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by Meenakshi Prabhune

Hello Schmoozers,

It’s been lazy rainy weather past few days, but I am sure loving the refreshing lush green landscape that Bay area witnesses only occasionally. The before-after images on my phone in the past few months remind me of the 10-year challenge. For those of you who are safely staying away from Facebook- here’s the latest fad. People are posting present day pictures of themselves and those from 10 years ago under the hashtag #10YearChallenge. Some people even used the trend to generate scientific awareness. For example, here’s a video that shows climate change evidence by comparing images from 10 years ago to present day ones: https://nowthisnews.com/videos/future/10-year-challenge-climate-change-edition

While most people were participating it in this challenge just for fun, others believe that Fac

by Bob Siederer

Hello again Science fans, and Happy New Year!  I know, we're a month into it already (and how did that happen so fast?) but this is the first Schmooze for me this year, so it is still appropriate.

Did you see the lunar eclipse?  No?  Me either, although shortly after it was over I looked out and the sky was clear.  So close! 

We have just over 100 events on our calendar for the next two weeks, and more are sure to come.  You have plenty of things to choose from, including these:
  1. Nerd Nite East Bay - 01/28/2019 07:30 PM in Oakland

Eclipsing with the SciSchmooze 19.1.20

by Herb Masters

Hi Science Celebrators! 
Please excuse this very early edition of the SciSchmooze.  I am hoping that this helps you  get ready for Sunday evening's big event.  Let's hope for clear skies but there will be alternatives for you to enjoy the eclipse even if the skies are not clear. 

I got an email from Alex Filippenko with a great compilation of info that will help you and your friends and family enjoy and understand what is going on.  In case you don't know, Alex is an astrophysicist at UC Berkeley who has been involved in major discoveries about our universe.  You really do need to see and hear him speak.  Oh yea, you can…  Black Holes, Exploding Stars, and the Runaway Universe: A Life in Science is this coming Wed 1.23 at Foothill College.  Go see, hear, learn, and celebrate!

Back to this Sunday…  Here's what Alex shared wit

Moon days with the SciSchmooze 1.14.19

Hello Supporters of Science and Reason,

I have a hot announcement to share with you…  SkeptiCal 2019 is coming.   Mark your calendars for June 9, 2019.  There will be early registration discounts though it will be a great value at full price!  One bit of news…  After 10 years in Berkeley it will be in Burlingame. 

There's a lot going on in the universe that we can see from our fine little planet.  Consider the next week or so.  The Only Total Lunar Eclipse of 2019 starts at 6:36 PM PST on Sunday 1.20 plus a Supermoon is also part of the show.  Happening the very same day… It is anoth

by Herb Masters

Happy Continuing Journey around our not so personal star!

What a way to start a new year.  First off before I dive in to all of the amazing science in space that is going on, please consider how much we still continue to learn about our good old home planet.  When you consider that the big news came from 4 billion miles away and 235,000 miles away do you really know your neighbors?  Meet your single-celled neighbours – a microbial tour of a metropolis 

This has been a fun week to see the families of leaders in science and politics celebrating.  Did you see the New Year celebration of the New Horizons incredible flight?  Politics aside, watching that and the swearing in of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, where the children of all of the scientists, engineers, and politicians (yes, both parties) came together at

SciSchmoozing into 2019

by David Almandsmith

Greetings Schmoozer Reader,
The mere fact you are reading the SciSchmooze suggests you are a very well-informed person. Consequently, you know that it is good for society – and life in general – when all of us are better informed. ¿Does this imply you have an obligation to society and yourself to help educate? Well, perhaps not an ‘obligation’ but certainly an ‘incentive.’ However, educating is not so straight-forward as it may first seem (and many of us – I for one – lack the temperament to be a good educator). Blaise Pascal (French mathematician 1623-1662) wrote of his process for ‘changing’ a person’s mind. The Internet is chock-full of similar advice, e.g. this page. Herb Masters in a previous SciSchmooze gave a link to a brilliant

Holiday Schmoozing

by Bob Siederer

Hello again Science Fans.

The Winter Solstice has just passed and from here on the days will be getting longer, bit by bit.  It is a busy time for sky watchers, with meteor showers, a comet, and an upcoming total lunar eclipse all happening now or soon.  King tides are also on tap this month and next.

But 50 years ago tomorrow a most amazing photograph was taken.  The astronauts in Apollo 8 took a picture of Earth from their position orbiting the moon.  Dubbed "Earthrise" by NASA, it has become an iconic picture and changed the way we view ourselves and our position in the cosmos.  It is worth another look. This article gives some perspective to the photo.

As the end of the year approaches you will see many "best of 2018" lists, including this one about

Cargo Cult Science Schmooze 12.17.18

by Herb Masters
Hello Science Fans,
Most of science is, deep down, based on facts.  Some of the most important disagreements we see and hear relate to what we call facts.  Facts can help us understand and learn about many things.  But it seems that there are always those that deny what most of us think are basic facts.  Consider the roundness of the earth.  Most of us can't believe anybody would think it is flat.  (Note to NASA:  I'd be glad to say the earth is flat and the moon landing was faked if you would give me a tour of your facilities to prove me wrong!)  I find myself questioning the "cargo cult science" of some of the folks we share the planet with but generally try to be respectful and understand what is going on.  I'm not always successful in this though.  I came across a podcast that I think really explains a lot and I highly recommend it… 
by Herb Masters

Greetings Fans of Understanding,

Often it seems as if things slow down around the time of the Winter Solstice.  Various religious holidays lead us to reflecting on the lives of our friends, family, and ourselves.  In years past writing the SciSchmooze, the science news has seemed to be a reduced.  I'm not feeling that this year.  It seems that there is a lot going on in science news both out of this world and well within it. 
Let's start with a bit of seasonal applied science and citizen science to go with it. 

Embedded in all of the discussion about sea level rise, I find the tides to be very intriguing.  King Tides are coming: December 22 and 23, and again on January 20 and 21, 2019.    I think we take them for granted and fail to notice how much variation there is in what they look like.  Consider the tides Sun 12.9 in San Francisco and
by Meenakshi Prabhune

Hello fellow Schmoozers,

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and are already preparing for Christmas. If you are looking for a scientific gift, let me inform you that Foldscope (the paper microscope) is available on holiday sale. Do consider donating the gift of curiosity to your loved ones or schools.

In the scientific realm, there has been an important news that everyone might have heard in the past two weeks. A researcher in China claims to have edited genes of two babies. I have heard several versions from people last week, so let me clarify the real news for everyone.

“Two beautiful little Chinese girls, Lulu and Nana, came crying into the world as healthy as any other babies a few weeks ago,” He Jiankui, a Chinese scientist, announced in a You tube video last week. He said that he took sperm from an HIV positive father and egg from HIV negative mother, fertilized them in the lab (similar to IVF procedure that couples who cannot have kids naturally undergo). The main difference here was that he edited a gene in the embryos that would make the babies immune to HIV using the CRISPR gene editing technology. He implanted these embryos in

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