First off to Castle Grayskull to hear about “The Science Barge,” a floating greenhouse on the Hudson River that is the brainchild of Groundwork Hudson Valley. The two American speakers have been touring Manchester today with people from Manchester City Council. After a scene-setting presentation by a Food Futures person, Groundwork USA deputy director Curt Collier spoke at just the right length and detail about the rationale of the project. (Give it a year and the good people of Ancoats will be getting their fruit and veg from a converted coal barge parked alongside MERCi.)
Then off to the Manchester Skeptics Society, where Dr Andrew Russell gave an entertaining whizz through the standard skeptic ‘arguments’ (you know- natural cycles, the sun, climate gate, glacier gate etc) to a large audience (60?). Carol Batton, well-known fixture on Manchester’s poetry scene heckled the third slide and then self-ejected in a robust and somewhat premature fashion. Things settled down after that, with Russell enjoying himself and not bothering to hide his disdain of zombie arguments and the zombies who try to spread them.
The Skeptics Society meets monthly, covering a bunch of topics (including an upcoming one on the ‘Quacklash’, of libel laws being used against journalists critiquing homeopathy etc). On tonight’s showing, they seem a friendly and intelligent bunch. If you need an excuse to get drunk and argumentative, then this looks like a good place to start.
Just visited their website, and found their tagline- “a Manchester based organisation dedicated to rational thinking, non-homoeopathic drinking and the promotion of skepticism.”