Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Thinking about Science?

The SciSchmooze 9.18.23

Herb Masters


Hello Curious Friends,

Let’s get this started… It seems that AI is everywhere. Some see it as a threat and others see it as a promise… Earlier there the hot item was the smart phone. How about a “smart toilet” that analyzes your urine stream and fecal deposits while taking a picture of your anus for good measure? There is so much to learn at the Ig Nobels that I can’t begin to answer some of your questions. You’re going to have to do some research. You might want to start with an understanding of how the universe is measured.

As a contrast to the true equity practised at the Ig Nobels, you do have to shudder at stories like this… Why Physicist Lise Meitner Was Denied the Nobel Prize for Her Pioneering Work on Splitting the Atom. This also leads me to think of how NASA’s first women astronauts changed space (does that need to be phrased as “How the first women astronauts at NASA changed changed space?)

A couple of extra space thoughts and questions. You might wonder if a colorblind person can see a green comet. | “This update on planetary boundaries clearly depicts a patient that is unwell,” | Annular solar eclipse of October 14, 2023 | Imagine Lucy in the sky… | Lucy spacecraft gets its 1st view of target asteroid

I’ve recently become more aware of how many medications some folks take. Looking at a palm full of pills can be a bit daunting to friends, family, or the patient themselves. Pharmacology is an amazing science. Imagine asking someone to take multiple different pills that may affect she/he differently because of gender as well as genetics, diet, general health, and probably a bit of luck. Finding information can be very confusing! Maybe pharmacogenetic testing will help. Medicine doesn’t always have all of the answers! Melting Ice By Advanced Meditation

It’s that time of year. Life on a Warming Planet The kids are going back to school and lots of opportunities to learn are happening in and out of the classrooms. Here’s a few that I think are worth checking out…

It’s that time of year. The kids are going back to school and the folks that don’t have kids are stepping out to play! Have you visited your local museum this month? If you’re not that into kids you should! Of course you should anyway. Here are a few that I think are worthy of your time and effort this week.

There are so many interesting things to see, do, experience, or just read about! Here are some that have me thinking this week…

Searching for a Breakup makes me wonder about how so much of our lives that we were able to keep from interfering with each other are now so inseparable.

Earthquakes happen everyday here on earth. If you haven’t experienced a 6+ earthquake you might be surprised at how the earth can move like that. They don’t always hit where you expect them! Deadly Morocco quake resulted from Africa’s ongoing collision with Europe

Some 14 billion miles from here floats a 12-inch gold-plated record. It is a remarkable story.

Have an amazing week learning cool new stuff. Be sure to watch the Ig Nobels. Drop us a note sometime. Let us know what you think.
herb masters

“The notion that power should be limited so that no person or institution can enjoy unaccountable influence is at the very root of our democracy.” 
—Tim Wu, Columbia University

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