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Recorded live at the Exploratorium in 2015. A noted foe of tooth decay, fluoride is added to most toothpaste, as well as our public water supply—a fact attacked by numerous conspiracy theories. Find out more about this controversial compound from Howard Pollick, Director of the Dental Public Health Residency Program at the University of California, San Francisco, and discover why elemental fluorine is considered to be completely dangerous, if not deadly. Recorded live at the Exploratorium in 2015. Furiously reactive, fluorine has a ferocious appetite for attracting electrons from other elements, and a fearsome habit of killing chemists. Due to the strength of its bonds, fluorine is found almost exclusively in compounds such as the colorful mineral fluorite. Early attempts to isolate the element were met with injury and death from explosions, corrosive burns, and poisonous fumes. In 1886, the treacherous gas was at last isolated by Henri Moissan, whose innovative processes are still in use today. Annual reception and presentation with Dennis M. Bartels, PhD; George Cogan, Chairman of the Board; and the Exploratorium's Board of Directors. Leaders in their respective fields of science and medicine, Anne Wojcicki, cofounder and CEO of 23andMe, and her sister Janet Wojcicki, PhD, MPH, and professor at the University of California, San Francisco, join Exploratorium Director Dennis M. Bartels, PhD, for a stimulating conversation about their work and the evolution of the role of women in science, medicine, and technology. A little over five years after initial construction on the Exploratorium's new home at Piers 15-17 began, the installation of a 24' x 60' floating dock off the south Apron of Pier 15 took place in early November. The dock will provide Pier access for water taxis in the San Francisco Bay. Timelapse video captures the last of the Exploratorium's original project construction. Recorded live at the Exploratorium 2015.
Earth, water, air, fire: our world is ruled by oxygen, the third most abundant element in the universe. Originating inside of stars, oxygen is scarce on planets outside our own. It comprises roughly half the mass of Earth’s crust and a fifth of its atmosphere. Nonmetallic and highly reactive, oxygen is key to combustion and corrosion, and forms stable bonds with almost every element, notably hydrogen (H2O) and itself. Recorded live at the Exploratorium in 2015.
Earth’s oxygen is produced in equal measure by terrestrial vegetation and microscopic life in the sea. Explore the profound influence of phytoplankton on the atmosphere with Exploratorium scientist Jennifer Frazier, and learn how their populations are changing along with our climate. Investigate oxygen’s physical properties and follow the history of its discovery, as well as its more breathtaking applications. Science, history, and art converge in this whimsical tribute to San Francisco’s 1915 World’s Fair, which is celebrating its centennial this year. Lost landscapes from the Fair (including the Exploratorium’s former home, the Palace of Fine Arts) become the backdrop for spectral encounters. Are the spirits of fairgoers getting restless?
Museum visitors who dared to enter the Black Box interacted with ethereal forces and became part of a world of ghostly apparitions that sprung to life. Just in time for Halloween, Visible Spectres took as its cue the illusion technique known as Pepper’s ghost, used in theaters, haunted houses, sideshows, and magic tricks.
Do YOU see ghosts?
Kerry Laitala is an award-winning moving-image artist who uses analog, digital, and hybrid forms to investigate the ways in which media influences culture. She considers this approach to making art as a type of media archeology. Laitala’s work resides at the crossroads of science, history, and technology. Her uncanny approach to evolving systems of belief manifests through an array of media including films, videos, installations, photographic works, performances, and kinetic sculpture. She studied photography and film at the Massachusetts College of Art and received her Master in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute. Laitala’s 2015 City Luminous series encompasses seven separate works (and counting), spanning the realms of installation, multi-projector performance, photography, and single-channel film, shown thus far at the Palace of Fine Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute, the California Historical Society, and in solo shows at Oddball Films and Shapeshifters Cinema. Elements of The City Luminous series have been funded by a Special Projects Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission Grant, Yerba Buena Benefit District grant, California Historical Society, and Maurice Kanbar. Tune in to Resonance, a series of live performances and conversations amplifying unique frequencies of musical possibility. Season 3 begins December 10 with music from the Arab world presented by composer and performer A.J. Racy. For more information - http://www.exploratorium.edu/arts/resonance Watch celebrated artist Alexa Meade transform a live model into a seemingly two-dimensional tableau.
Reversing the tradition of trompe l’oeil, the Renaissance painting technique in which objects appear real, Alexa Meade painstakingly applies acrylic paint onto actual people and objects, creating illusions of seamless, two-dimensional portraits. Unified by bold brushwork reminiscent of mid-20th-century painting styles, her subjects appear flattened, as if painted on canvas, even when viewed from different angles. Meade’s work invites a deep exploration into the nature of perception, the role of photography in viewing ephemeral artworks, and the sudden intimacy of portraiture.