Thursday, June 13, 2013

Anti-psychic Kitty Speaks: Save Cosmoquest and look up at the stars!

Anti-psychic kitty is the world’s most skeptical animal on Earth, and a Center for Skeptical Inquiry Fellow.  He is jointly cared for by The Babbler, and CSI.  The views expressed in the column are not necessarily those of The Babbler.

For thousands of years, humans and smart cats looked up to the stars in awe.  Humans wondered what they were, and how they fit into the grand scheme of the universe.  Cats had a good idea of how they fit, but were still curious about the stars above.

Fortunately, humans discovered astronomy, and started learning the answers to the deep questions of the universe.  Unfortunately, the US government’s budget sequester threatens science education in the United States.  Many programs will be suspended, including Cosmoquest, which is run by famed skeptic Dr. Pamela Gay.

Cosmoquest not only provides educational materials for science classrooms, and produces the 365 days of Astronomy Podcast, they also run three crowd-sourced projects.  Through Cosmoquest, you can help NASA map Mercury, The Moon, and the asteroid Vesta.  Why leave astronomy to just the astronomers when you can help out too?

To keep Cosmoquest up and running, they will be holding a 32 hour online hang-out-athon on June 15.  Their goal is to raise $200,000. Now I know I should be skeptical, but I really want them to succeed, and to keep teaching us about the wonders of the universe.  Phil Plait will be on to help them out.  Maybe you can help out too?  Skeptics, instead of talking about science at The Amazing Meeting, consider donating your $400 to an actual science education program!

After helping out Cosmoquest, you might want to look at the stars, but don’t want to deal with all the light pollution in the Chicago area.  Women Thinking Inc. can help!  They’re hosting a skeptics under the stars campout from July 26 through July 28 in Delevan, WI.  It is $125 for two nights, or $100 for just Saturday night.  Saturday night will include a tour of Yerkes Observatory, and dinner.  Nicole Gugliucci, the Noisy Astronomer, will cohost the event.  If you ask nicely, she might answer your questions about black holes.

We all like to look up at the stars and wonder.  These two events can help you catch up on what we’ve learned so far.  I can’t go to the campout, but maybe I’ll catch you at the hangout!

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

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