Sunday Morning Breakfast Meetup

If you like to sleep in on Sunday and do not want to get up for our weekly hike but would like some lively conversation later in the morning, come join us for breakfast. Our hiking group always meets for a meal and a pleasant chat after our hike. Farmer Boy’s Restaurant is located on the corner of University Ave. and the 91 Freeway in downtown Riverside. Their prices are reasonable and there is a patio outside where we sit, making for a nice non-noisy location. If it is nice and we are able to sit outside, friendly dogs on leashes are welcome. This meetup time is 9:15 am, which is a close approximation. We might be a early or a few minutes late getting down the mountain, so wait for us if you do not find us there! Look for the IEAA tee shirts if it is your first time to attend.

Weekly Mount Rubidoux Fun Hike!

Join us for a FUN event EVERY Sunday morning! The regular hikers in this event rarely sign up even though they hike every Sunday. There are always more people than the two hosts so don’t be shy in joining us!

Want to have fun and stay healthy too? Join us for some exercise AND enjoy the wonders of nature at the same time! This exercise is fun and the views from the top are absolutely awesome! It takes about a half hour to hike up and a half hour down, maybe 45 minute each way at a slower pace. This is an easy hike, but may be strenuous for anyone who is not in good physical condition. Bring a bottle of water and wear comfortable shoes. If you are a jogger this will be a VERY easy hike, but if you never get any exercise you may want to try walking in your neighborhood for a few weeks before you do this hike.

FOOD: Each week we meet at the base of the mountain, hike up, enjoy the amazing view, talk for a while, solve all the world’s problems, hike back down, and have a light breakfast or early lunch at one of the local restaurants nearby. If you prefer to hike and skip the food that’s fine too.

DIRECTIONS: Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park is located on the western edge of downtown Riverside, just a few minutes off the 91 Freeway. From the 91 Freeway exit at the Mission Inn / University Off Ramp Proceed west on either Mission Inn Boulevard or University to Redwood Drive. Turn left on Redwood to 9th Street Turn right on 9th and go one block to the Park entrance (where 9th street ends)

BRIEF DIRECTIONS: Get on 9th street and go north until it ends!

PLEASE try to arrive a few minutes early because we like to start the hike on time. We meet in front of the 9th street entrance gate. Also, PLEASE RSVP since we will wait a while at the start point IF we know you are coming and you are a little late. Friendly dogs are welcome but remember that dogs must be on a short leash. No toilets in the park.

FREE parking on parts of 9th street and some others, but be careful since some of the streets are residents only parking. PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE PARKING SIGNS SINCE THERE ARE LOTS OF RESTRICTIONS ON PARKING IN THE AREA.  MUCH OF THE PARKING IS RESERVED FOR RESIDENTS WITH PERMITS! TICKETS ARE LIBERALLY DISPENSED BY PARKING ENFORCEMENT

FREE admission to the park.

The Red Dot is where we meet.

The Blue areas are the closest parking areas for non-residents.

Seeing Nature Thru Science, but Still Feeling Awe – Perseids @ Joshua Tree Camp

A very earthly, physical, experience laden, side trip awaits you and your family this year, during some of what surely will be some of the most INTENSELY HOT WEATHER of the year. (Joshua Tree experiences average highs at 99 degrees F and lows of 68 degrees F in August.) Yet, after experiencing just what heat in the desert really feels like there will be the awesome payoff in the early morning hours just before sunrise. That truly memorable payoff will be relaxing on your own reclining lawn chair, and watching from 4 AM up to 6:10 AM, August 13th/14th, a much cooler, and infinitely more comfortable time than during the day will most likely be. Despite the moon activity, we anticipate extraordinary meteor views. We’ll be brewing some fresh coffee for your 4 AM wake up call and will be having orange juice and breakfast as we all relax on the lawn chairs we each bring. You’ll want to bring a blanket to be comfy, and make your own tent arrangements which includes sign up here. (Breakfast menu will be posted later).

***TENTS ONLY***

Facilities:
There are three group sites, each with a picnic shelter. There are no electrical hookups, and RVs and habitable trailers are prohibited. Drinking water and flush toilets are provided. Our groups have Cottonwood GO2 and GO3. Group 3 can have up to 25 total people and 14 vehicles. Group 2 can have up to 20 occupants and 11 vehicles. Check-in time begins at 12 PM and check-out is 12 PM. There is no shade from rocks or trees in this campground. It was chosen for its superior meteor watching utility.

Cost 

For Campground and Still Dark Sunday Star Party Breakfast suggested donation is $10 for non-members and $5 for members. WE ARE LIMITED TO A TOTAL OF 25 CARS FOR THE TWO GROUP SITES. YOU MUST REGISTER HERE BEFORE. 

Natural Features: 

The landscape around Cottonwood is that of the Colorado Desert, which encompasses the southern edge of the park and a large portion of Southern California. Rather than being surrounded by large rock formations and uniquely-shaped Joshua trees, like campgrounds in the northern section, this facility overlooks flat, open-desert shrubland. It is also further from towns or cities that would contribute light pollution. As a result, it offers wide, dark and uninterrupted views of the night sky that draw astronomers and amateur sky watchers alike.

GROUP DINNER WILL BE AT 7:00 UNDER THE SHELTERS AT OUR CAMP GROUNDS. Please bring your own food and drink and we’ll be cooking out on the grills. We’ll have plates, napkins, cups and flatware for your convenience.

IF YOU CAN, PLEASE BRING SOME CONTRIBUTION FIREWOOD TO STOKE. FIREWOOD COLLECTION IS PROHIBITED AT THE CAMPGROUNDS AND IN THE PARK. 

Tell your Toast-Master Story by the early campfire at 8 PM unless we are lucky enough to get an early spurt of meteor showers that very occasionally happens. I know of at least two of you who have stories ready to share. All astronomers out there who have a story to tell will be eagerly sought after to tell it that night by the campfire after it starts to cool from the heat of the day.

It will take about an hour and forty five minutes (or less) from Riverside and hour and a half (or less) from Redlands.
Sundown that day will be 7:38 PM. It is also important to note that these campsites have no electricity all at. Happier news is that they have flush toilets and attractive, group, covered picnic areas.

Pets are not allowed on trails and must be restricted to stay within developed areas only. 

(From Earthsky – Bruce McClure) 

What’s the source of the Perseid meteor shower? Every year, from around July 17 to August 24, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the parent of the Perseid meteor shower. Debris from this comet litters the comet’s orbit, but we don’t really get into the thick of the comet rubble until after the first week of August. The bits and pieces from Comet Swift-Tuttle slam into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at some 210,000 kilometers (130,000 miles) per hour, lighting up the nighttime with fast-moving Perseid meteors. If our planet happens to pass through an unusually dense clump of meteoroids – comet rubble – we’ll see an elevated number of meteors. We can always hope!

Comet Swift-Tuttle has a very eccentric – oblong – orbit that takes this comet outside the orbit of Pluto when farthest from the sun, and inside the Earth’s orbit when closest to the sun. It orbits the sun in a period of about 133 years. Every time this comet passes through the inner solar system, the sun warms and softens up the ices in the comet, causing it to release fresh comet material into its orbital stream. Comet Swift-Tuttle last reached perihelion – closest point to the sun – in December 1992 and will do so next in July 2126.
 

What is the radiant point for the Perseid meteor shower? If you trace all the Perseid meteors backward, they all seem to come from the constellation Perseus, near the famous Double Cluster. Hence, the meteor shower is named in the honor of the constellation Perseus the Hero.

However, this is a chance alignment of the meteor shower radiant with the constellation Perseus. The stars in Perseus are light-years distant while these meteors burn up about 100 kilometers (60 miles) above the Earth’s surface. If any meteor survives its fiery plunge to hit the ground intact, the remaining portion is called a meteorite. Few – if any – meteors in meteor showers become meteorites, however, because of the flimsy nature of comet debris. Most meteorites are the remains of asteroids.

In ancient Greek star lore, Perseus is the son of the god Zeus and the mortal Danae. It is said that the Perseid shower commemorates the time when Zeus visited Danae, the mother of Perseus, in a shower of gold.

Although the Perseid meteor shower gives us one of the more reliable productions of the year, the ins and outs of any meteor shower cannot be known with absolute certainty. Forecasting the time and intensity of any meteor shower’s peak – or multiple peaks – is akin to predicting the outcome of a sporting event. There’s always the element of surprise and uncertainty. Depending on the year, the shower can exceed, or fall shy, of expectation.

The swift-moving and often bright Perseid meteors frequently leave persistent trains – ionized gas trails lasting for a few moments after the meteor has already gone. Watch for these meteors to streak the nighttime in front of the age-old, lore-laden constellations from late night until dawn as we approach the second weekend in August. The Perseid’s should put out a few dozen meteors per hour in the wee hours of the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13.

COTTONWOOD GROUP, CA -part of Joshua Tree National Park, National Park Service
Overview
Cottonwood Group Campground is one of the best places in Joshua Tree National Park for stargazing and wildflower viewing. The group campground is part of the main Cottonwood Campground and has three sites that are by reservation only. It is one of three group campgrounds in the park and the only campground that lies in the southern section. Travelers who enjoy warm, dry winters flock to Joshua Tree from October through May, when temperatures reach between 70 to 90-degrees during the day and drop to 40 to 60-degrees at night. Summer is the park’s off-season due to the uncomfortably high desert heat. Cottonwood Group Campground is at an elevation of 3,000 ft. and has little shade from vegetation; however, there are picnic shelters that provide shade at each site.

Natural Features:
 

The landscape around Cottonwood is that of the Colorado Desert, which encompasses the southern edge of the park and a large portion of Southern California. Rather than being surrounded by large rock formations and uniquely-shaped Joshua trees, like campgrounds in the northern section, this facility overlooks flat, open-desert shrubland. It is also further from towns or cities that would contribute light pollution. As a result, it offers wide, dark and uninterrupted views of the night sky that draw astronomers and amateur sky watchers alike. Recreation:
Stargazing and wildflower viewing are among the most popular activities at this facility. Several hiking trails leave from the campground and several more trailheads are within a 1-2 hour drive.

Nearby Attractions:
The General Patton Memorial Museum, a U.S. military history museum, is just over 12 miles away in the town of Chiriaco.
 

Activities and Amenities
Within Facility
• Amphitheater
• Birding
• Campfire Rings
• Drinking Water
• Dump Station
• Educational Programs
• Flush Toilets • Hiking
• Parking Area
• Picnic Shelters
• Picnic Tables
• Recycling
• Star Gazing
• Visitor Center
Know Before You Go
• This campground group sites are limited to tent camping only; recreational vehicles and habitable trailers are prohibited
• There are no electric, water or sewer hook-ups available at individual campsites; drinkable water spigot is located nearby
• There is no overflow parking .
• Check in at Cottonwood Visitor Center, right near the campground. When you arrive; hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• If arriving one or more days late, call (760) 362-4367; or your reservation will be forfeited if we do not hear from you within 24 hours of your arrival date
• Commercial guided operations must obtain a Commercial Use Authorization Permit; please call (760) 367-5545
• No special events shall be held at reserved campsites. Special events must use designate area with a special use permit
• Resale or auction of advance reservations is prohibited
• Gathering firewood is not allowed in the park
• Pets are not allowed on trails and must be restricted to stay within developed areas only
• For additional park information, call (760) 367-5500 or visitwww.nps.gov/jotr
Getting There:
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
33.75, -115.825
33°45’0″N, 115°49’30″W

To get to the campground, take Interstate 10 to the Mecca/Twentynine Palms exit and follow signs to Joshua Tree National Park. The exit is 25 miles east of Indio, California.

Contact Information:
IEAA and FAR Group contact: 951-544-6682 (Rebecca)
Phone Number:
Information: (760)367-5549
For general park information call 760-367-5500.

Improve Your Public Speaking At Toastmasters

**This is not an IEAA meetup**

If the thought of speaking in front of a crowd terrifies you, or if you think your speaking skills could use some improvement, Toastmasters can help you.

I am the president of a fun and lively Friday-night club in Upland that can help you improve your speaking and confidence from where it is to wherever you’d like it to be.  This club has helped me a lot and I would like to extend an invitation to anyone that feels they would benefit from the structured and proven system of learning by doing that has created countless great speakers over the years.

As we meet in a restaurant, dinner is available, but you are not obligated to purchase anything.

I hope to see you there!

Sunday Morning Breakfast Meetup

If you like to sleep in on Sunday and do not want to get up for our weekly hike but would like some lively conversation later in the morning, come join us for breakfast. Our hiking group always meets for a meal and a pleasant chat after our hike. Farmer Boy’s Restaurant is located on the corner of University Ave. and the 91 Freeway in downtown Riverside. Their prices are reasonable and there is a patio outside where we sit, making for a nice non-noisy location. If it is nice and we are able to sit outside, friendly dogs on leashes are welcome. This meetup time is 9:15 am, which is a close approximation. We might be a early or a few minutes late getting down the mountain, so wait for us if you do not find us there! Look for the IEAA tee shirts if it is your first time to attend.

Weekly Mount Rubidoux Fun Hike!

Join us for a FUN event EVERY Sunday morning! The regular hikers in this event rarely sign up even though they hike every Sunday. There are always more people than the two hosts so don’t be shy in joining us!

Want to have fun and stay healthy too? Join us for some exercise AND enjoy the wonders of nature at the same time! This exercise is fun and the views from the top are absolutely awesome! It takes about a half hour to hike up and a half hour down, maybe 45 minute each way at a slower pace. This is an easy hike, but may be strenuous for anyone who is not in good physical condition. Bring a bottle of water and wear comfortable shoes. If you are a jogger this will be a VERY easy hike, but if you never get any exercise you may want to try walking in your neighborhood for a few weeks before you do this hike.

FOOD: Each week we meet at the base of the mountain, hike up, enjoy the amazing view, talk for a while, solve all the world’s problems, hike back down, and have a light breakfast or early lunch at one of the local restaurants nearby. If you prefer to hike and skip the food that’s fine too.

DIRECTIONS: Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park is located on the western edge of downtown Riverside, just a few minutes off the 91 Freeway. From the 91 Freeway exit at the Mission Inn / University Off Ramp Proceed west on either Mission Inn Boulevard or University to Redwood Drive. Turn left on Redwood to 9th Street Turn right on 9th and go one block to the Park entrance (where 9th street ends)

BRIEF DIRECTIONS: Get on 9th street and go north until it ends!

PLEASE try to arrive a few minutes early because we like to start the hike on time. We meet in front of the 9th street entrance gate. Also, PLEASE RSVP since we will wait a while at the start point IF we know you are coming and you are a little late. Friendly dogs are welcome but remember that dogs must be on a short leash. No toilets in the park.

FREE parking on parts of 9th street and some others, but be careful since some of the streets are residents only parking. PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE PARKING SIGNS SINCE THERE ARE LOTS OF RESTRICTIONS ON PARKING IN THE AREA.  MUCH OF THE PARKING IS RESERVED FOR RESIDENTS WITH PERMITS! TICKETS ARE LIBERALLY DISPENSED BY PARKING ENFORCEMENT

FREE admission to the park.

The Red Dot is where we meet.

The Blue areas are the closest parking areas for non-residents.

“Ask an Atheist” Booth at Redlands Market Night

***The IEAA and FAR are hosting this booth as a part of the Inland Empire Coalition of Reason. If you have literature from a secular organization that you would like to hand out, please let us know and we’ll make sure to pass it out.***

Want to help let other non-believers know they’re not alone? 

Want to take an active role in promoting Secular ideals in the local community?

Then come join us at Redlands Market Night!

We’ll be loosely following the “Ask an Atheist” format where we:

• Answer questions

• Pass out flyers 

• Give out information about secularism and the local groups

• Sell atheist themed t-shirts and other merchandise to help fund the booth

• Chat with whomever stops by 

Let’s show the world that atheists and agnostics are nice, normal, and happy people – good without gods!

We’re looking for volunteers of every level, if you want to come and just hang out that’s fine, and if you want to engage with the public that’s fine too. We’ll go over tabling basics for anyone who isn’t sure what to do. You will receive upon your request an online booklet created by the SSA that will help you prepare to answer questions.

There’s lots of parking all over if you come early, and lots by the Redlands Mall after 5. Our Booth will be at space 37, located between 7th St. and 8th St. Just look for our booth with the big Atheist sign. If you still can’t find us call Reb at (951) 544 – 6682 or Linda at (909) 677-3775.

Here’s a sample of some of the questions and answers we’ll deal with:

Q: Don’t atheists have basically empty, meaningless lives since they don’t believe that there’s any higher power out there?

A: Nope. We don’t think that the world is an empty, meaningless place, even though we don’t think a god designed it. We think the world is a fascinating, wonderful, interesting place, and we enjoy living in it. Now, you may think that it’s impossible to “really” enjoy this world without believing of God as the designer. We don’t feel that way.

Q: What do you think happens to you when you die?

A: Just in case there are any misconceptions about this, most serious atheists don’t believe in reincarnation or spirits any more than we believe in hell. What defines “you” is what you think and feel, and how you interact with the universe. When this interaction ceases, you’re not you anymore. So you simply stop existing.

Q: How can anyone possibly be moral without believing in God?

A: Pretty much the same way that anyone else can be moral – by considering their actions, weighing the consequences and deciding whether they’re doing more harm than good to themselves and other people.

Q: What’s the difference between an atheist and an agnostic?

A: Atheism is merely the absence of belief in any gods. Agnosticism is not about belief in god but about knowledge — it was coined originally to describe the position of a person who could not claim to know for sure if any gods exist or not.

Q: Is Atheism just another religion?

A: No. Religions appeal to a supernatural realm controlled in most cases by a god or gods. Atheists have no written revelations, no god or gods and do not accept the existence of a supernatural realm or a creative super-being, as no evidence demands that they do. Atheism is therefore a rational evaluation of nature, whilst religions result from imaginative guessing.

Q: Do you hate God?

A: Nope. We don’t hate Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy or Darth Vader either. Remember, atheists do not believe God exists. The way we see it, hating a nonexistent being would be as great a waste of time as worshiping one.

Q: Wow, this is really cool, how can I help out?

A: By joining up with the IECoR! Check us out online at  Meetup.com Freethinkers Around Redlands, Meetup.com Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics, Meetup.com Victor Valley Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers or Facebook for SSA of University of CA Riverside or SSA of Riverside City College.

Sunday Morning Breakfast Meetup

If you like to sleep in on Sunday and do not want to get up for our weekly hike but would like some lively conversation later in the morning, come join us for breakfast. Our hiking group always meets for a meal and a pleasant chat after our hike. Farmer Boy’s Restaurant is located on the corner of University Ave. and the 91 Freeway in downtown Riverside. Their prices are reasonable and there is a patio outside where we sit, making for a nice non-noisy location. If it is nice and we are able to sit outside, friendly dogs on leashes are welcome. This meetup time is 9:15 am, which is a close approximation. We might be a early or a few minutes late getting down the mountain, so wait for us if you do not find us there! Look for the IEAA tee shirts if it is your first time to attend.

Weekly Mount Rubidoux Fun Hike!

Join us for a FUN event EVERY Sunday morning! The regular hikers in this event rarely sign up even though they hike every Sunday. There are always more people than the two hosts so don’t be shy in joining us!

Want to have fun and stay healthy too? Join us for some exercise AND enjoy the wonders of nature at the same time! This exercise is fun and the views from the top are absolutely awesome! It takes about a half hour to hike up and a half hour down, maybe 45 minute each way at a slower pace. This is an easy hike, but may be strenuous for anyone who is not in good physical condition. Bring a bottle of water and wear comfortable shoes. If you are a jogger this will be a VERY easy hike, but if you never get any exercise you may want to try walking in your neighborhood for a few weeks before you do this hike.

FOOD: Each week we meet at the base of the mountain, hike up, enjoy the amazing view, talk for a while, solve all the world’s problems, hike back down, and have a light breakfast or early lunch at one of the local restaurants nearby. If you prefer to hike and skip the food that’s fine too.

DIRECTIONS: Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park is located on the western edge of downtown Riverside, just a few minutes off the 91 Freeway. From the 91 Freeway exit at the Mission Inn / University Off Ramp Proceed west on either Mission Inn Boulevard or University to Redwood Drive. Turn left on Redwood to 9th Street Turn right on 9th and go one block to the Park entrance (where 9th street ends)

BRIEF DIRECTIONS: Get on 9th street and go north until it ends!

PLEASE try to arrive a few minutes early because we like to start the hike on time. We meet in front of the 9th street entrance gate. Also, PLEASE RSVP since we will wait a while at the start point IF we know you are coming and you are a little late. Friendly dogs are welcome but remember that dogs must be on a short leash. No toilets in the park.

FREE parking on parts of 9th street and some others, but be careful since some of the streets are residents only parking. PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE PARKING SIGNS SINCE THERE ARE LOTS OF RESTRICTIONS ON PARKING IN THE AREA.  MUCH OF THE PARKING IS RESERVED FOR RESIDENTS WITH PERMITS! TICKETS ARE LIBERALLY DISPENSED BY PARKING ENFORCEMENT

FREE admission to the park.

The Red Dot is where we meet.

The Blue areas are the closest parking areas for non-residents.

TED Talks Then We Talk

Note: This is a sit down dinner where we discuss each TED Talk after we watch them. We will have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods, tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine and dessert. There is no need to bring anything but your happy self! If you find you cannot attend after you RSVP, please change your reply here so someone else can take your seat, even though we will miss you.

***IMPORTANT 88** THIS IS A CROSS-POST FROM GREATER RIVERSIDE SKEPTICS FORUM, THE MEETUP SITE THAT KEEPS YOUR RSVP’S FOR US. PLEASE ONLY GO TO GREATER RIVERSIDE SKEPTICS FORUM TO RSVP , NOT THIS SITE.*****

Seth Shostak 

Astronomer

ET is (probably) out there — get ready

TEDxSanJoseCA· 18:40 · Filmed Apr 2012 SETI researcher Seth Shostak bets that we will find extraterrestrial life in the next twenty-four years, or he’ll buy you a cup of coffee. He explains why new technologies and the laws of probability make the breakthrough so likely — and predicts how the discovery of civilizations far more advanced than ours might affect us here on Earth.

Seth Shostak is an astronomer, alien hunter and bulwark of good, exciting science.

Why you should listen

Seth Shostak is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Inspired by a book about the solar system he read at the age of ten, he began his career with a degree in physics from Princeton University and a PhD in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology before working with radio telescopes in the US and the Netherlands to uncover how the universe will end. In 1999, he produced twelve 30-minute lectures on audio-tape and video titled “The Search for Intelligent Life in Space” for the Teaching Company and has hosted SETI’s Big Picture Science podcast since 2002. In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and is the Chair of the International Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Study Group. He has published four books, nearly 300 popular articles on astronomy, technology, film and television and gives frequent talks to both young and adult audiences.

Jill Tarter

Astronomer


Join the SETI search 

TED 2009 · 21:23 · Filmed Feb 2009

The SETI Institute’s Jill Tarter makes her TED Prize wish: to accelerate our search for cosmic company. Using a growing array of radio telescopes, she and her team listen for patterns that may be a sign of intelligence elsewhere in the universe.

Why you should listen

Astronomer Jill Tarter is director of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute’s Center for SETI Research, and also holder of the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. She led Project Phoenix, a decade-long SETI scrutiny of about 750 nearby star systems, using telescopes in Australia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico. While no clearly extraterrestrial signal was found, this project was the most comprehensive targeted search for artificially generated cosmic signals ever undertaken.

Tarter serves on the management board for the Allen Telescope Array, a massive new instrument that will eventually include 350 antennas, each 6 meters in diameter. This telescope will increase the speed and the spectral range of the hunt for signals from other distant technologies by orders of magnitude.

Tarter is committed to the education of future citizens and scientists. Beyond her scientific leadership at NASA and the SETI Institute, Tarter has been actively involved in developing curriculum for children. She was Principal Investigator for two curriculum development projects funded by NSF, NASA, and others. One project, the Life in the Universe series, created 6 science teaching guides for grades 3-9. The other project, Voyages Through Time, is an integrated high school science curriculum on the fundamental theme of evolution in six modules: Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Hominid Evolution and Evolution of Technology.

Watch Jill Tarter’s TED-Ed lesson: “Calculating the Odds of Intelligent Alien Life” >>

Are we alone?

Join SETI Live to help answer that question …

Are we alone? It’s a question with which we are all familiar. Jill Tarter says she started asking it “as a little girl, walking along the deserted and dark beaches of Manasota Key, Florida, holding on to my father’s hand.” She went on to advanced studies in engineering, physics and astrophysics, to pursue a career searching for intelligent life beyond Earth. But even those of us who haven’t chosen this search as our life’s work may have an urge to be part of the discovery. SETI Live! is a chance to join in.

As Jill Tarter writes, “[SETI Live!] is an experiment to see whether an army of citizen scientists, working with data streaming from the Allen Telescope Array, can recognize, remember and classify patterns, often multiple patterns, well enough to see if there is anything that could be an ET signal requiring immediate follow-up. We don’t know whether it will work. At a minimum, we may learn enough about how humans try to work through the complex mixture of detected signals so that we can teach SonATA (the SETI computer system at the telescope array) how to do the job in the future. Or we may conclude that these bands of data must remain unusable, but — having solved the technical problems of allowing citizen scientists to work in real time — we may have set the stage for yet other, unrelated applications. We may come to understand that, with clever scheduling, we can observe some of these frequency bands when the sources of interfering signals aren’t in the sky. And of course, we may find what we are looking for — we may find a signal from a distant technology that we would otherwise have overlooked.”

To celebrate the launch of SETI Live!, the cable channel Science has organized a month of programming called “Are We Alone? Month.” As part of this ongoing programming, tonight (Don’t know the date, but check for it at Youtube or Vimeo) at 10pm EDT, experts including Nick Sagan and Jill Tarter come together to explore how alien life might communicate with Earth in the debut of “Alien Encounters.” SCIENCE concludes this month of all-new programming by presenting firsthand accounts from NASA astronauts who witnessed the mysterious with “NASA’s Unexplained Files” on Tuesday, March 27, at 10pm EDT.

The Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics is a community for the non-religious. We are good without God