Well, summer’s officially over. Even here in the South, the weather is cooling and the leaves are starting to turn. The season we call ‘Football’ has officially begun. And, if you’re like me, you find yourself looking at it all and feeling an overwhelming sense of… boredom.
Fall is the season of change and death and I think it’s natural to get a little depressed in the fall. In addition, as the weather gets colder, your outdoor options become more limited in many places in the Northern Hemisphere. (Curse you and your ‘SPRING’ Australia!)
As you may know, I maintain the events calendar on Skepchick. (Got an event coming up? Submit the bugger!) So, I thought I would take on the task of providing you Five Fun and Skeptical things to do to Combat Boredom this Fall.Â Look for them, after the fold.
- Attend a skeptical event! Oh come on, you knew I wasn’t done with the plug…Â Seriously though, the events calendar is full of awesome stuff going on around the country and indeed the world.Â Just this week, I added a new Skeptics in the Pub startup for Calgary, Alberta and a meetup at the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.Â And there’s lots more. Check out the calendar or meetup.com to get the scoop, then get out there and meet some fellow skeptics. And, New Yorkers, you lucky lucky bastards… Randi himself is going to be at the next NYC skeptics talk, plus you don’t want to miss the live SGU event in Connecticut inÂ a couple of weeks. Dammit, why don’t I live in New York again? Oh yeah, because I like being able to pay rent…
- Ok, so you’ve been to the calendar and realized that you live in a black hole of skepticism and there are no events in your area.Â What to do? Don’t just sit alone in your apartment, hiding from the Mormons pounding at your door and drinking colloidal silver! Start one up! Here’s a quick primer on how to start Skeptics in the Pub:
- Find a pub
- Pick a date
- Tell people
- Show up
- Volunteer.Â One of my pet peeves is when I hear non-skeptics and theists talk about all the good that theistic organizations do. Secular organizations and skeptics do lots of volunteer work but often it isn’t heard.Â Stay tuned for more on that topic in the upcoming months (It’s a REALLY big pet peeve of mine) but for now – go do some good.Â There are billions of organziations looking for people to help – walks, runs, fun events where you can meet people and maybe show that skeptics aren’t self-involved cynics who want to harsh the world’s mellow.Â Look around – there are plenty of opportunities in your area.
- Find science! Visit a museum, science center or planetarium. Check out the programs in your area. Go learn something new about the world around you. If that doesn’t refresh you and give you a new perspective, nothing will.Â
- Stay home, watch TV. Yes, believe it or not, I am giving you an excuse to watch TV.Â There are a few fun skeptical shows out there and a lot of them are starting up for the new season.Â Of course, Mythbusters can’t be beat but there are other, fiction shows that display quite a lot of skepticism and science.Â Among my favorites: The Big Bang Theory, Psych and How I Met Your Mother (check out last season’s finale where one of the characters refuses to believe in miracles).Â And starting up TONIGHT on CBS is The Mentalist – a drama about a man who used to pretend to be a psychic but now uses his extremely keen powers of observation to help the police legitamately.Â I just watchedÂ the series premiereÂ and I have high hopes for it. And not just because Simon Baker is 6 kinds of hot.Â Oh, and if you have kids, check out Sid the Science Kid – the new Henson show on PBCS.Â Hmm… I just realized that three of those shows are on CBS.Â Could the Survivor network be positioning itself as the Skeptical Network?Â Nah…
Seriously, it’s that easy.Â We started Skeptics in the Pub almost a year ago and we had about 8 people show up (6 of whom were friends of mine that I dragged there).Â The past two events we had, we completely filled up the room and are out of space.Â In November, we’re moving to a room twice the size.Â And we really didn’t do much to kick start it.Â Give it a shot. You’d be surprised.Â Oh, and if you don’t drink?Â Don’t do it in a pub.Â We have groups meeting for coffee, in parks, at museums and restaurants.Â Teatotalling is not an excuse.
I sometimes find myself stuck on the Internet, reading the same things and hearing the same arguments and getting annoyed about the same stuff over and over.Â It’s exhausting and the only solution is to tease my mind with a new challenge and activity.Â And so I give thisÂ challenge to you all – go forth and learn.Â Meet people, look at stuff, enjoy the world around you.
And, if you have other suggestions for things to do – share them in the comments so others can do the same!