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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Don't Panic! It's Just a Total Solar Eclipse

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM


A solar eclipse! The cosmic ballet goes on...

This afternoon there will be a total solar eclipse over the western Pacific Ocean — the first that isn't in an extreme latitude since 2009 — and The Exploratorium has dispatched a crew of a dozen people plus 4,000 pounds of equipment to the remote coral island of Woleai to cover it. 

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Science Nerd Randall Munroe of xkcd Explains Things As Simply as Possible

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Excerpted from Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words © 2015 by Randall Munroe. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
  • Excerpted from Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words © 2015 by Randall Munroe. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Randall Munroe doesn’t think you’re stupid. Though you might get that impression when you open the cover of Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words. Larger than a laptop and loaded with pictures, arrows, and Munroe’s telltale stick figures, it may not strike you as a book for grown ups.

Munroe doesn’t really care. As the science blogger, xkcd webcomic creator, and former NASA roboticist states in his forward — i.e., "the page before the book starts — “I liked writing this book because it made me let go of my fear of sounding stupid. After all — when you’re saying things like ‘space boats’ and ‘water pushers’ everything sounds stupid.”

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Friday, July 24, 2015

There Is Ice on Pluto! (And Other Momentous News from Astronomy's Best Week in Decades)

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Pluto - NASA
  • NASA
  • Pluto

This might have been the best week in astronomy since homo sapiens played golf on the moon in 1972, or, if fiction counts, since that time in 1987 where a cloaked Klingon  Bird of Prey landed in Golden Gate Park.

It has been officially determined that there is ice on Pluto! New Horizons’s latest and clearest pictures of the quasi-planet’s surface have revealed ice sheets and signs of geologic activity, which according to NASA, is “something scientists hoped to find but didn’t expect.” Like a terrestrial glacier, the sheet may undergo seasonal flows. In spite of its location billions of miles from the sun, and a surface temperature of minus-390 degrees Fahrenheit, Pluto appears to have weather that varies by latitude.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sounding Natural: Bioacoustician Bernie Krause Brings Biophony to the Ballet

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Kara Wilkes. - RJ MUNA
  • RJ Muna
  • Kara Wilkes.
Ballet is an exaltation of artifice, a dancer its ultimate creation, with limbs that extend in every conceivable direction to describe geometry as neatly as a compass draws a circle on the planar surface of a floor.

George Balanchine paid homage to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor in his 1941 masterpiece Concerto Barocco, a ballet that glorifies craft — the merging of individuality with the exigencies of rhythm and spatial arrays, all costumed in black-and-white practice clothing that references the labor of human creativity, even as it abstracts the body into idealized forms. In LINES Ballet’s Spring Home Season, April 3-12 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, choreographer and artistic director Alonzo King brings back his own 2013 Concerto for Two Violins, a daring challenge to Balanchine’s ballet and possibly the perfect juxtaposition to his new work, which shifts the perspective from culture back to nature.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

California Academy of Sciences New Planetarium Show, Habitat Earth, is Now Open

Posted By on Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 9:53 AM

Turning the telescopes back on us. - CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Turning the telescopes back on us.

By definition, a planetarium is an edifice in which images of stars, planets, and constellations are projected on the inner surface of a dome for public entertainment or education — but the Morrison Planetarium within the California Academy of Sciences is redefining the traditional concept of astronomical presentation. Instead of focusing on all the cosmic beauty to be found in galaxies far, far away, the Cal Academy team turned the telescopes around and focuses on the greatest wonder of the universe — Earth itself. 

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bisexual Women Twice as Likely to Be Sexually Abused (Study)

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM


In 2011, we found out that bisexual women tend to be more depressed and anxious than their straight counterparts, possibly due to bisexual stigma, researchers surmised. Now a new study shows that bisexual women are also more likely to be sexually and physically abused by their (often male) partners.

See Also: Porn Stars Have Higher Self-Esteem, Spirituality than Other Women: Study

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Video of the Day: The Ultimate How-To Nightlife Event

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

  • Anthony Gordon

If you haven't been to a Cal Academy NightLife event, tonight should be one of your New Year's resolutions. Featuring half price admission, plentiful cocktails, interesting bites to eat, and live music, in addition to all the fascinating exhibitions (without the screaming children running around), it's one of the raddest and most informative happenings on a Thursday night.

See also:

Street Fashion of the Academy of Sciences' Nightlife

St. Patrick's Day Includes Irish History, Music, Dance, Drinks at NightLife

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Video of the Day: Last Chance to Visit the Exploratorium Before It Moves

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 8:30 AM

  • Courtesy of the Exploratorium

The Embarcadero has seen a fair bit of controversy in recent years. There were tense negotiations over how much leeway the city would give the America's Cup race, a downright nasty political fight over the 8 Washington project, and now some residents are objecting to development plans for a new Golden State Warriors arena. But the waterfront will be gaining one tenant this year that we're pretty sure everyone will love, and that's the Exploratorium.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

The Real Apocalyptic Threat: Death by Space

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

  • Richard Haick

With all the talk of climate change, unchecked nanotech, and over-fished oceans, it's kind of a shame that people forget about the old-school catastrophic scenarios -- volcanoes, man, plagues of things. And most apocalyptic of all, that old dinosaur-killer: impact from big space stuff.

See also:

How to Not Die in an Earthquake: Six Essential Tips

Books for Surviving the Impending Apocalypse

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Video of the Day: How to Make Your Own Hooch

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 8:30 AM


Maybe you think you're a top-notch drink-maker because you took an online class, or because you can tell the difference between Ancient Age and Maker's Mark in a blind taste test. But do you know much about the what, where, and who of your hooch? We didn't think so. Learn the science behind your favorite libations at "The Science of Distilling," co-produced by INFORUM, a division of the Commonwealth Club, and the Bay Area Science Festival.

See also:

Prepare for the Anti-Armageddon with these DIY Classes

The Cheap Femme's DIY: Birdcage Veil and Upcycled Heels

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"