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Monday is spiky. The number nine is orange. The letter F smells like smoke. Roughly one percent of people experience such blending of the senses, known as synesthesia. In this episode we meet Bryan Alvarez, a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, who is researching the neural mechanisms of synesthesia in an effort to explain why only some of us experience this cognitive crosstalk. See the subtle, mesmeric effects revealed by slow-motion observation of three iconic exhibits: Circling Wave Umbrella, in which spinning fabric forms pockets of swirling air; Rift Zone, a miniature geothermal landscape created by air bubbling through fine sand; and Vortex, a swirling vortex of water in a hydrodynamic dance with gravity.
Ever wondered where that crust on your car battery comes from? Exploratorium staff member Chuck Mignacco explains galvanic corrosion and the basics of battery maintenance using a time-honored miracle solvent: Coke. Watch for a surprise guest at the end of the video. On August 4, 2011 After Dark Blue delved into the color of cool with explorations of indigo, underwater vision, color photography, and blues performances by Lady Bianca, Bobbie Webb, and Fillmore Slim. Some may spend their golden years in the La-Z-Boy, but 86-year-old Walt Schneebeli and his pals, the "old goats" of the Dolphin Club of San Francisco, find peace of mind by swimming in the salty, chilly San Francisco bay. An impression of recent activity in the yacht harbor near the Exploratorium. 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.