The Room, the Elephant and the SciSchmooze

Jupiter’s northern hemisphere jet stream. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/SoRI/MSSS

Hello again fans of Science and Reason.

Particularly if the later is part of your DNA, then your head is probably spinning this week following two decisions by the US Supreme Court, one on guns, the other on abortion. We can’t ignore the elephant and blithly go on talking about events in the science community this week without addressing these but we’ll add some science to the debates.

For a historical perspective on the Court’s decision to remove a constitutional right from the American people (the first time that has happened, and one considered a fundamental right by most liberal democracies in the world) I’ll provide a link to 

Schmoozing and Tinkering

with the SciSchmooze

What Miss Mitchell saw

Greetings Science Fans and Science Curious,

I spent 25 years working in “emergency services” on fire engines and ambulances. I’m sure you have seen a story about a tragic incident that was “avoidable” or maybe even seen it personally. Let’s just say that I have seen a lot of them. One of the things that always set me back was thinking about why it even happened. There are so many senseless and avoidable things that could easily be avoided if someone just paid a bit more attention and considered what they were doing. Mind you I’m not talking about calculated risk taking like 

Underwater with the SciSchmooze

Not always

Photo by Oleksandr Sushko on Unsplash

Greetings Science fans,

It’s been awhile since I did the “Schmooze”. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking of science and how we deal with it. It does mean that I have read and viewed a lot of sciencey things, more than what I can share here. So this will be a bit different from my usual format.

Here are two takes on life underwater… 

Butting Heads with the SciSchmooze

Butting heads - Not good for Musk Oxen or People

It was given knowledge that a musk ox is protected from concussive brain injury by having an intracranial air pocket and a very broad horn. Research now shows they suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy - just like boxers and American football players - and may suffer some degree of dementia. The researchers surmise that mild dementia in a musk ox - unlike with humans - probably doesn’t much affect its life. 

SciSchmoozing around the Edges

Brown Bess, a muzzle-loading smoothbore musket from the Revolutionary War

The U.S. Constitution as of 1791 held that:

  • Slavery was legal;
  • For census purposes, slaves counted as ⅗ of a person;
  • Slaves and women were not entitled to vote;
  • People had the right to bear muzzle-loaded firearms.

The only “Arms” covered by the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment were single shot weapons that had to be 

Around the World of Science with the SciSchmooze

Mt. Rainier, seen from the Puyallup Valley. Photo credit: USGS

Hello again Science Fans!

We’re in for a week of summer-like weather. While this isn’t unusual for the Bay Area, other parts of the country and world are experiencing record heat and other oddities. the Denver area was in the 80s one day this past week, followed by snow the next that broke numerous tree branches. In Spain, 

SciSchmoozing through Categories

Sagittarius A* Black Hole proxy -- © Krispy Kreme

Recently your SciSchmooze has come all too often with ‘cosmic’ images: Sunday’s lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse by Phobos, low temperatures of the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble’s image of Earendel, etc., etc. This week i was planning on an image of something closer to home, but along came the image of the supermassive black hole that warps space and time at the center of our galaxy. In spite of my intentions, the first ‘category’ is again, “SPACE.”


Sgr A* (pronounced “Sagittarius A-star”) is our galaxy’s supermassive black hole. It has never been observed, only surmised, 

Celebrating Mothers with the SciSchmooze

A Lunar Eclipse - Getty Images

Hello again fans of Science!

Today is Mother’s Day, that day where we honor mothers everywhere. I had always thought that, while certainly mothers are worth celebrating, the day itself was the invention of the hospitality industry. Not so!

According to historian and fellow Substack writer Heather Cox Richardson, 

Cosmic Dancing with the SciSchmooze

Hello again Science Fans!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a pretty good sense of direction. Way back when I was young, my mother would take my sister and me to New York City during spring break from school. We would come up out of the subway and I’d always be able to figure out which way to t

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