Tag Archives: Cny Skeptics

CNY Skeptics Lecture: 15 January 2014 – “Alternative Medicine: Alternative to What?”

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In a busy evening for the TACNY listserv, David Harding with CNY Skeptics has sent the following announcement for a lecture this coming Wednesday, January 15th.

“Alternative Medicine: Alternative to What?”

Presentation by Mahlon Wagner

Sponsored by CNY Skeptics

Time: Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 7:00 PM

Where: Dewitt Community Library, Friends Room

Event Is Free And Open To The Public – Light Refreshments Will Be Served

Please contact (315) 636-6533, cnyskeptics.org, or email info@cnyskeptics.org for more information.


View Larger Map

Presentation Summary:

2014jan9_mahlon_wagnerAfter receiving a Ph.D in experimental psychology, Mahlon Wagner taught statistics and research design in a University setting. Based upon these two topics it became “natural” for him to look at “alternative” medicine and the claims made for “alternative” treatments in the light of existing experimental evidence. In his talk, Mahlon Wagner will look at the abundance of “alternative” medicine in Central New York and discuss how to detect the “code words” that can suggest if a treatment is “alternative” medicine. He will also discuss some of the main types of alternative medicine (such as chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, reiki, and therapeutic touch) and examine what, if any, evidence exists for their claims to effectively treat medical conditions.

Presenter Biography:

Mahlon Wagner is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at SUNY Oswego. He has been a long-time member of CNY Skeptics, and has given several presentations in Germany and the UK on various skeptical topics. He has written on and lectured about the effectiveness of various forms of “alternative” medicine.

About CNY Skeptics

Central New York Skeptics (CNY Skeptics) is a community organization dedicated to the promotion of science and reason, the investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims, and the improvement of standards for science education and critical-thinking skills.

CNYO Observing Log: ShoppingTown Mall, 19 June 2013

2013june24_solarsession_banner_v2

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

From the CNYO Facebook Group page on 17 June 2013:

Damian and I [Larry S.] have been talking about doing another impromptu observing session. We had some really good turn out for a Solar/Lunar observing session in the Shoppingtown upper parking lot. Wednesday’s forecast is looking promising. Anyone interested in doing another Solar/Lunar session at Shoppingtown at 6pm on Wednesday? I’m choosing Shoppingtown again, because I have a CNY Skeptics in the Pub meeting at Scotch and Sirloin at 7pm. Any one interested in joining us for a drink after is also welcome.


View Larger Map

The approximate location (at center) of the session.

CNYO hosted a half-dozen observers (and a half-dozen or so other stopper-by’s) at its second facebook-organized combined Solar/Lunar Observing Session in the parking lot of ShoppingTown Mall on Wednesday, 19 June 2013, just prior to the bimonthly CNY Skeptics In The Pub meeting at the Scotch & Sirloin.

2013june24_solarsession_1

In attendance were Larry Slosberg with both his NMT 12” Dobsonian (and my custom Baader solar filter) and his Meade SCT 8”, myself with Baader-equipped Zhumell 25×100’s, and John Giroux with his Coronado Solarmax 60 II (which obviated the need for me to bring my Coronado PST, providing a low-magnification Baader view for onlookers instead through the binos). This event also featured the first official use of our CNYO Solar Observing brochure, which we will continue to update and have available at all of our Solar observing sessions (download the PDF for yourself at its CNYO post).

2013june24_solarsession_2

The 11 day old waxing gibbous Moon hung quite pale blue but feature-rich through Larry’s 8” SCT. Outside of discussion with attendees, all attention was placed on the Sun, which was busy with several sunspots and prominences, include Sunspot 1772, which featured a surface prominence easily visible in John’s Solarmax. A gif of the 5 days prior and 5 following days is shown below from NASA SOHO images (the image for the 19th is in yellow).

2013june24_19june_solar_movie

From NASA/SOHO images. Click for a full-sized version.

The Solar/Lunar Sessions are a perfect combination of interesting (and important!) objects and family-friendly observing times, making them one event we plan on committing to a more regular schedule this summer (with new potential locations under discussion). We will keep you posted on this website. Stay tuned!

CNYO Observing Log: ShoppingTown Mall, 17 April 2013

2013april17_banner_v2

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Our most recent solar session was organized by Larry Slosberg via facebook:

“Any up for an impromptu Lunar and solar observing session at Shoppingtown Mall at about 6pm? I’ll be heading to Scotch and Sirloin for a CNY Skeptics in the Pub at 7pm (you’re welcome to join that too) and thought, it’s such a nice clear night. Might be nice to get a couple scopes out and maybe get some people as they are leaving the mall.”


View Larger Map

The approximate location (at center) of the session.

With Larry’s 8″ Meade Schmidt–Cassegrain Telescope (SCT) (and homemade Baader solar filter) and my Coronado PST in tow, we hosted a 90 minute session before the CNY Skeptics meet-up with about one dozen attendees (and a curious ShoppingTown Mall security guard) and our two most prominent celestial neighbors – the Sun and Moon.

2013april17_2

Larry and attendees #1.

Moon

The Moon was a 7-day-old waxing crescent on the 17th and high in the sky at 6:00 p.m. While Larry had his Baader filter at the ready, he ended up spending most of his observing time (due to crowd interest) examining all of the blue-on-grey surface detail that this late afternoon session afforded. A later evening image of the waxing crescent (from two days prior) is shown below from local astrophotographer John Giroux.

2013april17_6_john_giroux

The waxing crescent Moon on 15 April 2013. Photo by John Giroux.

Sun

The Coronado PST filters nearly all of the incoming light from the Sun, making it comfortably observable and making anything else seen through the Coronado (short of a blindingly bright hydrogen lamp) pitch black. So, by necessity, my part of the session was dedicated solely to the Sun as it set in the tree-lined western DeWitt sky.

2013april17_1

Larry and attendees #2.

The Coronado brings out sunspot, surface, and prominence detail using a 1.0 angstrom hydrogen-alpha filter (which is to say, that’s the only wavelength of light that gets through). The views are composed of ever-so-slightly different shades of red, but the detail is obvious with proper focus, magnification, and filter adjustment. The Sun was busy with prominences and highlighted on the surface by Sunspot 1745, shown at lower center in the image below from Ted Adachi’s submission to spaceweather.com that day.

2013april17_7_ted_adachi

The Sun, by Ted Adachi.

Over the course of 90 minutes of observing, I learned two valuable lessons for the Coronado. 1. Reducing some of the incoming light does a bit to help bring out some solar detail. Even covering the objective 50% produced detailed views that helped enhance some of the surface detail (as Larry demonstrates below). 2. The perfect eyepiece for filling the Coronado with a view of the Sun lies somewhere between 7 and 10 mm (a point that will be addressed in an upcoming discussion about NEAF 2013).

2013april17_3

Larry demonstrates the light-block maneuver with a piece of reflective aluminum/bubble wrap.

With short notice, small scopes, and a clear sky, the daytime becomes just as interesting and enjoyable a time for an introductory sidewalk astronomy session as the night does. Young kids and adults alike get to take in a brand new view of our nearest neighbors while being able to see the scopes that make these views possible. And it is much easier to find missing eyepiece caps!

CNY Skeptics Lecture: The Myths and Magic of Hypnosis, This Wednesday (March 20) At The DeWitt Community Library

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In a busy evening of science announcements, David Harding with CNY Skeptics has sent the following announcement along to the TACNY listserve. Details below:

The Myths and Magic of Hypnosis – Presentation by Karen Schwarz

Sponsored by CNY Skeptics

Time: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 7:00 PM

Where: Dewitt Community Library in the Shoppingtown Mall, Dewitt, NY

Event is Free and Open to the Public

Please contact David Harding at 315-636-6533 for more information


View Larger Map

Presentation Summary:

Karen Schwarz will speak about the myths and magic of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. At the close of the evening, attendees will be able to identify the issues for which hypnosis is useful as well as those for which it is not, what makes someone a good – or bad – candidate for hypnosis, learn a bit about the history, understand why hypnosis has a “bad rap”, and more. Come with questions!

2013march15_cnyskeptics

Presenter Bio:

Karen is a practicing psychotherapist with 28 years experience in the private and public sector. She received 210 hours in hypnosis training at the American Hypnosis Training Academy in Maryland, is a National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and has been using hypnosis in her practice, along with traditional therapy, since 2006. She is also a successful recipient of hypnosis, winning a 1987 National Powerlifting Championship.

Central New York Skeptics (CNY Skeptics) is a community organization dedicated to the promotion of science and reason, the investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims, and the improvement of standards for science education and critical-thinking skills.