Category Archives: Lectures

March 2018

Illustration of ocean waves

“Tsunamis in Syracuse?”

Bryce Hand, Ph.D.

Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 PM

Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

About the talk
Geologists tend to use “catastrophic” events like meteorite impacts only as a last resort (and Professor Emeritus Bryce Hand is one of them). However, in his presentation Professor Hand will argue that the signature of just such an event can be found right here in Onondaga County! The six-foot-thick layer we call the Clark Reservation Limestone seemed like an anomaly from the moment he met it in 1969. Over the next couple decades he became convinced that this limestone must have been emplaced by a tsunami, but one caused by an event so special that the usual triggers—earthquakes, submarine landslides, extreme weather events—wouldn’t suffice. Then, in 1993 when he attended the Geological Society of America meeting where Yngvar Isachsen (distinguished geologist with the NY State Geological Survey) argued that that the seven-mile-diameter circular structure at Panther Mountain, in the Catskills, was an astrobleme—the signature of a buried impact crater.

About the presenter
Bryce Hand received his Ph.D in geology from Pennsylvania State University in 1964, and taught geology first at Antioch College, and then at Syracuse University for 35 years. His research focus was sedimentology. Bryce is now a professor emeritus of geology at Syracuse University, and has been a member of CNY Skeptics for 15 years.

September 2017

Photo of Kenny Biddle

Orbs or Dust: Demystifying Alleged Paranormal Photography

Kenny Biddle

Wednesday, September 20, 7:00 PM, at the Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

About the talk
This presentation goes into the most popular forms of “ghost & spirits” that are allegedly caught on camera & video. We’ll take a look at examples from ghost hunting groups and famous ghost photos, and compare them to recreations. We’ll break down how the camera—both still and video—capture these anomalies and ghost hunters misinterpret the images.

About the presenter
Kenny Biddle is a science enthusiast and skeptical investigator of paranormal claims. He applies his knowledge, experience, and critical thinking skills to analyzing alleged paranormal photographs. His work has been featured in Skeptical Briefs (newsletter of Skeptical Inquirer magazine), books by Ben Radford, and several skeptical magazines overseas. He is a photography consultant for MUFON, and does a video series that tackles paranormal topics from a skeptical point of view.

May 2017

Susan Gerbic, founder of Guerrilla Skepticism of Wikipedia

“Wikipediatrician” Susan Gerbic

Wednesday, May 17, 7:00 PM, at the Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

It’s CNY Skeptics’ 15th birthday, and we’re celebrating by bringing in the Wikipediatrician all the way from Salinas, California! Join us for what’s sure to be a stimulating presentation; we’ll have pizza and birthday cake as well!

About the talk

Affectionately called the Wikipediatrician, Susan Gerbic, founder of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW), will give a presentation on the work done by her team of skeptical activists.

At this presentation you will find out how anyone with access to a computer can improve Wikipedia articles.

The Guerrilla Skepticism editing team enhances the skeptical content of Wikipedia by improving the pages of skeptic spokespeople, providing noteworthy citations, and removing the unsourced claims from paranormal and pseudoscientific pages.

Gerbic is the co-founder of Monterey County Skeptics and is also known for her activism against psychics, who she calls “grief vampires.” See more on Wikipedia.

March 2017

Photo of Kenny Biddle

CANCELLED! This event has been cancelled due to Snowpocalypse 2017 (the library is closed)

Kenny will be invited again during a less snowy month.

Orbs or Dust: Demystifying Alleged Paranormal Photography

Kenny Biddle

Wednesday, March 15, 7:00 PM, at the Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

About the talk
This presentation goes into the most popular forms of “ghost & spirits” that are allegedly caught on camera & video. We’ll take a look at examples from ghost hunting groups and famous ghost photos, and compare them to recreations. We’ll break down how the camera—both still and video—capture these anomalies and ghost hunters misinterpret the images.

About the presenter
Kenny Biddle is a science enthusiast and skeptical investigator of paranormal claims. He applies his knowledge, experience, and critical thinking skills to analyzing alleged paranormal photographs. His work has been featured in Skeptical Briefs (newsletter of Skeptical Inquirer magazine), books by Ben Radford, and several skeptical magazines overseas. He is a photography consultant for MUFON, and does a video series that tackles paranormal topics from a skeptical point of view.

January 2017

Cover of the book Creepy Corners by Carolyn Dougherty

A Ghost Hunter turned Skeptic: One Paranormal Investigator’s Story

Carolyn Dougherty

Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 PM, at the Dewitt Community Library

About the talk
From an early age Carolyn Dougherty was interested in the paranormal. As an adult she has spent much of her life exploring ghost stories and claims of haunting. In her presentation for CNY Skeptics she will talk about her journey from believing to applying critical thinking to investigations.
About the presenter
Carolyn Dougherty was a writer and assistant editor for MyPara Paranormal Magazine, a writer for The Bent Spoon Magazine, and is the author of the book Creepy Corners: Searching for Truth in Paranormal Claims. She is the writer of Carolyn’s Creepy Corner, a blog promoting critical thinking in paranormal research. Dougherty earned a BA in music and English from The University of the Pacific and taught language arts for many years.