EVENTS This Week—The Physics of Ghost Hunting, a Sneak Preview of the End of the World & More!

Oh, Skeptihumanatheists, you have got it going ON. From Christchurch, New Zealand, to Lisbon, Portugal, from Seoul, Korea, to exotic West Allis, Wisconsin, and all points in between, there’s drinking and feasting and feeding the hungry, psychics and ghosts and oh-so-much science, plus an upcoming celebration of the end of the world and—even more terrifying—trampoline dodgeball.

Before I get into the specific week ahead, I’d like to give you a heads up about two kick-ass conferences coming up at the end of this month while there is still time to register. In Ottawa, Ontario, CFI is hosting Eschaton 2012: Celebrating Reason at the End of the World, the weekend of November 30–December 2. You can still get discounted registration until November 18, or sign up for single day events. Speakers include Eugenie Scott, Ophelia Benson, Skepchick Heina Dadabhoy, Ian Cromwell, PZ Myers, and many, many more.

That same weekend, in the neighboring hemisphere, is the Australian Skeptics National Convention in Melbourne, with Rebecca Watson, James Randi, Richard Saunders, Rachael Dunlop, Lawrence “Unbelievable” Leung, Krissy Wilson, and more. You can register for the full weekend or a single day here, and there are still a few tickets left for the private dinner on Thursday, November 29, at the historic Royal Society building, with Rebecca Watson, James Randi, and other skeptical guests.


Events for Nov. 16–Nov. 22

Below are some highlights of events around the U.S., Canada, the UK, and New Zealand, including the CFI Montréal physics of ghost hunting talk, a psychic reading event in Wisconsin that welcomes skeptics, and trampoline dodgeball in Oregon (an event that is rather traumatically fascinating for me to contemplate). You can find a ton more going on all over the world in our events calendar, which is particularly loaded up this week thanks to the queen of ALL THE THINGS, volunteer Nola Olsen.

(You probably know some pretty awesome people. Perhaps your friend, partner, or baby is rather awesome. But Nola Olsen is more awesome than your baby. Just thought you should know.)

Also, if you are into the whole Thanksgiving dealie but are far away from your family (or just want to be far away from your family), be sure to check out the calendar for all the deliciousness going on, next Thursday and throughout the week.

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.



Cambridge, MA—Multiple

Sun., Nov. 18: The Humanist Community at Harvard’s Values in Action program is hosting a Thanksgiving meal-packing event this Sunday for the food insecure in Massachusetts. If you can’t make the event but wish to donate, get info here.

Sun., Nov. 18: The Greater Boston Humanists are hosting a lunch talk by David Ropeik, Harvard lecturer and New York Times correspondent, titled “Risk and Human Behavior.”


Philadelphia, PA—Multiple

Sat., Nov. 17: The Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking is hosting a lecture by Research magazine editor Kenneth Silber, “Science vs. Politics: A Post-Election Look at the Political Climate for Science.”

Sun., Nov. 18: The Visible Friends Network, a new skeptical/freethought artists’ group, premieres its comedy show Get Real, featuring Jamie Kilstein, on Sunday night at the Helium Comedy Club. Tickets are $10–$15, available here or here.


New York, NY, Sat., Nov. 17

The Ex-Christian and Post-Theology Club is having a hard apple cider brewing party on Saturday night (part 1 of a double holiday party, with part 2 to follow in December). You have to join and RSVP for more info, including address.



Deland, FL, Sat., Nov. 17

The Florida Atheists, Critical Thinkers & Skeptics (F.A.C.T.S) are getting together on Saturday at the Deland Fall Festival of the Arts (which is going all weekend long). This is a free family-friendly event.


Fairview, NC, Sat., Nov. 17

The Asheville Skeptics Annual Regional Picnic is on this weekend. It’s an indoor, catered picnic. $10 adults, $5 children (10 and under). BYOA. Proceeds go to film students creating We Are Not Monsters: Revelry (a trailer will be shown at the picnic).



New Orleans, LA, Sat., Nov. 17

New Orleans Skeptics, Humanists, and Atheists are hosting a talk by Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, on church and state and other secular issues, at the Audubon Zoo.


Austin, TX, Mon., Nov. 19

Join CFI Austin for a Food for Thought talk by entomologist John Abbott, “Evolution of First Flight.”


Corpus Christi, TX, Tues., Nov. 20

The Corpus Christi Atheists have invited Wendy Strain, of the Climate Reality Project, to give a talk on climate science and the current state of climate change.


Houston, TX—Multiple

Sat., Nov. 17: The Humanists of Houston are inviting former pastor Mike Aus back for an encore presentation on “The Historical Jesus.”

Tues., Nov. 20: The Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Archaeological Institute of America are hosting a talk on “Cosmic Time—The Antikythera Mechanism and Its Mysteries,” about an ancient Greek mechanical device considered to be the world’s first computer. Tickets are $18 ($15 got museum members).



Kansas City, MO, Sun., Nov. 18

Join the Northland Freethinkers for a workshop, “How to Get Media Attention and Promote Your Group,” on Sunday afternoon.


West Allis, WI, Sat., Nov. 17

The First Spiritualist Church of West Allis welcomes skeptics to its psychic readings on Saturday night! After the group readings, there will be a Q&A with the mediums.



Mesa, AZ—Multiple

Tonight! Join the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix to learn various Latin ballroom dances from Debbie Neill.

Sun., Nov. 18: On Sunday, the HSGP is hosting a talk by Dave Fischer, of the National Space Society, called “Looking Up—The Future of Space Exploration.”


AZ—various cities and dates

Darrel Ray of the Freedom from Religion Foundation is giving talks in Scottsdale, Sedona, and Tucson this weekend on Sex and the God Virus, about evolution, sex, and religion.



Portland, OR, Fri., Nov. 16

Michael Shermer is giving a talk on “The Moral Arc of Science” at the Bagdad Theater & Pub, with VIP reserved seating for CFI members. Tickets are $20.00; students $15.00.


Tigard, OR, Sat., Nov. 17

The Skeptics 20s-30s group is getting together for trampoline dodgeball. Click here for more info and to reserve a spot before the 17th. So, um, today! Do IT.



Los Angeles, CA, Sat., Nov. 17

CFI-LA has an Independent Investigations Group (IIG), which investigates extraordinary claims (fringe science, paranormal, etc.) and provides information to the public based on these investigations. You can attend a meeting or two for free to decide if you’d like to join.


Pasadena, CA, Sun., Nov. 18

The Skeptic Society Lecture at Cal Tech this Sunday is by physicist Sean Carroll, “The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World.” Tickets are first come, first served, $10–$15. He’s a popular speaker, so get there early.



Vancouver, BC, Sat., Nov. 17

Learn how to do cold readings at CFI Vancouver’s Café Inquiry this Saturday, featuring Michael Glenister, a professional magician and a high school science and math teacher.


Toronto, ON, Sat., Nov. 17

This Saturday’s Cafe Skeptique, hosted by CFI Ontario, is on the topic of whether childhood vaccination should be mandatory.


Montréal, QC, Fri., Nov. 16

CFI Montréal is hosting a talk by Dany Plouffe, “A Physicist’s Guide to Ghost Hunting.”




Fri., Nov. 16: The British Humanist Association is hosting a talk by Richard Carrier, “Bayes’s Theorem and Historical Reasoning: How Historical Methods Can Be Improved and Why They Need to Be.”

Sat., Nov. 17: Join the Central London Humanists for “Humanism in Africa—Where have we come? Where are we going?” an Open Themes talk by Bob Churchill, who spent the past year working with the Uganda Humanist Association.

Tues., Nov. 20: On Tuesday night, CLH is hosting a talk by Iain Overton, “Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age.”



Christchurch, NZ, Tues., Nov. 20

The Christchurch Skeptics in the Pub are hosting a talk by microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles about her experiences battling pseudoscience, particularly in Auckland’s Ponsonby News.


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 is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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