EVENTS This Week—Matt Dillahunty, Greta Christina + a Skeptical Birthday Gift for Burzynski

So apparently everyone’s New Year’s resolution was to do ALL THE THINGS because holy crap, people. Seriously. The buttons are popping off our calendar and we still have more events to add. Some highlights are speakers such as Matt Dillahunty and Greta Christina, an Experimental Breakfast, Freak Show and Tell, and Religious Freedom Day events (celebrate or this eagle will hunt. you. down).

We’re also heading into a season of conferences, conventions, skepticamps and more—so many that I’ll cover them all in a separate post later this week so you’ll have time to register and make your travel plans.

But the event I am most excited about is the fundraiser in “honor” of cancer quack Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski’s 70th birthday. The Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients hope to raise at least $30,000 by his birthday, when they will challenge him to match it, with all the funds going to actually help kids with cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

We are hoping to raise at least $5,000 of that goal amount, and if we do, Rebecca Watson, Rhys Morgan, plus other skeptic and atheist gamers will battle each other in Team Fortress 2, live-streamed. Donate here or read more about the fundraiser, the Skepchick Challenge, and what you can do to help.

Events for Jan. 11–Jan. 17

Below are some highlights of events around the U.S. (listed by region), in Canada, and in the UK. You can find a ton more going on all over the world in our events calendar.

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.



New Britain, CT, Wed., Jan. 16

The Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford is hosting a free clinic on how to set up and use a telescope and binoculars. Space is limited, so reserve your spot here.


Washington, DC, Sun., Jan. 13

The CFI–DC Secular Family Network is going bowling Sunday. You have to be approved to join and get location details. More info here.


Baltimore, MD, Sat., Jan. 12

The National Capital Area Skeptics are going to see magician David London’s show “Magic Outside the Box.” Find out how to join them here.


Allston, MA, Sat., Jan. 12

Inspired by Barry Schwartz’s TED talk, “The Paradox of Choice,” in which he concludes that too much choice leads to less happiness, the Boston Atheists are getting together to test the hypothesis. At their Experimental Breakfast, they will test whether they enjoy the meal more if they have a limited selection.


Greater Lowell Area, MA, Sat., Jan. 12

The Greater Lowell Area Skeptics Society is having a Season of Reason Party 2013, but they have at least one requirement: Only survivors of 2012 may attend. Party games, science swap, and potluck awesomeness for group members. Find out how to join here.


New York, NY, Sun., Jan. 13

The NYC Atheists January brunch features speaker Linda Blaikie, L.C.S.W., on the topic of “Grief:  How Do Atheists Deal with the End of Life?” Click here for more details about the talk and how to join.


Syracuse, NY, Mon., Jan. 14

The Central NY Skeptics are hosting a talk by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Cay Johnston, “The Fine Print: Your Pay Shrinks as Monopolies Prosper.” Join the group for more information.


Erie, PA, Fri., Jan. 11

The Erie Atheists and Agnostics are holding an interesting twist on political debating, with group members arguing on behalf of viewpoints they don’t agree with. Find out more here.


Thorndale, PA, Fri., Jan. 11

OK, I’ll be honest. This event is private, and odds are, you won’t be able to just join the group and go, but I thought it was worth mentioning for women in Southeast Pennsylvania looking for what looks like a fun woman-friendly geeky group to join. The Geeks of Southeast PA (Western Suburbs) are having a Geek Girls All Nighter—a sleepover just like I remember growing up, except with drinking. So . . . just like I remember growing up. (Kidding. Except that one time.)



Altamonte Springs, FL, Sat., Jan. 12

I’m in Minnesota, and it’s the middle of winter, so I’m pretty much suffocating in a big parka of envy over this one: miniature golf and ice cream with the Florida Atheists, Critical Thinkers & Skeptics. If you’re in the area, check out the details here.


Louisville, KY, Tues., Jan. 15

TheLouisville Atheists and Freethinkers are hosting a talk by Suzanne Lamb, who will discuss her successful and ongoing activism against the violations of church-state separation in her kids’ public schools, from Gideons distributing Bibles to prayers at school board meetings.


Fredericksburg, VA, Sun., Jan. 13

The Fredericksburg Coalition of Reason, a consortium of various local skeptic, freethought, and atheist groups, is celebrating Religious Freedom Day with a march, joining the parade of church groups commemorating the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom that was the basis for our Constitution’s First Amendment. After the parade, the groups will be getting together for lunch and a talk by U.S. Army Captain Ryan Jean, “Pro Deo Et Patria? [For God and Country?]” RSVP as soon as possible if you want to attend the lunch.


Norfolk, VA—Multiple

Fri., Jan. 11: Join the Southeastern Virginia Skeptics for the Penny Tration Drag Show at Hershee Bar. Admission ($5) and Jell-o shot sales go to pet food for Mr. Wiggles Pet Food Pantry.

Sun., Jan. 13: The Southeastern Virginia Skeptics are celebrating Religious Freedom Day with a fundraising dinner for the Secular Student Alliance of Old Dominion University. You’re welcome to bring friends and family, but RSVP so they reserve enough space and food for everyone.



Oklahoma City, OK, Sat., Jan. 12

The Oklahoma Atheists are having a family-friendly rollerskating party. Click here for info on how to join the group.


Chicago, IL—Multiple

Sat., Jan. 12, and Sun., Jan. 13: In his “Freak Show and Tell,” at Lincoln Loft,

Thom Britton performs and reveals the science behind sideshow tricks like fire eating, glass walking, and more.

Mon., Jan. 14: Join the Chicago Science Field Trips Club for a panel at Shedd Aquarium on “Social and Biological Impacts of Rising Seas and Reduced Lake Levels.” The program is free, but parking is not. Get more details about the bus, parking fees, the event, and the club here.

Wed., Jan. 16, and Thurs., Jan. 17: Clinical genetics expert Marc S. Williams is giving a lecture in Evanston (Wed.) and Chicago (Thurs.) on “Personal Genome Sequencing: What Can (and Can’t) It Reveal about Your Health? How Might It Change the Future of Healthcare?” Part of the free and open-to-the-public Silverstein Lecture Series.


Overland Park, KS, Fri., Jan. 11

“Guns, Edible Ferns, and Veal”—intrigued? Check out the detailed description on the Provocateurs and Peacemakers meetup page.


Canton, MI, Sat., Jan. 12

The Michigan Skeptics Association is hosting a talk by Peter Sinclair of on the latest news in climate change science and politics. Join the group for details and to RSVP.


Stillwater, MN, Mon., Jan. 14

The Stillwater Critical Thinking Club is featuring “The Democracy Jefferson Intended,” a talk by Shawn Lawrence Otto, organizer of the 2008 and 2012 presidential science debates and author of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.


Twin Cities area, Sun., Jan. 13

The Minnesota Atheists Secular Parenting Group are bringing the kids to an enormous indoor park with giant tree climbing, wall scaling, low crawling, tube sliding, canyon crossing awesomeness, as well as a play area for toddlers. Find out more here.


North Kansas City, MO, Mon., Jan. 14

Paul Donovan, math teacher and author of Happily Godless: A Young Adult’s Guide to Atheism, is talking Monday night with the Northland Freethinkers about his experiences as a math teacher in religious communities.


Columbus, OH, Sat., Jan. 12

The Humanist Community of Central Ohio is serving up pizza and the meaning of life (redundant?) with a talk by philosopher Wesley Cray.



Mesa, AZ, Sun., Jan. 13

Dianne Post, an attorney and human rights activist fighting unequal treatment of women, particularly violence against women and children, will be speaking on “Prostitution” at the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix.



Portland, OR, Tues., Jan. 15

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Science Pub this Tuesday is on “Exploring the Deep Ocean: Strange Animals, Submarine Volcanoes, and Life in Extreme Environments,” an encore talk by Stephen R. Hammond, with updates. Dr. Hammond is chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Ocean Exploration and Research Program and division leader for the Ocean Environment Research Division of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. $5 suggested cover charge. No RSVP or tickets required.


Riverside, CA, Fri., Jan. 11, and Palo Alto, CA, Sun., Jan. 13

Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist, is performing Cats, Sheep and Goats: The Taxonomy of Believers, Preachers, and Atheists.$10 donation requested. For info on both shows, click here.


San Diego, CA, Sat., Jan. 12

The Humanist Association of San Diego is hosting a talk by Matt Dillahunty, Atheist Experience host and president of the Atheist Community of Austin, on “The Superiority of Secular Morality.” $10 general seating; $20 reserved seating (first few rows); $8 students, seniors, military; $15 at the door. Childcare provided (if arranged in advance).


San Francisco, CA, Sun., Jan. 13

TheAtheist Advocates of SF are hosting a talk by Greta Christina on debating religion: “Resistance Is Not Futile: Is Arguing About Religion Worth It?”



Montréal, QC, Fri., Jan. 11

CFI-Montréal is hosting a presentation and magic show, “Principles of Magic,” by Medhat Hanbali. $10; free to CFI members.


Saskatoon, SK, Tues., Jan. 15–Thurs., Jan. 17

Hug an Atheist for charity! The University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance is sponsoring a hug-a-thon to raise money for Doctors without Borders. From standard and premium to bear or eagle style, they’ve got a hug for every budget and comfort level.



Edinburgh, Thurs., Jan. 17

TheEdinburgh Skeptics in the Pub January talk is on “Sharks Don’t Get Cancer: The Myth,” by

Ben Hardwidge.


London, Tues., Jan. 15

The British Humanist Association Choir has taken part in Secret Cinema and Nine Lessons and Carols for the Godless, as well as appearing on Dara O’Briain’s Science Club,and now they are starting a new term, so now’s the time to join in. Everyone’s welcome at their next choir practice Tuesday night.


London, Fri., Jan. 11

The London GALHA–LGBT Humanists and the London Black Atheists are going together to the Conway Hall screening of Call Me Kuchu, about the Ugandan bill to make homosexuality punishable by death. £5.


Reading, Thurs., Jan. 17

Join the Reading Skeptics in the Pub for a talk called “Inside Britain’s Creationist Schools,” by Jonny Scaramanga, who writes the Leaving Fundamentalism blog.


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.


 Featured Image by the Donkey Sanctuary.

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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