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Hastily Scribbled Notes From The Amazing Adventure, 5 (Volume I) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 22:38

This is our second full day at sea. I’m sitting in a corner at the back of the Augustus conference room on Deck 5 of the Costa Fortuna, trying to be inconspicuous. Kitty Mervine is preparing to give a lecture on — what? Who knows? I suspect pirates will be involved. The lectures have been unpredictable so far, and better for it. Today we’ve had talks on parliamentary procedure (which was actually exciting, believe it or not), “political bias in skepticism,” and —

(By the way, Kitty just said this: “How much does a pirate charge for an ear-piercing? A buccaneer!”  Haha! It’s difficult to concentrate with comedy of this caliber being committed within earshot, but I shall persevere.)

Last Week In Science-Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harriet Hall, MD, The SkepDoc   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 22:26

Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.

Amazing Adventurers Set Sail PDF Print E-mail
Written by D.J. Grothe   
Sunday, 07 March 2010 13:31
Randi welcoming the Amazing Adventurers to the Isaac Asimov Library

Last night, we had a reception at the James Randi Educational Foundation for those folks who are joining us on the Amazing Adventure 5: Skeptics of the Caribbean, which sets sail today. We are off for a week of fun and skepticism, with around 100 of Randi's best friends, including JREF staff like Jeff Wagg, Bart Farkas, and Brandon Thorp, noted skeptics such as Tim Farley, Mark Edward, and Brian Dunning, and beloved members of the JREF community like Kitty Mervine and Naomi Baker. I am happy that my partner, Thomas Donnelly, is able to join us, despite his insanely busy law school schedule.

This is a really international group: one man flew in from Singapore, one flew in from Australia, several from the UK, one from Northern Ireland, and a number from Canada. And there are three folks from Greece attending as well. I think this is also a very young crowd, relative to many other skeptics gatherings I have attended. Most people coming on the cruise are in their 30s or 40s, with a few teenagers, and more than a dozen in their twenties. I like seeing how the worldview that prizes reason, science and humanism that has been advanced for decades by Randi is inspiring enough to younger people for them to spend their spring break in the company of their fellow skeptics.

One thing that struck me last night at the reception is that these people are not just organized around the things they don't believe in. Even as skeptics, they seem to believe, at least in each other: there was a palpable sense of community at the party. Everyone knew each others' stories, childrens' names, travails and triumphs of each others' lives. For many at the party it seemed like a family reunion. Even though there were a lot of new faces (one young man is going on the JREF cruise as a birthday present from his parents, and there are new JREF Forum members for whom this is their first in-person skeptical event, etc.), there was a surprising number of people for whom this Amazing Adventure is just one of many they have enjoyed: Don and Nancy Lacey, Adam Levenstein, Gail Knapp, Mel and Gerri Kirschner, and Susan Gerbic-Forsyth, for instance, have been on a number of these JREF vacations. David Craig has been on all of them, in fact. And these folks know how to have fun. As they say, "skeptics do it with their eyes open," and so we may just be opening some eyes on our latest Amazing Adventure into the known universe of Caribbean sunshine and good times.


Jeff Wagg instructs attendees on what to expect on the Amazing Adventure 5 (answer: swashbuckling)

The Amazing Meeting 8, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 12:08

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TAM 8 HomeRegistrationSpeakersScheduleHotelWorkshopsEventsContact Us


Online registration is closed. You will be able to register at the door.

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Check out our TAM8 app for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Android and Blackbery!

The Amaz!ng Meeting is on the horizon again! Enthusiasm for TAM increases every year, and every year we have added new speakers and events to the festivities. This year promises to be amongst the most exciting so far, with a great combination of leading thinkers and celebrities and activists, all united to advance critical thinking and skepticism in our world.

Join us for four days of fellowship, fun, and critical thinking this July at TAM 8.

For Good Reason: Science-Based Medicine with Harriet Hall PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Friday, 05 March 2010 18:04

hall_harrietHarriet Hall, MD, The SkepDoc, discusses her column in O, The Oprah Magazine that focuses on debunking medical myths. She contrasts science-based medicine and “complementary and alternative medicine,” and tells why she objects to the latter term. She details why homeopathy elicits more moral outrage from her than other kinds of CAM remedies. Other topics she addresses include acupuncture, chiropractic, radical life extension, pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers, the difference between fringe-science and pseudoscience, and also the risks of science-based medicine.

Listen at

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