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After Dark: Happy Place

happyWhere’s your happy place? It’s not always easy to find harmony in our lived experiences, but research has revealed some tried-and-true keys to unlocking joy. Learn about some practices and sensory immersions that can offer peace of mind (and the science behind them) and explore cultural and practical ways to find euphoria. In other words, bring your happy place just a little bit closer.

Warm, Fuzzy Feelings With Cinema Arts
7:00 and 9:00 p.m.  |  Bechtel Gallery 3, Wattis Webcast Studio

Catch these three short films, each eliciting a positive emotional response: serenity, love, and joy. 

Auroratone by Cecil Stokes (1948, 4 min.)
Designed as visual therapy for people with mental disorders in the 1940s, Auroratone combines crystalline structures viewed through a polarizer filter with the velvety, soothing voice of Bing Crosby.

The Love Competition by Brent Hoff (2012, 20 min.)
Enter the Stanford MRI lab, where seven contestants have five minutes in an fMRI machine to love someone as hard as they can. 

Vespucciland by Rock Ross (1982, 3 min.)
A celebratory gathering of revelers in a fictive sovereignty plays out as a pagan ritual to the sun, friends, and familiar materials, elevating the mood to pure elation.

New Year, No Stress! With Alexandra Crosswell
7:30 p.m.  | Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

This year, skip the diet or gym membership and focus on developing daily habits of well-being to help you thrive in a stress-filled world. Learn from the latest science on how to balance the competing and intense demands of daily life from UCSF Assistant Professor Dr. Alexandra Crosswell.

Finding Joy in the Language of Comfort Food With Dan Jurafsky
8:00 p.m.  |  Bechtel Gallery 3, Wattis Webcast Studio

Join Stanford professor Dan Jurafsky to learn what the language of menus and food reviews has to say about our own psychology, as well as some surprising histories hidden in the names of your favorite comfort foods.

The Science of Happiness: Steps to the Good Life With Heike Winterheld
8:30 p.m.  |  Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

How do you feel about happiness? Is it elusive or within reach? Real or imagined? Overrated or the most important thing? What makes us happy, how easy it is for us to feel happy, and how much we value happiness are shaped by factors including our genes, our upbringing, our relationships, and the culture we live in. Come join Exploratorium staff social psychologist Heike Winterheld to gain some surprising insights from social science that you can use to boost your well-being this year, whether you’re in good spirits or a full-blown happiness skeptic.


Chill Out With the Cubatron Core
6:00-10:00 p.m.  |  Bechtel Gallery 3

Our massive seasonal chandelier is back! Test out the calming effects of light stimulation and color therapy underneath this tremendous, torus-shaped sculpture by artist Mark Lottor. Twenty-six feet in diameter and eighteen feet high, Cubatron Core is made of 3,840 individually controllable RGB LEDs. Take this special opportunity to lie underneath it, with an option to explode the optics with special specs.  

Nepali Comfort Food: Momos With Curiosity Catering
7:00-9:00 p.m.  | Bechtel Gallery 3

Try traditional steamed Nepalese dumplings from Bini’s Kitchen, served with a traditional tomato-cilantro sauce. Warm, savory dishes crafted by Curiosity Catering are available for purchase to enjoy throughout the evening.

Get Yer Ya Yas Out With Escapism
7:00-10:00 p.m.  |  Gallery 4

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley suggests that “coordinating our bodies to move with the rhythm of the music, and synchronizing our . . . movements with other people . . . uniquely benefits health and happiness.” So jump on the floor for a good old-fashioned dance party featuring an all-vinyl disco, electro, boogie, and old-school DJ set sure to get you back in the groove.

Thursday, 01/02/20


Website: Click to Visit


$19.95, $14.95 explO members, AD members free

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Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street)
San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: (415) 528-4444
Website: Click to Visit