Sunday, 11 November 2012

On Skeptics in the Pub

Been meaning to write this for a few days, seems lazy Sundays are actually for something!

Glad to see the return of the Portsmouth Skeptics (@sitpPortsmouth) that Trish (@cherryblack) and I started in January 2011! (I have your portable PA system and will return it soon!)

Inspired by Heather Stevens (@AbrasiveShrub) recent blog post about running Oxford Skeptics I thought I'd mash together some of my thoughts, feelings and a bunch of stuff I just wanted to say and attempt to carefully craft them into some words on the internet.

Kingston Skeptics (@KingstonSITP) has been running for a number of months now. I love the evenings and it's been wonderful to hear so much positive feedback from so many people who have enjoyed attending. I am also aware that I'm probably the worst possible person to be doing introductions and announcements - I mean, does anyone remember me telling them where the fire exits are? Of course not. Unfortunately I have a long-standing fear of speaking a room of people that moments before I'm very happy chatting away to. My mind goes blank and suddenly I am struck down with a panic that, quite honestly, baffles me. It's probably my fault and the result of deliberately avoiding any opportunity my educators presented to gain confidence and hiding in the computer lab or going down to the park to smoke cigarettes with the slightly-cooler-than-me kids instead of performing my drama homework!

I'd also been meaning to apologise at the November meeting for my complete failure to organise or actually attend an October meeting. So, sorry. I honestly hope it doesn't happen again. This was completely my fault - I wasn't feeling great and the speaker had been forced to cancel, giving me plenty of notice, some time before. Both of these things  lead me a begging slot - if you're at all interested in helping out with the evenings, booking speakers or anything else it would be very much appreciated and should prevent a repeat situation. Two (or more) heads/bodies are definitely better than one when it comes to running a SITP.

The next meeting is on the 6th December at the Ram Jam Club/Grey Horse in Kingston. The speaker is Matt Parker (@standupmaths). Matt a is simply brilliant comedian, entertainer and communicator and I, for one, can't wait :)

The venue capacity is not anywhere close to the audiences that Matt normally attracts in London so I've had to make this a ticketed event. I want Skeptics in the Pub to be open to everyone as much as possible but I also think I have a responsibility to ensure the experience is as enjoyable as possible. There will be as many tickets as the room is legally allowed - I'll confirm this week and make the remaining tickets available. The price for the Early Bird tickets has been set at £3.50. This is higher £2 suggestion I've been asking at previous events because I don't want to be in the position where I am paying the difference between donations and the speakers expenses - I want Kingston to grow and have the resources to invite new speakers.

The limited number of tickets are available here:

I really don't want anyone to miss out. Please feel free to contact me - email gileswendes AT hotmail DOT com or comment on any of the above - I've thrown Kingston Skeptics together but it really is yours so get involved!

PS. I'm working with @OliCollett and @JustTheWilliam to start the Ealing Skeptics in the Pub that was sadly never born. Watch this space (and @EalingSITP)

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