Wonderfest Videos Available

"Wonderfest" is an annual Bay Area science festival featuring talks and discussions about science. Held in the fall on adjacent days at Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley, the 2008 Wonderfest was particularly well attended. For those of you who were unable to attend, you now can see three of the discussions online.

Go to www.wonderfest.org to see

Does Anything Happen at Random?
A discussion between Persi Diaconis, Prof. of Statistics & Mathematics, Stanford and Daniel Fisher, Prof. of Applied Physics, Stanford

Bigfoot talk blog roundup

Couldn't make it to Tuesday's Ask a Scientist lecture on Bigfoot? Well, eventually you'll be able to watch it on fora.tv, but until then, here's a bit of blog coverage to tide you over:

The Snitch (SF Weekly): Ask a Scientist: Sorry, Bigfoot Probably Doesn't Exist. But If He Did, He Would Be Taller Than a Bear

BAS Member Publishes in Skeptical Briefs

BAS member and skeptical satirist, Paul DesOrmeaux, has published a new article, "The Evolution of Intelligent Design," in the Skeptical Briefs newsletter. He presents a concise, chronological, and arbitrary timeline that more or less accurately presents the history and ???facts??? behind the development of creationism, creation, science, intelligent design, and more importantly, scientific illiteracy. He claims that the article???s contents have been painstakingly researched, and for all intents and purposes, the information provided is ???hysterically??? correct. You be the judge.

R.I.P. Senator Pell: Champion of college education and ESP

Senator Claiborne Pell passed away on New Year's day. The 90 year-old former Senator from Rhode Island is fondly remembered by the tens of millions of students who have been able to go to college thanks to the financial aid grants named in his honor.

Skeptics have their own reason to mourn the six-term Senator. He earned the nickname "Senator Oddball" from Time magazine for his obsession with ESP. The Washington Post's obituary explains that he earned the moniker because of:

a 1987 incident when, fearing an extrasensory perception gap with the Soviets, he invited carnival-level spoon bender Uri Geller to Washington to demonstrate his skills. Sen. Pell also attended a symposium on UFO abductions.

San Mateo psychic charged with theft

Janet Adams' booking photoJanet Adams, a self-described psychic, was arrested for bilking an 85-year-old woman out of $80,330. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Adams told the victim "that her husband would die of a heart attack if she didn't immediately pay $13,000 for 'special prayers,' the prosecutor said."

On subsequent visits, the purported psychic extracted more and more money from the elderly victim, until her (still-healthy) husband noticed the odd transactions.

Bay Area Skeptics on Facebook

We're on Facebook!

We've started a Bay Area Skeptics page on Facebook so we can connect with more Bay Area skeptics, and you can interact with us.

Joining our group is another way that you can find out about our upcoming events; our Skeptics in the Pub gatherings, our lectures, and other activities. It's also a great way to meet other skeptics, both local, and global.

See you there!

Bay Area "Psychic" Exposed

San Francisco resident Lisa Marie Miller bilked a Santa Clara woman out of $108,000 and a sports car by giving her "spiritual cleanings", according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (available here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/09/BA8H14KOHF.D... ).

Bigfoot in the Bay Area?

I recently trekked up north to Bigfoot Country. This prompted Genie Scott to request that if I should encounter Bigfoot, "Get an interview for my talk!"

A Bay Area skeptic in New Mexico

Last weekend I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to interview Ben Radford, Managing Editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, for the Skeptic Zone Podcast.

Radford, an intrepid scientific paranormal investigator, got his revenge when he sprung an interview on me!

Andrew Fraknoi talk on November 19th

BAS advisor Andrew Fraknoi is giving a lacture on "Your Fiction Science Defense Kit: Dealing with Astrology, UFO's, and Other Astronomical Pseudo-sciences" later this month. Details are below the cut.

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