I'm happy to share the news that yesterday a group of teens, as a result of their participation in a California Academy of Sciences program, launched a social media campaign to educate the public about plastic waste. Called "Put a Cap on Plastic Use," their campaign focuses on three social media tools:
An Instagram Photo Challenge for the month of May (#reduceplasticuse and #maychallenge)
Today I got my first chance to check out the new Exploratorium museum located on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero. I was there for a digital learning symposium with fifty other researchers, developers and educators in the field. We were lucky enough to get a guided tour of the new Exploratorium facilities, barely open for three weeks.
I have been a fan of the Exploratorium for as long as I remember. From my childhood, I have fuzzy memories of the place -- a giant map that let you soar over the San Francisco Bay, a chair that carried your voice clear across to another person seated at the other end of the museum, a giant wave machine, and a hundred other delightful things that you could pull, twist and play with. It was a place crammed full of wonders that was formative in my excitement about science and technology.
When I heard that the Exploratorium was moving from their home at the Palace of Fine Arts to the Embarcadero, I knew this was going to be something big.
Check out my friend Christine and SF Taiko Dojo killing it at the Sakura Matsuri / Cherry Blossom festival in Japantown in San Francisco yesterday. She is performing with the SF Taiko Rising Stars, their young drummers group.
I love taiko drumming, and love that I have friends that do it. Video cannot capture the feeling and power of this experience.
SF Taiko Dojo will be performing again on April 20 at the US Japan Taiko Festival in San Francisco. Get your tickets today before they sell out! I got mine.
After months of work, Freeplay and Prince on Point dance crews pulled off an ambitious and demanding dance show this weekend. "Re/Genesis" was for me a very personal project that grew out of something in my own heart and has blossomed into this colorful quilt of dance pieces. It was really only at our last performance last night that I feel like I understood and felt what "Re/Genesis" was all about, that I really experienced the intention of all of the dancers, and the emotional arc of the entire 58-minute show.
Standing there during the final seconds of the final show on Saturday night, holding the space with sixteen other amazing dancers as the lights came down and the audience cheered, I was shaking with a complex mix of emotions -- relief that we had gotten through it, enormous pride in all of the dancers there, gratitude for all of the people who had made this moment possible, and sadness that it was over.
For those that weren't there, we will be releasing video from the show as soon as we can. (Thanks, Jim Thorpe, for making that possible!) But honestly, I'm not sure any electronic medium can convey what it was like to be there with us in that cramped, humid, converted garage as we poured everything we had into an hour of non-stop dance.
A million thanks to Josh our creative director and lead choregrapher, Shereen the director of Prince on Point, Rachel Freeplay's able manager, and fellow dancers Elissa, Charlie, Stacy, Kevan, Sara, Lisa, Windy, Jenn, Jenya, Tawal, Jeremy, and Rose. You are all hella dope and sick in your own ways. We made some funky ass art this weekend!
The Freeplay Dance Crew and Prince on Point collaboration "Re/Genesis" debuts tonight at 8pm at the Garage Theater in San Francisco. It's been a long, sometimes difficult, even painful, creation process.
But reviewing video of our final rehearsal last night, I'm blown away by all that we've accomplished together. And I can't wait to share it with our audience tonight.
I can't believe that after months of work, we are just days away from my dance crew's show "Re/Genesis" April 12 and 13 in San Francisco. It's been an incredible journey for me, as the original instigator of this show with my piece "The Message" that I created a year and a half ago.
A version of "The Message" opens up "Re/Genesis," this time done as a duet with Kevan Arrington. It's something I wondered would work with a non-Quaker audience. I can't wait to share it.
One of the Academy's biologists, Rich Ross, specializes in octopi, personally raising and cultivating them. He has spent more than a year studying this rare species, which finally can be shown to the public.
What's so special about this marine animal? Apparently most octopi live solitary existences because the females tend to eat the males after mating. Not so the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus. When they hook up, they connect beak-to-beak or sucker-to-sucker in an intimate embrace -- that doesn't result in the male becoming dinner. Which is why they are also called the "Kissing Octopus."
This female specimin will be swimming solo for some time, while the aquarium biologists study her and her brethren. But the Academy hopes to add a male to the tank soon. So hang in there, single lady!
The Larger Pacific Striped Octopus (along with many other fascinating animals) can be seen in the "Animal Attraction" exhibit in the Cal Academy's Steinhart aquarium.