Saturday, March 7, 2015
Location: Black Rock
Do you want to help plan this year’s Skepticamp? The correct answer is “yes!” We’re still early in the planning stages (we still need a venue!), so come on down and help make a great event!
Tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in June, we’re looking for speakers, planners, and attendees with opinions. Bring yours along to Black Rock on the 7th, and we’ll make this year’s Skepticamp great. (What’s a Skepticamp, you ask? Click this way…)
The spirit of Skepticamp is that everyone contributes in some way. Since we know that not everyone is able to give a talk or run the show or help move chairs, “help” can also include making suggestions, offering opinions, joining the planning committee, providing feedback, or even just making a donation to help offset the costs involved in an event of this size.
If you can’t make it but still want to help, let us know and we’ll keep you in the loop.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Location: Black Rock
Do you want to be a part of this year’s Skepticamp? Of course you do! Tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in June, we’re looking for speakers, planners, and attendees with opinions. Bring yours along to Black Rock on the 21st, and we’ll make this year’s Skepticamp even more amazing than before. (What’s a Skepticamp, you ask? Click this way…)
…and if you don’t want to help with Skepticamp, Jairus will still be presenting Skeptic News for your edification and entertainment so you should come hang out anyway.
Since Skepticamp is FREE, it is entirely a participant-supported event. The spirit of Skepticamp is that everyone contributes in some way. Since we know that not everyone is able to give a talk or run the show or help move chairs, “help” can also include making suggestions, offering opinions, joining the planning committee, providing feedback, or even just making a donation to help offset the costs involved in an event of this size.
So how can you help? I’m glad you asked! Here’s just a few of the roles we’ll be looking to fill:
Clever opinion havers: A very important position. We need to know what you like! What you don’t like! How we can improve from last year!
Logical planning committee members: Do you want to help with the event but not in public? We have space for you! There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into Skepticamp for helpful folks who don’t necessarily want to be in any spotlight, ever.
Connected venue suggestors: While the IAHC has been great to us over the last couple of Camps, we’ve outgrown their Fifth Province space and had to waitlist people last year. Sadness! We’re looking for something similar to what we had there, but BIGGER.
Smart speakers: The bread and butter of Skepticamp! We need knowledgeable folks to present their expertise in a series of short, 10-to-15-minute talks.
Helpful setup and teardown crew: Interested in helping out on the day of the event? That’s super important, and we appreciate you taking the time out of your day to “work.” Just basic stuff like setting up for lunch and keeping things organized, we generally have so many offers of help that everyone’s job is small enough to enjoy the whole day.
Amazing speaker wrangler(s): The essential stage manager of the whole show, our speaker wranglers keep things running smoothly (and on time!) throughout the day.
Super-crucial A/V team: Make sure that the speakers are heard, slideshows are displayed, and there’s a recording of the day for posterity! Some equipment may be available depending on the venue.
Go-getting publicity/fundraising: We don’t seem to have much trouble generating interest, but we gotta make sure people KNOW about Skepticamp so they come! And fundraising may come up since we’re growing.
I’m sure there’s some crucial job that’s missing from this list… so yes, we need your help! Even if you think we’ve got things covered, we can always use more input. If you’re interested, come help kick off our Skepticamp planning, shoot us an email, Tweet at us, send smoke signals, whatever’s clever.
Help make a great Skepticamp. We have the technology. We can make it even better than it was. Better, stronger…okay, maybe not faster, but you get the gist.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Location: Salvage One
PRESENTED BY THE ATLAS OBSCURA SOCIETY ILLINOIS
Step right up for an event like no other! Experience new sensations! Try your hands at feats of skill! See a man defy steel, glass, and even fire! Or just sit back and watch as our performers contort their bodies for your viewing pleasure!
Celebrate the launch of the Illinois Obscura Society and discover the science behind the sideshow as we come together to toast Illinois’ curiously wonderful past and present. Illinois has a rich and storied history – what better way to explore than with our take on a classic Carnival Midway, like the very one that was invented just a few miles from our event location? In conjunction with Enjoy Illinois we are proud to present an evening of fun and frivolity highlighting the science and history behind the carnival and the many wonders that make Illinois such a uniquely special place to be.
Our Midway will feature side-show attractions, live music, a frightening dark ride, displays of local curiosities and culture, and so much more. Headlining the evening will be the unique and talented Thom Britton of FreakShow & Tell. Not only will he defy razor sharp glass, steel spikes, fire and electricity, he’ll explain how it’s done and show how YOU can perform these wonders yourself.
Open Bar by Frankfort Spirits - In a nod to Illinois’ reaction to prohibition, our special selection of locally produced beverages will flow freely as part of your admission fee!
This event is strictly 21+
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVANCE TICKETS REQUIRED. Purchase tickets here.
Friday, February 13, 9:00 – Midnight
Prices will rise, so buy your tickets now!
Price includes all activities and drinks.
Location: Salvage One
1840 West Hubbard St
Chicago IL 60622
This event is 21+; please bring your I.D.
We got a ton of great book suggestions at January’s Skeptical Salon. More than we can possibly read in a year!
Here’s all the suggestions, in no particular order. Choose your favorites below to help select the next book.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Illinois Science Council is hosting Dr. Sian Beilock, of University of Chicago, for its first program of 2015 at a cool new science museum. Dr. Beilock will talk about her research in psychology and her new book, “How the Body Knows Its Mind” about how our body and our surroundings affect how we think, learn, and behave. Simple actions can have big effects on our ability to learn, perform and feel our best – we just have to know what they are.
Dr. Beilock’s talk will be at the new National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago, a unique space in the Loop that enhances access to scientific data through large-scale digitization projects.
This program is free but seating is limited so registration is required at http://BrainScience.eventbrite.com.
Thursday January 22, 2015
Location: Jennifer’s Place
Since we’ve all been busy reading the new books we’ve been given as holiday gifts, we haven’t chosen a book for the January salon! We’re still having our party, though, and we want your ideas. Audience participation!
Bring your suggestions for interesting, skeptically-related books we could read in the coming months, and we’ll see what we can (at least sort of) agree on. There will, of course, be snacks and drinks and interesting conversation; your contributions to all three are very welcome.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Location: Black Rock
As a member of our Meetup group, you know that we like to ask new members if they’re alarmed by the state of scientific knowledge among the general population in America. Well, are you? And do you want to know how you can help fix that? Join us on Saturday when Monica Metzler of the Illinois Science Council will tell us all about how WE can do more… FOR SCIENCE!
Although her formal science training ended with high school chemistry, Monica Metzler is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Illinois Science Council. She is a huge proponent, and consumer, of science in Chicago. Her legal education and experience in the public policy sector has convinced her that anyone can be a successful advocate for a cause and influencer of social policy.
Monica will talk about the explosion of science options in the U.S. and in Chicago in recent years and share a variety of ways in which non-scientists can have a positive influence on science and public policy.
Before Monica’s talk, Jairus will be presenting Skeptic News to update you on everything you might have missed while you were busy drinking eggnog over the holidays.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Location: Union Park Lounge
It’s Festivus for the rest of us!
There will be appetizers, an aluminum pole, and of course, the mandatory airing of grievances. Come for the holiday spirit, stay for the [mental] feats of strength, because Festivus isn’t over until someone gets pinned!
We will also be accepting donations to The Human Fund aka Skepticamp 2015. The technicolor donation bucket will be making its appearance.
Please RSVP on our Meetup page by December 18, 2014, so Union Park can accommodate us as efficiently as possible.
Marcus, our Master of The Mental Feats of Strength, will be coming up with trivia challenges for all those daring to participate! Your cheat sheet can be found here. Trivia will start around 8:00 p.m. Come prepared, come rational!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Location: Jennifer’s Place
Come join your fellow Skeptics at the last Salon of the year! We’ll be watching Marjoe, the “ferocious and extraordinary chronicle of a firebrand evangelical preacher who wholeheartedly and humorously exposes himself as a fraud.” – Amazon.com Synopsis
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Location: Black Rock
Come see how your senses don’t always give you an accurate reading on reality, and witness how the difference between what you *think* is happening & what is *really* happening. Jonny Zavant will create rather strange experiences for one brave volunteer when he puts theory into practice with a demonstration of how our senses can be easily misled through simply trickery.
In 2003 Jonny Zavant began working at the James Randi Educational Foundation handling applications for the $1 Million Paranormal Challenge. It was there that he saw every way people tried to scam their way to the money, and it was then that he realized he could do the scams better than the applicants. Thus started his career in Mentalism, and as an honest cheat.
This dovetailed nicely with his life-long interest in understanding why people do the things they do, and believe the things they believe. As “Jonny Zavant” (his Mentalist character), he has learned to use his skills of applied psychology to entertain audiences around the world, including South Korea and Istanbul Turkey. As a speaker, he educates and gives his audiences a glimpse behind the curtain into how our minds work, and shows them how that knowledge can be used for good (entertainment) or evil (fraud).
When not on the road speaking or performing Jonathan calls Chicago home, and as a recent transplant has convinced himself that he loves the snow.
“I anticipate that he will soon be known as a star in the art of mentalism. . .”
“Our survey results showed that he was, hands down, the most highly rated presenter of the entire convention, which included a world famous climatologist, a neurobiologist from U.C. Davis, a world renowned child psychologist from U.C. Berkeley, and many others. I would hire Jonathan again in a heartbeat!”
-Sheldon Helms, Organizer of the 3rd annual SkeptiCal Convention in Berkeley, CA.