Skepticon 11 – Save the Date!

Hello St. Louis! What Are You Doing on August 9-11, 2019?

Skepticon is pleased to announce that we have found our new home!

Yes, after many months of searching and negotiating, we found this place:

Isn’t it gorgeous?

This is the Red Lion St. Louis City Center Hotel. A few facts to whet your appetite:

  • Originally constructed in 1929 as the Edison Brothers warehouse.
  • Converted to a hotel with 288 rooms in 2001.
  • Conference center is the 13th floor, and we’re taking over the whole thing!
  • Across the street (literally) is the transportation hub for St. Louis, with the MetroRail ($4 from airport), MetroBus, Amtrak, Greyhound, and Downtown Trolley ($2 all day).
  • Oh, and the view’s nice, too.

We have a place, now we just have to fill it with the very best in Skeptical / Sciencey / Humanisty / Social Justicey / Nerdy / Dino education and fun. And we need one more thing:

YOU!

(and maybe some donations would be nice)

So, mark down August 9-11, 2019 on your calendar apps, paper calendars, or clay tablets, and get ready to party with us in St. Louis! Click this link here to reserve your swanky hotel room today!

Stay tuned for more announcements….

Help Our Legal Defense Fund, Get Dino Swag

Well, Skepticon fanaroos, here we are, two years into our legal fight with Richard Carrier, and we’re still standing strong for what we believe. But it’s costing us dearly to keep going. Even though we are pooling our resources with the other defendants, our corporate credit card overfloweth, and we will need thousands more $$$ to keep going. (We’d much rather be raising funds for our next conference, so we can see you all, but count on that for next year. We miss all of you amazing people so much!)

So, we’re throwing a fundraiser! (Yay!) And you can choose an amazing and dino-filled, hand-made thank-you gift for your donation. That’s right, each of the fabulous creations on this page were made one at a time by a human Skepticon organizer (okay, except the postcards). The dinos wanted to help, but things came up, and life happened. The usual.

Our penny-pinching ways mean that we were able to keep the material costs for all items to less than 10% of the donation amount on the buttons. So be assured that nearly all of your money will be put directly to work in defending Skepticon and Lauren. We also renew our commitment to use no funds collected for the conference to pay the legal bills. Any leftovers in the legal fund will go to the conference fund, though. Shipping costs to the US are included. If you need international shipping, send us an email and we’ll work it out.

Finally, don’t forget that as a 501(c)(3) organization, funds collected by Skepticon can’t be used for the legal fees for the other defendants. Please also consider donating to the main defense fund.

Select From These Fabulous Thank-You Gifts!

No Thank You, Swag

If you’d just like to send us money and not get anything in return, other than the warm feelings of doing something good in the world, and our heartfelt gratitude, this is the option for you. Picture us doing a happy dance in your honor.

Thank You Postcard

A postcard from our team to you, thanking you for your very welcome donation.

Ask a Dino

A paragraph of no less than 100 words on any topic, from the Skepticon Dino of your choice, posted publicly to our Facebook page. They’ll do their best, but remember that they’re just dinos trying to make a living in this uncertain world of the far future. Some of their knowledge is 65 million years out of date.

Framed Quotes

Quotes on paper, with decorated letters, in 5×7″ wooden frames.

Framed Quote: “You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right.”

Framed Quote: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it.”

Framed Quote: “Words actually matter. They’re significant, they can transform and open up our imagination.”

Framed Quote: “Above all don’t fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.”

Framed Quote: “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a dinosaur. Then always be a dinosaur.”

“”

Custom Framed Quote – Got a favorite quote of a reasonable length? For some extra moolah we’ll make one just for you. (We do reserve the right to reject a quote because of what it says, but never because of who you are.)

Pillows

Approximately 16″ x 16″, with polyester fill.

Rockets and planets design.

Dinosaur silhouette design.

Cartoon dinosaur design.

Dinoramas

Tabletop scenes featuring miniature dinosaurs.

Disco dinorama, featuring colorful disco lighting! Boogie on down to Skeptiprom town. Dinorama is approximately 12″ wide 8″ tall, and 7″ deep. Lighting is powered by 3 AA batteries.

Volcano dinorama, featuring glowing lava! (Note: glowing lava is simulated and will not actually melt your face.) Dinorama is approximately 12″ wide 12″ tall, and 12″ deep. Lava is powered by button batteries.

Space dinorama, featuring helmeted dinos in microgravity! Dinorama is approximately 14″ wide 9″ tall, and 8″ deep. Stars are powered by button batteries.

Protest dinorama, featuring resistant dinos taking to the streets! Dinorama is approximately 12″ wide 6″ tall, and 12″ deep.

Robots

All robots are one-of-a-kind sculptures featuring miniature dinos at the controls. They do not move by themselves, but most of them are lighted. If we sell out of robots, we’ll make more and add them here.

We’ll take down the image as soon as we can when a robot is purchased, but it is possible that someone will buy your robot just before you. If that happens, we’ll give you the choice of a refund, another bot, or having us make one as similar to the bot you chose as we can.

Light of Reason Bot

This solid bot is here to help with your toughest reasoning chores. It is lit inside to show you the dinos hard at work.

Doot-Dooer Bot

Inspired by the muppets singing backup to Mahna Mahna (youtube).

Skeptiprom Bot

This graceful dancer is here to help you get your groove on. Bot’s lower half is lit to show the fancy footwork.

Not Tom Servo Bot

They may be related, but this is for sure not the star of MST3K. Tom can talk, but can he light up his globe?

Bottommost Turtle Bot

As we all know, the world is held on the back of a turtle, and from there it’s turtles all the way down. Here is the one at the very bottom, and it’s controlled by dinos, in a well-lit workplace.

Observatory Bot

What, doesn’t everyone have a hovercraft observatory run by dinosaurs? Well, now you don’t have to be the only one missing out. This bot features red light illumination to protect your delicate night vision.

Wise Old Owl Bot

Hard working dinos are here to provide the wisdom of the ages to you from the mouth of this bot. Or such wisdom as was available 65 million years ago. Maybe just “Look out for asteroids!” (This bot is not lighted.)

Safety Dance Bot

Dinos are dancing fools, sure, but with this beauty they’re sure to impress on the dance floor.

Where is Skepticon 11?

HELLO SKEPTICON FRIENDS!

O. M. G. have we missed you! What have you been up to? Did you do cool things? I certainly hope so.

We’re writing to you today from our hibernation caves to give you a little update on Skepticon 11. As we mentioned at the end of our last conference, we’re moving! While this is certainly exciting (are you ready St. Louis?!) — it’s taking some time. We’re not going to be able to host an event in 2018 so look for updates towards the end of this year regarding SK11 in 2019!

In the meantime our leadership team is going to take a small break and maybe take up knitting or karate or yoga or something. We certainly won’t be too far (after all, we’ve got some fun surprises coming up this summer! JUST YOU WAIT!), and we hope that you won’t wander to far away, either!

If you’re feeling it — send us a love note via Facebook, Twitter, Email, or carrier pigeon. OH, and donations are always welcome (lol lawsuits while lol fundraising).

We’re also always looking for fresh new faces to our leadership team, and if that could be you then drop us a line! We’d love to talk more.

Love always,

Skepticon

What to do with the kids?

Hey skeptical parents and guardians!

We really wish we could provide childcare for you. Every year, we try to get someone(s) to volunteer to do it, and every year it doesn’t happen.

BUT! We have left open possibilities. The Kalahari and Mojave rooms have been set aside for the kidlings.

A suggestion is to team up with other parents to trade off child watching and con attending. Skepticon can’t help coordinate that, but we will do what we can to help you do the coordination. If you need anything, stop by Skepticon Registration and we’ll see what we can do for you.

Skepticon will leave some crayons, coloring books, and paper (and whatever else we had in storage but haven’t dug out yet…) for entertainment.

We also have use of the in-room video and sound. If someone has a laptop or portable DVD player, we can work to get it set up to stream something online or pop in a disc. Again, check with Skepticon Registration for help!

We know childcare is important to our attendees, and we hope that someday we will be able to provide it. In the meantime, hopefully the community can band together so everyone can have a chance to enjoy Skepticon!

Love,
Team Skepticon

Skepticon Community Resources!

Hello again, Skepti-Town!

As we have had in prior years, we have a few resources available to attendees:

Food Pantry — Hungry but broke? Swing by our food pantry for a snack or a meal. Donations are very welcome! For every item you bring, you get a raffle ticket! (limit 5 tickets) This is at the tables across from registration.

Prom Clothes Closet — Want/need an outfit for SkeptiProm? Come see what we’ve got! Everything is free! Donations are very welcome here, too. Clean, gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc, of all types and sizes are wanted! Check it out at the tables across from registration.

Community Board — Come leave a message for a friend, say something nice, or draw a pretty picture. Everyone could use a little happiness in their lives! This is also at the tables across from registration.

Quiet Room Need a little time in a quiet setting? Head to the Sonoran room on level B!

Charging Stations — Power strips will be available in the back of the Grand Ballroom. Please bring your own charging cord, and remember to retrieve your devices! There will be no supervision, and neither Skepticon nor the Oasis will be held accountable for lost or stolen items (though we will do our darndest to help you find them!)

We love all of our attendees, and can’t wait to see you all this weekend!

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS — We love donations to our bank account, too!

ACTIVITIES!!!!!

Boy howdy, Skepticon Town! Where has the time gone?! You need activities information, and stat!

FRIDAY
1pm to 5pm — Blood Drive! Community Blood Center of the Ozarks will bring their mobile donation vehicle to drain us of our blood. Please bring your ID, give up a pint, and save a life!

9pm to 1am — Game Night! Join our hosts, Level 3 Games, to play games and socialize with your fellow attendees. For your convenience, a cash bar will be available in the room. It’s always a good time!

SATURDAY
9pm to 1am — SKEPTIPROM RETURNS! Music, dancing, and a photo booth! A cash bar will be available. What to wear? Whatever you want! Formal wear, a costume, your regular clothes… as long as you cover your “naughty” parts, you’re good! Come see what we’ve done with our Robots and Computers theme!

9pm to 1am — Saturday Night Social! For those who want to socialize but don’t want the noise of Prom. Hang out, chat, play games, whatever! 

ALL DAYS
Raffle! Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Each day will have a different selection. Come check out the amazing stuff we have for you this year! 

See you soon!!!!

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS — It’s not too late to donate!

Updates!

HELLO!

We almost forgot to tell you about two new things at Skepticon this year!

The first is that we will be changing our seating around in the Main hall so that the center sections will all have tables so that you may be able to utilize the space better. Now for those of you that prefer the theater seating, we are keeping the wings the same. This should give you more room, and a better verity of seating options. We know that we have a lot of bloggers out there that attend skepticon, and we wanted to give you the ability to take notes if you wanted. With this setup, there will not be charging stations except in the back of the house like it was before.

The second announcement is that we now have a mobile app!

All you have to do is:
1.) Go to http://eventsxd.com/download and Select your Platform!
2.) Search for Skepticon 10

With this you can search by Speakers, Rooms, or Tracks.

Hope you enjoy!

#SK10 Schedule Addition: A PANEL!

Hello Skepticon world!

We’re very super a lot excited to announce a last minute addition to our lineup: a panel!

Introducing: Diversifying Atheist Voices

 

Even after years of work on the problem, the atheist movement is still largely represented by white cishet men. We’ve put together a panel of podcasters whose guest lists are more diverse than the movement as a whole. We’ll talk about how and why they do that and whether it’s difficult in any way.

Say Hello to our Panelists:

Maddy Love


Maddy Love, transwoman living in Minnesota, talks with and about people in the trans, atheism, skepticism, and science communities. Then, since there’s no one to stop her, she talks about anything else she finds interesting or irritating – like podcast hosts writing summaries of themselves in the 3rd person. When not podcasting Maddy may be hosting Atheist Talk on the Minneapolis airwaves 9am, Sunday mornings at AM 950 KTNF. 

Marissa Alexa McCool

Marissa Alexa McCool is an author, podcaster, LGBT activist, and speaker. She graduated the University of Pennsylvania in May 2017 and is the co-founder of the Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative.

 

Chris Watson


Chris is the host of The Podunk Polymath, ‘a podcast dedicated to the sentiments of a secular, sarcastic, screwed up Southern SJW and skeptic.’ He wants to promote more diversity in his chosen medium, because the podcast community doesn’t need more cishet White guys.

WOOHOOO! Many thanks to the amazing Stephanie Zvan who will be hosting this awesome panel on Friday night from 9pm–10pm on the main stage.

See you all soon!

Love,

Skepticon

Sunday Workshops Part 2!

SUNDAY WORKSHOPS!

Check out The Secular Women Workshops Track for Sunday!

 

Sam Farooqui – “Finding Your Way Around Moose”

Ex-Muslim issues can be really complicated for never-Muslims to parse. Frequently, never-Muslims fall prey to overcorrection, saviorism, or just plain silence. This workshop has been designed to educate never-Muslims on the intersections that tend to be involved where ex-Muslims are concerned, and how to work with and for those issues, in order to create substantive change.

Don’t miss out on Sam’s workshop on Sunday at 2:00 PM.

 

Stephanie Zvan – “How to do a Workshop”

Do you want to put on a workshop, but aren’t sure how to design an effective one? Learn how to use the interactive nature of workshops to build confidence while conveying useful information.

Don’t miss out on Stephanie’s workshop on Sunday at 3:00 PM.

 

If you haven’t yet, make sure you have registered for Skepticon10! its going to be Amazeballs!

Sunday Workshops Part 1

Sunday WORKSHOPS!

Check out The Skepticon Workshops Track for Sunday!

 

Eric Wells, Cora Hanf, and Amy Slavin – “How to Create, Build and Maintain a Local Secular Group”

“The Springfield Skeptics was formed from scratch in 2014 and since then has grown into a strong secular community providing a lively discussion forum, a place to vent, and social and community service events.” Hosted by Eric Wells, Cora Hanf, and Amy Slavin, Join their workshop called “How to Create, Build and Maintain a Local Secular Group” where they will discuss “tips and tricks to maintaining excitement, how to provide that sense of community which is often what keeps individuals returning to churches, how to select leadership, how to market and promote the group and much more.”

Don’t miss out on Springfield Skeptics’s workshop on Sunday at 2:00 PM.

 

Galen Broaddus – “How You Can Make Change As a Novice Activist”

Galen Broaddus talks about their role in lobbying and ultimately bringing a federal lawsuit over secular celebrants and Illinois marriage law, the lessons learned as a novice activist, and how other new activists can make their own change.

Don’t miss out on Galen’s workshop on Sunday at 3:00 PM.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you have registered for Skepticon10! its going to be Amazeballs!