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Buried in a cove that later became downtown San Francisco, a Gold Rush-era cargo ship lay lost and forgotten underground until it was exposed by construction in 2013. Marine archeologists and historians share stories of the discovery, excavation, and preservation of this humble yet significant 23-foot maritime artifact, unique among the oldest intact boats in the United States.
Ever notice a brick-lined circle embedded into a street intersection? Keep an eye out and you'll see them throughout San Francisco. As part of the San Francisco Fire Department's Auxiliary Water Supply System, these brick circles indicate a cistern full of water. Join SFFD's Chief Ken Lombardi and Firefighter Hashim Anderson as they discuss the history and function of these cisterns, and demonstrate the drafting procedures used to access the water. Looming over San Francisco since 1973, Sutro Tower's antennae transmit and receive radio and television signals to the nine-county SF Bay Area. Perched above Twin Peaks, the tower has become a local icon, now revered as much as it was abhorred when first built. Visit the tower with us to find out what’s on it, what’s underneath it, and its history, including its transformation from eyesore to icon. Cities are known to produce a lot of light pollution, making it a challenge for astronomy enthusiasts to view the heavens within city limits. For us in the SF Bay Area, these issues apply, however, exciting results can still be attained between sky gazing and learning about how we all fit into this big thing we call "space".
Urban Astronomer Paul Salazar, The Exploratorium's very own Adam Esposito and more demonstrate how to deal with the parameters and the unforgettable experiences that await with simple to no equipment, the right conditions, and some decent timing. Science of Cocktails at the Exploratorium celebrates the artistry of master mixology shaken with the science behind the craft. TV personality and comedian, Zane Lamprey (Three Sheets, Drinking Made Easy), takes an in-depth, hands-on look at the physics, chemistry, and biology of cocktails, and engages in an exploration of your favorite libations in ways you've never experienced before. Science of Cocktails at the Exploratorium celebrates the artistry of master mixology shaken with the science behind the craft. Take an in-depth, hands-on look at the physics, chemistry, and biology of cocktails, and engage in an exploration of your favorite libations in ways you've never experienced before. 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. 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. 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