Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

It’s Science! Go and Schmooze it.

Hello Science Fans,

I hope that you have thought about whether anti-science is worth considering or worrying about. From battles over the efficacy and safety of vaccinations, to dangerous or useless medical practices, to regulations not based on science, that can lead to injury or death there are a lot of challenges to getting through the day, week, month, or year. May I suggest… The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist’s Warning. Here’s a more specific take on it… The Death-Strewn Backstory of Big Supplement

I’m always amazed by the range of cool stuff that catches my attention. Keep in mind that many things we read focus on a relatively narrow range of interest or focus. Whoever is writing will invariably include their own bias. Trying to present something without bias is extremely hard but that is supposed to be what a good researcher does. (Needless to say, I wear my biases on my sleeve!) For instance, I’m really a cat guy and only tolerate domesticated dogs… I do appreciate it that some people care about why dogs wag their tales but I’m not going to pay much attention! I love reading about the passion some have for a small or large disciplines of science. It’s important to consider the source when “learning” new things or hearing about stuff you think you know. Consider one of the really popular and successful informal science websites, Veritasium. I occasionally link to it and you may have watched it often. But… I suggest that even Veritasium can lead to misunderstanding. Consider what you know about the universe and what others you know or don’t know to. The purpose of this video might be to inform us, but what does it say about how many have a good base knowledge. Do People Understand the Scale of the Universe? I hope it doesn’t represent an accurate sample of those he asked!

“Be curious and resilient… curious to find the solution to a problem, and to cultivate the art of asking questions.” Debbie Berebichez, PhD

Health claims can be misleading! You really need to consider the source and probably the intent of almost anything you read these days. Consider this article… 9 Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Check out the 9 benefits listed. Each one is qualified with “It may”, “It could”, or “It might”! Each of those benefits is also summarized with a may, could, might! Note that it was even “medically reviewed“! Here’s a good website to check out for info.. What’s the Harm following the science can be life changing! Looking for some science? My friends know that I jokingly consider garlic as a food group. Everyone “knows” that it is “good” for you. So here’s what the same resource has to say about garlic… 11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic Here they have added “appears”, “seems”, and other vagueness!

The opportunities for learning new cool and well established science are increasing as we head into spring. Here are a few that I think warrant some attention this coming week…

1- Wonderfest: The Psychology of Confidence Tue @ 7:00 Wouldn’t it be great if Wonderfest webcast?

2- Evidence of humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum – Livestream Thu @ 7:00

3- Is Anybody Out There? What’s New in the Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations Sat @ 7:30

Do you know someone with a birthday on April 8 or maybe it’s your birthday? What plans have you made? When you consider that about 71% of the earth’s surface is water the chances for a large swath of land to be “solar eclipsed” is not that high. I suggest that you should take the opportunity to see the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE ON APRIL 8, 2024 If you have never seen one, you’ve missed a lot! There will be many more in the future, but not as easily viewed. It will require a bit of poetic sacrifice and science poetry. If you would like to get involved with the eclipse try the Eclipse Soundscapes Project. The explOratorium is your local go to source for how to Immerse yourself in the eclipse experience.

So after all this science… It was pretty audacious: suck enough water from the underside of the glacier for the whole block of ice to lose its water cushion and crash back down onto bedrock. Glacial Elevation Operations

Just a few brief words about the SciSchmooze. We don’t advertise, often the organization presenting doesn’t even know that we are listing them, we provide this completely free, and we do it because we can (and it’s a cool thing to do). If you are so inclined please let us know how we are doing, and encourage others to subscribe, especially if they are teachers or students! Tell your friends and family too!

Have a great year learning cool new science and science that was figured out long ago.
herb masters

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.”
— Daniel J. Boorstin

Note: I forgot to give a source or attribution for the opening image on last week’s SciSchmooze. I tried to track it down to share it with you but an image search yielded so many different sites with it I’m going to leave it to you to find the source you choose!

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