I was already in my room checking on my social networking accounts and thinking of what new article to post here in my blog, when I remember that I haven’t kiss my parents goodnight yet. So, I’ve stopped from what I’m doing and head on downstairs to kiss them. ^_^
Then I saw my parents watching National Geographic Channel. It’s kinda weird coz I’m not actually used to seeing them watching that channel especially my father. Because what he mostly watches are local and international news channel, sports channel, movies in HBO, Star Movies etc, Sci-Fi channel, Living Asia channel and kickboxing. So seeing my father watching NatGeo for 2 consecutive days is kinda new to me. Hehehe! ^_^ But I’m glad though. Because at least he’s watching a program with sense. =))
Tonight’s episode at NatGeo caught my attention. Wasn’t able to really watch it from the start though. But I was still amazed and decided to feature it here in my blog! The episode was about the “California Academy of Sciences”.
California Academy of Sciences began way back 1853 and “is one of the 10 largest museum of natural history in the world”. It is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA and was remodeled 2 years ago (September 27, 2008).
It began as a learned society and still carries out a large amount of original research, with exhibits and education becoming significant efforts in the 20th century. Their newly remodeled building is said to be the largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green building in US by using Solar energy.
The building’s sustainable features are designed by architect Renzo Piano while Adam Brodsley and Eric Heiman are the people who designed the inside of the building in bringing the museum’s exhibits to life while following to the dramatic, ultra-green architectural design presented by Piano.
The California Academy of Sciences has several venues such as:
- Steinhart Aquarium
…38,000 live animals from around the world, representing more than 900 separate species. Come nose-to-beak with an African penguin, watch sharks and stingrays cruise beneath your feet, check out the set of teeth on a piranha, and learn about the critical, life-sustaining role that water plays on Earth.
NOTE: It features here our very own “Philippine Coral Reef”. ^_^
- Morrison Planetarium
…is the largest all-digital planetarium in the world. State-of-the-art projector and software technologies allow the planetarium to produce the most accurate and interactive digital Universe ever created.
- Kimball Natural History Museum
…address two of the most significant and closely-intertwined scientific issues of our time: The evolution of life on Earth and the maintenance of life on Earth. The exhibits draw heavily from the Academy’s 150-plus years of research, its 20 million specimens, and the expertise of its many world-class scientists and affiliates.
- Rainforests of the World
…a living 4-story rainforest, where dripping water sets the beat for a symphony of croaking frogs and chirping birds. Peer into one of Borneo’s bat caves, meet chameleons from Madagascar, and climb into the tree-tops of Costa Rica to find free-flying birds and butterflies. Finally, descend in a glass elevator into the Amazonian flooded forest, where an acrylic tunnel allows you to walk beneath the catfish and arapaima that swim overhead.
- Naturalist Center
…offers a wide range of resources and services to individuals interested in learning more about the natural world. Academy visitors can walk in during operating hours, explore the library, conduct research, and connect with staff members as well as other visitors.
- Hearst Forum
…is home to an auditorium and state-of-the-art 3D theater — hosting movies, special lectures, programs and temporary exhibits.
…is home to some new feathered residents — a Barn Owl, a Swainson’s Hawk, and a Turkey Vulture.
The building also houses the Academy Science Labs and administrative offices, including an extensive library and scientific archive consisting of more than 26 million specimens. All of these offerings are under a “living” roof. 1.7 million plant specimens make up the 2.5 acre living roof making it yet another for the Academy’s attractions. Besides the thousands of plants and animals the California Academy of Sciences has incorporated innovative audio visual elements into their exhibits.
The Academy uses two Listen Technologies solutions. One is the “tour group system” for their docent led tours. The three different kinds of tours that they offer as a unique Academy experience are the following:
- Behind-the-Scene Tour
- Nightlife VIP Tour
- Wine and Dine Tour
As a public facility, it meets the “Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)” guidelines for accommodating the hearing impaired with Listen’s assistive listening systems. In the auditoriums the Academy uses the assistive listening systems with the LT-800 stationary transmitter. The stationary transmitters easily interface with the wireless microphone systems in place throughout the Academy. Assistive Listening systems are offered in the following exhibits:
- African Penguins “Person Facilitated Experience”
- Auditorium East and West
- California Coast — Octopus “Person Facilitated Experience”
- California Coast Dive Show
- Coral Reef Dive Show
- Flexible Exhibits
NOTE: The “Person Facilitated Experiences” involve a docent inside a tank, talking to visitors on the outside of the tank.
Tickets are sold in dollar currency, of course. I think it would be a nice experience to be able to go and explore the inside of that Academy. I just wish I can afford to … *sigh*