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See the subtle, mesmeric effects revealed by slow-motion observation of three iconic exhibits: Circling Wave Umbrella, in which spinning fabric forms pockets of swirling air; Rift Zone, a miniature geothermal landscape created by air bubbling through fine sand; and Vortex, a swirling vortex of water in a hydrodynamic dance with gravity.
Ever wondered where that crust on your car battery comes from? Exploratorium staff member Chuck Mignacco explains galvanic corrosion and the basics of battery maintenance using a time-honored miracle solvent: Coke. Watch for a surprise guest at the end of the video. On August 4, 2011 After Dark Blue delved into the color of cool with explorations of indigo, underwater vision, color photography, and blues performances by Lady Bianca, Bobbie Webb, and Fillmore Slim. An impression of recent activity in the yacht harbor near the Exploratorium. Weaving our present location with our future location. Join Exploratorium educator Ken Finn as he unlocks the mystery behind the black sand (a.k.a. magnetite) at Ocean Beach. This piece explores the origin of magnetite in the Sierra Nevada mountains, its journey down the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to the Bay, and the interesting physical properties of this mineral, plus some fun things you can do with it. Obsidian points, Spanish terra-cotta tiles, Prohibition-era liquor bottles—history lies buried underfoot in the Presidio, one of the earliest settlements in San Francisco, occupied in turn by the Ohlone Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and the U.S. Army. Archaeologist Kari Jones shares tales of recent digs and discoveries in this national park, and explains why most artifacts are dug up only to be reburied. Join artist Alex Warren as he demonstrates the relationship of pigments and binders in the creation of paint. Framing of the Exploratorium's Observatory Building, the only completely new construction at at the piers, began in April 2011. Iron workers placed various sizes of steel beams in piles around the concrete base of the Observatory. Then, while a crane raised and held each beam aloft, the workers used metal spikes to line up the holes of the beams and inserted bolts, tightening them down to tie the structure together. Because the Observatory Building is less than two stories tall, the iron workers were allowed to shimmy across the beams without harnesses. Once this process was finished, the beams were plumbed and welded together. An homage to the color of passion and pageantry, Red featured special presentations, classic exhibits, and fiery performances by San Francisco’s Theatre Flamenco.