After our lunch at the American Club, we headed over to the Powerhouse Museum, where Shermer would be speaking at the "Big Night of Science" as part of the Ultimo Science Festival and National Science Week.
We had some time to kill, so we went to a pub near by for a few quick drinks and a bite to eat. Before too long, a few of our friends from the Australian Skeptics turned up, followed soon after by Michael Shermer and Paul Willis!
(L to R) Ian, Me (Alan), Rachel, John, Margaret, Michael Shermer, Paul Willis, Richard, Jason and Amanda.
This was a blast! we never thought that he would just mosey up to the divey little pub that we were at, and it was a great chance to have a laid-back informal chat with both Michael and Paul.
It also afforded us the opportunity for a bit of a beer-skulling comp!
Shermer was good, but couldn't beat Dave the Happy Singer!
Before long, we left the pub and went to the Big Night of Science. There was a live Jazz band playing and plenty of wine for all.
The first talk of the night was by Simon Pampena, the Stand-Up Mathematician, with his Maths Olympics show.
It was a blast, he was tragically funny, with an over-the-top comedy/maths blend that went down really well with the audience. He also called for two participants from the audience, my mate, Nathan, and girlfriend and critical mass blogee Rachel.
I'd like to see this guy again, he was great. I'm sure he would go down pretty well with school audiences too.
Next up was something completely different, Dr Jim Partick gave a talk about bionics and cochlear implants, which was interesting to me because of the number of clients I have who benefit already from such bionic devices.
The third stop on the program was the discussion between Paul Willis and Michael Shermer, which was supposed to be about the nature of genius, but became more of a QnA with Shermer about his past works, latest book and life experiences. It was a really interesting talk and when question time began, I'm sure the museum was staring to regret the free wine offered earlier!
The last talk was by Dr Fred Watson, who spoke about space tourism. He explained a lot about the difficulties faced by those hwo are trying to provide space tourism at the moment, what is being developed in the field of space torism and what the future may have in stall for space tourism.
It's a tremendously interesting subject and there are so many different avenues being explored that it looks like there may be a likelihood of affordable space tourism within our lifetime. As soon as I can afford it, you can bet that I'll be zooming through the cosmos like Rocky Jones!
The whole night was heaps of fun, and to make it even better, we (a whole rabble of atheists and sceptics) went out for dinner with Michael Shermer in chinatown, where we chatted until late into the night about all th things we don't believe in (and some of the things we do!)
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