Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Opportunity lost. SciSchmooze 2.18.19

by Herb Masters

Hello Science Lovers,
I hope that you had a bit of science in your Valentine’s Day this past week.  Sadly, as you probably know, NASA finally acknowledged what seemed inevitable.  NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover declared dead after record-setting mission Opportunity was such a thrill for us for so much longer than planned.  The amount of information we got from Opportunity and Spirit is amazing.  For two “little” rovers on a not so distant planet who were only planned to last 90 days each, I am in awe.  Spirit made it until 2010, which was an amazing accomplishment but who would think that in 2019 we finally have let Opportunity rest on Mars?  Check out a bit of what Opportunity has done and where it did it.

On another Martian note…  You may know that Rosalind Franklin was a key scientist in understanding life here on earth.  Well now Rosalind Franklin will be doing research on Mars!
A bit more of looking away from our planet is in order this coming week.  We are going to see the perigean full moon on Tuesday!  Hopefully we will have clearer skies than we did for the last big lunar show!

If you are a subscriber to the SciSchmooze you probably find learning how the universe works to be a fascinating endeavor.  I came across two articles that really address some key points in how we decide what to accept (believe) and why it is important.  I can’t recommend these enough…  Why Misinformation Is About Who You Trust, Not What You Think and Your point is?  We really do need to be aware of what and why we choose to let certain sources of information effect what we do and think.

Sometimes opportunities to learn about science just don’t fit our calendar model here but we still want to share them with you.  I have two that I want to share.  They both offer a lot of learning and opportunity.

  1. LINC High School Internship with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy   is a summer internship program for high school students based in the Golden Gate National Parks.  Registration is closing soon.  This looks like an amazing opportunity for the summer
  2. Spring 2019 Session: Scientific Inquiry  at the Marine Science Institute is coming quick…  March 16-April 6th

As is often the case it is a challenge to choose what presentations I would like to catch each week.  Here are a few that I think might be of interest to many…

  1. Food Politics 2019: An Agenda for the Food Movement  Tue Berkeley @ 6:00
  2. Medieval and Modern Ideas of Diet and Health  Thu Stanford @ 7:30
  3. Marine Science Sunday: Marine Mammal Parents and Pups Sun Sausalito @ 10:00

It seems that I have been stumbling on some interesting reads recently.  Here is another one that I like because it’s a nice cross between science and art…  Embracing the void  Here’s a film that I think shares a bit of the wonder of space travel!!!  How an unplanned picture from Apollo 8 altered humanity’s perspective of Earth
If you have some time…  These Hairworms Eat a Cricket Alive and Control Its Mind, Most of What You Know About Daddy Longlegs Is Wrong, and two scientists built a bridge between Newton and Einstein in ‘empty’ spaces
Have a great week learning cool stuff.
herb masters

“…I believe there exists, & I feel within me, an instinct for the truth, or knowledge or discovery, of something of the same nature as the instinct of virtue, & that our having such an instinct is reason enough for scientific researches without any practical results ever ensuing from them.” Charles Darwin

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