Don’t skip the bats!

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can skip the bat display. There is a sign that directs you past the enclosure of Malayan flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus) should you, for some incomprehensible reason, wish to not see them. These large fruit bats are impressive and utterly lovely; I could not wait to catch a glimpse. The woman in…

Science appreciation class

Several years ago, while learning about the problem of science illiteracy, I discovered something of critical importance: You can’t get people engaged and enthusiastic or even respectful about a subject if they don’t see any value or connection to themselves. Kids aren’t going to do well in high school science classes (or even choose to take those…

Continuing miseducation classes

Where can you learn Photoshop, CPR and Civil War history all in one place at a reasonable price? Continuing education offerings at local community colleges include useful courses in computer and technology fields, healthcare and safety occupations, business management and languages. General interest courses are offered in history, gardening, hobbies and include local trips and tours.…

Skepticism in a nutshell

On episode #208 of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast, the SGU folks took questions from the audience at TAM7. The best question, I thought, came from my friend Bruce who asked how to explain a skeptics convention and skepticism so that a teenager might understand.

Skeptic movement in flux

I’ve noticed over the past year, many changes in the skeptical community. There has been a huge surge in communication, podcasts and internet activity that allowed for growth and exchange among the 3 groups – Center for Inquiry (Skeptical Inquirer/CSICOP/CSI), Skeptics Society (Shermer’s Skeptic) and JREF (Randi’s). I always thought they each provided a different…