Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Brunch with Jon Ronson and "Them"

PLEASE NOTE: This event is being rescheduled. A new date will be announced shortly!

The next Salt City Skeptics Book Club selection is Jon Ronson's Them: Adventures with Extremists and we again have the opportunity of having the author participate in the book discussion (by phone)!

This is your chance to speak directly to Jon Ronson, an imminently insightful and entertaining writer and journalist.

Jon Ronson is a journalist and author whose books incluce Them and The Men Who Stare at Goats (currently being made into a film with Ewan McGregor starring as Ronson). He's also a regular contributor to This American Life and a documentary filmmaker.

Them is a thought-provoking, occasionally scary and often hilarious look at the world of conspiracy theorists and extremists. Jon Ronson repeatedly plunges himself neck-deep in the upside-down world of these extremists. It's a quick, engaging and VERY entertaining read, so go pick it up now!

Our discussion will be a Sunday Brunch event on Sunday, July 12 at 11:00 AM [NOTE: this event has been put on hold, a rescheduled date will be announced shortly] (Ronson lives in the UK, so it'll be mid-evening for him). Location TBD. Anyone know of a decent breakfast place where we can have a private discussion area (or have a house with a good 'net connection you'd like to offer)? If you plan on attending, please RSVP at either the Meetup or Facebook page (links at top right).

Go pick up Them today!

If you want a taste of more Jon Ronson, you can hear stories by and interviews with him below:

This American Life episodes featuring Ronson:
Little Atoms episodes featuring Jon Ronson (EXCELLENT interviews):
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Drinking Skeptically + Mary Roach recap

I've spoken before on the awesomeness of Mary Roach. Last week, she spent an hour on the phone with Salt City Skeptics.

We had fewer people than expected, but those who showed had a great treat. Mary (I figure once you've talked to someone about their views on religion, death orgasms, and how any of those three interact, you've earned first-name-basis status) was hilarious, insightful and very engaging. Though we were ostensibly there to talk about Spook, she fielded questions relating to all of her books, to her approach to writing and research, and all kinds of other topics. I wish I'd had the foresight to record it, because anyone who didn't attend seriously missed out.

(If I can set up similar Q&A sessions in the future, maybe I'll look at recording it for your podcasting pleasure.)

Thanks, Mary, for a great evening!


Next Wednesday, June 10, we're having another Drinking Skeptically night at Piper Down (1492 S. State St). I'll be there at 7:00, so I look forward to seeing you there!