Archive for November, 2012

December’s Café Apostate: Taking the ‘holy’ out of the holidays

Posted in Event, Saskatoon on November 27, 2012 by saskskeptic

 

The next Café Apostate is:
Sunday, December 2, 2012
6:00 PM
Mackenzie Cole coffeehouse
815A Gray Ave
Saskatoon, SK S7N 2J4

It’s almost the holidays, but how do you celebrate Jesus’s birthday when you no longer believe in God? Or do you celebrate?

Let’s get together to talk about how we do December — from our own celebrations (or lack thereof) to brainstorming coping strategies of how to deal with religious friends and family during this time of year.

Come on out and bring a friend! If you’ve got any questions, feel free to drop an email. As always, everyone is welcome to come check out Café Apostate, whether or not you’ve got religious baggage.

Skeptics at the CLS

Posted in Event, Saskatoon, science on November 27, 2012 by saskskeptic

Skeptics in the pub for this month has been changed to Skeptics at the CLS.  Please RSVP on the meetup site.  If you have been on the standard CLS public tour this will be different.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
7:30 PM
Canadian Light Source
44 Innovation Boulevard
Saskatoon, SK

The Canadian Light Source is one of Canada’s top science projects and it happens to be in Saskatoon.  It is also currently broken and won’t be fixed for a while.  That makes it a great time to go for a tour.

A friend who works there has offered to give us an extended tour.  She expects the tour to take about 90 minutes.

This is after normal business hours so there are a couple of rules.

  1. RSVP on the meetup site.   We need to know how many people are attending.
  2. Don’t be late.  This is after hours and if you show up late you probably will not get into the building.

Getting There

The CLS is on the North edge of the U of S campus.  The University and Innovation Place have been rerouting the roads around the CLS.  The old address was 101 Perimeter Rd. The new address is 44 Innovation Blvd.  Here is link to a Google Map.  The map has a picture of the new roads, but Google doesn’t seem to know about them yet.

There is also a bus stop right in front of the CLS.

Getting In

The CLS has multiple entrances.  The main entrance is on the north side, and there is a parking lot on that side as well.

What about Beer?

After the tour we will probably try going to a Bar. Louis’ is probably the most convenient.

LEARN MORE

Meet Xenoceratops: Canada’s newest horned dinosaur

Posted in Skeptic on November 9, 2012 by saskskeptic

From the NRC Research Press:

Ottawa, Canada (November 8, 2012) – Scientists have named a new species of horned dinosaur (ceratopsian) from Alberta, Canada.  Xenoceratops foremostensis (Zee-NO-Sare-ah-tops) was identified from fossils originally collected in 1958. Approximately 20 feet long and weighing more than 2 tons, the newly identified plant-eating dinosaur represents the oldest known large-bodied horned dinosaur from Canada. Research describing the new species is published in the October 2012 issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

“Starting 80 million years ago, the large-bodied horned dinosaurs in North America underwent an evolutionary explosion,” said lead author Dr. Michael Ryan, curator of vertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. “Xenoceratops shows us that even the geologically oldest ceratopsids had massive spikes on their head shields and that their cranial ornamentation would only become more elaborate as new species evolved.”

Xenoceratops
 (Xeno + ceratops) means “alien horned-face,” referring to the strange pattern of horns on its head and the scarcity of horned dinosaur fossils from this part of the fossil record.  It also honors the Village of Foremost, located close to where the dinosaur was discovered. Xenoceratops had a parrot-like beak with two long brow horns above its eyes. A large frill protruded from the back of its skull featuring two huge spikes.


“Xenoceratops
 provides new information on the early evolution of ceratopsids, the group of large-bodied horned dinosaurs that includes Triceratops,” said co-author Dr. David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto. “The early fossil record of ceratopsids remains scant, and this discovery highlights just how much more there is to learn about the origin of this diverse group.”

The new dinosaur is described from skull fragments from at least three individuals from the Foremost Formation originally collected by Dr. Wann Langston Jr. in the 1950s, and is currently housed in the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada.  Ryan and Evans stumbled upon the undescribed material more than a decade ago and recognized the bones as a new type of horned dinosaur. Evans later discovered a 50-year-old plaster field jacket at the Canadian Museum of Nature containing more skull bones from the same fossil locality and had them prepared in his lab at the Royal Ontario Museum.
This dinosaur is just the latest in a series of new finds being made by Ryan and Evans as part of their Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project, which is designed to fill in gaps in our knowledge of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs and study their evolution.  This project focuses on the paleontology of some of the oldest dinosaur-bearing rocks in Alberta, which is less intensely studied than that of the famous badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park and Drumheller.
“This discovery of a previously unknown species also drives home the importance of having access to scientific collections,” says co-author Kieran Shepherd, curator of paleobiology for the Canadian Museum of Nature, which holds the specimen. “The collections are an untapped source of new material for study, and offer the potential for many new discoveries.”

Xenoceratops
 was identified by a team comprising palaeontologists Dr. Michael J. Ryan, curator of vertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History;  and Dr. David Evans, curator, vertebrate palaeontology of the Department of Natural History at the Royal Ontario Museum; as well as Kieran Shepherd, curator of paleobiology for the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Their findings are published today in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences (CJES).
The paper “A new ceratopsid from the Foremost Formation (middle Campanian) of Alberta” is available Open Access at http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/full/10.1139/e2012-056

December’s Café Apostate: Taking the ‘holy’ out of the holidays

Posted in Event, Saskatoon on November 9, 2012 by saskskeptic

The next Café Apostate is:

Sunday, December 2, 2012
6:00 PM
Mackenzie Cole coffeehouse
815A Gray Ave
Saskatoon, SK S7N 2J4

Carl Sagan Day

Posted in Event, Saskatoon, science on November 6, 2012 by saskskeptic

The University of Saskatchewan Freethinkers is having a Carl Sagan Day event.

  • Saturday, November 17, 2012

    1:00 PM To 4:00 PM

  • 906 Central Avenue, Saskatoon, SK (map)

    Big conference room in Venice house.

  • We will be showing select episodes from the classic series COSMOS, hosted by the man Himself CARL SAGAN!

    This will be done to commemorate a great man, atheist, skeptic and scientist on inspiring an entire generation of people to love science.

    Thank you, and see you there!!!

 

Baba Brinkman: The Rap Guide to Evolution

Posted in Event, Saskatoon, science on November 5, 2012 by saskskeptic

The College of Arts & Science and the Department of Biology present:

 

Baba Brinkman: The Rap Guide to Evolution

Time: Tuesday, November 6 at 3:30 p.m.

Location: Neatby-Timlin Theatre, Arts 241

Everyone is welcome.

http://artsandscience.usask.ca/biology/news/event.php?newsid=3160

CFI Saskatoon Pub Nite – Rant, Rave and Stir Up Controversy cont’d …

Posted in Event, Saskatoon on November 5, 2012 by saskskeptic

The next CFI Saskatoon/Saskatoon Freethinkers pub night is:

Monday, November 5, 2012
7:00 PM
Lydia’s Pub
650 Broadway Ave
Saskatoon, SK