This talk will give overviews of my two most recent projects. The first section will cover symmetry breaking in a quasi-2D crater formation experiment. In this context, I will give a flavor of how bifurcations are observed in real systems, how they are classified, and why it is important to understand. The second section of the talk will discuss my current project, which is studying forces and particle motions inside a 2D granular paddle mixer. I will use this to give examples and discussions of some of the methods used in granular experimental physics, and in our lab specifically. This will include topics such as particle tracking, measuring granular "pressure" with photoelastic particles and polarized light, and coarse-graining techniques.