Archive for the ‘Exhibit’ Category

New (old) building grand opening at History Park

The Andrew P. Hill House

The Andrew P. Hill House (photo: VPA)

History San Jose and the Victorian Preservation Association of Santa Clara Valley (VPA) are holding a grand opening this Sunday for the Andrew P. Hill House at History Park.

The house was the home of Andrew P. Hill, a San Jose resident and co-founder of the Sempervirens Club, which was responsible for the creation of California’s first state park at Big Basin in 1902. The house was moved from its location on Sherman Ave in 1997, and underwent restoration led by the VPA over the following 12 years. VPA also collected period artifacts and items from the Hill family to exhibit in the house. The house was opened to visitors in April, 2009.

The grand opening event will feature a ribbon-cutting, antique cars, tours of the house, and costumed actors. It runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 25. History Park is at the south end of Kelly Park, on Senter Road, near Alma Ave.

The Tech Museum: Space Shuttle & IMAX – Hubble

Carina Nebula

After nearly 30 years of service, the Space Shuttle will be retired.

The Tech is giving us a chance to say our goodbyes during Space Week: May 3 – 9, 2010

Explore displays, including two Space Shuttle tires. (hands-on activities) Now – May 9th

Meet NASA Scientists:
Monday – Friday
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Now Playing – IMAX
See “Hubble” and experience the wonder of the universe we live in.

“Hubble” – Trailer

“I first thought about becoming an astronaut in my 20s after seeing the IMAX movie ‘The Dream is Alive’.”
– Susan Helms NASA Astronaut

IMAX “Hubble” Calendar

Genghis Khan (the exhibition) Conquers San Jose

"Genghis Khan the Exhibition" Contortionist

Peter Friess (The Tech Museum) and Daniel N. Fenton (Team San Jose) announced that “Genghis Khan” will be the next blockbuster exhibition coming to San Jose.

“Genghis Khan’s brutality is well known, but less visible is the man whose natural leadership formed the first united Mongol nation – no small feat,” said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. “Inasmuch as we carry the dark images of Genghis Khan the warlord, there is also the man who brought us passports, the pony express, printed money, hamburgers* and even pants.”

Much can be discovered about Genghis Khan (1167-1227) the ’emperor of all emperors’ who united nomadic tribes of northeast Asia and founded the Mongol Empire and Mongolia with a visit to The Tech Museum.

More than 200 13th century artifacts from Genghis’ reign will be on display including:

Live Cultural Performers: Mongolian singers, contortionists and musicians.

Live weaponry demonstrations are featured in the exhibition.

Paiza – passports.
Large Siege Weaponry – Large crossbow and tools to conquer walled cities and castles.
Ancient Mongolian Artifacts.
Ger – A traditional nomadic dwelling – Note: One-third of the people in modern Mongolia live in a Ger.
Shaman’s Robe – Ritual dress used to channel spirits. Genghis Khan practiced shamanism and believed in supernatural powers.
Jewelry – Treasures from the ancient Mongolian capital of Karakorum.
Mongolian Noble Woman Mummy – Mummy and coffin treasures including silk and leather robes, jewelry, comb and bowl.
Mongol Weapons – Swords, leather and metal armor, mace-heads, bows and arrows, and an early firearm.
Buddhist Relics – books, statue, and artwork. Note: The Mongolian capital of Karakorum was religiously diverse.
Clothing and Adornments – Silk garments and jewelry from Karakorum and Kublai Khan’s palace.
Musical Instruments – Strings made of horse hair.

Genghis Khan The Exhibition” – Opens May 22 (Limited Engagement)

The Tech Museum – 201 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113-2008
(408) 294-8324

Special Exhibit Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Children ages 3 to 17 ~ $15
Adults ~ $25
Special prices for seniors and college students.
Admission includes access to all the regular museum galleries.

*It is amusing that hamburgers, the name coming from the German port of Hamburg, originated in the time of Khan. The fierce Mongol horsemen (the Golden Horde) were so busy conquering the world that having to stop to light fires and eat got in their way. Raw lamb or mutton was formed into flat patties and then placed under their saddles. The horsemen could easily grab some ‘hamburger’ at any time.

Modern day Mongolia (see U.S. Department of State) lies in central Asia between Siberia on the north and China on the south and is slightly larger than Alaska.

Ger/Yurt –  The burning of soft coal by some of the individual homes or “Ger” (yurt in Russian) adds to the polluted air.

Micky Rourke will star in a film about the Mongol ruler. He says: Genghis Khan Biopic ‘Not Your Stereotypical Blood and Swords’

Genghis Khan: at The Tech flickr set.

TeamSanJose on twitter

Buscando la Luz in Palo Alto

San Jose resident Robertino Ragazza has an extraordinary solo photographic exhibition titled Buscando La Luz (Searching for Light) in the Gallery Room of Keeble & Shucat Photography.

Fresh AirYou may have seen Mr. Ragazza before. His was the smiling face behind the front desk at the Hotel Montgomery for a few years. He is Hospitality Manager for the Cinequest Film Festival. Possibly you have sat next to him on one of his many international flights. Ragazza often flies around the world and always has his camera with him. This exhibit displays some of his black and white photography from Turkey, Spain, Mexico and even California.

His pictures beautifully show the unattractive sides of these places and focus on the light that can be found even in darkness. The sun shines through a beautiful stained glass in a decaying building in Bodrum. An old man from Celcuk, suffering from alopecia, beams back at the viewer. A luminous face smiles down from a crumbling apartment in Istanbul. In each picture you see the poor underside of the cities along with the bright lightness, love and wonder that is also present.

ContemplationRobertino Ragazza was born in the Philippines and raised in San Jose.  He is a photographer and a ceramic artist. Never without his camera, Ragazza concentrates on knowing his subjects, making them aware he is genuinely interested in their stories. This is apparent in each photo he takes, whether the focus is a small child alone on a cobbled street or a young butcher standing next to his work. An observer who loves to capture the moment, Ragazza’s influences are countless and spontaneous. Observations through life experiences and travel affect his creativity, finding he is at his best with street portrait work. “Light becomes my paintbrush and printing provides the meditative process that brings life to my subjects, giving me patience and a sense of peace,” says the Buddhist convert.

The gallery is in a room above the Keeble & Shucat Photography store in Palo Alto. California’s premier digital imaging store has an amazing plethora of cameras, supplies, an excellent repair department and a variety of classes. When you enter the store just head to the back toward the large “DARK ROOM” sign and go up the stairs. You’ll see the sign next to the gallery room where Robertino Ragazza’s work is showing.

Through Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Keeble & Shucat Photography
290 California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
For more information call: 650-327-8996

Free Second Sunday at The Tech Museum Continues

TheTechThe Tech Museum of Innovation continues for another year to offer free admission to The Tech’s regular museum galleries on the second Sunday of each month.

The Free Second Sundays program runs through September 2010. It does not include admission to IMAX or to special exhibits, such as “Star Trek: The Exhibition.”

Check the Tech Museum of Innovation’s Website for directions, parking, and a plethora of information.

Free Sunday Dates:

November 8, 2009
December 13, 2009
January 10, 2010
February 14, 2010
March 14, 2010
April 11, 2010
May 9, 2010
June 13, 2010
July 11, 2010
August 8, 2010
September 12, 2010

Star Trek Exhibit at the Tech Museum Preview

1701-A EnterpriseI attended a preview of Star Trek: The Exhibition that opens Friday October 23 at the Tech Museum. I am a Star Trek fan but not a Trekker. I have seen all of the television series with Next Generation being my favorite. I have seen all of the films except the most recent.

So, let us take a tour …

When you enter the exhibit, you are greeted with a pillared entry. Do not go racing past them, take the time to notice they have text on them, from the “where no one has gone before” dialogue to a list of episodes.

Pass the pillars and you will be in a large area that includes uniforms and artifacts. There is a display featuring all of the Enterprises beginning with the Enterprise aircraft carrier, followed by the space shuttle, and then the starships. The centerpiece in this room is an immense model of the 1701-A Enterprise.

We exit this area to the right and enter the bridge of the original series. This for me was a disappointment. It is a scaled down bridge with no interactive features; unless sitting in the Captain’s chair or at the helm is being interactive. The consoles have plastic non-push lit up buttons. A few of these could be setup to activate display screens, sound effects, and communications chatter. Having the forward view screen animated would liven up the bridge. Note: no photography allowed throughout the exhibit. A photo of you in the Captain’s chair is available for a fee.

We exit the bridge through the turbolift and proceed down a walkway passing displays of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock’s uniforms.

Proceeding along the walkway, we enter a corridor of the 1701-D Enterprise (Next Gen), this portion of the exhibit being my favorite. First up along the corridor is Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s ready room. This closed-off area includes the Captain’s uniform, various props, and a bottle of Chateau Picard wine. Continue down the corridor to a full-scale Transporter. You can stand on the Transporter and wish photography were allowed. Look up at the monitor to see yourself; will you beam down? Next to the Transporter room is a full-scale model of the Guardian of Forever, the time portal from “The City on the Edge of Forever.” Another lost opportunity for a photo of you going through the portal. These two rooms include Captain chairs, a shooting model of the Borg ship, along with more artifacts and uniforms. Before leaving the corridor, take a close look at the displays on the walls of the corridor.

Leaving the corridor, we enter “The History of The Future.” The History of The Future is a timeline, which goes chronologically from right to left. Not only is it a bit strange that the timeline is right to left, you enter the room to the left of the timeline. This room includes shooting models of the Enterprise and other ships. There are more uniforms on display here including those from the recent Star Trek film.

That’s it. End of the exhibit; however, turn the corner and there are two motion simulators,

The two rides have an extra fee each.

There is an eight-seat ride that I found to be rather tame. There were six aboard, I was in the last row and had an obstructed view of the display screen. You are fighting the Borg as Worf (Michael Dorn) narrates. The ride rocks back and forth enough for you to slide back and forth on the bench seat. You may want to skip this one.

The other simulator is a two-seater. This one is fun. You get strapped in as you will be rolling and looping. The display is right in front of you and again you are fighting the Borg. There is a warning that the ride may be too intense for some; you will be upside-down a few times. If you are going to ride both simulators, do this ride second.

I recommend Star Trek: The Exhibition even though the admission is a bit pricy.

Check the Tech Museum’s Star Trek: The Exhibition website for ticket pricing, hours, costume guidelines, and more.

Star Trek Exhibit Photos…

Star Trek: The Exhibition coming to the Tech Museum

Star Trek The ExhibitionYou are relaxing on your sofa, it is late night and you are watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on KOFY-TV. It seems you have seen this episode a zillion times before, you know it by heart. That does not matter, you have seen all five Star Trek television series and eleven Star Trek feature films. If only you could sit in the Captain’s chair on the Starship Enterprise.

Guess what kids! Not only can you sit in the Captain’s chair on an authentic replica of the Enterprise bridge, you will see original costumes, genuine props and authentic recreations of sets from the television series and feature films at Star Trek: The Exhibition coming to the Tech Museum.

You will also be able to ride through a Star Trek adventure in your choice of two full-motion flight simulators (extra fee).

Photography of any kind is not allowed inside Star Trek: The Exhibition; however, photos on the Bridge will be taken by a professional vendor.

Star Trek: The Exhibition begins October 23 and will run at least through the Christmas holidays.

Check the Tech Museum’s Star Trek: The Exhibition website for ticket pricing, hours, costume guidelines, and more.

The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market Street, San Jose

Tickets (includes admission to the museum): $25.00, adults; $19.00, ages 3-17; $22.00, seniors and college students. Other pricing options are available. Tech members get up to 40 percent off.

Fees for the simulator rides: $5.00 for the two-seat ride (the more aggressive of the two); $6.00 for the eight-seat ride; $8.00 to ride them both.

Live long and prosper!

The Tech Museum’s New ‘Technology Benefiting Humanity’ Gallery

Multi-Purpose Display Module

Multi-Purpose Display Module

Technology Benefiting Humanity is The Tech’s new permanent exhibition linking social responsibility with technology, intended to encourage a deeper understanding of the technologies that are improving the human condition. The new gallery showcases inventions from past Tech Awards Laureates, which will be routinely updated.

The Tech Awards is one of the premier annual humanitarian awards programs in the world, recognizing technical solutions that address the most critical issues facing our planet and its people. The program honors 15 global innovators (Laureates) who are applying technology to benefit humanity in five universal categories: environment, economic development, education, equality and health. The Laureates include individuals, non-profit organizations, and for-profit organizations/companies.

The five categories are represented in the new gallery. The exhibits are basically lit up multi-purpose display modules that you stand there and read. Some have sound and video along with a few simplistic hands-on activities. Actually, you can find this information and a great deal more on The Tech Awards website.

The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market Street, 95113

Tickets and Hours

San Jose’s Dot.Kamikazes pull the plug on the Santa Cruz All-Stars


So who knew San Jose had its own Roller Derby teams?

We knew, but we forgot. So when I met Ana Z from the Silicon Valley Roller Girls I could not wait to attend a bout.

I took my 17 year old daughter and three of her friends to the June 13th bout with San Jose’s Dot.Kamikazes against the Santa Cruz All-Stars. These two teams seem to have quite a rivalry, and both the derby girls and the audience were looking forward to the match up. We arrived 30 minutes early to San Jose Skate and found the parking lot full! There was still plenty of parking over at the business park next door though. Being new to the whole Roller Derby scene there was quite a lot to take in when we first entered the doors. Everyone was wearing black and green (team colors), there were green hair and wigs, tattoos, and some of the most amazing and interesting people you could imagine.


On the floor of the rink were folding chairs lined up around a taped off skating circle, so our group took seats about four rows back. Premium ticket holders got to sit in comfy couches, but the folding chairs had just as good of a view. While we could see just fine, next time we plan to get there earlier so we can be in the front row. This row does carry a warning in the program though: “Front row is SUICIDE SEATING due to crashing rollergirls. Sit at your own risk please!” While waiting for the bout to begin there were raffle tickets to buy, Roller Derby goodies to purchase, and lots of pizza and nachos and snacks to eat.


The bout began with a helmet and pad check of the girls, then an explanation of rules and demonstration of roller derby. This was really helpful to us newbies, and allowed us to enjoy our experience fully. The basic rule you need to know is the “Jammer” (girl with a star on her helmet) from each team scores points by breaking ahead of the pack to pass the other players. One point for every player passed, including anyone in the “naughty box”. As for the rest of the players, no “unladylike behavior” is allowed. It’s not the knock-down drag-out fight you see in the movies – but don’t think it’s without excitement! Although fighting, and blocking by hands, elbows and head are not allowed, plenty of other pushing IS allowed and the crowd cheered loudest whenever anyone fell (or was pushed) down.

This particular bout was very exciting. The teams were super psyched to face off with each other and you could tell by the play. However, it was the SV Roller Girls, our home team, who took the early lead and never let it go! Final score was 131-100 and it was exciting to the very end.


Multiple raffle prizes were called throughout the bout, everything from skateboards to tattoos. Pizza, nachos, and soda were enjoyed along with all the excitement, and we even had Tasty Hoops hula hoopers for halftime entertainment. All the Derby Girls are awesome, and had great derby names. Everything from Booty Vicious to Juicy K. Tore to Smashleigh to The Undie Taker, the girls go by pseudonames and they don’t ever depart from them. Mistits was a fan favorite, but my personal fave player and Jammer was Smashleigh. I definitely recommend that you find a way to get to a bout and enjoy all the juicy Derby goodness these girls have to offer.

Missed the bout? The next official home bout won’t be until August 8th, but NO WORRIES!! Because today is a FREE Roller Derby Exhibition bout at Roosevelt Hockey Rink, 901 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose. Action starts at 5pm! I recommend you get there early, and then make plans for the August 8th bout as soon as you get home!

Silicon Valley Roller Girls
Calendar and maps
Nocklebeast’s derby photos

Special thank you to Nocklebeast (from the Santa Cruz side!) for the use of his derby photos – you need a very fast shutter speed to catch these girls in motion!  Click on the link to see lots more excitement!

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

I visited the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum last weekend so I could see two independent films that were playing Saturday night: Around the Bay, by Bay Area filmmaker Alejandro Adams, and Passion Flower, a short film by Tennessean (soon to be Bay Arean) Jarrod Whaley.

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

The museum is located on Niles Boulevard in Fremont and there is free parking on the street. As soon as I walked through the front doors the friendly museum docents asked if they could give me a tour. The theater was built in the 1920s and was the first movie theater in Fremont. Soon business was booming so nicely that a newer, bigger theater was built next door and Niles was closed down. During the next 80 years it spent time as a dance hall, photography studio, and sometimes just a storage room. The newer theater burned down in the 1950s but it wasn’t until 2004 that the Niles was bought by its current owners and in 2005 they opened up the theater.

Inside the theater, Museum in back

Inside the theater, Museum in back

The theater holds about 80 wooden chairs with comfy leather cushions. There is a piano where live music is played for many of the silent films. It had never occurred to me that the old silent films had live music accompaniment – but duh. If they could record music, they would have sound, right? I found that an interesting silly fact that I should have already known. The actual museum part is in the back of the theater and there you can find several old style cameras and projectors along with many photographs and other film paraphernalia. The gift shop is in the lobby and there are many books, pictures and cards to look at.

Old projectors in the museum

Old projectors in the museum

Their schedule of silent films varies so you should check their website for specific days, or give them a call. The 12th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival is coming up on June 26-28 and it is recommended that you pre-order tickets. June is also Independent Filmmakers Month and the theater will be visited by John Korty, Les Blank, and the Scary Cow Short Films Show among others. You can also rent the museum and theater for lecture discussions, musical concerts or a movie showing for family and friends – they even have the original 1933 King Kong film!

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
Open: Noon – 4PM Saturday and Sunday
Telephone (510)494-1411
37417 Niles Boulevard
Fremont, CA 94536

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