Saturday, September 25, 2010

It was aliens! I seen 'em!

Apologies that this is so late...this has been a busy week.

This weeks discussion was chosen by skeptic Bryan and an excellent one it is, UFO's and Ufology. It's one that's sure to be a lot of fun.
Discussion materials are Skeptoid episodes 208 & 218 (they're short)
and an eight minute video preview of the Westhall UFO documentary. I can't find the entire show online, I did see it when it came out but the link I had has disappeared.
How can so many people at once, over such a long time period, over the entire surface of the earth claim to see alien craft and yet no definitive evidence of actual aliens and alien craft exist? GOOOOOOD question and one we'll discuss Wednesday night at Hales. - please RSVP so I know how big the table should be - also if you're ALWAYS going to be there and want me to just assume that, let me know as well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday Outreach Booth called off....

Well, folks, the enthusiasm which greeted this idea at the meeting did not actually translate into any offers of ideas or volunteers so I have to call it off. I didn't want to put anymore time into it until I got some help, so I'm only out an hour or two and a few pulled strings. If anyone is interested in this kind of thing in the future, let me know. I'm willing to put a lot of effort into this group, but I'm no martyr and I'm just as busy as everyone else. Sorry it didn't work out this time.

I also got some ideas for volunteerism we could do as a group which I'll post here later as well as a topic for the next meetup which I haven't even considered yet. Discussion ideas, as always, are welcome.

Oh by the way my phone died in a bizarre gardening accident and I won't have a new one till Wednesday or Thursday so I can't get calls or texts till then. Email or FB pleez.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kitsap County Skeptics Community Outreach booth

Well, last meetup was the best yet, lots of lively debate and differing opinions with the minimum required dickery. I think the general consensus at the end was that being a skepdick is required in some situations, not suitable in others and it's up to us as skeptics to be able to know the difference. I think Michael Marshall summed it up best when he said something to the effect of stop arguing about whether or not to be a dick, just go out and do your skepticism and make a difference.

So we're taking his advice. We've arranged to have a booth at the opening day of the Minder's Meats corn maze, Saturday, September 25. I've got us a space and a booth, table and chairs - now what we need is input from all the skeptics about what kind of literature we went to present and we really need a LOGO! I know some of you are artisty-types (I'm not naming names, you know who you are ;) - so if anyone wants to tackle this project using the initials KCS and something skepticky, please do so. If it's left to me it'll be lame, I promise you. Anyway we'd like to avoid the magnifying glass because it is, as Adam Carolla says, rather "fucked-out."  If anyone just wants to shout out ideas to be developed into a logo, PLEASE PLEASE do so.

So we need - a logo, distribution materials (I just need .pdf files, I'll copy them on neon paper we've got lying around at work, I've informed my boss I will be stealing office supplies), maybe some decorative stuff for the booth and bodies to man it. Or woman it. Human it.

Ideas for materials include a brochure describing us and what we do and contact info plus maybe contact info for JREF, Center For Inquiry, etc. Also this is a kid-heavy event so I think we should hit the science education aspect hard. We could have flyers on-hand for space camp, skepticamp and stuff like Junior Skeptic.

I'll be there to set up the booth in time for opening at 10am. The event goes till 10 but most vendors will be leaving by 6 and I think that's more than enough - if things are slow we can probably pull out early. This may end up being great or it may suck, but we'll never know until we give it a shot. I think two people at a time can be at the booth and I'd like to keep everyone to two hour shifts unless you want to work longer, so basically we'll need 1 person from 10-12, two from 12-2, two from 2-4, and one from 4-6 (I'll take opening and closing cause I'm responsible for the tent) So 5 people, 2 hours each or MORE if you want...we can have 4 or 5 people there at a time, I just want to make sure nobody is there by themselves. I'll post a "schedule" you can sign up for somehow on the weekend.

So there it is, we have a little over a week to organize this but since everyone in the group is exceptionally intelligent and creative I don't think we'll have any problem getting it together.  Comment here, on the meetup page or on FB,  email or call or text me or Bryan for more info and any contributions you may have. Oh. The booth is $10, so if everyone wants to bring a dollar to the atheists meetup or the booth itself, that'll help!

Amber K.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Meetup #4 and Meetup #3 Recap...

Meetup #3 - Ghosts and the Paranormal was well-attended and managed to stay on topic for almost 45 minutes! We're getting there.

Also yesterday a Skeptical Heathens hike in an undisclosed location on the Olympic Peninsula was awesome and we really do need to arrange more of those in the future. Here's a crappy cell-phone photo of our destination.

 If you look carefully you can see there are some areas of the photo that are in focus.

I'm going to be posting links to this blog on the events page on both the Facebook Group and Meetup Group pages and all information will be posted here from now on. This is the PLACE TO BE to find info on the next meetup.

Skeptic Rick has graciously offered to take the reins for Meetup #4 on September 15th at Hales Ales in Silverdale. Please RSVP either on the Facebook Group or the Meetup Group so I can get a proper reservation....See you there - Take it away...RICK!

Meetup #4 prep for discussion....

Basically the discussion boils down to: do you, as a skeptic, employ harsh criticism and ridicule against your enemy to jolt them away from their stupid ways, or do you use soft spoken, kind, respectful language in a friendly debate to ease the person away from their silly beliefs? Are you a dick, or an accomodationist?

Phil Plait's speech at TAM8, although it didn't start the whole discussion, it certainly put a fire under it:

Phil Plait is criticised for not really using any real data or evidence to prove that "being a dick" is bad for a skeptic, but it seems to make sense that not being a dick would be better and nicer and make us (the skeptics) out to be the good guys. On the other hand, it also seems to make sense that you can't ONLY be nice and kind to people who are doing things that could potentially kill you or your kids (antivaxxers come to mind...).

He wrote some blog updates, part 2 and 3:

Here are the two main criticisms, 2 from PZ Myers and 1 brief comment from Richard Dawkins:

There are plenty of links in there too for additional reading. And in case you don't regularly read either Plait's or Myers' blogs, here are the links for those as well:
Phil Plait's blog:
PZ Myers' blog: http://scienceblogs.c...