Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Weathering the SciSchmooze

The return of Tulare Lake

Hello Science Fans,

I hope that the break in the weather we have been having has been enjoyable. Quite honestly I rarely check the weather forecast so I can’t comment on what’s ahead, except to let you know that I guarantee there will be weather and we have no option but to deal with it. The other side of that is that I am amazed at how accurate forecasting can be.

It’s time to plan to Eclipse, remember, there will be weather! On Oct 14, 2023 there will be an annular (“ring of fire” eclipse) and then on April 8, 2024 (less than a year!) we get a repeat performance of the 2017 Great American Eclipse with a slight change in location! Here are some great resources to help prepare (you need to plan early) for the SOLAR ECLIPSES of 2023 and 2024 A North American “Double-Header” and the book, When The Sun Goes Dark are both from Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz. The explOratorium Solar Eclipse website was just launched and it’s loaded with info as well as an app… Watch a Solar Eclipse On-the-Go Remember, if you miss these, the next total solar eclipse in the contiguous United States will be on Aug. 23, 2044!

A lot of people don’t accept science or they think Science is broken. I contend that science is still putting up a good fight against misinformation and outright lies. Being skeptical of what we learn from the “media” and even friends is a good thing. At some point though you have to develop trust in your sources. I suggest that you check out MediaWise’s first-ever zine which is part of Poynter’s digital media literacy project. Here’s another resource to add to your favorites… Verify check the science tab. Here are a few

The Science History Institute has a fascinating collection of articles and recordings that dive into science history, DISTILLATIONS: Using stories from science’s past to understand our world. This section has some great stories including several episodes on the Myth of Race. Here’s a sample on another topic… Crowdfunding Radium: When American women bought Marie Curie a vital gram of the element.

As is often the case there are more opportunities than time in the next week to learn cool things about our shared and personal universe. Here are a few that I think warrant your consideration without discouraging going to others!

Virulent: The Vaccine War – Livestream Thu @ 4:00
Did paleo people actually eat Paleo? – Livestream Thu @ 7:00
Sat looks rich!!! Spring Baylands Bioblitz with Environmental VolunteersTri-Valley Innovation Fair20th Anniversary KIPAC Community Day, and the International Ocean Film Festival

Have you heard about the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River (a little over 100 years ago)? The Return of Tulare Lake is an amazing story that is happening now.

April 2, 2023 was International Fact Checking Day. Check out:

On a rock that rotates much slower than Earth, time gets weird fast

I would like to thank everyone who read my mid-week special plea for help for CuriOdyssey museum’s storm recovery. It’s been a very challenging time and they have much to do to recover and get fully up and running again. It’s not too late to help!

Have a great week learning new and cool stuff.
herb masters

Two hundred million years ago, long before we walked the Earth, it was a world of cold-blooded creatures and dull color — a kind of terrestrial sea of brown and green. There were plants, but their reproduction was a tenuous game of chance — they released their pollen into the wind, into the water, against the staggering improbability that it might reach another member of their species. No algorithm, no swipe — just chance.

But then, in the Cretaceous period, flowers appeared and carpeted the world with astonishing rapidity — because, in some poetic sense, they invented love.

Once there were flowers, there were fruit — that transcendent alchemy of sunlight into sugar. Once there were fruit, plants could enlist the help of animals in a kind of trade: sweetness for a lift to a mate. Animals savored the sugars in fruit, converted them into energy and proteins, and a new world of warm-blooded mammals came alive.

Without flowers, there would be no us.” The Marginalian

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