Some skeptical and science folks who need help

By Phil Plait | August 24, 2010 2:29 pm

If you’re looking to support skepticism and science, a few grassroots efforts could use some attention:

A while back I wrote about James Dunbar’s way cool comic book about cosmology called "Bang!". He’s starting up production on a sequel about the origin of life and evolution, and is looking for some funding so he can keep the book free to those who can use it. "Bang!" really was very well done, so I’m hoping to see this do well, too.

Skeptics, especially atheists, don’t enjoy the best reputation among the public despite the fact that, like most people, the majority of such folks are a good, warm, kind-hearted sort. For years I’ve been saying that the best way to remedy that is to simply do good.

Well, the (Denver) Metro State Atheists are looking to do just that by trading books for food to help feed hungry people who need it. This is a terrific idea, so go there and see what you can do to help.

Young scientist Russell Neches spent two weeks in Kamchatka to study extremophiles. He did this — along with writing about it, tweeting about it, and videoing it — as a condition for being sent to an international workshop on thermophiles.

While he doesn’t need contributions, you can check out his adventures and support him virtually. It’s a lot of fun to hear first hand of the travails of science as told by someone who is doing it for real and for sure for the first time.

Remember a few months ago when I wrote about The Wheel of Stars? It’s a virtual music box that makes a chime when a star passes the meridian.

Well, Robert Jarvis has a similar idea, but it’s a lot bigger. He wants to make a public exhibit called AroundNorth at Armagh Observatory, in Northern Ireland, where music is played based on the movement of the stars around the celestial poll. He has submitted his idea to the PRS Music Foundation for funding, and voting is on right now! If you like his idea, and are eligible to vote, give him a nod. It’s a pretty cool idea, and would make astronomy even more accessible to people.

Thanks for your help on these and other projects. Skepticism is a big mission, but like a lot of other big things, it starts at home.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Science, Skepticism

Comments (7)

  1. Your Name Here

    Just voted! Yay!

  2. Sam

    A public celestial poll? With background music?!! What could the poll possibly be on, and to what subject group?!
    The universe really is stranger than we can imagine.

  3. Cochise

    I voted, that sounds pretty cool!

  4. Trebuchet

    And P.Z. Myers is in the hospital for heart surgery. He could use your prayers.

    Kidding! Just kidding!

  5. Nigel Depledge

    The BA said:

    . . . the celestial poll

    Sorry, I can’t resist a gentle dig …

    So, is this a survey of angels, or what? (First question: if there were room for you to dance on the head of a pin, would you tango, waltz or foxtrot?)

    Never trust ewer spell chequer.

    Alternatively, you need to join the organisation founded by the late Ronnie Barker, for those people who regularly have trouble spraying their worms correctly. ūüėČ

  6. Tim McCormley

    Dear Moderator:

    I meant to leave a comment on another post…please accept my apologies and delete this one.



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