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My Weekend

(Cross-posted at the new SGU Blog!)

A few days ago I hitched a ride out of town, northward to Vermont. It’s the right time of year to do a thing like that, with the tree-filled landscape changing from green to yellow, orange, and red. But unlike the thousands of elderly leaf-peepers who descend upon New England to book all the inns, clog up all the roads, and eat all the early bird specials, I wasn’t there for the scenery. I was there to go to church.

As an atheist, it takes quite a bit to convince me to go to any church, let alone one located six hours of travel away in the heart of leaf-peeper territory. But hey, when James Randi is speaking anywhere in the tri-state area and all your skeptical friends are getting together to party, you make the extra effort to get there. Since most of you weren’t there, you can live vicariously through me! Click a photo to see it larger, and to access my entire Flickr account of skepticism-related meet-ups.

The Unitarian Church where Randi spoke:

Unitarian Church


Randi at the Unitarian Church

Jeff Wagg’s yard, where I camped:


Sunday, we went to church again. Just down the street from Jeff’s is the Round Church, a protected National Historic Landmark built 1812 – 1814.

Round Church

Randi had been past it but not inside, so we took a short field trip during which time I got to drive Jeff’s LandRover and nearly put the fear of god in Randi’s heart. Upon arrival, Randi immediately took to the pulpit and raged against the devil (me, I suspect).

Randi in the Round Church

Happily we all made it back to Jeff’s alive, where I learned to mountain bike on his neighbor’s steps. Whee!

I learn to mountain bike

So of course, all together I had a blast and I highly recommend you try to get together with skeptics in your area whenever possible. For those of you around Boston, I’m trying to get a group of people to hang out around at John Harvard’s in Harvard Square at 9pm this Thursday, immediately following the Ig Nobel ceremony (which I’ll be attending but you don’t necessarily have to). My evil plan is to blossom this into a regular monthly Skeptics in the Pub meeting, so this would be a fine time to get on board.

If you’re not around Boston, you have plenty of other options. Check out this thread over at JREF as a good place to start, Google for info on local skeptical groups, or just start your own. For more ideas about starting your own project like that, come to The Amaz!ng Meeting 5.5, where we’ll be discussing nothing but grassroots skeptical activism. Fun!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Randi in the pulpit is a little scary. He looks like the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    You'll notice you never see the two of them together. Coincidence?

  2. You never said why Randi was speaking at a church.

    My family was Unitarian when I was growing up. My grandparents actually founded our church. Most of the people there were pretty smart and open minded. Just a bit "fluffy" was all.

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