Who's in charge here?

Who are you?

My name is Brian Rich [Personal Info and Photos]. I'm a native Californian, married 26 years, and have a great wife, and 5 amazing kids.
I have always been interested in science. I grew up in the 60's and 70's, and spent much of my free time out in the garage, doing experiments. From late junior high age onward, I became very interested in optics, photography and filmmaking. My photography had a science- experiment feel to it, as that's how I approached it. I wasn't interested in portraiture; I wanted to photograph pure light. My interest in light and optics eventually became my full-time career.

What is this website?
This website is where I post the results of experiments I have done, usually with kids. The ones you see that say "The Saturday Scientists" were part of a saturday-morning class I held for kids at "Art From Scrap" when it was across from the airport in Goleta. See this article.
I also come up with ideas about science museum exhibits from time to time.

When did it start?
I started this website in 1997. Originally it was the online site of Santa Barbara Science, a company I started in 1988. But in 2004 I closed SBS, and decided to focus more on maintaining the website as a free resource. I believe that our society is moving toward sharing all knowledge electronically, and I believe that I can contribute to this sharing.

Where are you?
I live on the central coast of California, in Lompoc. If you have Google Earth installed on your computer, you can see my home by pasting in the following coordinates: 34 41 57.50 N 120 25 53.93 W

Where else are you?
On the web, I maintain several presences:

Ebay
Facebook
Flickr
Google+
LinkedIn
Panoramio

How do you do it?
I usually have several projects in various states of progress. I am trying more and more to document the things I do visually with a digital camera, so I can write them up as experiments for anyone who follows. If you come across mention of something on this website that I've promised to do, but don't see the results anywhere [try searching] then please let me know.

Why do you do it?
It started as a business. In 1988 I started Santa Barbara Science, and sent out paper catalogs. I advertised a couple of times in Popular Science, and for a while in a magazine called Science Probe. I sold labware and chemicals. But I found out that in running the business by myself, I spent all of my time doing shipping and accounting. It didn't really let me do fun science things! With 5 kids at home, I need every minute of spare time to count for something really important, so I dropped SBS. Now when I come home from my "day job", I can help with homework, and even occasionally work on fun stuff.

For Your Information

So, now that I'm not selling anything, what is going to happen? Well, I added a "news" area that has the latest photos and text about the particular projects I am working on. There are a few that are showing progress, and more on the way. I am also in the process of updating my links pages so that they're not just full of dead links. I'm not sure if anyone's using them though, so I'm going to be watching that pretty closely. If you have any comments about my links pages, please email me.

OK, But Supported - How?

I am dedicated to this website; to getting as much useful, interesting information onto it as I possibly can. I do this whether or not there is a financial reward. That's just not the point.

However, it sure is gratifying when someone believes in what you are doing; so much that they actually give you money of their own free will! I have done this myself from time to time, it's called "putting your money where your mouth is", and believe me, it gets people's attention!

If you would like to contribute, there are several ways of doing so:


Back to Homepage. Send me E-mail: <science@west.net>

Last Update: 18 August, 2014


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