SciSchmoozing with Robots and Drones


from the desk of David Almandsmith

Greetings, friends of science,
 
Robots and drones are perennially in the news. Two of them caught my interest this week. This video of a person-sized robot has been viewed about 8 million times. This microswimmer is smaller than a human cell and is remotely controlled; it is aimed using a magnetic field and is propelled by ultrasound. Impressively, technology marches on.
 
If you watch TV, you’ve seen slick ads by Big Pharma and by the fossil fuel industry priming us to be more forgiving of their avarice. I stumbled upon

Got Good Science? SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Greetings People of the Science Persuasion,

What do you learn at a science museum?  Science?  I always thought that was it.  At least since before the current millennium I have also thought that we need more education about what incorrect, wrong, or "bad" science is.  My concern has only grown since then as it seems like more people don't seem to get itThe Science Schmooze is about promoting science, reason, and critical thinking by letting you know where you can go to learn these things.  In the last few years I have become more and more concerned about the lack of information about how to discern what is reliable and what is not and it'

Halloween week with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Bob Siederer

Hello again Science Fans!

This past week has brought us another reminder of our fragile existence here on the planet.  The Sonoma County fires and the PG&E blackouts should serve as a reminder that we should all have disaster kits that are up to date.  Our thoughts are with those affected by the fires, blackouts, and evacuations.  Several events, including the North Bay Discovery Days event for the Bay Area Science Festival were canceled because of the fires.  Always check the weblink in our listings for any last minute changes or cancellations.

I've got a lot of interesting articles to share with you, but first, here are my picks for events this week:
  1. Nerd Nite East Bay: Barnacles, Chevron Richmond, Martian Atmosphe

Festival Season with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Bob Siederer

Hello again fans of Science!

There are not one but two festivals this coming week for your enjoyment. 

The first is the Art + Tech Festival which combines art and science for a variety of events and workshops held this coming weekend.  See our listings for pricing and 20% off discount codes.

The second is the annual Bay Area Science Festival, with over 40 different events taking place starting Friday and running through the grand finale Discovery Days at Oracle Park on November 2.

While we're big fans of the Bay Area Science Festival, I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed in the event schedule this year.  Almost all of them take place in San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkeley.  Only one is in San Jose.  The number of lectures is quite limited and most of those are regular series events that seem to be re-branded for the Festival instead of being something special.  As usual there are many tours, but the majority of them only deal in the biological and genetic sciences.  Gone are the trivia contests and comedic events of past years (they weren't part of last year's festival either).  The number of adult-oriented events is limited, which is great for kids, but not so great for adults.  I'm not saying you should not go, just that I hope

SciSchmooze with a Surfeit of Science Sessions

from the desk of David Almandsmith

Hello again science fans,
 
As of this writing, the 2019 Nobel Prizes - except for Economic Sciences -  have been awarded.
  • Physiology: William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza, “... identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen.”
  • Physics: Cosmology: Jim Peebles, “... theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology.”; Astronomy: Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, “... for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”

Forward with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of David Almandsmith

Hello friends of science,
 
There is increasing evidence that a ninth planet exists way out there orbiting our Sun. (Apologies to Pluto, formerly the ninth planet but now considered to be a Kuiper Belt object.) Even if Planet 9 were five times the mass of Earth, as is estimated, it would be very difficult to find with our telescopes. Were it the same density as Earth, its diameter would be 1.7 times that of Earth, or 21,800 km (13,500 miles). A pair of astronomers suggest that we should not rule out the possibility that Planet 9 could be a primordia

Climate Strike and STEM Professionals Unite

from the desk of Meenakshi Prabhune

Hey Schmoozers,

"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!” If you have heard these words before, you know what I am talking about. This is my favorite part of Greta Thunberg’s hard-hitting speech at the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept 23rd. The clarity of thought, honesty, and bravery of this 16-year-old totally amazes me.

While Greta has a point that she should be in school and not leading an activist movement, her conviction has successfully mobilized the community to stand up against climate change. A year ago, Greta started a Climate Strike at her school on Fridays to bring about awareness around the stagnant policies despite the climate-related dangers that face us.

About a year later, on Friday, 20th September, millions of people were out on the street participating in the Climate Strike. Participation in the strike was overwhelming worldwide, as seen from the

Schmoozing with the Fall Equinox

from the desk of Bob Siederer

Happy Autumnal Equinox, or, for any readers we have south of the Equator, the Vernal Equinox.

Hello again friends of Science!

Early Monday morning (12:50 to be exact) is the Vernal Equinox, marking the start of the fall season.  Another trip around the sun, another start to the fall.

Things are very busy in Schmooze land, with 138 events currently on the list for the next 2 weeks, with more sure to come.  Here are my picks:
  1. California's Changing Ecosystems: As Observed from Space - 09/24/2019 06:30 PM in Menlo Park
  2. Nerd Nite Silicon Valley #8: Sarah Winchester and Bay Area Sharks - 09/24/2019 07:00 PM in San Jose

Falling with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hi Science Aficionados,

It has been quite a week, month, or even year!  I find it stunning that there can be so many actions taken by our government that are directly in contradiction with the evidence and experience that have been acquired recently and in history.  That combined with the protests and opposition from some sections of the public just adds to my stunned outlook.  Just consider in the last few weeks… 3 Essential Questions For Good Public Health Policy,  Do Homeopathic Cows Exist?,  Rivers used to cat

Go to a Museum with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hello and Happy 53rd Anniversary!

Yes, 53 years ago on September 8, Star Trek premiered… and the rest is history!  

As always there is so much to write about since I haven't done the Schmooze in 2 weeks.  I'll never catch up!  As we enter the fall season there are many more opportunities to learn cool things about our blue marble, the ocean of stars we float in and the amazing things that go on in and around us that make up what we call life.  One tip I can give you is that if you have weekdays free this is a great time to go to a museum, be it science or art.  The kids are back in school but haven't started heading out on field trips.  (Which are much harder to do than they were when I was a kid.)  Many tourists have taken their kids home to go back to school.  This means that the museums are not nearly as crowded or chaotic.  Take a

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