SciSchmoozing Curses

Belief in ‘Wicked’ Witchcraft

Dear reader, so glad you’re reading this. Let me start by laying out some work we need to do.

I love maps of all kinds. The map above is based on Pew Research data of the percentage of people who agreed that "certain people can cast curses or spells that cause bad things to happen to someone." The stippled countries are those with insufficient data. No country had less than 9% of its population believing in wicked witchcraft. 

The SciSchmooze Goes Nuts


Greetings fellow Science Fans! We trust you have had enough to eat this Thanksgiving weekend and are ready for some science! Well, we have that, and a little more for you.

Start with the nuts!

As I was growing up, one of the highlights of the holidays for me was eating roasted chestnuts. My father would talk about buying bags of them from street vendors in Vienna where he grew up, using them to keep his hands warm (in addition to eating them). I haven’t had them in quite a while, but this Thanksgiving I decided to buy a few and roast them.

Hardly anyone I know has tasted a

<100% with the SciSchmooze

Our Home

Hello Science Inclined People,

I woke up to the news of more hate and violence. This time in Colorado Springs. I just want to say that we all need to be proactive. If any of us hears someone spouting hate, willful ignorance, or lies, we really need to stand up for science and how well we are informed by it in certain realms. I don't think there is anyone who is 100% single gender. Male or female? It's not always so simple 

Vote SciSchmooze for Emperox

Lunar Eclipse - Election - Asteroid

Hello, my fellow Earthlings. So glad you are reading this.

Tuesday at 0-dark-30 the entire moon will be fully covered by Earth’s shadow. (2:17 a.m. Pacific) It will begin emerging from the shadow at 3:42 a.m. Andrew Fraknoi has provided an informational page on the event.

Tuesday at 7 a.m. the polls open in California and will stay open until 8 p.m. The SciSchmooze isn’t really running for Emperox (cf. 

SciSchmoozing Halloween Horrors

Courtesy McGill University

Hello again, dear science fan,

No one - arguably - knows more about ghost hunting than Kenny Biddle. At this year’s SkeptiCal, he shared stories from his ghost-hunting forays, including the techniques and the electronic instrumentation he used. Some years ago, however, Biddle did a turn-around, climbed out of the ghost-hunting rabbit hole, and became a scientific skeptic joining the likes of Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, et al. Read about his ‘conversion’ here as told by Jonathan Jarry, a recent SkepTalk presenter.

Remembering Space Pioneers with the SciSchmooze

Astronaut Jim McDivitt’s official NASA portrait, taken in 1971

Hello again Science Fans!

It has been a very busy few weeks, with lots of news on many scientific fronts, so let’s get to it.


I remember all too well late August and early September, 2000. I was returning from a road trip and spent a night in Pensacola, FL. I went to dinner at a restaurant early in the evening. One of the staff came in behind me carrying a small bag which I would later overhear her say was full of medicine her doctor had given her to counter the infection she had. She coughed

On Target with the SciSchmooze

DART Clobbers Dimorphos

Dear science aware reader, 

Last Monday, September 26, the 600 kg DART spacecraft struck the 4.8 billion kg asteroid Dimorphos. An Italian CubeSat detached from DART 15 days earlier to take pictures of the collision with cameras Leia and Luke. The collision ‘should’ slow the asteroid’s speed by 2 cm/sec from its initial (stellar) velocity of about 2.3 million cm/sec (about 0.00009%). It is impossible to directly measure that tiny change in velocity, but it ‘should’ detectably alter Dimorphos’ orbit around Didymos, its parent asteroid weighing in at 523 billion kg. A spacecraft named Hera will launch in 2024 and rendezvous with the asteroids in 2027 to study effects of last Monday’s experiment. Stay tuned!

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