Okay, so I will admit it. It has been a little fun with Rebecca out on her world tour and away from the helm. We have all been blogging without pants on and swapping AI responsibilities like we were playing hot potato and there has been no one around to tell us to get back to work or to use “proper” punctuation or to stay on topic… oh look a homeopathic rainbow! Uh, sorry where was I? Oh, and let’s not forget the getting drunk while blogging, there has been a lot of that too! No… wait a minute… actually, there has been NONE of that! There have been NO drunk skype conference calls either! What the heck am I even talking about? Now that I think about it, it’s been really quiet and boring and rather sad without our skeptical queen and we really miss her! *sniffle*
I figure now would be a really great time to put on pants, grab a martini and post some lovely photos I took of our fearless leader! I even managed to track her down for an interview. Hope it helps you get to know Rebecca a tiny bit better and I hope it fills that tiny void that her temporary absence has left! Enjoy!
1. What first got you interested in skepticism and what inspired you to create Skepchick.org?
I was a juggler and magician since high school, and was a big fan of Penn & Teller, who turned me onto James Randi. I started reading Randi’s Swift updates on randi.org, then joined the forum. That’s where I discovered that skeptics were forming a strong community. Skepchick.org came about as a response to the lack of female-focused skeptical sites. It started as just a place we could advertise the Skepchick calendars, but the response was so overwhelming that I figured it should offer regular content. A monthly magazine gave way to a daily blog, which morphed into a multi-writer blog to keep up with growing numbers of readers.
2. How do you find and choose your official Skepchicks?
The first few were friends who I knew were great writers. When we needed more writers, I put out a call for help and got tons of great responses from women who wanted to contribute. I chose a diverse group of various ages, locations, and experiences, but making sure that they all sounded like people I could imagine partying with. Partying is very important.
3. What one skeptical topic do you wish there was evidence for?
The Secret. I still want that cupcake-shitting unicorn I’ve been wishing for.
4. Now that you’re married, are you happy with your decision to “save yourself” for your husband?
Yes, and I was so pleased with that decision that I decided to continue to “save myself” for a second marriage. You can never be too careful. Sid supports my decision, as does Yvette, the live-in au pair he hired soon after I told him of my choice. Which is weird because we won’t ever have any kids, but whatever.
5. What is the craziest thing you have had to research in the name of skepticism?
Is there anything I’ve researched that’s not crazy? I mean, really. This is like picking the stupidest Pussycat Doll (the redhead). I’ll go with Scientology. That shit is so crazy it makes me look crazy when I explain it to people who just think it’s a religion. “No, seriously, they tried to infiltrate the government and steal secret documents and blackmail the IRS. No seriously they tried to get a journalist committed to a mental institution. No, seriously. SERIOUSLY.”
6. The phone rings. It’s Deepak Choprah. He says he is in London for a few days and would like to stop by for a few drinks with you and Sid and while he’s there he would absolutely love to balance your dosha free of charge. What do you do?
I agree, in an instant. My dosha has been out of balance for weeks now and it’s giving me a headache. And, free of charge? That amount of hilarity would be priceless.
7. What one podcast and what one book would you recommend to readers who are interested in learning more about science and or skepticism?
It’s almost cliche at this point but everyone should read Sagan’s Demon-haunted World. For a general intro, it cannot be beat.
And obviously everyone should be listening to The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe! Radio Lab is the only real sciencey or skeptical podcast I listen to on a regular basis, which maybe makes me a horrible skeptic but hey, I’m a busy chick.
8. How do you like London?
I love it! I miss Boston but it’s hard not to be happy now that I live in the same time zone as my husband. Also, at the pub last night the bartender complimented me on a lovely accent, which does not get old. In Boston, I had to affect my masterful cockney accent to get a comment like that. “Oi guv’nuh, clean your chimbleys?”
9. When are you and Sid moving to Los Angeles?
Sometime next Smarch. See you then!
10. On Skepchick Island who would you recommend for the very important position of head of security?
I think I’d make A head of security. You do not eff with that woman. You just don’t. She will end you.
11. When are we getting our island?
The Smarch after next!
Or as soon as a rich benefactor gives us one. Bill Gates, I know you’re reading this. I KNOW YOU HAVE A GOOGLE ALERT ON YOUR NAME.
Thank you so much Rebecca for taking time out of your crazy schedule to do the interview and thank you as always to Elyse for her mystery question. Until next time this has been Surly Amy with,Â Get To Know Your Skepchicks!