VOTE for Science! with the SciSchmooze 10.15.18

by Herb Masters)

Greetings Voters for Science (and Future Voters too!)

What can every adult in the country do to promote and protect science? VOTE!!!   VOTE FOR SCIENCE!!! What can every kid do to help? Tell everyone you know that is old enough to vote that they need to make sure their voter registration is up to date, and they need to vote for science, reason, and critical thinking. Why is this so important? I'm only going to address one subject for this need now. I think there is a good case to be made that we need to get rid of people in places of power or leadership that say things like this or this. By voting we can help make it a better world for all of us.

Do you take "dietary supplements"? Do you think they are a waste of

by Minu (Meenakshi Prabhune)

Hello fellow Schmoozers,

I have been thinking of the ideas I mean to cover in the Schmooze this week and the Synbiobeta meeting, held from 1 Oct to 3 Oct in SF, tops my list. I hope some of you had the chance to participate in the associated synthetic biology week that took place from Sept 30 to Oct 6. There were different synthetic biology related talks and activities for kids and adults during the week. Here's my favorite pic from the "Be a Scientist and Explore DNA" day at Innovative Institute of Genomics:

Anyway, circling back to Synbiobeta meeting: it is a congregation of synthetic biology experts from academia and industry. For many people outside t

Hacking with the SciSchmooze – 1 Oct 2018

by David Almandsmith

The season for colds is upon us. [Hack, hack, a-CHOO] On average, adults average 2 to 4 colds a year and kids 6 to 10. Billions of dollars of lost productivity every year can be attributed to the common cold. So why isn’t there a cold vaccine? Because there are at least 160 varieties of rhinovirus, the ‘bug’ that causes colds. We can always hope for some future medical breakthrough. For those of us over 60, we get fewer colds since our immune systems have learned to deal with most of the rhinovirus varieties. In the meantime i follow time-trusted advice: if you do the right things to get rid of a cold, you’ll be over it in a week; otherwise it’s bound to last 7 days.

Fortunately, i’ve avoided the flu ‘bug’ for a couple of decades. Good thing. The last bout made me so miserable that i wondered whether survival was even possible. I got my annual flu shot a few days ago. Last flu season in the U.S., there were 180 children who did not survive the flu. You can do something about this: If you know someone with young children, perhaps you could encourage them to vaccinate against the f

The First SciSchmooze of Fall, 2018

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:

  1. Monday: The Challenges of Self-Driving Trucks - 4PM in Berkeley, Nerd Nite East Bay - 7PM in Oakland, and Wonderfest: Big Ideas about Big Animals - 7PM in Novato, all on Monday
  2. Tuesday: Tech and the Dark Side

Science, is it true? The SciSchmooze 17.Sep.2018

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

So much Science so little Schmooze 9.10.18

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

The Renewable SciSchmooze – 3 Sep 2018

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't  

More Musings with the Schmooze

by 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

It’s about the data with the SciSchmooze 8.20.18

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:
  1. ELIXIR | Odd Salon Tu

Star Showering with the SciSchmooze 8.13.18

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’s

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