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April 2024 Newsletter


It’s April Fool’s Day!


What is the slickest trick you have ever pulled on anyone? I’ll bet it doesn’t match what the BBC did to their listeners on April 1, 1957. At that time, the BBC had a program called Panorama. On April Fool’s Day, BBC produced a segment for Panorama, in a very serious tone, about “the annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland.” Most people thought it was a hilarious hoax but a few people actually called in to the BBC and asked how to plant their own spaghetti trees. Can you beat that?


The link to the YouTube video of the actual broadcast is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8scpGwbvxvI.

 

The WeCanReason Webinar Series will be on hiatus for a couple of months because the WeCanReason Conference is coming up on May the Fourth. There is a stunning list of speakers ranging from the Friendly Atheist to the Sweary Historian. We will be telling you a lot more about it in the May Newsletter. For now, take a look at the speaker’s list. For more information, go to https://wecanreason.com/. Get your tickets now.




 

Lois’s Pick


My pick for April is the Skeptoid podcast (https://skeptoid.com/) with Brian Dunning. A couple of months ago, the movie we watched at Movie Night was The UFO Movie THEY Don’t Want You to See so it only seems appropriate to learn more about the hoaxes and myths that Brian Dunning has debunked. Brian has been producing the podcast since 2006 and has won many awards such as “Best Education,” “Best Science,” and “Fact Behind the Fiction.” Not only does Brian debunk myths, but he also gives information about how to detect fake news and misinformation, such as his podcast on “How to Spot Fake News.” Check out Skeptoid, you will probably enjoy it.


Note: Some events might not appear on this list because they are not yet confirmed. Check the Meetup page to find any new events that might be planned during the month.

 

Tuesday, April 2





Skeptics in the Pub

First Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm

Skeptics in the Pub provides a great opportunity to have a drink and a snack or a meal while enjoying a casual conversation with a friend or a stranger who is about to become a friend. Then, at some point, there is a brief presentation about a topic for discussion. The topic this month is the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Whether or not you are familiar with the name, you have probably met someone who is bloviating about some subject that they know absolutely nothing about. The Dunning-Kruger effect is the name of the condition in which the less someone knows about a subject, the more certain they are about their knowledge of the subject. This will certainly lead to interesting discussions.

 

The event is free to the attendees but RMA has to pay room rent and there is a minimum order. So, consider having dinner along with your socializing. You might even want to make a small donation. You can find us in the private Barrell room at the Trolley 5 Brewpub, 728 17th Ave. SW.

Thursday, April 4


Life Without Religion

First Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm

Life Without Religion (LWR) is a peer support group. In meetings, we discuss personal problems that were caused by our immersion into religion in the past. For example, recently, I was listening to a podcast in which two therapists were talking about what adolescents experience when going through puberty. My first reaction was, “I never had those experiences.” Then I realized that my life was so restricted by religion, that everything else got suppressed. I’m sure that it is not like that for many adolescents. But what I’m asking is, “What did you miss growing up because you were immersed in a fundamentalist religion?” Also, how did missing that affect the rest of your life? Are there things we need to go back and repair? Are some of those things still affecting us? If you have left a fundamentalist religion and can relate to this and similar experiences you might be interested in LWR. If so, contact Lois at loislwr@gmail.com.

Monday, April 8


RMA Coffee Chat

Second Monday of every month at 1:00 pm

Coffee Chat is the place where everyone can get their “two cents worth” in and even choose the topic of discussion. If something is “bugging” you, bring it up and see if anyone has a unique way to deal with your issue. It’s a great place to share ideas and questions. Another great thing is that you don’t even have to get ready and go anywhere. Just turn on the computer and click on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85253387062 and you will be there. Come and join in on a relaxed chat with friends.

Tuesday, April 9


Music Jam Night

As announced at 7:00 pm

“Music soothes the savage beast.” Well, The Heathens’ music might not meet that standard but it sure can relieve the stress of everyday life. So come to Bottlescrew Bills and join in. If you play an instrument, bring it with you and add to the music. If not, just come and enjoy the jamming.

Bottlescrew Bills is located at 140 10 Ave SW. For more details, go to the Meetup page.

Thursday, April 11


RMA Book Club – ONLINE

Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm

When you are reading a book and forming an opinion, do you sometimes wonder what other people think while reading the same book? Come to Book Club and find out. Everyone has a chance to describe their reaction to the book of the month. This month, the Book Club is reading Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow. Have you ever had an experience in which you were sure about an occurrence or situation but you have no idea how or why you know? This book will explain how you know what you know you know. Come and find out what others think. The meeting is online so all you have to do is click on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86386426905 and you will be there.

Saturday, April 13


Blood Donor Clinic

Saturday at 11:00 am as announced

RMA always tries to give back to the Calgary community. One of the ways we do that is by giving blood. We have a Blood Donor Clinic roughly every four months. Blood donors meet at the Eau Claire Market where the Canadian Blood Services is located. After donating blood, everyone has lunch together at the Garage Sports Bar in the Eau Claire Market. There are several requirements for donating blood so be sure to check them out by going to the Meetup page.

Tuesday, April 16


Life Without Religion

Third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm

In describing Life Without Religion, we have concentrated on people who have left a high-control or fundamentalist religion. However, there are people whose lives have been severely impacted by religion without ever having been immersed in a fundamentalist religion. Some people have relatives or neighbors who are devout fundamentalists, who constantly “preach” at them. Some people have parents, siblings, or adult children who become “born again” and shun them or cut ties completely. This type of experience can create so much stress in their life that finding a group of people who understand them and can help them cope with the problems. These people are welcome to join us at our LWR meetings. If you find yourself in this type of position and are not yet a member of LWR but are interested in joining, contact Lois at loislwr@gmail.com.

Monday, April 22


Movie Night - Online

Fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm

The movie for April is the documentary, Oppenheimer: The Real Story. We wanted to show the Oscar winning Movie, but it is three hours long. Not an option for Movie Night. Nevertheless, I’m sure you will enjoy the documentary because it is very authentic. Join us by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87343801526.

Wednesday, April 26



RMA Monthly Board Meeting

Fourth Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm

Everyone is welcome to attend RMA Board Meetings and contribute ideas and suggestions. However, only board members vote on motions. The board will be meeting, and having a scrumptious dinner (if you so choose) in a private room at the 4th Spot Kitchen and Bar at 2620 4th St. NW. Please feel welcome to join us.

 

Calgary Secular Assembly Events

To find the location or Zoom link, go to the Meetup page.

Sunday, April 14

Who Am I? Part II – Identity in Action

Evergreen Spaces at 1:00 pm

Sunday, April 28

Philosophy in 20 (Online) – Free Will

Online at 11:00 am



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