SK8 Video Released: Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson

Hello Skepticontown!

We’re excited to announce that another video from Skepticon 8 is ready for your viewing pleasure, here is Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson “Free white persons of good character”:

We just have one word to say: SCHOLARIFIC! See you soon with another video!

Love,

Skepticon

P.S.-Show us some Skepticon love and help us make next year a reality by donating today!

Shop with Amazon Smile and Help Skepticon!

Hey Skepticoners!

We have an easy peasy way for you to help Skepticon. When you shop with AmazonSmile, a portion of your eligible purchase is donated to us! You don’t need a special account, just use the login you usually use. Even better, your purchase price is the same whether you use Smile or not — the full donation comes from Amazon itself.

It’s simple to sign up. We really wanted to give you step-by-step instructions, but everyone we know is already signed up, so we can’t see what it looks like as a new enrollment :/ So go to smile.amazon.com, log in, and follow the instructions!

We acknowledge that Amazon is controversial. We support those who make the decision to not shop through Amazon, whatever their reason. However, if you shop there already, this is an easy way to help us out! Skepticon needs every dollar it can get, and that small percentage from AmazonSmile adds up!

Our dinos thank you from the bottom of their giant hearts <3

 

Call for Skepticon organization help

Hey, Skepticoners!

Have you ever been at Skepticon and thought, “Wow, organizing this conference must be so much fun!” Well, you would be right! But it is also a lot of work. Skepticon has grown A LOT since it’s humble, student beginnings. As we have said many a time, Skepticon is run completely on volunteer power. While our team is really awesome, it would mean so much to have a little more help.

So! We are looking for people to apply to help us with the behind-the-scenes organization. You don’t need to live in Springfield — only a few of us do! Organizers are spread literally from coast to coast, so don’t let geography stop you from jumping on board.

We will have applications available at the registration table for the entire weekend. If you’re not able to make it to Skepticon this year (sad face), but still want to apply, email [email protected] and we’ll get one out to you. This is not a super intensive application, so don’t worry that we’re putting you through Harvard-level scrutiny. Mostly just to see who you are and if you would be a good fit for our team.

We do have some requirements:

  • Dedication: We won’t work you to the bone, but we need to be able to rely on you
  • Able to work with in a team: Skepticon is a group effort
  • Able to take direction: We love new ideas, but we also have some things just completely dialed in
  • Email/Facebook access: Since we are so spread out, we communicate mostly through email and Facebook Messenger
  • Amazingness: Since all fans of Skepticon are amazing, you’ve got this one in the bag!

Here are some things that aren’t requirements, but would be nice to have:

  • Experience: Not necessarily with conference organizing, but in something that might help us (and you would be surprised at what would be helpful!)
  • Creativity: We’re always looking for new ideas!
  • Access to Google Hangouts: This is how we conduct our meetings, and we would love to have you join us!

We will be reviewing the applications over the winter (after we take our break from all things Skepticon), and will start contacting applicants beginning in the spring. Please note that this means applicants will not be involved in speaker selection, as this happens earlier in the year. However, we always welcome speaker suggestions, from anyone, anytime, at [email protected]

We know you love us. We hope that you love us enough join our amazing team!

Love,
Skepticon

 

P.S. Want to help Skepticon, but don’t want to be an organizer? Donate if you can! Every dollar helps!

Skepticon 8 Extracurricular Activities

Hey there, Skepticondlers!

On top of the amazing lectures and workshops we’ve got planned for you this weekend, we have a few other activities you can partake in!

Art Contest
Cost: $20 per canvas
When: Sales are all day Friday and Saturday morning; judging begins after the lunch break on Saturday
Where: Pay for and pick up your canvas at the merchandise booth
What: Make some art for us! For a mere $20 donation, we’ll give you an 8″ x 10″ canvas, acrylic paint, and some admittedly cheap plastic paintbrushes — feel free to bring your own good ones. You’re allowed to add anything you want to your canvas — pictures to make a collage, jewels and feathers to make it 3-D, or if you REALLY want to make Lauren happy, bring on the glitter! The only rules are the art must include one of this year’s themes: Skepticon, dinosaurs, the 80’s, and/or skate-related items. When you’re done, return it to us, and let the rest of the attendees vote for their favorite piece of work! All entries will win a prize, and everyone gets to keep their artwork. We can’t wait to see what you create!

Raffle
Cost: $1 per raffle ticket, 6 tickets for $5
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Where: Across from registration/merchandise
What: Our storage is getting full, and we need to liquidate! Buy tickets, put your name and phone number on them, and drop them in the box for the item you want. We will be choosing the winners during the breaks between the afternoon and evening lectures, and the selection will change every day. Come check out our great selection of miscellaneous stuff fabulous treasure — you never know what you’ll find!

Skeptic Pantry & Food Drive
Cost: Nothing, if you raid your cupboard!
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Where: Across from registration/merchandise
What: Tis the season to feed the hungry! Bring in your non-perishable and unexpired food items, and for every item you bring in, you will receive a free raffle ticket (limit 5 tickets)! Some of our attendees cannot afford meals while at Skepticon, so we will be offering the food to those attendees who need it. Food remaining at the end of Skepticon will be donated to the local food bank.

And of course there’s…

SkeptiProm!
Cost: Free!
When: Saturday 9 pm to 1 am
Where: Paradise Ballroom (formerly the workshop rooms)
What: Our new annual dance-a-palooza will knock your socks off! Dress up, dress down, dance or don’t, it’s all good at SkeptiProm! Our DJ will be playing all the hits to help you get your groove on, there will be a cash bar available for your drinking pleasure, and we’ll be selling glow sticks and other fun things to help get you all prommed up! Don’t forget to stop by the photo booth for that sweet dance photo!

We here at Skepticon want you to have the best weekend ever!!!!!

 

P.S. The Skepticon dinosaurs are always hungry, but every penny they eat goes back into the conference. That’s right, Skepticon runs on dino poop money. Donate if you can!

Who wants a room update?!?

Whoa, Skepticonville, have we got a deal for you! We have one Executive King Suite room open, and if you’re already staying at the Ramada Inn & Suites, we want you to have it! The Executive King Suite is beautifully decorated and offers a king bed, living area, two 55” SMART TV’s, IPOD Docking Station, Keurig Coffee Maker, Refrigerator, stocked mini-bar, Mirror with LCD TV (omg, it’s IN THE MIRROR) and a jetted tub.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You MUST already have a reservation at the Ramada Oasis — this is a room upgrade only!
  • You are still responsible for the cost of the room, which is the same as your original room
  • You responsible for incidental charges, such as mini bar items, adult movies, and calls to Japan
  • Your original room will be forfeited upon winning
  • This room has only one king-sized bed

If you want to live like royalty for the weekend, make a new donation this week (November 2 – November 6) of $1 or more, and we’ll enter you into the Upgrade contest! If you win the contest we will have the Ramada change your reservation from the normal room you reserved to the EXECUTIVE SUITE absolutely FREE OF CHARGE. Best part of all, since the Ramada’s doing this for us as a favor, it doesn’t cost Skepticon anything, so all your donations this week can go right back into making the event more awesome for you! That means EVERYONE’S A WINNER even if they don’t get the suite!!!! CLICK HERE and let us UPGRADE YOU!

Where Do the Dollars Go?

Hi Skepticon-town!

We here at Skepticon HQ are forever begging you for money. You get it, we need funds to make Skepticon happen. But do you ever wonder where your money is really going?

Wonder no more.

We have a brand new Financials page on our website! We have included reports for both our fiscal year and a report that shows our income and expenses for the calendar year. We have also included copies of our Federal income tax filings.

What is a fiscal year? A fiscal year is a tax year that ends on a date other than December 31. Our fiscal year end is June 30. This means our tax returns are filed based on our income received July 1 through June 30.

What do the reports show? The Statement of Activity shows the income received and expenses incurred by Skepticon for the time period shown at the top of each column. The Statement of Financial Position shows how much money is in our bank accounts, as of the last day of the last month at the top of each column.

Why do these reports start on July 1, 2012? Our official date of incorporation was July 3, 2012, so July 1 seemed like the perfect starting point of our new accounting record keeping. This is your money, we figured you might like to see all the numbers, not just the current ones.

Why did you include a calendar year report? Skepticon’s fundraising cycle is closer to a calendar year than our fiscal year. Technically, each fundraising cycle is from the end of one Skepticon to the end of the next, but since our conference dates change each year, that’s an impractical way of reporting. So, we’ll use a calendar year for the fundraising cycle reporting.

What is a 990-N (e-Postcard)? This is the version of the tax return we file with the IRS. As a non-profit organization that normally earns less than $50,000 in gross revenue (that is, income before any expenses are taken out), we are not required to file a full tax return. A full tax return is required when we receive more than $50,000 in 3 out of 5 consecutive years — this is our dream and goal! Yes, we do actually want to file a big honkin’ tax return, because it means Skepticon has become an even bigger success!

Why did you provide all these reports and stuff? This is your money we’re spending. You deserve to know where it goes.

I have questions about the reports! Email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to answer questions!

 

We appreciate all you do to help us keep this conference going. If you donate to us, THANK YOU! You rock! If you pass on our calls for donations through your blog, social media or word of mouth, THANK YOU! You also rock! If you don’t do either but still love Skepticon, THANK YOU! We make this conference happen for you, our audience, and we appreciate every single one of you!

 

Love,
Skepticon

 

P.S. Help us keep Skepticon awesome. Please donate here if you can!

But Skepticon, I don’t know HOW to dance!

Do you feel like throwing your head whenever dancing is mentioned? Do you wish for the smooth moves of Jareth and Sarah, but end up flopping more like the Fireys? Never fear, Skepticoners! We’ve got you covered.

Friday night, after the last talk ends, join us in the Maui room for a dance tutorial! We’ll show you basics for both fast and slow dances. Depending on time and interest, we can teach East Coast swing, hustle, and cha cha for fast dances, and foxxy (the wedding dance) and rumba for slow dances. If we really have time, we’ll throw in a line dance or two!

Come with a partner or come alone. For those that are solo and comfortable with strangers, we’ll have you partner up with other solo dancers, and we’ll rotate around. These dances can also be done solo (we do it all the time in our kitchen!)

We have been taking ballroom dance lessons weekly for 3 years — we’re a long way from Dancing With the Stars, but we’ve got the basics down pat. We won’t have time to give you the smooth moves of the Goblin King, but maybe we can at least help you trade in one of your left feet!

 

As always, Skepticon needs your donations! We are mere DAYS away from the only skeptical conference with a prom. Donate here to keep that dance magic going!

Whatchya gonna wear to SkeptiProm?

Ah, SkeptiProm. It’s going to be the night of our dreams! We’ll eat, drink, and be merry! We might even remember it the next morning!

So what to wear to this fabulous shindig? So many options, so few SkeptiProms… Here are some ideas, but remember, there are no rules! (Well, there are few (see below), but they’re reasonable!)

  • Formal wear — Many of you out there in Skeptiville missed your high school prom, or had a truly awful one, or weren’t the fabulous person you are today. You want a redo. I have heard from several of you that cocktail dresses, ball gowns, and tuxedos will be making appearances at Prom!
  • Costumes — Another popular choice among those polled. With Halloween just past, that great costume can get another showing, or maybe you have an amazing cosplay outfit that you’re dying to strut. We want to see what you’ve got!
  • Something nice — Business casual, cocktail attire, evening out with someone special… You know the look, rock it if ya got it.
  • Casual — You know what? We want everyone to come to SkeptiProm, and if you don’t have a special outfit, that is totally okay with us! We love you just the way you are.

So, yes, there are some rules (boo), but that’s just life.

  • Cosplay is not consent! Please keep your hands to yourself, ask before taking pictures, and be respectful.
  • Please no costumes that are realistically gory or will make someone think they need to call 911. This is a special request by the hotel management — they don’t want their staff freaked out (understandably.)
  • Masks are welcome, but Skepticon reserves the right to ask you to remove it, either temporarily or permanently.
  • All the pertinent parts should be covered. We think you’re beautiful/handsome/amazing, but we don’t want you to get arrested for indecent exposure.
  • HAVE FUN!

SkeptiProm will be Saturday night 10 pm-1 am. All are welcome! There is a suggested $10 donation at the door to help cover costs. If you will be drinking, remember to bring your ID to get a wristband. Bring your camera for the photo booth. Bring your moves, if you got ’em. We can’t wait to see you, no matter what you wear!

 

 

Skepticon is in just over 2 weeks, and we haven’t raised all our funds yet!! Please go here to donate!

More fun and games at SKEPTICON!

So, y’all know about SkeptiProm, right? Yep, thatsa gonna be some goooood times. But we here at Skepticon want you to have even MORE FUN. We insist. So we’re having a dino painting contest! See the little pic over there —-> ? Those are the naked dinos. Your job is to make ’em fancy. Here’s how it will work:

Cost: $20 per dino.

What you get: A little (3″) ceramic dino, acrylic paint, paint brushes, palette.

What you don’t get: Anything else you want to put on your dino to jazz it up. Luckily, there’s a handy-dandy Walmart right down the street from the hotel. We’re sure they have enough glitter, feathers, sequins, and such to make your dino really pop!

Where: We’ll have a table in the vendor area.

When: Sales will be Friday morning, hopefully starting about 8-8:30. It will be first come, first served, so get there early, because we only have 12!

When (part 2): Return your dino Saturday morning so it can be judged (nicely; no trash talking the dinos!)

THIS IS THE PART FOR THE NON-ARTISTS: We will have a fancy voting system set up so you can vote for your favorite dino! We promise no hanging chads or ballot stuffing. Swing by the voting table in the vendor’s area on Saturday, and cast your vote!

Winners will be announced at SkeptiProm (and again on Sunday morning, for those who don’t go to or can’t remember SkeptiProm.)

All dino painters will win a little something, and the winning dino painter(s) will win a little bigger something. Prizes are still being sought out, but a little pterosaur told us they might include Skepticon merchandise, Surly-Ramics, and/or gift certificates. (The pterosaur also told us to tell you that if you have a little something you would like to donate as a prize, email [email protected]!)

We at Skepticon are soooo excited to have this dino painting contest! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


 

This activity involves minimal cost, and will actually pay for itself. However, we aren’t so lucky with the rest of the Skepticon events. We are a smidge over 2 months from the opening day, and yet we’re not even at half of our fundraising goal. If we want speakers and a venue, we need more funds. Please click here to donate if you can!

 

 

(Picture source: Oriental Trading)