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6 Wineries That Showcase the Best of Napa Valley to Out-of-Town Visitors

With hundreds of wineries to choose from and experiences that range from hoity-toity tastings to off-road excursions, it's tough to give Napa fist-timers a balanced sampling of the valley. That said, here are six wineries that will give you a nice blend of the best the area has to offer in a weekend:

SF JAZZ Does the Big Easy With "A Night in Treme"

The musical culture of New Orleans has never been more honestly displayed than in HBO’s series Treme. David Simon and Eric Overmyer’s gritty, lyrical drama shows residents of the Crescent City remaking their homes following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Musical performance has become a central feature of the series, which goes into the Treme neighborhood, home to Congo Square and the birthplace of jazz. This month, the Big Easy makes a local appearance courtesy of SFJAZZ.

Art, Science, and Story-Telling in the Age of Entrepreneurship

You know that the number of startups has reached a critical mass of sorts when academic studies start appearing in an attempt to document the "science" of entrepreneurship, as opposed to its "art."

Another way to put it might be "data replacing anecdotes."

Which brings us to the recent study called the Startup Genome Report: Cracking the Code of Innovation, coauthored by a team of professors from Stanford and UC Berkeley.

The report was based on surveys of over 650 Internet startups and identified at least 14 key factors that help determine success, including the finding that balanced teams of one business founder and one technical founder raise 30 percent more money, experience almost three times greater user growth, and are less likely to scale "prematurely" than unbalanced teams.

The 48 Hour Film Project Blasts Through SF This Weekend

In May 2001, filmmaker Mark Ruppert came up with a crazy idea: To try to make a film from concept to completion in 48 hours. He enlisted his partner, Liz Langston, and several other filmmakers to join him in this experiment, and the 48 hour Film Project was born. Since that day, nearly 40,000 people have made 3,000 48-hour films in 80 cities worldwide.

SF Mixtape Society Meet Up @ Makeout Room This Weekend

Even in this age of soulless iPod shuffle, compiling mixtapes for your high school friends or crushes is a rite of passage, like writing bad, angst-ridden poetry or sneaking out of your bedroom for makeout sessions. After that it becomes an artform — that is if you give enough of a damn about music to move beyond classic rock and punk. If you're a connoisseur of the mixtape, you can command respect in any room you enter.

Highlights from Last Night's SVNewTech Meetup

Silicon Valley NewTech, the Bay Area's largest and oldest tech meetup group, gets together every month inside a conference room at DLA Piper in Palo Alto to eat pizza, drink some beers and listen to presentations from startups. At nearly 7,000 members strong, SVNewTech chooses four startups every month to showcase their product through a 15-minute demo and presentation, followed by a rapid-fire question and answer period from the audience. Joe Robinson, the organizer of Silicon Valley NewTech, will be bringing us the highlights from these meetups, reporting on some of the most promising ideas presented. Below are his notes from last night.


Most businesses and organizations have websites, but very few have any idea what's working and what's not. Optimizely wants to change all of that through their incredibly simple A/B testing platform. The service is easy enough for anyone to use, and coding is limited to copying & pasting one line of code to the page you want to test.

The Optimizely co-founders, Pete Kooman and Dan Siroker, are great examples of how persistence and experimentation are key ingredients to startup success. They worked together at Google as Product Managers, co-founded a previous company together called CarrotSticks, and are now applying their learnings to Optimizely.

Twitter Users to Be Granted First Look at J.J. Abrams' 'Super 8' at the Metreon

Fellow geeks, get ready to tweet. Paramount Pictures and Twitter announced today that sneak-preview screenings of J.J. Abrams' eagerly anticipated sci-fi fantasy Super 8 will take place all day Thursday at theaters across the country – including the AMC Metreon here in San Francisco – a day before the movie opens nationwide.

To promote the sneak previews, the companies have designated the hashtag #Super8Secret, which Paramount has also sponsored as a promoted trend, giving Twitter’s global users a direct link to buy tickets. Participating theaters will be treat those in attendance to a free popcorn (with a concession purchase) at each showing. Hosting movie sneak previews marks a first for Twitter.

Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink for Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. Wire at Public Works: A combination of fashion show, hair-modeling event, and rock concert, Wire will feature dresses constructed of recycled telephone wire, coordinating hair and makeup by Elevation Salon, a performance by the Australian band The Black Ryder, and of course, cheap booze. Tickets are $10 in advance, but the drink specials are cheap: $3 Staropramen beer and $5 Karlsson's Vodka cocktails. 7x7 is one of this party's sponsors, so come out and support us! Tickets are here. (Sunday, June 12, 7 pm-2 am, at Public Works SF, 161 Erie St., Mission.)

Scavenger Crawl 2011 in SOMA This Sunday: Get Ready to Drink & Raise Money for Charity

Running around the city solving riddles, searching for hidden clues and drinking beer dressed like a ninja is a heck of a way to spend a Sunday —especially for a good cause. The 2011 Scavenger Crawl is here to help you kick off the summer as a hybrid pub crawl/costume party/charity event that benefits Brush Fire Painting Workshops, an organization dedicated to healing kids through art.

You get three hours in one SF neighborhood (last year's was the Mission, this year's is SOMA) to solve all the clues, which are kept on the easier side so you actually have a chance to finish it within the time span and get some drinking in along the way at the various participating bars and pubs.

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