When Science and Liquor Meet in the City

The Exploratorium's After Dark night features an electrifying experience.

51 photos
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt holds florescent tubes that light up in his hands as the high-voltage electricity connects with the bulb atop his head. This performance was party of the Exploratorium's After Dark program, happening each month on the first Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt performed inside the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Thursday, November 5, 2008 for an After Dark night at the Exploratorium.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt spins flaming poi in front of one of his high-voltage Tesla coils as electricity reaches out to connect with the metal birdcage face shield he sports for performances.
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Getty Images
Hopefully George Lucas was watching from his Presidio office across the street to see what looks like a real life scene right out of a Star Wars movie.
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After Dark is a program put on by the Exploratorium the first Thursday night of each month where adults can hang out from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. drinking cocktails and enjoying special exhibits relating to a monthly theme. November was "Electrifying Science" month.
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Azucar
As Dr. Megavolt jumps in the air bolts of electricity shoot from his feet to the ground.
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West Covina Police Department
Dr. Megavolt uses a spray pack with liquid to conduct the electricity from a little further away.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt shoots a stream of liquid out of a supersoaker towards the edge of the Tesla coil.
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Getty Images
Dr. Megavolt takes one in the head and one in the hand... that will teach him to spin fire.
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Josh Keppel
At one point in the performance, Dr. Megavolt rode a bike around the Tesla coil getting zapped as he cycled along. In this shot you can see his mesh/metal outfit.
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necn
Dr. Megavolt stands on a wooden stool, gets zapped in the head by the Tesla Coil, and the stool lights on fire. Don't try this one at home.
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Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
Inside the Exploratorium, a variety of hands-on exhibits await the fingertips of those who dare to enter.
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Josh Keppel
This thing lets you shoot big smoke rings up into the air.
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Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
The Exploratorium is fun for the whole family... but wait, I thought no kids were supposed to be at After Dark.
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Josh Keppel
The Colored Shadow Investigator shows you what different colored light will do with shadows.
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Josh Keppel
Some people give it a whirl. Raise your hands everybody, everybody raise your hands!
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Josh Keppel
A small tornado of smoke swirls around in the colored light.
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Josh Keppel
Kenny Ly and Gaia Tumanyan sit in the Listening Vessel where you can have a long-distance conversation thanks to the concave construction of the two listening vessels. The other one is about 40 feet away.
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Josh Keppel
The other Listening Vessel is where that purple light is below the lit up tree.
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AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
The Exploratorium has a ladder you can walk under to see how your body reacts emotionally to doing something simple like stepping a few feet.
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Josh Keppel
Rolf Van Widenfelt spins his LED parasol.
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Josh Keppel
The November After Dark at the Exploratorium was not too packed which was really nice because it gave everyone a chance to try out the exhibits.
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AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
After Dark bartender Tracy Wildrick starts to pack up at the end of the night. When I asked him how the night went he said, "Science and liquor, you can't miss."
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Getty Images/Moment RF
Rachael Caine watches with drink in hand as Daniel Lake blows on the giant sheet of bubble.
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Josh Keppel
Nick Gomes stands in front of the anti-gravity mirror where half of your body becomes whole when standing in the right position and with your foot raised, it looks like you are floating.
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Josh Keppel
I didn't do a very good job getting a picture of this, but if you look at the bottom of the frame you can see this woman hover.
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Josh Keppel
November, 2009 marks the 40th Anniversary of the opening of the Exploratorium. To find out information on what sorts of events are happening to celebrate this, check there site: http://www.exploratorium.edu/40th/
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Josh Keppel
Amy Berger places her hand under hundreds of metal pins that shimmer as she moves her hand around.
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Josh Keppel
Six women in black whisper to each other as a patron walks to the bathroom.
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Jordon Vineyards
Sam Clegg experiments with the Bicycle Wheel Gyro at the Exploratorium After Dark program on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Next month's After Dark is focusing on Fire & Ice where fire sculptures and ice sculptures will be on display side-by-side (well, probably not literally side-by-side).
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Josh Keppel
Little bits of dry-ice move around in water emulating comments moving through space. This was one of my favorite exhibits at the museum.
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Josh Keppel
A fresh batch of dry-ice falls into the thin pool of water in the Icy Bodies exhibit by Shawn Lani. Looks like one of the exhibits for next month's After Dark is ready to go!
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Josh Keppel
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. the first Thursday of the month is cocktail hour at the Exploratorium.
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Josh Keppel
This piece of art is called the Neuron Chamber, a sculptural representation of neurons firing in the brain.
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Josh Keppel
Alan Rorie was the lead artist on this piece and he wanted to devise a way to have an electric arch travel down a horizontal path. Rorie got a PHD at Stanford in neurobiology and is now doing a post-doctorate through the Exploratorium.
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Getty Images / EFE
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt takes two to the dome.
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Getty Images/Flickr RF
Electricity reaches out and grabs the back end Dr. Megavolt's bike.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt spins flaming poi under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Don't cross the streams!!!
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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instagram.com/amandacerny
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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New York Live
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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NBC10
Dr. Megavolt under the Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for the Exploratorium's After Dark on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
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Josh Keppel
Dr. Megavolt finishes up, soaking in the applause and electricity.
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