Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

by Herb Masters

Happy Continuing Journey around our not so personal star!

What a way to start a new year.  First off before I dive in to all of the amazing science in space that is going on, please consider how much we still continue to learn about our good old home planet.  When you consider that the big news came from 4 billion miles away and 235,000 miles away do you really know your neighbors?  Meet your single-celled neighbours – a microbial tour of a metropolis 

This has been a fun week to see the families of leaders in science and politics celebrating.  Did you see the New Year celebration of the New Horizons incredible flight?  Politics aside, watching that and the swearing in of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, where the children of all of the scientists, engineers, and politicians (yes, both parties) came together at the front of the room was a great thing. 
I hope you caught some of the space news in the headlines or as it happened.   Chang’e-4 is looking at some new horizons but so is New Horizons!   We have been reminded that The Dark Side of the Moon is not where China landed!    The Art of Science is really important to being able to communicate what is being learned and help others learn it.  You never know where the next song will come from.  Consider New Horizons with Dr. May.  It may very well inspire new scientists and artists, be sure to check out the images.  Who would have thought that Queen and Pink Floyd would be cheering science in the same week!   It seems that Gary Larson should be in there as well.  Be sure to check out Elements! (January 10 through February 2, 2019)

I am constantly amazed by how easy space travel looks.  Thankfully the various space agencies and businesses are getting better at letting us know how difficult it really is.  The technical challenges are immense and inspiring but the human challenges are equally daunting…  THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CHALLENGES OF JUST GETTING TO MARS

Now that we are past the holidays the opportunity for learning is ramping up again here in the SF Bay Area.  That means it is getting tougher for us here at the Schmooze to choose what we think might interest or inspire you.  Even better, is to lead you to discover something new that you want to learn more about that you never thought of last year!  We have created some creative ways of exceeding the recommended three per week we highlight here.  Let’s see if I can just point to three.  Please look for a lot of other amazing ones below though.  Check these out…

  1. After Dark: Tearjerkers    Thu 6:00 San Francisco
  2. ELEMENTS: National Fine Art Exhibition opening   Fri 12:00 San Rafael
  3. Marine Science Sunday: Animals of the Arctic   Sat 10:00 Sausalito

To skirt the goal of three to see this time…   
-I can’t always say this but if it’s Thursday in Berkeley it must be CRISPER day!  CRISPR: Rewriting DNA and the Future of Humanity @ 6:00 and Common Misconceptions About CRISPR Genome Editing @ 7:30!   
Saturday and Sunday have great programs at the explOratorium to see as well as catch Curious Contraptions before it packs up on Jan 20! 

There are so many things to enjoy about our wonderful planet.  Consider the cuttlefish a wonderful creature of nature.  You can see some at the California Academy of Sciences…  Elucidating Cuttlefish Camouflage

Have a great year
herbert a masters III
ScienceSchmoozer and a shameless promoter of:
the SciSchmooze email list: 
“After a duration of a thousand years, the power of astrology broke down when, with Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, the progress of astronomy overthrew the false hypothesis upon which the entire structure rested, namely the geocentric system of the universe. The fact that the earth revolves in space intervened to upset the complicated play of planetary influences, and the silent stars, related to the unfathomable depths of the sky, no longer made their prophetic voices audible to mankind. Celestial mechanics and spectrum analysis finally robbed them of their mysterious prestige. “
Franz Cumont, Belgian archaeologist and philologist (born 3 Jan 1868).

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