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 dragon, more storytelling and the influences of different cultures.
Some related favorites: The Last Ice Merchant, a 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.
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).
From the Marin County Free Library, cars, boats, trains and a motorless gravity car in 1920s California.
The Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railroad ran from 1896 until 1929 between downtown Mill Valley to near the summit of Mt. Tamalpais, with a second line descending the West side of Mt. Tamalpais to Muir Woods beginning in 1907.
The first part of this film from 1926 depicts the journey taken from the San Francisco Ferry Building (notice the cars boarding the ferry), across the bay, to Sausalito. From there, passengers would board a passenger train to Mill Valley. At the Mill Valley depot, an open-aired train traveled up the mountain, on the “Crookedest Railroad in the World.” At the terminus was a tavern; the one pictured here was the third incarnation, rebuilt after a fire in 1913.
The second part of this film begins at the Tavern of Tamalpais where, travelers depart on a motorless gravity car, which traveled down to Muir Woods.