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New! Boston Skeptics Slack Chat Room We're taking Boston Skeptics to the next level by introducing a Slack chat room for Boston Skeptics to keep and touch, share ideas, and be skeptical in near-real time with each other! Don't have...

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New! Boston Skeptics Slack Chat Room We're taking Boston Skeptics to the next level by introducing a Slack chat room for Boston Skeptics to keep and touch, share ideas, and be skeptical in near-real time with each other! Don't have...

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Boston Skeptics in the Theater & Pub | Bill Nye: Science... Come join the Boston Skeptics at the Brattle Theatre on December 3, where we’ll be attending a screening of a new film about Bill Nye, aptly named “Bill Nye: Science Guy.” We’ll go somewhere nearby...

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October 2017 Organizational Meeting Updates Thanks again to everyone who attended our October 2017 organizational meeting. There were a few items we had drafted and captured more ideas around that we would love to open up for comment and feedback...

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Events Reminder

Posted on : 06-11-2009 | By : Jared | In : Blog Post, Event

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Hi folks! Just thought I’d pop in here to remind you all of a few upcoming events!

First, a few Boston Skeptics will be getting together (as was suggested on our Twitter feed, which you SHOULD be following) to watch The Men Who Stare at Goats. This is the film adaptation of skeptic (and super best friend of our own Rebecca Watson) Jon Ronson‘s book of the same name. We’re going to the 8:30PM screening at the AMC Boston Common theatre (across from the Boylston stop on the Green Line). This is a very informal get-together, so if you’d like to meet up, get there early and look for us in the lobby. At the very least, let us know you’ll be there in the comments section and maybe we can all grab a drink and discuss the film afterwards!

Second, the inaugural meeting of the Boston Skeptics Book Club will be taking place this Saturday, Nov. 7th at 2:00 PM at the Clear Conscience Cafe in Central Square. Join Mary Brock and Liz Gaston in kicking off what (we hope) will be a great forum for reading and discussing the vast canon of skeptical and scientific literature!

Finally, don’t forget about this month’s AWESOME Boston Skeptics in the Pub event featuring the amazing George Hrab! That’s coming up on Monday,  Nov. 23rd (the Monday before Thanksgiving), at our usual place and time. We’ll put up a full post about that soon, but for now you should head over to the Facebook Event page and RSVP so we can give Tommy Doyle’s a rough head count.

That’s it for now, but if you have any ideas for events or speakers, feel free to let us know in the comments! Hope to see you all soon :)

Boston Ghost Tour Follow-up

Posted on : 25-08-2009 | By : Rebecca | In : Blog Post

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(x-posted on Skepchick!)

Back in 2007, I took a ghost tour of Boston with Jim McCabe, an affable guy who agreed to let me record him for a segment for PRX’s Talent Quest. Jim was really sweet, and I tried to strike a balance between showing that side of him while still presenting the skeptical viewpoint on some of his more dubious claims.

Here’s a quick video of a portion of the tour, which I shot on my little point-and-shoot camera while holding a load of audio equipment:

The other day, Jim’s niece contacted me to let me know that he is extremely ill. She found the YouTube video and shared a laugh with him about it. Despite his current state, the way she sees Jim in the video is how she’ll remember him: “healthy and athletic, and one hell of a storyteller/bullshitter!”

Jim was a fantastic and sporting tour guide who really could spin a yarn. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family.

Here’s the final segment I created, with help from Richard Saunders (interviewee) and John Huntington (editor).

The Woo Around Us: Dahn Yoga

Posted on : 18-08-2009 | By : Jared | In : Blog Post, skepticism

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Continuing our tour of local purveyors of woo, we come next to Dahn Yoga.  Now, aside from the fact that it often pushes certain woo-ish ideas, yoga can be a valid form of exercise. I’ve generally forgiven it for its excesses because of this, and would have done the same for the Dahn Yoga centers I see both near my job (in the Back Bay) and my home (in Cambridge), too.

But back in February, we were fortunate enough to get the inimitable Tim Farley, of WhatsTheHarm.net, as our speaker for Boston Skeptics in the Pub. Amongst other things, Tim talked about a woman named Julia Siverls who died during a Dahn-sponsored course. This piqued my curiosity and prompted me to look into things a bit more deeply.

Brilliant Idea: The 10-Minute Lecture

Posted on : 20-11-2008 | By : Rebecca | In : Event

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As mentioned, last night I (and frequent Skepchick commenter Expatria) attended Nature Network’s pub event, which featured two guest scientists delivering 10-minute talks about what they’d do with limitless research funding. The first was Antoine van Oijen, who talked about the possibilities of studying a single molecule. His apt metaphor: if aliens visited Earth and collectively reported on the characteristics of humans, they’d conclude that each has one testicle and one ovary. He dreams of having the resources to color-tag a single molecule as it moves across a strand of DNA, watching as it encounters another molecule. To a layperson like myself, it sounded pretty neat, and van Oijen was very charismatic and accessible. Hearing the technical questions that came from the audience of scientists, though, I suspect I’m missing quite a lot. Homework!

The other scientist to speak was Andreas Mershin from the Center for Biomedical Engineering at MIT. I found him to be even more accessible, mostly because of the fact that his research has such clear practical applications in the real world. He’s working on developing bioelectronic photovoltaic applications, which I believe is a fancy way of saying that he’s trying to find a way to harness solar energy using plants. This is, in a word, rad. In multiple words, it is rad as all hell. Allow me to explain further.

Boston Skeptics in the Pub Audio/Video

Posted on : 30-03-2008 | By : Rebecca | In : Skeptics in the Pub

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Audio from the first Boston Skeptics in the Pub is now available! I’ve uploaded it to Google Video along with video of Mike the Mad Biologist’s slides. The quality (of the A/V, not of the presentation) is a bit poor, for which I apologize. But, it should be good enough for you to follow, for those of you who are fans of Mike’s but couldn’t be there (in the future please consider moving to Boston).

Here’s the link!


Posted on : 26-03-2008 | By : Rebecca | In : Skeptics in the Pub

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Thanks to everyone who came out to the very first Boston Skeptics in the Pub! I estimate we netted 50 or 60 people, filling up the Asgard’s back room and overflowing into their slightly-more-frontward back room. Mike the Mad Biologist got high praise for a fascinating talk full of science-y goodness.

Audio of Mike’s talk will be online by this weekend, helpfully accompanied by his slides (including the LOLbacteria, of course). Photos are up on Flickr as I type, and posted below for your enjoyment. If you have any, please add them to the Skeptics, Skepchicks, and Events Group!

I’ll be working on getting a speaker for next month, which will probably be same bat-time, same bat-place. Suggestions? Send ’em to me (Rebecca): skepchick (at) skepchick (dot) org.