Monday, May 27, 2013

Neoteny is the greatest state of mind (Part 1: Exploratorium)

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Photos galore now. I found myself pondering about how the scientific concepts are communicated and brought to life, rather than the concepts themselves. There are lots of exhibits about light, colors, acoustics, and meteorology, perhaps because the fundamental tenets can be experienced more easily by the layperson?

Just outside the Exploratorium

Bay Bridge and some sailboats

This reminds me of cross-sections of plant stems. Or views under an optical microscope. 

This I did not know! I did remember that thicker rods have higher spring constants and therefore wiggle faster. I pride myself on knowing most of the science behind these exhibits, but I'm always happy to learn new things :-)

Kaleidoscope your face!

Mirror mirror on the wall...

I did not want to use my camera flash as a courtesy to the other visitors :-P

Whoever thought of this has a slightly macabre and edgy sense of humor.

Clock tower. It has a neo-steampunk feel :-)

This made me nostalgic of my AP Physics C class activity of racing soup cans.  To my surprise, the chunky noodle soup beat the creamy peanut butter... I wonder if it's because all the chicken nuggets clumped in the middle?!

Nice glass display of the donors. Reminiscent of whimsical bubbles! More fun than the ol' engraved metal slabs.

Mmm the classic optical illusion.

Funny jokes. And puns.

More jokes.

I love these.

This is a curious exhibit on linguistics and psychology... sort of.

Another whimsical twist on the obvious.

I like this design.

This is one of the landmark exhibits that made the Exploratorium what it is today. Dr. Frank Oppenheimer is a fascinating character!

Cute note and worms.

Bubbly algae.

The columns represent the heights of SF Bay tide every hour.

Weather observatory.

This is a nice display of the water cycle that we don't usually think about.

Hilde Hein's book about the Exploratorium gives fascinating insights into how the museum came about, its founding philosophies, and how it has developed over the years. Perhaps this is the sort of thing I would enjoy doing for life... combining science and art and (helping to) inspire people about it?

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