Skip to content

All posts by Adam Bourque

The Boy Who Played With Fusion; MISkeptics Get Together

Author and photojournalist Tom Clynes

On Saturday July 18th, the Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics and the Michigan Skeptics Association will be together hosting an exciting meetup with Ann Arbor science writer, Tom Clynes, who will talk about his new book, “The Boy Who Played With Fusion.”

The book centers around a young science prodigy, Taylor Wilson, inspired by the idea of coming up with new ways to discover isotopes, sought out to build his own nuclear fusion reactor.

Author Clynes’s book also discusses the complex issue of parenting gifted children, and the nature of what is seemingly unlimited potential in exceptional young people, like Taylor Wilson.

We will be meeting in one of the private rooms at CJ’s Brewing Company, which is a small restaurant located inside Compuware Arena on Beck Road (just off of M-14, approximately 10 minutes from Ann Arbor). The hosts will be able to direct you to our meeting area, and there will be Michigan Skeptics signs as well.

The first part of the event will be for general socializing and ordering refreshments. After which, there will be some announcements, and then we’ll start the discussion at approximately 5:00pm.

There is no cost to attend but donations to cover the guest speaker’s meal and beverages, as well as general group expenses are appreciated.

The Warren Reason Station Needs Your Help!

You may already know from the news that fellow secularist Douglas Marshall “won” his lawsuit over the Prayer Station in Warren City Hall. We would all have preferred a solution that would have removed the Prayer Station and all other religious displays from the government building. Instead, we won the right to equal representation. This means that if we want to protest the Prayer Station, we need to have our own Reason Station and the volunteers to staff it.

We’re using VolunteerSpot to help us organize our staffing needs for the Reason Station in Warren City Hall.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/QyXB6d
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

The MISkeptics June Get Together: The Creative Thought Process

What is the creative thought process? How does it work? Experience, problem solving, learning, adapting, simulation, and experience. All these are components that contribute to creative thought. It is a misunderstood process we all employ throughout our lives, whether cooking at home, solving difficult “problems” at work or building quantum computers, it is all the same process.

On June 13th, at 4:00 PM, our guest will be Tom Flowers. A retired automotive engineer, naval aviator, and engineering inspector for the Saturn V main engines and the Sikorsky H-3 helicopter.

He will talk to us about the creative thought process, how and why it works and the implications it had for explaining how we view the world.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Be sure to RSVP, that way the restaurant can make sure we have enough staff. You can RSVP via, our Meetup event, our Facebook Page, or our Google Plus Page.

I hope to see you all there!

MISkeptics May Get Together. Dr. Bob Sornson

Bob Sornson, Ph.D. is the founder of the Early Learning Foundation

This Saturday we are discussing education reform. We can all agree that there are many issues with education in this nation. What are the challenges and what are possibilities that we can reach towards?

Our guest this week is Bob Sornson, Ph.D. Dr. Sornson is the founder of the Early Learning Foundation. He is a best-selling author and international speaker, trainer, and consultant.

As a teacher and school administrator, Bob recognized the importance of early learning success in the development of patterns of learning success which affect students for life. In Northville, MI he developed a model which decreased the need for special education placement and saved millions of dollars each year for the district. After founding the Early Learning Foundation in 2001, he developed a comprehensive early learning success model which includes identifying essential skills in each of the domains of early childhood, systematically measuring progress towards competency, and giving each child the time and instruction to develop essential skills.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please be sure to RSVP so we know how many are coming. You can RSVP via our Facebook Page, our Google Plus Event, or our Meetup Page.

I hope to see you all there!

Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The MISkeptics Get Together

Warren Astronomical Society

Our guest is Dr. Dale L Partin, First Vice President for Program of the Warren Astronomical Society.

The possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence has generated increasing interest with the discovery of thousands of planets outside the Solar System.  Some of these exoplanets appear to be in the habitable zone of their stars. The story of these ongoing discoveries of planets, and the search for life on them, will be described. While we are so far lacking a definitive discovery of extraterrestrial life, the considerations which influence our perceptions of such an eventual discovery of such life, and especially of intelligent life, will be discussed.

Dr. Dale Partin is currently an adjunct professor at Macomb Community College teaching astronomy.  He is also the First Vice President for Program of the Warren Astronomical Society.  He formerly did advanced research and development in the automotive industry, where he had 38 US patents and over 80 publications in scientific journals. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of Sigma Xi, a scientific research society. He is active in amateur astronomy and in the study of human nature.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. That way I can modify the reservation if necessary.

You can RSVP at our Meetup Page, Our Facebook Page, or our Google Plus Page.

I hope to see you all there!

MISkeptics Pi Day with Alan Turing

March 14th is Pi Day. In celebration of Pi Day, we will be celebrating one of the world’s greatest mathematicians, Alan Turing. A biopic of Alan Turing, The Imitation Game was nominated for 8 Academy Awards winning the Best Screenplay Oscar.

Alan Turing in 1951. Three years before his death.

Alan Turing was a  British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner. He was instrumental for his work on code-breaking during World War II. It is possible that without him, we would not have won the war.

Turing died on June 7th, 1954 after undergoing court ordered chemical castration because of a conviction of gross indecency. Being homosexual was a criminal offense.

We will have a presentation on Alan Turing along with our news round up and a small discussion on Pi Day.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. That way I can modify the reservation if necessary.

I hope to see you all there!

Darwin Day 2015 featuring Dr. Mark Reimers

–UPDATE– Instead of The Genius of Charles Darwin documentary, we will have Dr. Mark Reimers speaking on the evolution of the brain.

February 12th is International Darwin Day. This year it will also be Charles Darwin’s 206th birthday. On This month we will be joining with the International Darwin Day organization in celebrating Darwin and his history changing accomplishments.

Charles Robert Darwin at age 72. Painted by John Collier.
Charles Robert Darwin at age 72. Painted by John Collier.

Join us on Saturday February 14th at 1:00 PM for our Darwin Day celebration. Details and RSVP information are at the bottom of this post.

While Darwin’s remarkable impact on biology, cosmology, and the scientific process generally cannot be understated, it is again his undeniable desire for truth through scientific discovery, his unwavering curiosity to discover that which was hidden (naturally or purposefully), and his determination to brave intellectual depths that inspires us. ~ International Darwin Day

We celebrate Darwin Day because his discovery completely changed history and the way we look at our world. We also celebrate because there are many people who seek to discredit his work. Not because it is wrong, which it isn’t, but because they simply do not like it. And on this day we push back and laud the great man for his great accomplishments.

For our Get Together we will be joined by Dr Mark Reimers. He is a Professor of Neuroscience at Michigan State University. He also is a bicyclist, humanist, mathematician, scientist and a strong advocate of communicating science with the public

Dr. Mark Reimers

Our human mind and consciousness has evolved from an ape mind over the past six million years. How have our brains and genes changed to bring this about? We are very similar to apes in some ways, in which scientists previously thought humans were unique, but quite different in other ways, such as our capacity for joint attention, which scientists had not realized were so important. This talk will present genetic, anatomical, and behavioral evidence bearing on the changes to the brain that supported the emergence of the human mind and its capacity for culture.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please RSVP for more details and the location of the event. You can RSVP at our Meetup Page, our Facebook Page, or our Google+ Page.

See you there!

 

Michigan Skeptics Presents: Sam Singleton the Atheist Evangelist

Brother Sam’s show is called, “Cats, Sheep and Goats: The Taxonomy of Atheists, Believers and Preachers”

Michigan Skeptics is proud to present Sam Singleton in his return to Michigan.

Brother Sam is presenting his latest show: Cats, Sheep and Goats: The Taxonomy of Atheists, Believers and Preachers.

Brother Sam and his cousin Palmer have followed widely disparate paths, Sam becoming an atheist evangelist, Palmer remaining faithful to their holy roller upbringing. Palmer is the one member of the Singleton clan who has stuck by Sam. And Sam is exasperated that anybody so smart and decent can be so misguided. Palmer feels exactly the same way. Their conversations, as recounted in Cats, Sheep and Goats: the Taxonomy of Atheists, Believers and Preachers, are a fun-house-mirror view of relations between atheists and believers.

This will be the third time for MISkeptics to host Brother Sam. It’s a sell out every time. Get ready to laugh until it hurts. Sam Singleton is a force all his own.

Tickets for Sam Singleton are $15 at the door and $10 in Advance. You can purchase tickets online by RSVPing at our Meetup page, our Facebook page, or you can purchase the tickets directly by following this link.

Greta Christina to Speak in Grand Rapids and Farmington Hills.

CFI-Michigan is co-sponsoring this lecture with The Birmingham Temple Congregation for Humanistic Judaism.

Greta Christina will speak on her newest book “Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why”

Coming out is the most powerful political act atheists can take. But coming out can be difficult and risky. What are some specific, practical, nuts-and-bolts strategies we can use: to come out of the closet, to support each other in coming out, and to make the atheist community a safer place to come out into? What can atheists learn about coming out from the LGBT community and their decades of coming-out experience — and what can we learn from the important differences between coming out atheist and coming out queer?

She will be speaking in Grand Rapids on September 10th and in Farmington Hills on the 11th.

Greta will be speaking in Grand Rapids and in Farmington Hills

About the Speaker

Greta Christina has been writing professionally since 1989, on topics including atheism, sexuality and sex-positivity, LGBT issues, politics, culture, and whatever crosses her mind.

She is author of Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and of Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, and is editor of Paying For It: A Guide for Sex Workers for Their Clients. She has been a public speaker for many years, and is on the speaker’s bureaus of the Secular Student Alliance and Center for Inquiry. She is a regular contributor to AlterNet, Salon, The Humanist, and Free Inquiry. Her writing has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Ms., Penthouse, Chicago Sun-Times, On Our Backs, and Skeptical Inquirer, and anthologies including Everything You Know About God Is Wrong and three volumes of Best American Erotica. She lives in San Francisco with her wife, Ingrid. She tweets at @GretaChristina, and has been writing about atheism on Greta Christina’s Blog since 2005.

Additional Details

Meetings are open to the Public

Cost: FREE ($5 Suggested Donation).

Click here to RSVP for the Grand Rapids lecture.

Click here to RSVP for the Farmington Hills lecture.

Location and times are in the RSVP.

 

The MISkeptics September Get Together: Mirage Men

DVD Cover of Mirage Men
How the US government created a UFO myth that took over the world.

This month we are watching the 2013 documentary Mirage Men. Our Get Together will be held on September 13th at 4:00 PM. RSVP for the location.

UFOs: weapons of mass deception… For over 60 years teams within the US Air Force and Intelligence services exploited and manipulated beliefs about UFOs and ET visitations as part of their counterintelligence programmes. In doing so they spawned a mythology so powerful that it captivated and warped many brilliant minds, including several of their own. Now, for the first time, some of those behind these operations, and their victims, speak out, revealing a true story that is part Manchurian Candidate and part Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

We will also have our news round up and an announcement of an upcoming event.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. That way I can modify the reservation if necessary. You can RSVP via our Meetup Group or by Facebook.

Don’t forget that our group is funded entirely by donations. Please chip in by clicking here. There will also be a donation jar at the Get Together and we are able to take credit cards on site as well.

I hope to see you all there!

%d bloggers like this: