Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TAM 2012 - Saturday

Sorry for the delay getting this post out. I was on vacation quite busy. Now the most recent blog entry won't feature a half naked woman and a half naked man as it's first two pictures. ANYWAYS, On with the TAM 2012 review!

EVERYONE was dead tired Saturday morning. I managed to foget to take a picutre of the first speaker, Benjamin Radford, give a talk on Doomsday and the 2012 Mayan Prophecy. He covered some of the other ends of the world predictions and explained where the Mayan calendar scare came from.

Sara E. Mayhew, a manga illustrator, gave a cute presentation using some of her art she taught us how to draw famous skeptics and how her skepticism connects with her art.

Next was a  panel on Skepticism and the Humanities staring artists Amy Davis Roth, and Hai-Ting Chinn, along with academics  Miranda Celeste Hale, Eve Siebert, and Robert Blaskiewicz. There were some rather humorous exchanges between the two groups.
I hope Miranda isn't too upset that I posted this picture, but it's the best picture I have to show just how tired everyone was Saturday morning.

The "I didn't expect that" award goes to Jamy Ian Smith's "Overlapping Magisteria".  I thought this talk was going to somehow tie into Stephen Jay Gould's "Non-Overlapping Magisteria", NOMA, viewpoint. For those of you who don't know NOMA basically says that religion and science are completely separate domains and that one does not instruct the other. 

I was wrong. 

His talk was about skepticism and atheism. It was an extremely well done and passionate talk. I was sucked into his talked. I think he and Carol Tavris were the two most charismatic speakers at this TAM. I'll probably write more on this talk later. For now, here is his talk with the tweets that were happening as he spoke.


Steve Novella spoke about perception.  He said that what we know and remember are often wrong. Our memories and our observation are, by their very nature, false in some way. Our brainconstantly fills in gaps.  

Next up Pamela Gay gave a powerful and moving talk about making the world a better place - change the world. You can find the transcript of her talk here: 
http://www.starstryder.com/2012/07/15/make-the-world-better/.  I encourage each of you to watch the video below. It's a Google+ hangout ad, but it's really good.

Sean Caroll talked about morality as it relates to life the universe and everything. Not sure how he avoid to providing the answer: 42.

Elisabeth Cornwell talked about social networks and a bit about cyber bullying.

Lawrence Krauss talked a bit about nothing, literally. Nothing is unstable, stuff pops in an out of existence in nothing. He also explained the Higgs Boson, the significance of it, and why some physics  including himself, are not happy with what the Higgs Boson says about the universe.
The last "talk" was an interview with Penn and Teller. Interesting interview. I hope they put it online.

Teller answered some questions.
Penn laughed, a lot.
During Q&A Lawrence Krauss shows up again.

Also, poker happened, didn't do well.

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