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Showing 27 posts tagged California

In 1961, an interactive exhibition called Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Beyond inaugurated the new science wing at Los Angeles’ California Museum of Science and Industry. Sponsored by IBM, it was an innovative exhibit designed by husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames, and lucky for us, it included five short animations that explored a handful of math concepts. Watch three of our favorites:

Above, 2ⁿ – “a story about the exponential growth of numbers raised to powers.” Below, Symmetry and testing for degrees of it:

Also, Topology – how a closed curve dissects a plane into inside and outside sections:

And in the archives, don’t miss this iconic Eames film: Powers of Ten.

via Tinybop.

San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers and their director Corey Chan are dedicated to telling stories that are thousands of years old. Though traditional dance, music, costume-making, and story translation, they hope to help preserve and pass on these ancient stories by performing them for younger generations. From KQED Arts:

In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings. For example lettuce and tangerines, which are often hung for lion dancers to pluck (along with cash), represent prosperity; tangerines with stems represent the unity of the family. The props help tell the tale and present a puzzle the lion must solve for the dance to be successful. “The audience struggles with the lion,” says Chan. “Sometimes the lion looks so frustrated because it can’t do what it wants to do.” But his triumph, when it comes, is all the sweeter for the obstacles…

Though the dragon dance is more festive and less layered in meaning than the lion dance, the dragon has great significance in Chinese culture as well. “The dragon is the ultimate symbol of the Chinese people, who call themselves the descendants of the dragon,” Chan explains. “The ancients believed different dragons controlled rainfall and flooding; they brought life-giving rain to the crops which sustained a nation, or they caused the catastrophic floods that wiped out millions. No wonder dragons were considered the loftiest, most powerful and most fearsome of creatures.”

In the archives: another dragonmore storytelling and the influences of different cultures.

Some related favorites: The Last Ice Merchanta música portuguesa a gostar dela própria, and Māori dancers perform a Haka dance.

From KQED Science, find out how San Francisco’s 600 tons of compostable waste can be transformed into a dark, nutrient-rich material that will not only feed plants to improve the quality of what we eat and drink, but that also has the potential to offset America’s carbon emissions by over 20%. Above, agronomist Bob Shaffer takes us Inside the Compost Cycle.

Food scraps, mostly compostable, are over 30% of everyone’s garbage, and could instead help turn poor dirt into nutrient-rich soil where you live. If you’re interested in learning how to compost, check out these excellent links:

Watch more videos about sustainability, including the Moser Lamp, shaggy lawnmowers, Pierre’s high school greenhouse, Brooklyn’s Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, and how to use a paper towel.

Above, filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker's Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Color: San Diego Study #3. But wait… here’s the real video of this freeway. So what’s going on here, and how did he do it? Via The Creator’s Project

Using a system called chroma key (that acts in several ways like a green screen) Kuckenbaker was able to remove, re-insert, and layer both backgrounds and objects—giving the appearance of remarkable mass action happening in a short time frame. Through this method, he was able to isolate car patterns and condense their cycles—turning what would otherwise be dry transportation data into a moving, visual representation of life in San Diego.

You may have also seen Kuckenbaker’s viral airplanes, Landings at San Diego Int Airport Nov 23, 2012, below: 

In the archive: more vehicles and more swarms.

This is the first footage ever filmed of the Grimalditeuthis bonplandi, a deep-sea squid, captured on video by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California.

This squid is a fascinating one, not only because it’s a squid. It’s two tentacles and eight arms are unique because the animal doesn’t seem to have a way to lure or grab prey — no suckers, no hooks, no sticky pads, and no photophores, light-emitting cells that help creatures like the anglerfish hunt for food.

Scientists think that the creature is luring food by waving its tentacle clubs like small prey, perhaps encouraging other animals to flash their own deep sea lights, or by creating attractive, low frequency vibrations, or by making a path of turbulence in the water that causes prey to follow in hopes of food or a mate.

But it’s all a bit of educated guesswork until they get more video! For details, check out Scientific American. And then click here to stay underwater with some squids.