Showering under the stars with the SciSchmooze 12.11.17

(Apologies for posting this so late. Just returned from Cuba. -Editor)

Greetings Science Fans,

Well here we are approaching the Winter Solstice and the end of the year. It always stimulates reflection on what we have learned and experienced  before “now”, and while  Foreseeing the Future. It is hard to  imagine the amazing things yet to be learned and technologies yet to be invented. I often stop and think of how lucky I am to have been born when and where I was. It was here in the SF Bay Area 65 years ago. This is a truly amazing time to be alive. The  benefits we have reaped from science are truly staggering when you consider what life was like not so long ago. The advances in  medicine, biology, and the many sciences have brought to us what was only science fiction half a century ago.

In case you didn’t, I really recommend reading  Foreseeing the Future. Many of us might remember when someone dropped a  hammer and a feather on the moon and may have seen the ...

new earthbound version.  Galileo turned the understanding of how things worked upside down with that simple experiment. (Note that Galileo probably never actually did this!) Thank you Galileo and NASA! These three events occurred over the period of about 400 years. Science has been challenged throughout history. Science has been wrong but the great thing is that science has no ego. (Certainly the humans that practice it do!) So it is always under constant revision and refinement. I can’t help but worry about where we are going these days. I believe there truly is a  war on science and that we must all stand and support science. Whether it is very obvious or a  quiet war on science, science will need support from all of us. There are so many questions that need answering:  Is There Beer in Space? What are you doing to help?

I have learned that there are many different ways to teach science since I started volunteering at the explOratorium and being a docent at the Academy of Sciences. I had no idea that there is an entire discipline called  Informal Science Education. I suggest that we can all be informal science teachers. When people see your passion and realize that it isn’t your job, it is what you really dig doing, it will motivate them far more than many mediocre learning experiences they have had before they met you. Maybe you could  Teach Science with Sugar and Cream to someone. Maybe you could become a  citizen scientist?

This is the holiday time of the year and there aren’t so many choices as the rest of the year but there are some great opportunities to learn new and cool things. Here’s a few I think are worth your consideration:

  1.  Using Your DNA and Big Data to Manage Your Health Mon 7PM San Mateo
  2.  Wonderfest: Ask a Science Envoy: A.I., Plants, & Magnetic Mysteries Wed 7PM San Francisco
  3.  Made for Movies: Star Wars IV, V, and VI Sun 2PM San Francisco NOTE: this is a very cool opportunity. Don’t miss it unless you really have to!

Do you have any plans for the night of Dec 13 and morning of Dec 14? I hope they are flexible in case you didn’t include plans for a  late night shower of Geminids. They actually started last month but  the peak is coming this Wednesday. It is a great free show and with this unfortunately dry weather, we stand a good chance of a good  shower.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that  Bio-Link is back. They are working on getting their YouTube channel going and have a  video testimony up to get it started. If you are a youtuber try subscribing to it and follow them as it grows. They are really helping school teachers, schools, and hacker groups with amazing supplies and equipment. You should check out an open house sometime. You might even want to volunteer with them!

I love  analogies and think they can be a great tool to help explain a concept or phenomenon. Here’s one that might remind of some of your younger days:  2000 Dominoes as 2000 Million Years.

Here’s a bit of a different version of the hammer and feather,  whatever happened to those extra moon landing parts? It’s a pretty cool  set of videos actually.

Did you hear that  after 37 years, Voyager 1 fired up its thrusters?

So, what can  one carefully placed domino start?
 

Have a great week learning something new and celebrating science. I hope you have a nice shower.

herbert a. masters III
ScienceSchmoozer and a shameless promoter of:
the SciSchmooze @  www.BayAreaScience.org

“From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’”
— Edgar Mitchel, Apollo 14 astronaut, speaking in People magazine on 8 April 1974.
 

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