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TABLEHOPPING A burst of openings signal the start of a warm, bright season. 

This Week's Paper

this weekSEX ISSUE: Ready or not, here comes virtual reality porn. Plus: The best blowjob beats, Polly Superstar's new kinky memoir, and Cameron Carpenter shows off his organ (the kind with pipes).  Articles Online | Digital Edition | VOTE FOR BEST OF THE BAY

From the Blogs

Social inequality makes you fat

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This is one of my favorite bits of social science research of the past year: The kind of gross inequality that we see in the United States not only harms productivity, damages the economy and is unsustainable -- it makes you fat. From the NYTimes:Read more »

SFBG Radio: Schwarzenegger's bad pardon

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So you thought Johnny was always mad; you ain't seen nothing. Today he's furious that the outgoing gov cut the prison sentence of a killer who happened to be the son of another prominent politician -- while thousands of nonviolent inmates are rotting in prison. You can listen after the jump. Read more »

Guardian, SF Weekly settle suit

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The Bay Guardian and the chain that owns SF Weekly have reached a settlement that ends an eight-year legal battle.

The parties have settled their differences on mutually acceptable terms.Read more »

Progressive supervisors block mayoral appointments

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UPDATED: Progressives on the Board of Supervisors have finally started to push back on Mayor Gavin Newsom for his petulant refusal to vacate Room 200 unless his conditions for choosing a successor mayor are met, with the Rules Committee today blocking nine [UPDATE: seven] of 10 of the mayor's committee and commission appointments.Read more »

All candidates duck; mayoral forum cancelled

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I was all excited about moderating a Harvey Milk Club discussion tonight on the next mayor, and getting a chance to ask the candidates who want to fill out Gavin Newsom's term a little about what they might do in the next 11 months. It's kind of important; you'd think the folks who want the job would be willing to give us a little clue about why they think they should have it.Read more »

Boogie blows up

SF's spray can maestro takes Berlin — but what about those 500,000 euros?

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"It was an honor to be a part of history. The rest is history." Spray paint artist Chor Boogie (www.chorboogie.com) is hanging out amid spurts of December rain in Clarion Alley, standing before his mural debut in the heralded Mission community art space. But he's talking about a different piece, on a different chunk of creative community space, in a city halfway around the world: The Eyes of the Berlin Wall, which Boogie painted on an actual section of the Berlin Wall and was reported to have sold for 500,000 euros this fall.Read more »

Fear the Beard in 2011

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Have a lively New Year's Eve, a good weekend, and a great next year celebrating San Francisco values. And remember to fear the beard.

Meanwhile, Jean and I will be making our 25th annual New Year's Eve pilgrimage to Pompei's Grotto on Fisherman's Wharf. Pompei's is a gem of a family-owned Italian fish restaurant with Old World ambiance, red checkered table cloths, table lamps, splendid martinis and fresh-cracked dungeness crab. It's our favorite spot to start New Year's Eve. B3

The Performant: Deck this!

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Aggro Yuletide fun with Will Franken and Satan’s finest

It’s a common misperception that the sensory-overload of the holiday season is an even greater irritant to the committed misanthrope than the ennui of the everyday, but I beg to differ. Actually the holidays are when misanthropes tend to shine: while everybody else is getting their longjohns in a bunch because of the line at the post office, the ever-increasing price of java logs, or Christmas carol earworms, misanthropes, accustomed to weathering the seas of perpetual annoyance, seem comparatively serene. Also, because everyone around them is suddenly on edge, their caustic observations and one-liners are more relevant to and therefore more appreciated by their usually more-sanguine acquaintances.

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Out with the old

Southeastern San Francisco celebrates the end of the Potrero power plant

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On the chilly morning of Dec. 21, a crowd of prominent local and state figures huddled in an industrial parking lot overlooking the brick smokestack of the Potrero power plant, which has been in operation for more than 40 years. It was the winter solstice, the morning after a lunar eclipse, and an historic environmental moment for San Francisco.Read more »

DJ Earworm's top pop mashup

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See video

Honestly, we meticulously avoid the TV, the radio, the mall, the Explorer dealer, and Chili's all year, just so local wiz DJ Earworm's annual mashup of Billboard's top 25 hits will surprise us -- with brilliance. It's the only way we can digest all that auto-syrup in one big candy-colored blast.

March Fourth Marching Band reveals its gypsy secrets

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One of these days, I'll hop a bus outta this town. Pullin' out of here on the wind, if you want to quote the Boss (sometimes I do). One of the groups I've been keeping my eye on as a possible accomplice is March Fourth Marching Band. You can find the million-piece ensemble's rig parked at nearly every festival, ever – always with a few stilters or trombone players spilling out the door, sprawled on a tarp nearby, or if you're lucky, tapping out a cheerful marching band symphony by a campfire at around five in the morning (hello, High Sierra!) 

And onstage! They're like a big, loud circus onstage – until all of a sudden they're off the stage and you're engulfed in 360 degrees of marching band madness, now having a dance party with its frenzied audience. In anticipation of the band's upcoming pre-NYE show at The Independent (Thurs/30), March Fourth's bandleader John Averill sat down at his email portal to tell us all his secrets about where he found the mail order balls needed to make touring with so many moving parts possible. Read more »

Hot sexy events: December 29-January 4

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“Scott and I wanted to create an adult playground that wasn't just some hedonistic, narcissistic freefall into the apocalypse.” Co-founder Polly Superstar is ready to celebrate a decade of Mission Control's swingin' good times at the play space (which she founded with hubby Baron Scott Levkoff)'s NYE party-ten year anniversary soiree Fri/31. 

But first, a look back. “We wanted a place where people could feel safe exploring their sexuality without the rigidity of the BDSM scene, and without the expectation and pressure of the swinger scene.” And so MC's been throughout the aughts: a land where art, sex, and hell yeah, theme parties, have been coming together to the greater glory of SF's freaky, funky pansexual scene. Read more »

EDITORIAL: Get out of the way, Mr. Mayor

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 Let us begin with the obvious: Mayor Gavin Newsom has absolutely no business deciding who should replace him. His petulant statements suggesting that he will delay taking office as lieutenant governor until the supervisors pick a candidate he likes are an embarrassment to the city. If he actually refuses to take the oath of office Jan. 3, when his term in Sacramento begins, it will damage his reputation and political career.

Newsom knew when he decided to seek higher office that he'd be leaving the city early if he won. He knew that under the City Charter, the Board of Supervisors would choose a new mayor. He knew that a progressive majority on the board was likely to elect someone whose political views differ from his. If he didn't want that to happen, he should have stayed in town and finished his term. Read more »

Appetite: 2010, the year in absinthe

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Read up, absinthe seekers... whether you're intrigued by the (false) claims of hallucinogenic effects or an aficionado taken in by the culture surrounding the green fairy, a little reading will take you deeper. This year has produced three new absinthe books furthering knowledge of an artful drink best enjoyed with leisure and attention.

Absinthe Cocktails
by Kate Simon Read more »

The Year in Film: Guardian critics on 2010's best!

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Dennis Harvey's Top 20 of 2010

Note: because this was generally such a crap year, a "best" list seemed too much of a stretch. Ergo this is a Top 20 list, in no particular order, of films I enjoyed most one way or the other (The Killer Inside Me, Everyone Else, and I Spit on Your Grave definitely representing the other). No doubt The King's Speech, The Social Network, and several other currently awards-baiting titles have finer qualities than some here, but they're not what I'd gladly watch again right now.

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, UK/Netherlands)
The Tillman Story (Amir Bar-Lev, USA)
The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom, USA/Sweden/UK/Canada)
The Desert of Forbidden Art (Tchavdar Georgiev and Amanda Pope, Russia/UK/Uzbekistan)
Mother (Bong Joon-ho, South Korea)
City Island (Raymond De Felitta, USA)
OSS 177: Lost in Rio (Michel Hazanavicius, France)
Daddy Longlegs (Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie, USA/France)
The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, USA)
Let It Rain (Agnès Jaoui, France)

Read more »