Featured

Watch the Skepticon Video Game Marathon!

Skepticoners!

It’s time for Jason’s 12 hour megaman challenge!

Okay. So. Here’s the deal. I’m playing Megaman for twelve straight hours. The original NES series first, then 7 on SNES, 8 on PSX, 9 and 10 on “Wii”, then the Megaman X on SNES if I manage to get that far. Thing is, Megaman on NES is “nintendo-hard”. Brutal, ridiculous, precise and will take forever to get through. If I’m LUCKY, I’ll make it through three games in that time.

The only hedge I have in my favor is that I’ll be setting up a Game Genie code for unlimited lives — not that that makes the game proper at all easier, it just keeps me from having to grind for lives or use continues / passwords. That will shorten the time to completion but I’m still guessing that three or four is what I’ll manage.

But what would you do if I did more? What if I am, by some staggering feat of NES ingenuity, I manage to clear all six games? What incentive do I have to speedrun and clear these games so quickly?

Would any of you gamble that I’m a better gamer than you think? What if you were willing to pledge a set dollar amount to Skepticon per game I clear? How brave are you? How entertaining would you find the original stream? How enthused are you about Skepticon? Would you pledge… $2 per game? $5? $10? Are you a high roller and would pledge a grand per game??? (Uh, if so, we have other business propositions to maybe offer you to incentivize that kinda capital outlay, so hit us up, yo).

How much is free entertainment and enlightening the world on skeptical topics worth to YOU?

Click here to donate or pledge!

And watch it here!

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Love,

Skepticon

Featured

Lanyards and Lanyrd, Oh My!

Everyone who registered before October 17th is entitled to a nifty badge and lanyard to wear around your neck during Skepticon. But even if you didn’t manage to make that deadline, Skepticon this year is using the website lanyrd.com to keep track of the speakers and schedule.

But what you might not know is, if you use your fancy internet pocket computer (mobile phone) you can get the Lanyrd app and you can have the schedule right in your pocket during Skepticon! You can even tell the Lanyrd app which talks and workshops you definitely will want to attend and it’ll keep a nice list for you. It’s so smart!

So no matter if you’ve got a Fruit Phone or a Robot Phone  or even just a phone with a Web Browser you can now keep track of all the goings ons at Skepticon 7.

Just head right here to download the app for your mobile device.

And don’t forget, Skepticon can’t happen without people like you. So Donate.

Featured

Skepticon 7 Schedule Released

We and our minions have been working hard here at the Skepticon 7 secret moon base to put together this year’s schedule of talks. And guess what! It’s now available!

You can check it out on our schedule page or you can head over to our page on Lanyrd where you can see everything about Skepticon 7 all in one place. It’s like a giant control panel of Skepticoness.

At Lanyrd, you can also get mobile apps (for Fruit Phones or Robot Phones) so you can keep the schedule right on your fancy pocket computer while at the conference.

Oh, and don’t forget, there’s only like 56 days left until Skepticon 7, and we are only at 63% of our goal. Skepticon 7 only happens because of donors like you.

So Donate!

 

Featured

Help Skepticon host our website and get $10 to host your own!

Hi, Bart, your friendly neighborhood web site nerd here.

Here at Skepticon HQ we host our website on Digital Ocean a “Virtual Private Server” service.  It usually costs us about $10 a month to host our very own virtual server in the cloud. But thanks to a promo going on right now with Digital Ocean you can get $10 in Digital Ocean credit to try your hand at hosting your own website in the cloud. Or run a your own cloud minecraft server, or whatever you can think of!  We use one of the larger virtual servers which cost $10, but they have a smaller one that is only $5 month! You could run a server for free for 2 WHOLE MONTHS!

Just use this fancy referral link to get your 10 BUCKS and we here at Skepticon HQ will get $25 in Digital Ocean Credit to help us pay for the Skepticon website. It’s what those in big business call a “WIN-WIN” situation.

 https://www.digitalocean.com/?refcode=8843d28c25cf

 

Website Stuff

Add Skepticon.org to the home screen on your iOS device

I’ve just made some changes to the Skepticon Website, you can now add Skepticon.org to your home screen on all iOS devices.

To do this, just visit skepticon.org on any iOS device. Then click the share button at the bottom of the screen…

IMG_4332Then click the Add to Homescreen button

Tada! Now you have dino goodness right on your screen!

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Featured

An Update re: Greta Christina

As many of you know, Greta Christina – a long-time Skepticon speaker and someone whom many of us on the team consider a much-loved personal friend – has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Yesterday she had major abdominal surgery, which will hopefully have removed all of the problematic tissue and completely resolved her cancer. Her recovery is likely to be long and less-than-pleasant, and at her doctor’s insistence, she won’t be traveling to Skepticon this year.

I spoke with Greta earlier this week about the possibility of having her make a live appearance via Skype, and she responded extremely positively. The tentative plan is to hold an audience-centered interview, deriving all of the questions from your submissions (click here to suggest a question!). We hope it’ll be a chance to keep Greta involved in Skepticon, and to allow all of you to converse with one of the movement’s true diamonds.

Greta’s participation is entirely conditional on a speedy and successful recovery. If she’s not up to it, she’s not up to it! Please take a moment to wish her well, and remind her that her movement is behind her through thick and thin. I’ll be forwarding your messages as they come!

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Fundraising

Win a Skepticon Surly-ramic!

Win a Skepticon Surly-ramic!

That’s right – Skepticon now has its own line of Surly-ramics! And for the rest of September, every single person who donates to Skepticon will have the opportunity to win one.

Some of these surlies show off our logo, and others feature our website’s little dinosaur (yet to be named – what do you all think? I’ve been referring to him as ‘Steggy the Skeptical Stegosaurus’). The five folks who donate the most will get their pick of the very first batch of Skepticon surlies, and the next five top donors will be sent one of the remaining bunch at random. That leaves one more (pictured), which will be raffled off amongst the remaining donors!

TLDR; If you’re one of the top 10 donors this month, you’ll be getting a surly! And if you donate anything at all, you’ll be entered in a raffle for the one posted above!

ALL donations to Skepticon will count toward the Surly prize – including donations made during registration and donations toward travel grants. There are some really worthy folks seeking travel grants, so please read their stories and consider helping them out:

Jason: “Telling people I was atheist was somehow harder even than coming out as gay. Having been kicked out of my home after high school, I now work to support myself and am trying to put myself through school for a Mathematics degree one course at a time.”

Sheri: “I have come out of the closet to my family and, as a result, have experienced a great deal of Christian sermonizing.”

Anne: “A travel grant would allow me to stay involved while I develop my skills and further my education to help further our goals.”

Travel Grants

Travel Grant: Jason

Jason’s Story

I have been a skeptic since a young age, but was reared in a devoutly religious community in the aptly-named Bible Belt. Telling people I was atheist was somehow harder even than coming out as gay. Having been kicked out of my home after high school, I now work to support myself and am trying to put myself through school for a Mathematics degree one course at a time.

Because of my work schedule, I haven’t been able to really spend much time with atheist communities–it feels like they’re worlds away. But I keep trying. And I want to connect to others who, even though they have differing opinions, still apply due scrutiny to beliefs that are unquestioningly considered “truth” by others. Sometimes it feels like I live in some funhouse world where people say and believe nonsensical, contradictory superstitions and force me to pretend to follow their odd sense of logic. So I spend a lot of time on the computer, talking things out with other helpful people around the world, but they still somehow seem so few and far between. Other than that, I have some episodes of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit that I watch regularly, helps keep me sane when everyone around me still thinks I’m some kind of backwards heathen.

It’s difficult to develop relationships with a lot of people when I’m never really free to express my views, opinions, or thoughts with them. It’s like being alone in a crowded room, sometimes. I’d love–LOVE–to have a chance to meet other skeptics and atheists in person and perhaps build some real connections with people. I wanted to go to the Reason Rally for the same reason, but was unable to because what little money I have left over after bills goes straight toward tuition and textbooks.

I’d have to take a hit, monetarily speaking, just to take the few days off to go–those days are all unpaid–much less paying for the expense of the trip. But I’m trying to not let that stop me. I’m trying to scrape together any money I can. I’m holding a garage sale next week, but I don’t have much stuff left to sell. I’m trying to to get there any way I can. :-)

 

Jason is driving more than 800 miles to make it to Skepticon, and he needs $160 for gas. Please help him get here!