The Amazing Meeting 2014

Like it? Share it!

Sign up for news and updates!

Enter word seen below
Visually impaired? Click here to have an audio challenge played.  You will then need to enter the code that is spelled out.
Change image

Please leave this field empty

Login Form

James Randi Educational Foundation
Eight reasons TAM 8 Excites Me PDF Print E-mail
Written by D.J. Grothe   

In the six months since I became the president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, much of our time at the organization has been devoted to planning this year's Amazing Meeting, which is now just two short weeks away -- July 8-11, 2010 in Las vegas, Nevada. As plans came together over these preceding months, and the event expanded and grew, all of us at the JREF have become more and more excited. During a recent staff meeting, a longtime employee of the foundation argued that this will be the best TAM ever. Here are eight reasons I agree with him. 

1. Co-sponsorship 

For the first time in the history of the Amazing Meeting, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP), along with the Skeptical Society, will both be official organizational co-sponsors of the event, in support of the James Randi Educational Foundation, each providing promotions and underwriting. Although the Skeptic Society has always been very supportive of TAM and the JREF, this represents a considerable expansion of cooperation and mutual support among the three national skeptics organizations. Considering that there may have been some historic competitiveness among them, I consider this a major positive development. I am proud that the skeptical movement has grown to be so cooperative in working to promote critical thinking in society.


Reassurance: Brought to you by 97.1 FM, ‘The Point,’ Las Vegas PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Smith   

With the popularity of the paranormal on a seemingly infinite rise, sometimes skeptics find solace in the little things – like a dose of critical thinking from a local radio station.

Today, I was driving in my car listening to 97.1 FM on the radio. They air a little comedy segment every now and again – just a couple of random jokes from a comedian. This particular segment reached out to me, and gave critical thinkers everywhere a big pat on the back. It made me believe that perhaps the paranormal is on the way out, and skepticism is the view that’s really on the rise. I’m going to paraphrase what the comedian said during his bit, because unfortunately I couldn’t slam on my breaks and dig out a pen.

Conversion by Kindle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naomi Baker   

amazon-kindle-ebook-readerGrowing up, you would have been unable to detect any hint of religion in my home other than a Christmas tree and a Bible on a shelf. Moving frequently because of my dad’s military career, a church was often the easiest way to find a pre-built social group.  I took my own sons to church for the same reason, and sent them to a Lutheran school. I recall ‘undoing the damage’ for certain aspects of their science and history classes, but generally was satisfied with their education. But we left religion and discussions of it at the church door.

When my oldest son Richard was a high school senior, his father left the family. In his pain, Richard embraced a group of kids who befriended and nurtured him, through the large Southern Baptist church in our city. Within a couple of years, he was baptized, attended mission trips, spoke of becoming a youth minister, and considered transferring to a bible college. The military intervened, and he left for boot camp and several years of high-tech training and service.

In the meantime, I had abandoned my decades-old habits and began to supplement my skeptical and science reading with New Atheism. However, Richard declined my offers of God, the Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger, and my Sam Harris books. He thought the titles were a bit too…offensive. He avoided discussions on the topic, instead preferring to answer “I believe what I believe.”

Ever been on a submarine? The personal space for an enlisted sailor is approximately 24” depth by 50” long by 4” high. Everything that you carry on a six-month deployment must fit in that space, including your clothing, computer, equipment, any souvenirs you buy, any care packages you receive, and your books. Richard was usually able to fit four books into his space, but only by sacrificing a few extra pairs of socks. He reported that of the 150-plus men on a sub, about half of them read books of any kind, about one-half of those actually brought books on a deployment, and maybe 10 of them had books he found worth borrowing. It’s a desperate plight for an avid reader.

Saving Lives with Skepticism PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

071103-X-60-LX60We skeptics talk about many different things. Ghosts, psychics, intelligent design, cryptozoology, and dowsing are all frequent topics for our lectures and articles, but in most cases these are academic exercises. It's true that in some cases we might save someone pain and suffering, such as when people realize that the "psychic" who's been taking their $100 a week really can't talk to the dead, or when someone takes our advice and doesn't buy the $30,000 audio cables. For matters of so-called "complementary and alternative medicine," the stakes are higher and a skeptical viewpoint can actually save a life, as shows in some detail. But in the past year, we skeptics did something quite a bit more impressive. We literally saved hundreds if not thousands of lives, and it all started at a meeting at JREF headquarters.

News on TAM 8! Lots of changes! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

randi-jamyThe schedule is packed, and has changed considerably since its first incarnation. Speakers have been added, including comedian Paul Provenza, skeptic blogger Julia Galef, astronomical podcaster and skeptic Pamela Gay, and many others. We have a total of five panels this year, and Sunday's events have expanded to include more papers, a panel on the skeptical community's responsibility regarding global warming, and an afternoon Million Dollar Challenge presentation. And there are two workshops in the afternoon after the main event: Skepticism and Sexuality and Grassroots Skepticism.

The Committee for Scientific Investigation and the Skeptic Society are co-sponsoring TAM this year, which is an exciting development. They are joining the JREF to put on the Thursday night reception that's become an event unto itself. With live music and a special presentation, be sure to attend and arrive early! And don't forget the expanded workshop offerings earlier in the day. There are eight of them total, six on Thursday and two on Sunday, and they run two at a time concurrently. With the All Workshop Pass, you can attend any combination of our workshops for only $100.

In past years, TAM attendees have received tote bags, sharpies and even laser pointers. This year, we are excited to announce that you'll receive a limited edition piece of technology that will actually enhance your memory. This is one you'll want to keep with you always.

Our book tables have expanded with many more titles and other items of interest, and they'll be open during the entire conference.

While the special lunches with James Randi and Richard Dawkins and other speakers on the program have completely sold out, you'll still have plenty of opportunity to interact with guests throughout the conference. TAM has always been a place where the speakers are accessible to all, and that tradition continues this year. Also, we'll be having a silent auction that may provide even more opportunities to enjoy private meals and shows with select guests and presenters, as well as other unique items.

While Martin Gardner passed away before he could make an appearance at TAM, be assured that he will be there in spirit as well as in video form. And not to be outdone, a tribute to Jerry Andrus will bring back the magic that graced nearly every skeptical gathering for the last two decades.

Technical and logistic realities prevent us from streaming this year's TAM live. We regret this, but we will be videorecording the event, and the DVDs that follow will be expanded to include exclusive interviews and other interesting content. And for the first time ever, entire TAM Talks will be released on the Internet, with special content available for members of the JREF.

TAM is nigh, and this is the one not to miss. I can announce this now: it looks very likely that TAM 8 will sell out. If you're thinking of coming, right now is the time to register. Visit today and reserve your space at the largest and most exciting skeptic and critical thinking conference ever.

<< Start < Prev 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 Next > End >>

Page 278 of 401