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David Almandsmith

SciSchmoozing 4th of July with Rockets

July 2, 2023

Rocket’s Red Glare: VSS Unity & Euclid 2nd stage booster - Unity photo courtesy Virgin Galactic

Hello again, you who like me enjoys learning, enjoys fireworks, and enjoys sharing the 4th of July with friends and family. 

Tiangong & ISS crews (Frank Rubio is off-camera)

Hello again, dear reader,


While we were Earth-bound this last week, 17 out of Earth’s 8 billion people were in orbit - a new (if soon-to-be-exceeded) record. ¿How high an orbit? Consider the standard (in the U.S.) 12-inch globe. They were orbiting 4 tenths of an inch above its surface. The thickness of a piece of standard copy paper represents the thickness of our atmosphere in which humans can populate - 14,000 feet.

SciSchmoozing to Infinity

Solar panel production in Dalton, Georgia [Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg]

Dear science aficionado,

Join us in another romp through recent (and not so recent) science revelations. But first, “Infinity.” Somehow i missed the Netflix movie, “A Trip to Infinity,” when it came out last year. Carve out 80 minutes this week to watch it. You won’t be sorry. The movie reminded me of a book i ‘absorbed’ during my senior year in high school: “One Two Three... Infinity” by George Gamow. In 1956 Gamow was awarded the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for popularizing science. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sean Carroll, and Steven Pinker credit the book with informing or downright setting their careers. It was largel

SciSchmooze Softcore Smorgasbord

Hot ‘soft’ core of Mars with seismic wave paths - NASA

Greetings, dear reader. I trust you will find some delectable items in this week’s science smorgasbord.


Learned geophysicists years ago concluded that Mars has a hot liquid inner core, unlike Earth with its hot solid inner core. They calculated that Mars’ gravitational pressure is insufficient to make molten iron solid, as is the case with our home planet. But there’s nothing like good data: the seismometers on NASA’s Insight mission clinched that theory using 

Schmoozing for SciLiteracy

A representation of the dimensions of literacy necessary for science literacy, across the schematic lifecycle of science information in society.

Hello Friends, Fans, and Supporters of Science,

I hope that you haven't started to miss the rain yet.

A couple of months ago I wrote about how science and well established practice were being ignored in our courts and in some parts of governme

Weathering the SciSchmooze

The return of Tulare Lake

Hello Science Fans,

I hope that the break in the weather we have been having has been enjoyable. Quite honestly I rarely check the weather forecast so I can’t comment on what’s ahead, except to let you know that I guarantee there will be weather and we have no option but to deal with it. The other side of that is that I am amazed at how accurate forecasting can be.

It’s time to plan to Eclipse, remember, there will be weather! On Oct 14, 2023 there will be an annu

Watching the Clock & SciSchmoozing

Welcome again,

We get such good feedback from so many of you that i often think of you as colleagues.

Lately i’ve been living less than a hundred meters from a heavily-traveled 6-lane, 55 mph thoroughfare. (Quick question: ¿Of the world’s 190+ nations, how many officially use “miles” instead of kilometers for road signs? Answer below.) All but a tiny portion of the vehicles zooming by are gobbling up fossil fuel and spewing out CO2. There’s not much i can do about that … but i did a little. I made up cards printed on one side, “Make your next vehicle F3 (Fossil Fuel Free). Buy Electric and refuel at home.” On the other side i printed the following:

SciSchmoozing Our Warming Planet

Greenland’s rapidly shrinking Helheim Glacier (Photo by Nick Cobbing © Greenpeace International)

Welcome dear science-aware reader,

I’ve been slogging through The Climate Book created through the efforts of Greta Thunberg. It is an astounding collection of 84 short ‘essays’ by scientists, economists, visionaries, philosophers, and respected authors. The book has 5 sections:

– How Climate Works
– How Our Planet is Changing
– How It Affects Us
– What We’ve Done About It
– What We Must Do Now

SciSchmoozing the Egg Shortage

Welcome dear science-appreciative reader,

When Avian Influenza H5N1 is detected in one chicken on an egg farm, it and all of the tens of thousands of other chickens there are destroyed. Over 50 million birds in the U.S. were destroyed this way last year. ¿Why not vaccinate chickens? It isn’t expensive. It’s because eggs and chickens sold for food are tested for infection and the vaccine causes a positive result. A vaccinated bird appears to be an infected bird and cannot be exported for food. ¿What is the danger of eating an infected bird or egg? 

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