Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

One Small Leap for the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

50 Years?  Really?  

Looking up at the sky has been something that I think everyone does many times in their lives, probably several times a week at a minimum.  50 years ago people were doing it a lot more than today.  Of course there was a bit of extra interest then.  In case you haven’t heard, this coming Saturday, July 20 is the 50th anniversary of humans landing on the moon.  I have been a fan of space exploration since I started growing up in the 50’s.  There is so much going on for this celebration I can’t begin to tell you about all of it.  Fortunately Bob has loaded the calendar with everything space we could find in the extended SF Bay Area.  In fact there are only 3 days in the next two weeks that don’t have a program linked to space and its’ exploration. 

Aside from the normal 3 to see that we list each week I really want to highlight three more.  The USS Hornet now in Alameda was the aircraft carrier that plucked the Apollo 11 crew from the ocean when they returned.  Splashdown 50 will be a great way for people to get a sense of what it was like then.  Remember, many of us weren’t even born then!  It will go on from the 16th to the 24th of July!  One of my favorite presenters Andrew Fraknoi will be filling us in on the last 50 Years Since Our First Step: What Do We Know about the Moon? on Wed evening in San Francisco.  Of course the explOratorium will be doing it up in grand style.  In addition to the regular Thu evening program they will be open on Saturday from 10:00 AM to midnight!  The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary will be amazing, don’t miss the moon.  Think back if you’re old enough to remember July 20th 1969

It isn’t about space but, consider what it was like a billion years ago.  Both your attendance and help are encouraged for the Billion Year Walk.  You can sign up to volunteer here.   Questions? Text or call David Almandsmith at 510-304-4071.  (They could use help on July 20 & 21 for preparations as well as for the event on the 27th.)

So as I hinted there are still three to recommend to you for your attention this week…

  1. Brave New Ocean: Ecosystem Health, Livelihoods and Food Security Wed 6:00 Palo Alto
  2. Sahul – A Paradise for Birds  Thu 6:30  Berkeley
  3. Restore Creeks for Coho Salmon: Restoration Volunteer Day  Sat 10:00  Olema

All of us here at the SciSchmooze support and encourage getting involved with our communities, especially in science.  Volunteering is a great way to do this.  The SciSchmooze is an all-volunteer project.  Most science museums love to have volunteers, I can speak for two personally.  You probably know that I am pretty involved as a volunteer at the explOratorium.  I’m also a docent at the California Academy of Sciences.  They have a large volunteer program that the docents are a part of.  I encourage you to check out volunteering at the CalAcademy.  The next docent class is starting in September.  If you have any questions you can email Jspaulding@calacademy.orgInformal Science Education is real and a great way to get involved.  I encourage you to share your science with a story.

As always there is so much more that I’d like to share.  I’m going to hold back some but still point you to a few interesting articles.  Nautilus is starting up a new section that looks great for inspiring girls, as well as the rest of us, to get involved.  Check out WISE.    How often do you run up against a firewall?  You know the kind that won’t let you be to the article you really need or want.  Well there is hope, check out what the UC is doing about it…The war to free science 

It seems we are getting reminded about climate change almost every day.  Add this to your daily link check to remind you how things are going… Keeling at Mona Loa  We need more than hope and prayer on this one.  We think we understand a lot of what the universe is about and how it does it.  We might be fooling ourselves.  How many of these did you think we already had figured out?  

So this week I encourage you to not only go out and learn something but to share it with someone you care about.

herbert a. masters III
ScienceSchmoozer and a shameless promoter of:
the SciSchmooze email list: 
“I made the remark when we went over the top, ‘Eureka, Houston, the Earth is really round,’ and When I got back to Houston, I got all this mail from members of the Flat Earth Society telling me I didn’t know what I was talking about.”Pete Conrad

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