The circus arts aren't just for clowns anymore. They're not quite highbrow, but close -- not only do many regional teams and touring companies compete and perform across the country (Berkeley's unicycle basketball team is one of the best in the world), but some aerial feats developed in the circus have made their way into the fine-art world of dance. If it's about time you learned how to juggle, unicycle, aerobalance, slackline, or do anything else you've seen under the big tent (except, perhaps, elephant-riding), join the Berkeley Juggling Club at its weekly Wednesday meetings. Participation is free and open to all. On summer nights you'll find the gang at the UC Berkeley campus on the lawn north of the library (Memorial Glade); if it's dark or rainy, they'll be inside Dwinelle Hall, also on the UC Berkeley campus. 6-8 p.m. BerkeleyJuggling.orgfree
It's not every day that you get an opportunity to help propel a fifty-foot-long boat through the waters of the Alameda-Oakland Estuary (2400 Mariner Square Dr., Alameda). But the Alameda Dragon Flyers -- a part-recreational, part-competitive band of paddlers -- gives you the chance each Saturday with free introductions to the two-thousand-year-old Chinese sport of dragon boating. The weekly sessions are open to athletes of all abilities, and the first three are free -- after that, participants are asked to join the California Dragon Boat Association for a $50-$120 annual fee. 8:45-10:15 a.m. 510-521-7555 or AlamedaDragonFlyers.comfree
Running needn't be a solitary sport, and for the East Bay Front Runners it's a veritable social occasion. Camaraderie and friendship take first billing at the group's weekly runs, with fitness a close second and competition a non-issue. The club formed in 1984 to serve the entire LGBT community and is also open to friends, family, and supporters. The group meets at a different East Bay marina or waterfront each week and then proceeds to a nearby eatery for a group brunch. Guests and non-members welcome. Visit EastBayFrontRunners.org for weekly locations.free
If yoga is your jam but the usual gongs and grunts are getting you down, bring your mat to the Starline Social Club (2232 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland) on Mondays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for Oakland Showga, where East Bay Community Yoga founder Katie Colver teaches vinyasa classes for yogis of all levels to the sounds of a live local band. While the live music/yoga combo has been done before, Colver strives for a more mind- and body-bending experience by booking psychedelic line-ups that buck the New Age-y, Burning Man trend. If you leave class feeling a bit funky, it might be owed to more than just a strenuous workout. EBCYoga.com/showga.html$5-$15
The first rule of The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment's (610 16th St., Ste. 230, Oakland) weekly Fight Club gatherings: Gamers of all ages are free to duke it out via old-school video games like Soul Caliburand Street Fighter 2, played on gaming systems from Atari 2600 to Neo Geo. The second rule of The MADE's weekly Fight Club gatherings: Halfway through the evening, the gloves come off and the real tournament begins, with the game du jour determined by participants, and games and other geekery awarded to the winners. Kids under fifteen: Bring a parent or guardian. Every Tuesday, including Dec. 6.6-9 p.m.; general play free, tournament $5. 510-788-5702 or TheMADE.org$2
How Jerry Brown's plan to build two giant water tunnels, along with legislation in Congress, could ultimately spoil the last of Northern California's wild and scenic rivers.