Today marks the 108th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. The old picture shows the area north of the San Francisco Ferry Building, spanning Pier 3 through Pier 15 just after the earthquake.

Now, our home at Pier 15 is retrofitted with a single seismic
 joint, 300 feet long and two feet wide, which will isolate the entire pier structure from the rest of San Francisco in the event of an earthquake! 

Watch this video to learn all about the seismic joint!

Photos from Wikimedia Commons and © Exploratorium, respectively.

"The light show is like playing modern music on antique instruments, it mixes old and new techniques. The light appears to move to the music. You hear something and you see something, and as the listener/viewer, you make the connection between the two. The viewer does the work. It’s a kind of synesthesia."


Learn more from #TheJoshuaLightShow at tomorrow’s Behind the Screen: Deconstructing the Joshua Light Show workshop. RSVP with cinemaarts@exploratorium.edu and join us.

Photo by Gayle Laird © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

A little #TBT action. Here #JoshuaWhite of #TheJoshuaLightShow using liquid light, overhead projection, and mirrors. Tonight White and eight collaborators will perform with #MoonDuo in the our Kanbar Auditorium at Pier 15.

This Saturday April 19, The Joshua Light Show will share their techniques from 1960s liquid and gels to modern digital technologies. RSVP here. 

Thanks psychedelic-sixties​ !

A little #TBT action. Here #JoshuaWhite of #TheJoshuaLightShow using liquid light, overhead projection, and mirrors. Tonight White and eight collaborators will perform with #MoonDuo in the our Kanbar Auditorium at Pier 15.

This Saturday April 19, The Joshua Light Show will share their techniques from 1960s liquid and gels to modern digital technologies. RSVP here.

Thanks psychedelic-sixties​ !

In preparation for our Off the Screen event tomorrow night the legendary #JoshuaLightShow and #MoonDuo rehearse behind and in front of the partition #lights #exploratorium #rehearsal

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION 

Go behind the screen - learn and work beside legendary Joshua Light Show, pioneer of the Psychedelic Experience in a unique, all day workshop.

Coming to the Exploratorium is a big engagement for us, artistically—we were mentored by San Francisco-based light shows.

[Our] light show is like playing modern music on antique instruments, it mixes old and new techniques. The light appears to move to the music. You hear something and you see something, and as the listener/viewer, you make the connection between the two. The viewer does the work. It’s a kind of synesthesia. — Joshua White in conversation with Dana Goldberg, 2014

Behind the Screens: Deconstructing the Joshua Light Show

Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:00AM to 5:00PM

RSVP at cinemaarts@exploratorium.edu

http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/cinema-arts/joshua-light-show-workshop


Photo credit: © Martin Genz and @ Joshua White

The first 500 digits of π are ready for you to carry in our infamous Pi Day parade kicking off at 1:45pm PDT today! The parade will reach our Pi shrine at 3.14 1:59pm PDT ;). Directly following, free pi(e) for our Free Day guests for as long as 1,500 slices goes… To the irrational, transcendental, and infinite number, Happy Pi Day, from us to you.

"Cupcake, Zucchini, Bread" A Mold Growth Rate Experiment
Photo by David Barker © Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

"Cupcake, Zucchini, Bread"
A Mold Growth Rate Experiment

Photo by David Barker
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

"In the mid seventies, the Exploratorium had an early connection (via phone line) to Wordrow Wilson High School and their HP2000c computer. We had a teletype machine in the box the kids are sitting on and we used to demo the computer (programming in BASIC) to people on the [museum] floor. Frank [Oppenheimer] hated it. I loved it…" -Ron Hipschman, the Exploratorium’s original Web Master at its inception in 1993Photographer unknown.

"In the mid seventies, the Exploratorium had an early connection (via phone line) to Wordrow Wilson High School and their HP2000c computer. We had a teletype machine in the box the kids are sitting on and we used to demo the computer (programming in BASIC) to people on the [museum] floor. Frank [Oppenheimer] hated it. I loved it…" -Ron Hipschman, the Exploratorium’s original Web Master at its inception in 1993

Photographer unknown.

Pier 7 photo taken from inside the Exploratorium’s Rickshaw Obscura, a bicycle-mounted exhibit that can often be seen cruising around the perimeter of the Exploratorium campus. Flag down an Explainer and take a spin inside during your next visit. Photo by Amy Snyder© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

Pier 7 photo taken from inside the Exploratorium’s Rickshaw Obscura, a bicycle-mounted exhibit that can often be seen cruising around the perimeter of the Exploratorium campus. Flag down an Explainer and take a spin inside during your next visit.

Photo by Amy Snyder
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu

Did you know that Pi Day (3.14)—one of the geekiest holidays celebrated—started here at the Exploratorium in 1988? (go ahead, Wikipedia it!) The holiday pays homage to that irrational, never-ending number π, 3.14159265359….
This year, we invite you to get your literary geek on by mixing pi + poetry and SEND US your “pi-kus” and “pi-ems.” Pi-kus are poems about pi in a traditional 3-line Japanese haiku form—5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. Pi-ems are poems about pi, too, but the letters in each consecutive word have to correspond to the next digit of pi. For example: How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics. “How” has 3 letters, “I” has 1, and “need” has 4 (3.14…).Pi Day, March 14, is just around the corner! Send your Pi-kus and Pi-ems to PiDay@exploratorium.edu and we’ll read them aloud during our π celebration on 3.14.14!

Did you know that Pi Day (3.14)—one of the geekiest holidays celebrated—started here at the Exploratorium in 1988? (go ahead, Wikipedia it!) The holiday pays homage to that irrational, never-ending number π, 3.14159265359….

This year, we invite you to get your literary geek on by mixing pi + poetry and SEND US your “pi-kus” and “pi-ems.”

Pi-kus are poems about pi in a traditional 3-line Japanese haiku form—5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. Pi-ems are poems about pi, too, but the letters in each consecutive word have to correspond to the next digit of pi. For example: How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics. “How” has 3 letters, “I” has 1, and “need” has 4 (3.14…).

Pi Day, March 14, is just around the corner! Send your Pi-kus and Pi-ems to PiDay@exploratorium.edu and we’ll read them aloud during our π celebration on 3.14.14!

Happy Darwin Day!  Today would have been Charles Darwin’s 205th birthday. Naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) first noticed the evidence for natural selection while visiting the Galapagos Islands in 1835. On these isolated islands, Darwin found finches that resembled those living on the South American continent, some 1,300 kilometers away. But the Galapagos finches, he realized, showed a range of beak sizes that corresponded to the food sources available where they lived. Darwin concluded that these birds originated from a single species that migrated from the mainland millions of years ago. Since birds faced distinct challenges depending on where they settled, finches with different traits survived in different locations. Through the process of natural selection, the bird populations eventually split into many species, which still retaining common characteristics. Since his publication of On the Origin of Species, the principles of evolutionary biology have become integral to fields as diverse as medicine, agriculture, genetic engineering, and epidemiology. Outside the life sciences, evolutionary concepts have informed economics, cultural studies, urban planning, and even forms of popular culture like video game design. The very idea of evolutionary change over time has become ingrained across the public imagination. Thanks, and happy birthday Charles! More on Natural Selection http://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/belize-london/ideas/evolution.html

Happy Darwin Day!
Today would have been Charles Darwin’s 205th birthday.

Naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) first noticed the evidence for natural selection while visiting the Galapagos Islands in 1835. On these isolated islands, Darwin found finches that resembled those living on the South American continent, some 1,300 kilometers away. But the Galapagos finches, he realized, showed a range of beak sizes that corresponded to the food sources available where they lived.

Darwin concluded that these birds originated from a single species that migrated from the mainland millions of years ago. Since birds faced distinct challenges depending on where they settled, finches with different traits survived in different locations. Through the process of natural selection, the bird populations eventually split into many species, which still retaining common characteristics.

Since his publication of On the Origin of Species, the principles of evolutionary biology have become integral to fields as diverse as medicine, agriculture, genetic engineering, and epidemiology. Outside the life sciences, evolutionary concepts have informed economics, cultural studies, urban planning, and even forms of popular culture like video game design. The very idea of evolutionary change over time has become ingrained across the public imagination. Thanks, and happy birthday Charles!

More on Natural Selection http://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/belize-london/ideas/evolution.html

exploratorium:

2013 Year in Science Stories
Exploratorium Picks:

From the “shmeaty” goodness of a test-tube hamburger to the glimmer of water on Mars, it’s been a year in science to remember—and in some cases (yep, we’re talking to you, comet ISON) to forget. Here are some of our picks for the year in science.

1. Molecular Movie

IBM debuted A Boy and His Atom, the smallest movie ever made, in which the actors are made up of individual molecules of carbon monoxide.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCX78-8-q0

2. Record-High Carbon Dioxide

In May, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory reached a new high, surpassing 400 parts per million for the first time since data-taking began there in 1955. The last time CO2 levels reached this level was roughly 4.5 million years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch, when the earth was roughly 6° F warmer and sea level ranged between 16 to 131 feet higher.
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/news/2013/CO2400.html  

3. Penises: Not for the Birds

A whopping 97% of living male birds have no penis—instead, they eject sperm through an anatomical catch-all called the cloaca. In June, researchers announced the genetic culprit: a gene called Bmp4 thatshuts off penis development shortly after it begins, causing the nascent member to dissolve away. http://news.sciencemag.org/evolution/2013/06/scienceshot-birds-disappearing-penis


4. In Vitro Meat

In a year already boasting in vitro kidneys, ears, livers, and even a nascent brain, what remained but to craft a cultured burger? Costing $325,000—fries not included—the in vitro cow muscle cells were sautéed in butter to create arguably the world’s most expensive hamburger.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/science/a-lab-grown-burger-gets-a-taste-test.html


5. Water on Mars

After celebrating its first anniversary on Mars, NASA’s car-sized Curiosity rover sent a gift back to Earth, discovering water in the Martian soil—along with other evidence that the Martian environment was once habitable.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/

6. Comet ISON Flyby

Inbound from the mysterious Oort cloud near the boundary of our solar system, comet ISON promised to (possibly) light up the December sky with a dazzling day-visible display. Alas, hype and hyperbole provided most of the entertainment, as the actual performance fizzled when the comet broke into bits after performing a hairpin turn around the sun. Astronomers were nonetheless pleased by the dazzling data payload.
http://www.nasa.gov/ison/

7. HIV: Negatives and Positives

Hope for an HIV cure surged after bone marrow transplants resulted in several months of undetectable viral levels in two patients’ blood then flagged when the virus subsequently rebounded. But hope springs afresh: An HIV-infected toddler who received antiretroviral drugs hours after birth still shows no signs of the virus after 2.5 years.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hopes-dashed-for-hiv-cure
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/health/for-first-time-baby-cured-of-hiv-doctors-say.html

Today our new book The Art of Tinkering, produced from The Tinkering Studio, is released to the public! Request it at your local book store or buy it online. Here’s a taste of what’s inside…

Did you know that playdough can be sculpted into circuits? Its saltiness makes it conductive—and you can use it to play with battery packs, LEDs, buzzers, motors, and more. Cook up some conductive dough and experiment with squishy circuits in this week’s #tinkeringtuesday activity.

Conductive Dough Recipe:

Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, ¼ cup salt, 3 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and some drops of food coloring in a pot over medium heat. Stir continuously as the mixture boils and thickens, and keep on stirring until it forms a ball in the pot’s center. Let it cool slightly and knead it on a floured surface until it’s nice and smooth. Store it in an airtight container; it will stay malleable for weeks.

Grab two lumps of conductive dough, and poke one leg of an LED into each one. Take the two leads of a battery pack and stick the positive one into the lump with the LED’s positive leg, and the negative one into the lump with the LED’s negative leg. See the light go on? That’s your first squishy circuit.

You always need a gap between your negative and positive dough lumps, so next try placing some insulating dough between them to divert electricity from the battery pack into your LED. This allows for more solid construction without any shorts. Insulating dough will also help you move on to more complex builds.

Insulating Dough Recipe:

Mix 1 cup flour, ½ cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a bowl. Then add up to ½ cup distilled water in tiny increments (about 1 tablespoon at a time) until the dough forms a cohesive lump. Knead in a little more flour until it’s easy to mold with your hands. Store in an airtight container.

Want more details or suggestions? This activity and over 150 more from artists and tinkerers are featured for you to try yourself in The Art of Tinkering, available now at http://tinkering.exploratorium.edu/the-art-of-tinkering

Join the Exploratorium and the California King Tides Initiative in a walk to witness the last king tides in January, 2014! Meet us tomorrow, January 29, at 9am at the Exploratorium’s Wave Organ, the awesome wave-activated acoustic sculpture located at the end of a jetty in the San Francisco Bay (83 Marina Green Dr, SF, CA 94123). Walk with us from the Wave Organ to the Exploratorium at Pier 15 as we view and photograph a 7.0 ft high tide at several points along the banks of San Francisco. The walk is 3 miles from the Wave Organ, OR for a shorter 2-mile walk, meet us at the Aquatic Park Pier at 10am.

We may experience some flooded roads and pathways (nothing dangerous in the weather forecast, but be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring a jacket!). We expect this walk to be about 2.5-3 hours. This is a one-way walk so plan accordingly. Convenient public transportation exists at the end of our walk from the Exploratorium at Pier 15. We look forward to experiencing this exciting event with you all.

For full details and to please RSVP, please go here: http://california.kingtides.net/2014/01/26/snap-the-tides-with-the-exploratorium-on-jan-29/

Top photo by Mark Flippoff
Bottom photo by John V. Gatewood

A message from akbota-shamshidin


hello, guy! What is love?

We are exploring LOVE all through February! Join in the conversation if you like! What is this thing we call Love? http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/after-dark/february-2014/what-is-love