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Dr. Frank Oppenheimer discussing the origins of the Exploratorium Explainer Programs. The waters of San Francisco Bay are making a dramatic comeback as workers slowly remove a 1950s-era paved deck from between Piers 15 and 17 on the historic Embarcadero, at the site of the Exploratorium’s new home. In early November 2011, the east bridge, dedicated to the Fries family by San Francisco philanthropist Bill Fries, was put in place, connecting the terrace of the new Pier 15 Bay Observatory building to the adjacent side of Pier 17. When the museum opens in the spring of 2013, this bridge will offer prime views of the City and the Bay. At the Exploratorium, we are always experimenting. In this video, watch a close-up vantage of a bicycle trip along Crissy Field in San Francisco's Presidio. Join the Exploratorium crew on a visit to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where we will learn more about the ecological impact of plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre.
To learn more about marine debris visit: http://www.exploratorium.edu/tv/index.php?project=110&program=1301&type=clip 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.