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Exploratorium staff member Earl Stirling demonstrates the amazing "Pyrograph", an artwork refined over four years. Like a fiery version of the museum’s classic Drawing Board, Stirling’s "Pyrograph" swings a pendulum over a sandy cauldron, tracing out oscillating patterns in colorful fire. This mesmerizing piece evokes both the Foucault pendulum and Dante’s Inferno. When this chemistry teacher entered her portable classroom as a new teacher, she was fresh from West Africa—and there was a lot she didn’t know. Catch a glimpse of the floor as viewed from atop the concrete pendulum on the Exploratorium's Mezzanine. Nobody can really teach you anything—rather, you have to learn it for yourself. So how can you help your students understand science? TI staff educator Modesto Tamez shares some thoughts about helping students make ideas their own. This After Dark event featured a special installation of the Cubatron by Bay Area artist and engineer Mark Lottor. A visually stunning favorite of music and art festival audiences, the Cubatron is a 3–D light sculpture made from 8–x–8-foot modular cubes, each containing 1,000 individually programmable RGB LEDs. Viewed from any direction—even underneath—the Cubatron’s thousands of programmed pixels paint exquisite arrays of color that cascade in spectacularly dynamic patterns. Have you ever wondered exactly what clouds are made of, or what the difference is between a cumulus and lenticular cloud? Clouds are an ever-present, ever-changing part of our natural landscape. They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and capture our imagination with their endless permutations. Join Exploratorium Senior Scientist Paul Doherty for a live Webcast about cloud physics. Paul will discuss the basic makeup of clouds, and explore some of the aspects that make them such a rich part of our daily lives.
On January 15th we will release a gem of a vintage interview with revolutionary musician/composer Astor Piazolla!
In this inspired 1989 chat, Argentinean nuevo tango composer and bandoneon (concertina) player Astor Piazzolla dazzles the audience with a surprising story about the tango's origin in Argentina. He traces his musical beginnings and the "very beautiful way of feeling crazy" that resulted in his best compositions. Piazzolla also plays the bandoneon, and answers audience questions. Geeks have strange hobbies. Staff physicist Paul Doherty plays the corrugated plastic tube, also known as a “whirly,” and explains the surprising science behind the sound.
Ken Murphy, creator of A History of the Sky— a time-lapse visualization that will span an entire year—talks about his project during the After Dark event, Resolution.
Exploratorium graphic artist David Barker describes the physics of baseball bats, and makes some sweet music in the process!