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A Cold Pittsburgh Skepchick Interview

A couple of weeks back, I hit Pittsburgh to meet up with fellow Skepchicks Maria and Elyse, along with atheist activist and vlogger Ashley, whom I brought along with me from Columbus, and a whole bunch of great Steel City skeptics, including Laura (who so awesomely made most of the arrangements for us). It was a really, really good time and despite the fact the bar closed at midnight (seriously, Pittsburgh, WTF), I met some great people and had some great discussion. Ashley also interviewed Maria, Elyse, Laura and me about skeptic activism on a very, very cold street outside the bar, and here it is, in all of its tipsy, profane glory:

It's been about a year, I think, since I started writing for Skepchick, thus introducing me to the larger skeptic community and leading me to work on reviving Central Ohioans for Rational Inquiry. Now, in Columbus, we not only have a flourishing skeptic group that meets regularly and the foundation laid for further community involvement, but a SkeptiCamp unconference that's already attracting a ton of people from across Ohio and out of state.

I keep hearing over and over again from people I meet in this line of activism that they were waiting for someone to organize something, so that they could connect with like-minded people. Here's my advice: don't wait. Start a reading group at your local library, create a Drinking Skeptically at the neighborhood bar, find or begin a Meetup.com group, or organize a speaking event with a local professor or doctor. (Like Maria says in the video above, we're happy to add any new group events to the Skepchick calendar, which reaches thousands of people across the US). Start a blog, make a video, record a podcast. Skeptic activism in this day and age is ridiculously easy - and there's already a wide-reaching network out there who are friendly, fun and willing to help anyone who wants to learn more. As the US enters a new governmental era, whatever your political leanings, it's been made clear that scientific education and rational thought is coming back in a big way. It's a perfect time to be a skeptic.

Skepchick Auction - Win a DS Lite and T-Shirt

Skepchick is auctioning off a pink Nintendo DS Lite and exclusive t-shirt to help raise funds for scholarships to the James Randi Educational Foundation's The Amazing Meeting. All the money will go to JREF, plus every girl geek (or pink-partial guy geek) could use DS Lite and a one-of-kind Skepchick shirt. Read the details here.

Skepchick Video Contest

Are you into hot, smart, critically-thinking girls? Then maybe you should make a short video about how awesome Skepchick is and win some prizes. The lovelies Elyse and Jill dish the details in the video below.

Jessica Valenti Interview @ Skepchick

Donna at Memoirs of a Skepchick hosted a reading last month of Full Frontal Feminism, a guide to feminism for young women by Feministing editor Jessica Valenti - and Jessica kindly answered some of Donna's questions for a post at Skepchick. Worthwhile reading, mostly for Donna's described ambivalence about some elements of the book (I felt the same way), and her definition of what the intersection of skepticism and feminism is all about.

Skepchick Quickies, 2.4

Almost forgot - my post over at Skepchick yesterday:

  • Presenting Julia Sweeney - A wonderful speech excerpt from Sweeney about freedom from religion - and there’s audio available, too.
  • Hollywood Prayer Network - I think they might be facing some tough competition from Scientologists.
  • New Atheists or Anti-Dogmatists? - An interesting discussion on what the term “New Atheist” might mean after all.
  • Oscarology - A new form of astrology that was made up revealed by spirits. Find out who you are based on which movie won Best Picture in your birth year!

Skepchick Quickies, 1.30

Originally posted at Memoirs of a Skepchick:

  • A Secular Age - A wonderful review of the book A Secular Age, which studies the roots of secular thinking over the past 500 years.
  • Why I'm Right about Tom Cruise - Checking in with the author who's lately been bothering a lot of Scientologists.
  • Fighting the Stigma of Fistula - Incontinence as a result of childbirth - fistula - strikes many Sudanese women, and the prevailing view that it is a "disease from God" leads to their community ostracizing them. Some husbands, however, are now standing by their wives and seeking medical treatment.
  • The Jesus Potato - Makes the best potato salad ever.

Skepchick Quickies, 1.28

My first post at Memoirs of a Skepchick is live.

Skepchicks

For quite a while now, I've been reading Skepchick.org, which is a great blog about skeptic and rational thought with a feminist slant. Now, you're going to read more about it, because I am one of the brand new Skepchicks contributing to the blog, and I'm pretty excited it about it. Along with other new contributor Amanda, I'll be posting daily link round-ups, weekly best-of posts from the Skepchick blog, and perhaps the occasional full-fledged essay if the mood strikes me. They have built up a community of smart, talented, supportive contributors and commenters (mostly women, but Skepdudes are more than welcome, too), so feel free to join in. Because the topics overlap with items I post here, I'll probably be cross-posting my Skepchick posts to DeliberatePixel in the beginning, if not permanently.