Darwin Day – Update

12 February, 2021

It’s now too late to announce that the annual Melbourne Darwin Day picnic has been cancelled due to the Victorian government’s decision to impose a five-day lock-down to counter a small but worrying spike in Covid-19 infections.

Bummer. It’s a high point in our social calendar, and many of us were looking forward to it and planning to attend.

So obviously, all that remains is:

(a) to CONGRATULATE the Victorian government in following the Science. Darwin would have been proud.

(b) to do a bit of value-adding to our virtual Darwin Day.

Here’s a presentation about Charles Darwin by Tina Hanigan at Skepticon 2019.

Here is an hour’s worth of interviews recorded by Adam Ford of attendees at a recent Darwin Day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IPNeEp_13k


Darwin Day – February 12

31 January, 2021

Skeptics and other “free-thinkers” around the world are inclined to mark two special days in each year.

One, of course is December 25th. (That’s Isaac Newton’s birthday). The other is the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, in Shrewsbury England on February 12th 1809.

Quite a lot of useful, informative and entertaining stuff about Charles Darwin already exists on this site. Rather than add to it, this year we’ll just provide the links.

Charles Darwin Articles

“About Charles Darwin”

https://vicskeptics.wordpress.com/2007/11/27/about-charles-darwin/

Darwin – A Great Scientist by Rosslyn Ives https://vicskeptics.wordpress.com/events/darwin-a-great-scientist/

For Schools: – The Darwin Day Suite of Classroom Exercises

https://vicskeptics.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/for-schools-darwin-day-february-12-2/

 

Charles Darwin Crossword:

https://vicskeptics.wordpress.com/puzzles/february-2014-skeptical-crossword/


Puzzles for February 2021

31 January, 2021

February’s Skeptical Crossword Puzzle returns to a favourite theme of Foretelling the Future.  A new set of Picture Puzzles, a set of “Mixed Bag” Questions, and a set of Maths & Logic Puzzles accompany at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE, or if you’d like to go straight to the crossword,  go here:

128 Feb 2021 Foretelling the future

Enjoy!


Puzzles for January 2021

31 December, 2020

We start the new year as we left the old one: with a set of Picture Puzzles, a set of “Mixed Bag” Questions, a Skeptical Crossword Puzzle and a set of Maths & Logic Puzzles.

They’re all blog-style at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE, or if you’d like to go straight to the crossword, which is about 2020 in Review (how could it not be?) go here:

127 Jan 2021 2020 in review.

Enjoy!


Puzzles for December 2020

30 November, 2020

Our Crossword Puzzle is called Famous Skeptics (3).

126 December 2020 Famous Skeptics (3)

It’s a belated follow-up to our earlier Famous Skeptics Crosswords published  in December 2014:

December 2014 SKEPTICAL CROSSWORD PUZZLE

and in July 2016:

July 2016 Skeptical Crossword

Of the twenty-three people featured in this month’s crossword, all but one are different to the twenty-six skeptics of the 2016 crossword. That common link, fittingly, is James Randi.

There’s also a new batch of Picture Puzzles, Mixed Bag Questions (Trivia/General Knowledge), and a Logic & Maths Problems set with worked solutions.

All on the PUZZLES PAGE.

Enjoy!


Puzzles for November 2020

1 November, 2020

November’s puzzles include our 100th Logic & Maths Set.

The Skeptical Crossword Puzzle this month has Job Titles and Descriptions as its theme.

The usual seven picture puzzles and twenty trivia / general knowledge type “mixed bag” questions accompany. Go to the top of the PUZZLES PAGE.

Enjoy!


The Science Talent Search 2020

15 October, 2020

Thanks to the  Science Teachers Association of Victoria’s Janice Teng and her team of volunteers, the Victorian Science Talent Search has continued its unbroken run of sixty-nine years. The question was never “Can STS continue, given the unprecedented restrictions imposed by the Corona virus?” but “How should STS run in 2020 to best effect?”

Each year, a theme is set for the thousand or so entries that are submitted for judging. This year, the theme was Deep Blue – Innovations for the future of our Oceans.

Vic Skeptics and Australian Skeptics Inc. have jointly supported STS for many years, and are consistently among its major sponsors.

This year we were delighted to provide cash bursaries to sixty-six participants. Read the rest of this entry »


Science / Maths/ Logic Puzzles for Students

14 October, 2020

Here’s an announcement – or a reminder – about the motivational student worksheets available in .pdf from this site. They take the form of crosswords, word searches and cryptograms and are pitched variously at age groups from primary to senior secondary.

Topics include General Science, Astronomy, Biology (including Evolution and Human Reproduction), Botany, Chemistry, Health, and Physics.

This material, which was designed for classroom use has been in unexpectedly high demand for home schooling and enrichment during 2020. There’s a lot of great stuff available on the www; we hope you find our contribution useful.

Go here: https://vicskeptics.wordpress.com/useful-info/puzzles-worksheets-for-science/


Skepticon 2020

14 October, 2020

Skepticon 2020 is Nearly Here

The annual Australian Skeptics Convention takes place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October.

Gold Coast Skeptics and Queensland Skeptics have teamed to produce the first On-line Australian Skeptics convention, with an exciting array of presenters.

For more information and bookings (all welcome!), go to: https://www.skepticon.org.au/


Puzzles for October 2020

30 September, 2020

For October we’ve added the usual picture puzzles, mixed bag questions, Skeptical Crossword and Logic & Maths set to the top of the PUZZLES PAGE.

Our “Special” puzzle sets for those in quarantine or lock-down have proven to be popular, so we’ve added some more. Just continue scrolling down past the October Puzzles to the heading ADDITIONAL PUZZLES & DIVERSIONS – SEPTEMBER PUZZLES.

Enjoy


Puzzles for September 2020

31 August, 2020

The PUZZLES PAGE  has September’s Picture Puzzles, Mixed Bag Questions and Logic & Maths Puzzles, as well as a  Skeptical Crossword Puzzle with the theme of General Skeptical Issues.

There are more “Special” puzzle sets as well, particularly for those who are self-isolating or experiencing some degree of lock-down or quarantine.  Just scroll down; and enjoy.


Puzzles for August 2020

31 July, 2020


Go to our PUZZLES PAGE, for this month’s Picture Puzzles, Mixed Bag Questions and Logic & Maths Puzzles. The Skeptical Crossword Puzzle is (unsurprisingly) about Conspiracy Theories, and (also unsurprisingly) is quite large and time-consuming.

We’re continuing to provide new sets of “special puzzles” of various kinds to cope with whatever regime of home isolation prevails in your area. (Here in Victoria Australia, it’s pretty full-on.)

The latest lot of Special Puzzle .pdfs comes just after the August Puzzles, and if you continue to scroll down past the July puzzles, the sets posted in May, June and July are still available.

Enjoy, and stay safe.


Puzzles for July 2020

30 June, 2020


The crossword puzzle this month has been compiled by a  Skeptic casting a somewhat bemused eye over events of the last few months. You’ll find it HERE and also near the top of the PUZZLES PAGE, along with July’s Picture Puzzles, Mixed Bag Questions and Logic & Maths Puzzles.

In May, we started an additional collection of sets of “special puzzles” of various kinds to help those of you who are stuck at home to pass the time. You’ll find that growing collection of .pdfs on the Puzzles Page if you scroll down past the July puzzles. Enjoy, and stay safe.

 


Skeptics Café via Zoom – Update

14 June, 2020

Vic Skeptics Cafés monthly public meetings will now be on-line, for the foreseeable future.

Join us every third Monday of each month.

Next: Citizen Science with Brendan O’Brien

Monday 15th June 8:15 pm chat, 8:30 pm (1030 UTC) presentation

Details on the EVENTS page


Puzzles for June 2020

31 May, 2020

New Puzzles for June are on the PUZZLES PAGE.

Last month we gave you a link to puzzles and diversions of various kinds (not specifically Skeptic-related).

Here are some more:

May 2020 Special Number 1 (Where’the Ball)

May 2020 Special Number 2

May 2020 Special Number 3

May 2020 Special Number 4 Read the rest of this entry »