Looming over San Francisco since 1973, Sutro Tower’s antennae transmit and receive radio and television signals to the nine-county SF Bay Area. Perched above Twin Peaks, the tower has become a local icon, now revered as much as it was abhorred when first built. Visit the tower with us to find out what’s on it, what’s underneath it, and its history, including its transformation from eyesore to icon.
Who needs a flying car when you can take flight with your own wings? A team from the Zurich University of the Arts touched down at the Exploratorium at After Dark on August 7th, 2014 with Birdly, their interactive 3D full-body virtual reality experience in which visitors flew through a 3D model of San Francisco, embodying a virtual Red Kite, a bird of prey similar to a hawk, using full-motion controls powered by their arms and hands.
In partnership with Exploratorium Cinema Arts, Soundwave immerses visitors in a cinematic, surround-sound event exploring ideas about the ecologies, stories, and properties of our most important natural resource—water.
Our Global Studios (the team who helps build exhibits/programs for other science centers, museums & government agencies around the world) is working with the Mid America Science Museum on their renovation. This heavy hunk of coal was donated by Sebastian Mining in Western Arkansas. The teams are collecting geological samples from around the state to show all the different rocks and minerals that live under our feet - limestone, shale, quartz crystals, etc - telling a bit about how they got there, and different ways people use them.
Dahlias, the official flower of San Francisco, are blooming at @GoldenGatePark! Science of Gardening fun facts: the herbaceous perennial plant has been an Aztec epilepsy remedy, a treatment for diabetes and a potato substitute over its many years of cultivation. Learn more here.
Stanford Scientists Use Fruit Flies to Study Diabetes
"An unusual patient is helping scientists study diabetes.
In a paper published today, Stanford researchers report a new way to use fruit flies to sort through the complicated genetics of Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes and affects millions of Americans. The condition is partly genetic, and past studies have uncovered many possible risk genes associated with the disease.
Problem is, scientists don’t understand enough about these genes to know which ones are the real culprits.”
Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are annoying #amiright but they are important to scientific research. Their body parts and behaviors are easy to observe and we share many common genes. As a result they are used to study a wide array of human health topics from alcohol intoxication to organ formation.
These particular Drosophila pupae have been removed from their pupae case. Watch their last few days of development into mature fruit flies, with an elapsed time of about 5 days. See more here.
circumhorizontal arcs photographed by (click pic) david england, andy cripe, del zane, todd sackmann and brandonrios. this atmospheric phenomenon, otherwise known as a fire rainbow, is created when light from a sun that is at least 58 degrees above the horizon passes through the hexagonal ice crystals that form cirrus clouds which, because of quick cloud formation, have become horizontally aligned. (see also: previous cloud posts)
Translating science into plain English at the Exploratorium
As California and the nation race to educate more scientists, mathematicians, and creative thinkers, we can’t afford to leave students behind because they weren’t brought up speaking English, says Lynn Rankin, director of the Exploratorium’s Institute for Inquiry.
That’s why USF’s Sarah Capitelli has helped turn the San Francisco exploratorium’s renowned, hands-on science into language lessons for non-English speaking students. | Full story »