Events


From examiner.com:

If you aren’t familiar with Westboro Baptist Church, they are a hate group known for targeting their hatred towards gays and lesbians. They are led by Fred Phelps, from Topeka, Kansas and according to the site’s picket schedule; they plan to picket several spots in Tampa in the next few weeks.

On Westboro Baptist Church’s radar is the Bon Jovi concert that will take place on April 17, 2010 at the St. Pete Times Forum. The hate group announced that they will picket from 6:45-7:30 p.m.

On April 18, 2010, Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Without Walls International Church, on 2511 N. Grady Avenue between 8:15 and 9:00 a.m. That will be early Sunday morning and according to the group; they are picketing because Pastor Paula White, who leads the church, is a female.

Later that day, Westboro Baptist Church will head to Gainesville, Florida to picket the Trinity United Methodist Church, the University of Florida Hillel congregation, the Queen of Peace Catholic Church, and the Saint Augustine Catholic Church. After their day of spreading hate to the various congregations, they will head back to Tampa.

On April 19, 2010 from 6:55 am-7:25 am the Westboro Baptist Church will return to Tampa, Florida and will picket at the H.B. Plant High School. From 7:40 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., the hate group will target Tampa Catholic High School on Rome Ave. The group will move on to the University of South Florida Hillel and picket between 9:15-9:45 am, before ending their Tampa tour at the University of South Florida Catholic Student Center on 50th Street. The group plans to protest at 9:15-9:45.

According to the ‘godhatesfags.com’ website, Westboro Baptist Church will finish up their Tampa protests and set out for protests on April 22, 2010 in Boulder, Colorado.

Counter protest idea:
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David Williamson, participant of Free Inquiry Forum, is starting a new group called Suncoast Skeptics.

Group description from David:

Southwest Florida Critical Thinkers and Skeptics gather to network and to promote science and reason.

Let’s start with a Skeptics in the Pub event in Sarasota and see if we have interest in Bradenton, Venice, or Port Charlotte, too.

If you are interested in helping to get things started, please be in touch and PLEASE spread the word!

The first Skeptics in the Pub will be January 8th at 6 PM. More details are here.

Check out these links for more info:
Meetup Site
Facebook Group

First Friday Freethinkers Group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota meets on Friday, 12/4/09.

Topic: “The Neurobiology of Spirituality”

Are human beings genetically disposed towards spirituality? Can spirituality be inherited, along with the color of your eyes and hair?

The answers to those questions may surprise you. As Unitarians, we search for answers to the larger questions in life anywhere we can find them. And on December 4th, the Freethinkers of UUSC is proud to present one of the leading thinkers on the subject of spirituality and the brain: Sarasota neurologist Dr. Alan Grindal.

Dr. Grindal has spent a lifetime trying to understand why humans seem to have such a need to believe in a power greater than ourselves. He thinks he may have found some answers.

In fact, he has learned that certain drugs [eg.,psilocybin, peyote and LSD] can affect our own level of spirituality. Brain injuries, Alzheimers and even epilepsy can cause a diminished spirituality.

If you are intrigued by these findings you should set aside an hour next Friday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. and come to the Unitarian Church (3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota) to hear Dr. Grindal explore these findings in more detail. The event is free and open to the public.

You can learn more about Dr. Gindal’s findings in this review.

Background on Dr. Grindal

Dr. Grindal graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. and received his M.D. .from the University of Illinois. His neurology training was completed at the Medical College of Virginia where he served as a faculty member.

Dr. Grindal has been in the private practice of neurology in Sarasota Florida since 1978. He has been chosen by his peers to be among The Best Doctors in America and honored with a Fellowship in the America Academy of Neurology. Currently he serves as a neurological consultant to the Memory Disorder Clinic at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida State University.

When: Friday, December 4, 2009
Where: Jefferson Room at Sarasota UU, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34232
Time: 10:00 AM
Membership: Open to all
Questions: Call Tom Dente 921-1598 or e-mail freethinkers@uusarasota.com

HUMANISTS OF SARASOTA BAY AREA (HUSBAY), MONTHLY LECTURE SERIES
HUSBAY lectures this season will be held on the first Monday of each month, October 2009 through April 2010.

MONDAY, 7:00pm, Nov. 2nd, 2009
At The Howard Center, 1400 South Cattlemen, Sarasota. Free, of course!
See the directions below.

SPEAKER: Steven Fiske is in his second year of a PhD program in Cognitive Psychology at USF. He is currently conducting research in visual perception and attention, although his interests span a variety of other fields including evolutionary biology and philosophy. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2008 with a BA in Psychology and Philosophy.

TOPIC: Freethinks on campus! Steven Fiske, Vice-President of the USF Freethinkers, the local chapter of the Secular Student Alliance, describes the organizations and status of freethinkers, humanists, and secular students on campus.

DIRECTIONS:
Our meetings this year are at The Howard Center, 1400 South Cattlemen, Sarasota, Florida 34236. The Howard Center is on the west side of Cattlemen Road, about two blocks south of Bahia Vista, and about eight blocks north of Bee Ridge Road. If you are coming from Tamiami Trail, take Bee Ridge Road east for about three miles, then turn north (left) onto Cattlemen Road, and go about a mile to The Howard Center. If you are coming from I75, take the Bee Ride Road west exit, go one or two blocks, then turn north (right) onto Cattlemen Road, and go about a mile to The Howard Center.

The Howard Center is a one-story white building with lots of parking in front and behind the building.
Map

Questions? Call Meigs Glidewell 941-927-5665.

Think+Drink at South Florida Museum: Have Humans “Beaten” Evolution?

Have our culture, technology and knowledge of genomics taken us out of the evolutionary loop? Do the rules still apply to us? Join Jeff Rodgers, Director of Education at the South Florida Museum for a look at modern human evolution and the idea that, to a large extent, humans now direct their own fate.

When:
Wednesday, October, 21st, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where:
South Florida Museum
201 10th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205
(Map)

Contact:
941-746-4131

Event Website

Think + Drink Science Cafe Schedule

From Meigs Glidewell:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2000 – 7:00 PM
HUMANISTS OF SARASOTA BAY AREA, MONTHLY LECTURE SERIES
At The Howard Center Community room
1400 South Cattlemen, Sarasota.
See the directions below.

Our speaker this evening will be Alan B.Grindal, M.D. neurologist, expert witness.
Dr. Grindal regularly teaches courses and lectures about consciousness, the aging brain, and other issues in neurology and brain science. He spoke to our group two years ago, and members found him one of the best presenters of the year.

Dr. Grindal graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. and received his M.D. .from the University of Illinois. His neurology training was completed at the Medical College of Virginia where he later served as a faculty member. Dr.Grindal has been in private practice specializing in neurology in Sarasota Florida since 1978. He has been chosen by his peers to be among The Best Doctors in America and currently serves as a neurological consultant to the Memory Disorder Clinic at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida State University.
Dr. Grindal’s topic this evening:
Conflict! An age-old problem
Self-oriented and motivated behavior is often at odds with the requirements of social communities. Dr. Grindal will speak to us about the neurobiological basis of this evolutionary conflict.

DIRECTIONS:
Our lecture series meetings this year are at The Howard Center, 1400 South Cattlemen, Sarasota, Florida 34236. The Howard Center is on the west side of Cattlemen Road, about two blocks south of Bahia Vista, and about eight blocks north of Bee Ridge Road. If you are coming from Tamiami Trail, take Bee Ridge Road east for about three miles, then turn north (left) onto Cattlemen Road, and go about a mile to The Howard Center. If you are coming from I-75, take Bee Ridge Road west exit, go one or two blocks, then turn north (right) onto Cattlemen Road, and go about a mile to The Howard Center.

The Howard Center is a one-story white building with lots of parking in front and behind the building.

Questions? Call Meigs Glidewell 941-927-5665.

From Tampa Bay Online:

It’s time to start thinking.

Tampa’s Center for Inquiry joined supporters worldwide today for International Blasphemy Day.

Organizers say the day is not to offend the religious.

It’s to call attention to the threats against free expression posed by blasphemy laws, said Rick O’Keefe, executive director of Center for Inquiry Tampa Bay.

“We’re not interested in offending anyone,” O’Keefe said. “We are interested in saying open up your eyes; you will be happily surprised with the results.”

The center will host a “tasteful” discussion on the meaning of blasphemy and the playing of the board game, “‘Playing Gods,” in which gods fight for world domination.

Also in honor of Blasphemy Day students at the University of South Tampa hosted “Read a Banned Book!” in front of the campus bookstore which featured banned books throughout American history.

The event ran in conjunction with “Banned Books Week” that ends Saturday.

Books on display included “Brave New World, “Lord of The Flies” and “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The event was to raise awareness for freedom of speech and promote the student’s group, said event organizer Molly Martin, president of Freethinkers@USF.

“The information should still be out there,” Martin said. “Whether you like the book or not, it should be anyone’s right to read these books.”

In addition to the events in Tampa, the Center for Inquiry scheduled events in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Montréal, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., Tucson, Austin, Grand Rapids, and Amherst, N.Y.

Tonight’s blasphemy discussion and board game begins at 6 p.m. at the Center for Inquiry of Tampa, 5201 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 124. Admission is $5 for non-members, pizza will be served. Space is limited, to RSVP call (813) 849-7571.

The 4th annual Freethought Day at Disney is scheduled for Saturday Oct 17th 2009 at the Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando. This is a great opportunity to have fun with other Freethinkers around the state. Meet up schedule for the day will be posted at: http://freethoughtdayatdisney.org/ People participating are encouraged to wear the official t-shirt or an alternate lime green t-shirt so that other freethinkers inside the park can recognize you. T-shirts can be bought through the official website above.

Science Cafe “Hey, It’s Just a Theory” Evolution 101

The theory of evolution is the basis for our understanding of biology, and has been the focus of social debate for over a century. Join Jeff Rodgers, Director of Education at the South Florida Museum for an overview of what the theory has to say about life on Earth, and a discussion about the current state of the debate.

When:
September 16, 2009
Wednesday 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where:
South Florida Museum
201 10th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205

Contact:
941-746-4131

Event Website

Think + Drink (science) Schedule

Summary of this event

From the Friday Freethinkers at Sarasota UU:

Two Sarasotans who are outspoken on the need for health care reform with discuss their views in a special panel on health care reform Friday, August 28, at 10 a.m. in the Jefferson Room of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota – 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. (Map)

Florida State Rep. Keith Fitzgerald whose District 69 encompasses most of Sarasota; Dr. Lisa Merritt, a physician with Genesis Health Services, a not-for-profit healthcare provider in Sarasota, will discuss the implications of health care reform for low-income and working individuals.

The panel discussion is being sponsored by the First Friday Freethinkers and will be moderated by UUCS’s Dick Happy.

Keith Fitzgerald, who sits on the state Health and Family Services Policy Council, has made family services a priority of his tenure in the House of Representatives and has become one of the area’s most dynamic speakers on behalf of social justice.
For more information on Fitzgerald please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Fitzgerald_%28politician%29

Dr. Merritt is a board-certified psychiatrist and a special in the area of pain management. She received her degrees from Georgetown and Howard universities and practiced medicine in both California and Texas before moving to Florida. For more than 20 years she has incorporated contemporary medicine approaches in her practice of medicine. She has authored numerous articles on medicine and has lectured nationally and internationally on rehabilitation and multicultural health issues.
For more information on Dr. Merritt’s background go to http://www.merrittmd.com

Questions about the Freethinkers or the panel on health care reform can be emailed to freethinkers@uusarasota.com

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