Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Changing Science with the SciSchmooze

Fingerprint in Space

Greetings Science Acceptors,

I’m often totally amazed at what science (and technology) has accomplishedthroughout history and into this day and age. Keep in mind that what is done today often exceeds what science fiction has imagined in the last 296 years. How things that were revolutionary became accepted and were used to make new discoveries is some of the story of science.. I’m not very good with life sciences and am amazed at how scientists figure out everything from Anatomy to Zoophytology, including Acarology, Cnidology, Euthenics, Paedology, and Torpedology. There is still much to learn. Here’s an interesting article about nutritional science. Not everything that looks like science is science, especially in science based medicine… “It’s just a big illusion”: homeopathy… from the fringe to the grocery aisles.

Consider this… Compare how long it took to understand why there are phases of the moon. Or… If you are driving a car through a toll gate do you slow down because you’re unsure of how well you can “aim” your car? Now think about starting on a journey of about 7 million miles and calculating where you will be meeting something that is about 520 feet across moving pretty fast while you are going over 13000 miles per hour! You just know that π must have something to do with this right. How accurate do you need to be? π has been calculated to trillions of digits. How many digits of π did they need to to crash in to Dimorphos? It is truly amazing what humans can do.

Science doesn’t deal with borders very well. This looks like a particularly good opportunity to see how it works in one direction… The VILCEK SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM October 19-20, 2022 Science Crossing Borders: Celebrating the Contributions of Foreign-Born Researchers in the United States This is an opportunity to see some pretty advanced discussions. Even if you aren’t a PhD you can still get quite a bit from sitting in on opportunities like this. Give it a try, you can do it from your home or your desk!

Now that the summer is over and schools are back in session there are more opportunities to learn cool new stuff. Here are some that look particularly interesting and relevant to me…

Two Talks: Popping the Science Bubble Tue @ 5:30 Live stream
After Dark: Revealing Landscapes Thu @ 6:00 IRL
Morning Hike at La Honda Open Space Preserve Sat @ 10:00 IRL (Personal note: It’s a great area to explore.)

How we see and perceive things is something not many people think about. Until they run into something that doesn’t match their expectations! We all have illusions of what makes sense. In this day of $6/gallon gasoline there is a lot of incentive to develop more clean vehicles. There are some interesting discussions about this!

Here’s an opportunity to learn a lot about how water gets around and is treated while having a fun time. SVBC and Valley Water invite you to Ride Out the Drought! It started Oct 15. I’m fascinated by the infrastructure that helps us get through the year. I’m often surprised by how little people take if for granted. How does the electric grid work? When the power goes off how often do you hear someone say that they don’t understand why the folks across the street or the next bloc over still have power? It’s hard to find an explanation. Try this… The neighborhood is like your house. It has a bunch of circuits bringing electricity in to the homes or rooms in your house. A circuit breaker can trip or a car can hit a pole!

A shout out to Joe Palca, one of the great science correspondents.

This week will have another round of stuff crashing in to our atmosphere. Be sure to look for the Orionids!

Have a great week and watch out for cool stuff and falling bits of universe!
herb masters

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.” 

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