Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hello Moon Lovers and not,

I hope that the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing triggered some thoughts and reflection for you.  It certainly did for me.  I have had a lot of conversations about it and watched many programs on the history and technology of how and why “we” did it.  In no particular order…  It was one of those events that almost everyone who was around remembers where they were when it happened.  Most events in history that people remember where they were generally were horrible things.  I don’t need to list them here.  But if you remember where you were and what you were doing, ask yourself a question.  What time of day was it where you were when it happened?  Now see if you remember the time correctly!  (You may not.  But that’s how human memory works sometimes!)

July 20th was the anniversary of the landing.  The adventure continued for several more days.  You can drop in and listen to what was going on 50 years ago from now if you’d like to!  (You are missing  the rendezvous above the moon as I write this now!)  The folks at Apollo in Realtime did a great job if you know any of them, tell them I said thanks).  If you haven’t seen Apollo 11 (film 2019), you really should.  If you have access to a big screen TV or it’s showing in a theatre please try and see it.  You should also make whatever effort it takes to go see the Museum of the Moon.  

It is easy to forget that there was opposition to the space program and there still is.  I remain a fan myself.  I wish I could remember who it was who said it but, when confronted with the challenge of why we spent so much money on the moon, his response was we didn’t spend a penny on the moon it was all spent right here on earth and it stimulated a phenomenal period of advancement in science and technology that far outweighed the cost of investment.  This continues to this day. 

OK, I could go on about this but let’s think about this coming week.  I think these might be particularly interesting (at least they are to me!).

  1. When Whales Win, Everyone Wins: How a Whale Study in Mexico Transformed a Community  Tue, 7:00, Sausalito
  2. Billion Year Walk  Sat, 10:00, Oakland
  3. How to Win Friends and Influence Bacteria: The Science of Biomanufacturing  Sun, 2:00, San Francisco

Speaking of a Billion Years, the Billion Year Walk still needs volunteers.  It is a fun event and a walk around the lake is always nice to do.  There are some great sponsors involved in this and it is a great way to make connections.  This event is co-sponsored by the University of California Museum of Paleontology, the National Center for Science Education, the Frederick E. Hart Foundation for Educational Opportunity, and the Bay Area Skeptics.  If you have experience in informal science education or just love to talk science with interesting and interested people you should really consider this.  Round up some friends and try volunteering.  You’ll feel much better than if you stayed home and watched sports on TV!

I can’t leave it alone.  Here are a few more space links!
There’s a Tiny Art Museum on the Moon That Features the Art of Andy Warhol & Robert Rauschenberg
Astronaut ice cream is a lie
13 Minutes to the Moon
To the moon and beyond

I hope that you aren’t going to the People’s Invasion of Area 51 but, if you do please send us a report.  We may just include it in the SciSchmooze!-}

Have a great week learning something new and celebrating science.

herb masters 
SciSchmooze Editor

“What was really great about ‘Star Trek’ when I was growing up as a little girl is not only did they have Lt. Uhura played by Nichelle Nichols as a technical officer—she was African. … At the same time, they had this crew that was composed of people from all around the world and they were working together to learn more about the universe. … So that helped to fuel my whole idea that I could be involved in space exploration as well as in the sciences.”  — Mae C. Jemison

“Space is for everybody. It’s not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That’s our new frontier out there, and it’s everybody’s business to know about space.” — Christa McAuliffe 

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