The modern age hasn't been kind to bubbles. Nowadays, the word is associated with such unappealing concepts as "bubbling" in the answers to an exam, the bursting of dot-com or housing "bubbles" and unflattering descriptions of mental or physical states ("bubble" brain or butt). But remember when "bubble" simply referred to a magical and fun iridescent sphere? Fan Yang does.
"When I was 6 years old, I saw bubbles created by a vortex from a waterfall near my house. I was captivated," Yang says.
After years of experimentation with various liquid solutions, Yang discovered a mixture that enabled him to create revolutionary bubbles. Since then, he has set 15 Guinness World Records, including the world's largest bubble wall (165 feet in length) and the most people encapsulated in a bubble (100).
Yang, 46, who grew up in Yugoslavia, has parlayed his remarkable bubble skills into TV appearances as well as his regular "Mega Bubble Show" in New York and Las Vegas.
And now Yang will also be part of the Discovery Science Center's BubbleFest XII. He'll create bubble carousels, bubbles within bubbles, smoking bubbles, spinning bubbles and bouncing bubbles. And at his 11 a.m. performance on Tuesday, Yang will go for his 16th world record when he attempts to enclose the largest land animal (an elephant) inside a bubble.
Beyond Yang, the Discovery Science Center will also have more than 100 hands-on exhibits where attendees can make bubbles. And for an additional fee, guests can enter a giant soap bubble and view the world through its shimmering lens.
Just be forewarned: Once you've been inside a bubble, you may find it hard to leave. Photographer Will Hare Jr., 39, went to an earlier BubbleFest and soon became a Discovery Science Center member: "My daughter said she loved the place and wanted to come back every day."
WHERE: 2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana
WHEN: Begins Sat. Through April 6. Regular hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bubble Shows at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
PRICE: Discovery Science Center admission $12.95 adults, $9.95 for children and seniors. Bubble show admission $5, $4 for members.
INFO: (714) 542-2823; www.discoverycube.org