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California-Styled Wooden House Truck in Wales


"Attracted by Folkestone’s connection with H.G. Wells, Heather and Ivan Morrison constructed a mobile Science Fiction library, Tales Of Space And Time in the style of a 1970s Californian House Truck.

Made popular in America during the Hippy movement, these house trucks, similar to Gypsy caravans, are a symbol of freedom and a nomadic self-sufficient lifestyle. Following this tradition the Morison’s version is hand built using Douglas fir from their arboretum in Wales onto a 1955 Green Goddess, ex army fire engine.…"

http://www.folkestonetriennial.org.uk/artist/heather-and-ivan-morison/


Handsome, But Poisonous Mushrooms


Sudden oak death is decimating trees in the hills, and chanterelles no longer grow where they were once in abundance. These robust mushrooms were growing on dead oak stumps. Not sure of name, but I was told they are quite poisonous.

Making Your Own Knives

When I was at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania a few months ago, I bought a handmade knife from a mountain man—a guy who dressed in buckskins and made a variety of hunting, trapping, and outdoor tools. The blade was carbon steel, which I prefer over stainless steel. It's softer and easier to sharpen, even if you have to care for it so that it doesn't rust.

He told me that it was a Russell Green River blade, so I tracked it down, and ordered about half a dozen different shaped blades (from Track of the Wolf.com); they're pretty inexpensive, $9-$10 each. I made the first one in the last few days with some manzanita wood I gathered (and dried out) a year or so ago. It's a bit crude, but I learned a lot and am going to make handles for some paring and skinning knives.

Perhaps the best way to start would be to buy one of the kits, which include a blade, wooden handles, and rivets. I'd also recommend getting the pamphlet Basic Knife Assembly, by Ryan and Roger Gale.

Man-With-Mule Bernie Harberts Builds Tiny Home On Land

Bernie Harberts was featured in Tiny Homes (pp. 188-89), documenting a 2,500 mile journey from Canada to Mexico, with a mule pulling a 21-square-foot gypsy wagon. Recently we got a letter from Bernie, as reproduced below. A month or so later he sent us 2 jars of apple sauce cooked on his wood stove in a box stuffed with straw.


Bobcat With Snake

My friend Tomás shot this with his iPhone while out hiking on a Marin trail. He said that when bobcats get focussed on hunting they don't take much note of humanoids. 

"…As in previous years, bobcats were seemingly more curious than afraid of people. There are several reports of a bobcat walking up on a porch and casually looking at people inside the house. In one instance a bobcat looked calmly into a sliding glass door as a dog barked at it from inside. One bobcat approached within 4 feet of an open garage, watched the homeowner working inside, then continued on its way. One Seabrooker came out to walk her dog and saw a bobcat in the yard. The cat got up, crossed to the other side of the street, then sat and looked back to watch. Bobcats have also been seen beside the roads, watching as cars drive by.…"
http://islandconnectionnews.com/?p=2843

Brandy, A Great Song, A Powerful Waterfall

So much is going on in my life right now, I haven't got around to many posts of late. I need a clone (or maybe an apprentice), then I could keep the pub biz running, go fishing/clamming/crabbing, surf and paddle, hunt mushrooms, make knives (with Russell made-in America carbon steel blades and madrone handles, do the maintenance around the homestead, go on a kayak adventure I've got planned, walk the 10-mile sandy beach in Pt. Reyes, spend a week in Santa Cruz…it goes on…

Monday night on the way home I bought a bottle of Germain-Robin made-in-Ukiah brandy, then stopped off at the Sweetwater nightclub. It was local musicians night and there was a couple on the stage, a guy with acoustic guitar and a curly-haired girl, singing a duet. Jeez, did they sound good. They were doing "Let's Stay Together," one of my all-time faves, by Al Green, and they had it right. They were at the same time both channelling Al and giving it their own beautiful interpretation. The guy hit Al's high note "I just cain't see-ee-ee…," the girl sang beautiful harmony. They were called Come Around Babe. I think they're a brand new group, can't find this song anywhere online. Here's Al:
Let's Stay Together by Al Green on Grooveshark
It was around 10 when I started home and I went to my magic waterfall, took a couple shots of brandy, clothes off, and ducked under it. What's usually a trickle was a pounding torrent, the full power of the mountain. It's such a simple thing to do, the cold shock gives way to elation as soon as you're out…oh boy am I glad I did this…I didn't even play the radio on the way home, as "Let's Stay Together" played over and over in my head…

The Shields - You Lied

You Cheated by The Shields on Grooveshark

Deek Diedrickson's "Tiny House Builders" on DIY TV Saturday, December 20 Noon EST

Check out our good pal Deek "Whirlwind" Diedrickson's latest video:

New Brakes for Skateboards/Highway One Closed For 3 Months

If I could slide, I wouldn't need these, but I've never mastered the technique (you slide the board so it's skidding along sideways and it slows you down when you're going too fast). In the past I've had 2 boards with brakes that were activated by a cable,but they never worked well.

These brakes, from Australia, are a whole new deal:

Crab Fishing From A Kayak


This guy brought this unusual shaped kayak to the beach on top of a compact car. He paddled out through the  surf, dropped off his (collapsible) crab traps, picked them up in a few hours, and went home with 4 nice crabs. In a small car.

Rain, Rain, Wily Coyote, and Al Green

Rain, rain, go away -- just kidding -- it's wonderful. More rainfall as of this date (December 17th)  than in the last 10 years. 20-1/2" so far, and TOTAL rainfall for the past 3 years has been 23-24" per year (June is end of season). California (at least coastal) is starting to pull through. The big boy, Shasta Lake (visible from Interstate 5) is 32% full as compared to normal of 52% this time of year; it's a good start. Come on low pressure, stick around, keep on keepin the storm track open…

Last night I was driving home about 9:30 in the pitch-black rainy night along the coast, Billy Boy Arnold playing a blues song, when a coyote appeared, trotting along the left side of the road. I pulled alongside him, rolled the window down and turned up the music full blast. He ambled along, glancing over at me, seemingly unconcerned, for 20-30 seconds before veering off into the coyote (sic) brush. Wily, mos def…

Old Time Lovin' by Al Green on Grooveshark

Model Boats in San Francisco


These are remote controlled model (tug) boats at a lake in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The large one is maybe 14-16" long.

Handmade Obsidian Knives by JJ Stone Craft

One-of-a-kind, handmade obsidian knife by flint knapping artist JJ Heo. See selection of knives here: http://www.jjstonecraft.com/

Eliphante: Michael Kahn’s Sculptural Village in the Arizona Desert

In 1989, I drove my Tacoma truck to Arizona to visit my cousin Mike, who had created a sculptural complex in the desert near Sedona. Mike and I had hung out together as kids; he was a year younger, and we looked a lot alike. He was an artist from early on. We'd each gone off with our different lives, then got together in the mid-60s when we were both feeling the stirrings of the cultural revolution, and this was the first time I'd seen him since then.

He told me he'd been influenced and inspired by our book Shelter in building what he called Eliphante. I stayed there for a few days, visiting Mike and his wife Leda and shot the pictures that appear in our book Home Work, and here on our blog: http://www.theshelterblog.com/eliphante-michael-kahns-sculptural-village-arizona-desert/#wrapper.

He created the room shown here out of used automobile windshields, with stained glass glued on with silicone caulk.

Garden Visit From Great Egret

This guy has discovered the fish in our pond. Strangely enough, he's hard to chase away, letting me get to within 25-30 feet. These birds, along with great blue herons are usually very wary and suspicious. Look at the long black legs!

Monarch Butterfly Magic


Swarms of monarchs used to pass through town on their southerly migration, but in recent years there have been hardly any. This chrysalis appeared in our garden a few weeks ago and when it got knocked off the plant, Lesley tied it back and put the pot in the greenhouse. (Note the gold dots.)

We kept watching it and a few days ago, the transformation had taken place. (The second shot is a bit blurry.) Within a day or two, it had taken off into the wide outside world.

Very strong storm–perhaps strongest since 2008–will arrive in California late Wednesday

Californians, tighten your seat belts!

"…The numerical weather models are now in strong agreement that a powerful Pacific winter storm will slam Northern California later this week, bringing very heavy precipitation and very strong winds. In many ways the upcoming event is a textbook major storm setup for Northern California, with an impressive strengthening of the East Asian jet extending clear across the Pacific Ocean and driving a rapidly-deepening surface low pressure area off of the coast of far northern California.…

Associated with this well-defined trough and strengthening low is a rather impressive atmospheric river–or narrow region of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor transport–a phenomenon that is often linked with extreme precipitation and flooding along the West Coast of North America when other atmospheric conditions are favorable. This week, it does indeed appear that all the ingredients may come together for a very high-impact storm event, especially across the northern half of the state. Preliminary indications suggest that wind speeds with the upcoming system may be of a similar magnitude to those experienced during the noted January 2008 event, which brought widespread significant impacts to a broad swath of NorCal. Precipitation from the upcoming system may be even more impressive than that experienced during the 2008 storm, as some of the models are spitting out very impressive 36-hour totals for California’s lowlands and urban areas.…"

From Lew Lewandowski today

Ultra Long Dodge Xplorer Camping Van

Saw this in San Francisco out by the beach last week. I believe there are outfits that do conversions like this. In this case, they went horizontal and not vertical with the addition, the former more aerodynamic than the latter.

When It Rains,It Pours/Oak Firewood

5-1/2" in the last few days. There are those of us who are overjoyed. The woods are alive, creeks are bubbling, mycelium are searching for healthy oak roots. BIG storm forecast for mid-week. Low pressure seems to be predominating, allowing the storms to come in off the ocean. There will be flooding, trees down --  speaking of which I got about a year's worth of nice oak firewood by the side of the road this weekend.

Every Drop of Rain by David Byrne & Fatboy Slim on Grooveshark

Rainbow in San Francisco Yesterday Morning

Shot from the Cliff House at Ocean Beach

My Last Slide Show/Book Signing in San Francisco Tomorrow Night

For Tiny Homes on the Move, at Gravel & Gold, an intriguing eclectic store of diverse items in the Mission district, 3266 21st Street, S.F., 7 PM Tuesday December 2, 2014.

http://gravelandgold.com/events/lloyd-kahn-shelter-slide-show-iii/

Homemade Wooden Pickup Truck Camper Shell

Photo shot in San Rafael, Calif. by Dave Covey

Six Gambrel Roof Barns in Oregon

I'm starting to do posts like this on TheShelterBlog.
"These are barns I photographed in the Willamette Valley in Oregon in September, 2014. The gambrel is a distinctive and common barn roof shape in this part of the world, as is the curved roof barn…"
http://www.theshelterblog.com/six-gambrel-roof-barns-oregon/#wrapper

2,000-Year-Old Mosaics Uncovered In Turkey Before Being Lost To Flooding

"…these fascinating discoveries recently made by a team of archeologists in the Turkish city of Zeugma has given us the opportunity to witness the unveiling of Greek and Roman art that hasn’t been seen in thousands of years.

The site caught the attention of the international archaeological community when it was threatened by flooding due to the construction of a nearby dam in southern Turkey in 2000. When a team of archaeologists led by Professor Kutalmış Görkay of Ankara University began excavating, they found stunning and well-preserved glass mosaics rich with color.…"
http://www.boredpanda.com/ancient-greek-mosaic-excavation-zeugma/

Moon on Water and Crabs Underneath

Looking down on the ocean/beach last (dark) night. Moon was a crescent (blurred here), 3 days past new moon. Light on right is house on shore, the 3-4 lights on horizon are crab fishing boats. It's looking like a good crab season. One local fisherman got 1200 pounds the 1st day out.

I sometimes imagine what the ocean floor would look like if I could see it without the water. There are hundreds of square miles covered with -- CRABS! They're just about everywhere out there.

Bob Dylan and the Band—Isle of Wight, 1969

I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (Live with the Band, Isle of Wight, 1969) by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

On Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10

Article on this album in Boston Globe:  http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2013/08/25/review-bob-dylan-another-self-portrait-the-bootleg-series-vol/bAbdHJQ2EG265EHlLeVHqO/story.html

Album referred to us by long-time Dylan fan Jeff Sinder.

Birds of the Week

Lew found this hummingbird in the kitchen. It had probably been trapped in there a while; it was catatonic, its chi was ebbing. Its wings were fluffed up in an attempt to get warm. Hummingbirds are perpetual motion machines; they need to be constantly moving and eating to keep up with the high metabolism.

We mixed some agave syrup with warm water and we dipped its beak in it several times. It tilted its head back each time to swallow. Then we put it on a chair in the sun;as it warmed up, its feathers started unfluffing and when we looked a few minutes later, it had taken off.

The scrub jay is so unbelievably blue.





The Four-Masted Ship Pamir, 1905-1957

“'Pamir' was originally launched in Hamburg in 1905, she had a steel hull, a tonnage of 3020 gross, an overall length of 375 feet, a beam of 46 feet and a loaded draught of 24 feet. Her three masts stood 168 feet above the deck and the main yard was 92 feet wide. She carried a total of 50,000 square feet of sails and could reach a top speed of 16 knots, while her speed on passage was often better than 10 knots.

Pamir, a four-masted barque, was one of the famous Flying P-Liner sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. She was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949. By 1957 she had been outmoded by modern bulk carriers and could not operate at a profit. Her shipping consortium's inability to finance much-needed repairs or to recruit sufficient sail-trained officers caused severe technical difficulties. On 21 September 1957 she was caught in Hurricane Carrie and sank off the Azores, with only six survivors rescued after an extensive search.…"
Photo: http://i.imgur.com/GYNzpLS.jpg
Text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamir_(ship)

Bye-Bye Blues by the Phoebe Babo Trio

I just ran across this. I put it on the blog about 4 years ago, but the link got scrambled, so here it is again. (My mom lived to be 103.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FJ0_8mBqnA
"I was at my Mom's rest home a few weeks ago and walked in on a little lady sitting at the piano playing for the old folks. (This is in the wing for elderly and challenged residents.) It was ragtime music and great. I learned who she was and called her up. Did she want me with my bass and my brother with his banjo to sit in with her? "Oh, yes, that would be great!"

This is the 2nd time we've played together. Lew taped this last Tuesday, and the joint was rockin'. (We haven't even practiced together yet.) These are songs that I used to play with my quartet in high school, a lot of them from the '20s, so I was right at home. I'm working at my bass playing and Bob is pretty good on the banjo.

Phoebe is actually thrilled. I told her we're just enhancing her. I'm calling us the Phoebe Babo trio. She says when she was a girl, she played the drums. She started on the piano later on in life, and she's just got it. She is a grand lady. The 80-90-year-olds love us. On Tuesday, as soon as we started playing, people came in from all over. The caregiver women were dancing, my mom's caregiver Clara was shakin' it. A lady named Jane knows the words to every song. Peggy was 88 that day and celebrating with wolf whistles at the end of each song."

The Motoped Survival Bike: "…baddass TreeHugger alternative to a car. "

"So why is this on TreeHugger? Well, The Motoped Survival is a motor-assisted bicycle that gets up to 160 miles to the gallon, and the 49CC motor will take it up to 500 miles on a three gallon fill-up. It has racks and tie-on points that can carry a lot of gear when it's bug-out time, and it is a whole lot easier than pushing a shopping cart like Viggo had to do in The Road.
It's not a horrible polluter like my old two-stroke Solex moped was; with its Smart Carb fuel system, the manufacturer claims that you can reduce your carbon footprint by as much as 70% compared to the usual small engine in recreational products. At 120 pounds it is a lot heavier than a regular bike, but you can still pedal it.…"

"…Or you could just go camping, or have the coolest looking moped in town. I know I am being totally TreeHugger incorrect here, but this is a thing of beauty, and looks quite practical. Yes, an electric bike is greener but there's no range anxiety here. And at 160 MPG with low emissions, it's a baddass TreeHugger alternative to a car. It's also a thing of beauty at $2499."

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/i-so-want-motoped-survival-bike.html

Seven Houseboats

On this (thankfully) rainy morning, I'm at the v. cool Prooflab Coffee House in Mill Valley and was fiddling around on TheShelterBlog on my MacAir, fast wi-fi, did a search under "Nomadic - Boats" and came up with these 7 boats.

http://www.theshelterblog.com/category/nomadic-homes/boats/

 We're building this blog day by day, new post every day, 7/365 -- and it gets better every week.

In Praise of Eudora (and in Sorrow at Its Non-Availability Today For Mac Users)

Two and a half years ago, I did a post on Eudora, and it has generated 19 comments over that time. There still seems to be no solution for anything near as good that will run on the new Mac operating systems. I'm still using Snow Leopard (10.6.8) on my office MacPro for the sake of Eudora. I occasionally give silent thanks to Steve Dorner for developing Eudora back in the '90s. He thought so many things out so well.
Old article on Steve Dorner: http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/week/012197eudora.html

Why doesn't some venture capitalist put up the money (hire Dorner?) to create a mail program as good as Eudora that will run on new Macs? There's a huge gaping hole in quality still.

The following comment came in today and I think it's interesting enough to bring it to the forefront:

Lloyd’s Camping Vehicles, Part 3

In 1988 I bought a 4-cylinder, 5-speed Tacoma 4×4 with the Xtra cab (meaning a 6′ bed). Then in 2003, I got a new one, same model. The engine is a bit gutless going up long hills, but will run forever.
By this time I knew exactly what I wanted:
A metal camper shell made by Tradesman in Winters, Calif. It opened on all three sides, was way stronger than plastic shells. I bought an aluminum rack from Hauler Racks. It came disassembled via UPS and I bolted it together and mounted it. It rests on the truckbed sides, not on the camper roof.
At Campway’s in Santa Rosa, Calif., I got the inside of the bed sprayed with a waterproof membrane to protect the metal. Also a “carpet kit,” with storage boxes along the sides and sliding middle panels inside the bed.
You can see the pull-out drawer and side storage boxes. I shot this photo on Hornby Island, BC on one of my four trips to Canada shooting photos for Builders of the Pacific Coast. I remember one afternoon collecting oysters way out on a reef (beyond the commercial guys and cooking them for dinner on a beach fire with aluminum-foil-clad potatoes, red wine, AND just-picked blackberries with …(ahem)… heavy cream and brown sugar.
More on TheShelterBlog here.

ELF Solar Powered Electric Vehicles From Organic Transit

"…The ELF is a solar and pedal hybrid vehicle powered by you and the sun. 'The most efficient vehicle on the planet,' it is a revolution in transportation and gets the equivalent of 1800 MPG.

Hand built in the USA, the ELF is legally a bicycle, so it can travel on bike paths, park on sidewalks and requires no gas, license, registration or insurance.

It can travel up to 20 mph on electric power only and up to 30 mph when combined with pedaling. It can hold more than a dozen bags of groceries and can handle an amazing 350 lb. payload.…"

Comprehensive review of Elf by Sami Grover in Treehugger here.

Above text from http://organictransit.com/

A New Pesticide Monster by Dow Chemical

There was a PBS news story on TV last night about USA corn and soybean farming. Seems that in the brilliant GMO scheme of Roundup-tolerant seeds, that Roundup (brought to us by Monsanto) is no longer killing weeds, especially the aggressive weed waterhemp. SO Dow Chemical (who manufactured napalm for the Vietnam war AND owners of Union carbide, responsible for the Bhopal disaster) has come up with an even more brilliant scheme: "Duo," an herbicide composed of glysophosate + 2,4 D, one of the components of Agent Orange PLUS the seeds to plant and spray with this toxic mix.

This is a chilling story of greedy multinational corporations not only controlling food production, but poisoning land, plus most likely consumers in the process.

I can't believe it.

The de Young Museum in San Francisco - Horse's Ass Architecture

Not only is this an ugly building, but it is covered with 165,000 sq. ft. of copper -- what a waste!

Light at End of Tunnel Has Faded

Someone sent me this a few weeks back and, although I didn't agree with everything (like the internet being mostly evil), it hit a lot of notes compatible with what I've seen going on. Since the depressing elections, Don Hazen's summary seems even more true.

I usually don't publish political stuff here because I don't have time to engage in political debate, but what this guy says is pretty much what I see going on.

"…we progressives, liberals, common-sense people, are losing badly to the conservative business state, the tyranny of massively expanding tech companies, theocratic right-wing forces and pervasive militarism, home and abroad. By virtually every measure, things are getting worse. And things are trending much, much worse in ways we can easily measure, like inequality, climate, militarization of police forces, etc., and in ways that are more psychological and emotional.…"

"…the four especially powerful and pernicious overarching economic and political mechanisms operating in our country that are fundamentally responsible for the situation we are in. They are privatization, financialization, militarization and criminalization, which together are producing a steadily creeping authoritarianism—a new authoritarianism—to fit our times.…"

Apocalypse Now: Seriously, It's Time for a Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics We are losing badly to the corporate state. Here's what we need to do.
By Don Hazen
October 25, 2014

The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11

Just out. Boy is there some good stuff here (also, some half-finished, raw songs). These guys were having fun!
Like an Amazon reviewer wrote, "This is history, babe…."
Photo I took of Dylan with Robbie Robertson in one of his first concerts with rock and roll, in Providence, RI, in Fall, 1967. Full account of this concert here.
http://grooveshark.com/s/I+Don+t+Hurt+Anymore/78dLLs?src=5 http://grooveshark.com/s/This+Wheel+s+On+Fire/78dKfg?src=5

Lloyd’s Camping Vehicles, Part 2

These days I'm doing less posts on this blog and more on TheShelterBlog. I realized that I had a lot of build-garden-homestead-forage experience (and assemblage) to communicate and liked the idea of putting it all in one place.

I'll cross-reference some of my posts on the new blog with this one, such as this:
I bought it used from a builder friend. It didn’t have the “Xtra cab,” so the bed was 8′ long.
Tarp for Shade:  I had a Yakima Rocket Box on racks on the camper roof, with a flea market tarp (12’×14′) folded up inside. The frame was 1″ electrical conduit, with special connectors tightenable with wingscrews. The tarp was aluminized fabric. It was weighted down with canvas bags filled with sand and hung from each corner (ingenious!). Took maybe 45 minutes to set up. I’d place it butting up to the truck bed.

I'm Doing Tiny Homes on the Move Presentation Tonight in Pt. Reyes Station, Calif.

It's sponsored by Pt. Reyes Books and will be at 7:30 PM, Friday November 7th at the Presbyterian church in Pt. Reyes. I'll also be talking about my early years in building and publishing, and passing out copies of our Tiny Homes on the Move mini-book (2" x 2").

The above photo is in the November 6th issue of the Pt. Reyes Light, along with a description of our greenhouse and my background.

I was lucky to have master photographer Art Rogers shoot this photo. Art works with real film and large-format cameras.

Vintage German Vehicle

I just discovered this old postcard in a drawer. On the back it says "(c) Kulturrecycling." Looks like it's probably foot-powered.

My Camping Vehicles, Part 1


This is a 3-part series I'm putting up on TheShelterBlog here.

Coyotes Singing in Full Moon

Actually 2 days before the full moon, but it was bright last night. I headed out on my usual Tuesday night solo run—well, vigorous hike is more like it. Beach beautiful, with a 100-foot long glistening inland pond in moonlight, no one there, I had one of those almost chilling moments, surrounded by such beauty, alone, waves breaking, negative ions up the kazoo, super energizing of chi

I started out in a down parka and gloves, brrrr…I don't feel like going out into the cold night, but as always, the heart likes to pump, and pretty soon I take off the parka and gloves and climb the hills in a t-shirt. Circulation, circulation, circulation…

As I came back down into the valley, a coyote startled me. It was so close, and so beautiful. There were 2 of them close by and another at a distance. They were singing. Totally. One did a yodel, starting high, then breaking voice down to lower sustained note. Then a distant coyote would respond. Oh my!

I heard this about Australian aborigines: the smoke signals don't contain the message. Rather, they're a notice to a group maybe a few miles away to tune into psychic forces and get a telepathic message. Wow!

On the way home, moonlight streaming across the ocean, on Little Steven's Underground Garage (Sirius): "Beautiful Delilah" by the Kinks, followed by Chuck Berry doing same (his) song. http://grooveshark.com/s/Beautiful+Delilah/2725La?src=5

Skulls Exhibit, Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

"The skulls on display in the Academy's 4,000-square-foot second-floor Forum Theater and Gallery range from an enormous African bull elephant to a tiny bat, from frogs and fish to giraffes and walruses. There are interactive displays that simulate the vision of predator and prey, and allow visitors to be hands-on with cast skulls. Another part of the exhibit shows live dermestid beetle larvae cleaning delicate bones (the larvae can scour the flesh of a small skull in three days). And there is an interactive 3-D display developed by Google that allows visitors to view skulls from various angles.
"A skull provides important information about a species' evolution and reveals secrets about that individual animal's life," said Moe Flannery, collections manager of ornithology and mammalogy at the academy.
Walking through the exhibit, Flannery added, "By searching for clues written in the bone, we can follow the story of an animal's life, from birth to old age. We can learn what the animal ate, how it defended itself, communicated, interacted with its environment, and often how it died - all by looking at its skull.…"
  -SFGate
 400 sea lion skulls mounted here are "…only a fraction of those in storage…"