It’s a Conspiracy with the SciSchmooze

by Herb Masters

Hello Science Supporters,
I hope that you have been enjoying the May Rains.  I wish we could have them every couple of weeks throughout the summer. 

I have been wondering about the "flat-earth" folks.  In this day and age it is hard to believe that there can be people who actually believe the earth is "flat".  There do seem to be some variations on what flat means, since some think there is a massive ice wall all the way around the "edge".   I personally think most are trolls or people trying to make money off of the easily misguided.  They are a group of conspiracy folks that have been getting a lot of attention recently.  Maybe you have seen this… A Look Inside the Flat Earth International Conference   It is an amazing look that makes you wonder what the people in it are up to.  Scientific American recently ran a column by Glenn Branch,

Moms in Science with the SciSchmooze

by Herb Masters

Happy Mother Scientist Day,

Happy all Mother's Day but let's celebrate Scientists who are also mothers.  Two incredibly tough jobs especially if you are both at once.  If you don't read anything else in this missive please watch this and share it with people you care about and disagree with!  SCIENCE MOMS  I have to say that I love watching programs and reports about what is going on in science.  One reason is that there are so many women involved in the major accomplishments that get the attention.  Watch any show about science now and you will see many women in key positions.  Imagine how many more are in the trenches doing the work of scientists. 

There has been a lot of talk about how misinformation or outright lies have been accepted by many people.  Due to the ease of spreading it on the web whether it be denying history, fomenting prejudice against any group of people or promoting bad or even dangerous science.  My new word to incorporate in my discussions is

SciSchmoozing from Here to There

by David Almandsmith

Hello science fans,
I was asked, “What do you believe in?” Huh? That tripped me up because i believe that i don’t believe. After some thought i arrived at the conclusion that i provisionally accept things, or at least i try to avoid solidifying my attitudes around ideas where the evidence is inconclusive. Yes, the Earth is mostly spherical. Yes, there was a Big Bang, given its powerful predictions that align with observations. Yet, if some future counter-theory is developed that does an even better job of describing our observations, i’ll abandon the Big Bang for the new theory. That’s science.
And then there are those who invest themselves in notions regardless of the evidence; such as a flat Earth, chemtrails, vaccine harm, a 9/11 conspiracy, homeopathy, faked moon landings, psychic powers, creationism, UFOs, and so on, ad nauseum.  We need to understand the rise of anti-science elements in order to find a way forward. That’s why i encourage you to attend this year’s SkeptiCal at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, even if it’s ju

Travels with SciSchmooze

by Bob Siederer

Hello again Science Fans!

Sometimes it is nice to unplug from the day-to-day around here and go see what is happening in the rest of the country, and that's what I've been doing this past few weeks.  I traveled back to the East coast, visiting old friends, experiencing real seasons, and checking an item off my bucket list.  While visiting friends in Florida, I was lucky enough to see the SpaceX Heavy rocket liftoff from about 30 miles away. 

But I missed a lot while I was gone too.  It seems astronomers have managed to get a photo of an actual black hole in Messier 97, a huge elliptical galaxy.  What a fantastic time to be an astronomer!

Despite discoveries and advances such as this

A Hole Lot of SciSchmooze 4.15.19

by Herb Masters

Hello Science and or Spring Fans,

What a crazy time we are in for science in the news.  Let's get the basics out of the way first.  I'm sure you have heard about and probably seen the photo of the supermassive black hole at the center of M87.  There's an incredible amount of references to it in the news.  Needless to say it's hard to get a handle on what this is all about from the general news.  I have found a few links that might help you explain it to others as well as get a bit better handle on it yourself.  Take a look at these…  How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole then

Mammoths, Birds, and Space with the SciSchmooze

by David Almandsmith

Hello again, critical thinker,
¿Have you ever helped in an effort to save an oiled bird? There is a website that wants to hear your story – however brief or lengthy or unsuccessful. Go to, click on “Contact Us”, and tell your story. While you are there, take the time to browse through newspaper articles, personal accounts, and especially publications. There you can read the real science that came from oil spill tragedies.
California mastodons are in the news. It may be that ‘our’ mastodons were a different species from those farther east. In addition to M. americanum, the scientists argue for a new species designation, M. pacificus, for mastodons that lived around here. I guess we could call that ‘big’ news.
 “Mammoths in Oakland? I thought they lived where it’s cold.” This is what a middle school student said to

by Meenakshi Prabhune

Hi Science lovers,

It’s a good time for me to write the Schmooze. Last week was Biophysics week, as declared by the Biophysical Society. A biophysicist at heart (my Ph.D. was in this subject), I used to participate by writing relevant articles on my blog. This year, I could not find the time to do this, so I will insert in some fun facts here.

Now, I do know the most common reaction when people hear the term biophysics--it sounds complicated. I will admit this; it does sound complicated. But it is not necessarily so. Biophysics is just looking at biology from a physics point of view. To see if we can find defined patterns in what seems to be a general chaos in biology.

Let me give you a few day-to-day examples. Now that spring is upon us and lovely wildflowers are blooming everywhere, I got out of hibernation and went for a hike yesterday. The glorious views of wildflowers, Bay

First SciSchmooze of Spring

by Bob Siederer

Hello again Science fans, and welcome to spring.  I know, it doesn't feel very different, but the Equinox was on March 20.

Spring brings us longer days, more outdoor activities, but still provides many, many science-oriented talks.  In the next week we have, what seems to me, more excellent ones to pick from than usual.  And that's saying something.  My picks this week include:
  1. Accelerating Discoveries through Genetic Data - 03/25/2019 03:30 PM, the SLAC colloquium in Menlo Park with Anne Wojcicki

ScienceSchmooze Marches on 3.18.19

by Herb Masters

Hello Schmoozers and/or π Lovers,

I have to admit that I am amazed at all of the π celebrations and revelry last week.  It was great fun to see all of the efforts to engage all ages and education levels with π.  So because I had so much fun, I'd like to share a bit more π with you!  PBS it turns out has been celebrating π for quite awhile.  Check these out for a sample…   Science and tech come to pizza.  Deep dish or New York style?  How pi can solve your pizza order | PBS.  

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