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Just Skeptics Episode 27

Episode 27 of the official Greater Manchester Skeptics Society Podcast “Just Skeptics” is now available.
Find it in itunes, on Libsyn  or subscribe to our RSS feed at Libsyn.

For Halloween, we’re joined by guest host Ayesha, who gets on her soapbox about Jeremy Hunt, plus we discuss how sitting on your backside helps burn calories, hear from Rick about video game ghost stories, and have an update on some feedback we received from episode 26.

In relation to the films mentioned in the podcast, here is the breakdown on the numbers:

1.The Shining: 184 calories 142m : 77.7ph
2. Jaws: 161 calories 124m: 77.9ph
3. The Exorcist: 158 calories 122m: 77.7ph
4. Alien: 152 calories 117m: 77.9ph
5. Saw: 133 calories 103m 77.5ph
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories 91m: 77.8ph
7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories 86m:77.4ph
8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 107 calories 83m 77.4ph
9. The Blair Witch Project: 105 calories 81m 77.8ph
10. [Rec]: 101 calories 78m 77.7ph

I said on the podcast that this wasn’t on churnalism.com… but it is now!

See you again in two weeks!


SkepLit: The Choosening – Update

First of all, a massive apology that this didn’t go up right after we did The Choosening officially. I decided that since we now have regular members and a bit more of a routine, we wouldn’t open up the list to general voting. Instead, all the books presented at the group would have a chance to be read. We’re a small club and it means nobody has to miss out on having their book added to the list.

In September, we read Mark Henderson’s The Geek Manifesto, which spurred one of the most prolonged discussions we’ve ever had at SkepLit – and for once, it wasn’t about gaming. These are the books we’ll be reading over the next few months. We start this Sunday – I’ve booked the table and everything – so you’re welcome to come along. New members don’t need to have read the book in advance, although it definitely helps if you have.

October: Kevin Warwick – Artificial Intelligence: The Basics

November: James Martin – The Meaning of the 21st Century

December – no meeting

January: Bruce Hood – The Self Illusion

February: Larry Rosen – iDisorder

March: Lawrence Krauss – A Universe from Nothing

April: Richard Wiseman – Rip It Up

Don’t forget, we meet in Waterstones 2nd View restaurant on Sunday afternoon at 2pm.


Just Skeptics Episode 26

After an 8-month Break, Just Skeptics is back with episode 26.  This week, we’re getting back into the flow of things with discussions on the Daily Mail’s reporting of The End of Global Warming,  the ‘Gay Agenda’ behind an anti-bullying campaign, and things you shouldn’t worry about in regards to your children and the HPV Vaccine.

With Janis, Gavin, Rick and Geoff of the Greater Manchester Skeptics Society.



Tonight: Is philosophy relevant to science?

Published on October 11th, 2012 by in SiTP

Tonight at Greater Manchester Skeptics monthly SiTP, we’re proud to host Dr Clio Bellenis. After philosophy was dismissed by physicist Brian Cox, she decided that she had to speak out in favour of this oft-misunderstood subject. Addressing philosophical concepts such as personal identity and free will, Dr. Bellenis will talk some modern philosophical thought and the transferable arguments between the two disciplines. She hopes to establish that philosophy can be of huge worth to scientists, skeptics and in developing critical thinking.

Dr. Bellenis is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with an MA in Philosophy. She is also an atheist, a skeptic and a feminist.

As usual, we’ll be in the basement at Tv21 in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. We ask for a donation to help our running costs and will be kicking off at around 8pm. If you’d like to come along, we recommend you show up around 7.30pm.



So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Huge thanks to all who came along last night to celebrate Geek Pride day at our GMSS ThanksGeeking event!  There were some outstanding geeky costumes- Superman Mid-change, Tony Stark complete with arc reactor, Biff from The Future, River Tam, two (!) Daleks, Bladerunner’s Rachel (with cuddly owl), a reformed Borg, and Super Mario amongst others, well done to everyone for their efforts.

Our Crowned King and Queen of Geek were the wonderful Ollie and Claire- regulars at GMSS since its infancy, who happen to be getting married this weekend.  They acted as Judges for our costume competition.  It turns our the Daleks seem to finally be winning down here on earth, with a straight 1-2; with Steph (@whatsessydid) taking first place for her awesome cosplay effort, and Mykie (@MrMykie) rolling in just behind.  Here they are in all their splendour:


The quiz was really tough, with a brilliant round on Girl Geeks from Sam representing @mcrgirlgeeks.  All our Geeks all did really well.  Luckily there were no real losers, as 1) We are skeptigeeks; this just isn’t possible and 2) we’d bought in a huge stash of scifi toys, sweets and books to give away.  No team went without a prize.  The winning team was “The Quizatz Haderach” which satisfylingly enough did include the King and Queen Geeks, so no upset in our monarchy thus far. They also enjoyed the picture round (see below).

We had a bit of light entertainment in the form of Puppetry Comedy filth with Pico the Sponge  (see a Pico StarWars clip here) inbetween segments, and finally ended up with a prize frenzy as we doled out all the goodies. A big thank you to Rick for sorting out all the audio and music, and to Ayesha for helping get everything up and running!

To round up ThanksGeeking properly, I should also mention that this was my last night as organiser for Manchester Skeptics in the Pub.  The last two years have been a huge privilege and a lot of fun, and while I may never have carried the title of ‘founder’ or ‘president’, I have always had GMSS and its members needs close to my heart.  We’ve had more than fifty events since I started as an organiser (and that’s not including those organised by Joely- the fantastic GMSS Book Club; Skeplit).  I think it is about time for someone different steering the good ship GMSS in Manchester.

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a great group of people, I owe huge thanks to the GMSS committee, but especially Allan for all his effort and support before and during events, and making people feel so welcome*, Rick for dealing with all things treasury-related, and Alex for being consistently and quietly brilliant with the AV in the DJ booth for the last two years, and both Rick and Geoff for keeping the GMSS side of QED running, after Allan and I left after the first year.  Long may it all continue, I’m looking forward to coming along to GMSS events in the future.  Keep watching all the normal places for upcoming talks and other events, and keep your eyes peeled for one-off events of mine in the future… I’m not very good at keeping quiet.  Meanwhile, if you need me, I will be here!

So, to all of you lovely people at GMSS, all of our past speakers, and to all of our online supporters, from me:

So long, and thanks for all the fish  amazingly awesome fantastic funny moving inspirational wonderful times. You all rock. <3







*oh yeah, and for being an amazing human that I just happen to have met at a Skeptics event.

© Greater Manchester Skeptics Society

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