Last Chance for Pint of Science Tickets

Originally posted on 2 May 2017

Pint of Science is a three-day series of science talks around Manchester. I’ve seen and spoken at them in the past and they’ve always been excellent. Several of them are already sold out and the Wednesday talks clash with our next speaker event, but if you want to attend the others then visit their website.

QED Tickets On-Sale

Originally posted on 1 May 2017

Tickets have just gone on sale for QED 2017.

QED is the two-day skeptical conference run by Greater Manchester and Merseyside’s respective Skeptics Societies, and regularly sees hundreds of attendees gather to watch fascinating talks, have engaging discussions, and drink enough alcohol to reliably surprise the hotel bar management.

You can get your ticket from the QED website. The aim of QED isn’t to make money, so tickets are just £109 (or £75 for students and the under-18s). That said, if you’re local and can’t spare the ticket price, the Friday’s entertainments will be entirely free (save for the bar tariffs, of course).

Venue Changes

Originally posted on 1 May 2017

We have some venue changes on the go at the moment. (more…)

April Speaker Cancellation

Originally posted on 15 April 2017

Unfortunately, due to both venue and speaker availability, we haven’t been able to put together a speaker event this month. We didn’t think it was fair to throw together a last-minute event at an unfamiliar venue and promote it at short notice, so our next speaker event will be on Wednesday 17 May, at the King’s Arms — we have Jenny Cole talking about whether gossip is as bad conventional wisdom would have us believe.

Our social will be going ahead though, expect an announcement on that front soon.

QED 2017 Announced

Originally posted on 6 April 2017

There will doubtless be a fuller announcement once more details are released, but I’ve just posted our listing for QED 2017. It’s happening.

Long-standing members will be familiar with QED as it’s been held Manchester every year since 2011 (although in that time it has drifted from February to October, like Ramadan but with significantly more beer). It’s a joint venture between GMSS and Merseyside Skeptics Society, and prices are kept as low as possible with any inadvertent profit being reinvested or donated to charity.

By tradition, the day or two before QED are filled with free mixers and satellite events but there’s no word yet on what is happening this year. Watch this space, or perhaps better still, this one.

Video of Clare Allely’s TEDx Talk

Originally posted on 21 January 2017

Clare Allely, who gave our November talk on the psychology of serial killings has given a TEDx talk on the same theme, so if you missed it, or you saw it and want a refresher, you can watch the video here:

David Icke in Manchester Review: There is No Spoon!

Originally posted on 16 January 2017

When the lizard conspiracy let its guard down and allowed David Icke to come and give a talk in Manchester, GMSS member and soapbox speaker Claire went along with a notebook. And sandwiches, because he does tend to go on a bit…

Chrsitmas Quiz: the Answers

Originally posted on 21 December 2016

Here are the answers to this year’s Christmas quiz.

Round 1

  1. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. Thrones
  3. Battlestar Galactica (2003)
  4. Star Trek: Deep Space 9
  5. Star Wars (Episode 4: A New Hope)

Round 2

  1. Luke Skywalker
  2. Cercei Lannister
  3. Rick Deckard
  4. Dave Lister
  5. Jean-Luc Picard
  6. Sarah Connor

Round 3

  1. Christian Doppler
  2. Jupiter
  3. Insulin or glucagon
  4. Ag
  5. 8 minutes
  6. 60,000

Round 4

  1. Simon Singh
  2. Richard Wiseman
  3. David Aaronovitch
  4. James Randi
  5. Penn Jillette
  6. Susan Blackmore

Round 5

  1. “Every carbon atom in every living thing on the planet was produced in the heart of a dying star.” – Brian Cox
  2. “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” – Carl Sagan
  3. “An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.” – Charles Darwin
  4. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” – Albert Einstein
  5. “We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can’t disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster” – Richard Dawkins

In Case You Missed It: the Christmas Quiz

Originally posted on 17 December 2016

For our December social, Andy wrote us a quiz. If you weren’t there, here is the quiz. I’ll post again with the answers in a few days.

For round one, identify the sci-fi/fantasy TV series or movie from its first line:

  1. “The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.”
  2. “What do you expect? They’re savages. One lot steals a goat from another lot, before you know it they’re ripping each other to pieces.”
  3. “Are you alive?”
  4. “Resistance is futile. You will disarm your weapons, and escort us to Sector 001. If you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you”
  5. “Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor. We’ll be destroyed for sure. This is madness”

For round two, solve these anagrams of sci-fi/fantasy characters:

  1. Sulky Wreak Elk
  2. Linear Secret Sin
  3. Red Crack Kid
  4. Devil Tears
  5. Jail Cup Dancer
  6. Arson Anchor

Round three is some more traditional science questions:

  1. What physicist discovered that a wave’s frequency changes when the source and the observer are in motion relative to one another?
  2. Which planet in the solar system has the most moons?
  3. Name one hormone that the pancreas produces.
  4. What is the chemical symbol for silver?
  5. How long does it take for light to travel from the Sun’s surface to the Earth?
  6. Roughly, how many miles of blood vessels are in the average human body?

For round four, name the authors of these books:

  1. Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine
  2. Paranormality: Why We See What Isn’t There
  3. Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History
  4. Flim – Flam!
  5. God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales
  6. Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences

And lastly, repair the following nonsense quotes by replacing the phrase “Christmas pudding” with the original word(s):

  1. “Every carbon atom in every living thing on the planet was produced in the heart of a Christmas pudding.” – Brian Cox
  2. “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through Christmas pudding.” – Carl Sagan
  3. “An American monkey, after getting drunk on Christmas Pudding, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.” – Charles Darwin
  4. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but Christmas pudding.” – Albert Einstein
  5. “We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can’t disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Christmas pudding” – Richard Dawkins

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Originally posted on 23 October 2016

Once again, the Manchester Science Festival is on. Here are some of the events you might want to attend:

Geoff in VR

Check out the full listing for more events that aren’t all in the past already.