San Francisco

Showing 11 posts tagged San Francisco

How are police horses chosen to become the highly trained and trusted steeds that they are? Via BBC Earth, watch the police horse testing and training process as conducted by the San Francisco mounted police unit, where only 10% of the horses that begin the program are found to be right for the job.

Videos in the archives: horseback riding in Yosemite, Mongolian horsemen herding wild horses, and the amazing War Horse puppet with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

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.

Scott Weaver’s Rolling through the Bay, an homage to the city of San Francisco, is made of over 100,000 toothpicks and Elmer’s glue, and was built over 35 years time. This structure was temporarily featured and filmed in The Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium a few years ago. If you’re in or visiting San Francisco, put The Exploratorium at Pier 15 on your must-do list. It’s amazing.

You can see photos of Weaver’s structure at Where Cool Things Happen. And there are more cool structures in the archives, including K’nex Clockwork, some excellent wood marble machines, and DIY paper rollercoasters.

via @Sci_Phile.

This nine and a half minute video is longer for a reason: it takes time for a Sikorsky S-58T helicopter to lift a microwave repeater system through the air to the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge!

In September (2009), after a couple of weather and technical delays, ARIS Helicopters accomplished a high-profile lift and placement job on the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. With pilot Sam Nowden flying a Sikorsky S-58T twin-Turbine helicopter, the job consisted of removing and replacing a twin parabolic microwave repeater disc assembly on the south tower of the bridge.

And here’s another view (including a hello from the guys doing the job).