Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

from the desk of Herb Masters

Greetings Science Lovers and Supporters,

Have you ever been to CuriOdyssey?  If you haven’t, you should.  Like the explOratorium it is much more than a kid’s museum. I’m happy to report that CuriOdyssey was just ranked one of the top 20 zoos in the country by USAToday. Zoos present an interesting conundrum.  In one sense they seem like horrible places to keep animals locked up and many zoos around the world are and even here in the past were.  Fortunately respect and concern for the animals has increased dramatically.  Now, I think, most zoos here and in many countries do a great job of caring for the animals they have.  They give us all a chance to appreciate the diversity and beauty of nature without having to burn up tons of carbon and money, to go see them in their habitat.  Consider the quokka  I think it is a fair argument that by having living animals in local zoos we can protect the planet a bit better because we can see what an amazing place it is. 

Humans are often thought to wonder what it would be like to fly.  I don’t often hear comments about what it would be like to have a tail!  (More info here)  Keep in mind that active and real research is done in many zoos but experiments with rodents are often irrelevant when it comes to extrapolating to humans!

This isn’t exactly SciSchmooze material but check out Bernal Chess Club.  You never know where things can lead.  I’m guessing there are at least a couple of chess players among you who might like to know about the brand new Bernal (Heights) Chess Club in SF. Super casual. All levels welcome, even total beginners. Unwind after work, have dinner, meet new friends, and talk tactics. Bring a chess set if you have one.

Of course there are some interesting opportunities for learning something new or deeper this coming week.  I think these might be worth your time…

  1. Major Applications of AI in Healthcare  Mon 7:00 Sunnyvale
  2. Astronomy for Everyone: Size and Scale of the Universe Wed 7:00 Burlingame
  3. Marine Science Sunday: Under The Bridge: Marine Mammals of SF Bay Sun 10:00 Sausalito

Keep up with the latest in CO2 levels from Mona Loa here. 

Many famous scientists have something in common—they didn’t work long hours.

I’m not sure about you but I always love some good eclipse photos.

More Area 51 stuff, if you go let us know!
Have a cooler week than last, keep learning new things and celebrating science.

A bit of history…  The SciSchmooze was inspired by Ask a Scientist, one of the early science cafes in San Francisco founded by Juliana Gallin.  Informal public scientific eating and drinking was becoming popular.  I realized this could use some help getting the word out so I started emailing friends about it.  Leonard Tramiel a friend and fellow skeptic helped by getting the calendar working better in its email form and web friendly.  Then Bob Siederer (the heavy lifter of BayAreaScience) and Kishore Hari (the man responsible for the Bay Area Science Festival) jumped on board. 

You don’t always know where the path leads, sometimes you have to go and find out.

herb masters 
SciSchmooze Editor
“Every time we get slapped down, we can say, “Thank you Mother Nature,” because it means we’re about to learn something important.”  — John N. Bahcall

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