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Posts tagged ‘Las Vegas’

TAM 2013 recap episode of the ‘Atheists Today’ show

(Mes amis: yes, I know, this post is a little odd/out of order, as I haven’t yet had an opportunity to write about my (wonderful) experience at TAM 2013, but, considering that the topic of this post is somewhat time-sensitive, I wanted to get it up here as soon as possible. I’ll start working on a TAM recap, soon, though. Anyway, onward!)


Last night, a few fellow TAM-ers/friends and myself were on a TAM 2013-recap-themed episode of the Atheists Today show, hosted by DW Adams. If you weren’t able to listen live, head over to the episode’s webpage, where you can listen to it on your own time (via the embedded player), or download it directly (.mp3 file), or download it from the iTunes store.

Throughout the show, we had a lot of fun chatting and telling stories, and we also discussed some of the excellent talks and presentations that we saw and how they inspired us and motivated us to do something good, useful, positive, important, real, etc. It’s so important to do something, to use our skills (whatever they may be) in some way and in some context in order to make things happen. We also discussed some of the tools (mostly internet-based) that were brought up in various TAM sessions, many of which “work behind the scenes” (so to speak), providing, in one way or another, subtle but necessary support as we engage in whatever form of skepticism/skeptical activism fulfills our passions and fits us best.

During the show, whenever any of us thought of a talk or a tool that we wanted to make note of, I added the relevant url to the show’s chat box. Later, DW posted them in the episode’s show notes. I’ll add some of them to this post, too, along with a couple of others (these aren’t necessarily in any particular order- they’re just links to/information about *some* of the things that the three of us were most excited by/inspired by/motivated by at TAM this year. I’ll probably write more about a few of these in my upcoming TAM recap, but, for now, here goes):


Many thanks to DW for having us on. He did a great job and I’m looking forward to listening to future episodes of his podcast. Be sure to visit the Atheists Today website (they have a lot of interesting and useful content/resources there) and also find them on Facebook and on Twitter.

(And I’ll start working on that TAM 2013 recap post soon… (^‿^) ) Thanks!


TAM 2013!

Exciting!: The Amazing Meeting 2013 is less than a month away. I’m thrilled to be returning for my second TAM (and to be returning to Las Vegas, one of my favorite places). I had an absolutely wonderful time at TAM 2012 (some of my photos are here): I learned a great deal, experienced many thought-provoking and inspiring talks/events and conversations, had so much fun with dear friends, met some of my “skeptic heroes” (forgive the cheesy phrase) including Ray Hyman (an absolutely brilliant and sweet man. We had quite a few one-on-one conversations last year, and I’ll always be grateful to him for taking the time to talk with me), and, most exciting of all, I was on the Skepticism and the Humanities panel (video here).


TAM 2013

This year, my friends/TAM 2012 co-panelists/Skeptical Humanities bloggers/two-fifths of the Virtual Skeptics/fellow skeptic teachers Bob Blaskiewicz and Eve Siebert and I will be presenting the Skepticism Across the Curriculum workshop. Bob will be moderating, and, among other things, we’ll be discussing the various ways that we practice skepticism and promote critical thinking as educators and academics and how those practices and methods can be applied and utilized in a variety of contexts (both academic and non-academic). Or, as Bob wrote in the description of the workshop (also available here):

While many skeptics seem to conflate science and skepticism, the two terms are not equivalent. Science, it turns out, is just one form of skeptical inquiry that encompasses many academic disciplines, including those in the humanities. This workshop will introduce the audience to scholarship confronting extraordinary claims across the disciplines. Skepticism may be profitably applied to everything from Ancient Aliens’ mangling of art and art history, literary and folklore studies, mythology, and archeology, to young-earth creationists’ vandalism of all forms of textual scholarship, from Beowulf and Arthurian legend to Biblical studies. These and other extraordinary claims can also be used in classrooms to teach the critical thinking skills needed in all contexts and to introduce the disciplines to popular audiences.


And here are a few links to some of the things that I’ve written/spoken about that are either directly related to or relevant to what we’ll be covering in the workshop (I’m sure that I’ll be discussing rhetoric quite a lot):

Blog posts:  1, 2, 3, 4

Posts on the JREF‘s Swift Blog: 1, 2

(& Be sure to check out my Lanyrd profile)

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of TAM again, and am looking forward to our workshop (and am glad that I get to work with Bob and Eve once more- they’re fantastic (ahem, “Derrida Zombies“, anyone?) )

There’s so much more that I could say about last year’s experience, or about what I’m looking forward to at TAM 2013, but I’ll hold off on that for now. Anyway, if you’ll be at TAM this year, come check out our workshop!

Vegas awaits… ♥

Las Vegas Airport- July 2012

TAM 2012!

Very exciting!: I’m going to be on a panel at The Amazing Meeting 2012. I’m really grateful for the opportunity & will post more info about the panel when it becomes available. I’m looking forward to the conference and to spending time with friends in Vegas. Oh, Vegas. I do love you so & it’s been a year since last I saw you :)

I Love Las Vegas (part two)

I just realized that I haven’t yet posted the rest of the photos from my Las Vegas trip. Oops! Anyway, here are a few of the lovely/beautiful/interesting things that I came across during my wanderings:

Inside Caesar’s Palace


The Venetian- (where The Sands once stood. Hallowed ground! :) )


The Bellagio


Inside the lobby of the Bellagio- Dale Chihuly’s gorgeous “Fiori di Como”


Inside the Cosmopolitan hotel


The Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel


Casino Royale


Chanel store at the Bellagio. Oh, swoon!


Lollipops in the Sugar Factory at Planet Hollywood


Looking pensive (or something) while wandering through the lovely Forum Shops


And just because I love it so:

I love Las Vegas (part one)

I love Las Vegas.

Love, love, love it.

Even in its current state of over-commercialized Disneyfication, I can’t help but love it.

However, I’m quite saddened that I’ll never get to experience Vegas as it was in the early ’60s, in all its gloriously hedonistic glamorous splendor. If I had a TARDIS, I’d set it for the Sands Hotel, circa 1960. My mission, should I choose to accept it (of course I would!): Find Dean Martin (and the rest of the Rat Pack, but especially Dean):


Seriously, the Coolest Dudes Ever

Swoon! ♥

In March, I spent four days in Vegas, and had a wonderful time. I’d planned to find (and take copious photos of) anything related to the Rat Pack. Alas, my plans were foiled: unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much (at least not that I could find, and I searched pretty extensively) Rat Pack-ness left to be found. It’s quite sad.

Much of my search took place in old downtown, specifically Fremont Street/”Glitter Gulch”. I had lovely time there, strolling around in awe, exploring each of the casinos, and even wandering off of the beaten path a bit (unfortunately, that type of wandering was rather limited, as it was dark and I was exploring alone. After a few minutes on a rather deserted and creepy  (but interesting) side street, I started to worry that I was about to become the inspiration for an episode of C.S.I., and quickly darted back to Fremont).

Despite the failure of my search, and despite the fact that the Disneyfication of The Strip has, sadly enough, started to spread to Fremont Street, I enjoyed old downtown immensely, and took lots of photos:

The gorgeous Binion’s sign-

Binion's sign

The Fremont

The Golden Gate

Golden Gate sign

A lovely sign on the back of the Golden Gate-

Vintage Vegas sign

Vegas Vic!-

Vegas Vic

And I’m including this one (part of the Four Queens) just because it’s where Bono turns The Annoying up to eleven and sings into the Edge’s face in the “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” video-

Bono is annoying

(As my friend Paul said on Facebook, “I wonder at what point in his life The Edge decided he would not, in fact, smack Bono and say “oh will you please stop that?” I think that decision was very fateful.” True fact!)

Bono’s tediousness aside, it’s a lovely song. I’ve watched the video a zillion times since returning from Vegas, because I miss old downtown a lot, and love getting to see bits and pieces of it in the video.

This is getting long, so I’ll save the rest of my Vegas reminiscences and photos for another post.

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