Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Life and Fire with the SciSchmooze

by Herb Masters

Hello Inquiring and Curious Folks,

It has been quite a week.  Politics has certainly attracted a lot of attention with one person certainly at the center of it all.  Many different stories and articles have been shared after the burning of Notre Dame.  Fortunately Paris has a fire department that knows what they are doing.

Thanks to some amazing technology much has been learned in the last few years that will help restore it.  Some of the social consequences of this will be interesting to watch.  I think the amount of money being donated for this vs. providing clean water, healthcare, or food here in the US as well as the rest of the world is going to be the subject of much discussion. 
Science, if you ask me, is about understanding.  It is about figuring out how the universe works and how we can help people live better lives.  It is remarkable how much we have learned in the last few hundred years.  One thing that strikes me is that while many of us would joke about the number 42 it turns out that the true answer is closer to 63.  It amazes me that while people argued over the center of the universe for thousands of years, it was only a distance of 93 million miles they were arguing over.  It has been less than a hundred years since we learned that there are more galaxies than the one we hang out in.  It hasn’t been that long since people started to figure out how life really works either.  The compound microscope and cell theory are less than 425 years old.  We have come a long way from bottled superstition.  It is amazing and sad that we must still be fighting bad science when we have learned so much.  Learning to sort out the great from the crackpot will always be a challenge as we realize we might have been wrong.

Fortunately there are many options for us to learn more about what makes it all tick.  Here are few opportunities coming this week.

  1. Pub trivia: taste of science  Mon 1:00 Redwood City
  2. 3rd Annual BUTTERFLY SUMMIT!  Sat 10:00 Richmond
  3. Marine Science Sunday: Magnificent Migrations  Sun 10:00 Sausalito

I wish that there was more time and better public transportation in the area.  Here a few more that I’d really like to see myself…  Music for the Cosmos: An Exploration of Art & PhysicsWonderfest: Ask a Science Envoy: Black Holes and Making MemoriesPlanning for Rising Waters: Sea Level, Groundwater and Bay Edge

A reminder that scholarships to SkeptiCal 2019 are available.  If you know a teacher or parent that supports teaching science, reason, and critical thinking this is an opportunity to add a lot of inspiration to a curious young adult.  The deadline to apply is April 30.  Of course adults are welcome and I encourage you to attend as well!

Of course there are a lot of fun and interesting sides to science and reason.  While we have learned a lot in the last few centuries… Most Tech Today Would be Frivolous to Ancient Scientists.  This will make you want to do some of your own research I’m sure…  Cheers! How the physics of fizz contributes to human happiness.


So have a great week learning new and old science.
herb masters


“The cell, this elementary keystone of living nature, is far from being a peculiar chemical giant molecule or even a living protein and as such is not likely to fall prey to the field of an advanced chemistry. The cell is itself an organism, constituted of many small units of life.”  – Oskar Hertwig, German embryologist and cytologist (born 21 Apr 1849).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *