Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hello Science Fans,

It is an amazing time that we are sharing.  There are so many things going on and to learn from and about.  Science has certainly led the search for how to get through the Age of Covid-19.  Sadly we have also been challenged (nearly three-in-ten Americans believe COVID-19 was made in a lab.) by those that either deny or try to circumvent the reality of it in an attempt to get back to “live as it was” sooner than might be reasonable.  Think of it as a war on science!

I hope that you are making the best of these trying times.  We’ve been “doing the Schmooze” for over 10 years and never asked for anything.  I’m going to ask for something now.  Our cultural institutions, both science and everything else, need help.  Many are closed or struggling and having to reduce hours of work, furlough, or lay off employees.  Many have a great on-line presence to help continue their work while closed.  They are struggling to figure out how to reopen when they will be able to.  I find myself searching for what I can do to help as someone who is in an at risk group as I am, .68 centuries less young.  So, aside from supporting your local restaurants (tip generously) and businesses as I hope you will, I hope that you will do a bit more.

I want to encourage you to give some $$$ to the museum you support or have thought in the past about supporting.  If you are a member, renew now.  Consider upgrading your level of membership.  Better yet, just give them some money!  Of course I’m going to advocate for SCIENCE MUSEUMS!  How many of the scientists now working to help us all get through this do you think were inspired by a science museum at some point in their life?  Just look at our listings and see how many are trying to continue their work through streaming or on-line work. 

Many of us are still working or on fixed incomes and aren’t impacted to heavily by the shelter at home policies.  In fact many of us are probably doing better because we’re eating out less and not commuting!  We will still be getting as much as $1200.00 from the US Treasury.  I’m asking you to give it away if you can.  Split the amount between a science museum and a local group working directly with those impacted in your own community. 

Normally I’d suggest a few presentations to catch in the next week.  I’m going to skip that this time and encourage you to look at how many have been cancelled (sadly) and then look at how many are being live-streamed (and celebrate).  

Speaking of celebration, Saturday April 11, was a day for worldwide celebration.  Here’s a snippet of some of the celebration… Cady Coleman and Ian Anderson in Space.  Here’s a bit of background… (background on Kate and Ian).  Yes, it was YURI’S NIGHT WORLD SPACE PARTY

I hope you get to learn some cool new and interesting things this week.

herb masters

Air Chief Marshal Harris [objecting to a change in strategy recommended by statisticians]: “Are we fighting this war with weapons or the slide rule?”
[after puffing on his cigar]: “That’s a good idea. Let’s try the slide rule.”
— Winston Churchill

“But however secure and well-regulated civilized life may become, bacteria, Protozoa, viruses, infected fleas, lice, ticks, mosquitoes, and bedbugs will always lurk in the shadows ready to pounce when neglect, poverty, famine, or war lets down the defenses.” 
— Hans Zinsser  Rats, Lice and History (1934)

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