November 2015 Meeting

Len Sharp on Easter Island with Rapa Nui

The Puzzling Moai of Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Len Sharp, retired earth science teacher

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 7:00 PM, Dewitt Community Library, DCL Friends Room, Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. East, Dewitt, NY 13214

This event is free and open to the public.

About the talk
Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is generally accepted as the most remote permanently populated land area on Earth. It was due to the isolation of Rapa Nui that created the unique culture that developed, especially the 900 giant stone statues called Moai found along its rugged coastlines and Rano Raraku quarries. This lecture will seek to answer the following questions: What were the source and type of rock used to construct the Moai; what kind of tools was used to sculpture the giant statues; how were the statues moved form Rano Raraku to their distant platforms (Ahu); how were the statues placed in their upright positions; and, of course, what purpose did they serve?

About the presenter
Len Sharp had almost 40 years of experience as an earth science teacher in NY public high schools. He is the past president of the Science Teachers Association of NY and National Earth Science Teachers Association. He is the co-author of a national textbook used for high school earth science. He is a past National Science Teachers Association Distinguished Teacher and received a teaching award from then President Bill Clinton in 1995. He currently is involved with continuing science education for adults and seniors.

September 2015


Women, Science, and Love: No One Cries in the Laboratory (Do They?)

Penny Higgins, Ph.D., Research Associate, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Rochester

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 7:00 PM, Manlius Library, 1 Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

This event is free and open to the public.

About the talk
On June 9th of this year, Nobel Prize winner Sir Tim Hunt explained to the World Conference of Science Journalists what he felt was the problem with women in science. “Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.” Hunt’s comments are just one example of challenges that women face in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. Even the dominance of men in typical STEM classrooms perpetuates a culture of “Stereotype Threat” which continues to discourage women from pursuing STEM careers. The challenge ahead is to accept that this as a real problem, and then work toward practical solutions where women and men are treated equally within the sciences.

About the presenter
Penny Higgins is a Vertebrate Paleontologist and Geochemist at the University of Rochester. She divides her time among managing the Stable Isotope Ratios in the Environment Analytical Laboratory (SIREAL), teaching, and doing research on ancient episodes of rapid climate change.

Paranormal Investigator Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell at work in his office and laboratory at the Center for Inquiry
Joe Nickell at work in his office and laboratory at the Center for Inquiry

Important parking information

Be advised that Ferrante Quad is fenced off due to construction. Please park in Lot 13 next to the SRC arena and follow the bridge down to Storer Auditorium. For handicapped parking use Lot 2 behind Ferrante Hall. Storer is located on the second floor of Ferrante Hall.

We previously said that Storer was in the Whitney Technology Building, but it is not. It is in Ferrante Hall.

Investigating the Paranormal: Ghosts, Monsters, Miracles, and Other Strange Mysteries

John Edson Sweet Lecture by
Joe Nickell, Ph.D.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Time: 6:30 PM at the Storer Auditorium, Ferrante Hall, Onondaga Community College

This event is free and open to the public.

CNY Skeptics and TACNY are excited to welcome back paranormal investigator Joe Nickell!

Currently the world’s only full-time, scientific investigator of the paranormal, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Senior Research Fellow Joe Nickell will speak about his many past and present investigations into the paranormal, including weeping icons, crop circles, alien abductions, monsters, haunted houses, spontaneous human combustions, and many others. In contrast to many paranormal proponents, who are little more than mystery mongers, or to some skeptics who call themselves “debunkers,” Joe Nickell holds that mysteries should neither be fostered nor dismissed. Instead, they should be carefully investigated with a view toward solving them. He has spent his life trying to do just that—whether the mysteries were paranormal, historical, forensic, or literary

Joe Nickell, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 1987), is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI)—an international scientific organization—and investigative columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. A former professional stage magician (he was Resident Magician at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame for three years) and private investigator for a world-famous detective agency, Dr. Nickell taught technical writing for several years at the University of Kentucky before taking the full-time position with CSI at its offices at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York.

Utilizing his varied background, Nickell has become widely known as an investigator of myths and mysteries, frauds, forgeries, and hoaxes. He has been called “the modern Sherlock Holmes,” “the original ghost buster,” and “the real-life Scully” (from “The X-Files” ). He has investigated scores of haunted-house cases, including the Amityville Horror and the Mackenzie House in Toronto, Canada. Nickell was an inspiration for Hilary Swank’s role as a miracle investigator in The Reaping (2007). He is the author of more than twenty books, and regularly appears on TV and radio to discuss his investigations.