Fighting for Science

with the SciSchmooze 7.19.21

Hi Science Supporters,

When I went for my covid-19 jabs I tried to have some fun with the folks that were doing the jabbing. Both times I asked for the dose with the extra chips in it. I said that I was working on a theory that if I wrapped a bunch of neodymium magnets around my arm or head that I could deactivate the chips. I think I kept a pretty straight face when making the requests. The first jabber was a paramedic from San Mateo. He looked at me and just started laughing. Then we both had a good laugh. The second jabber was a nurse who looked at me with a very puzzled face and just stared at me. Finally, after an extended pause, she said that she couldn’t tell if I was serious! I should have realized then that science is in trouble. If someone using science to better the lives of many has to question if someone could believe the chips conspiracy, it is a sad statement. I finally had to let on that I was joking.

I have to admit that I am concerned and saddened at how things are going these days. Here in the SF Bay Area generally life has been opening up as more success is achieved each day in fighting covid-19. However those successes seem to be being scaled back and down. It’s called a war on science by many. This isn’t new… A War on Science 10 years ago… The War on Science 4 months ago

You may think it is The right's war on science and facts. Sadly it may just be that there are an incredible amount of trolls pushing the flat

earth, vaccine denial, or the one I most recently heard, birds aren’t real.

There is so much to find on the web about pseudoscience, and conspiracies you can get lost in all of it. Trust me that’s why this is coming out so late today! Attacks on Science and Why isn’t the right more afraid of COVID-19?

OK, more… What’s Behind the War on Science and finally 7 Anti-Science Myths We All Need To Unlearn

So what can you learn about how the universe works this week and share it with someone? Here are a few ideas… Get to know cephalopods: Natural history of the Cephalopoda Wed @ 11:00, the Hubris of Manipulating Nature Wed @ 8:00, After Dark: Living Things Thu @ 6:00

Here’s something to think about The Biggest Myth In Education

Flight 9 Was a Nail-Biter, but Ingenuity Came Through With Flying Colors

NASA Ingenuity Helicopter Achieves Another Mind Blowing Record

Everybody should be thinking about fire season. You may remember the day of the red sky last year. Here’s something to think about both for you and your family but also for the firefighters that are out there trying to control and extinguish these fires. What's in wildfire smoke? A toxicologist explains the health risks

If you forgot this, you’ll remember right away. Then it really gets interesting… How Come You Never See a Baby Housefly?

Here’s your cool video of the week. Ganymede and Jupiter

I hope you have a great time learning new things and realizing you were wrong about some things as well.

herb masters

“We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science technology. And this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces. Who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it?” Carl Sagan


Upcoming Events:
Click to see the next two weeks of events in your browser.


Monday, 07/19/2021


The Science of Flocks and Swarms - Livestream - 07/19/2021 10:00 AM
UC Merced

Flocks of birds, schools of fish, and swarms of ants are all around us. We have all seen and marveled at them. But why and how do they form? This session will introduce participants to the simple universal rules that give rise to collective flocking behavior and explore them with hands-on computer simulations. Preparation instructions will be sent before the session.

Speaker: Ajay Gopinathan, UC Merced

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Target audience: 5th and 6th graders


Tuesday, 07/20/2021


College Readiness and STEM Disciplines - Livestream - 07/20/2021 11:00 AM
UC Merced

In an informal, interactive setting, we will discuss education/STEM education matters and college readiness. We will explore the value of collecting information and implementing good academic practices in high school, so students become college-ready and make educated college and financial choices. A presentation will be shared with the audience.

Speaker: Petia Gueorguieva, UC Merced

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Target audience: High School students


The Big Score: Silicon Valley from the Beginning - Livestream - 07/20/2021 11:00 AM
Computer History Museum

Over the past five decades, the tech industry has grown into one of the most important sectors of the global economy, and Silicon Valley--replete with sprawling office parks, sky-high rents, and countless self-made millionaires--is home to many of its key players. But the origins of Silicon Valley and the tech sector are much humbler. At a time when tech companies' influence continues to grow, The Big Score chronicles how they began.

One of the first reporters on the tech industry beat at the San Jose Mercury News, Michael S. Malone recounts the feverish efforts of young technologists and entrepreneurs to build something that would change the world--and score them a big payday. 

Starting with the birth of Hewlett-Packard in the 1930s, Malone illustrates how decades of technological innovation laid the foundation for the meteoric rise of the Valley in the 1970s. Drawing on exclusive, unvarnished interviews, Malone punctuates this history with incisive profiles of tech’s early luminaries--including Nobel Prize winner William Shockley and Apple's Steve Jobs--when they were struggling entrepreneurs working 18-hour days in their garages. And he plunges us into the darker side of the Valley, where espionage, drugs, hellish working conditions, and shocking betrayals shaped the paths for winners and losers in a booming industry.

A decades-long story with individual sacrifice, ingenuity, and big money at its core, The Big Score recounts the history of today's most dynamic sector through its upstart beginnings.

Join us as Michael Malone sits down with NBC technology and business reporter Scott Budman to discuss the companies and personalities that built Silicon Valley and to explore connections between the Valley’s history with its pressing issues today and future trajectory.

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Modeling Cells and Organelles on Computers - Livestream - 07/20/2021 01:00 PM
UC Merced

In this hands-on computational workshop, we will analyze microscopy images of molecular motors and then learn about the physics and mechanics of cell division. We will also use computer code in Python to model the formation of liquid droplets inside cells and see them divide like cells. Preparation instructions will be sent before the session.

Speaker: Kinjal Dasbiswas and Patrick Noerr, UC Merced

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Target audience: High School students


Two Talks: Popping the Science Bubble - Livestream - 07/20/2021 05:30 PM
Berkeley Public Library

Chance in microbial Evolution

Microbes are everywhere, from fermented foods to thermal hot springs, human microbiomes, and human pathogens. Microbes can evolve - or change their genetic material to adapt to the environment - extremely fast. Understanding the processes that drive microbial evolution will help us to better control them when they are harmful, and leverage them when they are helpful. To do this, we have to take into account the role of chance, or probability, in evolution. How does chance play a role in evolution, what consequences does it have, and what are scientists still learning about it?

Speaker: QinQin Yu (Physics)Surprising properties of tiny, imperfect conductors: A short, electron-guided summer vacation to the quantum realm

Tiny electronics have become an important part of 21st century life. As electronic devices become smaller and smaller, it becomes important to understand how quantum mechanics affects electrons in these devices. We will follow an electron across the landscape of a tiny conductor as it dodges and collides with obstacles. These obstacles, or “imperfections”, give rise to fascinating physics - we will learn why rubies are red, how an imperfect conductor in a strong magnetic field surprised us with one of the most precise measurements in history, and how making a material more imperfect might make it better at converting heat into electricity.

Speaker: Elizabeth Dresselhaus (Physics)

See weblink for Zoom and Facebook links


Wednesday, 07/21/2021


The Science of Flocks and Swarms - Livestream - 07/21/2021 10:00 AM
UC Merced

Flocks of birds, schools of fish, and swarms of ants are all around us. We have all seen and marveled at them. But why and how do they form? This session will introduce participants to the simple universal rules that give rise to collective flocking behavior and explore them with hands-on computer simulations. Preparation instructions will be sent before the session.

Speaker: Ajay Gopinathan, UC Merced

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Target audience: 5th and 6th graders


SETI Talks: Could Rogue Planets Harbor Life? - Livestream - 07/21/2021 10:00 AM
SETI Institute

Life elsewhere in our galaxy may come in many exotic forms, and scientists have speculated about the existence of life on alien worlds, like rogue planets. Rogue planets are planets that are not orbiting any stars.

It’s awe-inspiring that astronomers have discovered more than 4,000 confirmed exoplanets to date (and thousands of more exoplanet candidates). However, most detection techniques rely on the existence of a host star. To detect rogue planets, astronomers use gravitational microlensing, which involves watching foreground objects pass in front of distant background stars. The chances of such an event are slim, but modern astronomers observe tens of millions of stars every 15 minutes, which will increase to 100 million with the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, to detect them. Based on planets that have already been found, our Milky Way could have 50 billion wandering planets, a staggering number that may imply that if life exists on those worlds, our galaxy is full of it.

If a planet is ripped from the warm environment of its star and drifts in the frigid depths of space, it could still hold on to a liquid ocean - and maybe life - beneath an icy crust. Could submarine aliens on such a planet have a chance at survival? And for how long?

We invited two astronomers to discuss the detection and characterization of rogue planets and their potential to harbor life. Dorian Abbot, an associate professor at the University of Chicago, co-authored a proposal for a habitable planet in interstellar space in 2011. And Matthew Penny, an assistant professor at Louisiana State University, leads the MISHAPS transit survey and numerous other microlensing focused programs.

Franck Marchis, a senior planetary astronomer at the SETI Institute, will host this conversation about the future of rogue planet detection and their potential to harbor life in many sorts of weird situations that we haven’t thought of before.

Register at weblink to receive connection information.


Get to know cephalopods: Natural history of the Cephalopoda - Livestream - 07/21/2021 11:00 AM
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Cephalopods are famous for their color change, cognition, and contortions, but how do these abilities help them survive in the wild? Crissy Huffard switches hats from her role in the Pelagic-Benthic Coupling Lab here at MBARI to take us on a dive into cephalopod natural history, from the tropical intertidal to the deep sea.

Register at weblink to receive connection information.


Modeling Cells and Organelles on Computers - Livestream - 07/21/2021 01:00 PM
UC Merced

In this hands-on computational workshop, we will analyze microscopy images of molecular motors and then learn about the physics and mechanics of cell division. We will also use computer code in Python to model the formation of liquid droplets inside cells and see them divide like cells. Preparation instructions will be sent before the session.

Speaker: Kinjal Dasbiswas and Patrick Noerr, UC Merced

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Target audience: High School students


Multimodel DL to detect depression and Visual intro to algorithmic thinking - Livestream - 07/21/2021 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery

An interdisciplinary framework is introduced to leverage both psychiatric clinical best practices as well as AI natural language processing and facial emotion recognition technologies. During COVID-19, the depression rate increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Sentiment analysis technologies and a uniquely designed depression Lexicon for young adults are applied to user communications on Twitter. The result is further integrated with emotion cues from Convolutional Neural Network. The experiment results are consistent with an average accuracy of 88.31%. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users to promote early depression detection.Algorithm is about working smart to avoid unnecessary work. It identifies the most efficient steps to solve a seemingly complex problem without detouring. This talk will use a unique and highly visual approach to introduce some fundamental algorithms used in computational competition and job interviews: Greedy, Dynamic Programming, Prim, Kruskal, Dijkstra, BFS, DFS, etc. Audience will be inspired by the Pygames and the algorithm inventors’ fun stories. You can be the next inventor!

Speakers: Claire X and Raymond X, The Harker School

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Fast Radio Bursts: ElectroMagnetic Pulses from Cosmologically Distant Neutron Stars with Hundred GigaTesla Magnetic Field? - Livestream - 07/21/2021 07:00 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

For over a decade, radio astronomers have been observing millisecond pulses of intense radio emission. They now appear to be associated with strongly magnetized neutron stars called Magnetars, where extreme quantum electrodynamic (QED) and plasma processes take place. The rapidly developing observational picture will be summarized and a plethora of theoretical models will be reported.The possibility that Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) and pulsar radio emission are an expression of force-free electrodynamics, as originally developed by James Clerk Maxwell, will be discussed.

Speaker: Roger Blandford, Stanford University

See weblink for Zoom information


Nerd Nite SF #118: Plants, Signs, and Tokens of the Non-Fungible Variety! - 07/21/2021 07:00 PM
Rickshaw Stop San Francisco

We are back and ready for action, which means presentations and pints for all! There may or may not be a battle of the puns. Come early and get cozy with a drink or two and find out!

ps this may give it away, but submit your puns here to be voted on by an audience of your nerd peers the night of the show.

Tickets here

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“Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t” with Joey Santore

A low-brow, crass approach to plant ecology & evolution as muttered by a misanthropic Chicago Italian.  Amidst mild profanity and general irreverence, we examine plant life (the base of Earth’s food chain) and the nature of the rocks and soil they grow on, as well as the evolutionary adaptations that enable them to do what they do. 

Joey Santore is the silly schmuck behind Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t. He enjoys fine taquerias with numerous health code violations, pacing, and very brief walks on the beach.

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“(Ghost) Sign of the Times” with Kasey Smith

Ten years ago, artist and ghost sign extraordinaire Kasey Smith started a project to identify, document, research, and map San Francisco’s remaining historical hand painted signs - colloquially known as “ghost signs.” 430+ ghost signs later, the map has reached maturity, and can help provide a unique lens on the continuing saga of San Francisco’s redevelopment. Where are these old signs found? Where are they being revealed? Where are they being destroyed? Where are they being restored? And what larger trends are driving all this flux on the ghost sign map? 

When Kasey is not mapping ghost signs or working on her upcoming book about them, she is creating site specific installations, performances, and art events with a focus on the ephemerality of the cityscape. She lives in Oakland, CA.

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“NFTs: Trash or Treasure Chests” with Neranjan Bissoon

Why would people spend so much computer money on a JPEG or a GIF?

You may say probably money laundering or a crypto flex from some Lambo owning tres comma tech founder. The answer is sometimes yes but the potential of NFTs to shape the landscape of art, video games, sex positive communities and more could be immense. Let us journey through the world of blockchain collectibles and discuss some of the current confusion as well as the potential utility behind them. Less how it helps Beeple and more of how things like Play To Earn NFT based games can help people.

Neranjan is a talent agent in the video game industry as well as a blockchain gaming enthusiast, NFT artist, and founder of the blog CatsAndVR. In the past he has been a video game journalist, VR developer, and sex positive filmmaker.

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No food offering for this nite, so get your dinner beforehand.


the Hubris of Manipulating Nature - Livestream - 07/21/2021 08:00 PM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

From clearing land for pasture to building dams, humans have long changed the face of the Earth. We are tool users and problem solvers by nature. But what happens when solving one problem - the need for cheap energy, for example - creates another?

Pumping carbon into the skies has led to climate chaos; should we now apply even more technology to try to get out of the mess we created? Stopping the burning of fossil fuels is imperative if we are to prevent the worst effects of climate change, but it may not be enough. One proposed emergency solution is geoengineering - man-made ways to cool the planet. Physicist, ecologist, and activist Vandana Shiva argues that geoengineering is the ultimate hubris, without democratic control: “Geoengineering is an experiment, not a solution.”

But when our house is burning, does it really make sense to take some options for stopping the conflagration off the table? What if lower-tech solutions like regenerative agriculture aren’t enough?

Join us for a conversation with India’s leading defender of the environment.

Speaker: Vandana Shiva, Foundation for Science, Technology & Ecology; Greg Dalton, Climate One, Moderator

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Thursday, 07/22/2021


Product Design Researcher - 07/22/2021 11:50 AM
Magnimind Academy

In order for a sustainable product to be successful in the market, designers must create products that are not only engineered to be sustainable but are also sustainable as perceived by the customer - and engineered versus perceived sustainability can be quite different. This talk details an AI-design method for extracting perceptions of sustainable features from online reviews using a natural language machine learning algorithm. The method is validated with A/B experimentation involving French Press products to demonstrate growth in online purchases for products with extracted perceived sustainable features.Agenda:11:45 am - 11:50 am Arrival and socializing11:50 am - 11:55 am Opening12:00 pm - 1:50 pm Naser Dehaibi, "Product Design Researcher"1:50 pm - 2:00 pm Q&ASpeaker: Naser DehaibiPlease register using the zoom link to get a reminder:Meeting ID: 839 3039 1137


Modeling Cells and Organelles on Computers - Livestream - 07/22/2021 01:00 PM
UC Merced

In this hands-on computational workshop, we will analyze microscopy images of molecular motors and then learn about the physics and mechanics of cell division. We will also use computer code in Python to model the formation of liquid droplets inside cells and see them divide like cells. Preparation instructions will be sent before the session.

Speaker: Kinjal Dasbiswas and Patrick Noerr, UC Merced

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Target audience: High School students


Future of Transportation - 07/22/2021 05:00 PM
Werqwise San Francisco

Join us for our free upcoming in-person and virtual event co-hosted by Serve Robotics as we look at the tech and business solutions for transportation and food services. This fireside chat will feature CEO of Innowise, Kayvan Baroumand and COO of Serve Robotics, Touraj Parang.

Get an overview of Serve Robotics current projects and a sneak peak into their future plans. This event will have opportunities for networking and Q&As.


A Cosmic Perspective: Searching for Aliens, Finding Ourselves - Livestream - 07/22/2021 05:00 PM
SETI Institute

Are we alone? Humans have been asking this question throughout history. We want to know where we came from, how we fit into the cosmos, and where we are going. We want to know whether there is life beyond the Earth and whether any of it is intelligent.

Since the middle of the twentieth century we have had tools that permit us to embark on a scientific exploration to try to answer this old question. We no longer have to ask the priests and philosophers what we should believe about extraterrestrial life; we can explore and discover what’s actually out there. Our tools are getting ever better. We have discovered extremophiles in the most unexpected places on this planet and we have discovered that there really are far more planets than stars out there. We haven’t yet found life beyond Earth, but there is currently a debate about the detection of Phosphine in the clouds of Venus, and whether this might imply biology. There is a vast amount of other potentially-habitable real estate to explore beyond our solar system, and there are many plans to do just that. The 21st century will be the century in which we will find some answers, this will be your century.

As we look up and look out, we are forced to see ourselves from a cosmic perspective; a perspective that shows us as all the same, all Earthlings. This perspective is fundamental to finding a way to sustain life on Earth for the long future.

Speaker: Jill Tarter, SETI Institute

See weblink to register and for additional details.


NightLife - SOLD OUT - 07/22/2021 06:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Calling all creatures of the night: explore the nocturnal side of the Academy at NightLife and see what's revealed. With live DJs, outdoor bars, ambiance lighting, and nearly 40,000 live animals (including familiar faces like Claude the alligator with albinism), the night is sure to be wild.

Reserve your entry to the iconic Shake House and our four-story Rainforest, where you can explore the Amazon’s treetops surrounded by free-flying birds and butterflies.

Venture into our latest aquarium exhibit Venom to encounter live venomous animals and learn the power of venom to both harm and heal.

Visit the BigPicture exhibit in the Piazza to marvel at the most recent winners of the BigPicture Natural Photography competition.

Bask in the glow of one of the largest living coral reef displays in the world: our 212,000-gallon Philippine Coral Reef tank.

Take in the interstellar views from the Living Roof, then grab a bite from the Academy Cafe and head to the West Garden outdoor bar to drink and dine under the stars. For adults 21+ 


Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth - 07/22/2021 06:00 PM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History Pacific Grove

Join us in the Museum or virtually to meet some of the exhibiting artists of Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth. The artists will discuss their take on the current state of the Pacific Ocean ecosystem, with the natural diversity and human activities that sustain and threaten oceanic life through a very special and striking art form - quilts! You will also have the chance to see their art on display.


After Dark: Living Things - 07/22/2021 06:00 PM
ExplOratorium

Sometimes life is hard to observe because it’s too tiny or too fast, or hidden underground or in the ocean. Tonight at After Dark, we’ll turn the spotlight onto our Living Systems gallery (Gallery 4), where you’re invited to use scientific tools to investigate living things of different sizes, the ecosystems they inhabit, and the processes they share. Explore exhibits that explore the phenomena of the natural world - from marine organisms like phytoplankton to human cells. And don’t miss special demos from our Bio Lab team: catch a close-up glimpse of the often-invisible aspects of living things.

Just for Tonight

Cell Phone Miniscope 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Tonight we invite you to open your eyes to the amazing world of the ultra-tiny! Be sure to grab a cellscope kit and directions - and then convert your cell phone into a portable, picture-taking miniscope using a simple plastic lens from a laser pointer. Use it tonight to see the Exporatorium at its smallest scale, then take it home to continue exploring new environments!

DJ Sake-One from Hip Hop for Change 6:30 - 7:45 and 8:15 - 9:30 p.m.

Get ready to dance your way through the night as DJs from Hip Hop for Change set the vibe and keep the party moving all night! Born and raised in the culture of hip-hop, DJ Sake-One joins us tonight at After Dark. Sake-One has been looking for the perfect beat since 1989, kickin’ up dust and making 5,000-person venues feel like neighborhood house parties, from San Francisco to New York City to Atlanta to London and beyond. He is a Frisco native and Bay legend who is responsible for the infamous PST party and his current Art of Storytelling Outkast tribute party.  

Hip Hop for Change is an Oakland-based nonprofit that uses grassroots activism to educate people about socioeconomic injustices and advocate solutions through hip-hop culture. 

Bubble Cells with Viv Altmann

What are bubble cells? They're what happens when you mix paint and bubble solution and make a print of the result! Join Exploratorium staff educator Viv Altmann to create your own artful bubble cell in this activity.

Exemplary Exhibits

Our groundbreaking collection of exhibits Cells to Self reveals the wondrous variety of human cells and the amazing things they’re doing in your body. See live heart cells beating in time with your own pulse, find out which bacteria are living on your skin, and more.  

Get acquainted with Plankton Populations, an interactive display that uses special lenses to   put you face to face with different plankton and show which ones live in different parts of the ocean over the course of the  year.

Spend some time with Bacteriopolis, a colorful bacterial terrarium in which thousands of distinct species live and breathe (or not). What you see today will be gone tomorrow in this living artwork in a perpetual state of change.​ 


Invasive Species - Lizards, Treesnakes, and Burmese Pythons, Oh My! - Livestream - 07/22/2021 07:00 PM
US Geological Survey Public Lecture SeriesRelocation of species from their home ecoregions can wreak havoc in novel habitatsInvasive reptiles around the world have negatively impacted many ecosystems and biodiversityWe look at examples of Brown Treesnakes, Veiled Chameleons, and Tegu LizardsLearn what USGS scientists are doing about Burmese Pythons in Florida Everglades and the challenges they face

Speakers: By Amy A. Yackel Adams and Andrea F. Currylow, USGS Research Ecologists

See weblink for connection information.


Friday, 07/23/2021


California's Decade of Decision: Hydrogen - Livestream - 07/23/2021 10:00 AM
SF Planning + Urban Research Assoc. (SPUR)

Consumer automobiles powered by hydrogen fuel cells have been on the market for roughly a decade, but in that time they’ve been far surpassed by electric motors as the renewable power source de rigueur. While it’s unlikely that these vehicles will ever supersede EVs, let alone cars powered by internal combustion engines, in the marketplace, there are other industries beyond consumer mobility in which hydrogen power shows considerable promise. Can hydrogen be applied widely as a cost-effective and significantly more sustainable power source for mass transportation, shipping, manufacturing and more? Such industries make up a significant portion of global fossil fuel pollution, and an investment in hydrogen power innovation can pay dividends towards the longterm health of our communities and our planet. Join us to learn how these industries on the cusp of change can position themselves as stewards of a cleaner future.

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Saturday, 07/24/2021


To Boldly Go… Well, You Know: NASA’s Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt - Livestream - 07/24/2021 07:00 PM
East Bay Astronomical Society

The ambitious and exciting Dawn mission was one of NASA’s most remarkable ventures into the solar system. The spacecraft completed a dramatic exploration of Vesta in 2011-2012 and conducted a spectacular mission at Ceres from 2015 until late 2018. These were among the last uncharted worlds in the inner solar system prior to Dawn. They are the two largest residents of the main asteroid belt, that vast collection of bodies between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres is so large that it is included in the category of dwarf planets, along with Pluto.

Dawn is the only spacecraft ever to orbit a dwarf planet and is the only one ever to orbit any two extraterrestrial destinations. Such a mission would have been impossible without the use of ion propulsion, a technology that had largely been in the domain of science fiction.

Dr. Marc Rayman, who was the mission director and chief engineer, will give a fascinating and entertaining presentation on the Dawn mission and its use of ion propulsion as well as its two exotic destinations. He also will share the excitement and profundity of controlling a spaceship in deep space.

Attend the talk on Facebook.


Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 07/24/2021 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 permitting 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.


Monday, 07/26/2021


Wonderfest: Rovers, Helicopters, & Ancient Martians: Why We Explore Mars - Livestream - 07/26/2021 07:00 PM
Hopmonk Tavern Novato

In 2021, three nations are sending missions to the Red Planet - including NASA's Perseverance rover with the first Mars helicopter, Ingenuity. Ancient Mars was much like Earth, with rivers, lakes, and possibly the stirrings of life; but how has it changed? Using beautiful color images from the latest space probes, astronomer Andrew Fraknoi will reveal what we know, and what we hope to discover, about the alien world next door.


Measuring and Improving Engagement in Online Learning - Livestream - 07/26/2021 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery

With a lot of learning shifting online, many students turn their cameras off, making it impossible for teachers to understand whether their students are engaged. Teachers feel that they are teaching a vacant wall of icons while students are unable to show that they are engaged without inviting discomfort. This application allows teachers to enable a mode of encouraging and communicating engagement without making students turning their video on. Students who are uncomfortable turning on their cameras can convey relevant emotions and engage with the lesson, helping all participants in a video conference increase mutual engagement and trust.The application builds on facial landmark learning to detect and communicate engagement. It consists of four components: calibration, detection, communication, and reporting. The application first calibrates detection and display to the specific user, changing parameters for detection and the avatar that will be displayed to communicate engagement. It detects specific actions such as smiling or raising a hand, then conveys them through an avatar, e.g., if the user smiles, the avatar smiles. It also provides each student an aggregated engagement score and graph for the duration of the lesson. Optionally, they can even contribute to the teacher’s report which would average all students’ engagement, keeping individual scores anonymous, so teachers know if large sections of their classes found some parts of the class to be harder.

The application is a step towards communicating real-time engagement and measuring overall engagement, even without having the connection of communicatingin person. It could be useful for ad testing, initial screenings, and flipped learning. Meanwhile, the changing avatar can bring interest and fun not only to classes, but in regular video calls among friends.

Speaker: Manasi Ganti, Monta Vista High School


Tuesday, 07/27/2021


Circus of Science (Home Edition) - Livestream - 07/27/2021 11:00 AM
UC Merced


State, Society and Vaccines - Livestream - 07/27/2021 05:00 PM
Long Now Foundation


Ecosystem Restoration from Roots to Reefs - What's Happening and Why it's Essential for Ocean Health -Livestream - 07/27/2021 07:00 PM
American Cetacean Society


Wednesday, 07/28/2021


The Science of Happiness - Livestream - 07/28/2021 06:00 PM
UC Berkeley


Wonderfest: The Magic Powers of Geometry, Symmetry, & Topology - Livestream - 07/28/2021 07:30 PM
Wonderfest


Thursday, 07/29/2021


Build a Model to Understand the Role and Structure of DNA - Livestream - 07/29/2021 10:00 AM
UC Merced


Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare - Livestream - 07/29/2021 11:50 AM
Magnimind Academy


Animal Adaptation in the Anthropocene - Livestream - 07/29/2021 05:00 PM
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory


NightLife: Science Show & Tell - 07/29/2021 06:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences San Francisco


After Dark: Art for Action - 07/29/2021 06:00 PM
ExplOratorium San Francisco


Micromitigation: Fighting Air Pollution with Activated Carbon - Livestream - 07/29/2021 07:00 PM
Counter Culture Labs


Saturday, 07/31/2021


Urban Gray Fox Talk - Livestream - 07/31/2021 11:00 AM
Environmental Volunteers


Urban Gray Fox Talk - Livestream - 07/31/2021 01:30 PM
Environmental Volunteers


Coyote Point Movie Nights - 07/31/2021 08:30 PM
Coyote Point Recreation Area San Mateo


Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 07/31/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center


Sunday, 08/01/2021


Evening Tours of Lick Observatory - SOLD OUT - 08/01/2021 06:30 PM
Lick Observatory Mt. Hamilton