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GREEN ISSUE: Save the planet, work less. Plus: Martinez Brothers, Hope Mohr Dance, Oakland Drops Beats, 'Faust,' more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Blow your mind on this lecture, man

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It was a convergence that may have been responsible for the rise of psychedelic drugs, yoga, vegetarianism, and the new age spiritual movement in the western world. And it happened at Harvard University? Don Lattin’s talk on his book The Harvard Psychedelic Club (Harper Collins) next week (Thur/18) narrates one of history’s most momentous groups of college buddies and how their scientific studies on the effects of tripping balls changed American culture in the 1960s.

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Here, finally, is that skateboarding parakeet thing the Internet promised us so long ago

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Our friends at the awesome Pawesome (including former Guardian editor Sarah Han) have rounded up some feathery ollies and beakin' 180s -- sk8 or fly, baby 

The only gift for your Valentine

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I would make a joke about heterosexuals here, but I just ordered one on rush-delivery for my BF

5 Things: Fat Angel butters

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Five flavors of butter you can order at fab new Fillmore bistro Fat Angel:

1) lemon caper sage

2) garlic chili

3) maple bacon

4) chocolate cinnamon

5) orange blossom honey

Snap Sounds: Lord Newborn and the Magic Skulls

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LORD NEWBORN AND THE MAGIC SKULLS

Lord Newborn and the Magic Skulls

(Ubiquity)

What sort of magical concoction do you get when you mix SF skater and musicmaker Tommy Guerrero with LA keyboard jock and Beastie Boys player Money Mark?

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Live Shots: St. Vincent, Great American Music Hall, 02/08/10

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It was a cold and rainy Monday night, but that didn't keep the fans away. St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, was performing at the Great American Music Hall in support of her latest album, Actor (4AD) and the sold-out event was packed with smitten groupies.

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A gate so golden

Genius and patience in the music of Van Dyke Parks

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Van Dyke Parks -- who'll be perfoming Fri/12 at Swedish American Hall -- boasts an outstanding resume as an arranger, producer, lyricist, and studio musician for the likes of the Byrds, the Everly Brothers, Randy Newman, Tim Buckley, Phil Ochs, Rufus Wainwright, Frank Black, the Doobie Brothers, Sonny and Cher, Joanna Newsom, Ringo Starr, Saint Etienne ... the list goes on. Read more »

L.A. Times writer takes on PG&E initiative

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Los Angeles Times writer Michael Hiltzik weighs in again on the PG&E initiative, which is now on the ballot as Prop. 16.

He argues that the deck is stacked in PG&E's favor here -- the utility can spend all the money it wants -- $30 million, $40 million, whatever -- and the public agencies that will be hurt by the measure have no ability to fight back since they can't spend taxpayer money that way PG&E can spend ratepayer money.

His conclusion:Read more »

Snap Sounds: Richie Cunning

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By Ben Hopfer

If you haven't heard about Richie Cunning yet, take a peek at his new Ferris Bueller-inspired video.

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Showdown over a downtown highrise

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The battle over 555 Washington -- the too-big highrise that will house 248 luxury condos that San Francisco doesn't need -- is going on right now, and you can watch it on sfgtv. 

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Street Threads: Sylvia

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Today's Look: Sylvia, 30th Street and Mission

Tell us about your look: "Comfort"

Newsom's $72 million corporate giveaway

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City economist Ted Egan yesterday released his analysis of the payroll tax exemption for new hires that Mayor Gavin Newsom has proposed, one of several business tax cut proposals that we discuss in this week’s Guardian. Egan estimates that the net revenue loss (which takes into account taxes paid by the new hires) to the city would be $72 million over the next two years.

“The proposed policy will have a strong positive effect on local hiring, albeit at a steep costs the City’s General Fund,” Egan wrote, later adding, “The policy would also make the City’s serious current budget deficit worse, and likely lead to significant employment reductions in the City’s workforce.” Read more »

This Saturday, give your Valentine the gift of ... VD?

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In honor of Valentine's Day, a series of parochial films called "Love, Sex, and Venereal Disease," presented by Oddball Film and Video, will premiere at 275 Capp Street on Saturday/13. Local filmmaker Stephen Parr runs the enterprise, and Oddball's public showings are compiled from Parr's enormous archive of offbeat film stock footage.

"Love, Sex, and Venereal Disease" is a motley repertoire. Included are films like "VD Attack Plan," a Disney animation about syphilis and gonorrhea, and the judicious "Social-sex Attitudes in Adolescence," which assures viewers that, being merely a phase, teenage gayness is not to be feared. There is also "Lot in Sodom," a 1933 avant-garde interpretation of the well-known Biblical story, and "The Innocent Party," about a lascivious teen whose past is checkered by venereal disease.

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Happy Nelson Mandela Freedom Day

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Twenty years ago today he walked out of the gates after 27 years. This, from last Sunday, is essential and inspirational reading. 

Live Shots: VV Brown and Ebony Bones, Popscene, 02/04/10

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Outside, the night was horrid and pouring sheet after sheet of chilled rain. Inside, Popscene at 330 Ritch’s stage was blazing with bold UK women and their undeniable vocal prowess. The evening started with Brit babe VV Brown, a young singer/songwriter -- on tour to promote her recent Travelling Like the Light (Universal, 2009) -- who qualifies as the indie version of the Adele and Duffy types. Read more »