Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982
Cosmic Threads: A Solar System Quilt from 1876

Greetings Science Fans,

Last week, among many topics, I referred to a great article that really cut to the chase about wildland fires in California. I’m sure that you realize it isn’t just about the people who live in the “urban interface”. People all over the world are effected by fires, not just in California10 questions for a Stanford researcher on the health hazards of wildfire smoke

It wasn’t that long ago that smoking was publicly accepted. If you went to a restaurant there might have been a “smoking” or “no smoking” section. It was separated from the rest of the place by a sign that said so. Thanks to legislation that was signed by the same president that started the EPA, OSHA was created. We don’t have to endure smoke in public places because we don’t like it. The start of this wasn’t the Clean Air Act. It was passed for the health and safety of people who had no choice to avoid it because of their jobs! Many of those are now called frontline workers! On occasion I have brought a sound level meter into a bar or restaurant, they need to have their hearing protected too. When will OSHA help everyone with that?!

For all of my recent doom and gloom about science and how it is accepted, here’s a bit of good news… Evolution now accepted by majority of Americans

Here are some suggestions for the coming week. Remember to check out things you know nothing about!

Two Talks: Popping the Science Bubble – Livestream Tue @ 5:30

After Dark: Sea Otters Thu @ 6:00 with real people!

College of San Mateo’s Family Science & Astronomy Festival + Makerspace Sat @ 12:00 (Zoom)

Drink less, exercise more and take in the air – sage advice on pandemic living from a long-forgotten, and very long, 18th-century poem. I would also suggest that really thinking about all of the people that help you appreciate a seemingly simple thing.

While I’m not a student of history I am always amazed by what records and stuff are left from the previous few thousand years of human history. Today things are much different. Happy 25th to the Internet Archive and Wayback Machine!

Another celebration that deserves note is 50 years of collaboration between NASA and USGSLandsat 9 is due for launch soon! I’m sure you are curious about Earth’s mysterious red glow as well.

There are many things that we have learned were wrong over the years. We need to keep studying! Superseded theories in science an Obsolete scientific theories

One of those obsolete theories, a flat earth, will be well noted yet again this Wed 9.22 @ 12:21. The folks that took a ride to look down on the ISS last week might also disagree with the whole flat earth thing!

Did you catch the explOratorium/Apple release last week?

Let’s see if I can get it correct this week! Two weeks ago, Dave forgot to include his email address for entering the contest to win a diecast Virgin Galactic model. The contest is extended a week. You have until noon Friday to send an email to with an integer between 0 and 1,000.

I’d like to remind you that we are all volunteers here at the SciSchmooze. A few years ago, David Almandsmith joined Bob and me with the weekly writing opportunities. However, the Science Schmooze would not exist without the amazing and dedicated work of Bob Siederer who designed the calendar monitoring system that we (Bob) use and manages it on an almost daily basis. Bob will be writing next week, be sure to let him know what you think.

Have a great week. Learn something new and amazing.
herb masters

March 31, 1989: “Increasingly, our leaders must deal with dangers that threaten the entire world, where an understanding of those dangers and the possible solutions depends on a good grasp of science. The ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, questions of diet and heredity. All require scientific literacy. Can Americans choose the proper leaders and support the proper programs if they themselves are scientifically illiterate? The whole premise of democracy is that it is safe to leave important questions to the court of public opinion—but is it safe to leave them to the court of public ignorance?”
— Isaac Asimov, American writer and professor of biochemistry (1920 – 1992)

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