by Bob Seiderer
Hello again Science Fans,
It is now officially Fall, although around here you would be hard pressed to prove it. While I realize some people miss having four seasons, I'm not one of them. Having grown up in the northeast, I'm glad to not have winter's snows to deal with here. Still, the signs of change are there, just more subtle. One of those signs is the quantity of events on the calendar! This edition of the Schmooze lists 145 events over the next two weeks. That's the most I've seen of the newsletters I've edited. Having this many events to pick from makes selecting just three to highlight impossible. I'd highlight three on Monday alone! So here are a few that seem unusually interesting to me:
- Monday: The Challenges of Self-Driving Trucks - 4PM in Berkeley, Nerd Nite East Bay - 7PM in Oakland, and Wonderfest: Big Ideas about Big Animals
by Herb Masters
Greetings Science-based thinkers and acceptors!
I'm always amazed by what comes across my monitor, radio, or ears on the street. Seemingly crazy or unfounded challenges to science just don't seem to go away, both internationally and nationally, conspiracies that just don't make sense, and why some people just won't pay attention to the smoke, the clouds, or the professionals trying to protect them. Here's a different take on that. We certainly are fascinating animals! There also many things that should be celebrated. Consider th
by Herb Masters
Hello Science Fans,
Normally I’d write about some problems with how science is addressed in our communities. This week I want to highlight some end of the season opportunities that are going on as vacations come to an end and kids go back to school. There is a rather large conference going on this week, the Global Climate Action Summit has many well-known and popular people coming to SF. There are many events and presentations for the public that are linked to it… (so many in fact, over 300! that we aren’t listing most of them on our calendar! Granted, a lot are not open to the public.)
Here are a few that I hope to get to and think they might interest you to…
The U.S. premiere of COAL + ICE
by David Almandsmith
California is on its way to using 100% renewable energy by 2045. Since we've demonstrated the practicality of using biofuels and/or electricity for cars, trucks, trains, and motorcycles (i just bought an electric motorcycle), a major remaining reliance on fossil fuels is for air travel. There are a few small airplanes that run on electricity, but their ranges are short. Fortunately, we can create jet fuel from plants and algae. Test flights using bio fuels in commercial jets are entering their 2nd decade. There was a major test last week in India. Although biofuel use puts just as much CO2 into the atmosphere as fossil fuel use, growing the plants and algae removes CO2 from air and water, so it ends up being 'carbon neutral'. If only some folk didn'tby Bob Seiderer
Hello again Science fans! How is it that summer is almost over? It seems like it just started. Schools are going back into session, the number of events we list is picking up, and the amount of daylight is getting noticeably shorter. Of course, the upcoming weeks are often the warmest of the year in the Bay Area, as the summer high breaks down, allowing winds from inland to heat us up. Last year, the Friday before Labor Day was the warmest ever on record in San Francisco, with a high of 106.
This week marked the one year anniversary of the Great American Eclipse. How time flies! I was in Las Vegas. Where were you? While the eclipse gave scientists a great opportunity to do research on the sun, work continues to learn more. This year, NASA launched the Parker probe to touch the sun.
As if we don't have enough to worry about, a heart disease-causing parasite is headed our way.
Recent major earthquakes around the "ring of fire" remind us that we live in a seismically active place. But one location not too far away is also subject to significant quakes, and that is
by Herb Masters
Hi Fans of Evidence-based Science,
I don’t have a lot to say this week because I have been at a conference/birthday party. It was a party like I have never been to! Happy 60th lap Alex! I have been a bit disconnected and delayed in getting to the Schmooze this evening so I’m going to be brief and link heavy. I’m kind of wound up with astronomy stuff this week though the continuing assault on science and resistance to using good science by our elected representatives is making my skin crawl!
Often I look at science as an art form. I think art can be described as our effort to make sense of the world/universe we live in. Here’s two links that demonstrate this: While Darwin Sleeps & The majestic Earth. If you want more coolness, check out the CalAcademy Sketchfab. In case you are trying to decide what to do this week, I have a few suggestions:
by Herb Masters
Greetings Friends of Science,
I hope that you were or are able to catch some of the Perseid showers. They are quite refreshing as the evening cools off in August. The viewing has been particularly good this year. Be sure to check at the bottom of this page for a nice briefing on them that Alex Filippenko (you must watch that one!) has sent to us.
It has been quite a week in space news. The Parker Solar Probe has begun it’sby Meenakshi Prabhune
Hello Science fans,
Hope you all are having a great summer. If you run out of ideas for things to do in the Bay area, here’s some help. By the way, in case you are finding it hard to keep in touch with science between vacations, I do have some innovative ideas. I am sure you have heard of the Skype a Scientist initiative wherein scientists talk to a classroom of students. Recently, I came across another idea along the same line that connects students with scientists. Both students and scientists can register on this platform called Letters to a Pre-Scientist and write letters to one other. It is almost like individual me
by David Almandsmith
Always something new in science. Scientists studying data from a ground-penetrating radar experiment, put into orbit around Mars by the European Space Agency, announced that a thin (<1 meter) layer of liquid water apparently exists that is 20 kilometers wide and 1.5 kilometers below Mars' surface. If true, the significance is twofold. First, because that aquifer might have never been frozen in the billions of years since it formed, it might harbour living microorganisms that might have evolved during Mars' early history when it had oceans. ("Might" is used thrice in that sentence.) Second significance: the money spent by the European Space Agency might have resulted in a remarkable discovery. ("Might" is used only once in that sentence.)
Water on Mars? Well, actually, water is found almost everywhere on the planet, it just happens to be ice. At the south pole, thousands of square kilometers of water ice are exposed and even more area is coated with "dry ice", frozen carbon dioxide. In places, the polar water ice is over 3 kilometers thick. NASA has created aHello again Science fans,
As we journey around the sun, our orbit is not a perfect circle. Nor are the orbits of any of the other planets. They are all somewhat elliptical. As a result, depending on where we are in our orbit relative to other planets, sometimes we get closer to them than other times. Now is one of those times.
On July 31, Earth will be closer to Mars than it has been in over a decade, less than 36 million miles. Get a great view of the Red Planet by attending one of the viewing parties being held by many of the local Astronomy Clubs. Events are also planned at Chabot Space and Science Center. While July 31 is THE day, given the distances involved, any day near the end of July will work.
There are eclipses and meteor showers coming up this summer too. The "Great American Eclipse" last August was fantastic, but the one this year will be of much longer. Unfortunately for us it won't be visible in the US.
There are lots of astronomy-related talks and events happening around the area and here are three picks: