Enjoying Spring Weather with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Bob Siederer

Hello again Fans of Science!

Welcome to the end of week six of the shelter-in-place order for the Bay Area.  I hope you are all coping well.  It feels nice to have warmer weather, even if just enjoyed from indoors!

To start, a word or three on our calendar.  Once we list an event, we don't remove it for cancellations or date changes, we just update it.  These are very dynamic times.  While most event sponsors are updating their web pages, a few are not, and we're forced to leave a listing as is rather than speculate whether or not it is actually happening.  Since the shelter in place orders only extend through May 4 (so far), some organizations have announced events after that date that are in-person events.  We expect many of those will be canceled, but as of now, they are scheduled.  So, before you go to something, verify that it is actually taking place. 

One of our favorite events, the Lick Observatory summer series of talks, concerts, and telescope viewings has been canceled for this year.  Also note that Neil Degrasse Tyson's talks in San Jose for May 11 and 12 have been rescheduled for May 24 and 25, 2021.

Many events have moved online, which is great.  I watched the monthly "SETI Talks" from home this week.  One

A different look at Covid with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hello Science Fans and Geeks,

Well, it looks like we are in it for quite awhile longer.  I'm not very good at history when you get to the minutia but general dates and concepts I'm pretty good at.  Here are a few historical things to think about and wonder what we have learned since.  How many of you remember Johnny Carson and The Great Toilet-Paper Panic of the 70s?  Some of you might want to also look at Johnny and Uri.  Here's a bit on Randi.  Finally here's a
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 t

Distractions with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Meenakshi Prabhune

Hello, science fans,

I sincerely hope that you all are safe and finding ways to remain sane inside the confines of your home. What a time to be alive! Most of us are not only witnessing the first pandemic of our lives, but in this digital age, we are also fortunate to witness the progress of science firsthand. Never have I ever felt so exhilarated as I feel now on reading about every new COVID-19 diagnostic test, every new therapy tested, or every new lab opening its doors to coronavirus research. And of course, the solidarity of healthcare professionals who are working day and night to save lives.

While we all need to stay informed, it is natural to feel anxious about the situation and get overwhelmed not to have anything else to talk or read about. So, in the spirit of positivity (and distraction), here’s something I liked. Check out the “Some Good News” YouTube channel by John Krasinski; it is full of positivity that we all need during these times. Want to bring in some fun in your work-from-home life? I am sure you have heard of

SciSchmoozing through Boredom, Frenzy, and Worry

from the desk of David Almandsmith

Hello again, science fans,

If you’re feeling bored, Google “food bank volunteer near me” (or similar).

If you’re caught up in the frenzy of providing essential services, we deeply appreciate you.

If you’re a little worried, good; a little worry is appropriate. If you are under 60 and in good health, worry about getting infected, becoming horribly miserable, and passing it on to everyone around you. (Best to practice self distancing.)  If you are over 60 or in poor health, practice self distancing. If you have cold or flu symptoms, self isolate. Also, check this out: Coping With Anxiety and Depression During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Center for Inquiry has a Coronavirus Resource Center with good advice to follow and with bullshit to avoid. The San José Mercury N

Shelter in Place with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Bob Siederer

Hello again Science fans!

My, what strange times these are!  Here at the Schmooze, we hope you are being safe, as we are.

Herb and I have been updating the calendar to show canceled events as we learn of them.  Some organizers are marking their events as such.  Some are just deleting the events from their websites.  A few are holding their events virtually.  And some aren't updating at all.  We've been reaching out to those to see if we can get a confirmation. We suspect just about everything is canceled, and, even if it isn't, you should be staying away from group gatherings.

Our practice is to keep canceled events on our calendar, marked as such.  For rescheduled ones, when we know the new date, we make a copy of the original event with the new date, but leave the original as is, but marked as rescheduled.  Our reasoning is that you may have looked at the event on the main calendar and decide later on that you want to revisit the listing.  If we deleted it, you would be left wondering if you had the wrong date in mind, or imagined it.  This way you know it was canceled or moved.

Several organizers have been archiving presentations online for years.  Now might be a good time to watch past lectures from the
from the desk of Herb Masters

Greetings People of Science and Reason,

I have to say that we are living in a very interesting time.  Rest assured I am not going to repeat or rephrase what we are hearing so much.  There is a wealth of generally agreeing sources for how to get through these times of challenge, and yes, some fear.  I only want to share a couple of items directly relating to covid-19.  I am often concerned about the proliferation of bad science and bad information and the potential they have for doing harm.  Here's an article that I think warrants some attention… Fake news about Covid-19 can be as dangerous as the virus.  A source of info that I have found interesting is Worldometer, and their two pages at

Persevering with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Greetings to all who have Faith in Science,

Well it has been quite a roller coaster of news for science in the last few weeks (or years!).  Of course the elephant in the media is Covid-19 these days.  There is little to add to the discussions, rants, cries, fears, and bad information.  Coronavirus: Fears and Facts  All I can say is read the reports carefully, with a skeptical mind, and think calming thoughts while you read them.  I suggest that you follow these three links Coronavirus  disease  

Interesting Times with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of David Almandsmith

Hello science fans,
We live in interesting times. Actually, that could be said at any time in history.
The BIG topic this week is COVID-19, a.k.a. Coronavirus. I chatted with the head of communications at Zuckerberg General Hospital, and was surprised to learn there is a rampant rumor that chinese food carries the disease. Ouch! The most wide-spread absurd rumor is that COVID-19 is a virus engineered by Chinese scientists as a bioweapon but it accidentally escaped. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) suggested that conspiracy theory two weeks ago. How about the theory that the epidemic is actually caused by the roll-out of 5G networks rather than by a virus. Cures? Ah, quackery abounds. Try ingesting

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