Posts Tagged ‘TAM’

TAM 2012 Video Round-Up

July 22, 2013

I never did get around to writing a TAM 2012 wrap-up post last year and now that TAM 2013 has come and gone I’m starting to feel a little guilty. While The Amazing Meeting means so much to me I have a hard time expressing that to others, it might just be better to show y’all what you missed. The only full video up for TAM 2013 so far is for the Crowd Sourced Activism workshop with Susan Gerbic presentation along with a few podcasts so I decided to do a round-up of videos from TAM 2012 so you can get a sense of what its like to be there. The talks are presented in the order they appeared on the schedule.

Thursday, JULY 12 2012

WORKSHOP 1A – Science & Skepticism 101 Presented by Kyle Hill

From Witch-burning to God-men: Supporting Skepticism Around the World Presented by Leo Igw and Brian Thompson

WORKSHOP 2A – Dr. Google Presented by Steven Novella, David Gorski, Harriet Hall, and Rachael Dunlop

WORKSHOP 2B – Promoting Skepticism at the Local Level Presented by Brian Thompson
No video available. Sorry.

WORKSHOP 3A – Astronomy for Skeptics: Investigating “Lights” in the Sky Presented by James McGaha

WORKSHOP 3B – The Future of Skepticism Online: Crowd-Sourced Activism Presenters: Tim Farley and Derek Colanduno

WORKSHOP 4A – Investigative Methods for the Skeptic Presenters: Presenters: Ben Radford, Karen Stollznow, Bryan Bonner, Matthew Baxter, Blake Smith, Carrie Poppy, and Ross Blocher

WORKSHOP 4B – Coalition Building for the Skeptical Activist Presenters: Sharon Hill, Chris Stedman, Kitty Mervine, Dave Silverman, and David Niose

FRIDAY, JULY 13 2012

PANEL – Skeptics Guide to the Universe LIVE
Audio of the live SGU show.

TALK – The Moral Arc of Science and the Social Singularity: How Science Has Bent the Arc of the Moral Universe Toward Truth, Justice, Freedom, & Prosperity by Michael Shermer
I highly recommend this talk!

TALK – The Future of the Creationism and Evolution Controversy by Eugenie Scott

PANEL – Skepticism about the Future: Techno-optimism vs. Reality?
Panelists include Michael Vassar, Michael Shermer, Steven Novella, and Stephen Macknik. Moderated by Julia Galef

TALK – Future of Skepticism: New Adventures in Critical Thinking by Jennifer Michael Hecht

TALK – Talking to Tomorrow – Prediction and Language by Karen Stollznow

INTERVIEW – James Randi in conversation with Jamy Ian Swiss

PANEL – The Future of Skepticism
Panelists include Jamy Ian Swiss, Tim Farley, Reed Esau, and Barbara Drescher. Moderated by D.J. Grothe

TALK – The Values of Science: Ignorance, Uncertainty, Doubt by Stuart Firestein

TALK – The Self Illusion – How Your Brain Creates You by Bruce Hood

FRIDAY KEYNOTE – A Skeptical Look at Pseudoneuroscience by Carol Tavris


TALK – Doomsdays and 2012 Mayan Prophecy by Ben Radford

TALK – A Life of Art and Skepticism by Sara E. Mayhew

PANEL – Skepticism and the Humanities
Panelists include Amy Davis Roth, Miranda Celeste Hale, Robert Blaskiewicz, Eve Siebert, and Hai-Ting Chinn. Moderated by Brian Thompson

TALK – Overlapping Magisteria by Jamy Ian Swiss

TALK – Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose by Deirdre Barrett

TALK – Your Deceptive Mind by Steven Novella
Unfortunately video was not available for this talk.

TALK – Make the World Better (Ask if Anyone Minds Later) by Pamela Gay

TALK – Faithful Resemblances by Susana Martinez-Conde

TALK – From Particles to People: The Laws of Physics and the Meaning of Life by Sean Carroll

TALK – Social Networks: Civilizing the Future by Elisabeth Cornwell

TALK – The Future, and Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
No video available. Sorry.

SATURDAY KEYNOTE PRESENTATION – 38 Years of Magic & BS by Penn & Teller

SUNDAY, JULY 15 2012

PAPER – Quackery no longer just refers to ducks:  The growing prevalence of CAM in veterinary medicine – Martha Keller
A highly recommended watch for animal advocates.

Scientific Deception: The Billy Meier Metal Samples – Ivan Alvarado

PAPER – How to avoid getting sued for Libel – Dave Gamble

PAPER – SLAPP writs, Barbara Streisand and the Skeptical Movement – Eran Segev

PAPER – The (F)utility of Post-Conviction Polygraph – Jeffrey Rosky

PAPER – Assessing Intelligent Design from a Communications Perspective – Christine Shellska

PANEL – The Truth About Alternative Medicine
Panelists include Harriet Hall, David Gorski, and Rachel Dunlop. Moderated by Steve Novella

TALK – If You Were Me: Using In-Group Language to Reach Out by Carrie Poppy

TALK – Your Brain Sucks by Brian Dunning

TALK – Unstoppable Secular Students by Lyz Liddell

TALK – How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass by Christopher diCarlo

TALK – You Are the Future of Skepticism on the Internet by Tim Farley

PANEL – How Not To Be a Paranormal Investigator
Panelists include Karen Stollznow, Ben Radford, James Randi, and Banachek. Moderated by Carrie Poppy

TALK – Beware the Religio-Industrial Complex by Sean Faircloth

WORKSHOP 5A – How to Tell the Future by Ray Hyman

WORKSHOP 5B – Promoting Skepticism in Classroom Setting by Barbara Drescher, Matt Lowry, & Michael Blanford

SPECIAL EVENT – Live Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge Event

The Amaz!ng Meeting 2013

June 11, 2013

7/4/13 Updates and important info in bold

It’s only a week until The Amaz!ng Meeting in Las Vegas!!! And thanks to a wonderfully supportive community I will be attending for my third year. Put on every year by the James Randi Educational Foundation, TAM focuses on science, skepticism, and critical thinking with four packed days of speakers, panels, workshops, and entertainment. TAM truly is a wonderful learning experience and also a great chance to connect with like minded individuals. I’m really looking forward to seeing both old and new friends this year! As with the past two years I will once again be organizing an informal meet-up for vegan skeptics and other skeptic interested in animal rights issues. This year the tentative plan is to meet-up for vegan bacon and donuts in the Del Mar bar in the lobby area on Friday at 6:30 pm. After the meet-up a group may go out to eat together as well.

As many of my readers are probably aware, traveling as a vegan can sometimes get tricky but I’ve learned a few things in the past two years. While the vegan food situation at the hotel isn’t the best, it could be much worse. If you explore your options you are bound to find something to eat. The catered continental breakfast usually has some decent vegan pickings such as fruit and cereal. You might also find something at the catered lunch. If you are willing to pay hotel prices Don Vito’s Italian in the lobby area serves a pasta and veggies dish called the “Vegan Vito’s”. Coronado Cafe has some vegetarian items that may possibly be vegan.  This past year the Southpoint added a new sushi restaurant as well which appears to have some vegan options. If you just need a quick lunch there is also a Subway Sandwich shop just down the street from the hotel if you want a salad on a roll. If you have transportation then your off-site options are even better. Actually your options are pretty amazing (PETA recently ranked Vegas number eight on their list of 10 Most Vegan-Friendly Cities). Of course there is always Ronald’s Donuts, which I find to be worth the trip alone. Just a half mile down the road from Ronald’s is a little Chinese joint called Veggie House which according to multiple Yelp users serves great vegan fried ice cream! I also highly recommend the taco platter at Yayo Taco, one of my favorites. You can also head over to Slice of Vegas for some pretty decent pizza. There is also a pizza joint up at the Fremont Street Experience that I definitely plan to check out called Pop Up Pizza which is purported to have really good vegan pizza and vegan soft serve…yes vegan soft serve! And they are open until 2 am. The Wynn and Encore have numerous restaurants all with a wide variety of vegan options and are adding new stuff all the time. For more ideas on where to get grub in Vegas check out the listing of vegan & veg friendly restaurants on Happy Cow.

One of my favorite podcasters, Karl Mamer of the Conspiracy Skeptic podcast, always ends his interviews by asking the guest what drink people should buy them if they should happen to run into them as thanks for their contributions. So I thought maybe some of my reader might wanna buy me a drink at TAM. Normally I mainly drink whatever cheap beer* is at the bar, with PBR being my go-to beer, in general I’m not too picky when it comes to beer. And while I rarely drink much hard alcohol, a rum and coke is always sure to please. I know that TAM can be a hectic time trying to work in everything you want to see and do, so if you can’t make it to the meet-up please come and find me and say hi anytime during the conference (I’ll be the one with a big pink box of donuts in hand at all times). You can always find me on Twitter under @SkepticalVegan and you can RSVP for the meet-up on Facebook here (appreciated but not necessary). See y’all in Vegas!

*Not sure if that beer is vegan? Check it out on Barnivore.

The Amaz!ng Meeting 2012

July 10, 2012

The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) will be hosting The Amaz!ng Meeting once again at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada this July 12th-15th. For those that are unfamiliar with the event, TAM “is an annual celebration of science, skepticism and critical thinking.” Consisting of four days of skeptical speakers, panels, workshops, and entertainment, TAM is a fun learning experience and also a great chance to connect with like minded individuals. In fact, as great as the presentations are, many attendees report that their favorite part of TAM is the socializing. Whether it’s a large group dinner or a 2 am drink* in the Del Mar Lounge, there are always great conversations to be had. Last year was my first TAM and I had a blast! I’m hoping this year will be just as good. I can’t wait to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Look for me sporting this nifty button (courtesy of Pythagorean Crank)

Last year I helped organize a meet-up among the vegetarian and vegan attendees that was dubbed The Pythagorean Posse. This year’s meet-up is tentatively planned for the 6-9 pm dinner slot on Saturday the 14th and my vote on location is for Yayo Taco, though I’m open to other suggestions. Meet up at the Del Mar at 6:15 and we will head out shortly afterwards. I’m also looking to go out to dinner on the other nights if anyone would like to join.

I’ve learned a few things since last year. While the food situation isn’t the best, it could be much worse. Ronald’s Donuts are probably one of the best things about Vegas, definitely the best donuts I’ve ever had.  The continental breakfast usually has some decent vegan pickings such as fruit and cereal as well. If you are willing to pay hotel prices Don Vito’s Italian in the lobby area serves the “Vegan Vito’s“, a pasta and veggies dish. If you just need a quick lunch there is also a Subway Sandwich shop just down the street from the hotel that can be a real lifesaver. My favorite meal last year was the taco platter at Yayo Taco, I highly recommend it. For more ideas on where to get grub in Vegas check out the listing of vegan & veg friendly restaurants on Happy Cow.

Facebook event page is here.
Lanyrd page is here.
Twitter hashtag is #vegtam (the main TAM hashtag is #tam2012)
You can tweet me here.

Further Reading:
Pythagorean Posse at TAM9
Viva Las Vegan
Why I’m Going To TAM
What To Do In Vegas If You Don’t Gamble and Aren’t at TAM
rbutr at The Amazing Meeting 2012

*Not sure if that beer is vegan? Check it out on Barnivore.

Pythagorean Posse at TAM9

June 20, 2011

The James Randi Educational Foundation will be hosting the largest skeptical conference in the world, The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM), it will once again be coming to Las Vegas, Nevada this July 14th-17th. With over 1,500 people expected this year there will be a number of vegetarians and vegans in attendance. Even D. J. Grothe, the current president of  the JREF, is vegan. So with some inspiration and  prodding from Dave of Pythagorean Crank I decided to organize a vegan/vegetarian meet-up we will be calling the Pythagorean Posse.

On Saturday, July 16th, we will be meeting in the hotel bar, the Del Mar, in the South Point Hotel after Richard Dawkins speaks around 6pm. After everybody is there we will carpool over to Atmoic#7. If you plan to make it to Atmoic#7  on your own just plan on it starting around 6:30 – 7pm.  Atomic#7  is an ice cream shop that makes their own custom regular and vegan ice cream right in front of you using liquid nitrogen, how nerdy it that!? They also make steamed hot pudding if you’re into that as well. So come out and meet your fellow broccoli munching skeptics, we are a diverse bunch so it should be fun and interesting.

Additionally Penn Jilette will be hosting a Rock & Roll, Doughnut and Bacon Party on Friday night that we shall be crashing* with plates of fakin bacon and Ronalds donuts, which have been scientifically proven to be vegan.

If you are interested in the meet-up you can add yourself to the Facebook event page or leave a comment. We will have a carpool and taxipool arranged so it should be easy to get to. Even if you cant make it to the meet-up but will still be at TAM I would love to meet you, drop me a line.

A big thanks to Dave of Pythagorean Crank for designing the candle/leaf logo at the top of the page.

*Just kidding, please be respectful to Penn and guests if attending

Wondering where to get grub in Vegas? Check out the listing of vegan & veg friendly restaurants on Happy Cow.

Also if your planning on hitting the casino while there then why not check out these tips from vegan professional poker player Ed Miller.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I updated the schedule, We will be MEETING AT THE DEL MAR, the South Point Hotel bar, after Dawkins speaks around 6pm, after folks  are gathered we shall leave for Atomic#7 around 6:30, give or take, so if you NEED A RIDE OR CAN OFFER A RIDE or would like to share a taxi meet us at the Del Mar, otherwise you can always just meet us at Atomic#7.