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Topping the hoop

Instructor Christabel Zamor takes hoop dancing to the next level
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culture@sfbg.com
"Wowza, how'd you get that gnarly bruise?" wide-eyed oglers at the office, in line at the taquería, or on my MySpace blog would ask with awe after peeping the five-inch-long trophy wound on my hip.
"Oh, this old thing," I'd sniff. "No big deal. Just picked it up in hula hoop dance class."
"Hula hoop dance class?" my friends back home would reply incredulously, their tiny brains atrophied by played-out calorie burners like hiking and cycling. "You got that from hula hooping? Read more »

Get your herb on

Careers and Education: Berkeley's EcoHouse demonstrates the fragrant power of sustainable living
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culture@sfbg.com
"There are few things in the world as pleasurable as taking a nap on a chamomile patch," says herbalist Joshua Muscat. "It's an herb that doesn't get a lot of respect. It smells good. It looks good. The flower is cute."
It's a hot Sunday morning in west Berkeley, and Muscat is leading a workshop called Local Medicinal Herbs and Your Health. This session is one of the classes offered by the EcoHouse, a unique residence designed to demonstrate sustainable building and gardening techniques. Read more »

Spiff your licks

Our fearless correspondent brushes up on going down
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culture@sfbg.com
Painting, welding, playing the xylophone ... these all seemed like mildly entertaining pursuits to me, but they didn't quite inspire the level of intense passion needed to get me off my ass and into a classroom. If I was going to invest my valuable time in any course of instruction, it had to involve something I truly wanted to learn. Drinking, smoking, shoplifting ... I was way too good at that stuff already. No, what I needed by way of education was something I could really get a hard-on about. Read more »

Fixin' to ride

Several local courses take wreck pedalers through the nuts and bolts of do-it-yourself bike repair
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culture@sfbg.com
Lately, I've been feeling like a gearhead dilettante. The realization that there is indeed a gap between acquired knowledge and wild conjecture has been nagging me — particularly in regards to my beloved bicycle. Said beloved bicycle, once such a pleasure to ride, has recently taken to dragging its vulcanized heels every time we start up Potrero Hill, gasping, "I think I can't, I think I can't." Does the problem lie with my bearings, my rims, my gears, my chain? Should I have been filling my tires more than once every six months? Read more »

Learning from leaks

Permaculture courses teach ancient wisdom and environmental action
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deborah@sfbg.com
Brace yourself. What you are about to read might go against what you think is the general wisdom of conservationists: if it's pee, don't let it be. Now, I'm not advocating that you should flush. What I'm about to suggest emerges from the world of permaculture, and you're about to find out all about it.
Permaculture is an approach to sustainable living that entails close, spiritual observation of nature and its inherent patterns and rhythms. Read more »

Blog menace

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annalee@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION Last week at the infamous computer security conference Black Hat in Las Vegas, Bob Auger announced what should have already been obvious: reading blogs isn't safe. A security engineer with SPI Labs, Auger quietly revealed (www.spidynamics.com/assets/documents/HackingFeeds.pdf) that the mere act of checking out somebody's RSS feed could allow bad guys to steal money from your bank account, post Web spam from your computer, and snoop on everything you've written anonymously in that online porn community you secretly visit. Read more »

ALT.SEX.COLUMN

Say uncle
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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
I'm a 50-year-old man who has gone without sex for too long now. To me, my ex-wife's 35-year-old niece is the true personification of the "MILF." She's had her two kids, got divorced, and still looks as hot as she did at 18, when I first developed an incredibly deep infatuation. Since I was still married to her aunt, I couldn't indicate this in any way. Now I can't stop thinking about her. I know it's holding me back from pursuing other opportunities, but I've found that I really need her ... bad! Read more »

How to fix the sewers

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EDITORIAL Every time it rains heavily in San Francisco, millions of gallons of barely treated sewage flow into the bay. Read more »

Public power: step one

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EDITORIAL Finally, after years of talk and a fair amount of delay, San Francisco is prepared to move forward and take a significant step toward public power. The supervisors are on board, the mayor's on board — even the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which has never been much of an advocate for public power, seems to be on board.
So the goal now ought to be approving the Community Choice Aggregation program, putting it into action, and using it as a springboard to a real public power system.
Community Choice Aggregation creates the equivalent of an energy co-op. Read more »

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tredmond@sfbg.com
Bad social failures eventually come back to haunt you. That's what's happening in the California prison system, where decades of lock-’em-up legislation, stupid drug laws, and governors who are terrified of the political consequences of paroling inmates have filled the jails with aging prisoners who require extensive medical care. Tens of thousands of people will die in state prisons in the next few years, not of murder or abuse but because they're serving life sentences — and it's going to cost a fortune to take care of them in their declining years. Read more »