Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics – ending meetups

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Meetup_Logo_2015The Ann Arbor Science and Skeptics is ending its formal meetups.  The Meetup.com account will be closed, but not immediately cancelled.  If existing members are interested in taking over the account, they should have an opportunity to do so within a week or two after the meetup is closed.  An email from the Meetup.com site will be sent out with the specific details, such as costs, to those members who are subscribed to updates.

This annarborscienceskeptic.com website will remain active for the purpose of providing science and critical-thinking news and information for its subscribers.

For similar-related groups in the area, please consider checking out the Michigan Skeptics Association, Nerd Nite Ann Arbor, Center For Inquiry’s Skeptics in the Pub (Ypsilanti), University of Michigan’s Science Cafés, and University of Michigan’s Saturday Morning Physics.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send an email.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed and supported our science club for the past several years, as well as to all the guests and speakers who have helped lead some great discussions about their field of study and their research.

Passenger Pigeon Centenary Exhibit at the Museum

pigeonSeptember 1 marked a somber anniversary:  the centenary of the death of the very last passenger pigeon, a bird named Martha, in the Cincinnati Zoo.

You can learn more by visiting the U-M Museum of Natural History’s exhibit about the passenger pigeon, A Shadow Over the Earth: The Life and Death of the Passenger Pigeon. The display panels for this exhibit have been made available online to other museums through the Project Passenger Pigeon website. To date, 35 museums are displaying UMMNH’s panels! The UMMNH exhibit includes a companion display, The Passenger Pigeon in Michigan, describing the key role our state played in the history of the pigeon.

On Sunday, September 14 from noon to 5 pm, take part in Flight of the Passenger Pigeon an afternoon of special programming including a screening of From Billions to None, a new documentary created for the centenary.

On Friday, September 19, join us at 7:30 pm for the Museum’s annual Farrand Memorial Lecture: Hope is the Thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds, by author and film producer Joel Greenberg.

Check out 100 Years Without the Passenger Pigeon, an article in LSA Today by Elizabeth Wason, inspired by the Museum’s exhibit.

And be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to see the Passenger Pigeon page of the double-elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838), on display in the Audubon Room in U-M’s Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery.

Camelopardalis – Meteor Shower on May 24th

Camelopardalis

Courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

“In the early morning hours of May 24, we have an opportunity to observe a brand new meteor shower, the “Camelopardalids,” named after the constellation (Camelopardalis) they will radiate from. The origin of the meteoritic debris is a comet called 209P. It has been around for a while, shedding debris as it goes, and this debris has been stacking up in the inner solar system for a long time.

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Between about 1:40 AM and 4:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time on the morning of May 24, the Earth will pass through some of this debris. Forecasts range from 1000 “shooting stars” per hour to 100 per hour. Here in North America, we will be in a pretty good place to observe them. The downside has to do with where the radiant is located.

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The radiant is about one third of the distance between the North Star and the nose of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. During the prime event time, this point will be fairly low on the northern horizon, meaning that tall trees and close-by houses could block your view. It may be necessary to find a location with a clear horizon in the north.

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Of interest with this shower is that the objects are moving relatively slowly, about 40,000 miles per hour, or about half as fast as many “shooting stars.” While fast by our standards, it means a better chance to spot and follow one as it streaks across the sky.

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A new meteor shower is rare and worth the effort to observe. The peak duration is short, and it isn’t sub-zero outside! There are a number of websites with information and history related to this event, but be sure to convert the Universal Time to Eastern Daylight Time. Subtract four hours.”

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For more information you can visit these websites.

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http://www.space.com/25768-new-meteor-shower-comet-linear.html

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http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/06may_newshower/

“Scientists Fair 2014” (Saturday, May 31st)

A2 S&S Logo - for Blog

On Saturday May 31st, the Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics are hosting the third annual “Scientists Fair,” a science fair where the exhibits are actual scientists.  The event will take place from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. This will be free and open to both Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics members and the public.

Located in the Multi-Purpose room (in the lower level of the main branch), there will be several professors and researchers from the University of Michigan with expertise in general fields of knowledge, available to answer your questions. Some of the topics will include: Astrochemistry, Geology & Earth Science, Exploring Mars, Climate Science, Medical Research, Nuclear Power, and more

You can watch a short video about the Scientists Fair here (video)

The purpose of this event is two-fold:

  1. For our members and the public to not only acquaint people to scientific knowledge, but also to how that knowledge is obtained.
  2. For the scientists and professors to talk about their research with you, and to share with you their excitement and passion.

There is no reservation limit for this meet-up. And we are encouraging you to invite as many of your family and friends who enjoy science. This year the library is sponsoring our event, and we’d really like to get a big turnout.

UM Museum of Natural History: ‘The Secret Life of Birds’ Exhibit

The Secret Life of Birds

  • On Display Through January 31
  • Fourth Floor (Temporary Gallery)
Birds are everywhere you look–and many places you don’t. Creeping through the cracks of culture, lurking in the layers of language, hiding in the hollows of history, birds are everywhere.
They have us surrounded.
What are they up to? What are they concealing? What unspoken mysteries permeate…the secret life of birds? Enjoy this unique and creative exhibit through January 31 in the Temporary Gallery on the fourth floor.

Winter Camp at the Reptile Zoo

PictureThe Great Lakes Zoological Society’s World of Discovery Conservation and Rescue Center’s 2013  Camp Program
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Looking For something Fun and Exciting to do over Winter Break? The Great Lakes Zoological Society in Ann Arbor is hosting a Winter Break Camp for hands-on animal encounters, zoo keeping, educational activities, crafts and new friendships. You can choose one or all of the days, with new topics, activities and discoveries each day!
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CAMP DETAILS: $55 per day ($49 for members) or a discount for all three days. Enroll in one, two, or all three of them (weekly discount rate automatically applies within the same session) Camps meet from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily (except Tuesday and Wednesdays)

Lunch is not provided. So campers should bring a brown bag lunch. Snacks (not snakes!) will be provided.

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Early session – December 23 – December 27

  • Monday, December 23: A World of Senses!
  • Tuesday, December 24: No Camp
  • Wednesday, December 25: No Camp
  • Thursday, December 26: Myths and Legends!
  • Friday, December 27: Wild Diets!

Late session – December 30 – January 3

  • Monday, December 30: A World of Senses!
  • Tuesday, December 31: No Camp
  • Wednesday, January 1: No camp
  • Thursday, January 2: Myths and Legends!
  • Friday, January 3: Wild Diets!

Students in first grade through eighth grade may attend. Camps will be divided by age and camp content, and will be tailored to suit the campers’ grade levels. In the instance of low enrollment, groups may be combined and the camp content may be tailored appropriately.

If you are 13 or older and would like to experience camp in a new way, consider being a Jr. Camp Counselor! Call (734) 332-1628 for more information.

Camps are offered for campers grades 1st – 8th.

REGISTER HERE!

For more information contact our Education and Outreach Coordinator at:  734-332-1628  or education@glzszoo.orgSign