Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Schmoozing over the bumps you know so well

A servants’ employment agency where prospective employees are having their heads phrenologically examined as to their suitability via Wikimedia Commons

Greetings SciFans,

Remember the good old days when science had all the answers? Richard Whately declared “Phrenology is true as…the sun is now in the sky.”

I remember (sort of) when the first heart transplant was announced in 1967. The advancements in medicine since are incredible. From the developments in vaccines (yes, vaccines are real, save lives, and reduce suffering) to the world’s first human eye transplant. Now as I type this missive I watched a rocket launch a payload into space and return to earth, standing up on end as it was (sort of) before it launched… except it is now standing up on a ship! I find it interesting when science pops up with an alternative idea or view of how our impact on nature plays out. Here’s one of those articles. The surprising biodiversity of abandoned coal mines (there’s an audio version there as well)

It’s great to think of science and the practice of it as being universal. Sadly, it isn’t. There are scientists working around the world on amazing things but many still have to struggle to learn and help humanity. Consider the recent history of the practice of science in Russia and Ukraine. Another article worth your attention… ‘Midinformation’ And The COVID Pandemic I also recommend that you listen to Peter Hadfield, better known as Potholer54 (note: this starts after about about 10 minutes of intro}.

We all hear the term used and use it ourselves. Do you know This About Net Zero? and what is the color of absolute zero?

There is so much still to learn… You might want to check these out…

1- Scientific Collaboration Amidst Shifting US-China Relations – 11/14/2023 03:30 PM
2- Most Delicious Poison: The Story of Nature’s Toxins – From Spices to Vices – 11/15/2023 06:00 PM
3- Water Above, Water Below, Water Within – 11/15/2023 07:00 PM

I just saw this and I think it is amazingly cool I highly recommend it! It seems like such a better thing to do than sit in APEC traffic jams! hm The Western Flyer, 1940-2023: What it was and what it will become – 11/14/2023 07:00 PM Hopkins Marine Station Pacific GroveSee it live or on line.

I’m not sure why, but the calendar is loaded with events this week that I am a bit overwhelmed. There are so many and APEC will help you choose because you won’t want to try and get to the other side of it!

I now ask you to watch The Futurists (1967) | Scientists Predict The 21st Century

Meditation Is Big Business. The Science Isn’t So Clear. I’ve been feeling my age lately… Believing we can rewrite the manual for human lifespan is like believing in the tooth fairy.

Do you know a woman who would make a great scientist? L’Oréal USA For Women in Science has a great offer.

Science and Skepticism are heavily impacted by politics in so many positive and negative ways. I think it’s worth considering how often politics and misinformation are used to divide groups and seriously undermine how we understand the need to understand. Misinformation about science is often used to sway public opinion and distract from what the focus or understanding really is. One need look no further than the battle over women having control and choice in their healthcare. Many think politics exists outside of science. I don’t think so. “The Misinformation-Outrage Cycle ‘Democracy requires an educated populace that can analyze policies,’” is a six part series worth being shared.

I started out as a kid being pretty good at math. By the time I had graduated from high school, I wasn’t. That being said, I still think math is cool and very underrated. So when we got notice here at the Schmooze that on Jan 5th, Mathematics: A Quick Revue | A mathematical variety show hosted by the American Mathematical Society and open to the public. Hosted by comedian and author Matt Parker was happening I thought we should give you advance warning.

A special shout out and pointer to two of my favorite places to hang out. CuriOdyssey opened IlluminOdyssey last Thu 11.9, and this Thu 11.16 Glow opens at the explOratorium. Go see them both, with someone you care about. I’ll also put a plug in here for making a year end donation if you haven’t already! Why is it that science museums won’t create a donation/support option for making donations in multiples of π$$?

I was fortunate to be able to go to Ely, Nevada with the explOratorium eclipse crew. From what I understand, if you stayed here you missed seeing most or all of it. You can watch and hear what we saw from Ely and Valley of the Gods. You can also get info on the next big eclipse event for North America on April 8th, 2024. If you have never experienced an eclipse the April 8th will be your easiest to see in quite awhile.

It’s been awhile since I ‘did the Schmooze’! A special bit of thanks to David for stepping in and covering for me while I was gone or sick. As always the seriously underappreciated and underrecognized Bob Siederer has been holding the Science Schmooze behind the scene for seemingly as long as it has been around. Thanks guys.

You probably have some friends and family that would like to know about cool geeky things to do in the SF Bay Area and beyond. You should forward the SciSchmooze or send this link to them… Science Schmooze and tell them to subscribe!

Have a great week learning new and cool things about how this amazing universe works. About that absolute color question… ABSOLUTE ZERO COLOR or White is the color of Zero.
herb masters

  • “I never knew I had an inventive talent until Phrenology told me so. I was a stranger to myself until then!” – – –Thomas Alva EDISON

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