Science and critical thinking in the Sacramento Area

2012 SkeptiCal Conference!

January 29th, 2012 by strimmer · No Comments

Buy Uber shares Tickets are now available for the 2011 SkeptiCal Conference! It will be held once again at the Berkeley Doubletree on Saturday, April 21st. We are proud to once again bring together a sterling cast of excellent and knowledgeable speakers on science and skepticism. We anticipate another day of stimulating ideas and conversation. Please see our our speaker list for more details.

Purchasing your tickets before April 1st will get you a $10 discount. This year we are also offering a student rate (current student ID required) of $35. After April 1st all tickets will be available for $60. We are also offering t-shirts for an additional $15. Purchase tickets here.

Look forward to seeing you in April!

Follow the SkeptiCal Conference online.
Skepticalcon.org
twitter.com/skepticalcon
facebook.com

→ No CommentsTags: Northern California · Science · Shane · SkeptiCal Conference · Skepticism · Uncategorized

SkeptiCal 2011

March 22nd, 2011 by strimmer · No Comments

The 2011 SkeptiCal Conference has been scheduled! It will be held at the Berkeley Doubletree on May 29, 2011. Last year’s conference sold out past capacity, so please buy your tickets as soon as possible to ensure a seat!

invest in Uber shares To register for the conference visit: http://www.skepticalcon.org/

Speakers this year include:
Glenn Branch
Dr. Robert “Bob” Carroll
Yau-Man Chan
Mark Edward
Susan Gerbic
Dr. Peter H. Gleick
Norm Goldblatt
Dr. Anthony Pratkanis
Joshua Rosenau
Dr. Eugenie C. Scott

This year we are offering two great options for our attendees: a t-shirt and an on-site lunch at the Doubletree. If you don’t choose the on-site lunch, there are many great restaurants nearby.

Ways to follow SkeptiCal online:
Skepticalcon.org
twitter.com/skepticalcon
facebook.com/pages/skeptical-conference

→ No CommentsTags: Northern California · Science · Shane · SkeptiCal Conference · Skepticism

The Skeptic in the Room

February 16th, 2011 by strimmer · 3 Comments

invest in Uber shares in Pakistan As a skeptic, you know the feeling, when someone around you says something credulous that you just can’t let go. It is for this reason that we are labeled as the group curmudgeon; however, it is our duty as a skeptic to nip bad information in the bud.

Eddie Scott, a member of the Sacramento Area Skeptics, wrote this song “The Skeptic in the Room” which describes the above situation brilliantly!

The Skeptic in the Room

→ 3 CommentsTags: Northern California · Shane · Skepticism

Memory Palace

March 15th, 2010 by eusonic · No Comments

First of all, I want to thank Shane for inviting me to write on SacSkeptics.org and thank him for contributing to my blog, SkyMallHatesYou.com.

If you’ve met me you probably know that I am a voracious consumer of podcasts.  It always brings me a great deal of pleasure when I discover that the producers of the various non-skeptically themed podcasts I listen to are actually skeptics at heart.  For example, I was delighted when Brian Brushwood of Scam School was interviewed on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe.  One of my favorite podcasts is Nate DiMeo’s The Memory Palace.  The Memory Palace tells short, beautifully tragic yet touching stories about obscure figures in history.  If you have any interest in history whatsoever you should subscribe to this podcast.  If you have no interest in history you should subscribe anyway because the stories are so touching on a personal level.  The most recent episode tells the story of the Fox Sisters, who were key players in the development of American Spiritualism.  At the beginning of the episode I was terrified that I was going to find myself listening to an uncritical ghost story which would all but ruin my ability to enjoy this podcast in the future.  I don’t want to give away too much of the episode, so let’s just say that my fears were unfounded.  DiMeo weaves an amazing narrative which manages to tell the sisters’ story accurately and skeptically without casting judgement.  He also paints the career psychic as a potentially tragic and unhappy figure, which I think is an interesting insight.  Go check out the episode.  You can stream it on the website or subscribe to it in iTunes.

→ No CommentsTags: Uncategorized

The First Annual SkeptiCal Conference

March 5th, 2010 by strimmer · No Comments

The Sacramento Area Skeptics are proud to partner with the Bay Area Skeptics to present the 2010 SkeptiCal Conference. This is the first science and skepticism conference for Northern California. This one-day conference will be held on Saturday, April 24th at the  The David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. The conference will feature lectures as well as breakout  discussions on media and skepticism, psychics, alternative medicine, UFO and extraterrestrial investigations, denialism, and climate change. More information on the conference can be found on our website, skepticalcon.org.

The first SkeptiCal Conference is starting out with a modestly sized auditorium but with a major lineup of speakers. The key note speaker will be the Director of the National Center for Science Education and President of the Bay Area Skeptics, Dr. Eugenie Scott. Following Dr. Scott is be Dr. David Morrison who is currently the Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute and Senior Scientist for Astrobiology at the NASA Ames Research Center. More speakers will be announced shortly.

[Read more →]

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Glenn Branch – The History and Prospects of Creationism

March 3rd, 2010 by strimmer · No Comments

Last weekend the Sacramento Area Skeptics were honored to hold a lecture by Glenn Branch on The History and Prospects of Creationism. For those of you who were not able to attend the lecture, links to videos of both the lecture and question-answer period are provided at the bottom of this post as well as on our SacSkeptics youtube channel. I strongly encourage you to watch them all. Branch clearly demonstrated that when it comes to knowledge in the area, he is at the top. The lecture was fantastic, being both funny and informative. Where his depth in the area really showed was in the question and answer session in which he provided names, dates, and events in strong detail that gave great background to every answer.

The lecture began with Charles Darwin’s introduction of natural selection into evolution literature and the backlash that this theory received by evolution-deniers in the United States and around the world. Branch breaks the history of creationists attempts to undermine evolution into three phases; Banning of evolution, seeking equal time, and the phase we are seeing today, strengths and weaknesses / teach the controversy. In phase one for these creationists (evolution-deniers) attempted to outright ban the teaching of evolution and natural selection from the classroom. The evolution-deniers seem to have succeeded on this mark for many years until a dramatic reinvestment in science and technology education around the country was seen as a reaction to US efforts in the Cold War. This resulted in the widespread teaching of evolution in areas where it had not been taught prior.

[Read more →]

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The Amazing Meeting 8

February 26th, 2010 by strimmer · No Comments

Yesterday registration started for The Amazing Meeting 8. The latest installment of the James Randi Educational Foundations annual conference. It will be held from July 8th to the 11th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Every year The Amazing Meeting (TAM) features a fantastic lineup of speakers, table discussions, workshops, and this is only half the fun at TAM. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet and hangout with other skeptics. Considered by many to be the unofficial International Skeptics Conference, no other skeptics conference attracts so many great speakers and attendees, and this years conference maybe its best.

This years event will have many familiar faces from past TAM’s such as Phil Plait, Penn Jillette, Teller, Adam Savage, Michael Shermer, and the Amazing One himself, James Randi. This years key note speaker is Sir Richard Dawkins (I knighted him) and he is backed up by many new faces like CFI founder Paul Kurtz, Daily Show writer David Javerbaum, Author Carol Tavris, Paranormal Investigator Joe Nickell,  enemy to all British chiropractors Simon Singh, and many more.

[Read more →]

→ No CommentsTags: Shane · Skepticism

February Newsletter

February 22nd, 2010 by strimmer · No Comments

Sacramento Area Skeptics February Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter:

Bad Month for the Anti-Vaxxers

Proposed Changes to NASA

Oprah Sweat Lodge Guru Charged with Manslaughter

The Amaz!ng Meeting 8

Wars Breakout Over DSM-V

→ No CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Winchester Mansion – Follow Up

February 18th, 2010 by strimmer · 1 Comment

A few months ago I wrote an article on the Winchester Mansion in San Jose California. It was the first article in a series I will be doing on the more popular woo-woo stories Northern California is known for. In that article I praised the management of the Winchester Mystery House for not hyping up the hundreds of paranormal stories that surround the house despite the fact that the house is touted as the most haunted place in the world by many websites and articles on the subject. Nowhere on the mansions official website could it be found stories of the house being haunted. This seems to have changed in the few months since then as a visit to the site will now show the opposite. The houses unique architecture and mysterious story is no longer the center piece, it has now been replaced by mysticism and paranormal stories.

The Winchester Mystery House’s website now features a page dedicated to the alleged hauntings of the house, featuring a plethora of anecdotal accounts of sighting and sounds of those spirits who roam the grounds there. Another page titled Spirit Sightings, is dedicated to reporting the strange occurrences people report while visiting the house and encouraging those who have had similar experiences to share their stories. It features a graph outlining the reported incidents that have taken place every year broken down by month, as well as a count of how many incidents have taken place in each room. Most of the stories that are featured on this page have to do with the patron thinking their name was called or thinking they saw someone (or thing) go around a corner.

→ 1 CommentTags: Northern California · Paranormal · Shane

Sacramento Coalition of Reason

February 10th, 2010 by strimmer · 4 Comments

The Sacramento Coalition of Reason (SacramentoCoR) has gained some local attention today with a Sacramento Bee article about the organizations ten billboards that have emerged from Rocklin to Davis, as a member organization this article also mentioned the Sacramento Area Skeptics. SacramentoCoR is an organization comprised of the agnostic, atheist, freethinker, humanist, and skeptic organizations in the Sacramento area. It is not an independent organization, rather a single source meant to promote such related groups to the general public. SacramentoCoR is doing this through it’s website, sacramento.unitedcor.org, and through its billboard campaign.

SacramentoCoR is a local chapter of the national organization, United Coalition of Reason, unitedcor.org. Its website states that:

The primary focus of United CoR is local. As such, it doesn’t compete with other national organizations, and its local work is geared toward fostering the success of existing groups, not changing their nature or adding new groups or an additional organizational level to the mix. A central goal is to help unaffiliated nontheists learn about local activities and, ideally, get involved.

[Read more →]

→ 4 CommentsTags: Northern California · Sacramento · Shane

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