vision blog.

The stage was set for Freddy vs. Jason (2003) long before Freddy’s glove made a cameo at the end of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) — yet another in a long line of misleadingly-titled films promising the last stand of the boogeyman in question (lest ye forget, Jason X came out in 2001). Who didn’t want to see the wisecracking scourge of Springwood go glove-to-machete with Camp Crystal Lake’s burly maniac? Truly, it would be a grudge match for the ages, with two of the most franchise-able movie monsters (combined total in 2003: 17 films) poised to lure both long-standing loyalists and new blood into the theaters. (And even if the entire film was simply a canny marketing tactic, it worked -- Freddy vs. Jason was a huge hit, earning $82 million in the United States alone.)

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SPJ's Journalism Innovations conference starts Fri/30

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Now in its third year, Journalism Innovations is the West Coast’s premiere showcase for groundbreaking journalism ideas, media innovation and community networking. Produced by the Society of Professional Journalists-Northern California, Independent Arts and Media, The University of San Francisco, and the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism, Journalism Innovations is playing a vital part in shaping the next phase of the industry.

This event, combined this year with the SPJ Region 11 Spring Conference, will bring in hundreds of working journalists, educators, advocates, citizen media-makers, inventors, recruiters, students and job seekers.  Join the leaders shaping the future of news. Register today, or sponsor to gain high-profile exposure for your organization! Visit the conference website or join our Facebook group for the latest details.

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Keep watching the skies! "Birdemic" is coming!

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By Peter Galvin

Birdemic: Shock and Terror: it's heeeere! This underlit, out-of-focus and erratically-edited independent film is America’s newest cult obsession, recently booking a West Coast theater tour (including Fri/30-Sat/1 at the Roxie) on the back of some impressive press coverage and a thumbs-up from Adult Swim superstars Tim and Eric. It’s the story of a freak eagle attack on Half Moon Bay, and there’s no pussyfooting around the reality that Birdemic is an amateur work. If it weren’t for the awkward fades between scenes, I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the film was cut entirely in-camera. With all the fuss building around the picture, the allure must be in laughing at it, and setting out to laugh at a bad film can be a tricky endeavor. Searching for whimsy in a poorly-made film can be an infuriating struggle of highs and lows, a pitfall Birdemic avoids by being laughably inept in every frame.

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CounterPULSE's three day maypole

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It’s a big weekend for celebration. May 1st is International Worker’s Day, it's the day when winter has finally left the Northern Hemisphere building, and marks the dawn dances of the pagan Beltane. All in all, it’s an apt time for rejoicing in the people and places what that make our world beautiful.

And given that we’re in the Bay, one of the Earth’s great cradles of populist art, there may be no better place to do that than CounterPULSE, the community art performance space that is celebrating 20 years (five in their current location) of helping cool artist do what they do. CounterPULSE has been sponsoring classes, performances, and residencies for some of our most progressive and exciting artists over the past decades -- and they're making it easy for you to throw some dough their way with three days of diverse, exciting programming that could really only happen here in San Francisco Read more »

Welcome to Elm Street: Part Seven

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Before Wes Craven got meta with Scream (1996), he tried his self-referential hand at the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The result was New Nightmare (1994), which reunited Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund as … Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund. Also playing themselves: actor John Saxon, writer-director Wes Craven, producer Robert Shaye, and Freddy Krueger. Yep, that’s how he’s credited.

Where was there to go after the dreadful Freddy’s Dead (1991)? Not because of the title’s finality — see also: the so-called Final Chapter (1984) of Friday the 13th — but rather its inescapable shittyness. Part six offered more comedy than horror, with lazy deaths, bad acting, and weak puns — even by Freddy standards. But New Nightmare was a reinvention in the truest sense. It’s a film that, while far from perfect, was well ahead of its time. In fact, Craven pitched it as the plot for part three, but the studio decided against it.

That’s probably for the best. New Nightmare works well when it’s referencing its predecessors: that’s kind of the whole point. Part three would have been too soon — that film could have been clever, but it wouldn’t be full of the Easter eggs that make New Nightmare such a treat for longtime fans. And, yes, I’ve been rewatching these movies for the past week and am, in general, above-average geeky: this film works for me in a way it might not work for others. But I think that’s OK. Scream is broader (and better) because it appeals to fans of all ‘80s horror — New Nightmare is just for Freddy Krueger devotees.

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