Friday, September 14, 2007
The latest Bulletin of the American Institute of Physics, notes K.D., includes counterintuitive findings of a French biophysics expert who discovered that curly hair gets less tangled than straight hair. Jean-Baptiste Masson says that this is because straight hair interacts with itself at great angles, and "it is the relative angle between hairs that causes tangles." The real importance of these findings, not stated in the journal article, is that they might be useful in helping people get along with one another.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods' new Potrero Hill store in San Francisco, the largest in the city, will include a spa, where shoppers can get massages, waxes, facials, makeup lessons and "personal nutrition and wellness consultations." Think of it: In one fell swoop, filling up the fridge and ridding oneself of unsightly hair.
P.S.: Bon appetit, breakfast eaters, and I hope you can erase that hair image, even if you're spooning up shredded wheat.
Tara McCulloch was walking across the UC Berkeley campus (from near Memorial Glade to Sproul Plaza) last Friday, and noticed a series of messages written in chalk on the paths. They were written in the voice of a guy making up with his girlfriend after a fight; they started by flattering her, mentioning all the things he loves about her (that she falls asleep on car trips, for example). The messages became ever more fervent as McCulloch walked the path, ending with the writer's admission that he had made a mistake and makes a plea to patch it up. At Sproul Plaza, the messages ended, and she sat down and ate lunch. And then noticed a commotion at the end of the message path, where a man was giving a woman a bouquet of flowers. Was this real life? Was this performance art? Anyone know?
Hardly a bucolic Sunday afternoon on La Grande Jatte, Sunday's Polo in the Park includes at least three varieties of competition: polo, Jack Russell terrier races and Segway polo, pitting the Silicon Valley Aftershocks, led by Steve Wozniak, against the New Zealand Pole Blacks. Wozniak, who plays about twice a month, has four Segways at home and several more on loan. "I ride one daily out of my house, take it out the front door in Los Gatos, ride it downtown in 15 minutes, save the hassle of a big car."
There's no law mandating it on Segways, but "I wear a helmet," Wozniak said. "If you fall, on anything, a motorcycle, a bicycle, you can't stop yourself from hitting your head. ... I want to have a good image on the Segway." Wozniak gets occasional hoots from motorists, but more from cyclists, who usually say something like "get some exercise."
"Hey, I rode bikes a lot when I was younger," Wozniak said, "but I herniated a disk, and walking's not that good for me. The Segway opens the world up to me." He carries one in his car, "pops it out" to get from his parking place to the venue, and even rode one to a black-tie event, the 2004 Grammys. He sounds optimistic about Sunday's game. "We've gotten pretty good at strategy, where to position ourselves. We're all OK."
Watching all this is free; $100 buys you lunch on the grass with all polo players, including Wozniak. The event benefits the Brady School of Therapeutic Riding for Autistic and Special Needs Children.
As to the unhappy incident over material being prepared just before the Summer of Love concert, Alex Studer called to tell his side of the tale.
Studer said there was confusion over what was actually being laminated at the OfficeMax copy shop. They were not passes, he says, but commemorative art pieces, fake passes to a show that didn't exist.
Both sides were irate, and Studer says the matter remains under investigation.
Oh, perhaps it is inevitable that the Summer of Love turns into the Fall of Love.
Thursday morning brought the unfair and wrenching news that Phil Frank had died. Much has been written about all the things he loved - his wife, his work, his cars and collections and town and history - the sum total being that he relished being alive.
Before we became friends, on the eve of publication of a book of his cartoons, he came to my house to be interviewed for a Chronicle profile. He sat at the dining room table and as we talked, made a drawing, smoothly, easily. He seemed to move with that grace in the world, too, tackling everyday work and extraordinary assignments with pleasure, as easy as breathing in and out. After the interview, he gave the drawing to one of my sons.
He'd come to The Chronicle once a week to drop off drawings. And as he walked through the room, people would look up and greet him, grinning with the unspoken gratification of making contact with someone who seemed not only cheerful, but joyously content.
We'll all miss him.
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This article appeared on page E - 22 of the San Francisco Chronicle