Skepticism

Pharyngula Party: Success!

Last night’s shindig at the Cambridge Brewing Company was great, with maybe 20 people showing up. Expatria worried that the Pharyngula crowd would be too cliquish for lurkers, but happily I think we all got along beautifully. Best skeptical moment: Joshua noticed that one beer on the menu, called Om, had an interesting description:

A new venture into the world of beer and mystical experience. contemporary theories of sound therapy were incorporated into a process which aligned this Belgian-style golden ale to the specific frequency expressed in meditation circles by the mantra “OM.” Subtle expressions of Brettanomyces complement the beer’s dry but malty palate with flavors and aromas of pineapple and peach fruit, creating a harmonious balance of honeyed malt and hop yeast and flora, and oak character, with a final stated goal of assisting humanity in its quest towards inner bliss, equanimity, and world harmony. Oh, and it’s delicious.

So of course I had to get a tower of the stuff, which I then tried to force on everyone else at the bar, whether they were with us or not. “Drink it!” “Is it good?” “It’s harmonious!”

Pics after the jump, and also on Flickr!

Our Fearless Organizer Jeff
Jeff was kind enough to wear fire engine red so we knew how to find each other.

Liz and Ocho
…just in case Liz’s cephalapuppet didn’t make it blatantly obvious.

Tower of Om
The Tower of Om. It was…fruitier than I expected. And by the way, the beer just above Om on the menu was Weekapaug Gruit (ABV: 6%), which “incorporates the traditional brewing herbs sweet gale, yarrow, and wild rosemary, along with licorice root and nettles….has a pleasant, herbal tea-like aroma and flavor.” The real laugh was in the note at the bottom: “Note: Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consider avoiding consumption of this beer due to the mild medicinal nature of the herbs used in crafting this beer. Please consult Hygicia, A Woman’s Herbal by Jeannine Paravali or Stephen Harrod Buhner’s excellent book, Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers.” As Joshua pointed out, it’s not all the alcohol pregger women should worry about. It’s those damned herbs!

The Crowd!
After we wore out our welcome at CBC, some of us moved next door to Tommy Doyle’s. At some point I got on my soapbox about the lack of women in skepticism. Around 11pm or so, Jeff and I shared a pleasant T ride back toward Allston/Brighton. When I stepped off the train, the snow was already coming down, and still is as I type. Sigh. Only two more months of this. Here’s to more fun meet-ups with smart people to make the winter fly by!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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24 Comments

  1. “Note: Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consider avoiding consumption of this beer due to the mild medicinal nature of the herbs used in crafting this beer."

    Now that's got to be the stupidest warning label I've ever seen… You take perfectly sound advice and slap some stupid reason behind it, and that'll make sane and rational people start doubting perfectly rational advice.

  2. I look like a crazy.

    So really, that’s the most accurate photo of me ever.

    Not-MA-Jeff looks like he's simultaneously picking his nose and poking himself in the eye. So you got off lightly, I think.

  3. Not-MA-Jeff looks like he’s simultaneously picking his nose and poking himself in the eye. So you got off lightly, I think.

    It does look a little painful.

    I want some more blunderbuss :)

  4. I’m so glad I decided to look “more intense” when you were taking that picture of the table at Tommy Doyle’s. Especially because Joshua is clearly NOT engaged in conversation while smiling at the camera. Combined with my obvious lack of shaving, I look like a crazy.

    So really, that’s the most accurate photo of me ever. :-D

  5. I demand pics! Or beers in person so I can admire them!

    For those who are just joining the conversation, we were talking last night about my amazing collection of eyeglasses, all of which I paid about $20 for, frames and lenses included. I love the Internet.

  6. Kerry Maxwell,

    Although I was obviously not at the meetup (my Boston days are about 13-20 years in the past), I had to comment on your AWESOME personal icon!

    Love it! Must haz it!

    It also looks like it would make a most excellent stained-glass window pattern (f0r one of my EE friends).

  7. Not-MA-Jeff looks like he’s simultaneously picking his nose and poking himself in the eye. So you got off lightly, I think.

    Indeed. It even looks like Suzanne is gazing on in horror. Perhaps I can get away with a story about how Expatria just poked me in the eye.

    -Not-MA-Jeff

  8. I had to comment on your AWESOME personal icon!

    Wow, your eyesight is better than mine! Glad someone "gets it" from such a foreshortened view. Electronics geeks in the house say "HO!"

    And don't rule out long-distance travel for an impulsive get-together with fellow skeptics, if even only for a few beers, and a few laughs. OK, a couple hundred miles at least. If you're coming from R'Lyeh, that's another story.

  9. Perhaps I can get away with a story about how Expatria just poked me in the eye.

    You're going to have to do better than that. The lemon you were squirting sent some juice in your eye….Suzanne sneezed in your face….

  10. For those who are just joining the conversation, we were talking last night about my amazing collection of eyeglasses, all of which I paid about $20 for, frames and lenses included. I love the Internet.

    Can't find 'script. Shopping delayed at least one day. Eep!

  11. I actually own "Sacred Herbal Healing Beers". It's half good, half hokey. I mean, it has really cool recipes, stuff I REALLY want to try (mint ale? HOLY COW!), but some recipes require you to say "appropriate prayers" to the agave plant.

    And also every herb heals every disease.

    Screw that. But the thought of making beer with all kinds of strange herbs excites me to no end. This summer I plan on making some Scotch broom ale with my friend!

  12. reductio, you could almost get away with your story except for one small detail: If I poke someone in the eye, they stay poked.

    I don't really know what that means, but I wanted to say it anyway.

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