Letter from the CEO
We're turning our clocks back as Daylight Saving Time comes into effect - an annual event which for me, at least, always marks the beginning of the winter season. (I know... it's hard to think about winter with the sun shining and temperatures often hovering in the mid-70s - but such are the trials of living in California... and hey - someone has to do it!)
But actually we love winter time at Chabot as it brings lots of visitors to the Center, with families looking for fun things to do when the cooler days and rainy weather finally arrive. Starting in November we have a whole slew of exciting new shows, installations, programs and events to check out as well as some of our favorite annual events.
Top of my personal list is the return to the Bay Area of the Laserium Cosmic Laser Concert. In celebration of the show's 40th anniversary Chabot is hosting an exclusive 3-month run of Laserium in our digital fulldome Planetarium, with shows set to the music of Pink Floyd and the Beatles every weekend. Back in the dim and distant 70s when I was a teenager, Laserium was a frequent weekend attraction for me and my friends when we would head over to catch this amazing show at the old Morrison Planetarium in San Francisco. For many of us it became almost synonymous with our teenage years, and I'm delighted that new audiences, young and old, will now have an opportunity to enjoy this not-to-be-forgotten experience.
Elsewhere in the Center, I’m beginning to see some rather, strange, weird, interesting new items appearing. Our exhibits team has been "unearthing" some unusual and mysterious objects which will be unveiled beginning on November 9. Come and join in the discovery and decide for yourself what is fact and what is fiction. [Spoiler alert... not sure where this fits in but I'm sure I just saw a giant nose with 10"-wide nostrils being wheeled down the hallway!]
Our Future Fridays speaker on November 15, Robert Weiss, has a career that spans science fiction and science fact. A veteran Hollywood television and film producer Mr. Weiss produced over 20 feature films and TV series, including The Blues Brothers, the Naked Gun movies, the TV series Weird Science and, my own personal favorite, the wonderfully titled movie Amazon Women on the Moon. Mr. Weiss is also currently Vice Chairman and President of the XPrize Foundation whose mission is to foster innovation through incentivized competition. The Foundation has active competitions in Genomics and Lunar Exploration, and is developing X PRIZEs in Healthcare, Energy, and Exploration. Robert Weiss' talk on November 15 is one you definitely won't want to miss.
Early winter also brings us the excitement of Comet ISON, a visitor from the Oort Cloud they tell me, which we'll be following out on the Observatory Deck throughout November and December... well, that's if it survives its perilous swing around the Sun. Check out our calendar or call the Box Office for details on comet viewing and other comet related programs.
And of course, as we look towards the end of the year, don't forget to register early if you want to send the year out with a BANG at our 14th Annual New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop. Celebrating midnight around the world and at 11am, 1pm and 4pm here in the Bay Area, kids of all ages can enjoy the excitement of welcoming in the New Year without having to stay up past their bedtime!
Well, that's all the space I'm allowed this time. I do hope we'll be seeing you up at Chabot over the next few months. Oh - and if you do go to the Laserium show please send me feedback on your experience. I'd love to hear what you think. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All the best.
P.S. If you'd like to check out my occasional blog that explores how and why we decide what to believe, and the implications for science education and learning, you'll find my latest posting here: