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A short video created about an iconic exhibit at the Exploratorium, Ned Kahn's Chaotic Pendulum. An apparently simple set of pendulums is given an initial twist. Intuition says that the resulting motion of this simple system should be, if not simple, at least predictable. Intuition doesn't work with this device though, and its motion is an extremely complicated, and somewhat whimsical, twisting and turning that defies the predictive powers of physics. Every night at Fort Funston, after all the people and dogs have left for the day, the bats come out to play. Dr. Gary Fellers of the U.S. Geological Survey tells us about bat vocalizations, the audio recordings he uses to monitor their travels, and the various species of bats that frequent this Golden Gate National Park.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. We take a trip around San Francisco and examine what treasures are hidden in plain sight and talk to a few geocachers to find out what all this means. Takuji and Takashi have created a system that uses augmented reality to control the flavor of an actual cookie. By presenting the image of a cookie through a virtual reality headset, then reproducing the scent through perfume tubes, Meta Cookie may trick you into thinking that a plain sugar cookie is actually an almond or chocolate cookie!
Construction at the Exploratorium's new home on the Embarcadero began in October 2010. Over a three day span in November 2010, the existing non-historic connector building on the east end of Piers 15 and 17 was demolished, revealing for the first time in 55 years a view out to the Bay. Twenty-seven miles beyond the Golden Gate, the craggy Farallon Islands have been home to fur-seal hunters from Russia, a gold-rush-era egg business, and even a nuclear waste dump. Today they’re home to 250,000 sea birds, not to mention seals, sea lions, whales, and sharks. What makes these stark-looking islands so attractive to wildlife?
This After Dark event, which explored the science behind slowing down, included artist Joe Mangrum, who created a sand mandala on the floor of the museum. In this timelapse video, shot over 8 hours, you can see the full arc of the work.
The ground under our San Franciscan feet is constantly on the move. Join Exploratorium educator Ken Finn as we visit some spots around town where exposed rocks reveal the tale of an active earth. Join musician Karen Stackpole as she illuminates the science, history, and construction of gongs, tam-tams, and metallophones. In her studio, we learn how gongs are made by using heat, cold water, and a tempering process. Karen also discusses contemporary uses of gongs and some of her current work. This After Dark event got the holiday season off to a sweet start, presenting art, science, and history related to sugar.