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Running Time:
00:06:00
Ever wondered where that crust on your car battery comes from? Exploratorium staff member Chuck Mignacco explains galvanic corrosion and the basics of battery maintenance using a time-honored miracle solvent: Coke. Watch for a surprise guest at the end of the video.

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: August 24, 2011
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:03:53
Join Exploratorium educator Ken Finn as he unlocks the mystery behind the black sand (a.k.a. magnetite) at Ocean Beach. This piece explores the origin of magnetite in the Sierra Nevada mountains, its journey down the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to the Bay, and the interesting physical properties of this mineral, plus some fun things you can do with it.

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: August 9, 2011
Format: Expedition
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:04:58
Obsidian points, Spanish terra-cotta tiles, Prohibition-era liquor bottles—history lies buried underfoot in the Presidio, one of the earliest settlements in San Francisco, occupied in turn by the Ohlone Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and the U.S. Army. Archaeologist Kari Jones shares tales of recent digs and discoveries in this national park, and explains why most artifacts are dug up only to be reburied.

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: July 28, 2011
Format: Interview
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): archeology, history, general science
Running Time:
00:05:30
Goerte once described architecture as "frozen music," observing their common foundation in mathematics, geometry, and aesthetics. But what is the sound of a skyscraper? A warehouse? A bridge? Here we explore the connections between architecture and music, juxtaposing San Francisco buildings with musical compositions influenced by architecture. This experimental segment of Science in the City asks more questions than it answers.

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: July 13, 2011
Format: Expedition
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): Architecture, Music, art
Running Time:
Like the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco's cable cars are world-renowned as emblems of our city. Join us for a ride down Hyde Street as we investigate what makes these historic cars go—and more importantly, stop—on the steep hills of San Francisco. To learn more visit the Cable Car Museum website: http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/index.html

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: June 20, 2011
Format: Expedition
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:04:15
In this program we meet Elizabeth Young, pigeon rescue expert and head of the pigeon rescue organization MickCoo (http://www.mickacoo.org), for a personal introduction to pigeons-their history, their accomplishments, their contributions to research in animal behavior/memory/learning/and how they navigate long distances-as well as their plight in the city. For more information visit: www.RescueReport.org

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: June 7, 2011
Format: Interview
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): Life Science/Biology
Running Time:
00:04:12
Red means stop, green means go—simple enough, right? But traffic lights are just a small part of the sophisticated science of traffic engineering. San Francisco Traffic Engineer Eddie Tsui takes us on a wild ride through his world, from computer simulations to ever-evolving detection technologies.

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: May 25, 2011
Format: Expedition
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): engineering, city planning
Running Time:
00:03:50
You've probably heard about the Texas-sized island of plastic trash swirling in the center of the Pacific Ocean. But did you know we have our own pockets of floating trash right here in San Francisco Bay? Join us on a trash safari with Sealife Convervation—a research and education group studying the volume, distribution, and sources of trash in the San Francisco and Monterey Bays.

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: May 11, 2011
Format: Expedition
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:04:16
Just outside the hum and buzz of San Francisco, there's a hum and buzz of a different sort. It's the sound of thousands of acres of almond crops being pollinated by bees—bees in such demand that they must be trucked in from as far as Texas. Almond grower Dave Phippen explains why. keeping this winged labor force happy and healthy is a vital but tricky business.

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: April 27, 2011
Format: Interview
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science, Life Science/Biology
Running Time:
00:05:46
Come out to play on the concrete slides at Seward Street Mini Park in the Castro. A series of speed tests guided by physicist Paul Doherty takes on the question asked by sliders everywhere: How can I go faster?

Project: Science in the City | Browse All

Date: April 13, 2011
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): Physics