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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. Goerte once described architecture as "frozen music," observing their common foundation in mathematics, geometry, and aesthetics. But what is the sound of a skyscraper? A warehouse? A bridge? Here we explore the connections between architecture and music, juxtaposing San Francisco buildings with musical compositions influenced by architecture. This experimental segment of Science in the City asks more questions than it answers. Like the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco's cable cars are world-renowned as emblems of our city. Join us for a ride down Hyde Street as we investigate what makes these historic cars go—and more importantly, stop—on the steep hills of San Francisco.
To learn more visit the Cable Car Museum website: http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/index.html
Construction of Pier 15 from March 11th through May 27th of 2011. Images courtesy of Nibbi Construction. Music by Wayne Grim. Construction of the Observatory at Piers 15 & 17 from April 12th through April 27th of 2011. Images courtesy of Nibbi Construction. Music by Wayne Grim.