The SciSchmooze wants to know 11.16.20

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SciSchmooze Weekly Events Newsletter

Hello Fans of Data and Evidence, aka Science and Reason,

Just to remind you and make sure that new readers know… I am not a trained or certified (whatever that means) scientist. I grew up in a time when science was the ultimate arbiter of truth for most people I knew and is for the people I know now. Nor am I a historian or philosopher. I'm just someone who is trying to make sense out of how we know and celebrate what we know about this amazing universe. The philosophy of science ( keeps many of us grounded in understanding many things ( (Sorry but some weird link problems with Mailchimp!)

I have been a fan of how James Burke told the story of Connections since it first came out. Throughout human history, as I think we know it, there have been beliefs that were based solely on the lack of facts or data. They were based on how things appear and the confirmation biases of the day. Sometimes they persist today even in spite of data and evidence. Consider if you will Galileo Galilei. I suggest that he may be responsible for one of the biggest upsets in our perception of how things work in history. Even now it just seems that heavy things should and do fall faster. Until his visit (possibly) to the Tower of Pisa this was a law of nature. Many arguments/disagreements about everything have gone on for centuries. However when real evidence and data support a different interpretation because knowledge has improved we adjust what we accept, believe, or know. We have known there are other galaxies for less than 100 years yet we still have people who say they believe the earth is flat!

So please, consider the science and evidence that covid 19 is real and our elections are secure. The evidence is overwhelming. You can deny only so much. The science and evidence are overwhelming. We understand many things better than we did a short time ago.

We have much to learn. Here are a few opportunities just this coming week. The fall and rise of the mass on a spring - Livestream Mon @ 2:30, Behind the Scenes: The National Trachoma Service Wed @ noon, After Dark Online: Sustenance - Contemplating Creativity Thu @ 7:00

We've been struggling against our own self-interests for 3 seasons now. If everyone would act with an abundance of caution and restraint I think many of our lives, many small businesses, and many cultural institutions would be much better off. Many people think that a guideline or rule is good for everyone else but its ok to personally disregard it. Your favorite restaurant of gym is probably suffering. If we all had done what was pretty obvious from the beginning we'd probably be looking forward to holidays with family and friends. I hope you can convince others that don't agree to act with an abundante cautela.

So what history should we save? We need to remember and memorialize our triumphs and failures. The old adage of about what happens when we fail to learn from history is a very solid concept. Failing to learn often leads to more painful lessons.

Science often helps us appreciate many things as well. Here's some lighter links to check out… Les Grands Fantômes celebrates Kepler, Galileo, and Foucault all at once! How we perceive is often destined by what our own frame of reference is. The next time you see something in the air and wonder how it moves consider the owl.

Be well, keep well, and don't trust a lack of evidence. The earth is round, we need vaccines, and homeopathy won't save you.

herb masters

"History is nothing but assisted and recorded memory. It might almost be said to be no science at all, if memory and faith in memory were not what science necessarily rest on. In order to sift evidence we must rely on some witness, and we must trust experience before we proceed to expand it. The line between what is known scientifically and what has to be assumed in order to support knowledge is impossible to draw. Memory itself is an internal rumour; and when to this hearsay within the mind we add the falsified echoes that reach us from others, we have but a shifting and unseizable basis to build upon. The picture we frame of the past changes continually and grows every day less similar to the original experience which it purports to describe." The Life of Reason, by George Santayana

Upcoming Events:
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Monday, 11/16/2020

Rivers, Time, and Collaborative Research - Livestream - 11/16/2020 09:00 AM

Rivers are icons of climate change. They are also highly sensitive indicators of present climate conditions, recorders of historical climate, and predictors of climate in the future. Climate scientists research all of these factors by observing watersheds and the ecosystems they sustain.

Conceived by Jonathon Keats, River Time is a multifaceted civic initiative intended to bolster public appreciation of river systems - and people’s understanding of their significance as climate indicators - by enli sting rivers as timekeepers. Instead of being calibrated by the pulsations of cesium atoms in remote laboratories, local time is measured by the flow of local rivers, speeding up or slowing down with the myriad environmental factors that affect watersheds daily, seasonally, annually, and over the course of generations.

An open-ended investigation of our relationship with time and place, River Time is simultaneously a provocation. The time kept by atomic clocks gives us the false illusion of control: being able to manage the present and predict the future. In fluvial clocks, time is alive with contingencies. We experience the complexity of the global environment. We come to terms with where planning and prediction fail us: the limitations of what we can know about the future - and the threat of hubris.

Originating in Alaska as a SEED Lab project of the Anchorage Museum, River Time is a global initiative, and will be deployed next on the rivers of Switzerland. River Time i s also a case study in art-and-science collaboration, which will serve as the basis for research on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research by the Transdisciplinarity Lab at ETH Zurich (Switzerland).

Drawing on insights from the project Shaping Interdisciplinary Dialogues in Europe, an ongoing H2020 project, this discussion will elaborate on pathways to collaborative research. The challenge of including the arts and humanities meaningfully in research and innovation initiatives is not new, but has grown more important in these crisis-ridden times. There is an urgent need for more collaborative work embracing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research across and between all disciplines. In this context, how can the arts and humanities be activated by scientific questions and deployed to address scientific questions of relevance to the present?

See weblink to register.

The fall and rise of the mass on a spring - Livestream - 11/16/2020 02:30 PM
UC Berkeley

Since antiquity, the mass on a spring and other simple mechanical systems have been used in everyday applications, like time-keeping clocks. But at one time, they were also employed in smarter information technologies such as calculators and computers, technologies now ruled by silicon-based microelectronics. In recent years, thanks largely to the nanometer-scale miniaturization of mechanical systems and the discovery of atomic-scale materials like graphene, the mass on a spring has been rising in scientific and technological prominence, and is once again knocking on the door of more sophisticated uses. The next step in this mechanical evolution - as occurred with electronic microchips - is to form large programmable networks of interacting nanomechanical re sonators, but such networks demand unprecedented, scalable control over the resonance frequencies and coupling of the constituent resonators. Here, I will detail recent projects in my lab that advance the quest to realize these networks, projects enabled by optically addressable graphene nanoelectromechanical resonators. By harnessing several unique properties of graphene, we develop an optoelectronic non-volatile mechanical strain memory and a means for fast, photothermally mediated strain modulation, which together enable local static and dynamic frequency and coupling control of resonators in large arrays. I will discuss several applications already enabled by our work, such as a new photodetector that "hears" light, as well as some wilder, yet promising aspirations.

Speaker: Benjamin Aleman, University of Oregon

See weblink for Zoom information.

Cosmic shadows and cosmic structures: the CMB as a Large-Scale Structure experiment - Livestream - 11/16/2020 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium,

Information about the late-time Universe is imprinted on the small scale CMB as photons travel to us from the surface of last scattering. Several processes are at play and small scale fluctuations are very rich and non-Gaussian in nature. I will review some of the most important effects and I will focus on the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect and gravitational lensing. I will discuss how a combination of measurements can probe velocity fields at cosmological distances, serving as one of the most sensitive probes of initial conditions, and inform us on cluster energetics. If time allows, I will also discuss how to detect and characterize the properties of patchy reionization using the CMB as a backlight.

Speaker: Simone Ferraro, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs

See weblink for Zoom information

CIRTIS People and Robots Seminar - Livestream - 11/16/2020 04:00 PM
UC Berkeley

Speaker: Alberto Rodriguez, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

See weblink for webcast information

Astronomy Geneology Project - Livestream - 11/16/2020 04:00 PM
What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Speaker: Dr. Joe Tenn, Emeritus of Sonoma State University

See weblink for Zoom information.

LA's Green New Deal - Livestream - 11/16/2020 04:00 P M
Stanford Energy Seminar

LA’s Green New Deal, released by Mayor Garcetti in April 2019, sets a global model for upholding and exceeding the Paris Climate Agreement by prioritizing urgency, equity, and prosperity. Uniquely, the city of Los Angeles runs the largest municipally owned electricity and water utility in the country, the second busiest airport in the country, and the largest and busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere. Come learn about how the second largest city in the country, and the third largest metropolitan center of the world, is operating on the global stage on climate action while pursuing the ‘five zeros’ (zero carbon grid, zero carbon buildings, zero carbon transportation, zero waste, and zero wasted water) at home. Further, learn about how Los Angeles is ensuring a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis reinforces rather than delays these goals.

Speaker: Lauren Faber O'Connor, City of Los Angeles

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How do hierarchical materials form, transform, and transport energy at the nanoscale? - Livestream - 11/16/2020 04:15 PM
UC Berkeley

Hierarchical materials - materials that include a hierarchy of bonding interactions because their basic building block are more complex than those of individual atoms - present a wide array of underexplored phase behaviors and emergent properties. Examples include many current functional materials comprised on molecules or small particle building blocks, such as glasses and polymer-based plastics in which disorder is deliberately harnessed, and also next-generation semiconductors that can be formed with far more modest protocols than conventional ones, such as those being explored for display technology and solar cells. I will review the basic similarities to and differences between these hierarchical materials’ structure and formation processes and also the emergent properties of various forms of energy transport.

One current hallmark of the typical structures of hierarchical materials is that they are often trapped far from equilibrium, presenting heterogeneities that can affect their emergent properties. To study these materials therefore often requires direct-space approaches able both to observe phase transformations and to correlate microscopic structure with properties such as transport. I will describe the classes of electron-based and ultrafast optical-based microscopy approaches that we have developed to respectively access new spatiotemporal regimes to resolve materials transformations and energy transport in hierarchical materials, along with the insights that we have thus accessed. These include tracking quasiparticle populations in heterogeneous semiconducting and metallic materials and, as an introduction to soft matter physics, aims at controlling phase behavior in model systems by deliberately driving them out of equilibrium.

Speaker: Naomi Ginsberg, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Tuesday, 11/17/2020

Mary Nichols: A Climate Champion’s Legacy - Livestream - 11/17/2020 02:00 PM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

Throughout a 45-year career as an environmental regulator, Mary Nichols has been called everything from “Trump's nemesis” to “the most influential environmental regulator of all time.” A powerful climate champion for advancing climate action and limiting emissions, Nichols has taken on automakers and collaborated with them. Environmentalists have cheered her moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions, occasionally criticizing her for letting polluters off easy and not doing enough for disadvantaged communities of color.

Where does California’s climate leadership go from here, and what’s ahead for a new national climate agenda in 2021? Join us for a conversation on the storied career of Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, and a look at California’s ambitious and controversial climate leadership from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Speaker: Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board; Greg Dalton, Climate One, Moderator

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Walk with Obi: Coast Redwoods on Fire - Livestream - 11/17/2020 03:00 PM
Peninsula Open Space Trust

Take a once-in-a-lifetime virtual walk with Obi Kaufmann as he explores habitat recovery & restoration of a burned coast redwood forest.

The story of the coast redwood is the story of a genetic lineage that stretches back to a time before the dinosaurs. Having evolved over the past several hundred million years to emerge as we find them today, the tallest tree to ever have lived on planet earth, coast redwoods are responsible for unique habitats that harbor a wealth of biodiversity found nowhere else. Although California's mighty redwood forests can survive fire, flood, and a slew of other natural stressors, the onslaught of climate breakdown and a cacophony of other human-made threats presents unprecedented challenges to these precious, irreplaceable ecosystems.

Join Obi Kaufmann, author of The Forests of California (Heyday/September 2020), as he journeys into an old-growth redwood grove, one owned and managed by Sempervirens Fund that burned just a few months ago, to reveal the ecological mechanisms already at work repairing the battered forest. Despite the compounded injuries of fire, fragmentation, climate, and poor-policy, Obi’s profound message of good stewardship and hope as an actionable tool is an important and timely perspective, not only towards the conservation of the forest, but to the future of our own human residency in this beautiful and perilous place, California.

Live Q&A with attendees following the event.

Speaker: Obi Kaufmann

A history from the bottom of the sea: fish, microfossils, and 85 million years of global change - 11/17/2020 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Fish are the most diverse group of vertebrates on the planet today, and the type and abundance of fish present in the marine ecosystem depends on the environmental conditions and food web processes in that area. Ichthyoliths - isolated microfossil fish teeth and shark scales - preserve a unique history of the abundance, community composition, and evolutionary history of fish. In this talk, I use ichthyoliths preserved in deep-sea sediments to explore how open-ocean fish and sharks respond to Cretaceous and Cenozoic global change, from mass extinctions to global climate events. I will discuss changes in fish production, community structure, and evolutionary processes and their interactions with environmental conditions, as well as share new findings of a major change in marine vertebrate community composition du ring the Early Miocene. Together these records demonstrate that fish can provide unique insights into the patterns of marine ecosystem evolution and sensitivity to global change.

Speaker: Elizabeth Sibert, Harvard University

See weblink for connection/location information

Frontiers in Optical and CMB Survey Cosmology - Livestream - 11/17/2020 04:30 PM
Stanford Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium,

Observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and the galaxy-filled sky provide images of the universe at its various stages that are sensitive to its physics from the earliest moments to recent times. These observations are key to expanding our understanding to the physics of inflation, neutrinos, dark matter, and dark energy - some of the most mysterious terrains in physics today. We will present results from current CMB and optical surveys - the South Pole Telescope & BICEP/Keck Array and the optical Dark Energy Survey, respectively - whose unprecedented sensitivities enable us to stringently test the standard cosmological model and constrain new physics. We will discuss their current limitations due to calibration uncertainty and confounding astrophysical effects. To conclude, we will look forward to the bright future of optical, CMB, and joint cosmological experiments that will be performed by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time and the CMB-S4 experiment.

Speakers: Daniel Gruen and Kimmy Wu, SLAC

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Basic Science: Quantum Information's Imminent Revolution - Livestream - 11/17/2020 05:00 PM
UC Berkeley

Ushering i n the era of quantum computing, UC Berkeley serves as headquarters for the new Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Present and Future Quantum Computation. A panel that includes three of its scientific directors explores the institute’s research priorities and the campus vision for an integrated initiative across quantum science and technology.

Please register in advance. To access the presentation, join the Zoom meeting.

Dan Stamper-Kurn, Professor of Physics, moderator

Hartmut Häffner, Associate Professor and Mike Gyorgy Chair in Physics

Boubacar Kanté, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

Lin Lin, Associate Professor of Mathematics

K. Birgitta Whaley, Professor of Chemistry

Firesmart Landscaping - Livestream - 11/17/2020 05:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden

How can you adapt your landscaping to better protect your home from wildfires?

Fay Mark, a UC Marin Master Gardener will offer guidance on how to plan and maintain healthy fire-smart landscaping. With photos, videos, and real world examples of recommended best practices she will explain how to have aesthetically pleasing landscaping that also enhances the defensible space around your home.

Register at weblink to receive Zoom information.

The Making and Maintenance of our Open Source Infrastructure - Livestream - 11/17/2020 05:00 PM
Long Now Foundation

Nadia Eghbal is particularly interested in infrastructure, governance, and the economics of the internet - and how the dynamics of these subjects play out in software, online communities and generally living life online.

Eghbal, who interviewed hundreds of developers while working to improve their experience at GitHub, argues that modern open source offers us a model through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators. Her new book, Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, is about open source developers and what they tell us about the evolution of our online social spaces.

Eghbal sees open source code as a form of public infrastructure that requires maintenance, and that offers us a model through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators on all platforms.

See weblink for streaming options.

30 million galaxies seen through 5000 eyes - measuring the expansion of the Universe - Livestream - 11/17/2020 06:00 PM
Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics

We know that our Universe is expanding, but how fast? Is it getting faster or slowing down? And why? The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), a state-of-the-art instrument on the Mayall telescope in Arizona, is equipped with 5,000 robotic optical fibers to capture the lights from 5,000 galaxies at one time. It will observe 30 million galaxies over the next 5 years, producing the largest data set of galaxies with high-resolution measurements of their colors. Find out all about DESI and how we will make a 3D map of the structure of our Universe, understand its expansion and tackle some of the biggest mysteries in cosmology; dark matter and dark energy.

Spea ker: Dr. Chia-Hsun Chuang, Kavli

See weblink for Zoom information.

Sea Otter Conservation and Ecology in the 21st Century - Livestream - 11/17/2020 07:00 PM
American Cetacean Society

Having nearly been forced to extinction throughout much of their range in the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters have made a remarkable comeback. Through their recovery, we are learning new things about their basic biology and ecology, which is forcing coastal scientists and managers to rethink the role of the sea otter in the 21st century. In this talk, Dr. Hughes will discuss the recently discovered habitats of the sea otter and how that relates to the ecology of nearshore ecosystems and their conservation moving forward.

Speaker: Dr. Brent Hughes, Sonoma State Univ.

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Thanksgiving on Mars: Exploration & Human Missions Beyond Earth Orbit - Livestream - 11/17/2020 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Humankind has always dreamt of traveling to new places and exploring new frontiers. When the Pilgrims’ arrived in the New World on wooden sailing ships in the 1600’s, they celebrated the first Thanksgiving with Native Americans and began settling into life in their new home.

Over time, the exploration and settlement on of our continent continued - initially on foot or by covered wagons, later by Transcontinental Railroad, and more recently by airplanes and jets, each time going further and faster using new technology. Even today, some dream of using rockets to take us to the Moon or Mars, perhaps to establish yet another frontier settlement.

But before we can celebrate Thanksgiving on a new planet, we’ll need more than just rocket scientists, engineers and daredevils. Designing human missions to other planets involves taking a broad perspective. Join us for a far-out and forward-looking adventure beyond Earth. And maybe some of you can get involved in the effort ahead. it will take all kinds of experts and lots of teamwork in the coming decades.

Speaker: Dr. Margaret Race, NASA and SETI

See weblink for Facebook connection.

Wild Mushrooms on the Menu - A Year of Patch to Plate Mycophagy - Livestream - 11/17/2020 07:00 PM
Mycological Society of San Francisco

Langdon Cook is an author, instructor, and lecturer on wild foods and the outdoors. We are pleased to announce that he will join MSSF on November 17th to present at our virtual general meeting.

He says “I’ll guide participants through four seasons of mushroom hunting and cooking on the West Coast, with slides of fungi in their natural habitat and on the table in finished dishes”.

Wednesday, 11/18/2020

Going Negative to Create Positive Futures - Livestream - 11/18/2020 08:00 AM

2020 has been a historic year. While the world has experienced a major economic downturn during a global pandemic, there has been, however, explosive growth in carbon friendly strategies, initiatives, and rounds of funding whether large banks, multinationals, and venture investors. These opportunities in the gr owing regenerative economy value human and planetary health through an integrated, systems approach to technology and evolution.

In this panel discussion, hear from experts within the San Francisco Bay Area’s entrepreneurship ecosystem who are creating value in the food and agriculture industries and enabling new kinds of propositions that blend people, profit, and planet. Join our event to hear from entrepreneurs who are growing businesses in the nascent carbontech economy.

Speaker: Laura Erickson, swissnex San Francisco

Register at weblink to receive connection information

CITRIS COVID-19 Response Seed Award Outcomes - Livestream - 11/18/2020 12:00 PM
Citris Research Exchange

Panelists TBA

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Data Science Coast to Coast - Alex Szalay - Livestream - 11/18/2020 12:00 PM
Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Alex Szalay is a Distinguished Professor in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, where he is also a professor in the department of Computer Science, and the director of the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES). He also leads the Open Storage Network (OSN), funded by the NSF and the Schmidt Futures Foundation in 2018, to provide cyberinfrastructure services that address specific data storage, transfer, sharing, and access challenges. The OSN is linked to the Big Data Innovation Hubs and other data science initiatives involved in local, regional, and national-scale research and education. Szalay is a cosm ologist, working on the statistical measures of the spatial distribution of galaxies and galaxy formation. He is a Corresponding Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he received an Alexander Von Humboldt Award in Physical Sciences, and in 2007, the Microsoft Jim Gray Award. In 2008 he became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Eotvos University, Budapest. He is also a musician, film sound designer and computer animator.

See weblink for connection information.

Behind the Scenes: The National Trachoma Service - 11/18/2020 12:00 PM
on line
In this new series Behind the Scenes, from Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye, we’ll examine curious medical objects in the museum’s storage cabinets.If you’re interested in medical oddities, you’ll want to join Museum Director Jenny Benjamin for the launch of Behind the Scenes. In this new series, we’ll examine curious medical objects in the museum’s storage cabinets. The first episode will feature a rare set of glass propaganda teaching slides prepared by the National Trachoma Service. Trachoma is a bacterial infection that attacks the eyes and has been documented for thousands of years. Learn about the trachoma epidemic in the United States between 1912 and 1924, and its parallels to our current health crisis the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye™ is the world’s only free, public museum dedicated to the fascinating science of sight. Look through the pupil of an enormous eye, explore interactive displays and try on a virtual reality headset to see how new technology can impact medicine. Through high-tech exhibits and a renowned collection of ophthalmic artifacts, you’ll discover surpri sing facts about how your vision works and the field of medicine devoted to protecting it.

Please note that the live event's Zoom link will be provided after your registration is complete.

AI and ML to Support and Improve Health Among African American Caregivers - Livestream - 11/18/2020 12:00 PM
Magnimind Academy

Yoon will present her recent AI and machine learning projects to support and improve health among African American and Hispanic dementia caregivers using Twitter and public population-level data. Yoon will briefly discuss the lessons learned, challenges, and potential solutions for executing AI and machine learning projects.

11:50 am - 12:00 pm Arrival and socializing
12:00 pm - 12:10 pm Opening
12:10 pm - 1:50 pm Sunmoo Yoon, "AI and Machine Learning to Support and Improve He alth Among African American and Hispanic Dementia Caregivers"
1:50 pm - 02:00 pm Q&A

Speaker: Sunmoo Yoon is an associate research scientist at Columbia University, Department of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and affiliated faculty at Data Science Institute.
See weblink for connection information.

Big Tech vs. Healthcare wearables: A Goliath and Goliath Story - Livestream - 11/18/2020 12:00 PM

Consumer wearables have been at the forefront of ‘quantified self’ trends over the last several years, and vendors have taken strides in the depth, breadth and accuracy of the data they feed back to consumers. With wearable stakeholders such as Apple, Fitbit, Google and Garmin all seeking to navigate a complex regulatory environment to leverage the lucrative opportunities in health and wellness, Futuresource explores the present state and future outlook of the consumer wearables markets, before assessing the ambition of these Consumer Electronics giants and their potential to disrupt the healthcare sector.

Topics covered:

Market forecasts/data for smartwatches, sports watches, activity trackers, hearables, at a global level.Vendor breakdown at a global level - who are the incumbents, who is emerging? Who are the frontrunners in healthcare use cases? What are the current capabilities and limitations of these vendors? What opportunity are they seeking to leverage? (i.e. the growing Aging in Place Market via fall detection) What next? How will these vendors develop their wearables propositions? What are the barriers to entry that consumer electronics vendors need to navigate?

- How does NFC Charging differ from Qi-based charging?

- What products currently use NFC Charging?

- What products are high-growth categories for NFC Charging?

- How do power and data work together in an NFC Charging system?

- Q&A

Speakers: Greg Kuchuris and Jason Luzinsky, NuCurrent

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Phone Home: Waiting for Signs of Life in the Known Universe - Livestream - 11/18/2020 01:00 PM
The Science & Entertainment Exchange

Jill Tarter has spent more than 40 years trying to answer the question, “Are we alone in the universe?” An astronomer and co-founder of the SETI Institute, she was the inspiration for Ellie Arroway, the alien-hunting protagonist made famous by Jodie Foster in the 1997 Robert Zemeck's film adaptation of Carl Sagan’s novel Contact. Join us for Jill’s unique perspective on the search for extraterrestrial life as humanity peers out into the stars to determine who or what might be out there in the universe. But that’s just one part of the inquiry. Because as eager as we might be to get our first look at alien life, ultimately that discovery might reveal as much about ourselves as anything else. Because once we know we are not alone, perhaps we might reflect on what binds us as fellow humans, potentially inspiring us to overcome our differences here on planet Earth.

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Ask the Scientist - Risa Cohen - Livestream - 11/18/2020 01:30 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

How do scientists go from OMG to PhD? How do they turn their passion for science into their profession? What advice do they have for future scientists?

If you are a 5th-12th grade student, undergraduate, teacher or parent, join us to ask these questions and more in a Q&A session.

Parents must give permission for children under 18 to participate.

Speaker: Risa Cohen, Georgia Southern University

See weblink for connection information.

New kids on the block: Emerging contaminants in aquatic systems - Livestream - 11/18/2020 03:30 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

Chemicals from human sources such as agriculture, urban runoff, and waste from domestic and industrial sewage are pervasive in freshwater and coastal systems. New chemicals are continually being developed, but testing for toxicity prior to use is typically done under controlled laboratory conditions on one or a few species. When these emerging contaminants enter surface waters, they may have unexpected and far-reaching consequences. Environmental conditions such as elevated temperature could exacerbate adverse chemical effects on aquatic organisms. In addition, the presence of other species makes it difficult to discern which effects are due to direct chemical toxicity and which are due to indirect effects via species interactions. Finally, the interconnectedness of water environments increases the likelihood that contaminant effects extend farther than anticipated. This presentation will address the effects of two emerging contaminant s on aquatic communities under environmental conditions, and the potential for emerging contaminants to travel long distances.

Speaker: Risa Cohen, Professor and Assistant Chair, Georgia Southern University

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Improving stormwater and wastewater removal of contaminants using low-cost composites - Livestream - 11/18/2020 05:00 PM
California Section American Chemical Society,

Speaker: Prof. J. Ray

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Peninsula Gem and Geology Society General Meeting - 11/18/2020 07:00 PM
Peninsula Gem & Geology Society,

Cliff Imprescia will give a talk on the Plumas Coun ty collecting locality called the MT Pit #1. Found in 1979 by Charles Trantham and Jeanne Mager, the site has produced numerous specimens of Quartz, Epidote, Albite, Axinite-Fe, and Titanite. The photo presentation will include locality info, site details and mineral specimen examples.

See weblink to obtain contact information.

DIGITAL DEPUTY ACT: A commitment to digital ethics by Software Professionals - Livestream - 11/18/2020 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery,

California Preposition 24 tries to add more fines, to create more data rules and to approve more agency to over a basically software professional's ethic practice when one creates applications for a client either it is a large or small corporation, or uses consumers' data. DIGITAL DEPUTY ACT is a commitment to digital ethics practice through Optional California State Licensing of Software Professionals.

Software professionals are on the front lines when it comes to developing new online applications for consumers all over the world where regulatory officiating by lawyers, judges and elected officials, especially in terms of data privacy and digital ethics, invariably occurs AFTER the software has been extensively developed.

(Add AI software development experience touching on ethical issues)

DIGITAL DEPUTY ACT is a document of software professional have been encountered and experienced uncertainty or ethical dilemma as guidelines for software professionals.

Speaker: Rafael Baca, Patent Attorney

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Life on Venus? Or much ado about nothing? - Livestream - 11/18/2020 07:00 PM
SETI Institute

For decades, we thought of Venus as a completely uninhabitable planet because of the hellish environment on its surface. Yet, several scientists have championed the idea that life could exist in the thick cloud decks that shroud the planet.

Several weeks ago, a team of astronomers reported the detection of phosphine on Venus. If this stinky, toxic, perhaps biogenic gas does exist on Venus as reported, we stand to learn something profound. If clever chemists succeed in identifying a nonbiological source that produces phosphine, we will learn about the limitations of using atmospheric biosignatures to infer life. If they fail, this discovery increases our already high motivation to go to Venus and study its atmosphere in situ with 21st-century instruments.

To discuss this amazing discovery and its consequences for the search for life beyond Earth, we invited two astronomers: Clara Sousa-Silva, co-author of the study about phosphine o n Venus and David Grinspoon, astrobiologist and member of the SETI Institute’s Science Advisory Board, and is part of the Breakthrough Initiative and co-investigator on multiple proposed missions to search for primitive life in the clouds of Venus.

The speakers will discuss whether or not phosphine detected on the planet next door is a signature of alien biology and how we might one day send a space probe to find out.

Science on Tap: A New Tool to Map Entire Galaxies - Livestream - 11/18/2020 07:00 PM
Science on Tap

All the popular images of galaxies, while beautiful, do not provide the information that astronomers need to measure the galaxies’ inherent properties, like the dynamics and composition of their stars and gases. Using the latest techn ological advances, Dr. McGurk is building a new, custom-designed instrument for Carnegie Observatories' Magellan Telescopes that will peer into the Universe with extreme detail - making it possible to efficiently make 3D maps of galaxies, nebulae, and more.

Speaker: Rosalie McGurk, Carneigie Observatories

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12 Years of Cosmic Fireworks with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope - Livestream - 11/18/2020 07:30 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

A single gamma ray carries millions of times the energy of a single photon of visible light. This means that gamma rays are produced only in the most convulsive environments in the universe; pulsars spinning inside magnetic fields, stars in binary systems devouring their partner s and black holes at the centers of galaxies swallowing gas clouds more massive than our sun. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was launched on June 11, 2008, to measure these extreme astronomical events. In this lecture, SLAC scientist, Eric Charles will describe how we observe astronomical gamma-rays and why we must go to space to see them. Then he will discuss how 12 years of observations from the Fermi Telescope have changed our understanding of the most violent objects in the universe.

Speaker: Eric Charles, Stanford Linear Accelerator

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Thursday, 11/19/2020

Probabilistic and Approximate Computation in Software and Hardware Models - Livestream - 11/19/2020 04:00 PM
Sonoma State University Engineering Science

Speaker: Prof. Bala Ravikumar, Chair, Department of Computer Science, SSU, Rohnert Park, CA

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Social Justice Series: The Death Gap - In the Wake of COVID-19 - Livestream - 11/19/2020 04:00 PM
Touro University

The US, one of the most developed countries in the world has the most persistent gaps in life expectancy across racial and ethnic groups. Dr. Ansel will provide an overview of the social determinants and structural racisms that contributes to the gaps in life expectancy and discuss policies and solutions to eliminate the gaps.

Refuge Rails and Tales - Livestream - 11/19/2020 05:00 PM
Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge,

Behind the peaceful refuge and beautiful bay are many fascinating tales: the little rail vs. the big rail, the mouse with the mighty tail, the amazing mistake that led to the discovery of the bay, the marsh named after Chicago, how the bay was nearly destroyed (twice!), how three women saved the bay, why the refuge was created, and many more! Join docent Larry Rosenblum as he recounts little-known tales that will give you an appreciation of the refuge and the bay.

Register at weblink

'Symphone of the Soil' Film Screening and Discussion - Livestream - 11/19/2020 06:00 PM
StopWaste & Eden Garden,

Join us in this screening of the film “Symphony of the Soil” and a short, follow-up discussion on carbon farming in home gardens. The film is created by Deborah Koons Garcia and Lily Fi lms Studio. Symphony of the Soil Beautifully illustrates the complex life that exists in healthy soil ecosystems, the role that carbon plays in soil health, and how institutions, farmers and gardeners impact this soil ecosystem. Following the film, we will discuss findings from local urban farms in Alameda County on the impacts of carbon farming practices on soil health and climate change.

Limited to the first 100 participants to log in. Register at weblink for connection information.

November LASER Event - Livestream - 11/19/2020 06:00 PM
LASER Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous,

Summer Praetorius (USGS Geologist) on "The Heliocene"

Miriam Dym (Pattern Artist) on "Decision Fields and Embodied Algorithms: working with infinitely variable and interactive pattern systems"

Register at weblink to receive connection information.

After Dark Online: Sustenance - Contemplating Creativity - 11/19/2020 07:00 PM

As a vital form of intelligence, creative thinking takes many shapes. Tonight, we’ll dig into the creative mind; hear from creators about their processes; and uncover what neuroscientists have discovered about the brain, creativity, and the nourishing effects of both producing and experiencing creative outputs.

This program features:

Hear from Psyche Loui, a psychology and neuroscience researcher and musician she’ll share her insights into the brain structures and processes that support the creative practice of music composition and improvisation, and the auditory and multisensory responses we may have when experiencing music. Loui is a ssistant professor of creativity and creative practice and director of the Music, Imaging, and Neural Dynamics Laboratory at Northeastern University.

Step into the creative process of musician Adria Otte. Otte creates music inspired from a diverse musical background that includes classical violin studies, rock bands, traditional Korean drumming, free improvisation, and experimental electronic music. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has performed improvised and composed works on violin, electric guitar, and both digital and analog electronics.

How can observation and a dedication to asking questions support a robust creative practice? Hear from naturalist Fiona Gillogly about her approach to nature journaling and the ways observation maintains and expands her creative mindset.

Use familiar materials in unfamiliar ways with our Tinkering Studio they’ll guide you through explorations of balance and build balancing sculptures. Contribute to the conversation by adding your own creation to their Twitter thread at #ExploringBalance.

Inspired by the autumnal harvest, this month’s After Dark Online explores the qualities, practices, and materials that connect us as a culture and provide nourishment and resilience through time of scarcity. What do you want to take forward? What can you leave behind?

See weblink for streaming links to YouTube and Facebook.

NightSchool: The Slow Life of Sloths - Livestream - 11/19/2020 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Two-toed or three-toed, giant or pygmy - we know y ou love the tree-dwelling, slow-moving mammals, but what do you know about sloth science? Learn about the coevolution of sloths and algae, a prehistoric giant sloth boneyard, and what wild sloths do when they sleep.

Ages 21+

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook links.

Friday, 11/20/2020

Global Energy Dialogues-US Energy & Climate Policy's Global Impact - Livestream - 11/20/2020 09:00 AM
Stanford Energy

This dialogue with the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr. Fatih Birol, and Dr. Jonathan Pershing, program director of environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will discuss the US energy and climate policy's impact on the rest of the world.

Pleas e join us for this session hosted by Lynn Orr, Emeritus Professor in Petroleum Engineering at Stanford University.

RSVP at weblink to receive connection information

The radiation belts of Jupiter and their interplay with Io and Europa - Livestream - 11/20/2020 12:00 PM
institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics

The radiation belts of Jupiter are populated by energetic charged particles (electrons, ions) trapped by the gigantic magnetic field of the planet. The distribution and fluxes of these particles are sculpted by their interaction with the inner magnetosphere environment, including the environments induced by the volcanic moon Io and the icy Europa: surfaces, exospheres, extended neutral torii, cold plasma and electromagnetic waves. Conversely, the radiation belts of Jupiter are important to understand the weathering of Europa’s surface and the possible preservation of biosignatures. This seminar will give an overview on recent advances regarding the interlink between the Jovian radiation belts and the Io-Europa system. To do so, simulations conducted with a global physics-based model of the radiation belts will be contrasted with in-situ particle measurements by Pioneer 10-11, Voyager 1, Galileo and Juno. Remaining secrets that can be unlocked by a mission dedicated to the radiation belts of Jupiter will be presented, as their relevance to space physics and planetary science.

Speaker: Quentin Nenon, UC Berkeley

Uncovering Ships and Secrets at Pigeon Point - Livestream - 11/20/2020 12:00 PM
Peninsula Open Space Trust

The waters surrounding the iconic Pigeon Point Lighthouse on the San Mateo Coast have many stories to tell. In addition to being a regional port since the Gold Rush period, the area was also home to a major shore whaling operation from 1862 to 1896. In this online webinar, CA State Parks Director of State Archaeological Collections Research Facility Richard Fitzgerald will share about the investigations he has led at Pigeon Point, the history of the Portuguese Whalers, and what lies beneath the ocean surface.

Speaker: Richard Fitzgerald, California State Parks

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Friends of Butte Creek Wild and Scenic Film Festival - Livestream - 11/20/2020 06:30 PM
Friends of Butte Creek

Join Friends of Butte Creek on Friday, November 20th, at 6:30 pm, for a VIRTUAL Wild and Scenic Film Festival evening of exciting films about wild places, wildlife, and the amazing people that are helping to keep things wild. All 12 short films are streamed virtually in HD. Watch on your laptop, tablet, home computer, or your big screen TV.

Doors at 6:30 pm, films at 7:00 pm. Join early to enjoy the chat! If you can’t make Friday’s event, your admission is good for viewing the Film Festival the following 6 days thru Thursday, November 26th.

Register at weblink for connection information.

You Can Almost Touch the Stars - Livestream - 11/20/2020 07:00 PM
Tri-Valley Stargazers

Even if you wanted to touch a star, they're all impossibly distant. Despite these great distances, astronomers have learned an enormous amount about stars. How? The most common method to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device.

Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs. Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture ... or a big budget! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn't you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard?!

This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it's all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. Even if you are an armchair astronomer, understanding this field will enhance your understanding of the things your read and the night sky. We'll do a live Q&A after Tom's 45-minute presentation.

Speaker: Tom Field, Sky and Telescope Magazine

See weblink to obtain Zoom information.

How the Visions of Sci-Fi Led the Way to Space - Livestream - 11/20/2020 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Long before a rocket carried the first person into space, people journeyed to the Moon, Mars, and other worlds on flights of fancy imaginative voyages of fictional storytelling. Beyond entertaining us, science fiction tales have sometimes foreshadowed real events of space exploration and may even serve to shape future voyages.

Speaker: Benjamin Burress, Chabot

Saturday, 11/21/2020

Botany on Your Plate: Exploring the Plants We Eat - Livestream - 11/21/2020 10:00 AM
UC Botanical Garden

Join Christine Manoux, UCBG Education Director, for a fun talk about the plants we eat!

We'll explore plant parts, and learn surprising botanical facts about fruits and vegetables. (Did you know potatoes aren't roots and strawberries aren't fruits?)

Plus, discover what their color might tell us about their nutrition.

Bring the fruits and vegetables you've always wondered about to add to this interactive presentation.

Register at weblink for connection information

San Francisco City Star Party - Canceled - 11/21/2020 07:00 PM
City Star Parties - Parade Grounds at the Presidio, San Francisco

Come join us for our monthly San Francisco City Star Party. SFAA members provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure.

Be sure to check the SFAA website for the latest updates…bad weather or overcast skies will cancel!

Armchair Star Party (Online) - 11/21/2020 07:30 PM
San Jose Astronomical Society

Join San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA) astronomers in our third Armchair (virtual) Star Party. We will take you on a guided tour of the current night sky and introduce you to the tools of astronomy. SJAA members will share live views (weather permitting) as well as long exposure photos of heavenly objects from their homes. You will have an opportunity to submit questions and receive answers during this live session. This event is free, everyone is invited. Just click on the link given when you register. The link will be live just prior to event start time.

We will be using Stellarium during this presentation. It is a free planetarium software that runs on multiple computer platforms. You can download the software to familiarize yourself with it. Note that this software or prior knowledge of it is not needed for this presentation.

Register at weblink for connection information

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 11/21/2020 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Join our resident astronomers on Facebook Live every Saturday evening live from Chabot’s Observation deck!

Each week, our astronomers will guide us through spectacular night sky viewing through Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope. Weather pe rmitting we will be able to view objects live through the telescopes and our astronomers will be available for an open forum for all of your most pressing astronomy questions.

We will go live the Chabot Space & Science Center Facebook page 10-15 minutes before the event. You can find the live video stream on our Facebook page and in the Facebook event discussion. To receive a notification when we go live, “like” Chabot Space & Science Center on Facebook and RSVP that you’re going to this event.

See weblink for connection information.

Monday, 11/23/2020

CIRTIS People and Robots Seminar - Livestream - 11/23/2020 04:00 PM
UC Berkeley,

The Alignment Problem - 11/23/2020 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery,

Tuesday, 11/24/2020

Whole Earth Seminars - 11/24/2020 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz,

Wednesday, 11/25/2020

Data Science for Managers Workshop - 11/25/2020 11:00 AM
Magnimind Academy,

Saturday, 11/28/2020

Science Saturday: Magnificent Monarchs - 11/28/2020 10:00 AM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Pacific Grove

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 11/28/2020 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center,

Monday, 11/30/2020

Maxwell’s Demon, Schrodinger’s Cat, and Broca’s Brain: Gate keepers to the Future of Computing - Li vestream - 11/30/2020 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium,

CIRTIS People and Robots Seminar - Livestream - 11/30/2020 04:00 PM
UC Berkeley,

Studying Hot QCD with Jets - Livestream - 11/30/2020 04:15 PM
UC Berkeley,

Phasing Out Fossil Fuels in Bay Area Buildings - Livestream - 11/30/2020 05:00 PM
SF Planning + Urban Research Assoc. (SPUR),