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Take a good look around: The ho-hum spots you inhabit every day are actually secret laboratories full of fascinating and eye-popping amazement—from the instant you wake up to the time you nod off at night! Discover these awe-inspiring scientific playgrounds with Exploralab—the hands-on, action-packed activity guide from the world's most beloved and fun-filled laboratory, the Exploratorium, in San Francisco.
Exploralab contains tons of way-cool tools of inquiry to help kids get in on the science fun, including: a magnifier, reflective paper, fabric swatches, an eraseable whiteboard, textured paper, a spinning disc, polarizing filters, colored acetate sheets, and glow-in-the-dark ink! Exploratorium biologist Karli Woodward conducts a plankton drag at our new home at Pier 15, sweeping a net through the water to survey the astonishing variety of tiny organisms that thrive in the San Francisco Bay. Musician and comedian Reggie Watts improvises in the Sound Column at the Exploratorium's former home using only his voice and a looping machine. Exploratorium film by Lynn Rosen and Steve Giordano for KVOS-TV, Bellingham, Washington, 1974 British artist and tinkerer Tim Hunkin takes a break from installing his latest creation for the Exploratorium — a massive, whimsical, kinetically sculptural clock featuring legions of tiny tinkerers at work — to discuss the clock’s inspiration and evolution over a proper English cup of tea. Find your rhythm. Come play at the Exploratorium! Now open at Pier 15 in San Francisco. With a roll of thin plastic diffraction grating and some "stolen" sunlight, artist and exhibit developer Pete Stephens transformed the interior of the Palace of Fine Arts into a dazzling riot of spectral color. As he works to recreate the effect at the new Exploratorium at Pier 15, Stephens recounts the challenges—and the inspiration—of this expansive experiment in light. This buoy will be anchored near the Exploratorium for six months, monitoring the acid levels of the bay and transmitting data to NOAA via satellite. This research will give NOAA scientists a better understanding of how the rising acid levels in the ocean are affecting very diverse things such as fish behavior, larvae development, and even plankton. As part of the festivities in honor of the Exploratorium's opening at Pier 15, Obscura Digital, internationally recognized creative technology innovators, transformed the historic façade of Pier 15 into a spectacular, interactive odyssey through micro and macro phenomena on multiple time scales. There’s no mistaking the distinct voice—whether throbbing, singing, or screaming—of an electric guitar. How does one instrument produce so many different sounds? We visit with Bay Area electric guitarists Ava Mendoza and Henry Kaiser, plus Subway Guitars’ very own Fat Dog, to explore the components of this versatile instrument, getting down to pick-ups, “pots,” and pedals that make it sing.