Tag Archives: pseudoscience

I Keep Coming Back to Teaching

For eleven years, I was an English teacher in Japan. It still feels strange to say that I’m no longer teaching and no longer living in Japan. Part of me feels like I should still be there teaching. You know the feeling? You know things have changed, but part of you doesn’t want to accept it.

I missed the teaching. And then I started working at a science centre. Every day that I work, I’m teaching people (usually children) about the planets, physics, and occasionally bird feathers. I’m finding that I’m loving seeing kids enjoying learning about science. Science was my first love. Teaching English was an incredible experience, but now I’m helping to teach science to people, although not as a teacher. Today, I spent forty minutes talking to a woman (half in the planetarium, half in the gallery) about astronomy, science centres, and life experiences. It’s that kind of interaction I love. I enjoy talking to people about science and helping them learn something new.

That brings me to what I’m going to be doing very soon. And that is starting a science channel on YouTube. Science education and science literacy are very important to me. I want to help people understand that science can be interesting and fun. But I also want them to understand that without science literacy, society can’t advance. It’ll stagnate or even regress. I want to combat scientific illiteracy, pseudoscience, and misinformation. There’s too much of that going around these days.

I’m hoping that through the science channel, I’ll be able to help people learn science and enjoy it. While I’ll be doing the videos on my own, I’m hoping people will share the videos and help spread the word about my channel. I want to reach as wide an audience as possible. While I may be only one person, I hope I can change some minds about the importance of science.

I still have some work to do to prepare my new channel. I still need a name, and I’d like to work on a schedule for it. I plan on doing two videos a week. One talking about weekly science news stories, one doing specific topics to help educate people about science. I’ll focus mostly on astronomy, physics, biology, geology, and palaeontology.

So, who’s with me on this?

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Mars Will Be Larger than the Full Moon!

Have you heard? It’s that time of year again. Mars will appear larger than the full moon in the night sky! That’s right! Mark your calendar for August 27th! And this is my reaction:

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Excuse me as I wipe the tears from my eyes. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Seriously, how do people fall for this every single year? There are a lot of gullible people in the world. Even though this event has never happened, they still think it will because of something they read on the internet.

First of all, Mars will never be close enough to the Earth to appear larger than the Moon in the sky. Never. Got it? Never. Not going to happen. Ever. Okay?

This all started in August 2003 when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in more than 50,000 years. However, it was a whopping 55,758,000 km away. So people started suggesting it’ll appear large in the sky, so large that it’ll be larger than the full moon. It was actually a misinterpretation of the news, saying that Mars will appear as large as the full moon when viewed through a telescope, not with the naked eye.

But every year people believe this will happen. Let’s look. Here’s Universe Today explaining it. And Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy explaining it. How about Snopes? Or how about NASA themselves? They’re all from different years, but they’re all valid today.

So, people, Mars will never appear as large as the Moon in the sky. Okay? I hope that’s clear.