DON'T PANIC with the SciSchmooze 2.12.18

Happy Week of Science!

Sometimes I just get so excited about what science does for us. It helps us harness the resources of the world so that we may live better lives. (Sadly not all get to benefit from this and some actually use this against us, or try to get more than their share.) It inspires us to keep learning and figuring out more about this amazing planet and solar system. It helps us figure out how life works and helps us heal and live more fruitful lives.

Sometimes though it just makes many of us yell and cheer. We might jump up and down in the office. We might stand in awe at something that hasn't been done before, or in a long time. It might even make us laugh at the crazy beauty of it all. I had one of those experiences last week and I'd bet many of you did to. How can you not do all of the above when someone puts his shiny red car...

on top of three rockets bolted together and launches it into space with a manikin in the driver's seat, and the display on the dash simply says "DON'T PANIC". After this he choreographs a beautiful "dance" of two of the rockets landing together at almost the same instant just a few hundred yards from each other! Just to acknowledge this, not everything went perfectly.

Remember, it wasn't just Elon. There is very little science a single person can do anymore. From microscopic lab experiments to big science it takes a lot of people. When you see a scientist speak and there are kids around. Ask how many people it took to do what he or she is saying she or he did! How To Be A Scientist

Here's another item that is great news for us here in the SF Bay Area. Even greater, for the folks that live in or near San Francisco. Many if of you may not know about the Grand Reopening of the Randall Museum of Science, Nature and the Arts. They reopened today. As you probably know I am a, shall we say passionate, fan of the explOratorium, a museum of science, art and human perception and also a fan of the California Academy of Sciences. Aside from a major remodel that has just been finished, the Randall has another major thing going for it that neither the Academy or the explO have. At the Randall Museum ADMISSION IS FREE!

I'll bet there is some presentation going on in the area that you would love to attend and learn something new at. Here are a few that I think warrant your consideration…

  1. The Universe Continues to Reveal Surprises Tue 7:30 Stanford
  2. The Fountain of Youth? Fri 6:00 San Francisco
  3. Carbon in California’s Abyss Sun 1:30 Santa Cruz (at another underappreciated place of learning!).
  4. More of a bonus # 3.5 … Wonderfest: The Secret Life of Viruses Sat 2:00 Alameda

There are so many items coming across my monitor these days it is impossible to keep up. Here's two examples of items from just the past week. This also creates the need for some critical thinking to figure out what's worth reading. What might interest someone else but still represent good science, instead of some of the junk that's out there masquerading as science. Some stuff is just a great melding of science and art as well. Here are a few items that I think are worth some time…

How to Help Your Kids Build a Better BS Detector

Let’s Talk About Asparagine

Got a headache?

Penn & Teller: The Magic of Skepticism

How Hans Zimmer and Radiohead transformed "Bloom" for Blue Planet II

A note for next month: The Bay Area Skeptics will be holding their Skeptalk at a new venue in San Francisco. So if you have always wondered what being a skeptic is about but couldn't make it to Berkeley or Millbrae, you can join in for a pint of Ireland and learn a bit about Quantum Quackery.

There are a lot of great places in the SF Bay Area to learn science. It would be great if you shared with us some of your favorite places. If you will include the name and link to it we'll figure a way to share them with everyone else. There are so many just in the area that it will make a great challenge to go to all of them. If you just want to let us know what you think about the SciSchmooze we'd like to hear that as well. For instance, do you read the "blurb", or just look at the calendar listings. Either way you should always check the presenters' website for last minute changes that we can't keep up with. Let us know when this happens especially if it is before the presentation has happened.

Have a great week learning something new and celebrating science.

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

"Train yourselves. Don't wait to be fed knowledge out of a book. Get out and seek it. Make explorations. Do your own research work. Train your hands and your mind. Become curious. Invent your own problems and solve them. You can see things going on all about you. Inquire into them. Seek out answers to your own questions. There are many phenomena going on in nature the explanation of which cannot be found in books. Find out why these phenomena take place. Information a boy gets by himself is enormously more valuable than that which is taught to him in school."
- Irving Langmuir, American physical chemist (born 31 Jan 1881).

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