Meet the youngest person to ever surf the Mavericks big wave break

Half Moon Bay High School student Luca Padua just found out he’s competing on California’s biggest wave. But first, he has to finish English class. Everything is swell: El Granada teenager (and official Mavericks alternate) Luca Padua surfing the famous Northern California break, this past autumn. (Photo by Tony Canadas) Luca Padua was recently sitting in English class at Half Moon Bay High School when he received a text from a friend congratulating him ...

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Photos: Awesome aerial imagery from a (20 year-old) Silicon Valley stunt pilot

Photos: Awesome aerial imagery from a (20-year-old) Silicon Valley stunt pilot Menlo Park native Michael Mainiero shoots—literally—at a higher level Michael Mainiero’s first “air-to-air” shoot (at the age of 17) capturing a Hawker Mk.20 Sea Fury aircraft over the Golden Gate Bridge. (Courtesy of Michael Mainiero) It’s not exactly a hidden secret that the San Francisco Bay Area is a field day for photographers. Between the landscapes and the landmarks, the region is profoundly photogenic ...

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Reimagining the way we ask our kids, “How was your day?”

Stanford grads disrupt the children’s book formula with Goodnight News By Eva Glasrud When it comes to parenting, it can be the simple things that are most challenging, such as the basic “How was your day?” question being answered with an abrupt-sounding one-word answer. In ways that are both predictable and cliche, many parents regard a short response as a sign of growing distance or a candid indication that their child simply doesn’t ...

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Beyond the stratosphere with breakout sci-fi author Andy Weir

The dark horse literary star discusses his new book ahead of his upcoming Mountain View event. By Mark Noack Astronauts activities during Extravehicular Activity (EV)-1. Here Astronaut Robert Stewart during Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) Exercise untethered above the Earth; February 11, 1984. (Image via NASA on FLICKR Commons) For Andy Weir, these are indeed stellar times. Just a few years ago, the Mountain View native was penning a story, between shifts as a software engineer, about an astronaut ...

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Remembering Silicon Valley’s trailblazing “Troublemakers”

Stanford historian Leslie Berlin discusses her new book on the forgotten figures of tech history By Emily Olson Bunch of troublemakers: early Silicon Valley engineers responding to a reporter’s question—“What do you think of Texas Instruments?” (Images Courtesy of the Computer History Museum) It’s possible to explain the history of Silicon Valley using only two types of characters — and no, we’re not talking binary. There’s the “innovators … the typical heroes in our story of technological process,” as Atlantic Senior ...

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Above the clouds and beyond the brink with adventurer Hilaree O’Neill

The ever-ascending athlete talks motherhood, mountaineering and “The Peak of Evil” ahead of her Redwood City Nat Geo talk. By Emily Olson Day at the office: mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill will showcase stories and imagery from her climbs at the Fox Theater in Redwood City as part of the speaker series Nat Geo Live. (Photo by Cory Richards) For most people, a life of ups-and-downs is merely a metaphor. For Hilaree O’Neill, it comes with the job. The ...

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Atari and the dawn of video game culture

Talking art and innovation with author Tim Lapetino on the anniversary of a Silicon Valley classic By Charles Russo Cover art for the Atari 2600 game “Surround,” by Cliff Spohn. (Courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment) This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Atari home gaming console. Yes, the 2600, with its sleek design and many iconic games, is now four decades old. The cover of Tim Lapetino’s book, published by Dynamite Entertainment. In the years since the Atari ...

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Veteran food blogger David Lebovitz on his new book and Bay Area beginnings

The Chez Panisse alum speaks on the evolution of blogs, his most important kitchen tool and his favorite food haunts What’s cookin’?: David Lebovitz has been a food blogger since 1999. (Photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press) David Lebovitz was a food blogger before the term even existed. He launched his popular website in 1999, long before the advent of Facebook, Yelp or Wordpress. The longtime cook steadily made a name for himself over the ...

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Journalist Franklin Foer tackles Silicon Valley’s “sham populism”

The Atlantic’s staff writer talks big tech (and whether or not we should just throw our smart phones into the sea). By Charles Russo (Illustration by Kaz Palladino) It still doesn’t seem all that long ago that the likes of Google and Facebook were still just enterprising young companies, with slogans like “Don’t Be Evil,” pointing us towards a dynamic futurism. In the last decade, the sweeping influence and staggering power of those same corporations ...

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National Geographic’s Cristina Mittermeier on how imagery can spark activism

Talking photography and environmentalism ahead of Redwood City’s Nat Geo speaker series by Charles Russo At the water line in the Great Bear Sea, British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of Cristina Mittermeier) There are no shortage of quotes about the power of photography, many of them overwrought, but some finely tuned to the nuance and potential of the craft. Speaking with Cristina Mittermeier — contributing photographer, speaker and explorer for National Geographic — I kept thinking of a simple quote, ...

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