Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982
This photo of a total Lunar Eclipse was captured 11/8/22 at around 3:30am MST, and was captured using two telescopes and two cameras, to maximize detail and color depth.

It’s That Time of Year Science Fans!

There are two items I’d like to mention to start with. Celebrations from many cultures and taxes!

Every year about this time people think about the biggest and most universal (at least on this Pale Blue Dot of a planet) celebration. There are a lot of different cultures and religions that base their own celebrations on it, but we know that it is really about the farthest the earth gets from the ecliptic. (All right astronomers let me know if that is a grossly wrong statement!) Many of us call it the Winter Solstice. For many it is a time of renewal and welcoming the lengthening of the days and upcoming planting and harvesting of crops. Of course with the reality of climate change that may be up for reinterpretation.

It’s also time for many of us to get serious about taxes. It has been a wild ride this year if you have any of your economic future or present in the stock markets. Just think about how difficult it has been for the many nonprofits that enrich our lives. For many, myself included, nonprofits are what add richness as well as necessity to the lives of many. They need our support but often we fail to realize just who or what they are. It’s easy to remember that food-banks and medical aid groups need our help. But if you go to the museum you may not think so much about this because, generally you have to pay to get in. I would like you to consider (and actually do it) supporting the various educational, art, and science museums wherever you live or visit. I would suggest that you support organizations that fuse science, art, and perception, together in helping us to appreciate the richness of what this place we call home is. Art and science are what I rely on to appreciate and try to understand most of what I experience. I personally support the explOratorium and CuriOdyssey. Whether it is beautiful or informing about science, think about how science informs art and art informs science. I say all of this whether you actually have to pay taxes or not!!! If you have some suggestions for other museums and public education nonprofits let me know and I’ll include them in an upcoming SciSchmooze (subject to space and “relevance”). A lot of museums are featuring light in their solstice exhibits this year. IlluminOdyssey is open now and GLOW opens Thu Nov 17, I can personally assure you that both are worth a visit! Whether it is beautiful or informing about science think about how science informs art and art informs science. I say all of this whether you actually have to pay taxes or not!!! Supporting science and art is just a darned good thing to do! For an extra bit of fun and meaning, I suggest that any donations you make be in multiples of π!

I hope you voted. It clearly matters when the polls can be so wrong. In the future you must vote, don’t trust others to do it themselves.

So what interests you in the coming week? Here are a few options that I think look interesting…

1- Opening the Infrared Treasure Chest with JWST – Livestream Mon 3:30
2- After Dark: Glow Opening Thu 6:00-10:00 (This gets my vote!)
3- Raptor Fest at Rancho San Vicente Sat 9:30-2:00

In the past few weeks a lot of interesting items have come across my monitors. Here are a few that seemed particularly interesting and relevant, in no particular order…

What is Scientific Skepticism?

As some lose faith in the factory-like care of conventional medicine, these curious remedies are ascendant.

The genius and hubris of plastic has been absorbed by every living thing.

Massive mystery holes appear in Siberian tundra

The Kids Are Alright

I hope you have a great week learning new and cool things. Let art lead you to science and let science lead you to art, but always remain skeptical!

herb masters

Albert Einstein put it best when he said:

“As beings of light we are local and non-local, time bound and timeless actuality and possibility.”
Actually, Einstein never said that.

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