The Exploratorium does it again. This week the museum officially opened a new set of outdoor exhibits scattered around the piers at Fort Mason, and Aimee and Sophie and Brent and I drove over there today to check them out during a break in the rain. Even though a few installations were experiencing technical difficulties (and we all really wanted to "taste the tides" too!) overall there was still plenty to entertain and teach a nine-year-old and adults alike. Sophie's favorites were the Wave Tracing exhibit, where a loose pier piling draws lines in sand to illustrate what the waves and tides are doing at any given moment, and then the Pier Piling Pivot, a giant piling that lifts itself out of the bay at the touch of a button to give visitors a closer look at the barnacles and other assorted sea creatures that have attached themselves to its surface. Brent really liked a piece that illustrated the speed of sound while I was very impressed by the Rust Wedge, a slab of concrete that is being split merely by the power of rusting steel. Like everything at the Exploratorium proper these Fort Mason exhibits are as artful as they are educational, utilizing clean modern design to effectively transform experiments into sculpture. Above all, though, they're just plain fun.