#6 – Happy Halloween
Last night we had another successful meeting. Although we were missing a few of our “regulars” we had plenty of new people to make up the difference and despite the problems with tokbox (which we are becoming accustomed to) the group had a nice combination of silliness and skepticism.
Here’s a quick run-down of some of the topics with related links for reference:
- Who got vaccinated? Which vaccines and what was your experience?
- Blasphemy Laws and UN Resolutions [U.S. opposes bid to bar religious defamation]
- Twitter and GOP Fake accounts [Republicans Overtweet]
- Microsoft Stores, Bing goes the Internet
- Ares 1-X Launch
- Magic, Science, and Skepticism conference in DC (last weekend)
- Superfreakonomics and Bad Climate Science [An open letter to Steve Levitt]
- The anniversary of the last naturally occurring incident of smallpox [Bad Astronomy Blog]
- Bad week for Scientology [Paul Haggis, Fraud in French court]
- Science vs. Philosophy, Claims of Religion, and Atheism [Massimo Pigliucci – On the Scope of Skeptical Inquiry]
- Richard Feynman [The Likelihood of Flying Saucers, Key to Science]
- Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry on “The Young Ones”
Although tokbox is pretty easy to get running (for some) it continues to plague us with dropouts, audio delays, extremely poor Linux support, and the list goes on and on. For me the most frustrating part is the audio delays, since it causes everyone to take just about the same time to pause before talking (thus everyone tends to talk at the same time, for no fault of their own).
If anyone has suggestions on a better software solution please let me know and we’ll try it for future meetings. In the mean time, I really appreciate everyone’s patience when problems occur.
The schedule has been changing a bit. I’m trying to discover the best times that people are available and I’m testing my own limits. The current schedule will be alternating Wednesdays and Fridays although I have found the meetings are better when we don’t have them too often, so I may be moving to a bi-weekly schedule.
The next few meetings will be Wednesday Nov 4th and then Friday Nov 13th so mark your calendars! I’ve been getting some feedback from interesting people you probably know so make sure you attend! You wouldn’t want to miss that rare opportunity to talk with someone wonderfully interesting.
Thanks to Cary and Rebekkah we are starting a book club. The idea is to choose a book that we all read (anyone who wants to participate) and we discuss it. This can be done online (using a collaboration tool such as Google Wave) and during a special video chat session just for the club.
The first book we’re starting will be “Atheist’s Guide to Christmas” by Ariane Sherine. If you want to participate, contact Cary Collett (@qaphsiel), Rebekkah Berg (@ymberlenis), or myself so we can let you know how to get access to the discussion area and when the video chat will take place. Then all you need to do is find a copy of the book and start reading.