Forward with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of David Almandsmith

Hello friends of science,
There is increasing evidence that a ninth planet exists way out there orbiting our Sun. (Apologies to Pluto, formerly the ninth planet but now considered to be a Kuiper Belt object.) Even if Planet 9 were five times the mass of Earth, as is estimated, it would be very difficult to find with our telescopes. Were it the same density as Earth, its diameter would be 1.7 times that of Earth, or 21,800 km (13,500 miles). A pair of astronomers suggest that we should not rule out the possibility that Planet 9 could be a primordia

Climate Strike and STEM Professionals Unite

from the desk of Meenakshi Prabhune

Hey Schmoozers,

"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!” If you have heard these words before, you know what I am talking about. This is my favorite part of Greta Thunberg’s hard-hitting speech at the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept 23rd. The clarity of thought, honesty, and bravery of this 16-year-old totally amazes me.

While Greta has a point that she should be in school and not leading an activist movement, her conviction has successfully mobilized the community to stand up against climate change. A year ago, Greta started a Climate Strike at her school on Fridays to bring about awareness around the stagnant policies despite the climate-related dangers that face us.

About a year later, on Friday, 20th September, millions of people were out on the street participating in the Climate Strike. Participation in the strike was overwhelming worldwide, as seen from the

Schmoozing with the Fall Equinox

from the desk of Bob Siederer

Happy Autumnal Equinox, or, for any readers we have south of the Equator, the Vernal Equinox.

Hello again friends of Science!

Early Monday morning (12:50 to be exact) is the Vernal Equinox, marking the start of the fall season.  Another trip around the sun, another start to the fall.

Things are very busy in Schmooze land, with 138 events currently on the list for the next 2 weeks, with more sure to come.  Here are my picks:
  1. California's Changing Ecosystems: As Observed from Space - 09/24/2019 06:30 PM in Menlo Park
  2. Nerd Nite Silicon Valley #8: Sarah Winchester and Bay Area Sharks - 09/24/2019 07:00 PM in San Jose

Falling with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hi Science Aficionados,

It has been quite a week, month, or even year!  I find it stunning that there can be so many actions taken by our government that are directly in contradiction with the evidence and experience that have been acquired recently and in history.  That combined with the protests and opposition from some sections of the public just adds to my stunned outlook.  Just consider in the last few weeks… 3 Essential Questions For Good Public Health Policy,  Do Homeopathic Cows Exist?,  Rivers used to cat

Go to a Museum with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hello and Happy 53rd Anniversary!

Yes, 53 years ago on September 8, Star Trek premiered… and the rest is history!  

As always there is so much to write about since I haven't done the Schmooze in 2 weeks.  I'll never catch up!  As we enter the fall season there are many more opportunities to learn cool things about our blue marble, the ocean of stars we float in and the amazing things that go on in and around us that make up what we call life.  One tip I can give you is that if you have weekdays free this is a great time to go to a museum, be it science or art.  The kids are back in school but haven't started heading out on field trips.  (Which are much harder to do than they were when I was a kid.)  Many tourists have taken their kids home to go back to school.  This means that the museums are not nearly as crowded or chaotic.  Take a

Bingeing with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of David Almandsmith

I've never binge-watched 14 episodes of anything until i found this: playing with stuff on the International Space Station and calling it "science." Each episode is just a few minutes and well worth it. Come back here when you finish.

¿Did you want to interrupt Dr. Pettit during the "Spring Theory" episode to supply an answer? At 3 minutes into the episode, he doubles the mass of a pendulum. On Earth, this would not affect its period, the time it takes to swing back and forth. He remarks, "Something interesting is going on… Perhaps the spring does not exactly replace gravitational force." Reply to with your answer to this "interesting" observation and, if correct, you will be entered into a drawing to win an ISS model kit.
Want to win a bigger contest? Name the 2020 Mars Ro

Science Musings with the Schmooze

from the desk of Bob Siederer

Hello again Science Fans!

Much as we might not want to admit it, summer is nearing its end, although September is often the warmest month in the Bay Area.  Various departments at the local Universities are releasing their schedules for Fall term seminars which we, of course, list.  And if you, like me, sleep better when the sun comes up later, you have probably noticed that you are sleeping a bit longer in the morning now than you were a couple of weeks ago.  School is back in session for many Bay Area children, with the rest starting soon.  Want to get your kids more interested in science?  Here's a list of 20 Science websites with content that might interest them, and all are free.  They might interest you too!
  1. NASA
  2. Scita

Any quokkas have any questions for the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Greetings Science Lovers and Supporters,

Have you ever been to CuriOdyssey?  If you haven't, you should.  Like the explOratorium it is much more than a kid's museum. I'm happy to report that CuriOdyssey was just ranked one of the top 20 zoos in the country by USAToday. Zoos present an interesting conundrum.  In one sense they seem like horrible places to keep animals locked up and many zoos around the world are and even here in the past were.  Fortunately respect and concern for the animals has increased dramatically.  Now, I think, most zoos here and in many countries do a great job of caring for the animals they have.  They give us all a chance to appreciate the diversity and beauty of nature without having to burn up tons of carbon and money, to go see them in their habitat. 

Science: Real and Imagined with the SciSchmooze

from the desk of Herb Masters

Hello Science Fans,

I have to say that these truly are amazing times.  The denial of science and reason is truly astounding.  We have made so many amazing discoveries and transformed them in to amazing technologies and raw understanding of what is reasonably possible I am awed every time I open a new email from one of the many email lists and blogs that I get.  Sometimes I wonder if there are limits!  I can't really go through all of them.  I'm sure that you get more than you can read as well.  There is more out there that some people are trying to get us access to as well. 

SciSchmoozing Hither and Thither

from the desk of David Almandsmith

Hello science fans,
I realize the current situation is unsettling so let me recommend Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now to put things in an historic and less grim perspective. Please continue supporting science and extending your circle of compassion.
On Saturday July 27th, 27 wonderful volunteers presented an all-day science event, the Billion Year Walk around Oakland’s Lake Merritt. With enough support, it will become an annual event. Check out some of the photos.
There was a live demonstration of photosynthesis at the Billion Year Walk and coincidentally, photosynthesis is in the news: cyanobacteria may have achieved oxygen-generating photosynthesis earlier than thought,

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