Happy New Year, heathens! Sorry about my temporary disappearance, but I was hiding out in my underground bunker with my son as part of an elaborate end-of-the-world/Innocents Day prank on my husband, and the wireless in there was spotty. But with all the parties going on, you probably didn’t need my help to find something to do, right? I spent New Year’s Eve trying to get several bars to serve me Higgs Boson drinks (no charge), so I have to believe your evening went better than mine did.

Before getting into the week ahead, I want to remind you of the Google Hangout happening TODAY to celebrate Queereka’s one-year birthday. (They grow up so fast, don’t they?) The hangout is from 1 to 3 pm eastern. To join in the fun, go to the Queereka home page for the link to the hangout, which will be posted right after they get started.

Events for Jan. 4–Jan. 10

Below are some highlights of events around the U.S. (listed by region) and in the UK, from hikes, volunteer opportunities, and museum days to story time with Jane Goodall and a New Year’s brunch pajama party. You can find a ton more going on all over the world in our events calendar.

Don’t see your area listed here or in the calendar? Shoot us an email, or let me know in the comments what area you are interested in.

 

NORTHEAST

Cambridge, MA, Sun., Jan. 6

The Greater Boston Humanists are having their annual Winter Solstice Luncheon and Lecture on “‘Interfaith’ No More: The Virtues & Vices of Secular-Religious Dialogue,” by Zach Alexander. RSVP by Fri., Jan. 4. $25.

 

Concord, MA, Wed., Jan. 9

The Concord Area Humanists are hosting a talk by Arlene Germain on “Nursing Home Reform, Grassroots Activism for Human Values.” Germain is the president of the MA Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.

 

Northampton, MA, Wed., Jan. 9

Every month, various Pioneer Valley groups get together to make and serve a meal at the Interfaith Cot Shelter in downtown Northampton. If you’re interested in joining Pioneer Valley Secularists to help out this month or in the future, click here for more info and to RSVP.

 

Lancaster, PA, Sat., Jan. 5

The Lancaster Freethought Society is getting together to volunteer at a women’s winter shelter this Saturday. Click here for more info.

SOUTHCENTRAL

Fort Smith, AR, Wed., Jan. 9

Wednesday night is Freethinkers Bowling night in Fort Smith. Click here for location and other details.

 

Austin, TX, Tues., Jan. 8

UT Austin’s Environmental Science Institute hosts a free lecture series called Hot Science—Cool Talks as a way for researchers to bring their findings to the community, especially K–12 educators. This Tuesday’s talk is on “Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico: The History and Future of the Texas Coast,” by Kerry A. Emanuel, MIT professor of atmospheric science.

MIDWEST

Skokie, IL, Sun., Jan. 6

The Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago is hosting a talk on “The Risks and Benefits of Genetically Engineered Crops,” with Karl Haro Von Mogel, a Ph.D. candidate in plant breeding and plant genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

 

Overland Park, KS, Sat., Jan. 5

Ex-pastor Don Bell is giving a talk to the Midwest Skeptics Society on “Jesus and the Post-Resurrection Jesus: A Look at the First 75 years of Christianity.”

 

Minneapolis, MN, Sat., Jan. 5

The Minnesota Atheists are getting together for the Walker Art Center’s first free Saturday of 2013 this weekend. Current exhibits include The Renegades: American Avant-Garde Film, 1960–1973, and the photography of Cindy Sherman.

 

Liberty, MO, Sat., Jan. 5

The Freethinking Family Fellowship is hosting a New Year Pajama Party Potluck Brunch, with prizes for various PJ categories. Kids are welcome. RSVP here.

SOUTHWEST

Mesa, AZ—Multiple

Fri., Jan. 4: Join the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Valley of the Sun Chapter, for “Journey to Reason, an Evening with Nathan Phelps,” about how the son of Westboro’s pastor Fred Phelps broke free from the church, becoming an atheist and LGBTQ activist.

Sat., Jan. 5: The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix is hosting an Inquiring Minds Discussion Group on the topic of Free Will, with Kevin Moriarty.

 

NORTHWEST

Portland, OR, Sat., Jan. 5

This Saturday’s Intellectual Café is on the premise “The Scientific Laws Underlying Everyday Life Are Completely Understood.” Get more info here.

WEST

Agoura, CA, Sat., Jan. 5

If you’re looking to get outside with some fellow nonbelievers, the Humanist Hikers of Southern California are hiking Ronald Reagan’s old ranch, which is now part of Malibu Creek State Park. Trickle down here for more info.

 

Downey, CA, Wed., Jan. 9

The Columbia Memorial Space Center is hosting a talk by research astronomer Jason Kalirai—“NASA’s Next Flagship Observatory,” about the James Webb Space Telescope, its history, technology, and discoveries. $5; free for CMSC and Columbia Astronomers Members.

 

Los Angeles, CA—Multiple

Fri., Jan. 4: Generation Atheist is getting together at the Natural History Museum for its First Friday event, complete with taco trucks, DJs, bars, and of course, exhibits. $12; students $9; parking $10.

Sun., Jan. 6: CFI-L.A.’s Feed Your Brain talk this Sunday is by atheist evangelist Sam Singleton on “Patriarchs and Penises.” $8; students $4; free to CFI members.

 

Pasadena, CA, Wed., Jan. 9

Caltech’s Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series features physics professor Harvey B. Newman talking on “Physics at the Large Hadron Collider.”

 

Riverside, CA, Sun., Jan. 6

Join the Inland Empire Atheists, Agnostics & Skeptics to hike at Mt. Rubidoux Park, a weekly hike the group takes every Sunday to honor the memory of group member Cliff Moravetz.

 

San Diego, CA, Sat., Jan. 5

Long Beach General Geekery is going on a field trip, first to the Creation and Earth History Museum and then, to balance things out, the San Diego Archaelogical Center.

 

San Francisco, CA, Mon., Jan. 7

Reason4Reason is presenting a talk and book signing by science journalist Judith Horstman on “Myths of the Brain.”

 

San Pedro, CA, Fri., Jan. 4

Primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall is hosting a fundraising event, “An Evening with Dr. Jane Goodall and Friends,” to benefit her institute. There’ll be music, food, and stories, plus an after party. $35–$75.

 

Santa Barbara, CA, Thurs., Jan. 10

A new secular group is getting started in Santa Barbara, and their first meetup is next week. Join them to get in on helping shape what the group will be.

 

Yermo, CA, Sat., Jan. 5

The Friends of Calico Early Man Site are having another public archaeological dig this weekend. If you’ve missed on out past digs, here’s your chance to catch another one. RSVP here.

 

Colorado Springs, CO, Sun., Jan. 6

The Secular Hikers are hiking Red Rocks Open Space this Sunday. RSVP here.

 

Salt Lake City, UT, Tues., Jan. 8

The Atheists of Utah–Ogden Sect are volunteering at the Utah Food Bank, part of their “Good Without God” events series. Get more info here.

UK

London, Sun., Jan. 6

This Sunday’s Conway Hall lecture is on “Ethical Dilemmas of Mental Health Interventions,” with Hanna Kienzler, of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College.

 

Manchester, Thurs., Jan. 10

The Greater Manchester Skeptics Society is hosting a talk on the Higgs-Boson particle, “Discovery at the Large Hadron Collider,” by physics professor Jon Butterworth.

 

Want to promote your skeptical, atheist, humanist, science, or just all-around geeky event or group on our events calendar? Click here to send us the details.

 

 

Melanie Mallon

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer who just moved to a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband and two young kids. When not counting how often the words "pride," "liberty," and "freedom" are used in local business, road, and pet names, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and raising her two kids to be critical thinkers. She is the managing editor of Skepchick Events, a Grounded Parents admin, and a Skepchick contributor. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Google+

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