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Science Schmooze 5.17.21

Hi Science Fans,

So much to consider yet so little time. How often have you thought of something similar to that? Let’s hold off on a lot of covid topics this week and just say that things are changing all the time and people are probably disagreeing just as much. It isn’t going to happen for a long time but I have to admit that the idea of a traffic jam on Mars is entertaining. Curiosity, Perseverance, and Zhurong are all on the surface checking things out and doing scientific research. I doubt that Ingenuity will require an Extraterrestrial Control Tower any time soon! There’s a lot of equipment around Mars as well. The latest to join the dance is Hope a project from the UAE.

Back to covid for a moment… The explOratorium is going to be opening on July 1! Aside from the success of the vaccines it is some of the best news I have heard in a long while. Also in the opening news for local science museums is Chabot Space and Science Center. They are making big changes that are taking a bit longer. Watch for them too.

It seems that a refresher as to what critical thinking is might be worthwhile. Of course a lot of people could use a good orientation to it as well. One important thing to understand is that while many of us think we are good at critical thinking, that doesn’t mean that two skilled critical thinkers will actually agree. The accuracy or “truthiness” of what people accept varies in many ways, and due to the tendency or orientation of what is accepted, agreement is still not assured. So, do you think you are a critical thinker? The importance of understanding context, facts, intent, and source are critical. An interesting column popped up in the SF Chronicle this morning. What do you know about Fun Vax? Today it is really difficult to tell if some citation or resource is accurate and trustworthy. Most people know about and use the excellent Snopes but there are many others that are worth using. Here’s a good list that covers a lot of resources and also how to evaluate information that you come across. You can also do a lot on your own to check things out.

As always there is a lot available for learning this coming week. Here are a few to check out…

The Science of Color and Modern Human Perception Tue @ 5:00

Full-Spectrum Science Online: Big & Small Wed @ 4:00 Catch this one. Ron Hipschman is one of the explO folks that is being laid off, just before he hits 50 years at the explO!

Wild & Scenic Film Festiva Fri @ 7:00

Some hopeful news but possibly not good news from Earthweek this week. The Western Monarch Butterfly may not be disappearing/going extinct but just adjusting to climate change. The fight over nuclear power isn’t getting any simpler. Chernobyl is literally heating up again and Fukushima Daiichi is going to be releasing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water.

One of the fun things to do around sunrise or sunset is look for the International Space Station. Here are current times for San Francisco. Actually, if you know where to look there are a lot of things “up there”. On view this week sometimes even with binoculars or your eyes. Here’s another site that you can spend a lot of time at… The Royal Institution, they really know how to celebrate!

Do you feel like getting out and checking out the California coast and ocean? You might want to enter the California Ocean and Coastal Amateur Photography Contest

I hope you have a great week learning new things and enjoying a bit more maskless time!

herb masters

You can’t fact someone out of something they got into by ignoring facts.” a paraphrase by me.

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

Monday, 05/17/2021

Symbolic Systems Forum: Sohpie Regan and Xinlan Emily Hu - 05/17/2021 02:30 PM
Stanford Symbolic Systems Forum

Semantic Adaptation in Preschoolers

Speaker: Sophie Regan, Stanford

Does Distance Matter at Scale? Extending the “Distance Matters” Framework from Distributed Teams to Distributed Organizations

Speaker: Xinlan Emily Hu, Stanford

See weblink for Zoom link

Capitalism's Last Frontier: Entrepreneurship on the Navajo Nation - Livestream - 05/17/2021 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium

Nearly one century ago, the Navajo Nation government was created in response to the discovery of major oil reserves on Navajoland, a 28,000 square mile landmass that spans Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The newly founded government accepted agreements with multinational companies in the hopes of bringing jobs and economic opportunities to the community. Over the decades, it has become clear these agreements and the policies supporting extractive industries have caused irreparable harm to cultural practices, damaged the Colorado Plateau's air, water, and land, and hindered tribal members living on reservation land from developing businesses that support the local economic base. Drive through any community on the Navajo and Hopi nations today and you'll see the same contingent of businesses, a few fast-food joints, a gas station, a dollar store. Small, local, sustainable, and culturally cognizant businesses are largely absent as a direct effect of the tribal economic-development models initiated in the early 1920s to ensure successful extraction of natural resources held on tribal lands. Creating entrepreneurial pathways is a sincere route to developing a diverse and more sustainable economy, increase household incomes, and improve health outcomes for residents on tribal lands.

Speaker: Heather Fleming, Change Labs

See weblink for Zoom link information

Energy Seminar: Michelle Sim, Director of Sustainability at SoCalGas - 05/17/2021 04:00 PM
Stanford Energy Seminar

Mid-century net-zero targets are abundant these days. But there are a few industries where this type of goal would seemingly be contrary to what is thought to be their core business. On March 23, 2021, SoCalGas became the largest gas distribution utility in the nation as they set a net-zero target across its operations and delivery of energy by 2045. Michelle Sim, Director of Sustainability, will discuss sustainability and their climate commitment to 2045; what it means to them, what it means to their 22 million customers, and what it means to the 500+ communities they serve.

Speaker: Michelle Sim, SoCalGas

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Tuesday, 05/18/2021

Climate change: a risky business - Livestream - 05/18/2021 11:00 AM
The Royal Institution

How do we know how the climate is changing? How can we assess the risk to our lives, homes, businesses and communities? And how are people mitigating those risks in their everyday jobs, from engineering to finance?

Join a panel of experts as they discuss the risks posed by climate change and what we can do to mitigate them.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Interpreting Data Using Descriptive Statistics with Python Workshop - 05/18/2021 11:50 AM
Magnimind Academy

This talk will cover the following issues:-Measures of Central Tendency-Measures of Dispersion-Quantiles and the Interquartile Range-Understanding Variance-The Gaussian Distribution-Z Scores-Sampling Distribution to Estimate Population Mean-Covariance and Correlation

Agenda:11:40 am - 11:50 am Arrival and socializing 11:50 am - 12:00 pm Opening 12:00 pm - 1:50 pm Mustafa Yucel, " Interpreting Data Using Descriptive Statistics with Python Workshop"1:50 pm - 2:00 pm Q&ASpeaker: Mustafa Yucel, Magnimind register at website

The Weird and Wonderful World of Parasites - Livestream - 05/18/2021 12:00 PM
Audubon Canyon Ranch

What if you had to make your living inside another organism? Better yet - if you had to move between two or three organisms, in different taxonomic groups with different immune systems, to complete your life cycle? What if you were able to alter the behavior or genetics of other organisms to make them more likely to be eaten or to take care of your offspring or to change their personality? Parasites demonstrate the complexity of ecological interactions and just how much we don’t know and how much our view is determined by how we choose to label things. Gwen will be introducing the fascinating world of parasites in the context of intimate interspecific relationships.

Speaker: Gwen Heistand, Martin Griffin Preserve

The Garden's Nationally Accredited Magnolia Collection - Livestream - 05/18/2021 01:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden

The Garden's rare Mexican Magnolia species bloom in the Garden this month. Join Curator Holly Forbes for an introduction to these beautiful species and the rest of the Garden's nationally accredited Magnolia collection, part of a system that joins together public gardens in an effort to preserve plant species.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Whole Earth Seminars - Livestream - 05/18/2021 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Speaker: Corinne Myers, University of New Mexico

Zoom information can be found at the website

The Science of Color and Modern Human Perception - Livestream - 05/18/2021 05:00 PM
Long Now Foundation

Tracing an arc from the earliest humans to our digitized, synthesized present and future - Adam Rogers shows the expansive human quest for the understanding, creation and use of color. This journey has required millennia of remarkable innovation and a fascinating exchange of ideas between science and craft that’s allowed for the most luminous manifestations of our built and adorned world.

Speaker: Adam Rogers, author and deputy editor at Wired

See weblink for connection options

Wildfires, Climate Change, and Population - 05/18/2021 06:00 PM
San Mateo Public Library

Wildfires have become a yearly event in California. Join us at this virtual event to learn about the connections between wildfires, climate change, and population growth in California. U.S. Geological Survey research scientist and UCLA adjunct professor, Dr. Jon Keeley, studies climate change impacts on future fire regimes and has published widely on Mediterranean climate ecosystems. This program is coordinated by the San Mateo Public Library's Biotechnology Learning Center.

Registration is is required, see website for information.

Mycological Society of San Francisco General Meeting - Livestream - 05/18/2021 07:00 PM
Mycological Society of San Francisco

Speaker: Dr. Cat Adams, UC Berkeley

See weblink for Zoom link.

Forbidden Planets: Alien Worlds in Science Fiction and Science Fact - Livestream - 05/18/2021 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

We’ve all traveled to Tatooine, and some of us to Vulcan or Pandora, but how do these sci-fi worlds compare to the real life exoplanets like Kepler 16b, or the seven planets of TRAPPIST 1?  Join us on a journey to alien landscapes, real and imagined, and see if you can tell which are science fact, and which are science fiction.

Speaker: Beth Johnson, SETI Institute

See weblink for Facebook and YouTube links.

Wednesday, 05/19/2021

SETI Talks: Why is Earth Still Habitable? - Livestream - 05/19/2021 10:00 AM
SETI Institute

Earth, a Pale Blue Dot in our solar system, is also the result of 4 billion years of evolution leading to a technologically advanced and intelligent civilization, humanity. When you look around almost anywhere on Earth, you see life. In the air, in the water, in the land and even underground. But was this inevitable? We know that there have been mass extinction events in the past, some taking out most of life on Earth, but not all of it, since we are here to ponder it.

Current global warming shows us that the climate can change considerably over even a few centuries. Over geological timescales, it is even easier to see climate change. Calculations show that there is the potential for Earth’s climate to deteriorate to temperatures below freezing or above boiling in just a few million years. Abrupt changes can come from natural disasters like super-volcanoes, asteroid impacts, solar flares, supernovae, and many other threatening events. Even the amount of heat from the Sun has increased as it ages, so why is Earth still habitable?

That’s a mystery that we’ll discuss with Sarah Rugheimer and Toby Tyrrell. Sarah is an astrophysicist at Oxford University who studies exoplanet atmospheres, searching for biosignatures and possible life. Toby is a professor in Earth System Science within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton. He recently published a new perspective on why our planet has managed to stay habitable for billions of years.

This work consists of running simulations looking at how 100,000 randomly different planets responded to random climate-altering events spread out across three billion years.

Most of those planets which remained life-sustaining throughout the three-billion-year period only had a probability, not a certainty, of staying habitable.

Is Earth’s success in remaining habitable just a fluke? What can we learn from studying the climate of planets in our solar system and those orbiting other stars?

We hope to answer these questions with our speakers in this conversation moderated by SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Franck Marchis.

Full-Spectrum Science Online: Big & Small - 05/19/2021 04:00 PM

When you make things big or small, whether physical or biological, they change form. Spiders the size of minivans, or people the size of blood cells, are the things of science fiction, and would not survive in the real world. Come find out why in this edition of Full-Spectrum Science.

Speaker: Ron Hipschman, ExplOratorium

See weblink for viewing options.

Bringing research into the clinic for children with cancer - Livestream - 05/19/2021 05:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

UCSC has made a vital, impactful leap into diagnostic testing with COVID-19. Now, we are on a path to leverage this work to bring a diagnostic genomics lab to UCSC. In this Kraw Lecture, we discuss how this diagnostic work at UCSC will impact the clinical environment. Dr. Sheri Spunt from Stanford will contribute by discussing the UCSC-Stanford partnership that is transforming the clinical experiences of children and their families, through the use of precision genomics. Professor Vaske and graduate student Yvonne Vasquez will discuss the genomics research behind diagnostics test development and implementation.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Stronger, Higher, Faster: Big Wave Surfing and Climate Change - 05/19/2021 06:00 PM

The impacts of climate change are felt all over the world, and Mavericks, the legendary surf break near Half Moon Bay, is no exception. Waves there can crest well above 50-feet during a big swell - and as climate change accelerates, they are changing, too. Becoming bigger, faster, and more powerful. People who know that fact intimately are the surfers themselves. We'll hear from Bianca Valenti, one of the best big wave surfers in the world, and Grant Washburn, a filmmaker and surfer who has chronicled the daily conditions at the break for nearly three decades. We'll watch Bianca's footage from this past year - one of the best seasons in a generation - as she narrates live, and we'll talk over what changes Grant has witnessed. Bring your favorite beach snacks and listen to people who have felt this effect of climate change first hand, their faces right there in the water. Hosted by KQED science reporter Kevin Stark.

Register at weblink to receive connection information.

Variable Stars and Their Stories - Livestream - 05/19/2021 07:00 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

Variable stars have always been the most intriguing (and fun) targets for observers, professional and amateur alike. Stellar variability provides unique insights in critical stages of stellar evolution, helps determine distances to nearby galaxies, and adds to our understanding of explosion physics and the Milky Way's chemical enrichment. I will introduce some of the most common aspects of stellar variability and their significance in astrophysics. I will discuss their common light curves identifiers and present work by AAVSO observers, leading to cutting-edge scientific discoveries throughout the years. Finally, I will discuss how you can participate in variable star observations from your back yard, contributing to the AAVSO International Database and cutting-edge science.

Speaker: Stella Kafka, American Association of Variable Star Observers

See weblink for connection options.

COVID-19 Conundrum: Critical Insights on Cloud Security Posture of Enterprises - Livestream - 05/19/2021 07:00 PM
California Section American Chemical Society

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a rapid uptick in demand for cloud services. Organizations globally increased their cloud workloads by more than 20%, leading to an explosion of security incidents. In this talk we'll review the latest cloud threat research from Palo Alto Networks elite group of threat researchers, Unit 42. The talk will walk through findings that indicate cloud security programs for organizations globally are still in their infancy when it comes to security automation (i.e., DevSecOps and shift left). Bottom line: rapid cloud scale and complexity without automated security controls embedded across the entire development pipeline is a toxic combination.

Speaker: Matt Chiodi, Palo Alto Networks

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Talkin' Trash - Myths and Realities of Recycling and Materials Management - Livestream - 05/19/2021 07:00 PM
City of Sunnyvale Sunnyvale

Why do we recycle?

Recycling has many benefits including:

saving energy and waterconserving natural resourcesreducing air and water pollutionconserving landfill spacereducing greenhouse gas emissionsassuring the sustainable existence of human life on Earth

Ready to talk trash?! Join Sunnyvale’s very own myth busters, Mark and Karen, to learn about the realities of recycling. Did you know Sunnyvale has its very own sorting facility? Mark and Karen will walk us through the history of Sunnyvale’s Recycling Program and discuss local recycling issues. Curious about composting? Sunnyvale is working on rolling out a citywide FoodCycle (food scraps) Program to follow new California law.

Speakers: Mark Bower and Karen Gissibl, City of Sunnyvale

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Wonderfest: Exercise and Aging - Livestream - 05/19/2021 08:00 PM

Physical activity is powerful medicine: it can promote health and change the trajectory of aging. Science has taught us much about the pathways of disease, the causes of aging, and the mechanisms by which exercise exerts its benefits. Now, targeted exercise strategies can slow the aging process and improve both health and fitness.

Speaker: Anne Friedlander, Stanford University

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Thursday, 05/20/2021

Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil - Livestream - 05/20/2021 10:00 AM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

Join us for a virtual discussion with the three co-authors of Framers, which focuses on the essential tool that can enable humanity to find its way through the challenges of pandemics, populism, AI, ISIS, wealth inequity, climate change, and other worldwide problems that threaten our current civilizations. To frame is to make a mental model that enables us to see patterns, predict how things will unfold, and make sense of new situations. Frames guide the decisions we make and the results we obtain. Science has long focused on traits like memory and reasoning, but has often ignored framing. But with computers becoming better and better at those cognitive tasks, framing stands out as a critical function - and one only humans can do.

Illustrating their case with compelling examples and the latest research, Cukier, Mayer-Schönberger and de Véricourt examine: why advice to “think outside the box” is useless; why the Wright brothers, with no formal physics training, were the first to fly; what enabled the 1976 Israeli hostage rescue at Entebbe to succeed; and how the #MeToo twitter hashtag reframed the perception of sexual assault. They also show why framing Covid-19 as equivalent to a seasonal flu failed, and how modeling it on SARS succeeded in New Zealand. Framers shows how framing is not just a way to improve how we make decisions in an era of algorithms, but is also an ever more crucial tool in a time of societal upheaval and machine prosperity.

Speakers: Kenneth Cukier, Journalist; Viktor Mayer=Schonberger, University of Oxford; Francis de Vericort, ESMT Berlin, George Hammond, Moderator, Author

The Dark Side of the Universe - Livestream - 05/20/2021 11:30 AM
Astronomical Society of Edinburgh

Just over 95% of our Universe comes in the shrouded form of dark energy and matter that we can neither explain nor directly detect. Together, these two dark entities play out an epic cosmic battle with the gravity of dark matter slowly pulling structures in the Universe together, and dark energy fuelling the Universe’s accelerated expansion, making it ever harder for those structures to grow.

Speaker: Catherine Heymans, Univ. of Edinburgh

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Midday Science Cafe - Harnessing Machine Learning for Science - Livestream - 05/20/2021 12:00 PM
UC Berkeley

How can we improve machine learning to better solve complex scientific problems? By advancing methods that are built to handle sophisticated algorithms and the three-dimensional geometry of physical systems. In this Midday Science Cafe, we’ll learn from two researchers tackling these challenges in order to make machine learning more effective. We will hear from Dr. Daniel S. Brown, who is helping robots to safely and efficiently interact with and learn from humans. We will also learn from Dr. Tess Smidt about Euclidean neural networks, which are extremely data-efficient and adept at handling three-dimensional data. With these networks, scientists are able to scale computationally expensive physics simulations to unprecedented system sizes.

Speakers: Dr. Daniel Brown, UC Berkeley; Dr. Tess Smidt, Berkeley Lab

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Now, More Than Ever: Movement Building for Climate, Racial, and Health Justice - Livestream - 05/20/2021 02:30 PM
UC San Francisco

There has never been a more critical time for advancing health, equity and social justice while addressing climate change. This session will focus on the synergies between climate and racial justice movements and their promise in improving health, and community-based advocacy and policy initiatives to promote climate and racial justice in California and beyond.

See weblink for agenda, connection information, registration, and speaker biographies.

Blackbirds - A Journey Through the Americas - Livestream - 05/20/2021 05:00 PM
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory

The Icteridae are the blackbirds, but they include many colorful species such as the orioles and meadowlarks as well as the all-black species, such as cowbirds and grackles. Some of the tropical species, such as the oropendolas are downright amazing-looking and sounding birds. This group of birds is only found in the Americas and they are amongst our most interesting of landbirds, behavior, mating strategies, and breeding biology is more diverse than in any other group of songbirds in our continent. This talk is to introduce people to the awesomely interesting group of birds. After this talk, you won’t walk by a Brewer’s Blackbird or Red-winged Blackbird without thinking about how much more complex they are than a sparrow or a warbler. Our quest to see the diversity of the blackbirds will also take us to some interesting parts of the American continent and the Caribbean.

Speaker: Alvaro Jaramillo is an Affiliated Senior Biologist with SFBBO and the owner of Alvaro's Adventures where he leads workshops and birding trips throughout the world

Please register at website to receive Zoom link.

Where Did it All Come From? Where is it All Going? - Livestream - 05/20/2021 05:00 PM
Cafe Scientifique Silicon Valley

The physical universe, I will argue, is made of matter (or energy) and of order (or information). I’ll trace out the 13.8 billion year history of this matter/energy told by modern cosmology, as it has developed into ever-more sophisticated order and structure: galaxies and their arrangement, stars, planets, life, and very recently and locally, civilization. The survival of civilization - and life itself - through the coming century is not assured, but if it continues, what could its future look like over thousands or millions of years? No one knows, but touring topics from fundamental physics to the nature of intelligence, I will lay out some of the possibilities.

Speaker: Anthony Aguirre, UC Santa Cruz

See weblink for registration information.

The Breeding Seabirds of Alcatraz Island and Climate Change - Livestream - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM
Golden Gate Audubon Society

In this event, Lidia D’Amico (National Park Service Alcatraz Biologist) and Zoe Burr (Farallon Institute Seabird Biologist) will dive into the world of Alcatraz seabirds. They will tell you about several species that typically breed on the island every spring and summer, and the threats these birds are facing from climate change and living in an urban environment. Alcatraz Island sits in a unique position within the San Francisco Bay and as a result is one of only two estuarine breeding colonies for Brandt’s cormorants.

See weblink for signup and connection information.

NightSchool: Songbirds in Spring - Livestream - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Signs of spring: flowers, pollinators, and bird songs. If you’ve noticed more avian chatter, movement, and transportation of nesting material, it’s because it’s bird breeding season. Join us to learn about how scientists monitor the health of California songbird populations and get a peek into the Academy’s stunning collection of eggs and nests.

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook links.

Micromitigation: Fighting Air Pollution with Activated Carbon - Livestream - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM
Counter Culture Labs

We would like to invite new members to join Counter Culture Labs' Micromitigation Meetup alternate Thursdays. We will be discussing ways to deploy existing adsorption technology using commodity granulated activated carbon for the mitigation of air pollution. 

We welcome those interested in both the environmental justice and technical engineering aspects of air quality.Please sign up by joining the Counter Culture Labs' Meetup group, then RSVPing for the event. Weblink provided after signup.

After Dark Online: An Evening with Manual Cinema - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM

Since its founding in 2010, Chicago-based Manual Cinema has cultivated a distinct approach to performance that merges handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive stories for stage and screen.  In this live program, go into the studio and behind the scenes as the collective shares select films and performances and invites you to dive into their process - and invites questions and conversation from viewers along the way. 

Manual Cinema is an Emmy Award-winning performance collective, design studio, and film/video production company founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live-feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with energy, ingenuity, and theatricality.

The company was awarded an Emmy Award in 2017 for “The Forger,” a video created for The New York Times, and named Chicago Artists of the Year in 2018 by the Chicago Tribune. Their shadow puppet animations will be featured in the upcoming film remake of Candyman, directed by Nia DaCosta and produced by Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions.

Friday, 05/21/2021

What’s that wiggle? The challenges (and solutions) of using fibre-optic cables as seismological antennas - Livestream - 05/21/2021 12:00 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Fibre-optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) is an emerging technology that enables the recording of ground motions with fibre-optic (telecommunication) cables. Since these cables can be deployed in environments that are traditionally challenging for seismometers (underwater, in cities, glaciers, deep boreholes, etc.), we can use DAS to make measurements of seismic waves in sparsely instrumented locations. Moreover, the high spatial- and temporal resolution of DAS data and the low cost of optic fibre makes fibre-optic cables an attractive, low-cost alternative to expensive seismometer arrays. But since DAS is a relatively new technique in geophysics, we do not yet know the extent to which DAS is a valid substitution to seismometers. In this talk I will explain the principles of DAS, go through some interesting applications in geophysics, and discuss in detail what it is that we actually measure (often it is not what we want to measure!). I will conclude by proposing a practical solution of combining DAS arrays with standard seismometers to facilitate the analysis of DAS recordings.

Speaker: Martijn van den Ende, University of Central Arkansas

Zoom information can be found at the website

Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2021 - Virtual - 05/21/2021 07:00 PM
Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Join Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) as we co-host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival Virtually! Those who register will enjoy 2-hour film program that will air live at 7pm, Friday May 21st, and can be watched at any time, on demand through midnight Sunday May 23rd. Festival viewers can expect to see award-winning environmentally inspired short films, and have the opportunity to learn more about POST and Midpen’s work here on the Peninsula and in the South Bay.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is the largest film festival of its kind, showcasing the best and brightest in environmental and adventure films, and inspiring a love of nature. The event is free and it’s easy to participate, just register below! After you’ve signed up, POST will send you an email in the days before the event with a link and password to watch. You will then have until midnight, Sunday May 23rd to view the film program.

Register at weblink to receive online link.

NASA Ocean Satellites, Supercomputers, And Climate Science - Livestream - 05/21/2021 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Learn more about climate science at NASA with Dr. Dimitris Menemenlis, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Working with the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, or ECCO, Menemenlis and colleagues attempt to make the best possible estimates of ocean circulation and use these to investigate ocean interactions with sea ice, land ice, atmosphere, coastal processes, and biogeochemical cycles.

Recently, he worked with visualization experts at NASA’s Ames Research Center to release a new database that allows a broader community of researchers to explore hundreds of videos and images pre-computed from ECCO’s 1/48° simulation run on NASA supercomputers; the precomputed visualizations require much less effort to view. To access the database, see the website

See weblink for Facebook and YouTube links

A Walking Tour of Optical History -- Artifacts and Anecdotes from the Astronomical Lyceum - Livestream - 05/21/2021 07:30 PM
Tri-Valley Stargazers

Pioneering telescope makers allowed a revolutionary ascendancy of American astronomy in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Astronomical Lyceum in New Mexico, originally built in 1936 as a theater and gymnasium, now houses a collection of telescopes, optics, archives, and literature from this ascendancy. Its volunteer staff find the artifacts and associated history surprisingly engaging for visitors of all interest levels. The presentation will include unusual items, large and small, created by some of the America's greatest early optical artists, including Henry and Harry Fitz, Alvan Clark and Sons, Carl and Robert Lundin, John A. Brashear, George Willis Ritchey, and the pioneer of astronomical spectroscopy and photography, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd. The collection includes artifacts originating right up through the Space Age, including from the amateur telescope making movement and its surprising influence. While time allows only an overview, the presentation hopes to remind participants how history of science and technology can be powerfully engaging and interesting for essentially anyone when offered in the right spirit.

Speaker: John Briggs, Astronomer

See weblink for connection options

Saturday, 05/22/2021

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 05/22/2021 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.

Sunday, 05/23/2021

Bringing Back the Natives Virtual Garden Tour - 05/23/2021 10:00 AM
Bringing Back the Natives

In a series of live garden visits passionate garden owners and the talented designers of the Bay Area’s most beautiful and inspiring landscapes will show us what’s happening in the garden now, feature their favorite natives, describe their great native plant gardening resources, and more.

Check the weblink for the agenda for each date.

Registration is required for each date.

April 25: Gardening for Wildlife

May 2: Native Plant Garden Design and Plant Selection

May 16: A Potpourri of Inspirational Native Plant Gardens

May 23: A Potpourri of Inspirational Native Plant Gardens

Monday, 05/24/2021

Countdown to Launch - James Webb Telescope - Livestream - 05/24/2021 11:00 AM
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

2021 is an exciting year for astronomy, with the launch of the highly anticipated James Webb Space Telescope (Webb). Webb, NASA’s and ESA’s flagship mission, will revolutionize astronomy. It will be the largest and most powerful telescope launched into space, and it has strong Scottish connections with one of the key instruments built here at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.   Here I will talk about the engineering of Webb and its key science objectives as we look forward to significant astronomy discoveries when it is launched.

Speaker: Olivia Jones

A Hybrid Method to Predict Sports Related Concussions with Machine Learning - Livestream - 05/24/2021 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery

Existing evidence in Sports Related Concussions(SRC) is insufficient to determine the best combination of measures in the use of evaluation tools. Three Machine learning methodes and SRC prediction rules are dicussed.This talk describes a hybrid machine learning model based on the combination of human/knowledge based domains and computer generated feature rankings to improve accuracy of diagnosing SRC. Four feature selection criteria were constructed to create the optimal model, which was run on both Google AutoML and Random Forest for validation. The results show that the hybrid model has the best performance in predicting resolution time for 14-day and 28-day thresholds, along with outperforming previous published work. This research has significant impact in the use of domains and symptom ranking with machine learning to increase diagnosis accuracy. The hybrid model’s success in the use of domains to increase the efficiency of model training may have practical applications in real time situations.

Speaker: Melody Yin, 8th grade student at the Harker School

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Neil Degrasse Tyson - An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies - Canceled - 05/24/2021 07:30 PM
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts San Jose

Speaker: Neil Degrasse Tyson

This event was originally scheduled for May 11, 2020 and has now been canceled

Tuesday, 05/25/2021

Succulents for Little Green Thumbs - Livestream - 05/25/2021 03:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden

Bonanza en los Andes - Investigations of Water Resources in the puna - Livestream - 05/25/2021 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Caring for the Uncharismatic: Shining the Spotlight on Indo-Pacific Finless Porpoises, With Lessons Learned from Malaysia - Livestream - 05/25/2021 07:00 PM
American Cetacean Society

Neil Degrasse Tyson - The Cosmic Perspective - Canceled - 05/25/2021 07:30 PM
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts San Jose

Wednesday, 05/26/2021

Lunar Eclipse Virtual Watch Party - 05/26/2021 01:30 AM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Active Galactic Nuclei and Tidal Disruption Events - Livestream - 05/26/2021 11:00 AM
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

Science on Tap - Armed and Dangerous: How octopuses use and lose their arms - Livestream - 05/26/2021 07:00 PM
Science on Tap

A Little Talk About Aliens: Techno-signatures and the New Science of Life in the Universe - 05/26/2021 07:00 PM
Silicon Valley Astronomy Series

Thursday, 05/27/2021

Black Holes, the Universe, and Us - Livestream - 05/27/2021 10:00 AM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

Labside Chats: A Conversation with a Scientist, featuring Haley Ohms, Ph.D. - Livestream - 05/27/2021 11:00 AM
Seymour Science Center

The Hidden Costs of AI - Livestream - 05/27/2021 04:00 PM
Computer History Museum

Shocking Origin: Meteor Impacts and the Chemistry of Life - Livestream - 05/27/2021 05:00 PM
SLAC Public Lecture

Hardcore Natural History: Regeneración Pajaro Valley Climate Action - Livestream - 05/27/2021 06:00 PM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

NightLife - 05/27/2021 06:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences San Francisco

After Dark Online: Transitional Landscapes - 05/27/2021 07:00 PM

Where Earthquakes Hide in the Desert: What we've learned from recent fault ruptures in the western U.S. - Livestream - 05/27/2021 07:00 PM
US Geological Survey Public Lecture Series

NightSchool: Sharks Jaws & Maws - Livestream - 05/27/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Friday, 05/28/2021

Upershear rupture in the Gulf of California triggers very low frequency earthquakes in Cascadia - Livestream - 05/28/2021 12:00 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Saturday, 05/29/2021

Science Saturday: Water Wild - Livestream - 05/29/2021 10:00 AM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History Pacific Grove

Truth is Stranger Than Science Fiction - Livestream - 05/29/2021 07:00 PM
East Bay Astronomical Society

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 05/29/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center