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Norman Sperling
2625 Alcatraz Avenue #235
Berkeley, CA 94705-2702

cellphone 650 - 200 - 9211
eMail normsperling [at] gmail.com

Norm Sperling’s Great Science Trek: 2014

San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Palm Springs
Death Valley
El Paso
Corpus Christi
Baton Rouge
Key West
Winter Star Party, Scout Key

MARCH 2014:
up the Eastern seaboard

APRIL 2014:
near I-40, I-30, and I-20 westbound

MAY 2014:
near US-101 northbound
May 17-18: Maker Faire, San Mateo
May 23-26: BayCon, Santa Clara

California till midJune

JUNE 2014:
Pacific Northwest

JULY 2014:
Western Canada, eastbound

AUGUST 2014:
near the US/Can border, westbound
August 22-on: UC Berkeley

Speaking engagements welcome!
2014 and 2015 itineraries will probably cross several times.

SkeptiCal's Coming May 29th

For Northern Californians who are skeptical of pseudoscience, the SkeptiCal conference returns bigger and better. It will be held at the Berkeley Marina Doubletree Hotel on May 29, 2011. Last year's conference sold out past capacity, so please buy your tickets as soon as possible to ensure a seat!

You can register, and find much more information, at www.skepticalcon.org.

Speakers this year:
* Dr. Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education, who leads the struggle to teach Evolution, despite so-called "Creationists"
* Dr. Bob Carroll, creator of the Skeptic’s Dictionary
* Skeptologists Yau-Man Chan (a Survivor) and Mark Edward
* UC Santa Cruz Professor of Psychology Dr. Anthony Pratkanis
* Pacific Institute President Dr. Peter Gleick
and many more. Other activities include an on-site lunch and a Skeptics-in-the-Pub event.

Options this year include a T-shirt and an on-site lunch at the Doubletree. If you don't choose the on-site lunch, there are many great restaurants within a short drive.

For more information, and to purchase tickets and a SkeptiCal '11 T-shirt, please visit www.skepticalcon.org.

Ways to follow the SkeptiCal Conference online:


Skeptics Around the Bay
© Norman Sperling, May 1, 2011

SkeptiCal is a joint effort of the Sacramento and Bay Area Skeptics. I joined the Bay Area Skeptics about 1983, shortly after moving to California. I've served on the Board since 1988, and have been vice chair for about 20 years, except for a year and a half as chair in the early '90s.

BAS has used several modes to share and spread our views. We've done newsletters and a website (baskeptics.org). We've had lots of local meetings with speakers. Our people are active in TAM and CSI, and especially in online media like blogs and podcasts. We've joined some larger efforts, like the recent one pointing out the absence of medicine in the virtually pure water sold as homeopathic "medicine".

Trends over the last 3 decades:
* Harsh voices have left and the group is now very nice.
* Good meeting rooms are harder and harder to find, and attendance is irregular.
* Print media have declined, and online media have risen, at least as much in skepticism as elsewhere.
* Endless gobs of bunk keep befouling and fleecing the public, so there's always too much to address.

Our most successful recent enterprise came a year ago, when we teamed up with Sacramento's skeptics to run a daylong regional convention. It sold out, so we set up an overflow room with live video. We had great speakers and discussion leaders. Lots of folks met kindred spirits. Almost everybody had a wonderful time and said we should do it again. Hence this year's gathering, in a nicer venue with twice the capacity.

I'll be retailing from a table in the main event room. In addition to JIR and its newest anthologies, I'll also sell off part of my personal library on skeptical topics. Some are bunk and some debunk. Pretty soon I won't have much shelf space, so those books have to find new homes.

The Journal of Irreproducible Results
This Book Warps Space and Time
What Your Astronomy Textbook Won't Tell You

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