San Francisco, part III

CaAcadOfScienceOn Wednesday we went to Golden Gate Park to tour the California Academy of Sciences.  After paying a pricey entrance fee we walked about 50 feet inside the building when the fire alarm went off.  ARGH!  Why all the bad luck?!  We had to wait outside for quite a while and just when we were ready to bag the whole idea, the firemen cleared the building for re-entry.  Inside we found a glass-walled lab with a live video feed showing animals being taxidermied which was very interesting.  We spent most of the time in the “Rain Forests of the World”, a spiraling walkway through three levels of examples of rain forests.  There were great examples of colorful live exotic poisonous frogs and lizards, but most exciting were the birds and butterflies flying out in the open.  We took way too many pictures trying to capture the butterflies.  butterflyThey were quite spectacular and we did manage to get a nice shot or two.  Upon exiting the rain forest we were dumped in the aquarium section of the museum.  We had little time left after the aquarium, so we quickly ran through the other areas of the building before heading to the living rooftop.  It was a very impressive roof top with a nice view of the new deYoung Museum and the Music Concourse.

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In the early evening I took the Bart to the East Bay to catch up with my friend Jen.  Jen and I used to work together at SFGTV and since I’ve left she’s become quite an impressive wedding photographer.  I sure have missed spending time with this awesome lady!  Our visit was much too brief.

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ExploFtMason1On Thursday, Beth and I tried, once again, to find the outdoor exhibits at Fort Mason.  We had much better luck, running into some employees of the Exploratorium near the first exhibit and finally obtaining a map.  We had fun trying out each of the dozen or so exhibits and it was a beautiful walk through Fort Mason and along the water.  Here are a few of the exhibits:

<—- WIND ARROWS shows that the direction of the wind is different even at slightly varying altitudes.  Each arrow moves in the direction the wind is blowing.

ExploFtMason2TASTING THE TIDES talks about varying amounts of salt in area waters and what survives best at different salt levels.  This exhibit allows you to add more or less salt to water and taste it.  Beth’s first taste was too salty. —->

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<—- WAVE TRACING uses a loose piling to etch into sand the motion of the waves, currents, and tides below the pier.

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<—- RUST WEDGE shows the strong effect on iron and rust on concrete corrosion.

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LIFT (below) was a favorite of mine, also displaying the moving and changing winds.  The plastic birds seem much like flying gulls as they lift and fall in this display.

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In the early afternoon I had the chance to visit my friend Marisa in her classroom after school let out and to meet her babies, Zamora and Xavia.  So sweet.  At night, Beth and I took in a show of one of my favorite Bay Area musicians,  Mark Growden.  The tiny Stage Werx theater was literally right around the corner from the hotel and in the basement of the Shelton Theater and Playhouse.  This small venue held about 25 people for the duet with Seth Ford-Young.  This is the way to see live music.  They played several familiar tunes and many from the soon-to-be-released album, Saint Judas.  What a great night!  We were too excited to call it a night,  so we took a very lonely, cold, foggy cable car ride to the end of the line then walked to North Beach for some wine and a little bite to eat at a very lively restaurant in an otherwise very quiet North Beach.

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