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Aggregating Skeptical Thought

Free membership to the American Humanist Association

FriendlyAtheist.com just posted information for joining the American Humanist Association for free (the online version at least). Check out his post and then join if you want, make sure you give Friendly Atheist credit for sending you there.

Filed under: Science, , ,

Phil Plait to replace James Randi as JREF president

Hot off the presses James Randi is stepping down to pursue a book endeavor of the JREF. Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame is taking over, very cool.

Follow the link to Phil Plait’s blog for the full Press Release, etc.

Filed under: Science, , , ,

Make Hal Bidlack your Congressman

Hal Bidlack is running for the 5th congressional seat in Colorado. Hal is a retired member of the U.S. Air Force, genuine Alexander Hamilton impersonator and someone I have enjoyed listening to ever since I first heard him on Skepticality. He is running as a Democrat in a pretty solidly Republican district. I hope his message resonates with enough people.

I have only scratched the surface with what little I know of Hal Bidlack so you should just check out his website, www.bidlack2008.com, because he does himself much better justice than I can. If you live in the 5th District of Colorado I urge you to check out his website and genuinely evaluate what he has to say before going to the polls this November. Good Luck, Mr. Bidlack, one of these days I’ll get to a TAM to meet you in person.

You can also listen to a message from Hal to you. Yes you!

Filed under: Science, , , , , ,

Skeptics Guide to the Universe on YouTube

I’ve been on vacation and have been seriously slacking on my blog so I’m catching up on old news here.

The fine folks from the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast have created there very own YouTube videos. You should check it out.

Here’s a couple of videos from the collection (Ok fine it’s the only 2 they have but still)

and

Filed under: Science, , , , ,

Obama on Religion

This video has been popping up on various atheist sites over the last several weeks. It is of Barack Obama, presumed Democratic presidential candidate, stating his views on religion and it’s role within government.

I agree with his speech wholeheartedly. He should say this stuff more often. He should be proclaiming this from the roof tops, in fact. I’ve been very disappointed with the religious entanglement that he’s gotten himself into lately. Hopefully this has reinforced, if not to the American people, at least to him personally the dangers of Politics and Religion.

The video can be found on youtube but most seem to come from the same source, yoism.com. I don’t know much about this organization but here’s their little blurb from the homepage,

Uniting Atheist, Skeptic, Agnostic, Realist, Enlightenment, Humanist, Unitarian, Transcendentalist, Pantheist, and Deist systems of belief to create the World’s First Open Source, Rational Religion, the advent of Yoism marks a turning point in the history of Homo sapiens, the next stage in human development: Childhood’s End.

The video is edited and I can’t easily find the full speech, but when I return from vacation I’ll look further into this group and try and dig up the full, un-edited speech.

Filed under: Science, , ,

Bigfoot, oh how I’ve missed thee

When is the last time you heard anything in the news about bigfoot? I was beginning to think that he might not be real. Actually why is Bigfoot always referred to as a he? I would assume there would have to be some she’s as well. Maybe they self-fertilize in some way which might explain why they don’t need to maintain a breeding population that would make their existence obvious.

Anyway, I just ran across this latest sighting of Sasquatch in Borneo. Pretty typical story, not a lot of detail but that’s ok because it actually reveals enough details to sound fishy (or sasquatchy).

Local businessman Tan Soon Kuang from the Daro district said that each footprint measures 47 inches from heel to toe and 17 inches sideways, clearly too gigantic for any normal human being.

47 inches??? That’s 1.2 meters to anyone not in the U.S. That’s a freaking HUGE foot. Not just a size 20 or something outlandish. Let’s put that in perspective on an average sized man, 5′ 10” (or 1.77 meters). If you were laying down and this guy stepped on you, his heel would be on your face and his toes would be at your knees. Now imagine what kind of creature would be attached to those feet.

I measured my foot and a co-workers (who now will avoid me like the plague) and then extrapolated the rough foot-to-height ratio, 1-in foot length to 7-inches in height. If we were to assume fairly normal proportions to a man then this creature would be 27 feet tall (8.25 meters). I would think someone would have noticed a 27-foot hairy man roaming around the forest. Even if we assume the Bigfoot has half the foot-to-height ratio, he would still be 13 feet tall and look more like a hairy clown. Again I would think that someone would have noticed a creature tall enough to walk by your house and look in a second-story window.

I’m not saying it’s not possible, well, yeah, that’s kind of what I’m saying I guess. In case, you were wanting to visit and were wondering if it would be difficult to visit,

The villagers are now clearing up the footpath leading to the large footprints in anticipation of more people coming to have a look at the footprints.

That’s convenient.

If you can’t afford to travel to Borneo to try (and by some miracle) find a 25-foot creature you could just borrow the money because Bushnell Outdoor Products and Field & Stream magazine are offering a $1,000,000 prize for a verfiable photo of real live Sasquatch. Who’s going to judge this contest,

A panel of judges consisting of Field & Stream editors will select the winning entries based equally upon the criteria of quality of picture and relevance to contest.

It’s not as bad as it might seem since they are also running parallel to this contest a “Best Attempt to Cheat Bushnell out of $1M” contest as well. They are actually offering a prize dedicated specifically to the fakes they will inevitably receive. That is actually genius. I’ll be interested to see how many of the fakes will look very convincing. I’m thinking about doing this myself. I know 2 insanely tall guys and a guy in my neighborhood who’s an avid hunter and probably has a trail camera. Now all I need is a gorilla suit and some beef jerky and we’re set.

Filed under: Internet, , , , , ,

Skeptigator finds Atlantis

My wife and I stayed at the Atlantis hotel in the Bahamas recently. Here are some of our better photos

Filed under: Science, ,

An introduction to Critical Thinking + Dragons

I just came across this on Bad Astronomy.

Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast and producer of the (hopefully) Skeptologists TV series has put together a 40-minute introduction on critical thinking. It’s called Here Be Dragons and it’s awesome. I think this should be shown in classrooms everywhere. I will be burning a DVD of this and playing it for my kids for sure.

Well done Mr. Dunning, well done.

Filed under: Science, , , ,

FreeThought Fort Wayne’s June Meeting

If you live anywhere near Fort Wayne, Indiana you should attend the next FreeThought Fort Wayne meeting. It’s on Wednesday, June 11th.

As if hanging out with a bunch of freethinkers isn’t enough motivation to go, I’ll be there. 😉

For more details, go here.

Filed under: Science, ,

The Renaissance of UFOs

I have always been fascinated with UFO and aliens and bigfoot and Loch Ness and all those other stories that we humans tell each other are real. And to be honest I bought most of it. Some of the stuff seemed like a stretch at the time but I wanted to believe so badly.

Even after my mind grew more skeptical (long before I discovered Skepticism), I always found the “historical” paintings and renderings of what seemed like UFO’s to be so compelling. These things always had a big question mark over them. I now know that the biggest problem with interpreting an object/rendering in a particular painting as a UFO out of the context of the painting is a big no-no.

I was clearing out my RSS reader and somehow missed this little gem from gather.com, UFO’s in Renaissance Paintings Explained.

Filed under: Science, , ,

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