Posts Tagged ‘party’
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 22, 2013
As I’ve written before, it seems that there is a growing secular and non-religious demographic in the United States that is starting to speak up. This topic is the subject of a recent opinion piece that I read on the Washington Post’s Guest Voices blog, and I found the analysis by the author, Jacques Berlinerblau, to be worth noting…
By Jacques Berlinerblau
When it comes to not making optimistic, pie-in-the-sky pronouncements about American secularism I have almost unparalleled street cred. For years I have rued and bemoaned and lamented the fate of this poor mangled –ism.
But in the past few months there have been some positive and unexpected developments both here and abroad as well.The first is far less obvious than it might seem. By far, the best thing that has happened to American secularism in about half a century was that the reactionary 2012 iteration of the Republican party, while not McGovernized, was pretty thoroughly thrashed. To the long list of those in this country who were perplexed and repulsed by this aberrant version of the GOP (e.g., Latinos, African-Americans, gays, women) let us add secular Americans. …
… I want to stress that Republicans, historically, have not been anti-secular nor should the same be said about many of their core convictions. The shift occurred with the synergies that developed between Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority in the late 1970s. In fits and starts the relation between the Christian Right and the Republicans has grown for three decades. Did it crest in 2012? Will a humbled GOP shuck the divisive God-botherers in its midst? That is the question that secularists are eagerly—nay, gleefully—posing. …
Indeed, I can be counted among those secularists who are hoping quite strongly that the Republican party can finally free itself from the stranglehold of the religious right. Unfortunately, the religious right is dug so deeply into the GOP that they will not go quietly nor easily; methinks the Republican party is in for a long and nasty internal fight.
However, there is a note of caution to be heard…
… I am a pessimist by nature so let me raise a few caveats about the political potency of the nones. The first is that their Election Day turnout was somewhat underwhelming (they were 12 percent of the electorate though they are nearly 20 percent of the population). They actually gave less of their ballot to Obama in 2012 than they did in 2008 (70 percent down from 75 percent).
Most crucially, they are not an organized, disciplined, well-funded political juggernaut like the Christian Right, but a category on a demographer’s clipboard. The Democrats will need to organize and mobilize them (and perhaps this is why Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast gave them a shout out when he referred to “those of no faith that they can name”).
This is why I want to note, buzzkillingly, that 2012 was more a victory for secularism than a victory by secularism. But a victory nonetheless! Moreover, secularists can’t help but wonder if the pope’s recent resignation signals, at the very least, a set back for the global anti-secular platform. …
So, long story short, the “nones” should be happy to celebrate this victory, but we should not be so naive as to think that progress on those secular issues important to us will simply march along all by itself. The moment that we take our eye off the political ball, I think the religious right – which is more well-funded and organized than the secular movement – will swoop in and attempt to drag us all back to the Dark Ages.
Rather than rest on our laurels, this moment should serve to motivate us to become more involved in secular issues. We need to make sure to defend church-state separation, stand up for strong science education, and seek to curb the influence of sectarian religious groups upon our government. My suggestion is that you take some time to learn more about groups like the Secular Coalition for America and consider signing up with them. Get involved, get active, and we can make a more secular nation a reality!
Posted in politics, religion | Tagged: 2012, agnostic, atheism, atheist, belief, conservative, demographics, election, evangelical, God, GOP, Jacques Berlinerblau, no-religious, non-religious, none, Obama, party, politics, poll, Protestant, religion, religious, religious right, Republican, research, right, right wing, SCA, secular, Secular Coalition for America, secularism, survey, unaffiliated, Washington Post, white | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 21, 2012
This past Carl Sagan Day celebration in Chicago was a wonderful experience: the room was packed, the speakers were quite inspiring, and I left the evening with my enthusiasm for science and reason elevated! The audio of the entire event was recorded, and I wanted to share that with you below. Enjoy
“We wait for light, but behold darkness.” Isaiah 59:9
“It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Adage
Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: 2012, advocacy, annual, astronomy, Carl Sagan, Carl Sagan day, celebration, Chicago, Cosmos, critical thinking, day, DePaul University, event, party, physics, popular, public, science, secular, Secular Student Alliance, secularism, skeptic, SSA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 7, 2012
In the next few weeks, supporters of science and secularism will be celebrating the 78th anniversary of the birth of Carl Sagan, scientist, astronomer, skeptic, and popular advocate for science and critical thinking. For many of us who are in our 30s and 40s, we were inspired to become interested in science as a direct result of Carl Sagan’s public advocacy of science (most especially through his ground-breaking book and TV-series Cosmos). In honor of Carl Sagan and his accomplishments, as well as a way of promoting the public acceptance of science, we in the Chicago area will celebrate Carl Sagan Day on Thursday, Nov. 1st – look here for more information!
**Aside: To find a Carl Sagan Day event in your area, just use Google. If there isn’t one, consider holding your own
Carl Sagan at The Planetary Society in 1980. Image source
You’re invited to Chicago’s Carl Sagan Day 2012! Chicago’s secular community is gathering once again to celebrate the life and legacy of the great science popularizer, the beauty of discovery, and the fun of exploration. The event will be held in Schmitt Academic Center Room 161, on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus. The building is handicapable accessible, and accommodation can be provided upon request. …
Apple pie (made from scratch, of course) and cosmos will be served.
Speakers: “Carl Sagan’s Life and Legacy” Dr. Peter Vandervoort, Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and a former colleague of Carl Sagan
[Topic Undetermined] Dr. Angela Olinto, Chair of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department at the University of Chicago
“Citizen Science” Dr. Bernhard Beck-Winchantz, Associate Professor of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Studies Department at DePaul University
Emcee: Matt Lowry High School Physics Teacher, writer at The Skeptical Teacher.
Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: 2012, advocacy, annual, astronomy, Carl Sagan, Carl Sagan day, celebration, Chicago, Cosmos, critical thinking, day, DePaul University, event, party, physics, popular, public, science, secular, secularism, skeptic | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 11, 2011
We’ve made yet another journey around the Sun, and once again the annual celebration of Carl Sagan’s life and legacy is upon us. If you have never read his pivotal work, Cosmos: A Personal Journey, I highly recommend it. Sagan and his work was responsible for encouraging so many people, like me, into pursuing science and the study of the natural universe with a sense of awe and wonder. As a quick tribute to Carl Sagan, I would like to share with you a very popular music video from YouTube called “A Glorious Dawn”, which is based on one of the key ideas in Cosmos…
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe…”
Posted in skeptical community, space | Tagged: 2011, A Glorious Dawn, A Symphony of Science, advocacy, annual, astronomy, Carl Sagan, Carl Sagan day, celebration, Cosmos, Cosmos: A Personal Journey, day, event, Nov 9, November 9, party, physics, public, science | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 30, 2011
For many of us who are in our 30s and 40s, we were inspired to become interested in science as a direct result of astronomer Carl Sagan’s public advocacy of science (most especially through his ground-breaking book and TV-series Cosmos). In honor of Carl Sagan and his accomplishments, as well as a way of promoting the public acceptance of science, we can celebrate Carl Sagan Day on Saturday, Nov. 12th – look up an event in your area!
Specifically, if you find yourself in the Chicago area that weekend, you are more than welcome to join our public Carl Sagan Day event…
Saturday, November 12 · 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center of Northwestern University
303 E. Superior St.
You’re invited to Chicago’s Carl Sagan Day 2011! Come meet up and hang out with Chicago’s secular community, right in the heart of downtown. We’ll be hosting a panel on Science, Skepticism, and the Legacy of Carl Sagan!
Food* and drink** will be provided!
DePaul Alliance for Free Thought
Northwestern University Secular Student Alliance
University of Chicago Secular Alliance
Women Thinking Free Foundation
*includes apple pie from scratch
**includes cosmos (21+)
We look forward to seeing you there! Talk to your group leaders for travel arrangements.
(This event is free and open to the public.)
Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: 2011, advocacy, annual, astronomy, Carl Sagan, Carl Sagan day, celebration, Cosmos, day, event, Northwestern University, November 12, NWU, party, physics, public, science | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 4, 2011
[**Update: We will be offering grants to deserving hopeful attendees who cannot afford to attend. Please contact Elyse Anders at email@example.com to be considered.]
For anyone who likes skepticism, astronomy, camping, Bigfoot, hiking, drinking, and campfire stories, boy have I got the event of the season for you – it’s the 2nd annual Skeptics Under The Stars outing!!! If you are anywhere in the Midwest during the weekend of Oct. 21-23, consider joining the Women Thinking Free Foundation as we journey to the lovely backwoods of Wisconsin in an effort to get educated on the science of astronomy, tour the world-famous Yerkes Observatory, get liquored up around a cozy campfire, and search for Bigfoot in (where else?) Bigfoot State Park – and things won’t necessarily take place in that order
Read on for more information – we hope that you can join us…
This year’s trip will include special guest Nicole Gugliucci, otherwise known as the Noisy Astronomer.
Like last year, we’ll be staying on a private lake in Delavan, Wisconsin at the beautiful McIntyre Resort and visiting the Yerkes Observatory at Lake Geneva.
N 6471 Milwaukee Rd.
Delavan, WI 53115
Tentative Schedule of Events (subject to change):
Friday Oct 21
Get to McIntyre Resorts at any time prior to 9pm to set up camp
9pm: Meet at Yerkes Observatory for a private tour
Sat Oct 22
Morning: Breakfast at the campground (provided by WTFF)
Afternoon: Bigfoot hunt at Bigfoot Beach State Park
Dinner: Dinner at the campground (Provided by WTFF)
Evening: Fun with the Noisy Astronomer
Sun Oct 23: Leftover breakfast and packing up the campsite
$55 for only Saturday night -or-
$75 for both Friday and Saturday night
Children under 10 are free!
You can buy a ticket at this link: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e4ytf2y520f4f802&llr=ewyi8mfab
What is included in your ticket price?
- Camping site costs
- Yerkes Observatory tour
- Breakfast and dinner on Saturday
- Getting to camp with the Women Thinking Free Foundation and Nicole Gugliucci
- Wine, beer and other adult winter drinks (mulled wine, peppermint schnapps cider, bailey’s hot chocolate, etc)
- Camping snacks and smores
- Boats (seriously…there are boats we can use at our private lake!)
What do I need to bring?
- Sleeping Bag
- Warm Clothes (it will be VERY cold!)
- Telescope (if you have one)
What happens if you don’t own one of these items?
It’s ok! Many people do not own their own tent or sleeping bag, but there are others that either are willing to share their tent or have extra camping supplies. Please use the comments portion of the facebook event to ask for any supplies you don’t own. If you’re unable or having trouble finding a tent or sleeping bag, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out. No one should not be able to attend just because you don’t own the right equipment!
Need a carpool?
It’s ok if you don’t have a car. There are many people driving in from various cities like Chicago. Use the comment portion of the facebook page to ask for a ride. If you have trouble finding a ride, email email@example.com and I’ll help you out.
Pets and children welcome! Last year we even had people bring a motor home. If you have any questions about what you can and cannot bring, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to come, but not really into the camping thing? McIntyre Resorts has two fully equipped cabins and a heated loft. The cabins cost $125/night and I’m not sure of the price for the loft. The cabins and loft are right where we are camping so you won’t be left out of any activities. For questions on the cabins and loft or to book them, call McIntyre Resorts at 262-728-9313 and tell them you are calling for the Women Thinking Free Foundation event. They are first come first serve.
There also will be some electrical outlets. We’ll have to share them, but just know that there will be ways to charge your phone (we’ll be camping but we at least want to be humane about it).
RSVP’ing on this facebook page does not get you into the event. You must buy a ticket at the following link: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e4ytf2y520f4f802&llr=ewyi8mfab
If you have any other questions, email email@example.com or message Jamie Bernstein on facebook.
Posted in cryptozoology, skeptical community, space | Tagged: astronomy, Bigfoot, camping, fundraiser, hunt, McIntyre Resort, Nicole Gugliucci, observatory, party, planets, search, Skeptics Under the Stars, star party, stargazing, stars, The Noisy Astronomer, Wisconsin, Women Thinking Free, Women Thinking Free Foundation, woods, WTF, WTFF, Yerkes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on June 19, 2011
I just wanted to pass along to you some news which might interest those of you in the Midwest next weekend: another Un-Psychic Fair! You may recall the first WTFF Un-Psychic Fair in Chicago last year, and we hope that this one will be even more fun, more skeptic-y, and more un-psychic-y!!! Read on for details…
John Edward, un-psychic douchebag, endorses this event
… This event launches our presence in Indianapolis, a city where we’ve found great skeptics and the potential for a truly bad ass skeptical mofo community. Our only option was to invade Indy and bring some mofos together to help us save them from their little notch on the Bible Belt.
Come out to the Unpsychic fair this weekend and be a part of WTF Indy! We’ll give you all you can eat food and buy your first drink. Then, we’ll be raffling off an entire bottle of alcohol. And we’ll do unpsychic readings… by real fake psychics!
The Women Thinking Free Foundation has arrived in Indianapolis!
Please join us on June 25, 2011 for our first ever Indy event: Mysteries of the Totally Explained, an Unpsychic Faire.
Tarot card readings!
Discover your fate with a oujia board!
You will be amazed at the occasional accuracy of your readings!
We can already sense your presence!
Tickets are $20
and include all you can eat appetizers, cash bar with drink specials and your first drink is on us!
FREE admission for ghosts entering through the Ouija board or other spiritual portal.
We predict an awesome time!
Saturday June 25, 2011 at 6:00 PM EDT
Posted in psychics, skeptical community | Tagged: bar, Chicago, crystall ball, divination, esp, extra sensory perception, feminism, fortune, fun, fundrasier, humor, Indiana, Indianapolis, Indy, mind reading, Ouija, Ouija board, palm reading, palmistry, party, physics, pseudoscience, psychic, psychic fair, skeptical community, skepticism, spirit, spirit board, unpsychic fair, Women Thinking Free, Women Thinking Free Foundation, WTF, WTFF | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 11, 2011
If you’ve been part of the skeptical community for some time, no doubt that by now you’ve heard about Drinking Skeptically, which is a nice way of saying “a bunch of skeptics get together in a bar and talk & drink”. Well, in case you didn’t know, there is an online version called Virtual Drinking Skeptically, which is hosted by Brian Gregory pretty much every Friday night. Brian often interviews prominent skeptics on his show, and the discussion is not always serious though it is always fun! This week’s guest is yours truly – check it out
Announcing “special guest”: Matt Lowry. He will be joining us on Friday, Feb 18th at 9pm ET for a few hours to answer your questions in ‘virtual’ person.
Matt Lowry is a high school & college physics professor who is dedicated to educating his students and the public about science, skepticism, and critical thinking. He blogs on these and other subjects at The Skeptical Teacher. In addition, he really likes to do wacky & dangerous physics demonstrations as a way of “sacrificing himself for science!” (Ask about him getting hammered & nailed – go on… ask)
You can take a look at a few of his crazy stunts here.
IMPORTANT: This will be an official “special guest” chat and will be run according to the these rules, so make sure to add it to your calendar, test your setup for tokbox video, and get ready for an interesting evening. Oh, and put this on your calendar NOW!
Posted in humor, skeptical community | Tagged: Brian Gregory, college, drinking, Drinking Skeptically, DS, education, fun, high school, humor, Matt Lowry, party, physics, science, skeptic, skeptical, skepticism, teacher, The Skeptical Teacher, VDS, Virtual Drinking Skeptically | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on December 9, 2010
I wanted to quickly share with you all some neat science-related tricks from Professor Richard Wiseman; these will no doubt make for all manner of fun at those end-of-the-year Christmas & New Years gatherings. Enjoy!
Posted in magic tricks | Tagged: Christmas, fun, games, holiday, Holidays, magic, New Years, parties, party, Richard Wiseman, science, tricks | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on September 19, 2010
If you happen to be in the upper Midwest in early October, I invite you to attend an event hosted by the Women Thinking Free Foundation: it’s called Skeptics Under the Stars! Here’s more information…
Saturday, October 2nd
N 6471 Milwaukee Road
Delavan, WI 53115
Come join the Women Thinking Free Foundation for a night of astronomy and outdoor camping. After setting up camp at McIntyre’s Resort in Delavan, Wisconsin, we’ll have an outdoor BBQ with burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers complemented by a talk by skeptical astronomer Dr. Pamela Gay of the popular Astronomy Cast podcast. After dinner, we’ll make our way to the world-famous Yerkes Observatory for a private tour and chance to take a peek through their historic 40 inch refracting telescope!
After our stint at the observatory, we will head back to the campground for a late night of stargazing, more short talks by our illustrious, skeptical astronomer, and of course roasting marshmallows and generally having fun camping outdoors.
3-5pm – set up camp at McIntyre’s Resort
5-7:15pm – eat and talk with Dr. Pamela Gay
8-11pm – tour of Yerkes Observatory
11pm-???am – stargazing (weather permitting), food, and fun
Cost: $75/person + children under 10 free (so bring the kids!)
What is included in the trip cost:
Tour of Yerkes
Burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers for BBQ
Lighter Fluid & Charcoal
Limited Beer and Wine
What to Bring:
Boots (if hiking)
Warm Clothes & Boots
Telescopes (we have a couple already, but if you have your own, be sure to bring it!)
We’ll have some limited beer and wine until we run out, but you may want to BYOB if you plan on drinking into the night. Same goes for any other food or snacks you want to bring.
We understand that many people may not own all the needed supplies or may not have a car for traveling from Chicago. Please visit the message board at the Skeptics Under the Stars Facebook page if you need or have extra tents/sleeping bags or want to take part in a carpool. We don’t want to leave one skeptic behind just because you don’t own your own sleeping bag.
Additionally, some of us skeptics might want to head up to the campground early to enjoy some hiking and boating prior to the start of the official event. This can all be worked out at the message boards as well.
If you’re on Facebook, check out our event page. If you get lost or have a problem on the way up, make sure to take these phone numbers with you and don’t be shy in calling one of us.
Jamie Bernstein: 858-442-4415
Matt Lowry: 847-533-5717
If you have any other questions or problems, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com
Posted in skeptical community, space | Tagged: astronomy, camping, fundraiser, observatory, Pamela Gay, party, planets, Skeptics Under the Stars, stargazing, stars, Women Thinking Free, Women Thinking Free Foundation, WTF, WTFF, Yerkes | Leave a Comment »