Topic: California/San Francisco Bay Area
Y Combinator is an American seed accelerator launched in March 2005 and has been used to launch over 2,000 companies including Stripe, Airbnb, Cruise Automation, DoorDash, Coinbase, Instacart, and Dropbox. The combined valuation of the top YC companies was over $155 billion as of October, 2019.
- "Y Combinator Article Nominated for Deletion by Wikipedia Administrators" | 2008-08-27 | 45 Upvotes 79 Comments
The Centennial Light is the world's longest-lasting light bulb, burning since 1901, and almost never switched off. It is at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California, and maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. Due to its longevity, the bulb has been noted by The Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and General Electric.
- "Centennial Light" | 2019-07-13 | 40 Upvotes 20 Comments
Joshua Abraham Norton (February 4, 1818 – January 8, 1880), known as Emperor Norton, was a citizen of San Francisco, California, who proclaimed himself "Norton I, Emperor of the United States" in 1859. In 1863 he took the secondary title of "Protector of Mexico" after Napoleon III invaded that country. Norton was born in England but spent most of his early life in South Africa. He sailed west after the death of his mother in 1846 and his father in 1848, arriving in San Francisco possibly in November 1849.
Norton initially made a living as a businessman, but he lost his fortune investing in Peruvian rice to sell in China due to a Chinese rice shortage. He bought rice at 12 cents per pound from Peruvian ships, but more Peruvian ships arrived in port which caused the price to drop sharply to 4 cents. He then lost a lawsuit in which he tried to void his rice contract, and his public prominence faded. He re-emerged in September 1859, laying claim to the position of Emperor of the United States. Though Norton received many favors from the city, merchants also capitalized on his notoriety by selling souvenirs bearing his name. "San Francisco lived off the Emperor Norton," Norton's biographer William Drury wrote, "not Norton off San Francisco."
Norton had no formal political power; nevertheless, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments that he frequented. Some considered him insane or eccentric, but citizens of San Francisco celebrated his imperial presence and his proclamations, such as his order that the United States Congress be dissolved by force and his numerous decrees calling for the construction of a bridge and tunnel crossing San Francisco Bay to connect San Francisco with Oakland.
On January 8, 1880, Norton collapsed at the corner of California and Dupont (now Grant) streets and died before he could be given medical treatment. Upwards of 30,000 people lined the streets of San Francisco to pay him homage at his funeral. Norton has been immortalized as the basis of characters in the literature of Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christopher Moore, Morris and René Goscinny, Selma Lagerlöf, and Neil Gaiman.
The Exploratorium is a museum of science, technology, and arts in San Francisco. Its mission is to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning worldwide. It has been described by the New York Times as the most important science museum to have opened since the mid-20th century, an achievement attributed to "the nature of its exhibits, its wide-ranging influence and its sophisticated teacher training program". Characterized as "a mad scientist's penny arcade, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory all rolled into one", the participatory nature of its exhibits and its self-identification as a center for informal learning has led to it being cited as the prototype for participatory museums around the world.
The Exploratorium was founded by physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969 at the Palace of Fine Arts, its home until January 2, 2013. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium reopened at Piers 15 and 17 on San Francisco's Embarcadero. The historic interior and exterior of Pier 15 was renovated extensively prior to the move, and is divided into several galleries mainly separated by content, including the physics of seeing and listening (Light and Sound), Human Behavior, Living Systems, Tinkering (including electricity and magnetism), the Outdoor Gallery, and the Bay Observatory Gallery, which focuses on local environment, weather, and landscape.
Since the museum's founding, over 1,000 participatory exhibits have been created, approximately 600 of which are on the floor at any given time. The exhibit-building workshop space is contained within the museum and is open to view. In addition to the public exhibition space, the Exploratorium has been engaged in the professional development of teachers, science education reform, and the promotion of museums as informal education centers since its founding. Since Oppenheimer's death in 1985, the Exploratorium has expanded into other domains, including its 50,000-page website and two iPad apps on sound and color. It has also inspired an international network of participatory museums working to engage the public with general science education. The new Exploratorium building is also working to showcase environmental sustainability efforts as part of its goal to become the largest net-zero museum in the country.
The Exploratorium offers visitors a variety of ways—including exhibits, webcasts, websites and events—for visitors to explore and understand the world around them. In 2011, the Exploratorium received the National Science Board 2011 Public Service Science Award for its contributions to public understanding of science and engineering.
- "Frank Oppenheimer's blacklisting led to the Exploratorium" | 2017-06-07 | 13 Upvotes 1 Comments
Group f/64 or f.64 was a group founded by seven 20th-century San Francisco Bay Area photographers who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharply focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. In part, they formed in opposition to the pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 20th century, but moreover, they wanted to promote a new modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects.
- "Group f/64" | 2019-05-01 | 71 Upvotes 26 Comments
Google is a computer software and a web search engine company that acquired, on average, more than one company per week in 2010 and 2011. The table below is an incomplete list of acquisitions, with each acquisition listed being for the respective company in its entirety, unless otherwise specified. The acquisition date listed is the date of the agreement between Google and the acquisition subject. As Google is headquartered in the United States, acquisition is listed in US dollars. If the price of an acquisition is unlisted, then it is undisclosed. If the Google service that is derived from the acquired company is known, then it is also listed here. Google itself was re-organized into a subsidiary of a larger holding company known as Alphabet Inc. in 2015.
As of December 2016, Alphabet has acquired over 200 companies, with its largest acquisition being the purchase of Motorola Mobility, a mobile device manufacturing company, for $12.5 billion. Most of the firms acquired by Google are based in the United States, and, in turn, most of these are based in or around the San Francisco Bay Area. To date, Alphabet has divested itself of four business units: Frommers, which was sold back to Arthur Frommer in April 2012; SketchUp, which was sold to Trimble in April 2012, Boston Dynamics in early 2016 and Google Radio Automation, which was sold to WideOrbit in 2009.
Many Google products originated as services provided by companies that Google has since acquired. For example, Google's first acquisition was the Usenet company Deja News, and its services became Google Groups. Similarly, Google acquired Dodgeball, a social networking service company, and eventually replaced it with Google Latitude. Other acquisitions include web application company JotSpot, which became Google Sites; Voice over IP company GrandCentral, which became Google Voice; and video hosting service company Next New Networks, which became YouTube Next Lab and Audience Development Group. CEO Larry Page has explained that potential acquisition candidates must pass a sort of "toothbrush test": Are their products potentially useful once or twice a day, and do they improve your life?
Following the acquisition of Israel-based startup Waze in June 2013, Google submitted a 10-Q filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that revealed that the corporation spent $1.3 billion on acquisitions during the first half of 2013, with $966 million of that total going to Waze.
- "List Of Acquisitions By Google" | 2009-03-10 | 24 Upvotes 17 Comments
Maryam Mirzakhani (Persian: مریم میرزاخانی, pronounced [mæɾˈjæm miːɾzɑːxɑːˈniː]; 12 May 1977 – 14 July 2017) was an Iranian mathematician and a professor of mathematics at Stanford University. Her research topics included Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, ergodic theory, and symplectic geometry. In 2005, as a result of her research, she was honored in Popular Science's fourth annual "Brilliant 10" in which she was acknowledged as one of the top 10 young minds who have pushed their fields in innovative directions.
On 13 August 2014, Mirzakhani was honored with the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. Thus, she became both the first, and to date, the only woman and the first Iranian to be honored with the award. The award committee cited her work in "the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces".
On 14 July 2017, Mirzakhani died of breast cancer at the age of 40.
- "Maryam Mirzakhani" | 2020-02-21 | 299 Upvotes 33 Comments
On April 16, 2013, a sophisticated assault was carried out on Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Metcalf Transmission Substation in Coyote, California, near the border of San Jose. The attack, in which gunmen fired on 17 electrical transformers, resulted in more than $15 million worth of equipment damage, but it had little impact on the station's electrical power supply.
- "Metcalf Sniper Attack" | 2020-08-29 | 210 Upvotes 161 Comments
The "PayPal Mafia" is a group of former PayPal employees and founders who have since founded and developed additional technology companies such as Tesla Motors, LinkedIn, Palantir Technologies, SpaceX, YouTube, Yelp, and Yammer. Most of the members attended Stanford University or University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign at some point in their studies.
Psychedelic agents in creative problem-solving experiment was a study designed to evaluate whether the use of a psychedelic substance with supportive setting can lead to improvement of performance in solving professional problems. The altered performance was measured by subjective reports, questionnaires, the obtained solutions for the professional problems and psychometric data using the Purdue Creativity, the Miller Object Visualization, and the Witkins Embedded Figures tests. This experiment was a pilot that was to be followed by control studies as part of exploratory studies on uses for psychedelic drugs, that were interrupted early in 1966 when the Food and Drug Administration declared a moratorium on research with human subjects, as a strategy in combating illicit use.
- "Psychedelics in problem-solving experiment" | 2014-08-30 | 167 Upvotes 47 Comments