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"Best Thing About TAM #12: Richard Wiseman. I don't even remember what he said now. I just remember that he was hilarious, and made us want to run out and buy all of his books."

Glad I'm not the only one! I came home raving about how amazing his talk was. Then someone asked me what it was about. Took me a minute to figure it out. (And yeah, I ran out and got Quirkology. Also ordered Paranormality as soon as I got home.)
He was definitely one of the best parts of TAM.

But George Hrab's musical opening is definitely near the top of my list. Did you catch that? "If you're gonna make eggs then spray some Pam, TAM! TAM! TAM!"

TAM9 was amazing. Now I want to go to every conference I hear about.

Andrew Hall

Just checked out Jamie Kilstein's site. Funny guy who dishes out red meat to our community.


well crap, Greta.
I wanted to know more and now, now I have to reexamine my article o'faith that I would never have to experience les Vegas firsthand--shrine to ersatz culture, and epitomy of ecological disaster--yet site of all the wonderfulness above. (except for fashion; is there room for crunchies? glitz just not in my arena.)
thanks a heap! taking notes for next year.


Best Thing About TAM #13: The joke about triskaidekaphobia

I see what you did there.


welcome back!

I have watched a few Neil Tyson videos over the last couple of days and I am now a total fan boy. Brilliant, funny, and I agree much more direct in his critiques of religion than I thought; I can't wait for the videos from TAM to be uploaded

Justin N

My wife, my best friend and I have a running joke about that fishbowl routine in Zumanity-- that a fishbowl full of scantily clad lady acrobats is "the best sort of fishbowl."

(It comes up in very strange conversational places.)

and the ones that looked like naked people trapped inside the columns.

There's a safeword joke in there somewhere... >.>

Lou Doench

I'm a big fan of Jamie Kilstien. Check out his podcast with his Wife Allison Kilkenny, reporter for the Nation, Citizen Radio. Just be forwarned, they are capitol V Vegans and do their level best to make you feel guilty about eating meat.


Two Questions:

1. Did you run into the Atheist Experience people or did they give a talk?

2. Can a non-celebrity have as much fun, not personally knowing the stars and all?


Oh, this was an insightful, generous, sparkly post. Excellent on many levels.

Mike Hunt

Hv y sdds nthng bttr t d thn pst sll rmrks n wmn's blg. Wld y b pstng n hr f Grt ws mn clld Jrm Crmb ? dn't thnk y wld, y knw. knw wht y lk bt Grt, t's tht y thnk sh's cl bcs sh's nt th nrm ! Nt th Nrm, nw thr's ttl fr n ntrstng blg. Nrm sn't lsbn thgh nd h dsn't hv tht prngrphc mnd nd dg prsnlt s sspct Nrm wldn't ttrct t mn vstrs. Nt t wrr, Nrm, y cld mk p fw rc tls bt thck wlln ndrwr nd prbng hghlnd fngrs, tht cld crtnl gv ' dyks dfnc f blwjbs' rn fr t's mn. r 'Chrstn spnkng prn' t h...ww, thr's n gttng rnd t, Nrm. Nght Grt knws hw t ttrct th rght vstrs. Wht bt ...Nrm sw tw lphnts hvng ntrcrs bhnd th bg tp .....r... lk t wr rd crtchlss pnts ndr m twd pls frs, m nrml ?

Mike Hunt

Wht xctl s th thst nd skptcl mvmnt, Mdm Grt ? Whr s t mvng t ? M sk y nthr qstn. Wh r y s bsssd wth prvrsns nd nght wrds ?

Robert B

I didn't know about Mr. Tyson before. I read some of his essays after seeing this piece, and they're awesome. The language is really powerful. Thanks for the tip!

Mike Hunt

h, stp tryng t b s mtr, Rbrt B ( s t B fr Blggr ? ). Jst bcs y gnrd m cmmnt dsn't mn tht Grt s gng t thnk n mr bt y. Rll, sh wn't ! Grt ( TH SPCL N ) lks wht sh lks nd hr dscpls lk wht sh lks nd f th dn't th r FF th ' D ' lst ! Cmprhnd !? Plnt wth brgns ckd b shvn hdd lsbns, wnd trbns ( nt tsd hr hs ) N plcs f wrshp xcpt Grt th grt's Blg. h, Rb, Rb, Rb, 'd lk t cll y Bb ! f tht's k ?

Mike Hunt

h, n mr thng, Grt. Wh d th cntrbtrs t yr blg xprss thmslvs n sch n rtfcl p thr wn bttys w ? t sms tht th r ncpbl f spkng smpl nglsh. #Stylsd fr Grt's sk# s hw n mght dscrb t. Wh wld n d tht t pls wmn wh s rll mn ?


Ditto, Greta. Can't wait for TAM 10. And next year I'm bringing the kids.

Chris H

Thanks a lot, Greta. I was finally working myself up to the point where I could almost believe all the mantras I was repeating to console myself about not making it to TAM....

"Hmph. It's not so great. I bet they're all having a lousy, boring time...."

I guess I'll just have to go back to being bitter and sullen.

Mike Hunt

Th Gd dlsn s fbls bk, sn't t , Grt. Dck hs ctll prvd thr's n Gd s y dn't hv t wrr bt t whn y trn p yr ts n tn yrs r s. Th lghts wll jst g t nd tht wll b tht. Yr w f lvng s jst s vld s n thr w nd wh ds n n nd mn fr pr-crtn ths dys ? nd n w, y wll hv th thghts f ll ths rll cl pstrs n yr blg s y r rlld thrgh th crtns t th snd f ' dd t m w' sng b th 'mltnt dyks r s' bnd.


Wow, of all the posts to bring out a troll ... uh, anyway, back to ignoring it.

I'm glad you had a great time! On the down side, TAM is far away from me, but on the up side the Melbourne Atheist Convention is extremely convenient. (Just twenty-six minutes by train from my place to the CBD.)

I didn't have time to stand in line and tell Richard Dawkins how amazing The Greatest Show On Earth was last time, but I'm determined to do so next year. I may vehemently disagree with him on Elavatorgate, but that doesn't make his writing about atheism and evolution less amazing. (I did get to tell P.Z. Myers how great his crocoduck tie was, though. Which is an inconsequential thing to choose to comment on, but I was kind of tongue-tied in his magnificent presence. And it is a really great tie.)

I agree that it's wonderful that we can treat the leaders of the atheist and sceptic movement like fallible human beings who can be wrong about things. I actually had a Catholic acquaintance crow to me about the whole Elevatorgate affair proved that our leaders were just as sexist and backwards as those in her church. Leaving aside whether this is something you want to be smug about ... well, so what? We've never claimed that our spokespeople are anything other than ordinary human beings. Richard Dawkins is not the atheist Pope and nobody thinks he's divinely inspired, which is more than most churches can say about their leaders.

Mike Hunt

Srsl, y gys, wh r y tryng t pls b pstng cmmnts n ths wb st ? s t Grt ? Wh bthr, y cld b dng mlln thr thngs thr thn wstng yr tm bldng p ' Grt th Grt n's' g. Y r ll jst s gd s Grt. knw m. cn wrt jst s gd s hr nd thgh 'm hmptt ld fshnd htr, d sm ntrstng thngs nd ctll lk tng mt. Bh ! Bh ! S m dvc wld b, f y stp pstng n hr, Grt wll stp thnkng f prtnts rbbsh t dscss nd thn sh mght ctll gt sm f hr scrt hsbnd's lndr dn. h, ht m.

Greta Christina

Mike Hunt has been banned from this blog for persistent trolling. Thanks to everyone else for not feeding him. It's much appreciated.

(And I'm with you, AnneS. Of all the posts to troll, why on earth would someone pick the "What I did on my summer vacation" one?)


(And I'm with you, AnneS. Of all the posts to troll, why on earth would someone pick the "What I did on my summer vacation" one?)

It's bewildering. I can at least grasp the impulse behind trolling, say, a post about why there is no god. But a post about how funny Jamie Kilstein is and hot lesbian acrobatics in fishbowls?

Maybe he just really hates hearing about atheists having fun?


Hello again Greta

On July 19, on another post, I had invited you to a little online friendly debate regarding God's existence. I had challenged you to refute the following article:

...but I haven't noticed an answer. Did you post a response to my challenge somewhere? A reply one way or the other would be much appreciated.



Mike Hunt

Wht ds 'gttng yr brn' stffd, ntl. Grt ? Hw d y d tht. Ds ngrd yr 'bsnss' prtnr scp t th lbs nd fll p yr mpt skll wth sd wtr ? Tht cld b whl lt f fzz fn, wld y stll b cnscs thgh ? '' thnk y wld ... bt gss y wldn't gr wth tht bcs PZ Myrs sys tht t's nt pssbl. Hw dd y mng t lgh yr ss ff, b th w? s t fxd n wth cpl f ls scrws !!!! ? Y nd t gt ngrd dwn thr wth pzz-drv t srt t t, Grt. h, th Kttn Htl. Wld b crrct n thnkng tht lts f nght thngs hppn ndr tht htlr's rf ? nd n n t s t hppnng s wll. Wht nt lf y hv.

James B

Hey Greta, thanks for another great post. I've been reading a lot of other blogs on yet another TAM I can't afford to go to. Glad you had a great time. Can you think about expanding on this Best Thing About TAM #9: The panel discussion on placebos. point in a future post? Please.

Or list who was on the panel so I can research that topic more. I'm guessing I'm not as familiar with current thinking on placebos as I thought.





Mike Trollhard appears to have access to multiple IP addresses. Sad face :*C

Greta Christina
On July 19, on another post, I had invited you to a little online friendly debate regarding God's existence. I had challenged you to refute the following article:

...but I haven't noticed an answer. Did you post a response to my challenge somewhere? A reply one way or the other would be much appreciated.



Thank you for your invitation, Rick. But I get a great many invitations to debate, and I am not able to reply to all of them. I have many demands on my time, with about ten hours of work to do for every spare hour that I have, and I simply don't have time to debate with everyone who wants to debate with me. Thank you.


i snuck into "number 11" favourite tam thing ! YAY now it's one of my fave pics too :D

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