Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekly Updates 10/28/11

Hello, Secular Students!

Hope midterms are going well! We know you're busy, but there's a lot of great stuff coming up. And so, here's your fifth week update for the Secular Alliance!

Meeting Reminder
So far this year, we've had a fascinating speaker, some wonderful, intelligent discussions of what it means to be an "[insert label here]" and what that means, and a great workshop on rationality, and how we all tend to fail at it. But sometimes, you just need to relax and hang out, especially after (or during) midterm weeks. So, next meeting will be very informal: we'll hang out, watch fully YouTube videos about science, skepticism, atheism, and whatever else we find amusing, and just have a good time. We hope you'll join us! Same time (6 pm on Tuesday evening), same place (the Uncommon Room in Rockefeller Chapel, which is in the basement).

If you have a particularly good YouTube video you think we all ought to see, relating to the topics above, feel free to email it to us at

  • Sagan Day: On November 12th, at Northwestern's downtown campus, the Secular Alliance, along with the Women Thinking Free Foundation, the Northwestern University Secular Student Alliance, and the DePaul Alliance for Freethought, are hosting a panel and social event to celebrate Sagan Day. For those who don't know - shame on you, for one thing -  Carl Sagan was an astronomer, a skeptic, a science promoter, and a UChicago alumnus. In particular, he is known for the Cosmos television series. He would have turned 77 years old on November 9th, so this event is a celebration of his life and legacy. Oh, and did we mention it's FREE? For more information, and to RSVP, check out the Facebook event.
  • Skepticon: Skepticon IV, the largest Midwest skeptical conference, will take place November 18th-20th in Springfield, Missouri. At least three members of the exec board are planning to attend, and we'd love to take a group down. If you're interested, let us know at a meeting, or via email at
  • IV Debate: We are still in process of arranging a debate with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on campus. The two general topics we're considering are "Are humans special?" and "Is there a value to discovering "truth" without a higher power?" We will keep you updated as the details get worked out. If you would be interested in debating, send us an email at
  • Blogging: We are still looking for students to blog for us! Are you interested in sharing an article or a video blog on our website? We'd love to have guest bloggers, as well. If you have an article written, you can email it to Or, if you're just interested, but aren't sure what to write or talk about, email us about that too, and we'll help you get started.
    Also, if you run a personal blog about topics related to secularism, let us know, and we may feature it on the website as well.
Links You Should Follow
  • If you missed our rationality workshop last week, check out Chana's blog post at Strange Matter. The activities we did are available online there, and the explanations will be following soon. I highly encourage you to take the quiz: they are really short, and the answers are fascinating.
  • This Monday is Halloween, a day devoted to the supernatural and paranormal. While I'm sure you all know creatures like werewolves, vampires, zombies, witches, and their ilk are all fantasy, the origin stories of those myths can be fascinating. A few of the most popular, and interesting, are discussed here.
  • Bug Girl, from Skepchick, discusses the trend of "sexy" women's Halloween costumes, here. Pink Ray Gun has the alternate rebuke to the trend, letting the guys in on it, here.

That’s all for this installment. In conclusion, this week’s quote is from Bertrand Russell:
"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite."
Hope to see you on Tuesday!

~The UChicago Secular Student Alliance~
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