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Cancellation Announcements Through August 2020

March 17, 2020

This posting is intentionally STUCK at the top
Scroll down for all later and earlier postings

0.3 Microns. Or less.** So small you can’t see it.

In order to help keep people safer longer from Corona virus COVID-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2 or novel coronavirus), SMBAS has officially canceled the following programs and field trips. We will continue to re-evaluate the situation. When there is no longer a risk for people gathering together, we will resume our field trips and meetings.

*Evening Program Tuesday April 7, 2020 on John James Audubon
*Evening Program Tuesday May 5, 2020 on Birds of Northeastern Brazil
Field Trip Sunday March 22, 2020 to Malibu Lagoon
Field Trip Saturday April 11, 2020 to Sycamore Canyon
Field Trip Saturday-Sunday April 25-26, 2020 to Butterbredt Spring area
Field Trip Sunday April 26, 2020 to Malibu Lagoon
BirdLA Day Saturday May 9, 2020
Field Trip Sat-Sun May 9-10, 2020 to Morongo Valley
Field Trip Sunday May 24, 2020 to Malibu Lagoon
Field Trip Saturday June 20, 2020 to Mt. Piños
Field Trip Sunday June 28, 2020 to Malibu Lagoon

*The two programs above will probably be rescheduled to the 2020-21 program season beginning October 6, 2020. We are looking into doing a ZOOM meeting, as we don’t yet know whether Santa Monica City will be making available any of their meeting facilities, or if we will want to have such meetings.

The following field trips have not yet been officially canceled:

But they may be as their dates approach. If you do not see announcements for them appearing on the blog, assume they have been cancelled. Announcements for Malibu Lagoon precede the event by three days. Announcements for other trips precede the event by ten days and three days.

Field Trip Sunday July 26, 2020 to Malibu Lagoon
Field Trip Saturday August 15, 2020 to Lower Los Angeles River
Field Trip Sunday August 27, 2020 to Malibu Lagoon

Meanwhile, here’s something you might be interested in:

** Opinions on COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) viral particle size differ.
The Star – 10 nanometers for corona virus in general.

National Center for Biotechnology Information article 1 – 70-90 nanometers

National Center for Biotechnology Information article 2 – 60-140 nanometers

AFP Fact Check – 60-140 nanometers (.06-.14 microns or micrometers)

N95 respirators

The New Yorker says that the N95 respirator is 95% effective in removing particles greater than 3 microns. Compare to CDC below.

The CDC says “An N95 FFR (filtering facepiece respirator) removes particles from the air that are breathed through it. They filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. N95 FFRs are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses.

1 nanometer = 1 thousandth of a micron (micrometer) = 1 billionth of a meter = 0.00000004 inches
1 micron = 1 micrometer = 1 millionth of a meter = 0.00004 inches
80 nanometers = 0.08 microns =  0.0000032 inches

Therefore, if the N95 FFR filters out particles larger than 0.3 microns at 95% effectiveness, and the corona virus particle is 0.14 microns (140 nanometers) in diameter at the largest, or slightly less than 1/2 the particle size filtered by the mask, it sounds to me like these masks cannot filter out a naked & unprotected SARS-CoV-2 virus. Fortunately, the viral particle is not “naked & unprotected” but is carried on droplets or (even smaller) aerosolized droplets which are larger than 0.3 microns.

[Chuck Almdale]

Science News for Students

July 8, 2020

One of my favorite magazines, to which I began subscribing about thirty years ago, after learning that Isaac Asimov was a long-time reader, is Science News, the magazine of the Society for Science & the Public. For decades the Society has run an annual science competition for students, with significant cash awards.

The magazine comes twice a month, 32 pages of 1/4-page to 8-page stories, covering all sorts of science topics. I recommend it, but that’s not the point of this posting.

They also have a free website of Science News for Students, designed to spark and encourage a thirst for science, science research, science reading. That’s all good, in my book. [You may have noticed that while our blogsite was created to focus on birds, we’re also interested in many other areas of science.]

Here’s a series of screen shots from the site, beginning with the top of the opening page.


A bit lower down on the first page, some categories of topics…


Here’s one of those topics, experiments you can do at home…


They have a section on our most recent planetary catastrophe, obsession and favorite pandemic…\

Check them out.
[Chuck Almdale]


The Far Side Strikes Back!

July 7, 2020

It’s been only six months since Gary Larson’s The Far Side cartoons reappeared (legally, unlike all the other copies) on the web, a fact we previously mentioned here and here. The millions of illegal cartoons already on the web was part of the reason Larson started his own site.

The other reason is that he bought a digital tablet with a good drawing program, tried it out, and rediscovered his love of cartooning. As he put it today, in his introduction to some NEW CARTOONS (Ta Da!):

So a few years ago—finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen—I decided to try a digital tablet. I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again. I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.

So check out the start of his new stuff.

I assume his old cartoons will continue on The Daily Dose, as well as access to the new. And put a permanent link to them on your computer, pad or phone fer cryin’ out loud!
[Chuck Almdale]

while passing through a duck one day…

July 7, 2020

…in the merry merry month of May…

Bufflehead male (Joyce Waterman 12-9-17)

Fish Eggs Can Survive a Journey Through Both Ends of a Duck

A new study finds some eggs remain viable even after being eaten and pooped out by waterfowl
Smithsonian Magazine |
By Alex Fox | July 2, 2020

In lakes and pools that appear physically cut off from other bodies of water, fish sometimes seem to materialize out of nowhere. This somewhat mystical sounding theory might not be far off: a new study suggests fish eggs may simply fall from the sky. In experiments, some fish eggs hatched after being pooped out by ducks, suggesting that feathered flight could facilitate seemingly immaculate piscine invasions, reports Priyanka Runwal for Audubon.


Maybe that’s how those minnows got into your backyard inflatable kiddy pool.
[Chuck Almdale]

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