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All the Science new and conversation that’s fit to print. And several pieces that probably aren’t.

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!

The MISkeptics Get Together: Will we be the Borg?

Author Jonathan Stars

Jonathan Stars is a writer, database consultant, musician, comedian, and songwriter. He has written over 100 articles on computers, music, and software. His latest novel is the techno-thriller “N-hanced.”

This month we are talking about the future of technology. Our featured speaker will be Jonathan Stars.

In this talk Jonathan will tell us about the promise and peril of our coming relationship with computers.  According to inventor and futurist, Ray Kurzweil (among others), in the next few years our lives will be dramatically changed by advances in robotics, genetics and nanotechnology.  Kurzweil predicts a technological singularity that will arrive around 2045, where people will need to have their intellects mechanically enhanced in order to keep up with the accelerating changes.

You may be surprised to find the future is closer than you think.

Jonathan Stars is a writer, database consultant, musician, comedian, and songwriter. He has written over 100 articles on computers, music, and software.  His latest novel is the techno-thriller “N-hanced.” (Learn more at www.N-hanced.com).

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.

We are meeting at 4:00 PM on Saturday, June 14th in Plymouth, Michigan. Details are in the RSVP Links.

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

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming.

MISkeptics is accepting donations! You can contribute to our future endeavors by following this link, or in person at any Get Together. You can donate with your credit card or drop money into the donation jar.

I look forward to seeing you there!

MISkeptics April Get Together: The Idea of a Basic Income

What is Basic Income? Proponents tie it to Humanism and Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Logo

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948 as a direct result of World War 2.

According to Article 25, Section 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

Basic Income is a concept where the state would provide a regular income payment to every adult citizen, with no conditions attached. Such a payment would be enough to meet basic needs for a frugal lifestyle, and would largely replace welfare, food stamps, and public pensions. It would also augment the income of poorly paid employed people, and provide a safety net for those with irregular incomes.

Is this a system that could work in the United States? How would it be implemented? How is it different and is it better or worse than our current welfare system?

Basic Income posters on a wall.

The concept of Basic Income goes back to the 16th Century.

Our special guest this month is MISkeptics member and contributor Marc Stemmer. Marc has extensively studied the philosophy and practice of a Basic Income and will present his research. We will learn the positives, the negatives and clear away the hype associated with it.

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.

We’re meeting on April 12th at 1:00 PM. The details are in the RSVP links below.

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 Group, our Facebook Event Page, or our Google Plus Event.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Skeptics in the Pub: Conclave!

This artwork by Jael has been the official logo of ConClave since 1996.

This artwork by Jael has been the official logo of ConClave since 1996.

We are moving our normal second Saturday Get Together back in a week to host a special event. This Saturday come join us for a special Skeptics in the Pub at ConClave!

Last month, we were contacted by the ConClave Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention to host discussion panels about skepticism. After a lot of work and back and forth with the Organizer, it has finally come time to host our panels! This Saturday, October 12th at 3:00 and 4:00 PM Michigan Skeptics will host two panels.

The first is “DON’T PANIC!”

There is a great deal of alarming and some down-right scary stories in the media these day. Many of them directly conflicting with each other. How can we sort through the pseudo-science, the snake oil and the media myths? This panel will give you some suggestions so you can figure out for yourself what is really worth its weight.

During this panel we will be teaching the audience about sensationalism, scams, snake-oil, media hype and scare tactics and most of all, arming them with the tools they need to figure out for themselves what is real and what is not.

The second panel is “The Skeptics Movement.”

The Skeptics are a group that entreats us to use critical thinking and evidence when dealing with every day life. They use these tools when dealing with Conspiracy Theories like the supposed faking of the moon landing or with the likelihood of psychics and mind-readers. What are their positions, and how does one join?

Here is where we get to shine and talk about us. Our goal is to well, talk about the skeptics movement. Who we are, what we do, and what makes us so great. And why we think more people need to be skeptics.

I know, it’s an uphill battle, right? It’s tough for people to change their way of life. It’s even harder to convince someone to do it. I think the important thing is to talk to people and tell them there is something they can do about the world around them. This is the way to do it.

If you have never been to a SciFi/Fantasy Convention before then you are definitely missing out. You will find a bit of everything there. From cosplay to  Con-Suites. There are all kinds of people there and all kinds of Woo. Which makes it a great place to talk skepticism.

Lyle of our sister group Yooper Skeptics. (he even looks like a yooper, doesn't he?)

Lyle of our sister group Yooper Skeptics. (he even looks like a yooper, doesn’t he?)

We would love for you to come and join us during the panels and help support skepticism in the community. A Saturday only day pass will run you $35, while a full three-day pass will cost $50. If you can make it we would love to see you there. If you can’t, we are hosting an event that evening where you don’t have to pay an admission fee.

We are hosting one last event for the Convention. We’re having a Skeptics in the Pub in the hotel bar at 7:00 PM! This event is open to the public so come on out and support skepticism! We will even have a special guest. Nathan Lyle of our sister group Yooper Skeptics, (and his son, mini-guest Ray) from all the way up in Marquette, Michigan will be in town and joining us for drinks and fun conversations.

Tickets for ConClave, both the Saturday only ticket and the full three-day pass are available at the door. Remember you don’t need to purchase a ticket for Skeptics in the Pub. You only need to pay for your food and drinks.

You can register for Skeptics in the Pub: Conclave at our Meetup site or on our Facebook page.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Energy Is Not a Solved Problem: The MISkeptics Get Together

This month we are looking at energy storage and production.

Ludington Pumped Storage

The Pumped Storage Facility in Ludington Michigan Stores water in an elevated pond and releases it through turbines when there is heightened need for electricity.

Several months ago, Peter Sinclair joined us to talk about climate change, future energy production and energy storage. One of the energy storage solutions he referenced was the Ludington Pumped Storage facility on the West side of the state.

This inspired our very own John Dreystadt to research energy storage and he is presenting his findings to us.

The presentation will have three parts, why is storage important for the grid, why is it hard, and what the future may hold.

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 Meetup, Facebook or by Google Plus.

I hope to see you all there!

Today at 3PM: Peter Sinclair will be a guest on The Magic Sandwich Show

http://www.magicsandwichshow.com/

Peter Sinclair, one of our recent Get Together guests and blogger on Climate Denial Crock of the Week will be a guest on The Magic Sandwich Show.

Peter Sinclair \

Peter Sinclair

The Magic Sandwich Show is a bi-weekly live call in show, broadcast every other Sunday on BlogTV and uStream. During the show a panel of 3 or 4 discuss topical issues relating to religion and science.

You can access the show on BlogTV and uStream.

After the show check out his blog for the latest information on his Dark Show Project.

Don’t forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter!

Our March Get Together: MUFON

Michigan MUFON Logo

This month we are pleased to welcome William Konkolesky, the State Director for MUFON, The Mutual UFO Network. He’s going to talk to us about aliens and UFOs.

Because of the large field of of the topic we need to limit today to just UFOs. If there’s time afterwards, we can entertain other questions. We will ask Mr. Konkolesky back to discuss other topics such like abductions, crop circles, and that guy on the History Channel with the crazy hair.

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. We’re expecting a large crowd for this so be sure to RSVP early. You can RSVP at our Meetup site, our Facebook Event Page, or our Google Plus Event Page.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Audio Now Available From Recent Get Togethers

We’ve recorded the audio from the last several Get Togethers that had special guests, and with the help of our super audio engineer, they are now available for download.

We only have two available so far but they are good ones.

Dr. Ron Fleming

 

 

 

Click here to download Dr. Ron Fleming‘s talk on Thorium as a nuclear fuel.

 

 

Dr. Zachary Blount

Dr. Zachary Blount

 

 

 

Click here to download Dr. Zachary Blount‘s talk on his paper about documenting the steps of evolution.

 

 

 

We also recorded Peter Sinclair‘s talk about Climate Change and will be posting that as well. In the future we hope to record as many of our guests so that members that cannot make the Get Togethers can still listen and take part. Stay tuned! There will be more great discussions available in the near future.

It’s Time For Our Annual Darwin Day Event

Image of Darwin

February 12th is Darwin’s 204th birthday

This month we are going to celebrate Darwin Day. February marks Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday.

For our third Darwin Day celebration, we are going to watch “Charles Darwin and The Tree of Life”. A stunning BBC documentary hosted by Sir David Attenborough. Last year we tried to see this documentary but no one could hear it because the venue was too loud. We have a better venue this time around and we will finally be able to see the movie.

We’re going to follow that up with a presentation on how Darwin’s work has been twisted into murderous intent.

And we will finish up with one of Chris Lindsay‘s famous games. Which will include prizes for the winners. (Yes, we promise there will be winners.)

You can RSVP for the celebration by going to our Meetup Site, our Facebook Page or our Google Plus Page. Please be sure to RSVP, these events fill up quickly.

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.

 

The First Get Together of 2013!

It’s been two months since we last got together. Unfortunately we had to cancel our December events, including out End of the World Party. But don’t worry, another one is coming up. Another one always is.

So for our January Get Together we have a special guest who is returning to talk to us again.

Photo of Peter Sinclair

Peter Sinclair runs ClimateCrocks.com and is a popular speaker on the environment.

This month we welcome back Peter Sinclair of Climatecrocks.com to update us on the science and politics of climate change/denial. He was last with us two years ago and there’s a lot to be updated about.

Peter Sinclair is a long time advocate of environmental awareness and energy alternatives. An award-winning graphic artist, illustrator, and animator, Mr. Sinclair runs Greenman Studio from his home in Midland, MI.

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.

We also have special guests and speakers that contribute to the conversation and/or debate.

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 out Meetup Site, our Facebook Page, or our Google Plus Page.

I hope to see you all there!

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