A Year in Review

I must say that this has been a most remarkable year for me.  Beginning in January 2008 I had recieved some windfalls from back taxes I had filed and was in the process of making plans to attend TAM 6, when I recieved the news that I was going to be laid off from my job.  Like many people in the call centre industry it was cheaper to move my work overseas.  I was bummed to be sure but in the end this turned into one of the best years of my life.

In my first of 5 months of unemployment I took the time to meet with the Society of Edmonton Atheists (SEA), a small but growing group of non-believers who were looking for others with which to socialize and hang out with.  A few pub nights and meetings and I got to know them very well and consider many of them among my closest friends.   We even got together for regular blood drives to promote a rational means to help others.

By August of 2008 another group formed which I became closely involved in, The Edmonton Skeptics (formerly the Edmonton Skeptical Society).  This group which had a bit of overlap with SEA brought new local people together for rational thinking and of course Drinking Skeptically.  In a matter of months the rational community in Edmonton exploded.  We were also introduced to our own local skeptical radio show Q Transmissions, now known as Skeptically Speaking.

Both of these groups have been working hard to promote critical thinking and awareness of key issues in the Edmonton area, and it has been truly exciting to be involved in all of it.  We even have a new podcast that is in production called The Skeptographers (sign up now and submit your own segments).   As a community Edmonton has really come together and it makes me proud.

The best part of this year though has got to be about a dozen of us traveling to Las Vegas for TAM 7 this year which (if you’ll excuse the expression) was amazing.  Of course I got to meet so many awesome people like Randi, Adam Savage, Yau-Man Chan, The Novellas, and Evan, Rebecca and the Skepchicks, Richard Saunders, Matt Dillahunty, Michael Shermer, and of course my skeptical hero Phil Plait and many more.  Beyond that I met with skeptics from across the world, and some who I had been looking forward to meeting for a long time like SurlyAmy, healthyaddict, Maria, Elyse, Carrie, Malidragon, Twylla Bugg and the names go on.  As Tobias from Denmark pointed out to me coming to TAM feels like coming home, and I truly felt that too (right before Tobias assaulted me with Mr. Pinky).  I won’t be missing it again.

This was an amazing year and one I will remember for the rest of my life, and I seriously hope to keep going with these activities for as long as I possibly can.

Now I’ll leave you with a little video we shot at TAM.

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