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How do the America's Cup boats sail on just one hull? Why do they sometimes capsize? Exploratorium Senior Scientist Paul Doherty dives deeper into the physics of the America's Cup catamarans in "Sailing 102: Tip Don't Flip!" 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:
At the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, a construction project to rebuild the elevated freeway ramp formerly known as Doyle Drive is underway. Senior bridge engineer John Walters tours us through some of the new seismic technologies being installed, including a seismic joint designed to handle several feet of longitudinal movement and a spherical bearing that allows for three-dimensional movement. Walters also points out a temporary structure built over the historic Presidio Pet Cemetery to protect the grave sites while providing a platform for the construction overhead. Pouring concrete is an ongoing feature of construction at the Piers. This footage, captured in July 2011, shows the well-choreographed process involved, from pumping the concrete into rebar-latticed slabs via remote-controlled overhead boom, to vibrating the concrete to get rid of air pockets, to flattening the surface using 2x4s (“screed”) and rakes (“come-along tools”), to tamping in (“jitterbugging”) bits of sand and gravel, to the final smoothing and leveling of the finished surface. This pour created an extension to the southeast apron of Pier 15, adjacent to what will become the East Gallery. How can a wind-powered sailboat move faster than the wind? Why do the America's Cup sails look like airplane wings? With the beginner in mind, Exploratorium senior scientist Paul Doherty introduces the basic physics of sailing and sail design. What is light? How is it made? In this video, staff physicist Ron Hipschman will talk about and demonstrate light, it's features and various ways it can be made as well as how colors mix. Exploratorium neuroscientist Richard Brown discusses how we see color, how color vision evolved, why color vision varies from person to person, and how the scientific understanding of color vision has led to technologies such as color photography Join the Exploratorium for our final webcast with researchers on board the Nautilus. We discuss the highlights of their three month expedition to the Mediterranean and Black Seas, as well as to the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Learn about hydrothermal vents, organisms living in extreme environments and ancient shipwrecks. Have you ever wondered where your plastic bottle goes after you toss it in the recycling bin? Take a little trip with us to the San Leandro Waste Management facility, where Rebecca Jewell tours us through the complex world of residential recycling.