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Robin Rinaldi

The Loud, Ugly World of Online Commenting

At 8:37 a.m. on April 19, BobCr published his first opinion of the day on SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle’s online home, a response to an article about a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s access for the disabled: “For the Liberals, Useful Idiot parking spaces would be needed since they can barely find their way out of their house.” At 8:53 a.m., he moved on to an article about the S&P downgrading its outlook on government debt and posted six comments including this one: “Why do Useful Idiots have no idea what is Socialism. ... that is why they are called Useful Idiots.”

Food-Spotting, Celeb-Spotting, and Tony Soprano: This Weekend in Hollywood

If you're craving a weekend in the City of Angels, May's the month to do it. The summer throngs haven't yet arrived, but the weather's gorgeous, there are new eateries to try, and perhaps the best live theater on the West Coast playing through the end of the month.

Tahoe For Kids (or Fraidy Cats)

The typical Tahoe weekend plan goes like this: Scramble to get as much work done by noon on Friday as is humanly possible, then load up the car, cross the Bay Bridge, and pray you'll make it to Truckee in less than six hours. If there's snow, chains, or an accident anywhere along the route, settle in for the long haul. Spend Saturday skiing and drinking, wake up Sunday with an altitude-hangover headache, and reverse the trek on Sunday.

But what if you've got kids in tow—and not the kind of superhuman toddlers who can whiz down a blue slope in their baby skis at 30 mph, but regular, old-school carpet crawlers who just want some snow angels and sleds?

Help 7x7 Cheat Its Way to the Top

The 7x7 editors are headed to the Spelling Bee for Cheaters at Herbst Theatre on Thursday night to show off their spelling skills against celebs like singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, author Michael Chabon, and MythBusters' Adam Savage, all while raising money for 826 Valencia to help local kids learn how to read and write. Come root for us. Buy your tickets for the bee here, or go to our team page and sponsor our team—every dollar goes to 826's educational efforts, and the more money we raise, the more "cheats" we can buy.

Ready, Set, Ballet

Sure, Nutcracker is nice—for kids, nostalgia buffs, and balletophobes especially. But this weekend, ballet season begins in earnest when SF Ballet gears up for 2011 with the full-length classic Giselle (though Feb. 12). Premiered in 1841 and restaged here by artistic director Helgi Tomasson in 1999, the two-act ballet is romance personified: Man’s betrayal does girlfriend in, but girlfriend forgives him from the great beyond. If you want something more modern, wait for Program 2 (Feb.

Waikiki Boosts Its World-Traveler Cred With A Makeover

Waikiki Beach may have its strengths—cerulean skies, crystal waters, white sand—but you don’t get much world-traveler cred back in SF for it. That’s too bad, because not only is it one of the most gorgeous destinations on the planet, but it’s also been getting a facelift, resort by resort, over the past decade.

Are You SF's Next Hot Poster Artist?

We here at 7x7 found ourselves so inspired by The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game (Chronicle Books), that we decided to continue the game online. Starting Dec. 1, we'll post a drawing from the book done by a local artist—one each Wednesday. Get your pens and paints ready because we're asking you to "respond" to each drawing with your own creation. Every week, we'll pick our favorite drawing and give the contributor $150 in local gift certificates. Then, at the end of December, we'll choose the best from the weekly winners.

Nonstop Beer at Bay Area Brew Fest

Now that baseball season is over, we're going to need another reason to drink beer. Luckily, there's a big one this weekend (Nov. 13 and 14) at Fort Mason. Bay Area Brew Festival gathers dozens of domestic and international brewers under one roof and, for $50, you can try them all for three hours straight (1–4 p.m.). In addition to local favorites like Lagunitas, Speakeasy, and Big Daddy, look for a wide range of brews, from the traditional (Colt45, brewed with pride in Woodridge, Illinois by the Pabst Brewing Co.) to the European (Spaten from Munich) to the karmic (Lhasa from Tibet) to the downright experimental (MateVeza, a "naturally caffeinated yerba mate beer" from Ukiah).

World Series: An Epic Battle of Good vs. Evil

We here in San Francisco all love our Giants, but I think I can speak for the entire city when I say that even we are surprised by how ruthlessly we've been creaming the Texas Rangers in the World Series. The Rangers, who beat the Yankees to take the American League pennant, are the odds-on favorite in Vegas, and no one honestly expected our little misfit band of Giants—half of them picked up mid-season in random trades—to take the Series in four games, but it's looking like that's exactly what might happen.

The Exquisite Book Launch

Last Thursday, local artists and art lovers gathered at Rare Device in Duboce Triangle to celebrate the publication of The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game (Chronicle Books). In it—as its name implies—a hundred artists play the legendary Exquisite Corpse game, in which they each make a picture in sequence, based only on the prior artist's rendering. Kind of like a cross between Telephone and Pictionary for pros, though the game was actually invented by the Surrealists, that cheerful French lot who valued pure expression above reason, morals and even aesthetics. The resulting book shows—in satisfyingly thick, fold-out pages—the results of this collective stream of consciousness.

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