A Hole Lot of SciSchmooze 4.15.19


by Herb Masters

Hello Science and or Spring Fans,

What a crazy time we are in for science in the news.  Let's get the basics out of the way first.  I'm sure you have heard about and probably seen the photo of the supermassive black hole at the center of M87.  There's an incredible amount of references to it in the news.  Needless to say it's hard to get a handle on what this is all about from the general news.  I have found a few links that might help you explain it to others as well as get a bit better handle on it yourself.  Take a look at these…  How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole then

Mammoths, Birds, and Space with the SciSchmooze

by David Almandsmith

Hello again, critical thinker,
 
¿Have you ever helped in an effort to save an oiled bird? There is a website that wants to hear your story – however brief or lengthy or unsuccessful. Go to birdrescue.info, click on “Contact Us”, and tell your story. While you are there, take the time to browse through newspaper articles, personal accounts, and especially publications. There you can read the real science that came from oil spill tragedies.
 
California mastodons are in the news. It may be that ‘our’ mastodons were a different species from those farther east. In addition to M. americanum, the scientists argue for a new species designation, M. pacificus, for mastodons that lived around here. I guess we could call that ‘big’ news.
 
 “Mammoths in Oakland? I thought they lived where it’s cold.” This is what a middle school student said to

by Meenakshi Prabhune

Hi Science lovers,

It’s a good time for me to write the Schmooze. Last week was Biophysics week, as declared by the Biophysical Society. A biophysicist at heart (my Ph.D. was in this subject), I used to participate by writing relevant articles on my blog. This year, I could not find the time to do this, so I will insert in some fun facts here.

Now, I do know the most common reaction when people hear the term biophysics--it sounds complicated. I will admit this; it does sound complicated. But it is not necessarily so. Biophysics is just looking at biology from a physics point of view. To see if we can find defined patterns in what seems to be a general chaos in biology.

Let me give you a few day-to-day examples. Now that spring is upon us and lovely wildflowers are blooming everywhere, I got out of hibernation and went for a hike yesterday. The glorious views of wildflowers, Bay

First SciSchmooze of Spring

by Bob Siederer

Hello again Science fans, and welcome to spring.  I know, it doesn't feel very different, but the Equinox was on March 20.

Spring brings us longer days, more outdoor activities, but still provides many, many science-oriented talks.  In the next week we have, what seems to me, more excellent ones to pick from than usual.  And that's saying something.  My picks this week include:
  1. Accelerating Discoveries through Genetic Data - 03/25/2019 03:30 PM, the SLAC colloquium in Menlo Park with Anne Wojcicki

ScienceSchmooze Marches on 3.18.19

by Herb Masters

Hello Schmoozers and/or π Lovers,

I have to admit that I am amazed at all of the π celebrations and revelry last week.  It was great fun to see all of the efforts to engage all ages and education levels with π.  So because I had so much fun, I'd like to share a bit more π with you!  PBS it turns out has been celebrating π for quite awhile.  Check these out for a sample…   Science and tech come to pizza.  Deep dish or New York style?  How pi can solve your pizza order | PBS.  

A Slice of π with the SciSchmooze

by Herb Masters

Happy DST Science Fans,

I'm always amazed when I sit down to write the Schmooze.  It seems like it should be a quick thing to knock out, but there are so many things to write about in any given week.  The problem is magnified for me because there is such a wealth of new things to learn about what I am already fascinated by!  Science just keeps marching forward at a pace that we can never seem to catch up with.  So when we jumped ahead an hour this morning I was again distracted.  So if you have the time, here are a few items that I found difficult to turn away from.  Of course you have to wonder what the History of Daylight Saving Time (DST) is.  Then I fell down the well of time in history…  Ctesibius and Archimedes and back to more recent times with

SciSchmoozing to LEO

by David Almandsmith

Hello Science Fans,
 
Ripley rode a dragon with the help of a falcon to ISS. Parsing that out: Ripley the mannikin (named after the Sigourney Weaver character in the Alien movies) was loaded with sensors, strapped into a Dragon capsule developed by SpaceX, the whole shebang was rocketed into LEO (Low Earth Orbit) by a Falcon 9 rocket (also from SpaceX), and docked with the ISS (the International Space Station). But you probably already knew all of this. It’s still way cool and one of the last tests before Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsules take over the task of shuttling humans between LEO and ground

Make your own “Science” with the SciSchmooze

by Bob Siederer

Hello again Fans of Science and welcome to another edition of the SciSchmooze newsletter.  Each week we send you some thoughts on the world of Science as well as a snapshot of events listed on the Bay Area Science Calendar for the next two weeks.

I say a snapshot because additional events are added to the calendar daily, and updates are made to the events already listed.  Always check an event listing and click through to the event website to see if anything has changed.  We would hate to hear you went to an event only to find it canceled (it has happened).  We also make mistakes, occasionally, and list things for the wrong date or don't get notified of changes to events after we list them.  I want to take a moment to thank Ken Lum for catching some of our errors and letting us know so we can correct them.

Each week we list at least three picks.  Here are mine for this week:

Opportunity lost. SciSchmooze 2.18.19

by Herb Masters

Hello Science Lovers,
I hope that you had a bit of science in your Valentine's Day this past week.  Sadly, as you probably know, NASA finally acknowledged what seemed inevitable.  NASA's Mars Opportunity rover declared dead after record-setting mission Opportunity was such a thrill for us for so much longer than planned.  The amount of information we got from Opportunity and Spirit is amazing.  For two "little" rovers on a not so distant planet who were only planned to last 90 days each, I am in awe.  Spirit made it until 2010, which was an amazing accomplishment but who would think that in 2019 we finally have let Opportunity rest on Mars?  Check out a bit of

Fighting disease with the SciSchmooze 11.2.19

by Herb Masters

Hello Science Based Thinkers and Readers,

Let's make this 2nd week of February a week to celebrate skepticism , reason and evidence.   I say this because the second Thursday is generally the day for the Bay Area Skeptics Skeptalk.   "What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists?" is the talk this week.   If you haven't seen Eugenie Scott speak you really owe it to yourself to catch this talk.   Yes there are many who still think evolution is wrong and the earth is only a few thousand years old and may not be spherical.

I find that I'm on a bit of a single topic binge recently.  This is because after all these years we are still faced with outbreaks of very preventable diseases.  I'm sure that some will disagree with me but, despite all of the emotions, the evidence is in.  Vaccines save lives and keep most people heal

Syndicate content