Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Thankscience with the SciSchmooze

The Uselessness of Useful Knowledge

Hello Quantum Fans of Science,

I hope you had a great week of lunar stuff. I did manage to catch the Beaver Moon Eclipse through some openings in the clouds. It is always amazing to see natural phenomena that I would miss unless someone figured out when and where to watch it. I’d like to take a positive look at some of the wonders of science that we can be thankful for. Linn, a good friend of mine reminded me of how impressed he was by Postcards from Mars last week. I had missed it because I was checking out the Museum of the Moon instead. Today after another reminder I watched it. I really encourage you to watch it as well. It really covers a lot of what I love so much about science. 118 years ago humans finally got off the ground by harnessing some energy, and studying how birds used it. Now we have “tools” wandering the solar system making amazing discoveries and inspiring us to dream about what we might actually do in the future. This Dec 14 will be the 121st anniversary of the release of a study that earned a Nobel Prize in 1918. That was one point of discovery in the history of quantum mechanics. This started a revolution in science that along with replacing the slide rule, created the new tools we needed to get to today. Still, in 1970 it was a Pickett N600-ES that was used to do the math to figure out how to get Apollo 13 home!

Quantum isn’t a word only used discussing space science and travel, or engineering and math. For instance, some of the most challenging current problems in bioscience are being solved thanks to quantum mechanics. Though it seems new quantum biology has roots almost 100 years ago. It is thanks to quantum biology how quickly scientists were able to identify and figure out what covid-19 is and how to protect many of us from its’ ravages. It is truly amazing how far we have come and yet some still resist or haven’t caught up.

It is a relatively quiet week for new learning opportunities at BayAreaScience but here are a few that look great to me… Imaging quantum materials with scanning SQUID microscopy – Livestream Mon @ 10:00, The Botany of Fall: Leaf Color and Deciduousness – Livestream Tue @ 1:00, and Black Friday Hike at Rancho San Vicente Fri @ 1:30

Of course the hot topic of the week is all of the food! Here are a couple of interesting articles to think about as you sit down to some amazing feasts! The Truth About Natural and Artificial Flavors and The Great Organic-Food Fraud

As with so many things today, there are many ways to look at what many, if not most are celebrating. I hope that you find some or lots of joy at least with the intent of these celebrations.

One more thing… Please don’t tell anyone that a quantum leap is big!

At least they make good straight edges!

herb masters

If anybody says he can think about quantum physics without getting giddy, that only shows he has not understood the first thing about them.” Niels Bohr

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