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What to See at SF Sketchfest: Week 1

The hour is almost upon us: SF Sketchfest, the nearly three-week-long smorgasbord of top comedians that brightens up each January, begins this week. Since the festival is long, with lots of events each day, we're going to break our recommendations into two posts: the first will cover this week's events, from opening day, Thursday, January 14, through Thursday, January 21, and the second, next week, will offer recommendations for the bottom half of the proceedings. Tickets for all the events listed below are available from Sketchfest's website, or the individual venues.

Take Better Wine Notes with a Moleskine

Michael Broadbent, the famous wine guy and Christie's auctioneer, kept a note on every wine he tasted and eventually published this epic book of all them. That's pretty cool, as I often neglect to take notes on many of the wines I tasted and you know how the memory goes when you've had a glass of wine...

Bryce Dallas Howard Glitters In 'The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond'

Tennessee Williams always had a way with indelibly memorable female protagonists -- and Fisher Willow, the diamond-hard, proto-feminist, flapper heart of The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, a lost Williams screenplay now found, is no exception.

While evoking no less than the fragile embodiment of Southern womanhood, Laura Wingfield of Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Fisher also conjures up other aspects of Williams’ earthy and ethereal goddesses: the languid longing and steely sensuality of Elizabeth Taylor’s Maggie the Cat, the tough, passionate power of Anna Magnani’s Serafina delle Rose, and the love of fantasy and touch-and-go grasp of reality found in Vivian Leigh’s Blanche DuBois.

Get Inside Your Head at the Exploratorium

Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Exploratorium has completed and opened MIND: The Science, Art, and Experience of Our Inner Lives. In addition to the 40 new additions to the permanent collection, MIND features temporary exhibits and special programs, all designed to help us understand the connections between perception, understanding, and cognition. Challenge a friend to tell you a lie at Poker Face; try to interpret feelings from eyes alone with The Eyes Have It; and learn just how hard it is to recognize celebrities at Fast Faces.

Score Sex Tips on Your Morning Commute

Emily Morse wants you to have great sex, which is what inspired her to create an iPhone app dedicated to just that. 101 Sex Tips from Sex With Emily provides fun-sized tidbits pulled from Morse's extensive research that are sure to spice things up in the bedroom, kitchen, car, get the picture.

Timid about tantric? Resistant to role play? Don't fret, Sex With Emily culled a selection of her favorite tips from her podcast for the app that are doable for everyone, those intimidated by karma sutra illustrations included (you want me to put my what where?!). So whether you just need to slow down and breathe or introduce a Rabbit into your sex life, 101 Sex Tips is here to guide the way.

Travel Etiquette Tips from a Local Writer

When San Francisco etiquette coach Lisa Grotts travels, she abides by the John Steinbeck quote "A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you can control it." While on a radio media tour a few years back, Grotts spent so much time in major airports, she began to notice a plethora of travel faux pas, "luggage carts crashing into the shins of others; angry, unhappy passengers; passengers in coach placing their luggage in first, etc. I wrote my first chapter [of the guide] that week!" she says. In November, her compilation of all her travel knowledge, "A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette" hit the shelves.

Edible Schoolyard: An Elitist Waste of Time?

Over in our small corner of the interwebs, the news du jour is the article written by Caitlin Flanagan for the Atlantic in which she seriously criticizes school gardens in general and the Edible Schoolyard in particular. We have our own thoughts about the article, but let's just say that they are well-summarized by these two quotes, which crossed my desk earlier today. Says Kim Severson, former Chronicle writer now at the Times, "Yowser! School gardens under attack as evil?

Unscripted Theater Company to Get Weird at Thursday's Cal Academy Nightlife

If you weren't sufficiently disturbed by the masses of people riding MUNI last weekend sans pants as part of a global Improv Everywhere stunt, keep that improv fix going on Thursday at Cal Academy's Nightlife. San Francisco's Unscripted Theater Company will be taking "cues from the Academy and the natural world to create a one-of-a-kind show on-the-fly," which is sure to be super weird. Improv with taxidermy, penguins and albino alligators? Get ready.

The Foot Fist Way: Denzel Washington Finds Something Worth Fighting for in ‘Book of Eli’

You might expect Denzel Washington to seem intimidating. At 55, he’s a two-time Oscar winner, the broad-shouldered star of Glory and Training Day, an actor who commands the screen with effortless authority. Despite his iconic stature, he can disappear into a role with ease, but at the end of the day he remains one of Hollywood’s most recognizable leading men. Introductions are unnecessary.

He offers one anyway. “Call me Eli,” he says, flashing the thousand-watt smile that inspired People to name him Sexiest Man Alive in 1996.

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