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Ongoing through March 31, 2013 | Times and locations TBA
Location: Multiple locations in San Francisco; for specific locations, follow @theexplainers on Twitter.
In the months before our grand opening, orange-vested Explainers will bring the Exploratorium experience to unexpected spots around San Francisco. These weekly site-specific activities will be designed to make you notice and engage with the world around you, and to shake you out of your normal, everyday routines.
Explainers will help you notice clouds at Aquatic Park, find north without a compass at Ghirardelli Square, experience our mobile Camera Obscura in Union Square, and challenge your sense of perception out in the neighborhoods. In January locations will vary; in February and March, look for those orange vests along the Embarcadero, in front of Pier 15.
Music by Pat Spurgeon
The Exploratorium’s new home has an ace up its sleeve for the next big earthquake—a single seismic joint, 300 feet long and two feet wide, will isolate the entire pier structure from the rest of San Francisco. Watch here as the bulkhead at Pier 15 is readied for the installation of the seismic joint. Take to the skies on board the zeppelin Eureka with pilot Andrea Deyling of Airship Ventures and get a crash-free course in lighter-than-air flight: What’s the difference between an airship, a blimp, and a zeppelin? How do they stay aloft? How high and how fast can they fly?
Airship Ventures operates the only commercial passenger airship operation in the United States. To find out more go to www.airshipventures.com. On the cliffs above San Francisco's Ocean Beach perches a landmark observatory—a giant camera obscura. Step inside with Robert Tacchetto and see how this centuries-old technology creates enchanting images of the outside world.
As part of the weekend of celebrations in honor of the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th Anniversary, Mickey Hart and the Mickey Hart Band closed the festivities with a free concert. The show opened with Mickey playing a dynamic model of the Golden Gate Bridge created by the Exploratorium and sonified by Exploratorium exhibit developers in collaboration with Mickey Hart. Admit it: Hasn't the Godzilla inside you always wanted to grab the Golden Gate Bridge and shake it silly? Finally, you can. In honor of the iconic span's 75th birthday, Exploratorium exhibit developer Dave Fleming presents a dynamic model of the Golden Gate Bridge. What happens to the bridge during an earthquake? How about strong winds and heavy traffic? The model dances and wiggles realistically, displaying the same vibrational modes and motions that occur in the actual bridge. Beneath the 100-year-old piers that will soon house the new Exploratorium, highly specialized divers are working around the clock to repair and restore a part of the museum that most people will never see: the 1,200 concrete piles—sunk into the bay mud—that support the piers. The waters of San Francisco Bay are making a dramatic comeback as workers slowly remove a 1950s-era paved deck from between Piers 15 and 17 on the historic Embarcadero, at the site of the Exploratorium’s new home. In early November 2011, the east bridge, dedicated to the Fries family by San Francisco philanthropist Bill Fries, was put in place, connecting the terrace of the new Pier 15 Bay Observatory building to the adjacent side of Pier 17. When the museum opens in the spring of 2013, this bridge will offer prime views of the City and the Bay. There are green sea turtles in San Diego Bay? Where did they come from? Do they really live over 100 years? Why is it important for scientists to keep track of these giant creatures, and how on earth do they do it? In this interview with ecologist Tomoharu Eguchi (NOAA Marine Fisheries Service) and ecology graduate student Sheila Madrak, we meet the sea turtles and explore these 'big' questions. The Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (http://sccoos.org/) gathers live data about winds, waves, surface currents, temperature, and water quality, and makes it available to everyone. In this piece, Oceanographer Art Miller tells us about this system, and about how America's Cup sailors can use this kind of data and modeling to improve their race performances.
To access wind modeling data, visit: