Posts Tagged ‘calacademy’

Tomorrow’s Mission to Mars Will be a Lot Bigger Than NASA’s Previous Efforts – Meet the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover

Friday, November 25th, 2011

When you’re on a mission to M/A/R/R/S, you gots to pump up the volume, like how NASA is doing with tomorrow’s launch of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL).

Check out this shot showing the size of the new rover’s wheels, via our California Academy of Sciences.

Three rover wheels at #NASAtweetup show the relative sizes for Curiosity, Spirit/Opportunity, and Pathfinder:

Click to expand

Check it:

Curiosity will be five times as large, and carry more than ten times the mass of scientific instruments as the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit or Opportunity.”

Here’s a family portrait:

Via NASA/JPL

Bon Courage, NASA

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission is preparing to set down a large, mobile laboratory — the rover Curiosity — using precision landing technology that makes many of Mars’ most intriguing regions viable destinations for the first time. During the 23 months after landing, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover.

Curiosity will carry the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars’ surface, a payload more than 10 times as massive as those of earlier Mars rovers. Its assignment: Investigate whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and for preserving clues in the rocks about possible past life.

Plans for the Mars Science Laboratory call for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, between Nov. 25 and Dec.18, 2011, and arrival at Mars in August 2012.

The spacecraft has been designed to steer itself during descent through Mars’ atmosphere with a series of S-curve maneuvers similar to those used by astronauts piloting NASA space shuttles. During the three minutes before touchdown, the spacecraft slows its descent with a parachute, then uses retro rockets mounted around the rim of an upper stage. In the final seconds, the upper stage acts as a sky crane, lowering the upright rover on a tether to the surface.

Curiosity is about twice as long (about 3 meters or 10 feet) and five times as heavy as NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, launched in 2003. It inherited many design elements from them, including six-wheel drive, a rocker-bogie suspension system and cameras mounted on a mast to help the mission’s team on Earth select exploration targets and driving routes. Unlike earlier rovers, Curiosity carries equipment to gather samples of rocks and soil, process them and distribute them to onboard test chambers inside analytical instruments”

“Tis the Season for Science” at Our California Academy of Sciences – Snow! Reindeer! Spice Forest! Performances!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Tis the Season for Science at the California Academy of Sciences.

Check it:

“From November 23, 2011 – January 16, 2012 the Academy will offer a suite of wintry festivities and family fun that will celebrate the science behind some of our most familiar holiday sights, sounds, and traditions. Highlights include:

A pair of live reindeer

Indoor snow flurries twice an hour

A Snowman Theater – an immersive digital dome shaped like a giant snowman, which will play two new shows on the science of snow

An aromatic Spice Forest – displays of the raw botanical specimens from which we get cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and other holiday ingredients

Festive programs including quiz shows, live music, dance, and theater performances

Mounted specimens of the birds mentioned in “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” including swans, geese, colly birds, hens, doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

Remember RLGC – Reindeer Love Graham Crackers. Hey kids, name this reindeer! (She’s a girl, BTW.)

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And here’s what these critters looked like when they were on the famous roof, via an iPhone 4:

This is Miles – he’s a fool for pine branches, I’ll tell you:

Les mise-en-scene:

One of four Evaporative Snow machines:

Le Theatre de Bonhomme de Neige – they’ve got two short films to show once you get inside:

The aromatic Spice Forest lets you smell stuff like nutmeg and vanilla:

And a partridge in a pear tree:

See you there!

Our California Academy of Sciences Goes Double Platinum – Largest Such LEED-Certified Building in the World

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The California Academy of Sciences just got another award – deets below.

Per Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy:

“Our LEED Platinum building is a marvelous example of sustainable architecture that has wowed millions of visitors since we opened three years ago. However, it is more than just a building. It is also a stage—one that has allowed us to host a wide variety of programs and exhibits about the history and future of life on Earth. Delivering these programs as sustainably as possible helps us inspire our visitors to make sustainable choices in their own lives.” 

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That’s right, baby – double platinum:

All the deets:

THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES RECEIVES SECOND LEED PLATINUM RATING FROM U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL

Awarded for its sustainable operations and maintenance, the Academy is now the world’s largest “Double Platinum” building

SAN FRANCISCO – On September 27, 2008, the California Academy of Sciences unveiled the world’s greenest museum—an eco-friendly new home featuring a hilly living roof, recycled denim insulation, and many other green innovations. Three years and more than five million visitors later, the museum celebrates another symbolic color: platinum. Today, the U.S. Green Building Council presented the Academy with its second LEED Platinum award, making the California Academy of Sciences the world’s first “Double Platinum” museum and the world’s largest Double Platinum building. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Academy building houses an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and world-class research and education programs under one living roof, standing as an embodiment of its 158-year-old mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the Academy for its commitment to high levels of environmental performance, and for setting the example as a leader in the San Francisco green building community and around the world,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. “Their Double Platinum rating is truly a remarkable achievement for our City.”

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based standard for evaluating high-performance, sustainable buildings. By earning points across a variety of sustainability categories, buildings can earn a basic certification, Silver, Gold, or Platinum rating. In October 2008, the Academy received its first LEED Platinum rating under the “New Construction” category, which focused on the building’s design and construction process. In August 2011, the Academy received its second LEED Platinum rating under the “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance” category, which certifies that its day-to-day operations and business practices also meet the highest standards of sustainability.

The Academy’s operations and maintenance practices were evaluated and earned points across six different categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. Based on a wide range of green practices and performance metrics, including transportation, purchasing decisions, and waste disposal, it was awarded a total of 82 points, exceeding the threshold for a Platinum certification (80 points).

Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s preeminent natural history museums and is an international leader in scientific research about the natural world. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the Academy’s original home in Golden Gate Park, but also provided a silver lining: the opportunity to reinvent the facility from the ground up. After nearly a decade of planning and the largest cultural fundraising effort in San Francisco history, the new Academy opened to the public in 2008. This major new initiative built on the Academy’s distinguished history and deepened its commitment to advancing scientific literacy, engaging the public, and documenting and conserving Earth’s natural resources.

“Our LEED Platinum building is a marvelous example of sustainable architecture that has wowed millions of visitors since we opened three years ago,” said Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy. “However, it is more than just a building. It is also a stage—one that has allowed us to host a wide variety of programs and exhibits about the history and future of life on Earth. Delivering these programs as sustainably as possible helps us inspire our visitors to make sustainable choices in their own lives.”

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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OMG Food! It’s Another LOCAL BITES at Our California Academy of Sciences this Sunday, Sept. 25 From 2-5PM

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

It’s new, it’s you. It’s Local Bites.

This month features  the “bounty of Autumn.”

“Enjoy the bounty of Autumn, local chefs, sustainable organizations, good music, a no-host bar, and friendly people at Local Bites in September.

Schedule & Location
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
West Garden, California Academy of Sciences”

So, go to brunch in the AM and this could be your mid-afternoon snack.

Will Anthony Strong of Locanda be there this month? Maybe.

Buy Tickets

Here’s what it looked like last month:

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All the deets:

“Sunday, September 25

Enjoy the bounty of Autumn, local chefs, sustainable organizations, good music, a no-host bar, and friendly people at Local Bites in September.

Schedule & Location
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
West Garden, California Academy of Sciences
Pricing
Combo GA Adult $39.95 (includes Event & Academy General Admission)
Combo GA Youth (4-17)* $34.90 (includes Event & Academy General Admission)
Event Only Adult $19.95 (does not include admission to the Academy)
Event Only Youth (4-17)* $9.95 (does not include admission to the Academy)
Member $14.95 (for members and their guests)
Member Youth (4-17)* $9.95
*Children 3 and under are free.

Please Note: JFK Drive is closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays. If you drive, we recommend you enter the Concourse Garage at 10th and Fulton.”

See you there!

Claude’s Sweet 16 at NightLife: Birthday Party for Albino Alligator at the Cal Academy a Huge Success

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Get up to speed on Claude right here

I showed up late at last night’s NightLife so I wasn’t able to squeeze in at the Swamp – here’s the best shot I have of the crowd while it sang “Happy Birthday” to San Francisco’s favorite reptile:

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Adults only at this weekly Night at the Museum get-together:

See you there next week!

OMG, It’s Local Bites This Sunday at the CalAcademy! Meet Chefs from 25 Lusk, Nopalito, DOSA, Delfina…

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Just hop on over to the Local Bites webpage at our California Academy of Sciences to see what they’ll have in store for you the afternoon of Sunday, August 21, 2011.

See?

“Get a taste of the Academy! Gather with friends and neighbors in the garden for a Sunday afternoon featuring local chefs, music, and fun for all ages. Sample tasty bites crafted by chefs who employ green practices and learn about local farmers markets, organic gardening, Academy landscaping and more!”

All the deets:

“Sunday, August 21

Celebrate the wonderful fruits of August! You’re sure to see and taste some crafty and delicious bites by our next set of famous local chefs – tomatoes, peaches anyone?

Schedule & Location

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
West Garden, California Academy of Sciences

Pricing

Combo GA Adult $39.95 (includes Event & Academy General Admission)
Combo GA Youth (4-17)* $34.90 (includes Event & Academy General Admission)
Event Only Adult $19.95 (does not include admission to the Academy)
Event Only Youth (4-17)* $9.95 (does not include admission to the Academy)
Member $14.95 (for members and their guests)
Member Youth (4-17)* $9.95
*Children 3 and under are free.

Buy Tickets

Please Note: JFK Drive is closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays. If you drive, we recommend you enter the Concourse Garage at 10th and Fulton.”

All right, see you there!

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Come to This Thursday’s “Workout NightLife” Party at Our CalAcademy and See If You Can Find Jared, the Subway Guy

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Our California Academy of Sciences is bringing it this Thursday night, July 28th, 2011 from 6:00 to 10:00 PM – it’s WORKOUT NIGHTLIFE just in time for the 2011 San Francisco Marathon on July 31st!

Bring your camera for when you spot Jared Fogle:

All the deets:

Workout NightLife

This week, NightLife works up a sweat in preparation for The San Francisco Marathon. CHEER SF will pump up the crowd with two performances in the East garden, followed by a costume contest for the best in workout attire (see below for categories). The SF Marathon crew and race partners will host interactive components including a chair massage station by Everest College, a yoga station from Lululemon, strategies from Bootcamp SF, UCSF RunSafe gait analysis and injury prevention advice, and contestants Ada Wong and Jesse Atkins from The Biggest Loser Season 10 leading a circuit workout. Plus, a series of creative short clips made just for planetarium domes at 6:30. Music by DJ Kap10.

Win a chance to run the 5k with “The Subway Guy,” Jared Fogle presented by The San Francisco Marathon! The “Where’s Jared” hunt will take place from 6pm to 9pm at NightLife. Dressed for the occasion, Jared will be in his finest workout attire. Be the first person to post 5 photos of Jared in 5 different locations at Nightlife to The The SF Marathon Facebook page and you will win an entry to the 5k event at The San Francisco Marathon on Sunday, July 31st!

Schedule of Events

6-9pm Snakes & Lizards- new exhibit! (Last entry at 8:45pm)/ Forum

6-10pm DJ Kap 10/ East Pavilion

6:30pm Best of DomeFest/ Planetarium

6:30-9:30pm SF Marathon Partners & Active Workshops / African Hall

7:30 & 8pm Performance by CHEER SF/ East Garden

7:30 & 8:30pm Life: A Cosmic Story/ Planetarium

8:30pm Workout Wear Costume Contest/ Piazza

Buy Tickets to NightLife on July 28th

OMG, See the Reindeer of Golden Gate Park From November 23 to January 2 – “Tis the Season for Science” at Cal Academy

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Our California Academy of Sciences is gearing up for the holidays. They’re going to have reindeer and everything.

(Now, the San Francisco Zoo talks about having reindeer, but I suspect the animules they have are merely caribou. Oh well.)

Get ready!

Click to expand

All the deets!

“TIS THE SEASON FOR SCIENCE”  AT THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
From November 23 – January 2, the Academy will celebrate the holiday season with a scientific twist.

SAN FRANCISCO (October 22, 2010) – From November 23 – January 2, the California Academy of Sciences will celebrate the holiday season with live reindeer, indoor snow flurries, and a suite of polar- and holiday-themed programs during “’Tis the Season for Science,” six weeks of wintry festivities and family fun with a scientific twist. Visitors can meet a pair of reindeer in-person, ask a botanist what “mistletoe” actually means, find out what causes the Northern Lights, and more, as they explore the “hows” and “whys” of life in some of Earth’s most frigid climates. Music, decorations, and a hot chocolate cart will complete the festive atmosphere.

Inside the Academy’s Piazza, visitors will find an Arctic wonderland, complete with an igloo presentation dome, holiday craft activities, and a stage for special presentations and shows including interviews with scientists, games of “Polar Jeopardy,” and a variety of music, dance, and theater performances. Young visitors can also greet “Santa Claude,” the Academy’s lovable alligator character, who will get into the holiday spirit with a Santa hat and scarf. Once an hour, an indoor snow flurry will dust the Piazza, against a backdrop of stunning photographs by Arctic National Wildlife Refuge photographer Subhankar Banerjee. Nearby, guests will get a closer look at a variety of rarely displayed Arctic specimens, including a polar bear, snowy owl, and snow geese.

Each day will feature festive performances and a schedule of programs and interactive activities that explore winter themes like migration, adaptations for extreme cold, sustainable gift-giving, and research in some of our planet’s coldest climes. ‘Tis the Season for Science activities are included with general admission tickets, unless otherwise noted. Visit www.calacademy.org/holidays in November for more details.


Special Program Highlights
November 23 – January 2

Reindeer Rendezvous – Daily
Visit the east garden to meet the two reindeer (also known as caribou in North America) that have come to visit the Academy for the holidays. Learn about the special adaptations that help these antlered herbivores survive in cold environments and travel great distances, and discover how they acquired such a special place in holiday traditions.

Polar Jeopardy – Daily
Think you know a thing or two about polar bears, emperor penguins, and the Northern Lights? Want to challenge your knowledge of Earth’s frozen caps? Or want to watch your friends and family put on their thinking caps? Come take part in this fun, interactive game show, and expand your polar expertise.

Festive Performers – Daily
The Academy has invited a variety of musicians, singers, dancers, theatrical groups, and other performers to help visitors celebrate this festive time of year. Enrich your family’s Academy visit with art and music from some of the Bay Area’s greatest talents.

Polar Perspectives – Shows daily
Step into the igloo presentation dome for a glimpse of the stark, vast beauty of the North Pole. Rotating 5-minute shows will tell the stories of the Northern Lights, polar ice caps, and the winter sky with stunning HD footage and twinkling stars.

“Chill Out” with an Academy Scientist – Weekly
Meet Academy scientists who study plants, animals, and climate change in some of the planet’s coldest environments. In their travels, these explorers have studied high-elevation ice beetles, Arctic migrations, frozen clams and warming ice caps. Join them for a fascinating look at their work to explore the world, discover new life, and help explain Earth’s amazing story.

Climate Science & Solutions – Weekly
Explore the science behind climate change through this high-energy and accessible presentation by the experts at Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). The topic of climate change can be daunting, but ACE’s fun and innovative approach helps us create positive and proactive responses to this global problem. Come curious and ready to be inspired!

Penguins + Pajamas Sleepover (Kids ages 6+ and their adult chaperones)
Tuesday, December 28
Why count sheep when you could count geckos, butterflies, sharks, and penguins? Now kids can camp out for a night at the California Academy of Sciences—and see the museum in a whole new light. Sleepovers include after-hours access to Academy exhibits, a special penguin talk, live animal demonstration, planetarium show, story time with cookies and milk, parking, breakfast, and more. Tickets $119 per person ($99 for Academy members), available at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers.

The “‘Tis the Season for Science” theme will also continue across regularly scheduled Academy programs, including Science Story Adventures, Family Nature Crafts, Specimen Spotlight, and Animal Tales.

The Academy will be closed on November 25 and December 25, and will observe extended hours (until 6pm) from November 26-28, December 26-30, and January 1-2.

Don’t Forget the Sculptures When Cleaning the California Academy of Sciences: Maya Lin’s “What Is Missing” Gets Scrubbed

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Scrub-a-dub-dub at our CalAcademy: What Is Missing?”

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What is missing?

The Ridiculously-Colored Paradise Tanagers of California Academy of Sciences – Best Photos Yet

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Learn all about colorful Paradise Tanagers of the rainforest exhibit of California Academy of Sciences.

Make a point to check out Rachael Tom’s photos over at their site.

These critters make nests out of whatever they can find. See?

See you there in the dome at the CAS!