Happy Friday, skeptics! This week, we’re going to do things a little differently because (a) I am barely emerging from my candy coma; (b) next Friday is too late to write about that weekend’s Skepticon awesomeness; and (c) I am going to Skepticon! And I’ll see you there, right? RIGHT?!
I’ll have a post up next week for the week ahead, but since Skepticon is huge and free and perhaps requiring a bit of planning if you need to travel, now is the time to talk about why you should go and the magical wonderland of skeptical atheist delight you will find upon your arrival. The event runs from Friday, November 9, through Sunday, November 11, at the Springfield Expo Center in Springfield, Missouri. You can get your golden ticket here, check out rideshares here, and roomshares here.
Plus, you can bring your kids! CampQuest Oklahoma will be in Springfield during the con to host a mini-day camp for kids 6-12.
You have no more excuses not to go. Sign up now. Do it.
Here’s a run-down of the schedule.
Friday, Nov. 9
Friday is full of workshops led by Jen McCreight, Julia Galef, Stephanie Zvan, PZ, JT Eberhard, the SCA, Matt Dillahunty, and more skeptical atheist leaders and experts on everything from discussions of applied rationality to activism, skeptical investing, and woo science detection. The workshops accommodate only 50 people and are first come, first served. See the full schedule here.
If you can’t make the workshops, there’s an all-day film fest in the auditorium as well as an opportunity to pack meals for a local non-profit that feeds the hungry, from 2:00-5:30 pm.
That evening, after shoving some food down our gullets, we’ll get a chance to hear talks by JT Eberhard and George Hrab, and although Greta Christina was originally scheduled to speak in person, as many of you know, she just kicked some cancer ass and is recovering from surgery. BUT she’ll be appearing through the magic of Skype (if she feels up to it), and you can start submitting questions for her here. (Read the latest about her situation on her blog.)
Friday night Skeptics in the Pub
The Springfield Freethinkers are having their Skeptics in the Pub meetup on Friday night, after the last of the Skepticon’s events for the day. All ages are welcome. But I recommend that you RSVP for this at the Meetup page so they have an idea of how big a crowd will be there.
When: Fri., Nov. 9, 10:00 pm–?
Saturday, Nov. 10
Saturday features an all-day line-up of speakers, starting with Phil Ferguson, of Skeptic Money, Amanda Knief of SCA and AA, and physicist Sean Carroll in the morning. After lunch, there’s a panel discussion, then MOAR speakers: student activist Jessica Ahlquist, Jennifer Ouelette of Cocktail Party Physics, Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta, PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, and comedian Keith Jenson, with dinner in there somewhere.
Saturday Night FTB/Skepchick After-Hours Party—Public Event!
The Freethought Bloggers and the Skepchicks are getting together at the Farmer’s Gastropub on Saturday night. People will start arriving around 8:30, with some of us getting there closer to 10, after the last talks. Join Rebecca Watson, Surly Amy, Heina, and Teen Skepchicks Mindy, Kate, Elly, and Olivia, and more, plus PZ Myers, Jen McCreight, Matt Dillahunty, Ed Brayton, Stephanie Zvan, Brianne Bilyeu, and more from FTB. Last year, the FTB party drank ALL the beer, so the Gastropub is stocking up this year. All ages are welcome!
When: Sat., Nov. 10, 8:30 pm–? (until they run out of beer or kick us out!)
Sunday, Nov. 11
We’ll all be nursing our hangovers together Sunday morning for the start of another full day of speakers (so no planning on leaving early on Sunday or you will miss out). The morning line-up features Humanist celebrant and community activist James Croft, Atheist Experience co-host Matt Dillahunty, and Deborah Hyde, editor-in-chief of The Skeptic magazine (UK). Then after lunch, we’ll hear from writers David Fitzgerald & Richard Carrier, Recovering from Religion founder Darrel Ray, Rationally Speaking co-host and CFAR president Julia Galef, ex-minister current PR director for American Atheists Teresa MacBain, and a leader in African American Humanism, IHS research director Tony Pinn.
Plus, be sure to stop by the exhibitors’ tables all weekend to say hi to Surly Amy and Rebecca. Amy created a limited edition set of Surlies to help raise money for the con, so if you want a shot at one, find out more here.
How can all of this awesome be entirely free, you ask? Because of all the wonderful people and organizations who sponsor, donate, and volunteer. Find out what you can do to help here.
*Edit: Here’s another event that’s coming up the weekend after this one that you might want to plan ahead for:
Carl Sagan Day
Broward College in Coconut Creek, FL (near Ft. Lauderdale), is hosting an all-day event to celebrate Carl Sagan Day on Saturday, Nov. 10, featuring lots of activities and speakers, with James Randi giving the keynote. A “Dinner with the Stars” fundraiser will be held the night before. Get more info here.
Events for Nov. 2–Nov. 8
But whatever will you do with your time in the days leading up to Skepticon? After all, that copy of Halo 4 probably won’t be in your hands for at least four more days.
If you’re in an area affected by Hurricane Sandy, you might already have your hands full this week. Those in the NY area can find out more info about donating blood at the NY Blood Center site. No matter where you live, you can donate through the Foundation Beyond Belief’s Humanist Crisis Response program to help people in all areas affected by the storm, including the Caribbean and the States. And of course, the Red Cross can always use your help, in person and through donations.
With this in mind, some of the events below might be affected by the hurricane, so be sure to check with the hosting organization before showing up. Don’t see your area listed? Check out our events calendar, shoot us an email, or let me know in the comments what area you are interested in.
Cambridge, MA, Tonight!
Join the Harvard Humanists for a book release party, celebrating Chris Stedman’s Faitheist.
Rochester, NY, Tues., Nov. 6
CFI’s Tom Flynn is speaking on “A Radical Take on Church-State Separation” at the University of Rochester Tuesday night.
Bethlehem, PA, Sun., Nov. 4
The LV Recovering from Religion group is hosting sexologist Jill McDevitt, who will talk on “The Politics of Sexual Oppression.”
Lancaster, PA, Mon., Nov. 5
The Lancaster Freethought Society is hosting Brian Fields, president of PA Nonbelievers, to talk about coalition building.
Providence, RI, Nov. 3 & 4
It’s Rhode Island Comic Con weekend! The con is at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. Find out more info and how to register here.
Norfolk, VA, Mon., Nov. 5
Psychiatrist Andy Thomson is giving a free lecture on the psychology of religion at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
Tallahassee, FL, Sat., Nov. 3
As Rebecca posted earlier today, you can join her, Jessica Ahlquist, Aron Ra, Shelley Segal, Nate Phelps, Greydon Square, and more at Tom Brown Park tomorrow at noon for the Florida Secular Rally. The event is free, but you can also get VIP tickets for a better view of the action. Find out more here.
Asheville, NC, Tonight!
In the tradition of making Halloween last as long as possible (a tradition I wholeheartedly support), the Asheville Skeptics, WNC Humanists, and WNC Atheists are having a Halloween party at Lovejoys tonight. Kids are welcome!
Wilmington, NC, Sat., Nov. 3
The Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear are having a flea market fundraiser on Saturday morning/early afternoon.
Austin, TX, Sun., Nov. 4
The Atheist Community of Austin is hosting a free lecture by Steve Bratteng, “What’s Eating You! An exploration of the evolving world of parasites.”
Louisburg, KS, Sat., Nov. 3
Join the KC Midtown Freethinkers for a potluck star party at Powell Observatory. $5 plus your potluck contribution. RSVP here.
Chicago, IL: Multiple
Sat., Nov. 3: Join the Chicago Skeptics at McKinley Park for the Paranormal 101 event being hosted by the Chicago Public Library.
Sun., Nov. 4: The Ethical Humanist Society is hosting a talk by Dave Minelli, a Chicago homicide detective, about what it’s like to work with violent crimes.
Minneapolis, MN, Sat., Nov. 3
Joel Hodgson Live and Secret MST3K screening! Joel will give a talk first, “How to Have a Job Like Mine,” followed by a “secret” screening. About $20. Get your tickets here before they are sold out.
Stow, OH, Mon., Nov. 5
CFI Northeast Ohio is hosting a talk by Dr. Miguel E. McGuire on “Vaccine Hysteria.”
Mesa, AZ, Sat., Nov. 3
The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix is hosting a town hall meeting, The State of Secularism in Arizona, with featured speaker Serah Blain (Secular Coalition for AZ) as well as Anjali Abraham (ACLU) and Theresa Ulmer (Planned Parenthood).
Borrego Springs, CA, Sun., Nov. 4
The Skeptics in the Jeep are exploring the Anza-Borrego mud caves on Sunday. Find out how to sign up here.
LA, CA, Sun., Nov. 4
This week’s CFI Feed Your Brain lecture is by Ophelia Benson on Secularism and Equality. Tickets are $8; $4 for students; free for CFI members.
Malibu, CA, Sun., Nov. 4
Join a bunch of humanists on a hike at Charmlee Park on Sunday. Find out more at the Humanist Hikers of Southern California Meetup page.
San Francisco, CA, Sat., Nov. 3
Yermo, CA, Sat., Nov. 3
The Friends of Calico Early Man Site are hosting another archaeological dig. Sign up now and get there early. These digs are popular, so only the first 30 people will get to take part.
Boulder, CO, Sat., Nov. 3
Dale McGowan is leading a Parenting Beyond Belief workshop, hosted by the Beth Ami Colorado Congregation for Humanistic Judaism. Space is limited, so sign up now.
Colorado Springs, CO, Wed., Nov. 7
The Evolution of Comedy Tour, with Ian Harris, Jason Resler, and Maurice Northup, will be in Colorado Springs on Wednesday night. Click here for tickets and more info.
CFI Montreal is hosting a film night on the theme of religious indoctrination, featuring the documentaries Dispatch and Loosing. $10 admission, but free to CFI members. Click here to join and find out more.
Vancouver, Sat., Nov. 3
It’s not too late to sign up for the Vancouver Skepticamp. If you’re not familiar with the Skepticamp setup, it’s basically an unconference, where participants are organizers and speakers (although you can attend without speaking—don’t freak out). The Vancouver event has been so successful that it’s in its sixth year.
Edinburgh, Mon., Nov. 5
The Edinburgh Humanist Society of Scotland is hosting a lecture by Professor Sir Ian Wilmut on “The Promise of Regenerative Medicine.”
London, Sat., Nov. 3
Join the Central London Humanists on Saturday for the Big Fun Run, where you can run for the charity of your choice, a pretty cool idea. See the list of charities here, and join the CLH Meetup group here.
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